Calling all fabulous brides!

The Festival of Brides — The Upscale Bridal Show, makes its 10th annual appearance at The Langham Huntington in Pasadena this Sunday with a variety of vendors and a special bridal gown runway show scheduled.

From event planning services to displays from floral designers and a peak at live entertainment to caterers’ food tastings, the festival hopes to offer everything a future bride will need, and want of course, for her dream day.

To make this show truly upscale, the Haute Couture Bridal Fashion Runway show will feature the 2010 bridal and evening gown collection by Ines Di Santo, courtesy of Jobyna’s Bridal Salon, and a special guest appearance by the designer herself.

A grand door prize of a trip to Divi Carina Resort, St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, will also be up for grabs.

More information and tickets are available at festivalofbrides.com or call 310-577-7788.

I will be attending the festival, and appropriately and coincidentally I am a future bride (yay!), so if you were not able to make it, check the blog next week for a rundown of the show.

Conan O’Brien on Pasadena public access? Take the deal Coco!

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Crown City News picks up this item on a hot new production deal for the currently unmoored Conan O’Brien: A gig on Pasadena public access.
Visitors to the “The Tonight Show” Web site can vote on a number of real-life job offers that have come across Conan’s desk since his ongoing break-up with NBC.
Besides taking the show to Pasadena’s public access channel, Conan’s other career-change options are:
  • Take show to Jewish Life TV
  • Dramatic role as IRA terrorist on FX drama “Sons of Anarchy”
  • Morning show sidekick on Y-94 in Fargo, North Dakota!
  • Star in a Pink Visual porno, “Conan the Bangbarian”
  • Appear on “Dancing with the Stars”
In good company, we are.
Currently, only 1 percent of voters think Pasadena’s the place to be for Conan.
(Getty Images)

Beauty in common: Roses and the Arts and Crafts movement

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Hot Cocoa, Strike It Rich, About Face and Betty Boop.
Feel free to judge a rose by its name — yes, those names above really belong to rose varietals — when rose hybrid master Tom Carruth delivers an illuminating lecture this weekend on “Roses and the Arts and Crafts Movement.”
Presented by Friends of The Gamble House, the second installment of its 2009-2010 lecture series highlights the work of Carruth, director of research at Weeks Roses in Pomona.
He will discuss the enduring symbol of the rose as it intertwines with the Arts and Crafts movement, and will share the secrets and future of rose hybridizing.
Pasadena is known as the “City of Roses,” and it earned this floral distinction for a reason. In his lecture, Carruth explains why the city is one of the best in the nation for rose gardening and suggests low-maintenance roses for our climate.
The Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th century was inspired by the writings of John Ruskin and a romantic ideal of the craftsman taking pride in personal handiwork.

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The rose — an enduring symbol of the romantic notions of the movement — is present in works such as William Morris textiles, stylized Charles Rennie Mackintosh furnishings and the “cottage” garden designs of Gertrude Jekyll.
Roses, like designs of the time, are carefully crafted and are seen as timeless symbols of an era of expert craftsmanship.
“Roses and the Art and Crafts Movement,” Saturday, Jan. 23, noon, Art Center College of Design, Ahmanson Auditorium, 1700 Lida St., members $20, general $25, students $15 Tickets: 626-793-3334, Ext. 52, www.gamblehouse.org or at the door.
(Photos courtesy Friends of The Gamble House. At top, Julia Child rose hybrid. Below, Wild Blue Yonder rose hybrid.)

Shop the Block: Old Focals, 45 W. Green St.


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Remember when your eyewear routine consisted of a trip to LensCrafters? (The horror!)
And then you discovered Old Focals, one of those Old Pasadena gems that’s so shiny and treasured even the L.A. crowd considers it worth the trip.
Owner Russell Campbell is a master of vintage frames, and he has a knack for matching his clients to a perfect pair of frames. (Kinda like an aura reading, but with glasses.)
Remember the last time you got an unsolicited compliment on your glasses? Well, you better get on that.
45 W. Green St., 626-793-7073, oldfocals.com


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(Photo by Walt Mancini / Staff)

Ambassador College 1969 yearbook

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On the heels of news that a 10-acre portion of the old Ambassador College property has been sold to a builder that plans to start constructing town houses there in 2011, Gawker Media’s women’s blog Jezebel shares this gem: Clips from the college’s 1969 yearbook.

The whole gallery of pages from the yearbook, called the ENVOY, is really worth checking out, particularly the entries on science and technology. Quoth the ENVOY:

“NEVER was the world like it is today! Gigantic leaps ahead in technology and certain sciences — men walking and cavorting about on the moon, yes — BUT, unsafe to walk on sidewalks here on earth. …

The principal contribution of Science and Technology has been the production of constantly more terrifying weapons of mass destruction. Pushbutton world? Yes, today either of two men could push a button and destroy two whole continents, probably ending in the extinction of mankind!”

The liberal-arts college was rooted in the evangelical tradition of the Worldwide Church of God. Its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong, preached very non-mainstream beliefs. From a 2003 Star-News article:

Armstrong believed, for instance, that Jesus Christ will return to Earth to assume the throne of England, where he’ll reign in peace and prosperity forever.

He also preached that members earned salvation through their commitment to the Old Testament law. Christ may have died for the sins of the world, he taught, but acceptance of his death wasn’t enough. The believer must also obey Christ. …

Obedience was Armstrong’s key to qualify for God’s grace, and in the former Worldwide Church of God parlance that meant following the rules.

As with Orthodox Jews, members didn’t eat “unclean” things such as pork and shrimp. They observed all the Jewish festivals in the Old Testament and celebrated the Sabbath on Saturdays. Members were discouraged from voting, serving in the military, marrying after a divorce, relying on doctors, using cosmetics, or observing Christmas, Easter or birthdays.

The emphasis on obedience was apparent in some of the headlines from the church’s newsletter.

“HOW YOU DRESS FOR CHURCH Could it keep you out of the KINGDOM?”

“OUR LIGHT IS SHINING! and not the cosmetics on our faces.”

After Armstrong’s death in 1986, the church dropped the controversial teachings.

A report by Janette Williams in tomorrow’s Star-News will have more details of the sale and building plans, which revived what had seemed to be an interminably delayed real-estate development.

(Photo via Jezebel)

Shop the block: Il Teatro, 54 S. De Lacey Ave.

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Skip the chaos of retail on Colorado Boulevard (you know, the hordes descending on H&M and Forever 21).

A little off the beaten path, but not too far, and directly across from the De Lacey parking garage is Il Teatro, which is not a shop for opera glasses, but rather an exquisite women’s clothing and accessories boutique.

Stock up on wardrobe staples or add some sparkle a la bohme to your special occasion.

You’ll do it all without busting through the budget you’d normally keep at those other warehouse-esque stores.

54 S. De Lacey Ave. 626-796-2313


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(Photos by Walt Mancini / Staff)

A sky-high bonus for BCS fans — and anyone who cares to look up

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A fun tip from the Twitter feed run by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory: The International Space Station will make a visible pass from 5:23 p.m. to 5:28 p.m. tonight, heading from southwest to northeast.

It’s just a stellar “added bonus for those attending tonite’s BCS game.”

If you can stand to look away from the early action on the field, definitely glance toward the sky during those five minutes for some extra excitement.

How will you know what to look for? Here are some guidelines from the Hayden Planetarium in New York:


“Because of its size and configuration of highly reflective solar
panels, the space station is now, by far, the brightest man-made object
currently in orbit around the Earth. On favorable passes, it can appear
as bright as the planet Venus …”

While the ISS looks like a moving star to the unaided eye, those who
have been able to train a telescope on it have actually been able to
detect its T-shape as it has whizzed across their field of view. Some
have actually been able to track the ISS with their scope by moving it
along the projected path. Those who have gotten a good glimpse describe
the body of the Space Station as a brilliant white, while the solar
panels appear a coppery red.
For evening passes, the ISS will usually start out rather dim and then
tend to grow in brightness as it moves across the sky.”

Want to know when other spacecraft will be flying overhead? There’s an app(let) for that.

(Getty Images)

Shop the block: Onesipkim, 110 W. Green St.


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Onesipkim owner Kim Madolora’s wares speak boldly for themselves in a shop with clean design, gentle pops of color and spacial harmony.
You’ll find worthy picks from Rachel Pally, Ella Moss, Andrea Brueckner, Trovata and more.
110 W. Green St., Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m., 626-396-4926, onesipkim.com

(Photos by Walt Mancini / Staff)


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Shop the block: The Sofa Company, 100 W. Green St.

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The Sofa Company‘s Pasadena showroom is housed in the historical framework of the old Friend Paper Company building.

The mid-century modern design — with accordion-pleated roof and huge walls of glass — feels like an open invitation to plop down and put your feet up for a while.

And, if you like the seating arrangements enough, you can bring one home with you.

While you’re furniture shopping, pop into the Pappa Rich Korean pastry shop and cafe, new to the historic 1960s building. (It fills the vacancy left by the Daily Grind coffeehouse.)

100 W. Green St., 10 a.m.-8 p.m., 888-778-7632, thesofaco.com

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(Photos by Walt Mancini / Staff)

At this Pasadena museum, bunnies are serious business

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Things you will find at the Bunny Museum:

  • Bunnies, numbering 24,000, arranged by theme
  • Practical bunnies: salt-and-pepper shakers, bookends, shampoo bottles, tables, table settings, shower curtains
  • Playful bunnies: plush bunnies, Elvis bunnies, M&Ms dressed like bunnies
  • Living bunnies
  • A cactus that looks vaguely like bunny ears

Things you won’t find at the Bunny Museum:

  • Playboy bunnies
  • Mean bunnies, vile bunnies or vulgar bunnies. “It has to be cute,” Candace Frazee, owner of the home-slash-museum, says.

1933 Jefferson Drive, Pasadena, call the bunny phone to make an appointment, 626-798-8848, thebunnymuseum.com

Click into the magazine to read the full story and scroll down for more photos.


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(Photos by Walt Mancini / Staff)