RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


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Countdown: my favorite dozen 2018 photos and a bonus

life is a canvas

San Gabriel Mountains from my roof deck in Culver City.

As if I don’t have enough to do, I decided to set myself the task of coming up with my twelve favorite photos for the year… one for each month. Some months I had fifty favorites and some months I wouldn’t have picked one for my top twelve… nevertheless I had to stick to my rule of one from each month. This exercise was a great lesson for me as I realized some months in 2018 I didn’t get out and about enough with my camera and I really struggled to find a photo. I need to be more consistent.

The above photo was taken from my roof deck on Christmas Day and is my New Year’s card to you all. One of my favorite quotes just happened to be floating around in the sky! Note the airplane just left of top center.

So here we go.

JANUARY

sunrise

Sunrise with resident crows from my roof deck, Culver City, California

FEBRUARY

Yosemite Upper Falls framed by tree branch. Yosemite National Park, California

MARCH

Huntington Library

Desert Garden at Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Los Angeles County, California

APRIL

Freddie and Frankie

A little out of focus but this photo really shows their true personalities. Frankie looking disdainful and obviously planning the next mischievous caper while Freddie is wide-eyed and innocent, ready to be splat in the middle of Frankie’s next big idea!

MAY

worthing seafront

Worthing Seafront, Sussex, England. The last place my parents and I lived before they decided to emigrate to the US.

JUNE

butterfly pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum

JULY

deck sunset

Sunset from my deck looking out on to downtown Culver City and Sony Studios

AUGUST

canadian rockies

Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canadian Rockies

SEPTEMBER

william s hart

The William S. Hart Park and Museum, Newhall, California. Detail of wall

OCTOBER

 

Los Angeles Flower mart

Succulents at Los Angeles Flower Mart, downtown

NOVEMBER

City Hall Christmas Eve

An early Christmas present to the people of LA as the tree at Grand Park mirrors Los Angeles City Hall.

DECEMBER

View from Baldwin Overlook

View of downtown Los Angeles and snow on the mountains from the highest point in Culver City, Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (a California State Park).

I haven’t been on WordPress very much lately. I haven’t given up but I made a big decision and it’s going to be taking up a lot of my time. I probably won’t be posting much here but I will make the effort to go look at your posts to keep up with what you are doing. In the meantime, you can join me on my personal page on Facebook (Roslyn M Wilkins in Culver City). If you send me a friend request and I recognize who you are, I will respond. Or join me on my photo page by clicking on the Roslyn’s Photoart image in the right hand column.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2019!

 

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Feline Friday – #99 – a hodge podge of catching up

freddie in picture frame

We apologize for being absent from the blogging world for quite a while now. But Freddie, Frankie and Roslyn have all been dealing with life.

Roslyn is far too busy getting ready for the Culver City Art Group 23rd Annual Holiday Art Show. So she asked me, Freddie, to upload this Feline Friday post because we know you all must miss us so much.

And, by the way, she’s been showing her art work from collages to acrylic paintings to ceramics to photography in just about every one of those 23 shows. Yes, it’s tiring.

So I, Freddie, have stepped up to help her. Between Frankie and me, I am the reliable one. The photo above is of me helping her prepare one of her frames. Cat hairs? Of course, cat hair on everything is the signature of her work. Everybody knows that!

I have a lot of photos to show you from the past few weeks, so here we go!

frankie and freddie

This photo shows how Frankie and I assist Roslyn at the computer. That’s me curled up between the keyboard and the monitor.The most ergonomic position for a cat. Frankie, the fuzzy grey head in the foreground, is in the sling Roslyn bought for him so he can sit in her lap. I would have liked a sling too, but okay, a 17-pound cat wouldn’t fit too well in a sling…. I get it.

frankie

As soon as Roslyn comes home she throws her bags and hat on this chair. Frankie is making sure next time she goes out she has plenty of cat hair with her. You know the saying: Cat hair. Don’t leave home without it!

Freddie

There is a misconception that I don’t like Frankie that much. I was here first and six months later he showed up. It’s true, he can be a bully. But it’s only because he had a tough life before he came here. So I like to nap close by him. So here I am on the chair just a few feet from his. I know he likes my company too.

freddie box

Everybody knows the rule is the bigger the cat, the smaller the box. I was contemplating how I could squeeze into this very thin box. I am sure if I flattened myself out my total mass would equal the dimensions of the inside of this box. Where’s my calculator so I can figure this out?

