Monday, December 27, 2010

A traveller's Christmas.

"Yeah? Well we're not birds - we're a jug band!"

So what do a couple of Melbournians do when far away from home town, and when Hollywood vacates for the holiday season...?

Well, eat! And eat we did. At the Chateau Marmont too, the "great castle on the hill". And what a great time to visit this establishment, when there is space to lounge and soak up the ambiance, and the little fragments of winter LA sun. A couple of proseccos, some olives and nuts, and we are on our way, journeying through the "melt-in-your-mouth" crispy little calamari served with a rich puttanesca, through black truffle arancini with wild mushrooms, a lush salad, and finishing with sticky toffee pudding, warm and sweet, paired with a double espresso. Bellissimo!

The Chateau is one of my favourite places in all of LA. Many words have been written about this place, so I won't bang on here, but I do want to mention the romance of those stone walls, the feeling that hundreds of Hollywood ghosts are sharing in your conversation with you, and that life exists on a completely different frequency here. And hey, I can't be the only one that feels this - Sofia Coppola has filmed the majority of her new film "Somewhere" in the Chateau, plus Janelle Brown has a soft spot for it too, amongst others (click here for her NY Times piece.)

Your faithful correspondent would love to be able to post photos of this delightful meal and surrounds, but, alas, cameras are a little unwelcome at The Chateau - which is fine by me. So here are a couple that other people took:

How could I not put this photo up? Led Zeppelin, who partook of much rock n' roll debauchery while staying here in the 1970's - this photo of them hanging out of a Chateau window is so innocent!!

So after a merry lunch it was off to the Cinefamily's screening of the Jim Henson production "Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas", originally filmed in 1977. What a trip down memory lane, when puppets were hand-operated, the best tv host was a green frog, and it didn't matter that you could see the strings! As expected, despite the screening being advertised as a "kid's matinee", the cinema was full of us Generation Xers who grew up on this stuff. Plus, Cinefamily made a real event of it with the best Christmas DJ ever, and eggnog and cookies aplenty to help us get into the spirit. 

And it's such a cute film! I vaguely remembered it as a kid, but what a trip seeing now how simple the technology was back then, before CGI and the age of Pixar!!! There is a great "behind-the-scenes" clip of some bloopers that cracks me up - watch here and enjoy.

The Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax.
Christmas shorts and spinning tunes before the screening.
Getting ready!!
The stars of the show.
Nogging it eggnog style.
To see more of what Cinefamily do, like organising other awesome screenings and events, check out their website. A good place to check out if you are in town. 

Then it was off home to try and watch the first day of the Boxing Day test on the internet. I found a link to stream, I think from a feed from India - but boy, what a waste of time and bandwidth that was. Hello!!! Compete, you dingbats! So, it was hours of catching up with Graham Norton episodes instead, which was FAR MORE entertaining. Comedy gold is when Johnny Knoxville is speechless sitting next to Joan Rivers - watch this!

A good day all 'round really. Here's hoping everyone had a great weekend, whatever you did! Bring on 2011!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

I like my snowmen on the rough side.

I had so much fun drawing this.
To everyone, have a great day - and have a prawn for me!

Unique LA Independent Design and Gift Show, 11th/12th December.

December has been BUSY!!! And how could it not be with such good things going on like this regular design show. Highlighting the works of Los Angeles based artists, designers, crafters and foodies galore, there is probably something for everyone here, and perfectly timed to enable a bit of Christmas shopping!
Held at the California Market Center, in a really open warehouse-type space in downtown LA, there are over 300 vendors that make up this market - enough to get you lost for hours here! The organisers are all about exposing local designers, and nurturing a sense of community in this creative city - plus, the show gives you an opportunity to speak to the vendors, and say "nice work!" Here are my highlights:
  • Sean Finocchio's photography and design studio 33 stewart avenue creates amazing prints on wood. Often depicting urban scenes and streetscapes, there is also a really strong Californian flavour to his style...think skating and palm trees, but still hearing the traffic of the freeway.
  • You like vintage caravans? Check out Silver Trailer for Airstream inspired jewellery - super cute. And have a look her collection of restored trailers for rent.
  • Glamour cosmetics from Besame for glamour girls - think Hollywood in the 1940's, and you get the best range of vintage style semi-matte red and pink lipsticks I've seen for ages. This booth was stunningly presented and the product too reflects the care put into this company. Plus they do a really natural mascara that's paraben free.
  • For a fine t-shirt I liked Maiden Voyage Clothing and their rather whimsical designs. My favourites were the new "A house divided" images, featuring a cat and dog as noble war generals. But the crow and ship designs also caught my eye - nice coloured shirts too.
  • The giggle-inducing work of Emilio Santoyo totally won me - I had to purchase one of his paintings. Working under the moniker Emilio's Pocket, he illustrates with a lot of humour and whimsey and creates characters that suck you into their imagined world.
  • Owls and cupcakes are so hot right now (not necessarily together!), and Rusty at Pnut Jewelry has added a new range to his already awesome collection featuring both of these things. They were on display alongside those famous tattoo lettering rings he makes - so rock!
Look at the pictures of the space:

Emilio's painting - thankyou!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Get some Christmas....

The fairylights are out, snowmen are appearing, and the poinsettia are everywhere. Yes, it's that time of the year again...and my first winter Christmas too, LA style. Brrr!
The 100ft tree at The Grove

The Grove, with giant Santa's Workshop.

More drama at The Grove.

More flamin' fairy lights!!

The florist on the corner of Melrose and Crescent Heights Blvd.

"Cold Hands, Hot Knickers" at Agent Provocateur.

Downtown Christmas, complete with electric train!

Ice-skating at the downtown Pershing Square open-air rink - trying hard not to fall!

Skating with the Title Guarantee and Pershing Square buildings in the background.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I love "I love you. Hannah Stouffer illustration"

The other day I was traversing the intertron looking at wall decals. And then I found some that Hannah Stouffer had designed.

And that then made me look at her other work. And then I was smitten...

And she lives in LA. And she loves animals.

To lust after and get lost in her work, check her webpage:

Memories of Mr Squiggle....

 As the sad news breaks of Norm Hetherington's passing, I think quite a few a few of us Aussie kids are reliving the times spent watching and waiting every episode to see what Mr Squiggle could pull off with those scribbles....what is it he's drawing? Is it an elephant having tea with a mouse? A duck walking a 3-legged dog? No, it's a fashionable pig wearing a doughnut as an earring!!

Watching Mr Squiggle as a child introduced me to the wonders of drawing, and to the possibility of imagination rendered with something as simple as pencil and paper. Looking at clips from the show now, again I am drawn into the magic of the creative process  - witnessing a puppet with a pencil as a nose turn the most unlikely marks into the most plausible composition is a wonderful thing. And let's not forget the wonderful Blackboard, always grumpy, hurrying Miss Jane up...Gus the Snail..and the cutest Steam Shovel ever. And that rocket!!! How I wished I had my own, to fly around in and go wherever I pleased.

Vale, Norman Hetherington.

The "Collectors" program interviewed Hetherington amongst his marionettes for an episode in July this year. To watch, click here.

Marilyn Manson part 1...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Forgotten Saints Showcase - time for the ladies!! December 11th 6-10pm.

The Forgotten Saints crew are busy again, bringing another event to highlight the talents of some extremely talented and creative individuals. This one's more about the chicks, although gents, you are more than welcome to attend!! Highlighted at this night will be jewels from Nicolina Royale, stunning couture and costume from Terri King, and bone-crunchingly rockin' new pieces from Cody Varona. Plus, cosmetic tattooist Karna will be in attendance to demonstrate and advise on her permanent make-up procedures - and I'll be there too, sharing the tattoo love!! Trixie will be displaying her range of feather hair extensions alongside Dealights candles and lotions and V-Moda will be showing their fashion collection (in collaboration with Terri King) and awesome range of headphones.

A little birdy tells me there could be give-aways, drinkies,  and a few other surprises...

For a sneak peak of what's in store, click on the links below:

Saturday December 11th, 6-10pm
@ Congregation of the Forgotten Saints
7569 Melrose Ave, Hollywood

Alexander McQueen sale!!!

 Well, hellooooo gorgeous denim biker jacket...and the toughest looking bag I've ever seen. So many beauties.....

Ace is ace.......