Friday, February 26, 2010

Vintage Photo Friday - Crazy Auntie Style

Last night our WeHo SnB group met at Barnes & Noble at The Grove to see and hear our ol' friend, Laurie Perry, read from her latest book, "Home Is Where the Wine Is: Making the Most of What You've Got One Stitch (and Cocktail!) at a Time." It was such a fun evening. We've all missed Laurie. She used to attend our SnB get-togethers, but for the past couple of years she's been working furiously on her writing. Laurie has promised to return to our future meetings.
The new book is a collection of essays....funny, pithy and embued with Laurie's special insight and humor.
Many of us brought our yarny projects

After she read a chapter, we asked a few questions and then everyone lined up to have their books signed by our very blonde, rock-star friend!

The blondeness of the evening was startling!
Laurie and Molly

Vivian (yet ANOTHER blonde) helped Laurie sign books

Uh oh...did you think I forgot Vintage Photo Friday? Not quite. I "borrowed" a pic from Laurie's blog. This is one of her "hairstory" pix from the 80's.

Partial Mohawk?! We prefer the current, flowing blondeness!
Much success to you, Laurie Doll on your latest tome.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010


Tonight at The Grove, 7pm, Barnes & Noble bookstore, our friend, co-knitter and co-blogger, Laurie Perry, will be reading from her new book ["Home Is Where the Wine Is: Making the Most of What You've Got One Stitch (and Cocktail!) at a Time"] and signing copies. Many of the WeHo SnB group will be in attendance, toting their yarny projects. For those of you that hang at our regular table at the Original Farmers Market, please let late-comers know where we are!! Thanks!
This is the last weekend of Chinese New Year. It's the year of the tiger. There's a huge celebration and the 32nd Annual Los Angeles Chinatown Firecracker 5K/10K Run, Bike Ride and Nite 'n Day Festival. The festival is Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday, Liz and I are taking Christine for a post-b-day lunch at Chez Nous in Toluca Lake. I'm looking forward to a sophisticated ladies luncheon. Later on Saturday, I'll be heading over to the Fairview Branch of the Santa Monica Library for our SnB from 3:30 - 5:30. I have lots of yummy new yarn for show and tell.
The L.A. Conservancy is holding some great walking tours this weekend.
Next Wednesday, March 3rd our fellow WeHo SnB member, Kyle is holding a silent auction and raffle benefiting AIDS Project L.A. It's from 6-9pm at the Toluca Lake Marie Callender's. There are some wonderful items for the raffle, including, but not limited to an IPod Touch, various knitted and crocheted items, artwork and more.

Plan a great weekend! Maybe we'll run into each other.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I was working on this sweater, called "Imagine" for awhile and abandoned it. I've frogged two other projects with this yarn. I love the yarn. I just couldn't find the perfect marriage of sweater to yarn for this Queensland Collection Kathmandu DK weight in a beautiful olive tweed.
Hopefully, I have found a match. I've cobbled together a few crochet cardigan patterns and come up with this nice shell-stitch cardi. I'm working on the sleeves now, then will tackle the trim and button band.
Speaking of IMAGINE, I picked up a few skeins of dream yarn last week. I close my eyes and imagine what I would make from this beautiful yarn. Sometimes, the imagining is better than the knitting and crocheting. Maybe that's why I have bins and bins of yarn with very few garments to show for all of my stash!
The following yarns were purchased at Twist, Yarns of Intrigue in Manhattan Beach:

1 Skein Malabrigo, Worsted Weight, Color: "Plena"
I imagine a Mardi Gras Hat for Next Year
2 Skeins, Malabrigo Sock Yarn, Color: Ravelry Red
I imagine some fantastic lacy shawl
1 Skein (650 yards!) Twist Superfine Alpaca, Color: Cinnamon
So soft....not sure what I'll make with this gorgeous stuff!

The last two yarns were purchased at The Slipt Stitch in El Segundo:
1 Skein Berroco's Vintage Wool, Color: Grass Green
I Imagine a Wooly Scarf for Mom

2 Skeins Silkience by Ella Rae, Color: Pinky Red
I Imagine Another Lacy, Light Scarf for Mom
Do you have some DREAM YARN? What have you been imagining lately?

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Artist, Nick Cave @ Fowler Museum

The Fowler Museum @ UCLA

On Saturday afternoon, I zoomed over to the UCLA campus in Westwood to view the current exhibit, "Meet Me at the Center of the Earth" by artist Nick Cave. The exhibit is small, but exquisite.

