Monday, March 26, 2007

The little girl never left...

Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.
Muhammad Ali

He must have been awfully young when he said this! Now that I'm older I know that this is not true. Aging is just part of life and it really has nothing to do with wishful thinking, we should not be phobic about the time we have been on this earth but most people I meet are. Especially here in La La Land.

Many years ago when I was about 18 and worked as a hairdresser and I had a client her name was Alma. Alma was almost a 100 years old but she still had her hair done every week. She walked with a shillelagh (pronounced “shuh-LAY-lee”) walking cane and impeccably dressed with her pearls. Everything about Alma fascinated me and I especially loved the shilleagh and I used to admire it when she would hand it to me to put away while I was doing her hair.

I was the youngest in the beauty shop and some of the others had no patience so they gave her to me and I got to love Alma. I was totally fascinated with her age. And I think Alma enjoyed her visits with me as well. Each week her daughter who was in her eighties, would call me on the phone and I would come out to the front of the shop and help Alma get out of the car and bring her in the shop. We walked together she would hold my hand and we walked ever so slowly the world seem to slow down when she came to see me. It became a ritual once a week.

It was so hard for me at that young age to imagine what it would be like to be almost a 100 years old. Alma and I had wonderful visits and many great conversations she was very sharp. One day I was looking at her in the mirror with this wrinkled tiny old lady looking back at me and I asked her how it felt to be so old?

She looked into my eyes and yes there was this mischievous sparkle there and she said "you know I look in the mirror and I wonder what the hell I'm doing in this old body? The little girl never left."

have treasured that conversation and it is seared in my memory funny how some people just leave such an indelible impression on us and Alma was one of those people in my life I never forgot.

When she passed away she willed her shillelagh to me and she asked her daughter to bring it to me. I still have it and fondly remember Alma whenever I see it and hold it and thank goodness I don't need it to walk with. Maybe when I'm 100 I'll take it out and use it but it's always been around with me somewhere tucked in a corner and each time I glance at it I remember Alma.

A shillelagh (pronounced “shuh-LAY-lee”) is a Gaelic war club (shown below) made of oak or blackthorn saplings from Ireland. Those are the only woods used because, it is said, they are the only ones tougher than an Irish skull.

"Typically made from a stout knotty stick with a large knob on the end, that is associated with Ireland in folklore. They are traditionally made from blackthorn (sloe) wood (Prunus spinosa) or oak. It was named after the Shillelagh forest in County Wicklow, a forest of oak which produced some fine examples. The wood would be smeared with butter and placed up a chimney to cure, giving the Shillelagh its typical black shiny appearance. Shillelaghs may be hollowed at the heavy "hitting" end and filled with molten lead to increase the weight beyond the typical two pounds; this sort of Shillelagh is known as a 'loaded stick'. They are commonly the length of a walking stick (distance from the floor to one's wrist with elbow slightly bent). Most also have a heavy knob for a handle which can be used for striking as well as parrying and disarming an opponent."
From Wikipedia:

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A morning walk.... Venice Beach, California

Yes we actually have canals in Venice, I did not see any gondolas this morning but maybe next time I'll spot one.

In case you want to move here, the rent is a mere $12,000 dollars a month.

Sometimes I just need to see "nothing" no people no buildings no cars just the horizon. I walk to the end of the pier and...... I look and think and drink in the view.

Friday, March 23, 2007

This Project took me forever.....

Part of the "worms" collection this is the softest yarn made of bamboo in this vibrant turquoise. Yarn made of Bamboo is new to me but I like it feels like cotton, we'll see how it launders. Coned yarn and fine I think finer than lace yarn it is really thread fine. I started to experiment with it trying to make a swatch and it ended up this wormy scarf.

Originally I started to add strands to see how many it would take to make something, I ended up using 6 strands. Then I started to make a swatch knitting on a size 7 needle then wondered how it would look if I crochet it then I did not have the heart to stop so I kept going.

Knit, knit, knit and I crochet out once in a while when I felt like it, so the "worms" are random. I got started really excited because it started looking great but the last 20% was a drag. Often projects get that way I'm almost finished and I get tired of it and want to start something else.

Maybe that is why I have so many UFO's (unfinished objects) but it feels really good to get one of those UFO's finished and wear it. It's just a very light weight spring time scarf. Here is the finished picture:

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Take a look at this fabulous car from 1960 currently listed on Ebay.
The car you see before you was inspired by Kaiser Aluminum designer Rhys Miller. It was designed and engineered by Blake Larson whose life long desire to produce a practical concept car resulted in this unique design, in which he was also hands on in the construction.

His concept was to give the driver as much vision as possible and he therefore put the driver seat in the middle with center steering and two full car width seats behind the driver and a fully glassed enclosed area front and back (something you see coming out of Detroit in 2009 or 2010). He included the eye catching luggage rack and a glassed in area over the front portion of the car as part of the package.

Can be found for sale on Ebay
This car is in complete full street restoration condition and has been recently tuned and checked out for driving conditions. The car is rust free and has an excellent paint job and a close to like new interior.
Unfortunately the gentleman who originally designed, engineered and hands on built this car has passed away and it is now being offered to become a unique car in any collection. The pictures should speak for themselves. It is important that this car goes to appreciative collector.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I just couldn't resist....

From the Bitch and the boy.

She conned me! Hoodwinked, bamboozled and hornswoggled me!
You know how much I hate to take a bath I don't need to go into that tired subject. So SHE decides that I'm dirty again and of course I run the other way.

Then she starts talking to me in this really sweet "butter wouldn't melt in your mouth" sort of way. And SHE goes into this lengthy explanation of why I have to be clean. SHE used the sweetest words and made it all sound so exciting and so wonderful SHE actually convinced me to jump in the shower and refuse to come out until I was clean.

SHE told me that unless I smelled good nobody would talk to me or pet me or even pay attention to me. That SHE was too embarrassed to take me out in public!

And if I looked like a homeless raggedy dog somebody might take me to the pound, whatever that is I don't know but it did not sound good.

So it was Shampoooooo!
Washy, Washy,
Rinsy, Rinsy,

and Dry Dry.... Shish I hope I don't have to do this again soon I hate to get wet.

Oh SHE is so annoying I don't know how I put up with her.

I'm not letting the boy blog today because he is terribly boring, he loves baths.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Mosaic House....

I just love it when somebody steps over the line, somehow it just totally fascinates me. I hover around that "line" sometimes on this side and I must admit sometimes I too cross the "line". Gonzalo Duran certainly stepped way over that line.

I was invited by my good friend Ellen Bloom of L.A. is my Beat to the Mosaic House right here in Venice just a few blocks from me. Cheri Pann & Gonzalo Duran are the ARTISTS who created this master piece. Located at 1116 Palms Blvd Venice CA 90291 (between Lincoln Blvd & Penmar Ave)

Gonzalo has a mischievous laugh on his face as if to say I can't believe I did all this... as far as the eye can see every where you look mosaic and paint little bits of mirrors and toys and cups and saucers and buttons and the list is endless.

Each time I walked around I would see something different. Eye candy! Walking down this path was magical! I couldn't help myself I kept walking around staring in awe the light played between the mirrors and shiny spots and the details were just not to be believed.

You almost can't even photograph it because it's so busy! Wow what dedication, probably inspired by the Watts Towers and such a vision I've never seen. Did I say everywhere you looked there was mosaic.

This is the front gate the entrance to the front yard, no grass here but lots of mosaic, mosaic path ways, mosaic benches, mosaic tables, mosaic yellow, greens, reds, purples mirrors mosaic everything.

I've seen this done and I quite like the technique and would love to learn this probably would not like the whole house done is mosaic but here and there could work. I've even bought books on the subject but have not had the nerve to take the plunge. I have a bath tub that needs to be restored or thrown out, I have decided to do it in mosaic.

Here is Gonzolo showing me his bath tub and giving me tips in how to do it. I think I would like to have water lilies and big green leaves at the bottom of the old iron bathtub that we almost got rid of. I'm all excited about the project now.

This tub in the front yard servers as a sitting spot, sort of a "love seat". No need for flowers here there is plenty of color and you don't have to water it either. No weeds no yard work. Maybe there is some logic to it all.

The Kitchen, you guessed it done in mosaic.

I really have not reported this event well my friend Ellen did a much better job so if you want to see more mosaic and read her take on the party visit Ellen's L.A.'s My Beat.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

At last finished!

I no longer call this "freeform" knitting I now call this method "abstract" knitting. No particular pattern used but an idea is sort of followed, in this case sort of the "Einstein" sweater but adding lots of other elements. It started out as a crochet scarf. I didn't like how it was turning out so I put it aside.

One day I saw this unfinished scarf and did not have the heart to "frog" (unravel) it so I added to it. Maybe now it could be a vest....Then once again put it away it was just not looking and fitting right..... finally not too long ago as I was reviewing my UFO's (unfinished objects) so I decided that this one needed to be finished or tossed! I tried it on and decided that a short row front was all that was needed and it completed the look. Now it fits and feels comfy to wear.

This one took me quite some time. I got this chenille yarn a long time ago because it was cheap. For good reason, chenille is very difficult to knit with because it's so flat "ribbon like" and if not knitted properly it "worms". So when knitting it has to be done slower and make sure that each stitch is pulled properly and watch out for "coils".

Now I feel I should explain "worming" because when it was first mentioned to me I said "what" "worm" what is that? It is when the yarn kind of gets stuck sort of "coils" and more yarn gets used accidentally than the stitch actually requires. Then all of a sudden you have this odd long stitch they call them worms. Sorry this is the best I can do in explaining this phenomena.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Beautiful yarn.....

I think there should be enough yarn here for something "big". Now what to make?
This yarn is on these giant cones and is a beautiful wool boucle with silk thread. It's really knits a soft and comfortable warm garment.

My own design, no pattern , I think it turned out really nicely. Knit side to side with some short rowing in the front and the drape made a lovely neckline.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Oh My......

This is how I've spend the last 10 days. Lots of empty Kleenex boxes and lots of full trash baskets and a very sore nose.

I've had a whopper of a cold. Could not even knit that is how sick I've been.