Friday, December 12, 2014

The Paramount Ranch


A bank is a place that will lend you money
if you can prove that you don't need it.
~Bob Hope 

Last month, my pastel group planned to meet at the Gillette Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains, which is run, in part, by the National Parks. One of the Rangers told me that the Paramount Ranch, was just 10 minutes up the Road! I knew I was too close, not to go. so, after I packed up my plein air art supplies, I headed over. I'm so glad I did, and it was the perfect time of day. Just before magic hour!

I had heard about the place, for years, and that movies and television shows had been shot there since the late1920s, when Paramount Pictures bought 2,700 acres of the old Rancho Las Virgenes. 

The Paramount Ranch

"For 25 years, a veritable who's who of Hollywood practiced their craft at Paramount Ranch, including director Cecil B. Demille, and actors Bob Hope, Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert. The diverse landscape was the real star of the show. It offered film makers the freedom to create distant locales such as colonial Massachusetts in The Maid of Salem, ancient China in The Adventures of Marco Polo, a South Seas island in Ebb Tide (1937) and numbers western locations including San Francisco in Wells Fargo. The art of illusion was mastered on the landscape."

From 1957 to 1980, the ranch changed hands several times, but the shooting continued. In 1980, the National Park Service took over a portion of the ranch property and it's run by them today. And yes, it's still used by various studios and production companies today. 

A couple of tidbits ... from 1992 to 1997, Paramount Ranch was used for Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. And, apparently Warren Beatty used it in one of my favorite films, Reds. (1981)

I like a man who can run faster than I can.
~Jane Russell

There'll always be an England.
Even if it's in Hollywood.
~Bob Hope 


I mostly photographed around the other visitors, that were there. No film was being shot, that day. Well, no movies or T.V. shows. There were several still photographers there with families. I am pretty sure they were taking family Christmas photos.

Here's Roy Rodgers in "Son of Paleface" shot on the Paramount Ranch ...

I remember watching these movies on the weekend afternoons. I loved Jane Russell and Bob Hope. Here's a trailer from The Paleface (1948) shot on the Paramount Ranch.

Publicity can be terrible.
But only if you don't have any.
~Jane Russell

In moments, the afternoon light was glorious. This all is in Los Angeles, by the way.

Heading east toward home on Mullhulland Drive. I pulled over to take a couple of photos.

Official site of the National Park Service Paramount Ranch

When we recall the past,
we usually find that it is the simplest things, 
not the great occasions, that in retrospect
give off the great glow of happiness.
~Bob Hope

Hope you are enjoying a beautiful December!
Blessings and light

Friday, December 5, 2014

A Fall of Romance ~ A Winery, The Pacific and an Airplane Hangar

Love is the energy of the soul.
Love is what heals the personality.
There is nothing that cannot be healed by love.
There is nothing
~Gary Zukav

It seems these days, that weddings are planned a year in advance. Going into 2014, I knew I had one wedding to attend in the spring. My cousins wedding. Turns out as Spring rolled around, I found out I'd have another one to attend in September, and as summer came to an end, I knew I'd have another in November ... and then another! 

They were all beautiful and completely unique to each couple, so I thought I'd share some photos. After all, at occasions like these I take hundreds of photos. These are just a few to give you the feeling of each special day.

At The Winery 
The Tyner Wedding
The Old Place and Cornell Winery


I chose an acoustic version of the song below, because family members sang it at the "hanger" wedding, but we'll get to that later! ;) Please press play.

The arrival of the bride and groom in his refurbished vintage truck!

Their vows were said out in front of the winery, on a warm September evening ...

The purpose of relationship
is not to have another who might complete you,
but to have another with whom 
you might share your completeness.
~Neale Donald Walsch

Cherish yesterday,
Dream tomorrow,
Live today.
~Richard Bach
Jonanthan Livingston Seagull

It was all very moving. I have known the groom for 30 years and the bride is a fabulous lady. They are a very cute couple! (I might have mentioned I unloaded a boatload of Italy info on them, for their honeymoon!)

By the Ocean
The Wilcox Wedding
The Embassy Suites
Oxnard, California

Where there is great Love
there are always 
~Willa Cather

The wedding felt truly blessed by the beautiful sunset ...

At this wedding, I'd known the groom's family since before he was born! Our families are very close and his sis is my oldest friend, and a sister to me. It felt wonderful that we were all together to share the moment and the couple's beautiful evening.

The Airplane Hanger 
The Rubottom-Pluta Wedding
Oxnard Airport, California

This wedding was just last weekend!

The groom flew in on a helicopter, in his tux, with an oversized martini glass, to the theme from James Bond playing over the speakers ...

I have known the Groom since I was a little girl (friends with my parents) and he was now marrying my Aunt!

The bride (my Aunt) and Bridesmaids (my cousins) taxied up to the ceremony, in a friend's airplane.

The couple's nephews on both sides (I'm related to all but two) were the "secret service/bridal party."

The moment you have in your heart
this extraordinary thing called love
and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it,
you will discover that for you the world is transformed.
~Jiddu Krishnamurti

The groom's family sang ... it was so beautiful. I got all weepy! Here is only a bit of it I caught on my iPhone, between taking photos!


The bride and groom in front of his plane ...


And the reception was in his airplane hanger. 

The heart that loves
is forever young.
~ Greek proverb

Weren't they all beautiful and unique weddings? I have never been married, but if it ever happens, I love that they made the celebrations so special to them, and I would want to do the same - Make it completely personal. 

I had a conversation with a friend who is in her 40s and she'd talked about missing "that whole thing." (marriage, love, partnership) So, I told her about these weddings. The couples were in their 30s, 40s and ... well, older than 40s. ;)  You never know what life will bring. It doesn't have to be marriage but ... surprises can come when you least expect them!

Here are the website links:
Cornell Winery
The Old Place
Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach
Oxnard Airport

Fashion Fun
O.K., on to a lighter note, I don't usually do this but many of you know that I love dressing up. I kind of get a theme going in my head. Sometimes, it comes from the venue, but often it's just from the dress. (you can click on the them to enlarge.) And ... I love a bargain.

The Winery ... 
Lined cotton voile, watercolor print, by Calvin Klein. (It was about 105 degrees that day.)
Some people were in cowboy boots, so I went a little "country girl" but wore metallic pink stripy espadrilles from American Rag Company, a million years ago. Didn't get a better shot of the dress, but it was a little flared to just below the knee. Hat was borrowed. I will try to download a better shot.

The Beach Wedding ...
If it was summer, on the beach, I would have gone another whole direction, but I went with a little silk dot, number by BCBG. (We were actually on grass, not sand.)
Kind of ended up as a bit of a 1940s look ... but shorter. Nude fishnets. The jacket and onyx necklace are vintage. My hair was all set and cute ... for about the first 10 minutes. 
I had hopes for those hot rollers, but as you can see, they were no match for sea air. 

The Hanger Wedding
That's me, in the middle obviously, in a cousin sandwich. The dress is by Top Shop and was hand beaded, with little rhinestones. Sort of "mini dress/Gatsby" number. 
The Tights look white but ...

They are white and silver fishnets, that sparkled. And the shoes are swing dance shoes, I bought online, and are reproductions of a 1920s shoe. Fun huh? Set my hair overnight this time, and it held slightly better, but it was damp so ...

Anyway, ALL my dresses were bought re-sale on Melrose, for under 30 bucks. Just saying. You don't have to spend a lot to wear cute, well made, frocks! And most people don't wear dressy dresses that many times. The last dress still had all the tags on it! The original tag said 185 Euro!

There are a million re-sale shops in L.A. from Crossroads Trading, to Wasteland and Buffalo Exchange, as well as high end vintage and re-sale.

Anyway, I have fun with it. Life is a costume party! ;)

Look to this day, for it is life, the very life of life.

In its brief course lie all the realities and verities of existence.
The bliss of growth, the splendor of action, the glory of power.

And yesterday is but a dream, 
and tomorrow is only a vision.
But today-
well live, makes every yesterday,
a dream of happiness,
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore to this day.
~Sanskrit proverb

Blessings and light!
Happy December!