Nick Cave's Soundsuits

Here's a description from the Museum about the show: "Evocative of African, Caribbean and other ceremonial ensembles, as well as haute couture, Cave's work explores issues of transformation, ritual, myth and identity through a layering of references and virtuosic construction, using materials as varied as yarn, beads, sequins, bottle caps, vintage toys, rusted iron sticks, twigs, leaves and hair."
There is lots and lots of crochet work represented in the sound suits! There were lace doilies, adhered to the forms with plastic canvas, decorated with buttons; there were crocheted hats on a form, there were granny afghans draped as skirts. It was really a fantastic display!! Here are some more photos of the suits.
Later, I slipped into the Fowler gift shop and saw these 8" zippered clutch bags (below). They were made from canvas cloth in bright colors. The little crocheted granny squares were sewn to one side of each bag. Price: $18. Really not too much, considering the amount of work. Naturally, I must make one of these for myself or for a gift!!!

The exhibit continues thru May 30th. It is definitely inspiring and worth viewing!

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Monday, February 22, 2010


Duplex on Point View St. near Pico Blvd., Los Angeles

I do love going to estate sales. It's one of my favorite pastimes. I used to buy things like crazy. Now that our house is rather filled up with "treasures", I've curbed my buying habits. I do like to take photos though.

Larry and I attended a really nice sale on Friday (and Saturday) hosted by Handle With Care. It was in the lower portion of a nice old Spanish Revival duplex, close to our neighborhood. The woman that owned the home was a collector and antiques dealer herself. It was a well-organized sale. Everything was priced fairly and the house was chock-full o' goodies.
Various Refrigerator Dishes

I managed to purchase some Franciscan-Ware snack plates in yellow, a creamer and sugar bowl (also in a yellow flower motif), a tapestry handbag with a bakelite frame, some faux mobe' pearls and a sunburst brooch. There was a small oil painting of bacon and eggs that I was considering, but I didn't buy.

my yellow creamer and sugar bowl is on the left/middle
It was a very tempting sale. Sigh.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Vintage Photo Friday

Found this retro-looking brochure online. It's only from 1999, by Glen Mullaly, but it looks like an old Archie Comic Book illustration! I've been watching the winter Olympics along with everyone else The ice skaters are really inspiring!
There's another sort of Olympics going on right now in the knitting and crochet community. It's called the Ravelympics on the internet group called Ravelry. I haven't joined in the fun, but many of my friends have! There are all sorts of organized events you can enter into. There are sweater competitions, other items of clothing. There's a WIP finishing competition....finish up all of your Works In Progress in just 17 days. There are many off-shoot groups online participating and comparing their progress as they watch the Winter Olympics. It has been fun being on the sidelines and watching the fun.
In honor of all of you Ravelympic Participants out there, above is a group of bracelets made from old plastic knitting needles. I love that they resemble Olympic rings! Go Teams! Have a successful yarny weekend!

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Twistin' the Day Away

Cathy @ Twist

Yesterday, Beth and I drove down to Manhattan Beach to experience the little yarn shop that is TWIST. I love the entire name of this shop, "Twist, Yarns of Intrigue." So true!

Twist is PACKED with interesting and beautiful yarn!

The owner, Cathy, was very helpful, charming and gave us an wonderful explanation of the uniqueness of their yarns. Cathy has a terrific selection of high-quality accessories, buttons, bags and more. Twist is truly an inspiring shop. We spent lots of time and money at Twist, but it was totally worth it!! I just became a member of Twist's group on Ravelry! Hi, my name is Ellen and I'm a Twistaholic!

Handmaiden's "Sea Silk" @ Twist - Yummmmmm!

After tearing ourselves away from this perfect, tiny yarn shop, Beth and I drove a few miles to Main St., downtown El Segundo. If you've never been to this little area, you should definitely visit. This area of El Segundo is a real throwback to small town, USA. There are some cute little restaurants, lots of shops and The Slipt Stitch yarn shop on Main St. We had a nice lunch at the Main Street Cafe and then walked over to The Slipt Stitch. This shop is the sister store to Yarns Unlimited in Santa Monica. Similar yarns are in both shops, many national brands. They have high-end and low-end yarns.

Beth, shopping at The Slipt Stitch

Slipt Stitch is organized and almost spacious for a yarn shop! They have classes and lots of books and accessories. The owner, Patricia is very nice. Naturally, we had to purchase a few items here too.
Our last drive-by was in nearby Westchester. We almost got out of the car after driving by Needlepoints West, but we were both yarned-out for the day. We'll save this little shop for another field trip day.
Thanks for indulging me on an uneeded yarn crawl, Beth Doll!

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Aunts, Uncles and Cousins

L-R: Grandpa Lawrence, Uncle Mort, Dad, Uncle Hi
and Little Kenny Bloom
, Hollywood 1950

On Saturday, Larry and I drove to San Diego with Mom and Hal for my Aunt Betty's and Uncle Hi's 60th wedding anniversary. We met up with cousins and friends at a Chinese Restaurant near Point Loma, San Diego.
Aunt Betty and Uncle Hi were married in 1950 in my grandparents house in Hollywood. Of course, I wasn't there, but my older brother, Ken was in attendance. Above is a photo of all the men in the Bloom family, at the wedding.
The party was very nice....lots of Betty's and Hi's friends from San Diego and from L.A. Since it was one day from Chinese New Year, my cousin Sasha arranged for Chinese Dragon performers and musicians to come thru the party. That really livened things up with all those 80 and 90-year-olds in attendance!! I tried to get a clear picture of the dragon performers, but they were moving so fast and the light was low, so I couldn't quite get them.
We had delicious little square cupcakes for dessertThis is my favorite picture of the evening.
Mom and Hal, so interested and involved!
Even with all that driving and traffic, it was a wonderful evening. We had a good time. Happy anniversary Aunt Betty and Uncle Hi!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras

King Larry (not to be confused with Larry King!) and Sleepy Queen Ell,
Mardi Gras 2010

Yeah, you right! Mardi Gras at the Original Farmers Market over the weekend was super fun! The Market is having another band, Eddie Baytos and the Nervis Bros. TONIGHT too! Fat Tuesday is a special day for us. It's the day Larry and I got married 18 years ago! The date of Mardi Gras changes every year, so we celebrate on Fat Tuesday and on our "real" anniversary, March 3rd.
I caught a bit of Lisa Haley and her Zydecats set. They are always fantastic.
Skip Edwards on accordion and Lisa Haley on fiddle

The most fun was checking out everyone's Mardi Gras costumes, hats and finery at the Market.
A Mexican wrestling mask says "Mardi Gras" to me!Catching Beads from the BalconyNot sure what a Skunk Hat says about Mardi Gras
Yes, we all passed a mighty fine time at the Mardi Gras! Laissez les bons temps rouler! Let the good times roll, baby!
I'm on vacation this week. Later today I'll be preparing a bread pudding with whisky sauce for yet another celebration!

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Monday, February 15, 2010

My Excellent Valentine

Every year Larry and I make Valentine cards for each other. We don't exchange gifts. We don't usually go out to a fancy dinner. It really is a commercial holiday, so we try to turn it into an art project, professing our love and admiration for each other.
Yesterday, we lounged around the house all morning, reading the Sunday paper, having breakfast until it was time to leave for the Original Farmers Market Mardi Gras (pictures tomorrow). We traded Valentine cards. I love both cards!!! Hope you all had a fantastic Valentine's Day celebration.Larry's heart "tatoo" says, Ellen. The fleur di lis is over the heart and a happy face below the heart. Larry and I met in New Orleans and got married on Fat Tuesday, so the symbols of that fair City are near and dear to our hearts.
I crocheted the background in blue and chained a little red heart with a pink crochet hook piercing the heart. The script at the top of the card is in "yarn" font. The sentiment "Some love lasts a lifetime. True love lasts forever! Acrylic yarn will survive us all!"
Happy Lincoln's and Washington's b-day too, y'all!

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

We Need This Hat

After seeing last night's opening ceremonies to the 2010 Olympic Games, I LOVE the U.S. ski hat by Ralph Lauren! I think someone had better come up with the pattern on Ravelry, so we can all knit one....soon!!!!
Happy weekend!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day Celebrations

Vintage Photo Friday, Valentine style...
Interior view of an unidentified flower shop located in Hollywood, 1940.
Photo courtesy L.A. Public Library Archives
Helen Jean Leonard and Geraldine Leisure are seen sitting on a table surrounded
by Valentine's Day crafts made by the children of Echo Park playground, 1927
Photo courtesy L.A. Public Library Archives
Last night our West Hollywood Stitch 'n Bitch group celebrated an early Valentine's Day with a yarny love-fest! Our cruise director, Natalie, organized a Valentine Scarf and Cowl swap. We were given about two weeks to complete our project. When signing up we had to state if we had any fiber allergies and two or three of our favorite colors. The default colors were pink or red in honor of Valentine’s Day. Natalie sent us our swap partner’s name on Friday January 29th. Many of us included other little goodies in our gift bags....candy, small accessories, etc. It was so great to actually know who we were knitting or crocheting for, along with their likes and dislikes. Everyone seemed really pleased with their gifties! I know I am!! Thanks, Lauren!

I tried to take everyone's photo, but managed to miss a few. Sorry! We have the BEST GROUP in Los Angeles!!! Have a wonderful Valentine's Day celebration and a great weekend!

Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery