Month: November 2013

The last bookshop.

A second visit to this bookshop bought forth more delights. People seemed to especially enjoy selling their used books  as one of the last places in LA still buying books.  The inventory quickly overflowed the shelves, and at the end of our lease June 2011 the Last Bookstore moved to the 10,000 sq. ft location at 5th & Spring St.  A record shop and coffee bar filled out the ground floor September, 2011.  Most recently, they expanded another 6,100 sq. ft. by opening up the Labyrinth Above the Last Bookstore on our mezzanine level, with over 100,000 books all priced at one dollar each!  Now they’ve become the largest independent bookstore in California buying and selling used & new books and records. The name was chosen with irony, but it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy as physical bookstores are dying out like dinosaurs from the meteoric impact of Amazon and e-books.  With the constant turnover of stock, regular musical and literary events, and coffee and vinyl LP shop, the book-lovers at …

I went to the Zoo, zoo, zoo, how about you, you, you?

Taking photographs as I travel is an everyday occurrence for me. Some days the creativity flows, other days I become a bit blasé and just don’t ‘see’ Its rare that happens, but it can.A visit to San Diego Zoo a few years ago was inspirational and I planned the trip this year with the knowledge that I would photograph certain elements.Last visit the weather was overcast and cold. This year we watched the forecast and with days to choose from, chose the day. It was warm and overcast giving me the best light to work with.I adore the flamingoes.. they have 3 places you can visit them at the zoo and I just kept going back and back.I love the colors, I love the shapes and they offer such striking visual images. The zebras were the next photographic stop. I used one of the images I took last time in my Alphabet book. The apes of course it’s challenging to capture their actions, you have to battle the crowds. The giraffe …

Belly rings and Toe rings.

Not for me. I really don’t do public transport. Theres no need in our small town and the closest I get to is to get on a jet plane.It was a really interesting trip today. The day cost us $4, but we found out later that we could have paid $2 each because we’re both over 62.We got on the first bus. It was full with the exception of a few seats up the front.“Reserved for Seniors and wheelchair passengers” said the sign over the seat.“Oh goodness we have to sit in the senior seats” I thought.An elderly lady of undetermined age was sitting opposite. “Those seats are for seniors” she snarled.“I know, thank you” I said.She raised her voice higher….. “I said they were for seniors and people in wheelchairs” “I know, lucky I’m a senior” I had to admit to her. She looked me up and down with a “Humph” and then decided to attack the young man next to me who didn’t speak english.“You’ll have to get out of that seat in a …

Sunday Continued.

It was quite surprising to find a large body of people kneeling, praying and chanting on the road of one of the busiest districts in LA. At first it seemed that bystanders were just plain interested but as the crowd grew larger, negative comments were being shouted from the crowd and I could see that the situation could turn rather quickly, Keith and I moved quickly from the crowd and continued further down the street.The black robed. quietly praying participants were a stark contrast to the glitzy shops, blatant advertising and blaring music. Walking further down broadway we came to the Market.The Grand Central Market unites two adjacent buildings: one on Broadway (1897) and one on Hill Street (1905). Together, they have been operating continuously since 1917. The older building was LA’s first fireproofed and steel-reinforced structure while the newer building was the first reinforced concrete building in Southern California. It housed the Ville de Paris department store, which was one of the …

Sundays finest.

Its Sunday and historic downtown Los Angeles has put on its sunday finest.The sun shone, loud Mexican music was broadcast on huge speakers  and families dressed in their sunday best shared the pavement with chic  apartment owners and their small dogs and those who live on the streets.Contrasts indeed. We began our day at the Original PantryIt’s  an iconic restaurant Located at the corner of 9th and figueroa. The Pantry (as it is known by locals) claims to never have closed or been without a customer since it opened in 1924, including when it changed locations in 1950 to make room for a freeway off-ramp. It served lunch in the original location and served dinner at the new location the same day.I visited it a few years ago and was excited to be able to share the experience with Keith this morning.We arrived just after 8.00 am and waited for almost an hour in line outside the cafe. Once inside our order was taken and arrived on our table quickly, the waiter …

Traveling and teaching and anxiety.

Strange but true. One of my apprehensions  left over from my ‘Pathetically shy’ years is talking on the phone… I will do anything to avoid phone calls.That makes life a little difficult when you are in business.The other thing is preparing documents as I travel.For instance, sometimes I have to send information on quilts or accept offers or fill out important forms related to my work.I go into decline. I have a mental block and it worries me to death until its completed.paper work is not my favorite things.Right now I have three things I’m finding really difficult to work on.Maybe I would find it more interesting if I drew on my paperwork like this artist did . “We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming.“Wernher von Braun We had an interesting and busy day yesterday.A visit to the Farmers Market and LACMA kept us on the go all day.I love LACMA and I visit each time I come to LA if I have the time.There is so much inspiration in one space. …

Contrasts.

I visited Dubai in the first week of september and photographed the workers on the dock at Dubai Creek. Mid September was India, New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Gwalior, Varinasi, the colors, the beauty and the sadness. October, Rome, Sulmona, Venice, Florence, Tuscany my first visit to Italy. Late October – November, Houston and the International Quilt Market and Festival Then a wind down in Disneyland Having written about all of the above in great detail I was just as excited at walking through downtown LA. this afternoon. We are staying at the beautiful old Checkers Hilton Hotel. The building has an interesting history, built in the 1920’s as a women-only apartment building for discerning single ladies.I love the buildings, some are huge and look as if they touch the clouds, their windows reflecting the sun in patterns on the buildings and pavements around them. …

I’m smiling.

I’m smiling, I talked to Mr Kaiden our 2 year old Grandie and Daughter Callie this afternoon, she almost jumped down the phone with excitement at our phone call.Can you tell I’m missing our little people. (a lot) In the mean time, the messages from Houston keep flowing, completed projects are shared and thanks for the lovely comments.  How lucky am I. Thankyou, Thankyou. I’m sending a huge accolade to friend Miss Lisa. my Bud who is my constant support. I’m adding a few more quilts over the next few days and then I will move on to other blog topics.

Blackbirds in the sky.

Its early, still dark and theres a pre dawn chill in the air. Our window is 30 ft long, the full size of our suite and I never get sick of looking out and  bringing the outside in so I never close curtains.My house doesn’t have curtains.I lived in a satellite city called Elizabeth from the time I was ten till I married at 20. I disliked it with childish passion. It was dry, dusty and most of the occupants were English people who had paid 10 pound to immigrate and they didn’t talk like us Aussies.My bed, next to the window looked out onto a wooden paling fence and above that was the house next door, it was just 4 feet from the house. The house had a wide chimney, and when I laid on my bed I could see the beige bricks of the chimney and the blue sky. Blackbirds played on the chimney and it was my special view for 10 years…Its strange that things that happen in childhood should surface to …