Monday, February 28, 2011

The King Rests

He's NOT my favorite actor, but he did a very nice job in The King's Speech.  And he seems like a genuinely nice guy.

I've just found it's hard to resist this photo.  I can't give a credit for it, it looks like it came out of a magazine.  I found it at TheEnglishMuse ages ago.  It's  been kicking around here for so long I thought I just had to use it.  I love the silvery light, the John Singer Sargent faded elegance quality about it.  The photographer did an excellent job here so if you know who it was, let me know!  Let's give him/her proper credit!

Anyway, congrats to old Colin.  It'll be hard now to go back to some Brigitte Jones or Mamma Mia sequel won't it?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Monday Miscellany

Hello everybody out there in Blog-u-topia!  So nice to see you!  How was the weekend?  We had a wonderful one here in L.A.  We had some precipitation it's true, but it cleared out by Saturday and you should see our mountains now!!!!! They are breathtaking.  I had a fun little meetup with two other L.A. bloggers on Friday night.  I'll tell you a little more about that later in the week.  Meanwhile a few goodies that I couldn't resist sharing with you.

Do you know Guusje?  She does Guusje'sAppeltaart as well as making prints, ceramics, and paper cuts that are really very special.  They are sweet and modern and very "vintage" all at the same time.  (How does she do that?)  I love this Theater AppelTaart print that she showed recently and which is available here.

If you liked the Watts Towers post, and you can't make it to L.A. just could try La Maison Picassiette in Chartres, France.  Which is a place of similar inspiration and amazement, worked on also for decades, by someone also not so grand or well known in his lifetime, Monsieur Raymond Isidore, and which is tucked away in a very modest neighborhood on the outskirts of Chartres.  Beatrice who does the lovely, lovely blog le bord dore des nuages reminded me that I missed it TWICE when I was in the neighborhood last summer.  But you know, you always have to save something to go back for - which I will definitely be doing!

And now.......paint it like Paul Smith, lad!  Have you seen this video yet?  I guess it was on the Huffington Post recently, and I just found it at Bobbi's site, the Lazy Designer here.  It's a Holton Rower drip painting!

The colors are so gorgeous and the paint has that nice frosting-like quality which makes this video kind of yummy.  Did you know about Holton Rower already?  This was a first for me.  But I will keep an eye out for more of his stuff.

And have you seen what Sophie's up to lately?  She has a new Tumblr site with some great images.  And I'm linking you to her archive, which is my favorite way to gain entry.  (I already loved it BEFORE she posted a pic of mine on it, see if you can spot it!)   I didn't actually get the picture below directly from Sophie's site because I'm going to do a whole separate post about it, but you will also find there of course, links to many other peoples' sites.  A whole other universe to get lost in!  This one, of MY FAVORITE BEATLE - I don't need to tell you who he is.....

came from a total seventies acid flashback site.

So Sophie told me I should do a Tumblr site too.  Do I have time for that?????!  Do you?  This is my Monday morning kinda faking it version!  
AND TO ALL YOU NEW FOLLOWERS!  LOVE TO SEE YOU!  Thanks for stopping and staying!

Cheers everybody!  Have a good week!  

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sometimes Sepias (Saturday to Sunday)

How's it going?

Friday, February 25, 2011

My Heart is Full

Be safe all.  Be strong.  Be smart.  Persist.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Little Miss Spring (Primula)

I found her in Pasadena last weekend.

And brought her home with me.  Isn't she just


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Watts Towers - Paradise in Picassiette

Constructed over the course of years 1921 - 1954 from scrap metal and bits of refuse.

Constructed without bolts, scaffolding or welding. 

Fabricated entirely by hand by a diminutive, depressive, evangelizing southern Italian immigrant named Sabato "Simon" Rodia, the Watts Towers are the largest single work of art created by one man, according to the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

In 1959 they survived a 10,000 pound pressure test and so deemed sound, escaped demolition.  Simon Rodia died in Martinez, California in 1965,  having left the towers in a neighbor's care 11 years before.  Three weeks after his death, the Watts Riots shook the neighborhood.  Simon Rodia's Towers were left untouched.

In 1994, the Towers were damaged by the Northridge earthquake and did not reopen to the public until 2001.  The New York Times, recently put an article on it's front page about the Towers and how lack of funding threatened their survival.  Almost immediately after, it was announced that a gift of $500,000.00 had been made by the James Irvine Foundation for preservation

of the site.  This, in addition to the $150,000.00 the City of L.A. has pledged

still falls well short of the estimated

$5 million dollars required to shore up and maintain the Towers.

In Los Angeles it is well known that "mansions" daily change ownership for

high multiples of tens of millions of dollars.

What are we to think?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Corner View - Blue

Do you know Dorte?  If you are a Corner View-er you probably do.  And you might visit her often at her lovely blog, here.  If you don't know her, you might be curious because she is a really lucky person who gets to split her time between Vienna and Malaga, Spain and you might want to know what those places look like.  But better, you should check her out because she has a special eye that has a gift for the delicate and the really strong which she manages to capture simultaneously in each of her pictures. 

These are pictures she posted in late November of the Vienna Stadtpark.  The pictures are empty of "real people" but it nonetheless feels so very alive.

I love the softness of the turquoise and the grays against the strong forms.  In these pictures it's like a little game of hide-and-seek is going on.  It's very charming.

I've posted these pictures in the exact opposite order from the one that Dorte used in November.  Then her little photo essay seemed to be telling us of frivolous nice days bowing themselves out and making room for the statelier, more somber ones of Winter.  Now I'd like to think that the photos are of Spring, getting ready to announce herself.

Is this last picture a great one or what?!  Thank you Dorte for letting me borrow your wonderful eye and your very special BLUES for today's Corner View!

For more Corner Views, please check in with:  jane ian - bonnie - joyce - kim - kay -trinsch - ritva - francesca - state of bliss cabrizette - isabelle - janis -kari - jgy - lise - cate - otli - dorte - b -sophie - mcgillicutty - sunnymama -daan - ibb - pienduzz - kelleyn - ninjasammi - theresa - cherry b - juliette -shokoofeh - cole - grey lemon -lucylaine - lynn - skywriting - anna -dorit - conny - l´atelier - kamana -anne marie - rosamaría - victoria -tikjewit - juniper - annabel - andrea -valerie - merel soisses - mlle paradiscacahuete - wander chow - barbara -emily - tally - nadine - matilda - don -flowtops - susanna - tania - dana -ingrid - tzivia - mezza - lollipop - mari

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cheaters' Spaghetti

This was so good that I just made it again for hubby.

Let me explain?  I am from time to time home alone, wandering around doing all those things one does at home and sometimes lunchtime and hunger comes suddenly when I'm not really expecting it.  And I need to eat!  And I need to please myself, with something of substance, depth, and flavor.  i.e., a bowl of cereal would just NOT DO!  My solutions to this craving for yummy-umami vary.  See one prior shameless example here.

Most of my emergency eating involves creative "pantry" cooking it's true.  (That sounds so much better than: "leftovers".  Or: "eating out of cans".  Doesnt' it?)

So one of those emergency days, a pretty bad one, because I was low on everything, not a speck even of garlic or onions or cilantro to give that pantry-something the desired midday je ne sais quoi........

Here's what I made:  Cheaters' Spaghetti.

Recipe:  Take one small enamel pot.  Fill with water and boil.  At boiling point add enough spaghetti for one person. (They usually say take a bundle about the diameter of a quarter.)  Break it in half as you desire.

Let boil till the pasta approaches "al dente".  While it's cooking get out a scant handful of dried mushrooms, rinse and then soak them.  (You could also pop them in the microwave with their soaking h2o very briefly to get them softened.)  Set the mushrooms aside.

Pour most of the pasta water off, leaving barely enough to cover.  Generously drizzle over a stream of extra virgin olive oil, add a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and grind over some salt and pepper.  Stir in.  Let cook a 1/2 minute to a minute or so over low heat.

Add leftover canned crushed tomatoes approximating about 1/3 c. (or twice as much volume fresh plum tomatoes if you have some) mixed down with an equal measure of dry vermouth.  Add a generous pinch of dry basil.  Continue cooking.

Stir in the mushrooms and let cook till soft.  Dig out the truffle oil from the back of your cupboard.  Shave in some nice aged  parmesan cheese to your taste.  Drizzle in a soupcon of truffle oil.  Salt.  Pepper.  Stir.

Take it to a comfortable seating area and write a blog post!

Three words:  SIMPLE.  QUICK.  YUMMY!!!!  And GREEN!  (It's a one pot dish.)

Buon Appetito!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Come Away and Live With Me

in a Villa By the Sea.  House in Arcachon, France, via Delphine at Paradis Express.  Ah oui, s'il te plait!

How was the weekend y'all?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sometimes, Sepias (Saturday)

OK, I think I've settled on a name for this series.  Thanks for your comments (Mary and Janis) but I decided (on the tennis court, where sometimes my thinking is better than my playing) that this one would give me options.  And let's face it a person always needs a lot of those.

This photo I've had kicking around for awhile.  Waiting for the right moment to use it.  In fact it is probably this one that started the WHOLE SEPIA BUSINESS!!!!  Tell me you like it?

Cause, let's get real - what is NOT to like about r-a-n-u-n-c-u-l-a-e?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Where Will You Be Going This Weekend?

I'll be thinking of you!  Have a great one!

Spring in Los Angeles

Could yours be just around the corner?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Afghan Gold at the British Museum

Opening March 3, 2011.  If you are headed to London this Spring this will be a wonderful show to see.

I saw it about 18 months ago in New York.  The stories behind these pieces are, like much that we hear out of Afghanistan these days, tragic and dramatic.

It may be that when the "tour" of this show ends, we might never see the pieces again in our lifetimes.  On the other hand, with the situation in Afghanistan, it may be that the gold will circle the globe endlessly, with noone ever knowing when they will be able to return home.  Here is a quick article about them from England's Guardian newspaper.  See also this link at the British Museum.

Isn't it beautiful?

Photos:  Copyright Thierry Ollivier/Musee Guimet for the National Museum of Afghanistan

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Corner View - Valentine's Day Traditions

I am afraid that I am not much of a fan of America's modern day ways of celebrating St. Valentine's Day.  I don't think much of terrible over-priced restaurant "Valentine's Day Specials" menus, stiff, long-necked blood red roses with no smell that droop within 24 hours.  Or metallic plastic heart shaped balloons and giant red fuzzy teddy bears.  Good grief!!  I can't think of anything less romantic! 

I did like the Valentine's Day traditions of my childhood when we made Valentines out of pink and red construction paper and paper doilies and handed out little boxes of Sweetheart candies.

Photo from: here

So instead I will leave you with a sneak peak of pictures I took of Simon Rodia's Watts Towers last weekend.  Simon was an Italian immigrant who settled in a working class immigrant neighborhood in L.A. and for 30 years, built this marvel of "outsider art" out of reclaimed metal, refuse, seashells, broken tile and soda bottles.  It was his Valentine to the world.  I'll be posting more pictures of it next week.

How many hearts can you spot in this picture?

For more Corner Views, please check in with:  jane ian - bonnie - joyce - kim - kay -trinsch - ritva - francesca - state of bliss cabrizette - isabelle - janis -kari - jgy - lise - cate - otli - dorte - b -sophie - mcgillicutty - sunnymama -daan - ibb - pienduzz - kelleyn - ninjasammi - theresa - cherry b - juliette -shokoofeh - cole - grey lemon -lucylaine - lynn - skywriting - anna -dorit - conny - l´atelier - kamana -anne marie - rosamaría - victoria -tikjewit - juniper - annabel - andrea -valerie - merel soisses - mlle paradiscacahuete - wander chow - barbara -emily - tally - nadine - matilda - don -flowtops - susanna - tania - dana -ingrid - tzivia - mezza - lollipop - mari


Monday, February 14, 2011

It's A PICTURE! - Chartres

Ya know all that stuff I said the other week?

About running away from home and living the bohemian life...

in a Palazzo



Never mind!  This week I'm dreaming of a Proustian life!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


To look ALIKE?  Or love ALOT?  What will you be thinking about it all on St. Valentine's Day?

Happy Happy All you Lovers!  (However many feet you have!)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday Sepias

I am sneaking this one in on you all.  Some of you may not notice.  But I am trying just a little to upgrade my blogging schedule and artistic life at the same time.  I'm going to be doing a series of "Saturday Sepias" (and anybody who can come up with a better name for me get in touch already!)  I'm also sidling toward getting some/any of my images that appear on this blog printed on high quality paper and available for give-aways and sale either online or elsewhere.  If there are any that you have especially loved and want a copy of, or even if you just have some that you want to vote for, you know where to leave your thoughts!

Not all the photos will be "strictly" sepias.  Some will be a blend of "effects" available through I-Photo but all will have that vintage quality.  I think it's a nice idea for the weekend when many of us are in that slightly-more-contemplative mood after our week's labors.

A last note, which I will repeat again in the week, thanks ALL for stopping here and having a little chat and a laugh with me.  It's always fun to hear what you have to share and you bring so MUCH to my life!  

Welcome to the new followers this last while!!!!!!  And again, Happy Valentine's Weekend chicos and chicas!

Friday, February 11, 2011

And That Was The Week That Was!

Have you got something to celebrate this weekend?  Maybe just a grand passion?  Whatever it is for you, I hope it's a good one!  I had wanted to post here this evening my "FREE EGYPT" photograph from L.A.  I circled a block near Hancock Park two times on Wednesday to try to get a good picture of a sign on someone's lawn with my cellphone camera.  Somehow the God's weren't with me.  The photos(s) (THREE!) have disappeared from the camera. Hopefully, this one expresses some of the same joy that the Egyptian people are feeling if only for a short time before, perhaps, their hopes are dashed again.

It has felt like such a privilege to witness the courage and solidarity of the Egyptians in Tahrir Square this week.   I am cautious and concerned for them, but also so very happy that their efforts have not been entirely in vain. 


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hana Surf Girls - Young and in Paradise

Since we're having a bit of a movie week here at Passage Paradis, here's another suggestion that I offer you  with much ALOHA.  It's a very sweet, very authentic documentary about two young women who grew up together in a very close, isolated community on Maui.  The community is sometimes known as "heavenly Hana" and is reached by most people via a very long single, scenic, and winding road.  If you ever wondered what it would be like to run away and live in paradise, this will give you a very good idea.  (Most people cannot say that they have ever witnessed opihi harvesting!)  It's very appealing, and very beautiful, and for some people, maybe a little scary. Because the flipside of growing up under the protection of a small, close community is the narrow range of life experiences and choices available. 

The good news in the movie is that each girl has found a way to go out into the world and expand her opportunities, without giving up entirely that which is most precious to her.  One becomes a professional surfer which means not only getting to travel the world, but being able to return home to Hawaii to surf regularly.  The other goes to college on a Bill Gates scholarship.  She hopes to use her education to strengthen and preserve the traditions that she comes from.  And continues to surf for her college team.

If you really are getting sick of the cold and the dark by now, this movie with it's scenes of sun and sea and a lush green environment might be just the thing!   And I promise, the men in your life will be VERY HAPPY to watch it (over and over!) with you.  And hopefully, the young women in your life will be inspired by these girls who are so graceful, smart and strong.

I don't think the movie is in wide distribution.  If it's not on Netflix, you can buy it here.

Mini- Glossary:
Aloha:  Hello, Goodbye, I love you, LOVE, goodwill
Haole: Non-Hawaiian, especially Caucasian
Mana:  Spiritual connection to the earth, nature
Opihi:  Limpets, eaten raw and harvested from isolated rocks and cliffs located in normally deep and treacherous waters

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Moroccan Mood

And now for something completely different .........

Here are a couple little leftovers from some of my travels....... This is the restaurant Almaz by Momo

in the Mall of the Emirates, in Dubai.  I treated myself to lunch there because, I thought, PROPER MOROCCAN FOOD IN THE MIDEAST!  THIS HAS GOT TO BE GOOD!

It's a gorgeous and magical atmosphere, but to paraphrase Julia Child, not someplace that (I) would eat everyday!  Mostly because the food, though impeccably fresh, was rather safe and bland.  I prefer my Moroccan food to be just as vivid and colorful as these photos.

So moving on....have you been watching that "Man Shops Globe" series?  Yes, these are rugs from a special village in Morocco that were being shown in the "Gallery" at the Kings Road Branch of Anthropologie in London this fall.

I've always loved Moroccan rugs for their simple rustic qualities, their slightly "sauvage" aspects.  And mostly......

because they are so pink!!!!!

What is not to like?  I think these were a foretaste of some of the Moroccan rugs

they are now selling in their U.S. stores.  But ask me, what do I NOT like?  The way that man in "Man Shops Globe" always defaults to "cute" as an adjective to describe some item that he has settled on.

You know what I say?  Get a Thesaurus BUDDY!  FIND A NEW WORD ALREADY!!!  There is much more in life and language than "cute"!