Life and Arts

The Valley Line: Locals take part in scarf party, healing arts exhibit and gingerbread house contest

Justine Plocher, left, and Ravena Markarian admire a beautiful scarf at the Juniors’ holiday party.
(Courtesy of La Cañada Junior Women’s Club)

The La Cañada Juniors met at the home of Renu Samudrala for the club’s annual scarf exchange on Dec. 11. A lot of chatter, toasts and general good cheer were passed around. Everyone contributed to the dinner with appetizers, wine, main dishes and desserts.

The main attraction of the evening was the scarf exchange, done in a “white elephant” manner where the scarfs can be “stolen” from each other until the end of the game. Everyone went home with a beautiful new scarf.

Among those taking part in the fun were club President Jill Chapman, Stephanie Avanessian, Carmela de Brouwer Pinillos, Lynda Donaldson, Kathryn Enright, Gillan Frame, Brenda Gant, Kyle Grimes, Mun Gutmiller, Gayle Hagegard, Natalie Hubbard, Karen King, Sandy Kobeissi, Elizabeth Landswick, Melissa Lorenz, Sarah Lowe, Ravena Markarian, Trish McRae, Kricket Moles, Georgina Mueller, Kim Murphy, Tracey Nelson, Jane Owen, Analily Park, Jenny Pass, Alice Perez, Justine Plocher, Laura Plourde, Libby Shiner, Rima Sirrieh, Jennifer Stanton, Cathy Steward, Karen Thurston, Cheryl Trowbridge, and Vanessa Wittenberg.



The USC Verdugo Hills Hospital’s Healing Arts program held its second annual Holiday Art Exhibit Opening & Art Fair at the hospital on Dec. 11. Guests were able to do some early Christmas shopping at the artists’ tables that featured paintings, bookmarks and cards. I was happy to be among the artists who were presenting their works. Joining me were Leslie Salazar, Marijane Hebert, Cindy Porcell and Rosina Maize.

Artists Leslie Salazar, left, and Marijane Hebert were part of the USC Verdugo Hills Hospital’s holiday art show.
(Jane Napier Neely)

Greeting the guests were Keith Hobbs, chief executive of VHH, Julie Shadpa, associate director of development and Sue Wilder, past president of the hospital’s foundation board. Shadpa and Wilder co-chair the Healing Arts Committee.

It was a lovely reception honoring the artists and the importance of art for the well being of hospital patients, staff and visitors to the hospital.

I missed the fun, but I heard the inaugural gingerbread house contest at Lanterman House on Sunday afternoon was a rousing success, with 21 creative entries that wowed the judges. The entries were displayed in the museum’s visitors center throughout the annual holiday open house. I’m told everyone had a great time and that Montrose resident Nini Ong took the top prize, the Mayor’s Choice award. Congratulations to her and to the others of all ages who won in various categories.

Nini Ong, center, receives congratulations from La Cañada Flintridge Mayor Len Pieroni Sunday after being named the winner of a gingerbread house contest hosted by Lanterman House, with prizes awarded by Jane’s Cake and Chocolate Supply. Ong’s son Darren looks on.
(Carol Cormaci)


The contest also caught the attention of (and entry from) the Tiny Chef show, a stop-motion animated cooking show based in Glendale that has a presence on YouTube and Instagram. It features a little green character who does “tiny cooking.” Everything is in miniature and their entry was an adorable mini version of a traditional gingerbread house. This show has a huge cult following and fans showed up at Lanterman House to support Tiny Chef and “his” creation. They also bought tickets to cast votes in the contest, giving the show’s creation the People’s Choice award by a landslide!

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