 

freddie and frankie

It was a VERY hot day and Roslyn refused to turn on the air conditioning inside the house because she is SO cheap! So we sought refuge under the little table on the front patio. Roslyn tried to crawl under there with us but we said no way girl, we’re not sharing. Go stuff your head in the fridge or turn on the a/c. Humans can be infuriating!

frankie

This was a team effort. I am very good at opening cabinet doors, even the ones with magnetic earthquake safety closures. I open the doors on all the cupboards in the house and then Frankie and I shovel everything out. It’s so much fun to see the expression on Roslyn’s face when she comes home and finds all the contents all over the floor. She took this photo minutes after she had thrown everything back into the bathroom cabinet under the washbasin. I don’t know how Frankie has the nerve to do this stuff but he always gets away with everything…

frankie

Frankie hugging another of Roslyn’s bags…

frankie

This was so much fun. While Roslyn was out at the farmers market I opened the door of the coat closet in the entryway (Roslyn uses it to store all her tools). Frankie knocked down the shopping cart and somehow dragged it out of the closet, blocking the front door. When Roslyn came home she couldn’t open the front door! Hee hee hee. She pushed and shoved and finally moved whatever was blocking the door far enough in so she could get in with all her bags of vegetables. Of course then she realized what had been blocking the door was her wheelie shopping bag with a cat sitting on it. Good thing it was the scrawny cat sitting on the shopping cart because if it was me, she would never have been able to push it back far enough to get in the door!

frankie

One of my favorite Frankie escapades. Roslyn was taking her shower when she had the uncomfortable feeling someone was spying on her. Sure enough, she saw this eyeball staring at her through the shower curtain. Shades of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho… this even gives me the chills… Frankie can be scary…

Freddie

I will end with one of my tricks. Sometimes when Roslyn is working on the computer in the morning, I hide out and wait until she goes down to the kitchen for another cup of coffee. She has no idea I’m even in her office. Then I pounce on her chair. When she comes back upstairs I’m busy washing myself very nonchalantly like, oh, did you want this chair now? I thought it was vacant!

Roslyn will be back to posting on her blog and commenting and liking all your blog posts probably mid November. Until then, it’s lights out for us. See you later!

 

 

 

 

 


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Culver City Art Group 23rd Annual Holiday Art Show

culver city art group

It’s that time of year again! Every year I swear I’m not doing this next year, and then I do. It’s the only time I exhibit my photographs/artwork in person.

So most of my time right now is devoted to getting my photos ready to display. Printing them out on my Canon 100 13″ x 19″ printer to my exacting standards is harder than you can imagine!

If you’re in the area (Westside of Los Angeles), come on over!

Culver City Art Group website

 


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Feline Friday – #74 – Memorial award for Pharoah at the Culver City Art Group Holiday Show

culver city art group

I’m getting ready for the art show on Saturday. After this I am looking forward to getting back to blogging again.

It’s our custom to give memorial awards to fellow artists in the show for somebody who has passed away during the past year. My memorial award this year is given in honor of sweet Pharoah who passed away July 2nd.

pharoah

I’ll be channeling Pharoah as I view the artwork looking for a piece that he would enjoy.

 


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Culver City’s Screenland 100th birthday 5K, The Race of the Century

screenland 5KCulver City was incorporated on September 20, 1917 so our little town of approximately 40,000 people has been celebrating our 100th birthday since last year.

One of the celebratory events was the “Screenland 5K, The Race of the Century,” in which I participated. Lori Escalara headed a team to help support the restoration of public murals in Culver City so I figured that was a good reason to plonk down the entrance fee, not to mention the T-shirt and medal that came with it!

Screenland 5K 100thCulver City birthdayUnfortunately it turned out to be a rather grungy day weather-wise with no sun. At one point I had to walk with my camera inside my jacket. But it could have been worse.

screenland 5K

We were entertained by bands along the way.

screenland 5K

I was ten minutes late getting to the start line and by the time I had walked a few yards, many of the serious runners had already completed the first third of the 5K (3.1-mile) course and had turned around.

The race was scheduled for the morning of February 26 to coincide with the date of the 89th Academy Awards later in the day.

screenland 5K

Culver City is dubbed “The Heart of Screenland” because of the numerous movies filmed at studios such as MGM, Columbia, Sony, RKO, Desilu, Selznick and many, many more.

The Heart of Screenland

Perhaps the most famous movies are “Gone with the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz.” But I also have to mention “Singing in the Rain.” Some of the 5K participants dressed up as their favorite movie characters. I was just ME!!!!

The Heart of Screenland

Sony and Culver Studios opened their lots to the 5K participants.


