Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Del Rey Yacht Club. Architect, Maurice H. Fleishman, 1965

Once again, we all convened at the Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina del Rey for our family Thanksgiving celebration. Our group was much smaller this year...about 8 or 9 less people. Sigh. We still had a great time, catching up with cousins, enjoying our delicious dinner, laughing and endlessly taking photos of each other!
Carolyn, Mae and Ellen

Oh that Cousin Jackie!

Roz just LOVES her balloons

Dinner was delicious!
Julia, Alexis, Brooke Ronney. Megan Thomas. Photo by Alexis

The balloons look great at our house! Thanks, Mom

To see more photos (tagging the MJ Bloom clan), click on this link.

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Lazy Day Crochet

Willow Square Potholder

Thanksgiving Day. This is a lazy day for me. Our family goes OUT for Thanksgiving dinner. It's a wonderful time to visit and enjoy my cousins. Everyone has a good time.
Since I'm not slaving away in the kitchen today, I'm catching up on my crochet projects. I've been working on this top-down crocheted cardigan sweater in black. I've finished the body and have started sleeve #1. I hope to finish this sweater by Saturday.
I've also been working on a few holiday gift potholders. I like giving potholders to my friends.  They're practical and pretty. I often use them as trivets instead of potholders. They also look great just hanging on the kitchen wall. Very decorative!

Potholder based on the African Flower Design

Malibu Tile Potholder

Flower Tile Square.  I really like this square. It looks so much like a Spanish tile to me!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, my friends!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Easy T-Giving

I do not have to cook for my humongous family's Thanksgiving feast. We've been eating out for the past few decades. It's delightful. I get to catch up with my cousins and enjoy a hearty, delicious meal. HOWEVER, if I were going to cook, these are a few of the items I might make. I'm all about classic, EASY recipes! CLICK ON PHOTOS TO SEE LARGER.
Make it right in the can! No clean-up!

Speaking about cans...


Oh yeah!  This one just slays me. We saw this at Otis Art Institute years ago. Here's what the card, above says, "Through the years, Americans have gotten used to the convenience of preparing Thanksgiving in 2 hours, then 30 minutes. Now you can cook a Thanksgiving meal in your own backyard--in just 5 seconds!
Simply place the contents of your meal into the containers -- seasonings and all.  Launch the rocket and take cover. The specially engineered nose cone of the rocket will trigger lightning and send an electrical charge down the copper wire to the lightning rod. Your meal will be ready in no time!
Gone are the days of toil and tears -- with Thanksgiving Dinner in 5 seconds, you no longer need to slave in front of a hot stove all day to show your family you care!"
"Thanksgiving Dinner in 5 Seconds"

That Old Stand-by

Forget about the turkey! Just have a drink!

The Perfect Dessert!

Barbie knows the secret. Plastic food!

Don't knock yourself out. Pace yourself. Enlist the help of others. This is one huge, important dinner. I know you can do it!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tile OR Crochet?

I love colorful tiles, especially our local Malibu Tile. I've made pilgrimages to the Adamson House in Malibu just to look at the same gorgeous tile over and over again. Most impressive is the Persian rug constructed out of tile, including FRINGE tiles!

Persian Rug Tiles w/ Fringe at the Adamson House, Malibu
My interest in tile has influenced my love of crochet motifs. So many crochet designs have the same elements as tile design. Also, I like to construct crochet items in a modular way, just like tile. I've come across many crochet motif patterns that echo the design elements of tile. 

Flower Granny Square

Persian Tile Blanket

Flower Tile Afghan Square

Tiled Kitchen at the Adamson House. If my kitchen looked like this, I promise I'd cook more often. Really!

Moroccan Tile Potholders
All I want to do right now (before the rush of the holidays) is sit and crochet some tile! Crocheting is a wonderful way to procrastinate. Shirking chores while creating something beautiful! Time to get out the crochet cotton and work up some Persian Tile Potholders for gifties!

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Yarny Talent

More Lemons for CYCOA, knit and crocheted by our members

This past Saturday I attended the El Segundo Slipt Stitchers Guild Meeting. I'm always delighted by the yarny talent I see at these meetings. We had a good turnout on least 70-75 people. I couldn't stop snapping photos of beautiful shawls, sweaters and other projects. The color and textures were intoxicating!

Projects by ESSS Members

More beautiful projects

We have an ongoing Knit-A-Long, Crochet-A-Long that is due at our December meeting. We're making animals or toys. These can be given as gifts or as ornaments for your tree. Here we are, showing off some of the sample items:
Ellen, Lenora, Sarah and Carol with stuffed toys and animals. Photo by Peggy Baxter
Click HERE for toy patterns

Charity is a big part of being in the Guild. Here are crochet and knit-edged fleece blankets for children at local hospitals, crafted by our members.
Fleece Blankets for Donation
I always have a good time at our Guild meetings. Lenora and I are retiring our post as CAL/KAL chairpeople. I look forward to relaxing meetings in 2016 where I might even participate in Show and Share!
Saw this adorable Mini-Cooper in the parking lot as I was leaving. I wonder how radio reception is, with an antenna covered in tinsel?

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Bean Fields! Vintage Photo Friday

Photo by Ansel Adams, 1939. La Cienega near Beverly Blvd., Oil well Island in the center of the street. LAPL Photo Archives

Whenever my Dad would drive us around town, he'd point out different buildings that he thought were interesting. We would sometimes ask, "what was there BEFORE that building was built, Dad?" He'd always yell out, "BEAN FIELDS!" It seems that our end of Los Angeles was filled with bean fields. Really? Green beans? Soy beans? What kind of beans? Do we really eat that many beans? Beans are not glamorous. ORANGES are glamorous and give us an uplifting and sunshine-y view of Los Angeles. We never drove around and heard that different areas around town were orange groves. The oranges were out in the Valley. On the west side, we got beans.
I came across two photos by Ansel Adams on the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection of former bean fields, turned into oil fields. It seems that the very busy street of La Cienega Boulevard between Beverly Boulevard and Third Street in what is now known as the Beverly-Grove Area (I still call it West Hollywood), had an oil well right in the middle of the street!
Here's an interesting story about that oil well written by L.A. Times columnist, Steve Harvey in 2010:

An oil well on La Cienega? A bit unusual

When the wooden derrick was constructed in 1907, it was in the middle of a bean field. After the boulevard was extended in 1930, motorists had to zigzag around the well.

August 21, 2010|By Steve Harvey, Special to The Times

Driving around Southern California, you never know where you'll find oil.
Drilling platforms, for example, can be seen on the Coyote Hills golf course in Fullerton, in the parking lot of Huntington Beach's City Hall and outside Curley's Cafe in Signal Hill.
There's even a derrick tucked inside the Beverly Center, near the parking area for Bloomingdale's.
But one of the area's most unusual drilling sites is just a memory now. It was a well that stood in the middle of La Cienega Boulevard from 1930 to 1946, forcing drivers to zigzag around it.
"Pictures and stories about it have been sent all over the globe," The Times noted in 1945.
The oil island, between Beverly Boulevard and 3rd Street, became a running gag.
Times columnist Fred Beck quipped in 1944 that it was "squeaking badly and needs oil."
Originally part of the Rancho La Brea land grant, the well helped "give Los Angeles a reputation for eccentricity," The Times noted.
Of course, when the wooden derrick was constructed in 1907, it wasn't in the middle of La Cienega Boulevard. It was in the middle of a bean field. La Cienega didn't run that far north.
Then, in 1930, the city extended the roadway from Santa Monica Boulevard to Sunset Boulevard. Who knew? There was always a chance that it might be needed if traffic on the Westside ever increased.
But "there was much discussion and controversy over the fate of the well," The Times said. "The city refused to pay what the owners believed the well to be worth. The owners refused to accept less."
So the well stayed.
In later years it was given a bit of ornamentation: whiskey billboards on the north and south sides.
"The well is fenced and parked as if it were an ornamental fountain or statue," The Times wrote in 1938.
Eventually the owners decided it would be more profitable to operate a drugstore in the area, so the land was rezoned and the oil well dismantled.
The Beverly Center stands a few feet from the old well site.

Photo by Ansel Adams, 1939. La Cienega near Beverly Blvd., Oil Well Island. LAPL Photo Archives

There are still numerous oil wells pumping away in our crowded urban zone. In fact, there's one INSIDE the Beverly Center. I've seen men in hard-hats enter on the San Vicente side of the building. Many of our city oil wells are disguised to look like buildings. We live one block from the one on Pico Boulevard and Spaulding Avenue. There's another one on Pico and Doheny with a lot of rocky mountain stone on the exterior...fancy! The most famous oil well is the one on what we used to call the Girls' Athletic Field, behind Beverly Hills High School. This one could use a bit more camouflage and a face-lift. 
Have a great weekend, my friends!  Don't slip in any oil!

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fashion Thanksgiving Prep

"Sexy Turkey Hat."  Really?

Yesterday I wrote about food preparation for your Thanksgiving guest appearance. If you decide that you do not want to cook when you're visiting your friends' home on Thanksgiving, maybe you could contribute to the festive decor! Wear a turkey hat!
There are several patterns on Ravelry to choose from. Some are more involved than others, but I'm sure one week would be plenty of time to whip up one of these beauties.  You'll be the hit of the party! Click on the title links for patterns.

"Wild Turkey Hat"

"Knitted Turkey Hat."  I like the turkey medallion for a brooch!

Crocheted "Turkey Hat"

"Turkey Dinner Hat."  Everyone likes the drumsticks!

"Turkey in Pilgrim Hat." OK, this is one of my faves...a turkey wearing a hat!

The Supreme Turkey Poo-Bah, Brandon on Halloween! Hahahahahaha!

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