Friday, May 28, 2010
ladies who lunch 05-21-10

Here they are.....The two Birthday Girls......Sitting with the gifts that came from Carol Smith, Betty's Cousin, who came down from San Jose, just for this sweet afternoon! See's Candy was the order-of-the-day, from Carol.....Perfect! We did have a really fun, raucous day....Lots of laughs......Above, the two Birthday Girls, having their funny bone genuinely tickled.....But let's start at the beginning.....Cousin Carol arrived a little early, coming right from the Burbank Airport....that was nice because I got to have a little "in person" visit with her before the other 'ladies' arrived...... Carol had turned 75 in March....And now Lee was turning 75, too.....It was so good of her to get on that plane and come on down to Los Angeles just for this 'celebration' of her dear cousin's 91st Birthday.... Next to arrive was Jacquie Scott....Her Birthday is next month--close to mine----and we will be celebrating our "days" at another 'Ladies Who Lunch'......Then.... The lovely Dianne Travis arrived....you will remember we celebrated her Birthday at the last 'Ladies Who Lunch'.......And then....almost at the same time, Lee & Betty arrived...(Lee having picked Betty up to bring her here....) And dear Bridget Hanley, who ran into traffic problems.....There were traffic problems that day for Lee, too, being that it was a Friday here in L.A......So, these three ladies were just a little bit late..... Of course, we had our Hors D'euvres----Crudites with a Dill Dip, very very delicious and Turkey & Sun Dried Tomato Links with a Mustard Sauce...yummmmm! And our third yumminess-es were these Dates, with a touch of Cream Cheese, wrapped in Prosciutto and baked in the oven....! They were utterly divine! But I think I started a kind of raunchy raucousness by saying they looked a little 'lewd'. Kind of like a dogs pee pee.....! I know, BAD! But they did! Though they were absolutely delicious. And below, look at these very special cocktail napkins that dear dear Ily of Another Day In Paradise, sent from Miami, Fla.... Everyone loved them---but particularly dear Bridget.....I'm hoping Ily can find some more of these, just for her. I think they are wonderful! And Ily sent something else, which you will see when we open our 'gift bags'.
And then, the Beautiful Seemah arrived. She has to come from Pacific Palisades, which is close to the Pacific Ocean, and pretty far away....and she too, got caught in some horrific Freeway traffic, so she was quite late, but we happily waited for her....!


I just need to tell you that although Lee had this milestone birthday this year, as an actress, she is busier than ever! This is a 'one woman' show she has put together playing many of the different characters from "Spoon River"....You may recall that Lee understudied Betty, Joyce and myself, back in 1963 when we did the Original Charles Aidman adaptation of this beautiful Edgar Lee Masters work.....and then, played the 'roles' Betty played in the 2002 Revival of "Spoon River" that we did at Theatre West......The 'Flyer' above was from her performances in Alabama in April.....here below, a picture of her--in 'Character'. In this case.....the character of 'Zilpha Marsh'....Then, for all of you "ALL MY CHILDREN" fans.....Lee will be on the show on June, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th....at least those are the dates they gave her....Plus---and this is truly exciting---this summer she is in a Pre-Broadway tryout of a new musical at the Goodspeed Theatre in Connecticut, called "Radio Girl", based on the book and film about 'Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm'....The wonderful thing about Show Business and 'the Arts', is....no one really ever retires if they are still willing and able, and Lee is more than willing and able---she loves it, and works harder than anyone I know.....! And by the way....the people involved in this new musical have a lot of history....The composer, Henry Kreiger, wrote the Music for "Dreamgirls".....! We all think that Lee is more beautiful than ever....and it is a 'Natural Beauty'.....As far as I know, Lee has had no 'enhancement' of any kind...No surgery, no botox, no collagen.....This is what 75 can look like if you have great 'genes'.....lol.....Oh, and by the way, on May 1st, Betty performed in the S.T.A.G.E. show benefit....Pretty amazing. No retiring for her either. Still kicking (literally---she danced) at 91......!
Then, it was time to go to the table for our special Birthday Lunch......Here above.....Betty's 'Gift Bag', and then below....Lee's 'Gift Bag'......... Of course....we all had 'Gift Bags'....... And we will see what was in them.....later.





More To Come........


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Tuesday, May 25, 2010
the tile house - 8

Above....this is another area.....I showed the top part before, but not what is underneath it..... This is all above the area of that previous post where the gate and staircase are......And a closer look at the designs here. I love the use of all the Tans and Browns and related colors in-between, plus those little colorful tiles of blue and red and yellow, etc., in that area towards the bottom of the picture..... George, talking about his work, as Ivenia stands by and listens....Going back inside that area over on the left is a very complexly tiled section---in a way, it mirrors what you have just seen, though it is very different in it's specific design...... It's the 'archway' that is mirrored....But look at that very complex wavy design , and the grayish areas that complete it. I find it all utterly fantastic, especially knowing the work that went into this.....It is really Astounding......! Oh, and see that one little tile towards the bottom left side of the picture that is completely different than any of the others? Another "George" Surprise.....lol!

Then.....we went inside the house on that level into what George calls "The Dungeon". It is an area that he dug out and made into a two room-plus-shower living space. Because the house sits on a hill, this area was part of the hill...... So George dug deep into the hill and as you can see, created an infrastructure that is quite amazing. I know why they call it "The Dungeon"....lol....there are no windows, so the 'light' is all artificial....... This is the entry into the shower and the walls that go up pretty high in this first room. When you enter this underneath area---this is the room you walk into. Looking into the Shower Room, there is a lot of 'tile' going on. Because of the poor light, I really couldn't get the kind of pictures I would have liked---even with the flash. But, you see that archways are a big part of this 'dungeon' area...... Looking at the whole area, once again, from a little further back---you can see the archways at the end of the room....a theme that George uses over and over.....Also, the small roundish stones that help form the infrastructure are in use in the back area of the house as well as here in The Dungeon, as you will see later. As you enter that first room, this is what you see on the floor. (That doorway in the niddle there is the Shower Room). There was pretty good light coming in from the door to the 'dungeon', so I was able to take a few better pictures. Another wonderful design. And here again, the round green things are the bottoms of empty bottles. We saw the use of them outside on one of the front walls......Something about this reminds me of a 'block' you might find in a quilt.......And below a little bit closer look. I love the diminishing triangular shapes as it gets closer to the center...... And then, that center piece, isolated........ I also love the subtlety of the light gray and white tiles in that diminishing triangle design....So very pretty.
Then we went back outside again, and I got to see a much closer look at some areas one cannot really see very well from the street...... You may remember this area from one of my earlier posts---here is a reminder, below. Sitting in that wheel chair right under this area, you can see all the tile work that was done by George in a more complete way... And you can see quite clearly way over on the left part of the picture, that this underneath section is unfinished. You actually can see that in the very first picture of this post. above, as well.....Below--a closer look at the finished areas...... And, as you can see, the design changes as it goes over to the left. George had said that he tries to use up most of his left over pieces---even cutting them smaller to fit what he needs to do. Considering that most people don't walk looking up at the underneath of these windows, the designs are quite extraordinary in their complexity.....! And above, a little bit of a tease of what will be coming next in our continuing journey through George & Ivenia Ehling's 'Tile House'......Yes, Yes, Yes.......There is.......








More To Come..........







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Friday, May 21, 2010
the tile house - 7

Here is the creator of ALL the designs and the Mosaic work you have seen previously in my Six (Count Them) Six posts showing the beautiful fantastic results of all the years that George Ehling has devoted to his passion---His Work Of Art! His Home. Incidentally, that picture behind George is him as a young man..... And above....here is George with his beautiful dear wife, Ivenia,(there should be an accent over the "e" because Ivenia is from Brazil.....). They have been married for twenty-three years and have a very talented musician son, Otto, who is twenty two years old. I heard him playing the piano the very first time I stopped to take pictures of this AMAZING house. It was August, and it was hot....And this gorgeous piano music was wafting out of the open windows. It was Otto playing Rachmaninoff!I didn't know that at the time. All I knew was that this fantastic "live" music was coming out of this amazing tile house. By the way, the picture above was taken at his concert in late April of this year, held at The University Of Nevada at Las Vegas, where Otto is a student.......

George Ehling bought this house in 1967 and began working on the house back then.....For those who haven't seen the previous posts...it's this house, below....... George said the house was built in 1927, the same year he was born. Every inch of the outside of the house---including the 'stand-alone' Garage, is tiled in these very fabulous Mosaic designs---all created by George....If you haven't seen the previous posts, do go back to March, 2010 in the archives, and take a look at those first six posts. It will help you appreciate what you will see here in this next series of posts......

Around the middle of April, my friend Shawn took me to The Ehlings---We rented a wheel chair for me because there was no way I could go up all the stairs....Shawn and Ivenia, literally dragged me up to the first level and there we stopped so they could rest, and, so I could take a lot of pictures of the many areas that one cannot see from the street...For instance, this area below.....which is a partial close-look, taken from the street and blown-up...... And here below......what you can see of this section from the street as you look up....

The area I am concentrating on is right in the middle of the picture above and just slightly above the center. Being able to see this area much closer and in a lot of detail, was very exciting.......I concentrated on that 'arc' shape that you can just see the top of in that first picture...Now, as you look at these, remember I was sitting in a wheel chair...... The angle is quite severe because to get right in front of this area wouldn't have produced the kind of pictures I wanted to take...... Let's take a closer look at that red and green design going around the interior of the arc..... Always, there are optical illusions in George's designs....And as you can see there are at least five different designs in this one picture....Amazing! All around the outside of the house are things like this Lion's head---a few of these things were here when George bought the house, but many were made by George from these template-casts he got from the Studios....Movie Studios, that is, where he worked for many many years....... This is the Archway below the upper 'arc'.....Some more very intricate and very interesting designs, and another interesting bit of 'statuary' over there on the left.....Below....there are two poles on either side of this Archway....I love the colors George used on these poles....And by the way....the wall next to the left pole has a completely different design than the one on the right, as you can see....And the poles are each different, too....... And when you see these poles up close, like this, you can see how small some of the tiles are. Those gold tiles are really really small.
And I love the tiles he used on the wall next to this Archway.....there are a combination of lovely small pastel tiles fitted into a complex design of tan-brick-shaped tiles, which covers the entire wall....... When you look carefully, you can see the variations of pastel colors on this wall...... So lovely and simple---yet complex. And then, there over on the right in the second group from the top and the second tile in from the right, is a strange little 'being'---not really quite like all the others....I love that George does that. There is always a surprise of some kind. And of course, you cannot really see all these amazing subtleties when you are standing on the street.....
This next section is so complex....I mean, so many designs are happening here---well, it is almost too much, yet----It Is Fantastic! George explained a lot as we went from section to section..... A closer look at this very densely tiled section. Again---there are so many designs using so very many different size tiles and many colors, too....This area had a staircase which you cannot see, going up to another level, which you will see later.....We got to that level a completely different way..... An even closer look at the interior area that we could see in the picture above this one.
This photo above was taken from the next level up, looking down at that whole area......George had told us that he finds a lot of the tile he uses in Dumpsters....things that Tile places have tossed out because there is no call for that design anymore and/or there is very little of the design left. He uses all of it!

We will pick it up here in the next post....So, I have just scratched the surface of what we saw that day----there is much, much much more that you will see, including the inside of the house.....



More To Come........

NOTE: Today, Friday,May 21st, we will be celebrating Betty's 91st Birthday, and Lee M.'s 75th! A"Ladies Who Lunch" event, at which I will be taking lots of pictures.....And which you all will see as soon as I am able to get them all together.......So if I am not around very much...it's because of this very special Luncheon......


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