Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WIP Wednesday: wrap, wrapped!

I am finally blocking the wrap I mentioned waaay back in November.(Non-knitters - blocking is when you dampen your finished object, lay it out to dry, and in this case pin it to shape it.)

Thanks to Ravelry I know I started this project on October 21 and finished it December 1. Then I let it sit, since I didn't need it until May. Well, here it is May and I am going to my friends' wedding in less than two weeks, and I intend to wear this with the dress I got!

I had a fun time fussing with the wrap/scarf/thingy. I wound up having to pin some of the points onto the carpet, since they stretched off the blocking boards. It's amazing how it opens up the detailed work I did (seemingly a lifetime ago).
See those bumpy-knotty things? I have a friend who did beads there instead. I wish I'd seen her work before I did mine, as the beads look great, but I don't think I'll be making another of these projects anytime soon. We'll see if I feel differently after getting to wear it!

Monday, May 16, 2011

LA report: Watts Towers

This is my final report on my trip to Los Angeles. On Sunday after we went to the Getty and to Venice Beach, my host and I made our way to Watts. When we were planning my visit and G suggested we go see the Watts Towers, I thought he was kidding. I didn't even really know what they were - I assumed they were tenements, to be honest, since my only awareness of them was that they had something to do with the Watts riots (about which I knew little to nothing).
Well, that shows you what I know. Watts is an entire neighborhood in LA, and yes, it's had a reputation and a hard history over the years. However the towers are NOT a housing development - they're art, created over thirty-plus years by a man who lived in the neighborhood.

Simon Rodia used found objects to decorate the structures, and they've cleverly found a way to identify where the bits belong - so when they fall out, they can be replaced correctly.

The Watts Towers are now a state park. We weren't there at the right time for a tour but I would absolutely go back! 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Before-during-after: bed!

My bedroom project is nearing completion. It is certainly at a point at which I can stop for a long time. I do still want to add an area rug or two, real bedside tables instead of the small table and rolling stand I'm using, different curtains, art on the walls, and probably a different desk. BUT I am done with the bed and no mistake!

For a few months I had just a bedframe, no headboard:
I've actually had the headboard in a box in my room all week, but no time to attach it to the bed. Today I improvised a way to hold up the bed with the headboard removed:
And got the headboard in place. Huzzah! I can't wait to go read in bed tonight.
In fact I think I will go to bed quite early - I am fighting off a case of the blahs, and have to get up before the crack of dawn tomorrow so I can go to Monterey and learn to scuba in the ocean. I'm kind of dreading it and will be glad when this learning nonsense is behind me. But at least I'll sleep well in my lovely bed!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

WIP Wednesday: cookie a socks

I went to Florida this weekend to hang out with a couple of my siblings, so had some quality airplane time on the way back to work on these socks.

I'm making them for a friend; they're In and Out designed by Cookie A. The pattern is really interesting, way too hard to memorize, and it's pulling me right through. I've already more than doubled the sock from this picture, am mostly done with the first leg and will be working on the heel before I know it!

Okay, that's the exuberance of Early Sock speaking, but they ARE coming along.

Monday, May 9, 2011

LA report: The Getty Center

My visit to Los Angeles was super busy - by the end of it, we joked we'd seen all of LA! I was visiting an old friend/housemate from my Portland days: we were in Portland together from 1996-1998 or so, then he moved to Seattle, and I moved to the Bay Area, and he moved to LA last fall. I wanted to see what his life is like in this very different place!

I arrived kinda late on Friday night and we didn't do much. Saturday was more people-social: we went to a photo/video shoot for one of his clothing designer friends (can you GET any more LA?), went out for amazing Thai food, drove around, and went to a bbq hosted by some super nice people we met at the photo shoot.

Sunday was a more photogenic day. We went out to brunch, then to the Getty Center, then to Venice Beach, to the Watts Towers, and to the airport.

I was entranced by the buildings and grounds of the Getty. We looked at a couple of art exhibits, but the physical space is so amazing I was keenly aware it was ALL art. Even the quality of materials and construction for the garden paths was probably the highest quality I'll ever see.

The buildings were large and modern-looking and really gave the place the feel of a campus or institute - this is a Center and no mistaking it!

Monday, May 2, 2011

LA report: Venice Beach

One of the places my friend took me that felt quintessentially Southern California was Venice Beach. Even though it was windy, the place was mobbed with tourists and locals alike. You can do ANYTHING there- get evaluated for a medical marijuana prescription for 40 bucks (what a racket!), buy a yummy corn dog, and spend quite some time watching the skateboarders.
The documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys was about LA's skateboarding culture in the 1970s. A bunch of kids skated in neighbors' emptied pools, and you can totally see how (if you could do it!) skateboarding in a pool would be a ton of fun.

I practiced using the "burst" feature on my camera, taking multiple pictures in quick succession. It was still hard to catch these kids in flight.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Welcome to May, otherwise known as spring in the Northern hemisphere. This month's calendar picture was taken in May but in the Southern hemisphere, on my trip to New Zealand, as they tipped through autumn toward winter. You sure can't tell it's autumn by my picture of Onetangi Beach, though.
The beach is on the north side of the island, giving it the best sun exposure (remember, southern hemisphere!).

Onetangi Beach is part of Waiheke Island, eleven miles northeast of Auckland - a great side trip on a sunny day. This was only our second day in New Zealand and we'd been extremely busy on our first day, but we were up and out in time to catch the morning ferry. 
It was rather exciting to watch the skyline recede - as interesting as a city can be, I am exposed to urban life on a daily basis, and I was ready to see something a little different! After about a 40-minute ride the ferry dropped us off on the island and we hopped on a bus tour, since there were limited options for seeing the island. We'd hoped to go wine tasting but settled for beer and fish and chips on a deck overlooking another bay. 

The Matiatia Malt by the Waiheke Brewery was the best beer of my entire visit, due only partly to the setting!