Friday, November 21, 2014

Vintage Photo Friday

I'm thinking about my cousin, Audra who is getting married this weekend.  Best of luck to you and Robi!  Weddings have changed in the last 40 years. They can be informal and a vacation for everyone involved.  Audra and Robi are having a destination wedding in Cancun, Mexico.  Most of their immediate family is attending.  I can't wait to see all of the photos.
My FIRST wedding was a formal affair, held at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1974.  The wedding was held in the Venetian Room, which was all decked out in gold and olive green colors.  We added pink tablecloths.  The bridesmaids wore hot pink.  I had pale pink roses on my dress and in my veil.  Bernie Richards and his orchestra played for over 200 guests. It was a big deal, fancy-shmancy wedding and a day to remember.  Too bad the marriage only lasted four years.

Venetian Room, Ambassador Hotel, September 15, 1974

I do love this photo.  I'm laughing at something hilarious.  Left to right:  Cousin Janet, best friend Leah, Sister-in-law to be Harva and other best friend Michele.

I should have married Bernie!

This was six years after the assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel.  Thankfully, the stigma had worn off a bit.  Most of my friends at the time were getting married at westside hotels, synagogues, churches or country clubs.  I wanted to be married in a historical landmark of my beloved home town of Los Angeles.  

This landmark is gone and that marriage is long forgotten.  NOW, I know what a happy marriage is all about.  I waited a long time to find my Prince Charming.  Larry was worth the wait.
Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles.  Demolished 2005

Have a wonderful pre-Thanksgiving weekend my friends.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fabric Shopping

click to enlarge

We've been searching for just the right fabric for our teak dining room chairs.  Thanks to my high school friend, Laurie, we've "inherited" six of her Mother's Danish Modern chairs.  The chairs were covered in a needlepoint design, a bit worn.  The cushion on each chair had been flattened after years of use.  Time to reupholster and recover!
We have a black, white and gray theme going now in our living and dining rooms.  We used to have lots of brown and gold tones.  I thought it was funny, going through the upholstery fabric shops that most of the selections were in the brownish tones.  It wasn't easy to find something good-looking in non-colors!
Seen in the manufacturer's photo above, these chairs were traditionally covered in a plain fabric or leather.  I thought that a woven tweed would look modern.  We drove over to Diamond Foam and Fabric on La Brea and looked around.

Diamond Fabrics is huge!

I like both of these tweedy fabrics.  Very practical.

We took a few samples with us then drove across town to F & S Fabrics on Pico Boulevard.  F& S also has a super-huge selection.  Lots of "fun" fabrics too. 

Graffitti Fabric!

Between Diamond and F & S, we came away with lots of excellent samples.  

Possible Upholstery Choices

Larry is having foam cushions cut at The Foam Mart on Sepulveda in Culver City.   He also found a reasonable upholsterer in our neighborhood.  It's all coming together!
We've decided to go kinda' kicky with this dotty fabric (below).  The little circles go with the rounded edges of the Danish chairs.  We'll be using it on the side with the dark background for the chairs.  I love that this fabric is reversible!  I will have extra fabric for couch pillows, using the light background.  Excited.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thanksgiving Prep

Must not forget the veggies!

It's all about the sides, 'bout the sides, no turkey.....  Just jumping on the bandwagon with all the parodies of Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" song.   Really, I do like the turkey on Thanksgiving, but after loading up on sides, I usually only have a few bites of turkey.  Turkey is best for the leftovers:  Turkey soup, turkey tetrazzini, turkey sandwiches, turkey enchiladas, turkey salad and more.
Most of these side dishes are wacky and fun, but you may just find some gems among my skewered recipes! Click on each photo to make really big!

I'm guessing you could do this any flavor Jello! Easy-peasy, no clean-up!

We tend to serve fresh green beans today, but this casserole always disappears!

More marshmallows than yams.  Yum!

Stove Top is great, just add a few fresh ingredients and no one will know.  Be sure to destroy the boxes.
A gift card from Audrey and Jeff one year.  I still love this!

Turkey Sugar Cookies made with Pillsbury ready-bake cookies!  Easy, Festive!

I still serve this pumpkin ice-cream pie with a prepared graham cracker pie crust.  It's light, refreshing and delicious!
Don't forget to wear your drumstick hat!

If you really do not want to fuss, just pick up that old stand-by from Swanson's!

I probably will not be making any of the above, except, maybe the hat!  I look forward to spending Thanksgiving with 30 members of my family.  We don't cook anymore, we go out!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"Rent" @ CSULA

We attended a performance of "Rent" at Cal State L.A. over the weekend.  I was extremely impressed with the cast, band, stage design, lighting and overall professionalism of this production.  CSULA is known as a commuter school, also as a continuing education college  for professionals seeking advanced degrees.  Hence, the cast and crew ranged in age from 19 to 50....just like real life.  

Lobby, State Playhouse @ CSULA

Larry and I were motivated to attend because my ukulele teacher, Jon Lee, was one of the leads, "Roger."  I'm really glad we saw this production.  I knew the story, but had never seen a stage production or the movie of "Rent."

The cast of "Rent" acknowledging the Music Director and Band

Jon Lee, Center

The show runs November 18, 19, 20 & 22 at 7:30, with a matinee on November 15th at 2:30.  Here's the Link for tickets. 
After the Show

Note to self:  See more college productions in L.A.  These kids really work hard, are talented and the cost of a ticket is refreshing!

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Monday, November 17, 2014


Mid-Century Modern State Playhouse at CSULA

"Mid-Mod-Col" is my new word for Mid-Century Modern College Campus architecture.  Larry and I attended a performance at Cal State University at Los Angeles (CSULA) on Saturday night (more about the performance tomorrow).  I'd visited Cal State LA a few times in the last 20 years, for art exhibitions at their Fine Arts Gallery and performances at the Luckman Auditorium, but I'd never REALLY looked at the architecture on campus.

Most of the universities that I'm familiar with (Cal State SD, USC, UCLA, Occidental, PCC and SMC) have multiple decades' worth of buildings on-site.  One of my favorite oldies is Bovard Auditorium at USC, built in 1921 in the Italian Romanesque Revival style. This is probably because it reminds me of my elementary school.  All of the above campuses have revival architecture or WPA/Art Deco styles from the 20's through the late 1930s.  There are buildings in the clean and spare Mid-Century Modern style of the 1950s through the mid- 60s; chunky Brutalism  popular during the late 1960s through the 1970s; giving way to High-Tech or Post-Modern architecture of the 1980s with it's sweeping roof lines, asymmetrical sight-lines to the Neo-Modernism of the 1990s and early 2000s which harkens back to the aesthetics of Mid-Century design of the 60s.  I appreciate it all, but the Mid-Century Modern design of the 1950s and 60s holds a special place in my heart.  This was the style being built in Los Angeles when I was a kid and my Dad was in the building business.  My tastes were greatly influenced by listening to Dad speak about his different jobs during the building boom in Los Angeles at this time.
Rear portion of the State Playhouse at CSULA

Back to our Cal State LA visit on Saturday.  As we waited in the lobby of the Small Theater to take our seats for the performance, we noticed other buildings surrounding the quad.  I did not see any architecture from the decades before 1950.  I had to look up the college on my pocket-computer to see that it was founded in 1947, built on land once owned by the Basque rancher, Juan Bautista Batz who acquired the area through a Spanish land grant and named it Rancho Rosa Castilla for the wild rose growing near the ranch house.

Here's a timeline for the campus.  Originally, Cal State LA was on the campus of LACC, Vermont Avenue near Melrose.  Groundbreaking for this particular campus was in 1955.  
Aha!  That's why so many of the buildings remind me of my youth.
I love the light fixture that looks like Saturn!

I want a fiberglass umbrella, table and chairs in my backyard!

VERY new building at CSULA

So often, we do not really look at the buildings we're walking into, especially institutional buildings!  I must take a tour of the campus during daylight hours to absorb the modern decades of buildings on the campus of CSULA.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Vintage Photo Friday - 1993

Ellen and Larry.  1993, San Antonio, Texas

For me, "vintage" means before 1970.  When I see people posting photos on Facebook from the 1980s and 1990s and calling them "vintage," it cracks me up.  I guess my frame of reference is that before 1970 I was a kid, after that I was a grown-up.  Well, OK.  Here are a few "vintage" photos from 1993.
Larry and I were on a grand vacation.  We flew to San Antonio, attended the Tejano Music Conjunto Festival with friends, then rented a car and drove from Texas to Louisiana.  Along the way we had many adventures and saw some wonderful sights.  I'm so glad I unearthed this album of memories!
Tom and Claire.  1993, San Antonio
Seguin, Texas.  1993

Orange Show, Houston, Texas.  1993

Artist, Francis X. Pavy, Lafayette, Louisiana.  1993

Francis and Linoleum Block Prints purchased by Ellen and Larry

There are pages and pages of wonderful photos in the album, however it's time to move on.  Have a great weekend, my friends.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Holiday Gifties

I've been actively THINKING about my holiday gifts for 2014.  I've already ordered and stock-piled some faboo items from my new favorite catalog Blue Q.  I do like to knit and/or crochet some special stocking stuffers for my yarny friends.  Here are a few ideas I've been researching.  All patterns are on Ravelry

Little Christmas Tree Wreath

Gingerbread Hat (take the bow off for a male)

The Christmas Dishcloth Story

The Beer SweaterThis would look festive in holiday colors.

Christmas SpiritsI LOVE these little guys!

I probably won't make any of the above, except maybe for the Gingerbread Hat.  I usually revert to my tried and true Grandma Trees and Garland of Stars for holiday gifties.  What are your favorite stocking stuffers to make? 

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