Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The other day I was going into our laundry room to do some yarny blocking. I opened the door slowly, saw the sink and the washer. As I opened the door even wider, I was very startled to see this half-dressed ventriloquist dummy sitting on the clothes dryer, staring at me! I let out a shriek and clutched my heart! I flashed on this "Twilight Zone" episode with Cliff Robertson.

Apparently, Mr. Larry had purchased this new dummy at an estate sale. He already has a dummy named Little Ricky, almost exactly like this one. Larry wanted to clean his new dummy's red sport coat, so that's why Mr. Dummy was waiting patiently in the laundry room, giving me that wide stink-eye!
I recovered and started blocking my knitted piece. I did expect Mr. Dummy to start wise-cracking and criticize my blocking methods!

You can read about ventriloquist's dummies in Larry's fave book, Dummy Days.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Valentine's Day

It will be here soon! In just over two weeks it will be Valentine's Day! Larry and I usually create personalized Valentine cards for each other. In the years before wide computer use, I would paint or collage something for him. Sometimes I'd crochet or knit a little Valentine. Lately, I've been collaging on PhotoShop. We don't buy each other gifts. If we go out to dinner, it's usually just someplace local...nothing fancy.
HOWEVER, our West Hollywood Stitch 'n Bitch Group goes CRAZY for Valentine's Day! We have a Valentine scarf and/or cowl swap. Last Friday, our WeHo SnB Cruise Director, Miss Natalie, assigned us our secret swap partners with their color and yarn content preferences. Ooooooo.....I'm so excited. I searched for the perfect yarn for my Swap Partner's cowl. I'm working on the piece now! You can see pictures of past swaps here and here.
One year I couldn't stop making the "Hearts Desire Doily." This year I may crochet or knit some new heart patterns. Here are some possibilities:

Valentine Mug Cozy by Kristen TenDyke

Jackie's Heart Granny Square

Dear Valentine Square
Happy Valentine Hat by Amy O'Neill Houck

Birdhouse of Love Dishcloth by Kelly Daniels
oooo...this one satisfies my need to PUT A BIRD ON IT!

Are you planning on creating anything special for Valentine's Day?

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Friday, January 27, 2012

The Corner Market

Vintage Photo FridayS/E corner of Sunset & Fairfax, Los Angeles, 1933

Once a market, always a market.
The corner of Sunset and Fairfax in Los Angeles has been a small market since the 1930's. The photo above, the SunFax Market, was taken in 1933. In later years, probably in the late 1950's or early 1960's when the A-Frame architectural style was popular, this building was re-designed and called Chalet Gourmet. In 1999, the Irvine Ranch Market Company and Chalet Gourmet merged. This location then became a branch of Bristol Farms Market.
Unless some MAJOR redevelopment happens on this corner, this will, most likely, always be a small neighborhood market, catering to the locals.

S/E corner of Sunset & Fairfax, Los Angeles, 2012

I plan on visiting my local grocery store this weekend. Which local market do you like best?

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Thursday, January 26, 2012


Guess where I'll be later tonight?

See you there, 7-10!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Seen Around Town

As I travel around the City on my Los Angeles Adventures, I like to snap lots of pix. I run into some very interesting things!

Crocheted Grapefruit by Amy Inouye at Bleicher Gallery, La Brea Ave.Wine cork and crayon, parkway near Arlington and Olympic
Textured side of Rox-San Building, Beverly Hills
Suit made of 45 rpm Records, Soundsations, WestchesterSun Dial, Inglewood High School

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Put A Bird On It

Carrie Brownstein and Bird Tote from "Portlandia"

Do you watch "Portlandia" on IFC? Larry and I started watching Season 2 last week. After seeing this sketch, I've noticed that more and more artsy items in boutiques have bird images on them. Co-Creator of "Portlandia," Carrie Brownstein noticed this too. She says that it seems just by putting a bird on an item, it is now considered ART! Now, everywhere I look, I see birds on things! Ack!
I guess I'll just have to join the crowd and Put A Bird On It!
Christine's Bird Tote (seen at the Original Farmers Market)
Crocheted Bird Applique by Janet Carrillo
Birdie Decoration by Attic 24

Listen for more catch phrases from our new fave show, "Portlandia." Pickles anyone?

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Finished Objects

Petite Granny Carre' Sac

It was a birthday Sunday for the "Sometimes Sunday Crochet Group." We celebrated Natalie's and Carol's birthdays at Bao Dim Sum House. After lunch we walked back to Beth's house for presents and crochet. Beth's talented husband, Larry A. baked the most delicious apple and tart-cherry pie for us! It was a faboo afternoon!

The other Mr. Larry and his Pie Creation

Among a few other small gifties, I made Carol a small granny totebag. You can see all of the particulars here on my Ravelry project page. This is a small version of my pattern, Granny Greenbag. I used Noro Kureyon wool for the granny squares.

The colorway has lots of greens and aquas in it...Carol's faves. I couldn't believe the beautiful button I found for this bag at F & S Fabrics on Pico Boulevard! F & S has the BEST button selection on the Westside. I call the bag, Petite Granny Carre' Sac.

I reinvented the lacy cowl for Natalie, using Noro Silk Garden. The cowl looks good worn long or wrapped twice around the neck into a shorter piece.

Project details are here. The lace pattern is an adaptation of the border pattern on Doris Chan's "All Shawl." I've used this pattern to edge so many different types of garments, afghans, etc. It's very versatile and looks great all on it's own, as evidenced by Natalie's Pizzo Sciarpa Cappuccio.

Happy Birthday, Ladies. I just LOVE celebrating with our Sometimes Sunday Crochet Group!!

Lori, Julie, Carol, Natalie, Beth

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday - Hawaii

This March, Larry and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. I know! I can't believe it either! We're thinking about going to Honolulu to celebrate. I'm researching now. Let me know if you have any tips!
We've both been to Hawaii several times...once, together. We're into sight-seeing more than we are into laying around on the beach. Honolulu is a major city. I know there's plenty to see!
My grandparents traveled quite a bit in their retirement years. They often went on trips with the Westwood Shriners. I discovered these Hawaii photos from 1956.

Sam and Freda with Friends, Hilo, 1956.
Freda doesn't look too thrilled here

Have a wonderful weekend! ALOHA!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012


Searching on the website RAVELRY is so inspirational. RAVELRY is like Facebook for knitters and crocheters. I've met so many other yarn artists through this amazing online community. There are free patterns too! The problem is, I find too many things that I want to crochet and knit. I'll never have enough time to make EVERYTHING!! Here are a few recent favorites:

Crocheted Owl Ornaments
Loquat Cardigan

What artistic inspiration have you found lately?

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Successful Family Brunch

Bouquet, courtesy of Ryley and Jason

Last Sunday some of our "new" cousins came for brunch. We'd lost touch with this branch of my Mother's family and it was nice to re-connect. Our grandfathers were brothers, Sam and Max Katz. It's rather a large family and we have cousins scattered across the country. Since the Katz's were here from Northern California, it was a perfect time to gather as many L.A. cousins and aunties as I could and have them all over to our house. Larry is still in the process of painting our kitchen, but it's almost done and ready enough for cooking and guests.
I served our usual family brunch menu: Lox, whitefish salad, bagels, cream cheese, crisp vegies, fruit salad, curried deviled eggs, coffee, tea, juice. My cousin Jason brought some divine coffee cake from Bea's Bakery in the Valley, supplemented by my mandelbread and ruggulah from Diamond Bakery on Fairfax. We never run out of food at family parties!

BrunchWe all managed to squeeze around the table

Looking at the family photo album was a highlight of the day. Aunt Roz and Aunt Mae helped identify many of our ancestors.

Jason, Larry and Roz
Top Row: Carolyn, Janet, Marilyn. Bottom Row: Jason, Audra, Linda

It was wonderful meeting Jason, Ryley, Baby Zelena, Audra and Linda, after carrying on a correspondence with them for almost two years!

I made a little derby for Zelena. She's so adorable! I'm glad that the hat fit her.
I think that Baby Z liked trying coasters on her head more than her new hat!

Ryley, Zelena and the Coasters
Top Row: Janet, Marilyn, Ellen, Linda, John, Carolyn, Audra, Zelena, Ryley
Bottom Row: Mae, Roz, Hal, Jason

I look forward to a visit to the San Francisco area and more family gatherings. We still have to meet Linda's other son, Matt and his family!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery