First project I made on my Featherweight.

I was itching to sew on my new/old sewing machine.  Last year I saw pictures from Houston Quilt Market, one of them was an adorable cat made by Funky Fiber Factory. I found the pattern in a quilt store in Las Vegas. I was so anxious to start, I made some mistakes sewing the head together. Luckily I was able to remove the ears and recut some of the face pieces.Still awkward looking, but this is correct.Interesting construction on this one. I had to read the instructions very carefully. Some things weren’t clear, but reading slowly, really stopping and paying attention, paid off. So how was it working on the Featherweight? Interesting. Irene had told me that there is no reverse. I guess by 1948 they included a reverse stitch, I found this out by accident, very lucky accident.

Like any new tool, I need more practice, most of the seams I was sewing are curved seams. I had to rip out quite a few and resew them. Every machine has its own temperament. All in all, I think this is a wonderful little machine, we just need to get better acquainted. Here he is, all sewn together, just waiting to be stuffed. Then it was time for pictures, I decided to combine a Sunday walk with pictures of the cat.After a horrible heat wave with a massive local fire, we had cool overcast weather on Sunday. So off to Lake Hollywood, we went.  Yes, I got smiles and interesting looks, kitty didn’t stay put in the bag.He came out to walk himself.To lord it over all those dogs that aren’t allowed here.To climb on pipes. He had to stop on the walkway on the Mulholland Dam, everyone needs to pose with the Hollywood sign in the background. A father and son stopped to admire him, I told them he already has a special home to go to. You got it, he is going to my fifth grandchild. Here he is looking down, lording it over the dogs.So I guess certain dogs are allowed here after all.Posing with Smokey. Very good advice indeed! Especially since the Hills on the valley side are one fire.

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Local festival

In the morning I had a baby shower at my house for a dear friend’s daughter. This will be her first grandchild. Sorry, not many pictures, but I can assure you, a great time was had by all.

Then in the afternoon, I went to a community festival.I really love how neighborhoods are doing these kinds of things, I also love dancing kids. Oh and that long shadow? That is me, the days are getting shorter, the shadows are getting longer.This location is where the farmers market takes place every Sunday. So the merchants are used to the crowds, many of them simply put some of their wares out in front. The police and fire department were there, I gravitated towards the beautiful classic cars.Even this one, which has deliberately been left in it’s arrested decay state.Some people love to show off their engines. Others are showcasing pickup trucks in colors that didn’t exist when they were made. Who can resist a deep purple truck?The crafts people were all small and local. Macrame has made a comeback.What a creative way to build a display.No, the sewing machine wasn’t for sale. The lovely woman was selling handmade belts and pouches. Her dad owns a repair shop, so he has many old machines, and this one is the one she uses. Darn, why didn’t I get his name???Rope baskets are becoming a thing at craft fairs. All of my friends have made at least one of these.

Now these are dream catchers.Mexican beading and yarn art.The prices were very reasonable. As much as I love supporting other crafters, if it’s not something I really love, I won’t be buying. I do hope that this was the first of many such events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Leah

Palos Verdes

The Santa Monica bay is very large. At one point that is where people wanted to build the port. Good thing they didn’t for two reasons, it’s actually not deep enough and now it is simply a beautiful bay. Sorry San Pedro and Wilmington, you ended up with the big industrial port.On Sunday we were invited to a birthday brunch at the Terranea resort. This is the old location of Marineland – a precurser to the many Sea Worlds out there. Although Marineland closed down in 1987, this resort wasn’t completed until 2009. Which leads me to think that these tiles were made deliberately to look old and worn. Knowing what I know about tiles, that wasn’t a good choice, it simply makes them look cheap. Since this style of tile would have been with the different colors of clay running through, at least a couple of millimeters. Oh well, how many people really look down at the floor they are walking on?Or look into a golf cart to see a Harris Hawk, hood on and all waiting to do his job.If it weren’t for his handler, I wouldn’t have known the breed. But he is there for bird abatement. He will fly over many parts of the resort, keeping the and sea gulls away – just with his presence. I did see the handler pull out a dead bird from the cooler and tear off a chunk. Even hawks don’t work for free. He needs to eat and be rewarded. No pictures of that, some people get very squeamish about real nature at work.Brunch was lovely, afterward, we changed into walking clothes and shoes and just started walking around. Palos Verdes is on cliffs high above the ocean, there are very few places that actually have a beach. Because of the different directions of wind and such in the bay, Santa Monica and Venice have very wide expanses of sand, Palos Verdes, at the southern tip, has none.

I am no geologist, but this cliff has fascinating stories to tell, of how it was created and now how it is being worn away.One thing PV has that most of LA doesn’t have, is this marine layer. On a hot July day, the clouds are hanging low in the sky. The piling is one of the few left from the Marineland days. We walked on, away from the resort and along the bluffs, enjoying the views.Even looking back down on Terranea.My love of Light houses was rewarded. Even if I don’t go in, seeing a light house up on a cliff makes me happy. This is Point Vicente Light house, that operated from 1926 until 1939. Today all the duties of a light house are done electronically, so they are historic relics of what boats had to contend with in the past. I still love them and hope that they are kept in good condition for visitors to see.This one still has the Fresnel lens, which was very powerful at the time it was installed, it could be seen 20 miles out to seeunless the fog got too thick and then the fog horn would blow.Today the danger is from the land much more than the sea. I love how the sign says: Don’t even think about it! Sadly, every few years, either accidents or stupidity happens and someone gets killed falling down these cliffs to the rocky beach below. Not far from this sign there was one of those shrines, candles and plastic flowers. No name but the relatives of the deceased must still come by.

One last look at the light house and back to our car we went.

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Leah

Judson Glass studio

What alerted me to the South Pasadena Art Walk was a post on the Judson Studio FB page. I love this 130 year old family owned company. I especially love the fact that they continue to develop and grow. They recently took on a major project, a massive Stain Glass wall in a Church in Leawood Kansas. Here is a short video of part of the process. Throughout the years of this project they shared photos and videos on their FB page, worth going back and taking a look.

Because of this project they needed more space, which they found in walking distance from their century old headquarters.Leaded glass as door decoration.The Leawood church forced them into a whole new way of creating stained  glass. Working with an expert they moved into the realm of fusing glass, not just painting. This allows for a whole new world of color and vibrancy.This piece does not need the separation of the lead, but combining the old techniques with the new is part of what Judson is doing today.

They get all kinds of commissions, from private homes, Churches, large public installations. They are often called in to repair old stained glass. The lead gets very weak after 100 years. What is fun is that they have gone back to repair work they had originally installed.

A project they are working on now, for a monastery in Wyoming. The monks are building it all by themselves. They sustain themselves with a beer brewery and a distillery, in Europe it used to be wine, so why not update the spirits here.This is 100% traditional stained glass technique. Each piece of glass will be separated by lead, first,they draw in the shading with gray or black,  they paint in the colors. In some cases, the glass is colored glass upon which they paint in the shading.Not only are the techniques very old, the subject matter is very traditional. When completed this will be transported to Wyoming and from that point on, only monks in the monestary will be able to enjoy this beauty.They had a full scale cartoon on the wall, this is a large commision. One piece is already complete and was hanging in their window.

On the second Thursday of every month they lead a tour of both facilities. I can’t make it in August but most certainly will be going in September. So look forward to an even longer disertation about glass and this wonderful family run business here in Los Angeles.

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Leah

Art Walk as community activity

It all started years ago with the Downtown LA Art walk where once a month the new galleries on Spring St. would stay open late one night a month. Soon it became a big festival, with food, music, and hoards coming down for the event.

So other cities took notice, some of the smaller ones simply took the name. On those nights businesses stay open late, a few craft booths will appear and maybe some street music. I found out about one happening in South Pasadena, so on a lovely balmy Saturday evening off we went. People used to talk about LA as being a bunch of suburbs in search of a city. Those people were too snobish to actually go and find out that many of these small communities have a lot of civic pride. As you can see in the window, an early ostrich farm was part of the growth of this little town.A three seater on a merry-go-round?  Maybe for three small children.I love how these small towns have the clock in the center. There was a time when owning a wrist watch was something only wealthy people could afford. So having public time pieces was very important.Especially next to the train station. In France our group kept pronouncing the word as Garrrrrrr. It’s fun to see a little street named: The street of the Station. What once was part of the vast Trolly car system, is now part of the Metro Gold line.  It goes from Boyle Heights all the way to Azusa and is well used.The local nursery/design studio was offering free wine and music. As well as showing off their wares, such as these wonderful Talavera style ceramics.I would love to be able to use some of these tiles around the house. These are quality!

There were some craft booths, all the stores were open, street musicians set up on the corners. Families strolled around, enjoying the evening. We found a lovely restaurant with a patio for a nice Al Fresco dinner.I have to conclude with some arrested decay. There are a number of old brick buildings here, it was fun to see the stucco peeling, just to reveal older stucco.

I’m happy to say, my own nieghborhood is having such an event in a few weeks. I’ll be sure to go!

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Leah

Busy Weekend

It’s amazing how much there is to do here every weekend. I set out on Saturday to see a small California Pottery show.It really wasn’t very large. Mostly antiques with a very big emphasis on Bower Pottery. I was immediately informed that what I’ve been buying is a new iteration, new owners, even if many of the designs are similar.I’m not a collector, so although I enjoyed looking, I wasn’t buying.I’m glad I can share a picture of this rabbit with my friend. She does the rabbit-rabbit thing at the beginning of each month. At $600, a picture will suffice.For me, an owl, I’m wondering if that deep green turquoise is one of the glazes that is too toxic to make today?How about this crude unglazed owl?There were a few contemporary artists, I would have loved to buy this totem pole.Instead, all I could afford was a nice new coffee mug.

If you think Pasadena was a quiet, sleepy town on that Saturday morning, think again.Although it was 90 degrees, all the cyclists were out, Green street was blocked to traffic, clearly, some people came prepared.I’m amazed that I caught this shot.Oh, and inside the convention center, there was a girls’ dancecompetitionn. On the convention center floor, where I’m used to seeing vendor booth there was a stage and lights. It was fun seeing the girls in their shiny costumes.

Then On Sunday, it was time for a belated mother’s day hike with my boys.There was construction on Sunset Blvd. so we couldn’t go up Kenter Ave, we went up Mandeville Canyon instead and entered the fire road from here.Very helpful people on this trail.Three miles up and we are looking over at the Nike Missle site on dirt Mulholland, you can’t drive there, it’s a hike.Ok, I was using my telephoto lens in the previous picture. It’s not that close. But one of these days it would be worthwhile to hike from the valley to the city and Uber back. The reason I’d go that direction is because it is downhill most of the way.

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Leah

Walking as exercise

I’m not getting any younger. My doctor says I need more exercise, he is right and at some point, I might even go to a gym. Right now I’m using my stairs as aStairmasterr and getting out and walking the local hills.Here I am, going up Sunswept St. The hills have turned golden, it looks like I’m far from the city.I’m right above Carney’s on busy Ventura Blvd.I often wonder if the city would allow these steep winding streets to be built today, probably not. It is fun to see the funky creativity up here.The more modern gates I see, the less creativity. Some carpenter had a lot of fun here.There were quite a few trucks up here, people are refurbishing their homes. Well not everyone. A doorway to an empty lot.I always stop for arrested decay, I think this may have been part of a gate mechanism.Here you can see the slope of the street. I guess you can call this recycling, patching together a car from many parts.A few days later, I was off to the Northwestern part of the valley. A large lovely park, O’Melveney Park. What used to be a private ranch with a lot of old fruit trees. Many people out hiking and enjoying this park which was gifted to the city years ago.It’s not quite June, but we are getting the marine inversion layer already. An old crabapple tree.A thistle. A lot of plants are blooming and the poison oak is out in force. That probably has to do with the rains we’ve had.This is what I call very good design! Water that is reachable by adults, people in wheelchairs, children and dogs!

So yes, this is a very enjoyable way for me to get my exersize.

 

 

 

 

Leah

Garden tour in Pasadena

It’s spring, it’s time for garden tours. Sort of like home tours, but only of the garden. Pasadena has some amazing homes and estates, luckily many of them have a real interest in gardens. I’ll be breaking this post up, not in any particular order. I’m starting with roses.A number of the gardens had very impressive roses, give them water and they grow extremely well in Southern California.I really had to edit down my rose pictures, don’t want to bore you to death.Also, in the case of these flowers, they also had a lovely scent. Something that has been bred out of so many rose hybrids.People around me knew all the names, there are serious gardening people on these tours.Me, I love gardens but I’m not a horticulturist.Sometimes a rose is a very simple thing.At the Wentworth house, concrete was reporposed back in 1995, long before it was popular to do so. Here, a traditional use as paving stones.Also used for a patio and pillars. The whole property used to be covered in concrete….  yeah, I don’t understand some people.I tried to capture other decorative elements from the hardscape.This reading fellow is part of the house.The tiles are embedded in the walkways.Love the lion.Many of these gardens have outdoor rooms, this must be the original chia pet.Metal sculpture as a planter…… as part of the fence…… or a lamp.

More to come tomorrow.

 

 

Leah

Rockhaven – arrested decay.

The tour continues, with things I love, arrested decay. The decay is getting to be quite a problem, not clear if they will be able to save all the buildings. For now, I’m enjoying it.Untreated wood will rot, whether outside or in.Paint is a barrier, but even it peels and the wood is exposed to the elements.Creating a whole new beauty. Tile fairs much better, unless it’s in the ground and the water leaves stains and marks on it. In the bathrooms the tile is well protected. Tile details from the 1930’s is small yet wonderful. Notice how each little strip is different. The larger color tiles are cheap, it’s that fine detail that pulls it all together.

These days I love going through open houses, all the modern houses are  full of granite and marble. I miss the tile.The metal work, the curves! the detail. The brickwork, also curving. It just makes my soul sing. Hopefully, all of these details helped the women, gave them a sense of peace, regardless of their mental situation.A little griffin on top of an outdoor light fixture.A door handle that wasn’t replaced.Statuary used to abound.  The man who created this worked for Gladding McBean, so he knew clay!  A woman basking in the sun, I don’t think nude sun bathing was allowed, except in sculpture form. Here as part of a birdbath. Many more sculptures are now in storage, all of this was part of a relaxing southing atmosphere.Rocks abound and rocks are used. Another birdbath. A restful retreat all made out of Faux Bois, that Concrete made to look like wood. All the rage in the 1930s. A gardener worked here to make this location a real oasis, I wonder if there was water and a pond. I bet there was.

I sincerely hope that this gem is saved and finds an adaptive reuse. Not everything can, but this would be a loss. Meanwhile, if you have a chance, check the website and see if you can join a tour. They are now giving them once a month, as well as things like Mother’s Day tea and other such events.

I love it when locals band together to save what is unique in their communities.

 

 

 

Leah

Rockhaven

Thanks to the LA Conservancy, a number of docents went on a tour of Rockhaven. What and where is Rockhaven?It is a former sanitarium for women in the Crescenta Valley. We are talking the very northern part of Glendale and Los Angeles, beyond the Verdugo hills.  The facility closed in 2006 because it simply couldn’t be brought up to code, being on a hillside, with many stairs, narrow pathways, and decaying buildings.In the 1920’s, Agnes Richards, a nurse who worked in mental hospitals decided to make a big change. She came to the Crescenta Valley where many sanitariums already existed and created a dignified homelike setting for women with mental illnesses. The whole place was for women and run by women. The Rose cottage was the first of many on the compound.Early buildings were in the craftsman style, here is one with a screened in rock porch. Rocks being very very plentiful here. Other buildings were built in the Spanish revival style.Got to love a docent with a parasol. Joanna heads Friends of Rockhaven, an organization trying to save this place.  Since 2007 the property has been owned and maintained by the Parks dept. of the City of Glendale. They are now in negotiations to turn this into a park/shopping area. I hope they succeed. 1930’s Spanish revival means tile.
Inside are many objects from the past. The Murphy Beds were not used by the patients, but by the nurses that lived here. Details on some of the light fixtures.An old tray that would get a nice price at an antique store.Crochet doily probably made by one of the women. Handcrafts were a big activity here. Reminds me of a job I had in Israel. It was a day center for seniors – they would come in for activities. One thing we did was have them knit, crochet, and create all kinds of handcrafts that were sold in a shop. The proceeds went to buy more materials. The exact same thing happened here.Among the objects saved are items owned by the residents, of course, some of the items aren’t that old. Or am I dating myself? That round orange object as a shaver, for legs, from the 80’s. I had one of those!Many items are in storage, a few are out on display, the hope is to have a museum in one of the buildings and much more will be shared.

This post is getting long, so I’m going to split it in two….

 

 

 

Leah