Friday, February 28, 2014

Vintage Photo Friday - RAIN

We need rain in Southern California.  We're in the middle of a drought!  If you've recently moved to Los Angeles, you might not have experienced OUR rain.  It can be dreadful.  After our summer fire season, the surrounding hillsides are left trees or bushes to stop mudslides.  That's where the rain comes in.  Ack!  Mudslides are not fun.  I feel for my friends living in the canyons, valleys and hillside areas.  Get out those sandbags.
We live on a slight hill, just north of Pico Boulevard in Mid-City.  The rain usually flows right down our street to Pico and points south.  Therein lies the problem. The streets are usually flooded south of us.  Luckily, our Ballona Creek near Venice Boulevard catches most of the water flow and feeds it out to the ocean.  There is an overpass of Ballona Creek on Thurman Ave. (Spaulding Ave.) near Venice Blvd.  This is what it looked like in 2010, after a heavy rain:

Ballona Creek at Thurman Ave., Mid-City L.A. 2010
Ballona Creek, 2010

The drainage systems in our City have been improved in the past fifty years.  Look at Ballona Creek during a severe rain storm in 1958:
Ballona Creek @ Overland Ave., 1958.  Photo from Herald Examiner Archives
Larry and I have coined our area the "Fairfax Delta" because this is where all of the water collects from points north. Traditionally, a delta is a piece of land shaped like a triangle that is formed when a river splits into smaller rivers before it flows into an ocean. those rivers flowing along our boulevards in the next few days!
Be careful this weekend.  More rainfall is expected.  Be prepared!
McCall's Magazine advertisement, 1943

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Every Year at Carnival Time....

Mardi Gras Decorations at the Original Farmers Market

....I make a NEW HAT!  NEW HAT!  Yeah!  One of my favorite Mardi Gras songs, by the Wild Magnolias is "New Suit."   It's the story of how New Orleans' Mardi Gras Indians make beautiful and complicated new costumes for the Mardi Gras carnival parades.   I've honored that tradition by making a new hat for Mr. Larry to wear every year at the Original Farmers Market Mardi Gras celebration.  This is the 25th anniversary of the Mardi Gras at the Market.  The original owner of the Gumbo Pot Restaurant at the Market, Charles Myers, began this celebration in 1989.  I was there.  So was Larry.  Larry and I didn't meet until 1990 in New Orleans at Jazz Fest.  We were married on Fat Tuesday, 1992.  Carnival season is very special to us.

Larry's Beehive Mardi Gras Hat, 2014

Some years, during our West Coast celebration, it rains.  Some years it is hot and sunny.  Looks like it will probably rain this year.  The rain makes the celebration very special.  Only the stalwart fans come out in the rain. I look forward to seeing many old friends this weekend.  Join us, if you have a chance!  Don't forget to wear something purple, green and gold!!  Bon Ton Roulet, Y'all!

Mardi Crown

Mardi Beret with a Mud Bug Pin

Mardi Bucket Hat

Mardi Flowered Headband

Many Years Ago!

Larry in his Mardi Gras Crown
Tibetan-Style Mardi Gras Hat
Another Vintage Mardi Gras Photo of the Anniversary Couple @Mardi Gras, Los Angeles

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Seen Around Town

Craft Store Display, Upland, CA

As my friend, photographer Gale Zucker says, "Pixels are free!"  I've been snapping like crazy all around Los Angeles this winter.  Below are a few interesting scenes and textures:
Matte Tile Samples, Heath Ceramics, West Hollywood
Mural (1934) in foyer of Beverly Hills High School Auditorium

Synagogue, Fairfax Ave., Mid-City L.A.

Yarn-bomb, in front of Tom Brennan's Restaurant, Fairfax Ave., Mid-City L.A.

Joan's awesome 60's cabinet, Cheviot Hills, L.A.

Curtain of 45's, The Last Bookstore, DTLA

Rosina's Brit-Cup Collection, Wilshire Vista, L.A.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

License to Snap

Snapped a few good vanity plates around town!

The next two vanity plates were submitted by my reporter in the field, Ms. Brenda!  Thanks!
Sydney, Australia.  Skating Rink Parking Lot.  Photo by Brenda

Coalinga, California.  Parking Lot, Harris Ranch Restaurant.  Photo by Brenda

Have you spotted any cool vanity license plates lately?

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Everything's Coming Up Orange!

Yesterday, Larry and I zoomed over to the Petersen Automotive Museum on the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire.  We were invited to a book signing by Angel City Press for their new release, "The Orange and the Dream of California" by David Boulé.  Paddy and Scott from Angel City, managed to secure the rooftop conference room for this soirée.  This is a delightful room, looking directly toward the old May Company building and LACMA across Wilshire Boulevard.  The view is quite extraordinary.
View from the roof of Petersen Musuem of May Company.  The Spire at left is on the face of the Petersen Museum, soon to be dismantled for an updated look.

Many of our friends were in attendance, including "Orange" book designer, Amy Inouye accompanied by artist, Stuart Rapeport.
Amy and Stuart
Historian Ernie Marquez and Photographer, Larry Underhill
It was a delightful afternoon, filled with orangey images, food, clothing and accessories.  Orange is my favorite color.

Orange Fashions with Amy Inouye and Mrs. Boulé. Photo by Stuart Rapeport

I look forward to reading the book about how important the orange is to California.  
I always enjoy wandering around the Petersen Auto Museum, especially the first floor with it's replicas of Los Angeles landmarks!
Pup Cafe replica, Petersen Museum

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Vintage Photo Friday - 1965

Herald Examiner, October 1965: "Angel's Flight fashions for Angel Week include career bound paisley-printed, sheer-wool skimmer shift."

It's October, 1965, downtown Los Angeles.  A fashion shoot at the original Angels Flight Railway location, with tracks connecting Hill Street and Olive Street at  Bunker Hill, operated from 1901 until it was closed in 1969, when its site was cleared for redevelopment.  
I really cannot find anything at all about Angel Week in downtown L.A.  The next photograph associated with this fashion shoot has a caption that says, "Fashion seminars by the Broadway Department Store, part of Angel Week festivities, will feature two-piece knits for the working girl headquartered in the business district of downtown Los Angeles."
Apparently, Angel Week must have been some sort of festival including seminars, luncheons, etc. to promote the downtown business district.
Herald Examiner, October, 1965.  Angel's Flight

This was just before the re-devlopment and destruction of most of the buildings on Bunker Hill (1969) from old mansions turned into rooming houses, small grocery stores and shops, to high-rise apartments and office buildings.  You can see one of the old houses in the photo above.  This is not a very glamorous spot for a fashion shoot.  Maybe that was the idea.  The juxtaposition of beautiful office fashions to the seedy side of downtown.
This was just 5 months after the Watts riots in South Los Angeles.  I remember people being nervous about traveling downtown and to South L.A. in fear of happening upon an ongoing riot or police action.  Maybe this was a way for the Downtown L.A. business district to show that everyone could visit downtown and be safe.  I don't know?  This is just me, throwing ideas around in my head!
I'd kill for one of those FABULOUS hats featured in the fashion photos!
Have a wonderful weekend!  Go downtown.  You'd be surprised at the transformation!
Photos courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Archives.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014


Pattern by Marilyn J. Wallace

I've been wearing lots of cowls this winter.  I find a cowl more convenient than a scarf.  It's easy to slip a cowl over your neck and you don't have to worry about scarf ends getting caught on anything.  Our Crochet-A-Long for the El Segundo Slipt Stitchers Guild is the Crochet Mobius Cowl by Marilyn J. Wallace.  Since I'm one of the chairs in charge of this committee, I've made a few samples of this cowl using different yarns.  It's a really quick cowl to crochet.  I like the mobius twist detail too.  I gifted several of these cowls for the holidays, both for men and women.  All were well-received!

I've really had a desire for a gray cowl, close to the color of my hair.  I figure, if I wear all pearl gray, then I'll disappear a bit.  Hah!   I started a "Fringe Fest" knitted cowl for myself.  I hope to complete it before the weather gets too hot in Los Angeles!
Fringe Fest Cowl

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Tea Cozy is a Hat

Ellen's improvised granny square tea cozy

Last Saturday at my El Segundo Slipt Stitchers Guild meeting there was quite a discussion about tea cozies.  A tea cozy is a sweater for your traditional China teapot.  Supposedly the cozy will keep a pot of tea warm.  I do love a nice hot cuppa tea.  I love my little China teapot too.  These days though I find myself using my electric teapot more often than the traditional one because the water is always hot.  True, the electric teapot is not exactly energy efficient.  I guess we may have to revert to old-fashioned ways in the near future.
Coming up in March the Guild is highlighting a knitted tea cozy with a lesson on how to knit it by one of our members.  We'll each be bringing our own teapots and yarn to learn how to properly fit a cozy to our teapots.  Biscuits, cookies and other tea time delicacies will be served.  Delightful!
Granny Tea Cozy by Crochet with Raymond

The head of our Guild Programs e-mailed me to ask if I had any crochet cozy pattern suggestions.  I zoomed through Ravelry for a few ideas.  Basically, a tea cozy, whether knitted or crocheted, is a hat with holes in the side for the spout and handle of your teapot.  You could adapt any hat pattern to fit your teapot, much like you'd adjust the size of a hat to fit different size heads!
Here are a few hat patterns that would make excellent tea cozies!  I may just have to adapt a few of these:
Gnome or Elf Hat

Fire Whirl Hat

Crochet Puppy Hat

A tea cozy makes a wonderful hostess gift, accompanied by a nice assortment of tea.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Yarny Olympics!

Meri, Sarah, Kim, Stephanie, Yuki

Team WeHo met at my house on Sunday for our spirited Ravellenic Winter Games event.  To re-cap: In the yarny community known as Ravelry, many of us are now participating in the Ravellenic Winter Games 2014.  This entails challenging yourself by starting and finishing one or more projects during the 2014 Winter Olympics.  Projects were started during the opening ceremonies and must be completed by the closing ceremonies, February 23, 2014. "Medals" will be given to those who complete their challenge projects.
Diane, Lauren, Jenna, Cap'n Laurie-Ann

We gathered, talked, ate, knitted and/or crocheted and watched the Olympics on TV.  We had a grand time.  Everyone brought something tasty to share.

I managed to finish just a few squares on my Crochet Mood Afghan.  I was too busy talking with everyone to get much crocheting done!
Suzette and drop-in guest, Mr. Larry.  Larry came for the food!

Kim's knitting a beautiful sweater!

I cannot believe that we fit 16 people into our living room, somewhat comfortably.  Gotta love that 4-piece sectional sofa we found 15 years ago at an estate sale! 

In the photo above, Lisa has this certain GLOW about her!  Alien? Angel?  You decide.

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