Monday, 20 April 2009

What day is it?

Through the wonder of international travel, and that tricky international date line, my days are jumbled in my head. I know it's Monday, but where did Sunday go?
We had a quiet Saturday in LA, our last day. I learned a new skill: freezer paper stencilling.
But mostly we were sad and pensive, not wanting to part.
We had a lovely family dinner before some brave-faced family photographs, followed by the dreaded trip to the airport.
It was a holiday I will never forget and will always treasure - just me, my sister and our Dad.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Friday in LA

Friday morning in LA meant another trip to Santa Monica to visit Wildfiber (we ran out of time yesterday). It was heaven. So much yarn to fondle.

Even though Dad suggested that I had already bought enough yarn yesterday (hey, Dad, I'm a grown up now and I can buy however much yarn I want, and anyway, we didn't limit you to just one electrical store, did we?), I did have to buy a few more skeins.
Here's the total two-day haul...yum...

We sent Dad off with brother-in-law to do some Hollywood-type stuff (brother-in-law is in the business) - checking out studios and inspecting prop vans and prop houses that store acres of any item you care to mention - while sister and I enjoyed a lovely lunch in Culver City. I even got to see the hotel where the cast of the Wizard of Oz stayed, in the the late 1930s (I'm a bit of a fan of that film - I probably know the script off by heart as we had it on LP as kids - yeah, corny, I know).
Home then to prepare for an evening meal with a few of sister's girlfriends. No photos, but I can't tell you what a fabulous evening it was with them. Lots of great food, good wine and laughter. What better last night in LA could there be?
Oh, I will miss it.
Posted by nettie at around 10pm on 17 April, LA time.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Thursday in LA

Another sunny day in LA took us to Santa Monica for a little shopping. First stop was A Mano Yarn Center, where I spent a dollar or two.

But, it could have cost me more. When we arrived, the shop attendant was faffing about as she couldn't get the computer and till to work. Well, our Dad just happens to be a computer whiz (yes, even at 77). He offered to help, while sister and I browsed. She was so grateful that she boldly announced that we could have 30% discount on our purchases if Dad could get the computer working. Well, the pressure was on. Dad fiddled and fooled and quietly unplugged, replugged and rebooted her system, and lo and behold I got 30% discount on some Blue Sky Alpaca, some ShiBuiKnits sock yarn, some Wisdom Yarn Poems that looks a bit like Noro, oh and some Noro and some more Noro and some Wildfoote sock yarn and some Tofutsies. Yay for Dad. It's lucky that there were no hardware stores nearby, otherwise he would have been there, and not in the yarn store with us. Here's me, looking jubilant.

We drove on for lunch and a little browse at in one of my favourite US stores, where I might have spent a few more dollars.

Then we went on to the Getty Villa at Malibu, which is a delight of ancient Greek and Roman antiquities.

Ceiling roses modelled on those found in Pompeii

Feline water spout

Shadows on the marble floor

Oh, do I have to leave?
Posted by nettie at 7pm on 16 April LA time.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Wednesday in LA again

A quiet day, back in LA, pondering the wonder of our desert trip, and planning the next one.

There was some knitting on the road. This simple garter stitch and YO/k2tog scarf in some stash cotton for my favourite sister's young stepdaughter was completed on Highway something or other. It's the Airy Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts - mindless passenger knitting.

And I've done a little more work on my Princess Lace Wrap. It requires a bit more concentration, so there's been a bit of tinking, due to the vagaries of wine o'clock.

We spent a lovely day at home, sister and I, doing some cooking. She wondered if I was going to post pictures of a pot of vomit and then another pot of vomit, but I'm sure my distinguished readers can recognise mushroom ragu and moroccan vegetable stew.
I love her nonetheless.

Posted by nettie at 9pm on 15 April in LA.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Tuesday in California

The last day of our desert road trip was spent in California. The day began well, with breakfast at our luxury accommodation. (If you're ever in the neighbourhood, please stay at Roughley Manor. Honestly, you'll thank me for the recommendation.)

A short drive took us to the breathtakingly wonderful Joshua Tree National Park. I can't begin to explain how a love for the desert has crept over me during the past few days. I started this trip thinking of the desert as a rough, dry, harsh and barren place. But, truly, the beauty is immense. I think I can begin to understand why people want to live here. It seems to necessitate a more sensitive response to one's environment. I'm doing a lousy job of explaining this, but I think that the desert makes one understand how to live with the climate and the landscape, rather than trying to impose oneself on it.

The contorted joshua trees held me in awe.
The desert dandelions brought smiles to our faces as they spread across the plain.
The teeny tiny wildflowers warned me to be careful of where I stepped.
And the rocks were tumbled and split into shapes that reminded us that this landscape was bigger than any of us.
We were all a little sad to leave the desert. I want to return soon.
Posted by nettie at 10.20pm on 14 April in LA.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon in Arizona

Oh what a week it has been. My favourite sister has driven us around Arizona in style. We had seen some amazing places, stayed in some fabulous hotels and B&Bs, been snowed upon, lunched before magnificent views, walked and laughed and generally had a wondrous time.

The Grand Canyon can barely be described in words, and my photographs do it little justice. The Wupatki Pueblo ruins evidence a simpler life than the one we know, but one where community played an important role.
Montezuma Castle (not that the man himself was ever in the neighbourhood) shows us the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Sinagua, and made a delightful backdrop for lunch that day!
Cathedral Rock at Sedona - ahh, if only we'd had more time in Sedona...
And many a cactus was seen. Now, I've had a thought. If I could grow one of these in my backyard, I reckon it would make a great lace blocker. What do you think?
But most importantly, we picked delightful spots for all our breaks (do you like the tablecloth?).
And wine o'clock is an important part of each day.
Aaah, Arizona, we love you.
Posted by nettie at about 9.45pm on 13 April in 29 Palms, CA.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Tuesday in LA

What a great day. Sister's birthday was full of things we both love to do. First there were presents. Who doesn't love a good present opening?

We went to the garden store and lugged home pots and bags of soil to transform these...

to this...
We attempted a bit of wardrobe refashion, but were too traumatised to photograph our efforts.

We worried if Dad would ever come home from his walk to the electrics store. (It's OK, he did. He only got a little bit lost.)

We baked ...

And ate and drank and reminisced and laughed.

Happy birthday to my favourite sister. So glad we could share it with you.

Posted by nettie at about 10pm on 7 April in LA.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Monday in LA

Sunday was a quiet yet pleasant recovery day, drinking lots of tea and preparing for dinner with family and friends, old and new.

But Monday...well, on Monday I had a date with my old boyfriend, Michael. And sister and I sure had a fine time at Michael's. This is the little stack of goodies that I left with. Yay for Michael! I have to visit Michael at least once each time I come to LA.

But it wasn't just a shopping day. We had a stroll around USC and Exposition Park looking at lovely buildings, gardens and museums. In planning this walk, I checked with my favourite sister to determine the appropriate attire for the day. "Skirt?" I asked. "Oh no. Jeans," she replied. Hmph. I'll make my own wardrobe decisions tomorrow. It was a gloriously warm and sunny LA day. And so good to be with her.

(Note to self: don't change time zones on Blogger as it buggers up the times on all the posts. This post published at 6.30pm on 6 April in LA.)

Saturday, 4 April 2009

'California, here I come...'

Californian bee in California Poppy at The Getty, LA, May 2007

Al Jolson sang it in the '20s and I'm singing it now. Why? Because tomorrow I leave for sunny California to visit my favourite sister. A few days and a birthday celebration or two in LA, then we jump in the car for our road trip adventure through the Arizona desert. Not quite the Thelma and Louise trip we originally planned, more like Thelma, Louise and Dad's road trip to the Grand Canyon. Yep, a trip with Dad and his two girls. We're gonna love it.
Probably won't be posting while I'm away. But I bet she will.
Have a nice day, y'all.

Bushfire quilt

In the first weeks of shock and helplessness after the Victorian bushfires in February, many bloggers and crafters offered time, money, skills, compassion, knitting, sewing, driving, collecting and love to those who had been affected. One such person was Anne over at pinsandthimbles. She offered to auction off her talent, fabric and time to make a quilt and donate the proceeds to the Red Cross. Yay, I won. And here is the delightful quilt made from beautiful vintage sheets in colours and size of my choice.
It's for ma minette to cuddle into when she comes to visit. I think she'll love it. I do. Thanks, Anne.