I was looking forward to getting some close-ups of the Rainbow sculpture inside the gates… too bad the sky was so grey.

screenland 5K

But I was happy to get a good shot of the artwork for my all time favorite movie “Lawrence of Arabia” which I have watched numerous times. I love everything about it from Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif to the spectacular photography and the glorious music. I realize the story isn’t that close to being accurate but that doesn’t stop my appreciation of the film.

screenland 5K

A peek into a “window” to see a gathering of classic movie stars.

screenland 5Kscreenland 5K

I walk or drive by Sony Studios several times a week on my way somewhere but it was nice to see inside. I have actually taken visitors from out of town on the studio tour a couple of times. And, of course, the exterior is on my Culver City walking tours.

screenland 5K

My final time was something in the range of 1 hour, 20 minutes so obviously I wasn’t going for any prizes! I was having more fun taking photos.

Click on any image for the slide show:

After I completed the 5K I felt like I could have kept going. So in a couple of weeks some friends and I will be walking the 6-mile CicLAvia route from Culver City to Venice Beach.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Feline Friday – #56 – what me worry?

frankie

We asked for rain in drought ridden Southern California… and we got it!

Our sump pump quit working… the plumbing company really screwed up… so we’re looking for a more reliable plumbing company licensed to work in Culver City.

In the meantime our garages were flooded… water came in ten feet past the garage door… I managed to move most of my stuff to the back of the garage out of harms way.

One of the neighbors bought a pump and no thanks to the plumbing company who were supposed to fix this problem last Tuesday, the water level is going down.

We are expecting more rain tonight. Then a break on Saturday. More rain on Sunday. If this doesn’t get us out of the drought, nothing ever will.

I have been worried silly about the garage flooding. But Frankie’s attitude is “What flood? I’m warm and dry, thank you. That’s all that matters.”

It’s a cat’s life.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 


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Culver City photo walk

sony studios

Yesterday was the inaugural walk of my photography Meetup group, Walk & Talk Photography. It was a good group and an interesting experience.

Although I’ve taken photos of most of these places before, every time I look through the lens I see something new and different.

Following are some of the photos I took on the walk. Click on a photo for the slide show.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Walk & Talk Photography

culver city rainbow sony studios

Over the Rainbow, Sony Studios… formerly MGM where The Wizard of Oz was filmed.

Moving along with 2017… Yesterday afternoon I posted my brand new MeetUp group “Walk & Talk Photography.” As some of you know, I have been a tour guide in one way or another since 1988. Starting out as an architectural walking tour docent for the Los Angeles Conservancy for 16 years. For part of that time I was also a hike leader for the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club for about 10 years.

After I left corporate life, I got certified with the International Tour Management Institute (ITMI) in 2008 (the hardest two weeks of my life) and became a professional Los Angeles city tour guide. The person who sits up front in the motor coach with the microphone.

As of last year I am no longer doing any of those things… for now.

Three or four years ago I bought myself a Canon T3i DSLR camera and I haven’t looked back. I’ve been extremely happy to re-connect with my first love, photography, after many decades of estrangement. Not really estrangement, more like not being very involved. But I won’t go into that story now…perhaps a subject for another blog post.

A few months ago I was thinking about how I could put together my love of exploring Los Angeles, leading walking tours and photography. This blog has been great because it has given me a platform for showing my photos and talking about my favorite city, LA. And in the coming year I hope to do more of that. With all my commitments, hobbies and interests, sometimes it’s hard to find the time.

MeetUp is a great opportunity for people to organize groups of like-minded people. So I decided to jump in. That’s pretty much the story of my life. Oh, that sounds good. I think I’ll just jump in even though I don’t know what the heck I am doing! It hasn’t brought me much in the way of monetary fortune. But I have experienced a LOT of stuff. Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know… but too late now!

Anyway, yesterday I posted my group on MeetUp. It made sense to do my first walk around Culver City. It took me a long time to actually click on the button to post it. I almost didn’t do it. But I took a deep breath and clicked.

Then I waited. It was a horrifying experience as nobody signed up to join my group. I was devastated and went to bed feeling very depressed. We live in an era of immediate gratification and I respond accordingly. I was so embarrassed about this I didn’t even want to turn on the computer this morning. I had already decided I was going to take the group down and go crawl in a hole and never come out…

But I realized I had to face the harsh reality, no matter what.

Lo and behold, eight people had joined my group! During the morning more people joined. It is now 2:00pm and I have 12 people on the actual walk (the maximum) and millions** more as members. I have a waiting list. I’ve created a monster!!!!! (**I really don’t know how many members I have at this moment and it could be less than millions.)

