10 Things I Love about Los Angeles

Walt Disney Concert Hall
Walt Disney Concert Hall

I’m interrupting my stories about Scotland to celebrate my 600th post by doing a little catch up on what’s going on in my life at this moment.

Today I’m in downtown L.A. I’m here to attend BlogWorld Social Media Business Summit & New Media Expo (#BWELA)!  I’m really excited about the avalanche of workshops that I will encounter over the next 3 days and can’t wait to get started sorting out which ones I’ll attend in person and which I’ll listen to after the conference.

BUT, before I dive into the conference I wanted to share a little of what inspired me today.  You see, not so very long ago I lived in a suburb of L.A.  In fact I lived just about 40 miles north of here for 18 years.  And while we didn’t come into the “city” frequently, we did have a chance to enjoy the benefits occasionally.  I’m not really a city girl,  I’m fairly certain that I wouldn’t want to live here, but I love visiting.  Something about the soaring skyline and bustling traffic energizes me.  I get the feeling that important things are happening here.  Deals are being brokered, historic decisions are being made and ideas emerge here that are changing the world.

These are just a few of the things that inspire me about L.A.:

  1. Driving past the iconic Capitol Records building
  2. Passing billboards about new TV shows and movies (do you see that in your town?)
  3. Enjoying dinner outdoors in November
  4. Landing on radio stations in 7 or 8 different languages
  5. The city skyline – it’s breathtaking
  6. Exit signs for Little Armenia, and Historic Filipinotown
  7. Realizing that the Pacific Ocean is just minutes away.
  8. Appreciating all the sculptures and great architecture in downtown
  9. Remembering that they have an “all news-all the time” radio station (AM1070). I miss that.
  10. Celebrating the fact that the L.A. Philharmonic plays regularly at two awesome venues – The Walt Disney Concert Hall (see below) and the Hollywood Bowl (one of my absolute favorites). I miss that too.

So here’s how my day went in this inspiring city…

I drove from the Burbank airport this morning and met my daughter and son-in-law for breakfast (which I don’t get to do nearly as often as I’d like).  Amy and Andrew are a couple of inspiring people too, but that story will have to wait for another time.  I enjoyed a few hours with them, then headed down to the hotel where I’ll be staying for the duration of the conference.

On the way there, I passed the AMAZING, Frank Gehry designed, Walt Disney Concert Hall just a few blocks from the hotel.  After checking in, it was such a gorgeous day that I decided to walk there.  If you’ve never seen it in person, you really should make a point to go.  I would love to take a tour and would especially love to attend a performance there.  I understand that the acoustics in the auditorium are nearly perfect.  Another fun tidbit is that there’s a small theater and gallery space in one corner of the Hall, called REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater).  I used to work at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts) when REDCAT was being built and the staff and student body were anxiously awaiting it’s completion, so I have a bit of a vested interest in the place.

Anyway, here are a few photos of this awe inspiring complex.

REDCAT
Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater

The amazing thing is not so much imagining the building, but actually making it come to life with all those curves and waves.  It’s spectacular!

While there I stopped in the gift shop because these places are just dripping with culture and creativity.  I saw this great T-shirt and a bunch of other inspirational items, but it wasn’t really a shopping day for me, and I can’t really afford a $120 scarf no matter how beautiful it is, so I had to pass on all but a couple of little things that I picked up for Christmas gifts.

Music Tshirt
L.A. Philharmonic Tshirt

After dinner, I had a chance to go out and play a little with my camera and here’s a fun shot.

Los Angeles Downtown
Los Angeles Downtown

So now, it’s off to bed to rest up for 3 days of inspiration and information to come.

Have you ever been to Los Angeles?  If not, what do you find inspiring about your own town?

Hope to see you soon!

Renegade Craft Fair – Los Angeles

Today our family did some shopping at the Renegade Craft Fair in Los Angeles, California.  We drove through a slice of Chinatown on the way and I snapped this fun shot of the lanterns.

Chinatown Los Angeles

This is the group walking to the fair with the downtown L.A. skyline in the distance.  Isn’t it cute how the 3 of them were  holding hands?  Don’t worry.  It didn’t last long.

Walking to the craft sale with L.A. skyline in the background

There were some great handmade crafts there so I thought I’d share a few of my favorites and links to where you can find them.

Renegade Craft Sale - Felt Flower Pins

Sad to say that I don’t have time to track down the artist for these brightly colored felt pins, but love them anyway.  If you like them, take a look at the links to all the artists here and see if you can find it.

Look at these creative journals made from vintage hard cover books with blank pages added.  These were made by Ex Libris Anonymous at http://www.bookjournals.com/.  Just imagine how you could fill these pages!

Renegade Craft Sale Re-purposed Pillows

These pillows just gave me more inspiration for things I could make with my new sewing machine.

These wonderful vintage trailer prints were mounted on wooden blocks to be hung on the wall.   The artist, “Chantalde Felice” said that she visited The Shady Dell,  Bisbee, Arizona’s Vintage Airstream Hotel for her inspiration.  Aren’t they adorable?

Renegade Craft Sale - Cone Trees

I fell in love with the colors and patterns on these precious cone-shaped trees!  You’ll find them at Cathy’s of California.

Renegade Craft Sale King Tshirt

I tried to talk Terry into buying this Tshirt, but he wasn’t in a shopping mood.  Don’t you think it’s kind of fitting for him?  We can always order it or other cool ones later from DKNG Studios.

I thought this was such a wise statement…and excellent inspiration.

Terry also bought me a pair of vintage typewriter key earrings for my Christmas stocking from “The Weekend Store“.  They don’t look exactly like this, but they’re so cute nonetheless.   Be sure to take a look at this website.  There’s lots of interesting vintage inspired items.

Sad news is the sale ended Sunday.  But good news is that you should be able to find all of these artists online for your holiday shopping convenience.

Thanks for coming along on my little cyber shopping trip.  Don’t these handmade treasures inspire you to create something yourself?  Which are your favorites?

The Happiest Place on Earth with my favorite people on earth!

O.k. this may sound ridiculous, but sometimes I think that I posted news on my blog only to find out that I just posted it on Facebook. So those few who aren’t on FB, but check my blog are missing out on the news. Sorry about that. I’ll try to do better in the future.

First off, for those who don’t know; Terry and I drove to Los Angeles on Saturday to spend a couple of days with Amy, Andrew and Kevin! Yes, Kevin flew in from Omaha to spend a little time with us before he moves to Meridian, Mississippi for his new job at the end of the month.

We arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon and…

  • Drove to LAX to pick Kevin up from the airport
  • Stopped to see the studio where Andrew works
  • Stopped to see Amy & Andrew’s apartment
  • Went to visit Terry’s brother, Ted, his wife Kristi and 2 of their kids, Spencer and Lucas
  • Sunday we went to Disneyland and California Adventure with the 3 “kids” all day
  • Monday morning we had breakfast together at CiCi’s Cafe on Ventura Blvd in Tarzana
  • then drove back to Phoenix with Kevin.
  • On Tuesday morning I’ll take Kev to the airport to head back to Omaha, then on to Mississippi very soon.

It’s been so much fun to be with all the kids together. Not sure when we’ll all be together again, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for sometime around Christmas. We’ll see how things go with travel and time off work and all…

So as you can imagine, there’s a lot of fun to post about, but I won’t get there tonight. Here are a few fun ones to give you a glimpse of our time together.

I also have a confession to make. Do you remember the gorgeous blue Mickey scarf that Amy was wearing when she was in London (same scarf pictured here – this photo wasn’t taken by me). Well I liked it so much that I bought the same one for myself and can’t wait to wear it. I actually checked to see if they had a green one so I wouldn’t copy her EXACTLY, but they didn’t and I didn’t like any of the other colors nearly as much, so I got the same color as hers. I figure since we’re in different states, it won’t be a big deal, right? Of course you may look at both of our blogs and see pictures of us wearing them, but oh well. I’ll live with that, and hopefully Amy won’t mind too much.

So much more to come, so stay tuned. The easiest way to keep up on my posts is to click the “Follow” button on the right side of the page and you’ll be notified each time there’s a new post. See you soon!