Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dressing John Malkovich

There's a new post in sCRAPheap that recounts a very special incident with him...

Miss Me?

Yeah, that's right. I've been eating and drinking my way (well, our way -- the hubsy was there, too!) across the gorgeous Napa Valley. Can I tell you about it? Got a minute? We went to a few wineries, it's true.

Let's see: Charles Krug (SO underrated for a place that produces consistently wonderful wine); The Frank Family (SO overrated, though their sparklers are worth a try); Mumm Napa (Mmmmmmm, Napa)Self-explanatory, dontcha think?

Duckhorn (how is it that everyone I know already knows and loves this place and, in particular, their Three Palms Merlot? And it's news to me? And it's so good!);Pretty Duckhorn Winery

Silver Oak (good lord, their Napa Cabernet is sex in a bottle and cheaper than a hooker -- well, cheaper than a pricey call girl, anyway); Whitehall Lane (oh-so-lovely cabs); Artesa (stupid, sucko winery - all "experience" for some truly half-assed wines - don't waste your time); and my beloved Grgich Hills Estates for an awesome celebration of Mike's 50th vintage.Me and the great Mike Grgich

Did I mention food yet? Okay, started at Angele, downstairs from our room at the Napa River Inn (fabulous place, right on the river. Did I mention it's haunted?);
went to Ubuntu on Main Street in Napa (TOTALLY lives up to the hype);
fregola finished with corn pudding melon rind & FRIARELLI PEPPER relish, of course!

Auberge du Soleil for their staggering vegetarian tasting menu and wine pairings (amazing view of the valley and discovered some new outstanding wines. JC Cellars Preston Marsanne is to die for);Why yes, those ARE goat cheese beignets!

Taylor's Automatic Refresher for way pricey California drive-in fare); Cook St. Helena (try their brussels sprouts), Market (fabulous); and (drum roll) Chez Panisse Cafe in Berkeley (best fish, ever. And the best Sauvignon Blanc - Merry Edwards.)The heart of the "gourmet ghetto" in Berkeley

roasted zucchini and cherry tomatoes with Bellweather Farms Ricotta

halibut baked in a fig leaf

I'd order this online if their site worked!

So, we ate, we drank, we slept in a haunted hotel. What, no crochet?

But OF COURSE crochet was involved, my friend! I made the bulk of this on the flight out and in our room:
This is, of course, MK Carroll's Anne design, done in a ancient skein of LusterSheen.

Oh, and one final story! I had also brought with me the WIP Betty Shrug, whined about elsewhere in this blog. The day we were leaving the hotel, hubsy asked if I had a scissor with which he could cut a tag off of a clothing purchase. I had my cherished folding scissors in the Betty bag, so I pulled out the bag to dig out the snippers. In our haste to leave for Berkeley, the Betty bag got covered in the bed's duvet. Our quadruple check of the room never revealed that the bag containing hours and hours of my blood, sweat, and tears was still on the bed and not in our suitcases.

I realized the loss the day we got back home. I called the hotel, but the crochet was not in the lost and found room. The clerk told me that all was not lost -- it still might be with the cleaners and I left a message with housekeeping. Bless their hearts - my crochet was indeed with them and safe. "Will you be stopping by to pick it up?" the clerk asked. As much as I need little excuse to haul ass to Napa, I asked them to ship it to me. The VERY next day, my precious cargo arrived!

And THAT's what I did on my summer vacation.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rockpoolcandy and the Betty Shrug

When I started this blog on in August of last year, I had no idea where it would go or what it would bring me. It began and continues out of a passion for crochet, a fascination for design past and present, and a love affair with the arts. What I didn't know was that it would open the door to my meeting, virtually or in reality, some extraordinary people. There are too many to list here and there is a risk that my feeble brain would leave one or more of these gorgeous people out, and that is a risk I dare not take.

Charlie and I had the great fortune of hooking up, literally and figuratively, with the amazing Inga of rockpoolcandy and her equally extraordinary husband, Andy. They were en route back to Ireland after spending time in LA, where Andy had work in a gallery show. I took this with my new fancy-schmancy camera at St. Germain, a fab little bistro in my nabe:
One of the things we talked about, and I share this with you because I find it so important, is how much I admire the treasures we gather through self-determination. Inga and Andy are both perfect examples of this - both are successful, working artists whose work touches people in incredibly personal ways. They've gotten to where they are not by sitting on their asses and waiting for things to happen, but by taking action and setting into motion a myriad of possibilities. While I can't compare myself to the likes of them or to any of the many fabulous people I've been privileged to meet through this blog, I like to think that subwayhooker has opened a few doors by exposing me to people I treasure. Whether I've met you in person, on ravelry or crochetville, or via email, I'm humbled by the lovely, gifted and warm people I'm proud to call friends.

