Getty Villa

We've talked about visiting the Getty Villa in Malibu since it reopened in 2006 but it requires advance planning - tickets are free but must be reserved in advance - and the timing was never quite right until now.

The museum is modeled after a first-century Roman villa from Herculaneum, Italy, that was buried during the explosion of Mt. Vesuvius.
When the new Getty Center was built in Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty's extensive collection was split up, with most of the items going to the new facility. The Villa now houses the Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities that were originally displayed at Getty's ranch house, which is still on the property.

I wouldn't mind having this as my 'ranch house'.

The Roman-inspired gardens and outdoor areas are beautiful. The ground floor of the Villa is open to the gardens, as a Roman Villa would have been. The "Inner Peristyle" features a reflecting pond
and marble fountains.
The "Outer Peristyle" is the most impressive feature of the Getty. Your eye is drawn down the long reflecting pool to the ocean in the distance. Around the pool are statuary and plants the Romans would have grown, including iris - my favorite - and these flowers that smelled like hyacinths and looked so perfect, it was like they had been carved from wax. Most of the flowering plants were cut-back or dormant for the winter; I'd love to see this when all the roses are in bloom.
Looking back toward the Villa Looking across the pool at the hills surrounding the Getty

We didn't find the interior nearly as impressive as the gardens.
The Villa comes across as cold and almost sterile. The architecture is beautiful, but there's no warmth. I think it's a combination of the stone floors, paint colors and the fact that there are no textiles; no rugs, tapestries or anything to take the edge off all the marble, pottery, and metal. Dick felt the same way, so it's not just me being a fiber-holic.

For me, the most interesting area was the collection of carved gemstones that were used as seals. They were so incredibly tiny and intricately detailed. I tried to get a photo but they were so small, and no flash was allowed, so this was the best I could do.

Overall, it was an interesting day and well-worth the time. The food in the cafeteria was fabulous, especially the persimmon, pear, apple, and cranberry tart we had just before leaving. Yum!
Would we go back again? Probably not soon. I'd rather go to the Getty Center and see the tapestries.


Dr. Hook

I should have been a doctor. Check this out: New technique for varicose veins.

Thanks for the link, Jovita.


Spin Time

This . . . . is now this . . . . I have a little bit more to spin before I can start plying. I'm hoping to have it completed by the weekend. Stay tuned.

Tech Specs: 4 oz. of Lisa Souza BFL in 'Shade Garden'. BFL is Blue Face Leicester, one of my favorite wools.


Diagonal Beaded Shawl

Finished. This is a Sharon Silverman pattern from the TNNA class I took earlier this month. The shawl is light as a feather but very warm. The beaded fringe gives it enough weight to hold its shape and to keep it from flying around in the breeze. The fiber is Filatura Di Crosa's Multicolor, a DK/sport weight mohair and acrylic blend, and size 6 silver beads. I love it. I plan to make this again. Maybe in a lace-weight, solid color mohair like Kid Silk Haze. Maybe as a rectangle. Hmmm, possibilities . . . . .


I Didn't Say It

"I told you so" never crossed my lips. I thought it. Thought it hard enough that my brain hurt. But I never said it.

We'd been planning a trip to Quartzite for about a month. It had to be this past weekend because that's when our friends were going. I said "it's going to rain." Dick said "it won't rain." I said "it's all outdoors." He said "don't worry."

It rained. Buckets. We were dressed for it, so the weather didn't really bother us. But . . . most of the vendors decided to take a weather-day. In sections that held hundreds of stalls, only 3 or 4 were open. And of course none of them had the things I was interested in, like spinning wheels or antique crochet hooks or anything besides rocks and minerals.

We'd planned to stay Sunday night and come home on Monday, but instead started the homeward trek about 3 Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours after we'd arrived.
I did find a carpet to go under my loom and Dick got some rocks for carving. But we were hoping for so much more.


Snowy Mountain Peaks

This is the view that greeted me as I left the spinning guild meeting. Palm trees and snow. Only in California.


Harry's Closet

When Dick showed Marie the almost completed closet under the stairs, she immediately dubbed it the 'Harry Potter closet'. Why do I suspect that name will stick? It's a tiny space - the ceiling is barely above Dick's head and he can touch the back wall with his elbow while he's painting. But it's the perfect size to store Christmas decorations and - hopefully - the baby furniture that we only use when the grands visit.

Once he recovers from yesterday's gum surgery (poor baby) he'll lay tile in front of Harry's room and then it's back to the living room and a decision on paint colors. Stay tuned.

Dick in his "office"


Spin Time

One good thing about the crocheting moratorium is that I'm getting more spinning done. (The shoulder is feeling much better, thank you for asking.) I love the colors and liked spinning this merino roving (from Chameleon Colorworks) but for some reason, I never got around to finishing the yarn. These singles have been sitting around for an embarrassingly long time.

I want to use the Woolee Winder bobbins for another project and I thought plying the 2 bobbins together would take just an hour or so . . . three hours, and two Andean plying tutorials later, I finally finished. I started out with my usual two ply, but one bobbin had at least twice as much fiber as the other, so I ended up 'handy plying' (knittyspin's version of Andean plying) what remained on the bigger bobbin. The winding (and winding) around the hand is pretty monotonous,
but I really enjoy plying the two ends together; the hand motions needed to keep the yarn flowing smoothly are rhythmic and soothing. I ended up with 147.6 yards of 2-ply yarn. The skein has several knots where the singles broke repeatedly, but I can cut those out when I start knitting or crocheting. I'm just glad to have it finally done.



I watch too many home make-over shows. One tip I like is that when redoing a room you should find an inspiration piece with colors you like -
Inspiration piece: our living room rug

and choose colors from that. So I did. It took most of an afternoon but I finally chose three colors, went to Home Depot for a quart of each, and sweet-talked Dick into painting swatches on the wall.

He hates them. And I don't really disagree. The top one looks much too much like baby poo (Dick's comment). The colors looked great on the little paint chips, but on the wall? Not so much. Back to the drawing paintchip board.


Her Very Best Friend

AJ's getting older - she's about 9 now - and I think the cold is starting to bother her. Every evening, as soon as I turn on the heater in my studio, she makes herself comfortable. Very comfortable. And here she'll stay until I turn off the heater at bedtime. These were taken over about two hours. Isn't she pretty? And spoiled.


Will Rogers

" If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."

Dick and I got out of the date day habit last fall, so we're making an effort to start going somewhere or doing something together once a week. Last week's newspaper had a list of state parks that may be closed soon due to budget cuts and on the list was Will Rogers' State Park. I'd heard of the state park but didn't realize it included Rogers' ranch house.

Dick did the research and drew up our map to Pacific Palisades . . .
We aimed for the 1:00 tour and got there with about 20 minutes to spare. The front of the ranch house is unassuming, with a shaded veranda to the front and gorgeous views - including polo fields and a small area that was used as a golf course in the 20's, fanned out around it.

"There are three kinds of men:
The ones that learn by reading.
The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them have to touch an electric fence."

We weren't allowed to take photos inside the house. It's very rustic, as you'd expect for a cowboy star, with lots of wood, Monterrey-style furniture, and Western artifacts. There's a stuffed calf on wheels in the living room so Will could practice his roping tricks (it was a joke gift) and a porch swing, hung from the ceiling, serves as a living room couch.
There are books throughout the house - all first editions, most signed and inscribed by the authors who represent a who's-who of the era. We were surprised to find top of the line, best-of-the-best appliances (for the 1930's) in the kitchen. But if you think about it, Rogers made over $500,000 a year during the 1920's and 30's. That's a lot of money now, but in those days, it was serious money.

"The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket."

The grounds are beautiful with full-grown trees,
vines, flowers, and walking trails over the 180+ acres.

The stables are beautiful, almost more impressive than the human living quarters.
There's a photo in the rotunda that shows the family with their horses, dedicated to "the ranch that jokes built." Only one horse was in evidence today, but the stalls are well-maintained and ready for use.
We spent a couple of hours at the park. The tour guide, a park ranger, wasn't feeling well and I think we got less than the full tour, which was disappointing. Can you imagine how many stories there must be about Will Rogers and the famous people who visited the ranch? Would I recommend a visit? Yes. Would I put it on the 'must see' list? Unfortunately, no. Although if Governor Arnie has his way, nobody will be seeing much of this park for awhile.

While we were waiting for our tour to begin
I amused myself taking flower photos. What's the point of having a macro camera setting if you don't use it, right? These are for Carolyn, who made the mistake of telling me she likes to use my photos when she's painting her porcelain pieces. Just what I needed - a good excuse to take, and blog, more flowers.

"Never miss a good chance to shut up."