Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Rosh Hashonah

click on image to enlarge

Tonight at sundown, we celebrate Rosh Hashonah, the Jewish New Year. It is customary during Rosh Hashonah to start fresh and cast your sins into the water.  This is called the tradition of Tashlikh.
Tomorrow, Larry and I will travel to the closet body of water to our house, The Ballona Creek flood channel, and cast our sins off! I hope there's some water in the Creek!
Ballona Creek at La Cienega Blvd.

One of the many traditions during this holiday is to eat something sweet to make sure that you will have a sweet and happy new year.  We dip apples in honey and have some delicious honey cake.  
Apples, honey cake with honey on the side

The rest of our New Year's dinner will consist of roast chicken, candied carrots in the shape of coins to insure wealth in the New Year, and Aunt Luba's Noodle Kugel!
Kugel, Candied Carrots, Roast Chicken
On Rosh Hashanah it is written… On Yom Kippur it is sealed. May it be written and may it be sealed that you have a New Year that brings fulfillment and happiness, peace, sweetness and prosperity – all of life’s very best things. Have a Happy, Healthy New Year to all of my friends and family!

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sew Successful

#100actsofsewing Dress No. 2

I just finished my second Sonya Philip-designed pattern. This is Dress No. 2 from the 100 Acts of Sewing Series. Yes! This is the pattern for me. I shortened the dress to tunic length and will be wearing it with leggings or slacks. 
Previously, I made Tunic No. 1, but the drop shoulder was not flattering on me. I look better with a set-in sleeve. This dress fits perfectly! I used fabric I had in my stash. It's a cotton blend with a leaf design, black print on gray. I decided to spark up the dress just a little bit with black and white striped bias tape trim at the cuffs and pocket tops. I also used this bias tape from So Biased for the neck facing. 

Time to finally make my ultimate Tiki-Tunic using THIS fabric!


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Monday, September 18, 2017


On Friday night we met Audrey and Jeff for a quiet dinner at Joom Bangkok Cafe on Beverly Boulevard near Fairfax. I say quiet, because this particular corner of the Fairfax area, across the street from CBS Television City is unusually quiet compared with all of the blocks surrounding it.
Joom Bangkok Cafe Interior

Beverly Boulevard, further east, can be quite hectic and lively any evening of the week. Also, further up the block on Fairfax it is usually packed because of the many restaurants and shops. South of CBS on Fairfax is the Original Farmers Market, always teeming with tourists and locals.
This is one of the reasons we like Joom. It's in a mini-mall with other businesses that are only open during the day, so there is always parking at night. It's not jam-packed at dinner time. The food is quite good, maybe not up to Thai Town / Hollywood standards, but very tasty.
They offer dinner specials which include an appetizer and soup or salad AND dessert. I ordered dumplings, Thai salad and curry with brown rice. Everyone else ordered various items, including the vegie spring rolls.
Vegie Spring Rolls
Red Curry with Brown Rice
For dessert we each received a perfect little scoop of creamy chocolate chip ice-cream. Yum!

We shall return to this quiet little corner of our busy City soon!

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Friday, September 15, 2017

The Home Arts

This weekend I will be participating in The Home Arts Program. Where else? At home! There really is such a thing called Home Arts! As you may have guessed, the home arts are crafts or art practices that can occur in the home, such as cooking, sewing, knitting, crocheting, book binding, wood working, home decoration and more. With the industrial revolution in full swing during the mid-1800s, it was thought that the traditional crafts listed above would provide workers with far more personal satisfaction than was possible with factory jobs. Thus began the Arts and Crafts Movement at the turn of the century, through  and including the 1920s. 
Home Arts start with MUSIC!

The arts I will be practicing this weekend include playing my ukulele, crocheting my Virus Shawl and laying out some new tiki tunics to sew with all the beautiful fabric I've been acquiring. I may even bake something!
Crocheted Virus Shawl, Trendsetter Yarns Transitions Smoothies
"Aloha Flowers" fabric, designed by Michael Uhlenkott, Spoonflower
It will be nice to have a weekend at home instead of our usual running around and frantic schedule. Have a wonderful weekend my friends!

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Big Changes

Construction begins at La Cienega and Jefferson

I've been taking the Metro Expo Line for more than a year now to and from work. I usually take the train two days a week. Sometimes, getting to the parking structure at the La Cienega/Jefferson Expo stop takes more time than the train trip from La Cienega to my stop at 26th St./Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. The north-south traffic from Pico to Jefferson is legendary. 
This is NOTHING, compared with a 2017 traffic jam! Traffic Jam at Venice and La Cienega Blvds., 1953. UCLA Photo Archives

Within the last six months the land on the north-west corner of Jefferson and La Cienega (former home to radio stations KABC and KLOS) has been cleared for development. In addition to the radio station being located here for decades, this was also home to many small industrial buildings. Everything is gone now. The tractors are moving dirt around and construction will begin soon. Supposedly, a 30-story condominium tower will be built, surrounded by a campus of 10-story office buildings, including shops and a few restaurants.
You can read more about it here.
Proposed Development at La Cienega and Jefferson

Yikes! Unless La Cienega is widened and more access streets built, the traffic at this corner is going to be a nightmare! Homeowners in the area have already written a petition opposing a 30-story tower taking away their sunlight for many hours during the day. 

I'm not sure I would want to live in a condo tower at this location. Even if more restaurants and small stores are added to this development, there's really only one place to walk to....Target. Not that there's anything wrong with Target, but the developers keep comparing this project to Century City. NOT. Century City is full of fabulous department stores, restaurants, high-end shops, movie theaters, etc., ALL within walking distance. Of course, residents can hop on the train to Santa Monica or Downtown L.A. and access entertainment and shopping centers. If that is the reason for this development, it's time to add more tracks to the already overcrowded Expo Line.
Expo Line Artwork by Daniel Gonzales

Here is another interesting article about development near the Expo Line.

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Monday, September 11, 2017


WOW! We had SO MANY beautiful dishcloths on our dining room table yesterday! Sunday was Swap Day. Eve, moderator of the Annual Ravelry Dishcloth Swap brought packages and packages of dishcloths over and we started sorting. 

Eve and Ellen, Dishcloth Sorters

This is a really fun group on Ravelry. Everyone that participates is very enthusiastic about the art of crochet and knitting. There are some very creative cloths.
First up, Eve and I unwrap all of the packages and stack the entries along with their return envelopes. Next, we call our expert photographer, Mr. Larry to take photos of the colorful cloths.
Photographer, Mr. Larry
Larry got a little bit crazy with the panorama feature on his camera

Then we have snacks.
Energy Boosting Snackage

After our energy boost, we start to sort, choose and pack the dishcloths. Each person makes five dishcloths of the same pattern and receives five different patterned dishcloths in return. The sorting and packing takes some concentration because we do not want to give someone back their own dishcloth!

Many of these cloths are like small pieces of artwork. Sometimes they're too lovely to use!

We had about 35 entrants this year which was the perfect amount of cloths to fit on my extended dining room table!

A few people even sent little gifts for us. So sweet! We really appreciate the special attention!

The 2017 Annual Dishcloth Swap is officially OVER! We had a great time. Now, I want to check out some of the patterns for my new dishcloths!
I LOVE my new dishcloths! Thank you Tina, Suzzles, KnottyBirdie, Becky and Dee!

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Thursday, September 07, 2017

HOT time at the L.A. County Fair

L.A. County Fair

I took this week off from work. Most of my days have been filled with cleaning and organizing, except for yesterday. Larry and I journeyed out to the Fairplex in Pomona to attend Senior Day at the L.A. County Fair. Free for old folks on Wednesdays! Woot!
We knew it would be hot, hot, hot, but we figured if we hit the air-conditioned exhibit halls, we'd be OK.
Ugh! Just trudging around the grounds in-between the exhibitions was brutal. Luckily, it wasn't too crowded on a Wednesday, so lines for lemonade and food were short.
"Wonderland" at the Flower and Garden Pavilion was just OK. Usually, the displays are much more lush. Who decided this "Wonderland" theme? Alice has been overdone in the past few decades. I wasn't impressed.
Garden Pavilion

We noticed that many of the permanent buildings at the Fair were gone this year, replaced by typical neighborhood attractions and pop-up food trucks. You can't go home.
Next stop, The Millard Sheets Art Center. This year's exhibit was a dual show with Chicana artists, Patssi Valdez and Judith Hernandez, "One Path, Two Journeys," kicking off the Pacific Standard Time county-wide show. I've always loved Patssi's work. I met her once at Frank Romero's studio. I wasn't as familiar with Judith Hernandez' work, but it was powerful.
"Little Girl in Yellow Dress" by Patssi Valdez, 1995
"The Purification" by Judithe Hernandez, 2013
We wandered around after the Gallery looking for lunch. Larry was not interested in a barbecued turkey leg, so we opted for tacos at one of the King Taco stands...always delicious!
It was SO hot, that all we could do was get into an exhibition hall as quickly as possible to feel the air-conditioning! The humidity sucked the energy right out of me. We saw many vendors hawking the latest and greatest wash rags, jewelry cleaner, carpet sweepers, pots and pans. I did buy a nice sun visor from one of the vendors.
Calavera Display outside the Millard Sheets Art Center

Larry and I went our separate ways. He checked out the NHRA Motorsports Museum and I immersed myself in the home-arts area. The cake displays are always impressive. 
The table-scaping wasn't as inspired as a few years ago. 
"Back to School" Table Setting

The knit, crochet, quilting and weaving areas were really uninspired. Considering the renewed interest in home crafts, this area should really be given a make-over! The lighting is poor inside the display cases. 
I realize that they have many items to display, but the way they drape the entries is really awful. It's difficult to actually see many of the pieces. Sigh. 
Crocheted Bulls Head
Felted Horse

There were classic crocheted and knitted items, but really, nothing that unusual or inspiring to me. There were some whimsical crocheted, felted animals. Cutesy.
Crocheted Siamese Cats
Classic Crocheted Granny Afghan

On our way out we stopped by the miniature train display. It's always fun to see tiny L.A. landmarks.
Miniature Train Display. There's Randy's Donuts!

I'm guessing if the weather had been cooler I would have enjoyed myself more.

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery