Thursday, May 31, 2007

May 31

I had a visit to the ophthalmologist today. This delightful old lady was grumbling away in the waiting room. Can you imagine being old enough to have a 70 year old child? She has one. Wow.

After waiting 75 minutes past my appointment time, I was ushered into the doctor's room where I had another wait -- long enough to draw this, plus some. Now, three hours later, my eyes are just getting back to normal after the dilating drops. Things are still pretty blurry but at least I can see my typing with my glasses on.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

May 30

Where the sidewalk ends, far down Schoolcraft Ave.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

May 28

My summer palette. I am itching to start sewing clothes.

But first, I made this tote bag last night from remnants bought at Purl Soho. It's going into the Christmas Boutique. I really need a new bag myself, but this isn't it.

The Kangaroo Paw in our neighbourhood is flowering. So pretty.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

May 27

Another day of intense cleaning. Josh did an amazing job on the garage, while I did a mad fling in my studio. Between us, we filled a rented skip. I took a break to go down to Trader Joe's from some dinner ingredients, and sketched the people waiting to buy movie tickets at the nearby cinema. The line was moving really fast, thus the very hasty sketches.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

May 26

Today's exercise was an activity that has been sorely neglected over the past two weeks -- housework. Then in the evening Josh and I went to The Archer School for Girls, where he will begin teaching theatre in September, to see a performance of Fiddler on the Roof. What a gorgeous campus! Unfortunately, their web site doesn't really show the fabulous interiors: huge exposed-beam ceilings and stately arches painted with frescoes, wooden paneling, tiled floors. This historic landmark, designed by William Mooser III and built in 1931, is considered a perfect example of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. It featured as a retirement home in the film Chinatown, and also appeared in the Eddie Murphy remake of Dr. Doolittle. Until the late 1990s, it was a retirement home for widows of members of the Masons.

I didn't have a camera, and only managed a couple of hurried sketches in dim light, so I can't communicate to you how very lovely this place is.

Friday, May 25, 2007

May 25

Sister's last day here, and we went on a studio tour at Warner Bros. Josh came with us, and after the official tour he gave us a more indepth one, including a creep around the set of Without A Trace and a peek at the filming of the new Maxwell Smart movie. We then enjoyed a delicious tapas meal at Cobras & Matadors before heading off to the airport for sad good-byes.
Sister enjoyed her last icecream on U.S. soil. Come back soon darling!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

May 24

Sister and I did Walk 18 from Walking L.A., which takes in the tacky touristy parts of Hollywood, as well as the truly delightful old (c. 1920s) residential area of Whitley Heights, which is located directly east of the Hollywood Bowl. Sister snapped me outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre, in deep concentration as I sketched El Capitan across the road. She goes back to Australia tomorrow night. I will miss her more than words can say.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

May 23

Happy sisters at The Getty.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

May 22

Sister and I did Walk 33 from Walking L.A., around downtown's Civic Center. We visited Walt Disney Concert Hall, MoCA, Angels Flight, Grand Central Market, the Bradbury Building, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, and the Music Center. Here's sister beside the crockery-encrusted rose sculpture at the WDCH.
Then we drove a few miles to the fashion/fabric district of downtown, where we discovered Michael Levine. How is it that I have lived in this city for ten years and have never been there before? We were both in fabric heaven. We didn't buy TOO much; but only because (a) sister had to think about suitcase space and (b) I know I can go back any time.

Monday, May 21, 2007

May 21

Today's exercise took place along Antique Row in Canoga Park, where sister and I scoured the vintage stores for clothes and textiles. We each came away with a fabulous lightweight coat -- this is sister's. It's linen, in natural colours, with embroidery. Mine is lime green and white and kinda 60s. Nice!
When we got home we dyed some of the cotton yarn we bought yesterday. Yummy :-)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

May 20

We spent the afternoon in Santa Barbara. Josh and Lauren went to the zoo while sister and I enjoyed the wharf, the waterfront markets and a fabulous junk store where we scored big on vintage fabric and cotton yarn.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

May 19

A complete change of pace today. Sister and I hung out with the family, read, knitted, pottered, tidied, did laundry, and, in the afternoon, walked to a nearby church where a friend put on a few hours of vocal entertainment. She is raising funds to go to Austria to study opera this summer.
Tonight Josh dug out the videos of our trip to Australia in 2005 and we all cracked up again watching our antics at the Second Occasional Family Talent Quest. Happy times.

May 18

Last day in New York. Despite cloudiness, we had pretty good visibility from the top of the Empire State Building. We filled our last three hours in the Big Apple wandering around Chelsea looking for Paper Presentation ("I'm SURE it's on the next block. Hmmm .... maybe it's up here ....") which we finally found right where I last left it, on 18th St. We've decided that Sister is going to open a yarn store/tea house with gallery space for my artwork, and I'll open a fabulous paper/stationery/art supply shop next door. Ah, retirement dreams ....
While eating lunch I drew the view from the window, which was half-blocked by a large truck after I started the sketch. Then it was off to JFK with a crazy taxi driver who drove like a maniac and spent the whole trip on his cell phone conducting a very loud, seemingly one-sided conversation in Spanish, interspersed with animal noises and hyena laughter.
Our flight was delayed by several hours so it was with relief that we fell into bed in Los Angeles shortly after midnight. This trip to New York was everything we wanted it to be. You can see all the photos here.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

May 17

Today was spent tramping around Soho and Greenwich Village. Kate's Paperie is in the middle of a huge moving sale; stock is severely denuded but what is there is very cheap. I got some lovely paper. Here's me enjoying a visual feast at The Point Knitting Café. We also went to Purl Soho (both the knitting and patchwork shops) but by then sister had completely blown her yarn budget so we didn't seek out any more yarn stores.
We took a breather at Le Petit Café, where someone who looked a bit like Calista Flockhart took our photo ....
...and I sketched the mirror on the wall. We then continued with our quest for a jacket for me (sister's birthday gift to me) which we finally located at Eileen Fisher. We finished up the day with a play: A Moon for the Misbegotten, starring Kevin Spacey.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

May 16

Today we enjoyed Grand Central Station, the Chrysler Building, the fashion district (trims! buttons!), cheesecake at Lindy's and ..... WICKED!! My friend Michael is in the show, so he treated us to a backstage tour (and dinner) afterwards. All very very cool, and a ton of fun. It was raining when we got out, so we got pretty wet as we wandered around the city for another few hours after that. Another great New York day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

May 15

Today was long, tiring, and heaps of fun. Sister and I walked for miles, ate delicious food, saw awesome art, and just delighted in being in this wonderful city together. Highlights: the Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design, meandering through Central Park, the Guggenheim, a somewhat scary pedicab ride in heavy traffic (see below), and a fabulous dinner at Lure in Soho with my old buddy Gene.

Monday, May 14, 2007

May 14

Sister and I are in the Big Apple! It's so much fun to be here with a first-timer, so see her wide-eyed delight at walking into Times Square at night. I remember that feeling so well. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face, either. We promenaded arm-in-arm for quite a while before and after our dinner at the Hard Rock Café. Tomorrow: north to the museums and Central Park. Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

May 13

Sister and I did Walk 16 from Walking LA, encompassing La Brea Tar Pits, LACMA, Farmers Market, The Grove, and Pan Pacific Park. What a lovely day we had. You can see all the photos here.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

May 12

Does pacing around Terminal 4 at LAX while waiting for my sister to arrive count as exercise? Here are some of my fellow waiters.

Friday, May 11, 2007

May 11

I had a crazy busy day today. When all the paying work was done, I cleaned the house in preparation for sister's arrival from Australia tomorrow (yes, she will be here IN THE MORNING!!!). So it wasn't till 10:30pm that I headed out with my sketchbook. I sat in on a gutter to draw this scene, but I could barely see what I was drawing (lousy light, no glasses). When I stood up to leave, I found that the back of my skirt had been happily wicking up the water in the gutter, and it flapped drippily against the back of my legs all the way home. The things we endure in the name of daily sketchercize ;-)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

May 10

The place where I spend the vast majority of my weekly allowance. The supermarket.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

May 9

So, where to find a shady spot in which to sketch? Aha! The Hidden Chateau! I haven't been there since last year. But I have a feeling I'll be making quite a few return visits this summer.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

May 8

It was 100°F here today (37°C) so finding somewhere in the shade to sit and draw was my primary goal. This is as far as I got on this sketch before the ants crawling up my legs sent me packing.

Monday, May 07, 2007

May 7

My friend Lola asked me to make her a bag she could take on her sign language interpreting assignments. It had to be big enough to hold a FedEx envelope, and have a pocket for her flashlight. Apart from that, she said, "Surprise me." I selected some fabric and got her approval before proceeding, but when it came to embellishing the bag, I scoured my stash for inspiration. To my delight, I came across these green antique gloves I bought (and sketched) last year. I shaped them into the sign for "interpret" and sewed them on. Voila! I love it, and hope Lola does too!
Spotted in the carpark (parking lot) of my local shopping centre. I liked the contrast between the two plants in close juxtaposition.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

May 6

I took Lauren to the Calabasas Fine Arts Festival today. This is a sketch of Marston Smith, who was there in a kilt with his electric cello. Woah, drawing people is hard.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

May 5

Evie and I did Walk 15 from Walking L.A., in West Hollywood. Sister, NEXT weekend YOU will be joining us on our walk. Yayyyyy!!! (My sister is coming, my sister is coming.)