And just in case you think this is my way of weasling out of having to show some progress in my own crochet projects, I give you the status of the Betty Shrug:
While right now it has a more than passing resemblance to the stripe on Charlie Brown's t-shirt, I assure you it has many new squares attached to it, methodically and by the book. While I am sorely distracted by wanting to start a slew of even newer projects, I am resisting so I can finish one bloody thing. Anything.

Oh, guess who's going back to Napa? That's right, Charlie and me!!! We head out Thursday for a long weekend of eating and sampling this nation's finest wines. Next weekend, it won't suck to be me!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hand-crochet fahions by Dritz

Today, dear hookers, I bring you some tasty vintage crochet courtesy of Dritz. There's no date on the publication, but based on the styles, I'm safely guessing early-to-mid 50s. Okay, blasphemy alert, but one of my faves is actually knitted, that being the jacket above done in chenille. I mean, how freakin' sweet is that jacket? Okay, love the crocheted skirt too, but it's really all about that jacket. All I can say is, not in this lifetime.
Next up is this hot little strapless number that is indeed crocheted. I love the fit on this and the marvy details with those dragon scales crawling up the skirt. Hot.
But if I was to bare my soul, I'd have to confess my affection for this dress. So simple, so fitted, flattering, and feminine. I am all about the simple pieces you can dress up or down. Me? I'd do this in black or charcoal, natch, but if I didn't know going in how boring this would be to make (nothing but single crochet - ugh) I'd want one in red. Or striped. Or tipped. Anyway, it's another fabulous and I think, timeless piece.

Double Shout-Outs

You all know that I don't really advertise much, but I wanted to give a shout-out to two phenomenally talented friends of mine. But I don't know who to talk about first..........

Tossing a coin here.......

Okay, first up is my amazing friend Mark Brown, who's show China -- the Whole Enchilada opened last night as part of the NY International Fringe Festival. It is an astonishing show - by turns a funny, slapstick, irreverent, and serious 90 minute romp through 5,000 years of Chinese history. The tickets are a bloody $15 for a show that you will absolutely love! Go see it -- NOW! And not for nothing, but Mark has ANOTHER show running simultaneously off-Broadway -- Around the World in 80 Days, based on the Jules Verne novel. I've seen this show several times in various incarnations (it's played everywhere) and it is simply fantastic!
Next up is my EQUALLY amazing friend, Danielle Dayen, writer and photographer extraordinaire, who just put up her FamousRed Etsy shop of her gorgeous note cards featuring her photos of the wildflowers of Transylvania. This remote area of the world is one of the last places where there is little agribusiness happening, meaning that there are blissfully few pesticides in the environment. This lack of poison gives the wildflowers free reign to grow as they wish and blossom for Danielle's camera to capture. Which she does. Check out her site and start drooling....

Meet sCRAPheap

Some of you may know a bit about my past - gallery owner/director during the heady '80's, wardrobe supervisor and costume designer forever, and producer of the weekly performance art series, "House of Ill-Repute in the '90's" Or you may not. To remedy this, I did what any self-respecting blogger would do - I've created a new blog.

sCRAPheap is a new blog of old memories meant to recount and/or catalog those days in the arts. It's sometimes craft-related, so hookers might want to check it out from time to time. Or not - it's up to you!

But for those of you interested, I'll post alerts on this here blog so you know when there's something new (old) on sCRAPheap.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Look Everyone -- A Crochet Project!

I've shamed my own damn self into getting off my butt and crocheting something. Whoa there - no, it's not finished or anything, so don't fall off your chair, please. But I got over a glass hump, as it were, and have now connected three motifs and am well on my way to the fourth.

I bet you're embarrassed for me, aren't you? Seriously, you are. You're thinking that with such an exciting headline, I MUST have something amazing to show for my weeks of apparent slothfulness. Yeah, not so much. I embrace my inner sloth, so I have little to show but an internal vow to see SOMETHING through to the end.
And the truth of the matter is this: from a purely technical standpoint, I am doing a dreadful job here. But as god as my witness, I will persevere and get this mother done.....sometime. I swear.

Hey look, here's a closeup: