Warning: I unabashedly overuse superlatives in this post. I could not help myself.
What a surprise this one was! I am not that familiar with Southern California and “Westside” to me meant just another area of Los Angeles. I had no clue that Westside meant right next to and including Beverly Hills. I really did feel like Jed Clampett half the time. If you don’t know who that is, read about him here.
Pat, Westside Quilters Guild‘s Program Chair, picked me up from the airport and we had a grand few hours touring the area. There wasn’t quite enough time for a museum visit, so we opted for a tour of the area, being careful to avoid the notoriously congested freeways. We drove West LA, Mar Vista and Venice. Pat knows the area and could point out things like where super-famous people lived, the history and architecture of the area and fun stories about events there. It was fascinating!
This area of East Venice had these cute unofficial street signs which I found charming.
There was some unusual retail…
Yes, that does say “eggslut”.
…because who would want a non-organic Party Animal kept in a cage? We have laws about such things.
I could not help but notice that the facades of buildings everywhere were funky/interesting. There were “Bird” scooters everywhere that you could rent to get around.
Blurry photo, but you get the idea-there was art and color everywhere. I kept having Pat stop so I could take photos-I was probably slightly annoying:-)
I’m pretty sure you call this California Bungalow style? At any rate, there was lots of this style which I loved.
The whole house behind this wall was mosaic also!
Now, on to Venice:
This was just so Venice Beach!
Venice has a decidedly Bohemian and beachy feel. I learned that some of the main parts of town that are now streets, used to be canals.
There is an entire section built around these canals. After our cruise, we met up with my hostess Barbara and also Vicki Bohnhoff for dinner at Fredo’s, a Mexican Food restaurant in Beverly Hills.
But wait, we dropped off my luggage at Barbara’s Beverly Hills home. Never in a million years would I have ever thought I’d stay at a home in Beverly Hills. It was so lovely and Barbara and hubby were over-the-top gracious and welcoming. I stayed in The Red Room which was filled with beautiful quilts and other linens that Barbara made from Alex Anderson’s toile line in red and white. It was divine!
We walked from Barbara’s home to the restaurant, which was just fabulous. After dinner we walked Rodeo Drive. I was amused by this sign. Just October?
I think this was the Bulgari window. The retail area of Rodeo Drive is just 3 blocks long but what an amazing area! All the brands had stand-alone stores-Prada, Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Harry Winston… Each of the window displays were works of art.
Ah, found my next comfort shoe! Purple is apparently THE color this fall based on my window shopping. Do not the crystals on the strap look quilty?
We also walked through the iconic Beverly Wilshire. Talk about feeling like Jed Clampett… I was assured that it was acceptable to walk into the lobby and look.
That. Chandelier! The floral arrangements were exquisite:
And this piece was huge, made from glass. The lighting was perfect and it was spectacularly beautiful.
The next day was a packed workshop with 21 eager and well-prepared students:
Oh I love it when I get a huge, light-filled room to teach in! We had a grand time and I hope I helped birth some new baby free motion quilters!
I received my Author’s copies of my book right before I left and decided to take 10 along-I should have brought the bunch. Luann happened to be the first one to buy my book-my very first book sale. Thank you Luann!
This is how I’m signing my books. I hope that my reader can tell that the logo thingy at the bottom is me, “Quilt Skipping”. Onward is my motto, just keep. going. forward.
We had some time after class and Barbara took me on a tour of Beverly Hills. BH has a master-plan for its urban forest. The city was designed to have a certain species of tree along each street. They have had to adapt as time went on because some species did not fare as well as others. Nonetheless, the trees add a great deal of beauty to the town.
My hostess Barbara hosted a lovely dinner party at her home with 4 other members of the guild. We enjoyed a raucous thunderstorm that went on for hours, apparently a rare event. Oh what fun! I learned a lot of interesting things about living in West LA. Everyone personally knows someone famous it seems, you just can’t help but run into them and most have an emergency kit prepared (because of that earthquake thing…). I felt so embraced and welcomed by this group.
Saturday morning was lecture time! Westside Quilters is actually a fairly small guild, but mighty. Their members are so creative, talented and enthusiastic. This was a good turnout for their guild.
SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Associates) Royalty here! Sherry Kleinman, Vicki Bohnhoff and Katheryn Pellman were all members that I met. There were probably more but I was unaware. There was a lot of talent in that room!
I regret that the only photo I took of Barbara and me was not great-we both were squinting into the sun, my bad.
Pat Karasick, one of Westside’s Program Chairs took The Best care of me! Pat also teaches and lectures and we had so much fun tooling around the city. She has a heart of gold and treated me like I was a Queen. It was hard to leave and come back to my Real Life!
I’ll be linking up with Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday-be sure to check out the links.