Almost done with Spring Quaker

I know, showing the slow development of a cross-stitch project can be boring, but I’m sharing a few anyway.

I have to say, I am loving these little houses.

How quickly the houses grow.

You can’t quite tell, but I’m having a problem with this final lower left right corner… which is why I’m finishing everything else first.

I replaced one rabbit with a sheep, in this case, it’s a goose. I found both the sheep and the goose in a cross-stitch book from the 80s. Recently I was watching a Floss-tube where the women were talking about how a goose was such an 80s’ item in cross-stitch. So here is mine.

Also, I am very quickly basting and quilting this quilt, so it doesn’t just sit around.

I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t do all these crafts, they are so much a part of who and what I am.

Quilt retreat

It has been over three years, probably four since I went on any kind of creative retreat. SFVQA had their first retreat and we went to Temecula.

Up in the hills, surrounded by vineyards, is the Vina De Lestonnac center. Other groups with us appeared to be religious in nature. And yet, many quilters, stitchers and other fiber craft groups love to come here.

Turns out this is one of three retreat centers of the Sisters of Mary, started by Jeanne de Lestonnac back in France in the 17th c.

Vinyards all around.

I sat on this bench reading East of Eden. Yup, first time for me reading this book. I listen to a podcast, Close Reads, which is a wonderful way to get great insights into books. Really looking forward to the discussion about this one.

The hot air balloons go up at sunrise and at this point are all coming back down. I love hot air balloons. I’ve had the pleasure of being in them, and otherwise, just watching them glide through the air.

Old town Temecula is adorable, a little western town. Yup, I got olive oil and balsamic vinegar – yummy. We stopped in two quilt stores, at one, I bought nothing, at the other, I got a rotary blade – very necessary for the project you will see shortly. As well as a few more notions. some people went to a winery and came back buzzed and bearing gifts. Wine and bread with brie cheese in it – what a treat.

In October we are having a craft boutique, so I got to work, making these little jewelry bags.

They have little pouches for small items. I’ve made these at the holidays, and people love them. So what better item for a boutique, I have been making more since I got home. If there is a basket full of them, more will sell.

I won this pattern by Linda Ballard at one of our meetings. The print fabric was also from a meeting, someone dropped off boxes of fabric. The rest is from my stash.

I didn’t have enough of the grey background and I’m glad. I think using this other print really makes things pop.

Quilt top done in a day. Now I have two quilts I need to quilts, so I really should get onto it.

Here I am, proud of my work!

Yes, I will sign up for next year, I knew some of the women. I met others and deepened relationships. Retreats are wonderful. One of the best things was being cut off from the media. The Dodd decision came down and it wasn’t until Saturday that someone brought it up – me, I walked away and talked quilting with someone else.

All in all, a great weekend.

Rest of the exhibit

The Dress code exhibit continued. There is a large display case with cowboy boots. Not much explanation.

Just sharing two beautiful pairs, yes, there were some older ones, less fancy, I like the fancy.

Then on to the China Poblana. What has become a national dress, for ceremonies and dance. A white shirt, a highly decorated skirt, with a lot of sequins, so it sparkles and shines when dancing. Often the skirt would be lengthened either at the top or the bottom, or both.

Same outfit from the back. The shawl and hat are important parts of the ensemble, not sure that one dances with them.

More examples, and yes, the shirts have that lovely embroidery.

Then we get to the explanation of the name.

I got lazy, and just photographed the explanation. Yup, slavery was everywhere, and people were taken as slaves from all over the world. I knew that Manilla and Mexico had very close trade ties. Both being under the Spanish rule. Slaves being captured in Asia and Brought to Mexico – that was news to me. But not surprising news at all, such is the world.

And now, onto another small project of mine, I’m going on a quilting retreat, will also bring my cross-stitch, because I am completely addicted.

I had seen thread catchers online and made my own. The idea is that if I only use a little bit of one color, rather than throw the whole thread away, put it on the catcher, for next time I need that color. Problem is, I made this a little too small. Once again, online I saw a much better version.

I made a much larger one, with an embedded magnet for a needle minder and snaps to close it. That way the thread doesn’t get lost.

With a few threads.

All closed up.

And now, to bitch a little. One of the huge problems I’m having with the cross-stitch world is the amount of consumption of junk. I understand people who collect fine scissor, or even needle minders – they can be worn as pin. Although there is a limit. But now there is a trend to put all kinds of charms and doodads on things like scissor fobs. It’s too much. If you have one, fine, but 20?

I get it, if one has a floss-tube, which is just a channel on You Tube where you talk about cross-stitch – you need to share all kinds of things – like the 50 new starts, your haul – which means new stuff every week or so.

And then there is the one who virtue signals about not wanting to waste and certainly not use plastic – because it’s bad for the environment – that is until she sees a project bag that she can’t live without and yes, it has vinyl.

so yeah, spare me your woeness and your virtue signaling, not only Americans had slaves. And over consumption is a problem if you really care about the earth.

Dress Codes at the Autry

I was very happy to go back in person to the Autry museum in Griffith park. Every second Tuesday of the month is free, yes I took advantage of that.

The Autry has always been very good at putting exhibits of clothing, jewelry and other wearables. These aren’t high fashion, it’s what everyday people wear, or of course – natives or other minorities.

Interesting Intro.

Then to walk into the actual exhibit and be greeted by this wonderful crank operated Singer sewing machine. This predates the treadle and the need for a whole cabinet. This is simply a table top machine.

If you look at the right side of the photo – yes, they made wall paper out of denim greatly enlarged.

I read all the labels, and groaned at most of them – because these days, one can’t have an exhibit in a museum without a lot of woke interoperation. So can I point out what they missed! Every minority group gets a mention but not the Jews, not Levi Strauss nor the owner of a vintage clothing store in South Gate. Yeah, Jews get to be ignored.

Meanwhile I am impressed with these pants and shirt, both found encrusted in filth in mines in Nevada. This is what Jeans were first used for. This shows you how impressive Jeans are. At least 150 years old, worked to the bone and I can see hipsters today who would wear these in a minute.

Then they celebrated hippies in San Fransisco who decorated the jeans. Ok, I’ll give the hippies the credit for that. A tradition that continues to this day.

Next, the plaid shirt. And here the Pendleton factory gets great mention. I’m pretty sure this was worn by Clint Eastwood in a movie – so both plaid and Western. There were many other examples of how the plaid shirt evolves.

On to Hawaii. Sorry about the glare, I understand why this is behind glass. Oh and in the celebration of Hawaiian quilts (which I love) no mention that no one in Hawaii would make any quilt if the missionaries hadn’t shown up with their traditions.

A close up, you can even see that the red appliqué is wearing thin.

Most of the labels tried to figure out, when is it ok to borrow other cultures traditions and when is it not. So let me just say for the woke folk. If you take from White people – no problem, if a white person takes from a minority – then it’s cultural appropriation.

Love the Hawaiian shirt, have made many for Joel. A Japanese Hawaiian tailor developed it from the basic workers shirt – using leftover fabrics in his shop. Some nice kimono fabric, some just basic fun prints. Later of course many people would develop all kinds of fun Hawaiian fabrics.

A more modern quilt using all those wonderful Hawaiian fabrics.

I took this picture from the back. The different styles of fancy dress in Hawaii. I think my favorite is the 50s’ print.

Final section was fringe. Most of it was on leather clothes, there was a cotton dress, but mostly leather jackets. I will say here we have a wonderful example of two cultures creating something new. The fringe from the native Americans, all those beads – European. Yes, the natives quickly adopted the beads and made it there own – which is great. Years ago and exhibit here at the Autry was happy to mention that – these days – no, that goes against the woke.

Yes, I love the patriotism.

Here is a lovely example of fringe without the beads.

Just love this.

I’m pretty sure this is a ceremonial dress of a Cheyenne chief. Gorgeous. I’m pretty sure that those are bones hanging from the bottom of the tunic. You know, what they used before beads. So kudos to them, use all the traditions available to you.

Had to get a close up of the beading, I’m here for the beading.

So if you are in the LA area, get thee to the Autry. Next post, about another type of clothing, worth seeing.

The Cars

You know me by now, I love the antique car shows. Real steel art. I got that phrase from the Fest website about the car show.

they were curated by Cacho Customs. I guess people in the know are familiar with the company the retrofits or builds gorgeous cars. In this case , it was extreme lowriders

you can’t get any lower. I do not know if this is a built or a renovated car. There was a guy standing nearby who thought these were new builds. All I can say is WOW! And the colors, can’t say which is my favorite.

How about this cruiser. Yes, Eyal was dying to just climb in

So this is the Zephyr Cruiseliner. I found a YouTube show in Portuguese, I think it was dubbed from the English about the building of this beauty. Cacho Customs are up in Santa Maria CA. Anyway, at the end of the video they are driving this on the street, and it is this low – there are no hydraulics to raise it.

Love the purple, love the orange.

Another look at the orange truck as well as an old VW bus. The back shaved off, and turned into a low rider.

I always love a good old car show.

Another fun fair! Watermelon fest

Local to us is the watermelon fest. Over at Hanson Dam. So of course had to take kids and go.

Look what greeted us! Two camels. A Dromedary and a Bactrian. So which is which? The woman in line behind us informed us which is which.

Dromedary is one hump – look at the D, one hump.

Bactrian – two humps, B has two humps. That simple

ook at the beautiful watermelon carvings. Kudos to Mission collage, this is part of their Hospitality program. Nothing better than carving fruit decoratively.

There was a large tent (sorry, no picture) with slits in the side, and black gloved hands – hand our slices of watermelon. You can go back again and again, and yes we did. How iconic is this picture.

People dressed appropriately – there were plenty of dresses and shirts with watermelons on them. Sorry, this was the only picture I got. Some were bright, brash and in your face. Other has very small delicate watermelon slices on a white background.

Einav wouldn’t wear her hat, she wanted mine. So luckily there was a stall with a wide selection of hats, so guess which hat she wanted after that??? This is still the hat I arrived in, but boy, did she covet my new hat as well.

There was a reptile show. I couldn’t get a picture of the weird reptile that Eyal petted, because I was up there with him. I’ve tried finding a picture online, but for the life of me I don’t remember the name. Anyway, she pulls out the albino Burmese python -a baby btw, it will get much bigger. Eyal said: No way! I won’t touch a snake. Einav on the other hand has no fear…

another case of Einav having no fear, she went down this twice. Eyal climbed up and freaked out. I was willing to go down with him, but no, he panicked – so we walked down the stairs together.

Other rides were much more fun.

This was a ride they could do on their own.

Yishai was very good, he went on another ride with them

Then as we were exiting, each kid got a watermelon cupcake. One was green, one was red, with a lot of green and pink frosting. Oh and another slice of watermelon.

The Festival must have been much smaller when it started 50 years ago in Sunland – Tujunga. 9 years ago it moved to Hanson Dam recreation area and is now under the auspices of LA Parks and Rec. they support a number of non-profit organizations. A few years ago I saw a sign, after the fact. Then we had two years of nothing. So when I saw the sign a month ago I immediately let my sons know. They had gone previously to the Strawberry festival in Oxnard in the Spring. The difference? People sold strawberries outside the festival but other wise it was just a carnival. Here there we all kinds of watermelon related events. Apparently there is a fashion show where people dress up like watermelons.

Next post, the classic cars, one can’t have a fair without classic cars.

Graduation week

Eyal finished Pre-Kindergarden, he has a year to go before actual kindergarten but it was time for a ceremony.

All the kids marched in, wearing white shirts and dresses. Guess who marches to his own drummer. The teacher offered him a white shirt – he said no.

They sang songs.

As you see, each kid is doing their own thing.

Running to get his ‘diploma’.

Hey, don’t run away without a hug.

In the afternoon the bigger boys had an open house at their school. Sorry, I didn’t get a picture of Westleys’ class. Kudos to Cams’ class, they have just learned about Abraham Lincoln- all about how he freed the slaves. Thank God there are still school that teach really history – not the ugly recreation everyone is doing these days.

Yes, he was really exited about his song.

Spring Quaker

The second pattern I bought at the Attic. I went with blue linen, but they kitted it up for me.

The original linen is cream, the one change I requested was the blue stars, isn’t sure how they’d look on the blue linen, so we went with purple. There is a lot of brown. It is two different shades, but it’s still a lot. I was only given one skien of the darker brown, sure enough, I look at the pattern – it calls for 3 skeins. So I ordered more.

So instead of the alphabet being brown, I pulled out a darker blue from my stash.

The purple looks nice, some of the small elements were also, brown, I’ve switched them to red or navy. I like color.

There are a lot of rabbits

, I get it, for many spring means Easter and rabbits. I don’t mind the two twin rabbits but the others have to go. I want more variety.

The rabbits were edged with a grey thread, wouldn’t show up on the blue, so I switched to a tan. I found this sheep and a goose in an alphabet book. So with a few modifications, I created this sheep. This is the test sample up on a corner of my linen.

And here it is in place of one of the rabbits.

I worked on the handle of the basket. Plenty of frogging and restitching. And yet, it worked! As you can see, the straight brown line of stitching, matched up perfectly. sometime you can fudge things and sometimes you can’t.

I started this top back in March, these days I only knit when I get together with other knitters. I am very please with how this came out. The fit is perfect, and I love the stripes. Very cute simple T-shirt.

This was before I steam blocked it. Not seeing too much of a difference. I think it did smooth out the garment.

Finally, I made limoncell0 from the peels of my Meyer Lemons. Unfortunately the recipe is too sweet.

I am now infusing it with rosemary, I hope that helps.

The yard redo progresses very slowly

So we have a new back fence, the ground is prepped for the ‘grass’ and at some point someone will prep for the new plants.

It took some discussion, thankfully the neighbor agreed to split the cost with us. The neighbors behind us have their own fence that isn’t in great shape, but we didn’t need to discuss anything with them.

At the last minute, I ran outside to get the picture of the old fence that clearly is falling down.

When this fence was built, they already propped it up…. it wasn’t destined to last long.

fence gone, looking into the neighbors yard. Our grandkids visited, they wanted to run in there. Also, Jack and Maria sat in the evening and it was very nice just to chat. And yet, I like my privacy.

Putting up the posts. The old fence was put up with duct tape and a few nails

Buy Cialis Professional UK

, here they are concreting the posts in the ground.

Building the frame.

I’m looking here at the stump of an old palm tree we took out years ago. Yes, I am wondering, will they dig this out? When the tree was chopped down, I was told, oh in a few years it will just rot away. Clearly I didn’t pay much, because the tree removers didn’t feel that it was part of their job to remove the stump. It will be interesting to see what happens now. Yes, it has rotted away some, but its’ not gone.

The slats, ready to go. It is a very good thing I stayed home. We told the workmen many times, that the ‘front’ of the fence will face the neighbors yard. That was part of the agreement to get them to redo the fence with us. The workmen almost started doing it on our side. They were surprised when I said no, we get the back. But you know what? I’ll take the back if it means we have both a good fence and good relations with the neighbors.

The part went up very quickly.

This is what the backside looks like. Not bad.

Where the two fences meet. We are going to have all kinds of plants, so I’m not that worried. Life is full of compromises. I guess we could have paid full price and had the front facing us, I’d rather have good relations with the neighbors.

Hopefully things start moving a little more quickly. Everything these days just drags on.

I have been looking at outdoor furniture. I won’t be getting a full set, the couches are huge. I’m thinking two chairs and a table. This will be in the front yard. We have more shade there. I’ve rarely used the front. I may want something in the back, but will wait until its’ complete, to really get a feel for what I want. Also, it may be that seating area in the front and eating in the back may be what will be.

A visit to the LA county Fair

I’ve lived in LA for 32 years, you would think that I would have visited the fair sometime during those years. I’ve been to the Ventura Fair, I’ve been to the Calgary Stampede – it was time to visit the one closest to home.

I have been to the Fairplex, the large complex is used year round and I have been here for sewing and craft shows. But this was the first time at the fair itself.

100 Years!

You know me, I adore vintage cars and boy did they have some beauties.

This Cadillac could very well be in it’s original color – well update, but Cadillacs alway came in bright red.

This one won all the ribbons, not just at this fair. Clearly the color isn’t original but it is gorgeous! I have no problem with updating a classic.

Then there was a section of bikes and trikes, adorable and also, lovingly created.

Onto the crafts, one huge problem is the displays aren’t all that good. The cases are dark. I’m wondering, if since there wasn’t a fair for two years, and the date changed from September to May, if less people sent things in. Or is it that there are other shows? There were plenty of nice handmade items, and others that weren’t special in any way. Is it just the hokie-ness of a county fair?

This is by far my favorite for many reasons. It is mosaic, I LOVE mosaic, don’t think I’ll be doing much of it myself because it is hard on the hands, I’ll think I’ll be sticking to fibercrafts – which take their own toll.

The other reason why I love this reproduction of a Renoir, is because as a child, I had a painted reproduction of this picture in my home and I LOVED it. The little girl in the garden with the watering can and the gorgeous blue dress! I never looked anything like that, nor did I have such a lovely garden, but I love this picture.

The rides, the midway, all were there and all were busy. Sorry, no pictures. People watching was great, a lot of people, all ages, a real cross section of the county, walking around, enjoying, having a great day. The weather was perfect, high 70s, so warm, but not unbearably hot. My understanding is that the May is now the month for the county fair, it took a two year shutdown, for them to be able to reschedule the fair. One of the few good things about Covid.

The fair is also all about the food. And yes, it was all fair food, This is the only picture I took. There was a lot of deep fried things, there was BBQ, there were huge Turkey legs as well as cotton candy and all the other Fair fare. We did buy a baked potato and corn – super expensive but one of the few ‘healthy’ items we could find. We also went shopping, once again, was it because of the hiatus? But every hall had the same vendors, spas, BBQS, massage Chairs.

We did make a purchase, one of these large rotating umbrellas, as we redo the back yard I will need more shade, and I don’t want to build more pergola. So we bought this exact one, same color. I have already gone to look at some, and yes, prices at the fair are better than the stores.


, I stopped at the nail booth. For 130 dollars, you can buy the nail powder kit. You can see which nail was done with the magic powder. Didn’t buy, will probably have a hard time removing this. I no longer go to have a manicure – another casualty of Covid. But I have found an at home solution. I use Healthy Hoof on my cuticle. (Available from Amazon). This is used for horses hoofs and it works really well on human nails – makes them strong and long, I do the simple manicure myself.

You can’t have a county fair without animals. Hopefully this guys is on someones table in November.

Ahh! Sheep!

Peruvian goats. Nice long hair for living in the Andes. We missed the pig races – oh well. Also missed the Clydesdale parade, but did see the horses.

There were a ton of stuffed animals, both to win or simply buy. So here is the children ride area, and now I will say goodbye. I don’t think I I’ll be back for a while. It was fun, but thankfully there are plenty of other things to do as well.