Gosh! Who knows what will come of this? Maybe nothing. But if this is as far as it goes, that’s okay. I took a chance. And I feel good about it. That’s all that counts, isn’t it?

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

 


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Twenty one years old and still going strong – Culver City Art Group Annual Holiday Art Show

Culver City Art Holiday Art Show flyer

For the three of my followers who have been wondering what happened to my blog posts recently, this is part of the reason. I’ve been getting ready for the 21st Annual Culver City Holiday Art Show. One of my jobs with the art group is to design all the invitations/flyers and registration forms for the show plus manage and update the website at www.culvercityartgroup.com and generally oversee the “look” that we present to the public.

Plus, of course, I’ve been busy choosing. processing, printing and framing the photos that I want to exhibit. I’m also putting together (and printing) a portfolio of past work and making greeting cards.

And after procrastinating for two years (did I ever mention procrastination is my middle name?) I finally decided I needed to spend some serious time on a website to showcase my photography. That has been a daunting experience. With years of experience as a web designer and manager, you would think this would be the easy part. But just the opposite.

I chose a content management system specifically geared towards photographers as I thought this would be the easier road. But I am so used to making a website act and think the way I want it to that I had a terrible time getting my brain wrapped around somebody else’s thought processes. I am sure if I was inexperienced with building websites I would have had an easier time… you know what they say about the dangers of a little knowledge…

The domino effect of that situation was that I couldn’t make professional-looking business cards because I had no URL address to put on the cards.

My website is not ready for prime time at this point but I am making a major effort to be ready by the time of the show. I already ordered my business cards with the URL so that is a big incentive too.

As soon as I have all my ducks in a row, or at least some of the ducks, I will publish the website address on my blog. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be getting close to having a website and to be able to hand out business cards. I have no idea what, if anything, will come of all this but I do know that if I hide in the closet absolutely nothing at all will happen! So please stay tuned…

Ah, one of the other reasons I haven’t posted that much on this blog is because I have been working on my recent travel photos and posting to my other blog, www.onegoodlifetravels.com.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 


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The giant Cheetos Puff sighting on our way to the pier

shuttle fuel tank

My friend K wanted to ride the new Expo Line extension to Santa Monica on Sunday. After my experience on Friday (see post here) I warned her the train would be stuffed to the gills but she didn’t believe me. And she wanted to go anyway.

At the Culver City station I mentioned we really would be better off riding to downtown LA first so we would have a better chance at a seat on the train. The train to downtown arrived so we jumped on it.

Friday was a day of milestones in Los Angeles. Not only the first day of the passenger train all the way to Santa Monica, but also the day the external fuel tank for the space shuttle arrived at Marina del Rey after its journey from New Orleans through the Panama Canal.

As we neared the California Science Center I scoured Exposition Park just in case there was a sighting of the fuel tank. Sure enough, peeking through the trees I saw the giant orange Cheetos Puff.  We had a split second to make a decision to jump off the train before the doors closed, which we did.external fuel tank

Apparently it was being readied to be housed in a temporary enclosure so we were lucky to see it outside. A new museum is being built for the Endeavour shuttle where the shuttle will be displayed upright with the fuel tank attached. This is the only fuel tank in existence so Los Angeles was fortunate to receive it from NASA. It weighs 66,000 lbs. (about 29,937 kilograms) and is as tall as a 15-story building.

We decided to eat lunch at the Science Center as I could imagine finding a place to eat in Santa Monica would be next to impossible with the hoards of people arriving on the Expo Line. Since Trimana took over the restaurant at the Science Center (and Natural History Museum) they have a pretty decent menu.

And absolutely the best mushroom veggie burger in the universe. I was sure I had taken a photo of it on a previous visit but I can’t find it anywhere on my computer. So now I guess I have to go back soon to order another one so I can take a photo. Rats, a blogger’s work is never done!

We finally made it to Santa Monica. As I predicted, the train was standing room only. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon and who could resist a train trip to the beach?expo line

We could see that throngs of people were lining the pier so we didn’t even attempt it. As our tummies were already full we were happy to turn around after a short walk and ride the rails back to Culver City. As it was only early afternoon most people were still enjoying Santa Monica so we had no problem boarding the train.

expo line

As it had been a pretty hectic three days for me: Expo Line to Santa Monica opening day on Friday, a visit to the Los Angeles Zoo on Saturday (blog post coming up) and Sunday’s adventure, I was happy to get back to good old Culver City and my sofa!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!