Monday, March 27, 2017

Seen Around Town

When I drive around Los Angeles I like to snap photos of things that pique my interest. Here are a few:
"Primal Palm Garden" Installation at LACMA
Log Cabin Design Cement Walkway, LACMA
He Always Needs Coffee
La Brea Tar Pits
My Honey
Fruit from Outer Space

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Spring Yarnyness

Saffron Shawl. Crochet

Springtime! It's sunny and beautiful in Southern California. It's not quite hot yet, so many times a light shawl is needed to ward off a chill. There are so many great patterns on Ravelry! Here are a few that I'm eyeing for Spring. Click on the titles to take you to the pattern link.
Boom! Asymetrical Shawl. Knit.
Hug Me. Knit, using thick and thin yarn!
Sanibella. Crochet
Chaukor The Second. Knit
This should keep you busy crocheting and/or knitting in the park on this beautiful Los Angeles weekend!

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

STRANDED in El Segundo

Beth Whiteside's samples of stranded knitting

This past weekend, fiber arts designer, Beth Whiteside, taught a series of workshops for our El Segundo Slipt Stitchers Guild. I attended the Sunday morning session called "Getting Started Stranding." 
Beth, teaching our class

Here's a description of the class from Beth:  Learn to work holding 2 colors at the same time! Commonly called Fair Isle knitting, this technique for stranding colors across the back lets you create brightly colored and patterned fabrics. While working on a small bag/hat project you’ll practice getting an even tension (not too tight, not too loose), learn ways to prevent yarns from twisting, and try different holding techniques. The class includes discussion of traditional use of color and pattern, chart types and how to read them, knitting methods and color dominance, and tips to for more pleasurable color knitting. Come get a taste of this classic knitting technique!  Prerequisites: Must know how to knit in the round.
I've tried this technique a few times with less than stellar results. I learned some great tips and tricks in Beth's class on Sunday!
I really like adding designs and new colors in my knitting. True, I have to pay way more attention to what I'm doing during stranding. This is not idle, TV knitting. Concentration is involved. It is highly rewarding when you manage to knit a design correctly!
Ellen's Stranded Knitting Sampler
I ended up with a nice little sampler. I may make this into a case for my Kindle! Thanks for a great class, Beth!
Time to get out my knitting books and try some more hypnotizing designs!

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Baby Shower

Rosina's and Nic's Home
We had a fun time on Saturday afternoon at Baby Charlie's party. The shower was supposed to be in February, but Charlie decided to make his appearance a bit early, so the shower was pushed to March. It was perfect, because then we all got to meet Baby Charlie!
Larissa, Nicola and their baby boys

Mama Nicola and Daddy Gregg were in attendance, as were many members of the family. We've been neighbors for over 25 years and have seen this family grow. It's wonderful to be able to celebrate these occasions.
The party was next door at Grandma Rosina's and Grandpa Nic's house. The weather was perfect for an outdoor event. We had lunch in the garden and then went inside for gifts and cupcakes!
Ellen and the Great Aunties, Sarah, Belinda and Sophie. We're all tech geniuses
There was a diaper and onesie decorating event. Very fun and creative!
Couture Onesie Designs
Great Auntie Alison went all out on her onesie design!
The most fun for ME at a baby shower is seeing all of the adorable outfits and gadgets for the baby. I photographed many of the gifts, but naturally only posted MY gifts here!
Baby Charlie's Afghan
Baby Charlie's "Grandpa" Cardigan and Hat Ensemble
Clockwise from right, Nicola, Granny Rosina, Great Auntie Sarah, Andy and Grandpa Nic
Daddy Gregg and Baby Charlie
For more photos of this fun party, click HERE.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

The Return of Angel's Flight!

Inoperable Angel's Flight Railway, 2016

I was SO happy to hear that Angel's Flight will run again! It was closed down in 2013 after a series of safety problems.

Here's the history of the little railway from Wikipedia:
The funicular has operated on two different sites, using the same cars and station elements. The original Angels Flight location, with tracks connecting Hill Street and Olive Street, operated from 1901 until it was closed in 1969, when its site was cleared for redevelopment.
Fashion Photo Shoot on Angel's Flight, 1965. Herald Examiner Collection

The second Angels Flight location opened one half block south of the original location in 1996, with tracks connecting Hill Street and California Plaza. It was shut down in 2001, following a fatal accident, and took nine years to commence operations again. The railroad restarted operations on March 15, 2010. It was closed again from June 10, 2011, to July 5, 2011, and then again after a minor incident on September 5, 2013. The investigation of this 2013 incident led to the discovery of potentially serious safety problems in both the design and the operation of the funicular. Before the 2013 service suspension, the cost of a one-way ride was 50 cents (25 cents for Metro pass holders). Angels Flight service has been suspended since that time. 
Mayor Garcetti made the announcement last week that the safety issues have been resolved and that Angel's Flight should be back in service by Labor Day 2017!
Angel's Flight, 1962

I do remember taking a ride from the Grand Central Market up to the top of Bunker Hill with my Dad in the early 1960s. It was thrilling, as a little girl, to ride up that steep hill in the beautiful rail car with wooden benches. It was all so Victorian. Once we got to the top there wasn't really anything to do so we rode down on the next car and went back to the Grand Central Market for more shopping. It was so sad when the railway closed in 1969 for the redevelopment of Bunker Hill. So much history of Los Angeles was bulldozed. Sigh.
"Angel's Flight" painting by Ben Abril (1923-1995) 

It was a great day 27 years later in 1996 when Angel's Flight was resurrected a half-block south of its original location. It was only open for 7 years until a tourist died when the system failed and hurtled down the hill and hit its partner car. Once again, Angel's Flight reopened for a few months when the powers that be figured out it was unsafe to run.
Photo by William Reagh, 1967

A new company will make the necessary repairs and install a "get-away" walkway next to the tracks. This will be a major boon for the high-rise apartment dwellers on Bunker Hill. Now they'll be able to easily hop down to Grand Central for a pastrami sandwich!
I've always been fascinated by the role that Angel's Flight has played in the movies. My friend, Jim Dawson wrote a fascinating book about Bunker Hill and Angel's Flight in the movies. You can read about it HERE. The railway is seen in many noir films of the 1950's and early 1960's. The one film I especially remember seeing with a cameo by Angel's Flight was "The Exiles" (1961). The movie was shot in 1958 and deals with a group of Native American youths that live on Bunker Hill and take the railway up and down to experience life in downtown Los Angeles. It really shows the decay of Bunker Hill and the surrounding area during that time. I was less concerned with the story of this documentary and more interested in the visuals.
Photo Still from "The Exiles" of Angel's Flight and Bunker Hill, 1958

I cannot wait to ride that little railway once again, this summer!

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Backyard Folk Art Extravaganza

On our trip home from the desert a couple of weeks ago we stopped for lunch at Tio's Tacos in Riverside. I'd heard about this place for the great food as well as for the folk art explosion in the courtyard surrounding the restaurant.
Yes, lunch was delicious, but the art surrounding the building is amazing. We were so blown away by all of the stuff around us, that I forgot to photograph the food. I had a taco plate and Larry had a fish dish. Both were yummy. 
Gigantic figures made from aluminum cans, chicken wire and found objects

The art in the patios and in the surrounding compound is a collection of trash made into treasure! Very clever figures using aluminum cans contained by chicken wire, old masks, all kinds of discarded items, paint, mosaic and ingenuity! I'm glad it was a Monday and not too crowded, so we could really walk around after we ate to admire the artwork. 
The Muffler Man Jam Band
Another building in the compound. My friend Anna tells me that she used to live here! 
A bike, embedded into the mosaic walkway

I can't wait to visit Tio's Tacos again! It's in downtown Riverside, very close to the Mission Inn. This would make a great weekend adventure!

Hey, Larry! In your retirement, how about creating something like this for OUR BACKYARD?!!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery