The other grandkids

No they didn’t come to the zoo with us. Instead, we went and got frozen yogurt!

Shira is usually much more photogenic, she still is adorable.

I mentioned chickens. Our Temple has two chicken coups, one near the nursery school and one near the school. So Aytan was intrigued by the chickens both on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur I brought some snacks along for him. He immediately took the potato chips and fed the chickens. So that gave me an idea. I called up my friends Burt and Marsha, the ones who hosted that amazing dinner. They have a ‘back 40’, a fabulous garden, in it are chickens.

Aytan and I went to feed them! What is nice is that they not only have a coup, they fenced an area around it for the chickens to roam. Here is the one brown chicken.

Aytan is trying to approach her, she got scared!

The other four are a beautiful black blue color. Burt keeps all the kitchen leftovers for the chickens. these are not only free range, they eat extremely well. Every two week he rakes out the yard and it goes on the compost pile. the leftover, the chicken poop, it all helps the compost that then goes to the vegetable patch.

sitting watching the chickens eat. This is so good for Aytan. This past year was so hard, sure he enjoyed just being at home, but he really needs the socialization of his special needs school. Having the chance to be with animals is a very soothing thing.

Thank you so much Burt! I know that they enjoy the company as well. Their grandchildren are older now, and they do enjoy sharing their bounty with other kids. Burt sent home 12 eggs, 4 of them Aytan helped collect. Aytan’s mom is quite the baker and I think Aytan may have had an egg for dinner that night.

So blessed to have my family near by and good friends as well.

Leah

Gone all week

I know, I didn’t post at all last week. It was a hard week, between holidays and the awful recall election. I wasn’t in the mood. So anyone who wants to see what happens when the far left takes over a state – come to CA. 100 million dollars spent on negative ads about the recall. No one could actually name anything good the Newsom did. That is because, like any dictator – its’ about taking advantage for his and his cronies good while destroying the state. Oh and fraud, I know, we aren’t supposed to talk about fraud – but it’s been going on in CA for years and now it’s out in Federal elections. So I just go on, trying to ignore the huge encampments of vagrants that pop up all over my neighborhood, see how more and more businesses are closing or moving and praying that sanity will return one of these days.

On to better things.

Went to the zoo with two sets of grandkids, yup, she took my hat!

Cousins walking together, Westley loves helping out his younger cousins.

Group photo, We had Westley and Cam with us for the weekend. We even went to see the Paw Patrol movie, which was pretty good. Cam got a little scared, big screen, loud noises, but he rallied.

these uncles are real troopers! those guys are very heavy!

When their parents got back, it was fun in the pool!

The tomatoes and lemons are from my garden, the pomegranate, I picked at the temple, they have a little garden with a few fruit trees and chickens! More about the chickens next post. As for the lemons, I made some really good lemonade with mint.

Leah

Rosh Hashana

This year the Jewish year started very early, on Labor Day, it happens, not often, but it happens.

We had a lot of celebrating! This dinner was at a friends house, a wonderful house full of great people. I hosted one night as did my Sister in law. We even went to Temple and were in an outdoor service. There was an indoor service but they demanded a vaccine card. No way! I’m vaccinated, but I hate the idea of a vaccine passport. At least the Temple was full of people and a lot of young families with kids milling around. If not for the masks outside, it would have been normal.

Our lovely hosts Burt and Marsha, the feast was amazing and all made by Marsha.

Davida did a wonderful job blowing the shofar. Not an easy task!

The birthday boy!

Not a kid anymore. Btw, he doesn’t like frosting, so his portion wasn’t frosted. What a lovely evening, what a celebration of life and a new year.

On the second day of Rosh, we didn’t have services, so we escaped the heat of the valley for the cool fog of Ventura. Here is the longest wooden pier in CA. 1,600 ft.

Love the flags.

Iconic image. I saw a fisherman who caught an interesting fish, I think it was called a shovel head, the head did look like a shovel. He but the head off and gutted the fish right there. Said it would make a delicious meal. Sorry, no pictures.

Looking back towards town.

Main Street is now a pedestrian walk with all restaurants having seating outside. It was a Wednesday morning so not a lot of action.

The mission of course!

The Masonic Temple, with the emblem on the side. The ground floor is shops, I wonder if there still is a Masonic society or if they just left the symbol on the building.

A lovely mural.

Thats’ it! all in all it was a great holiday.

Leah

Summer ends

Here is SoCal, summer starts late and ends late. May – June are often cold while Aug – Sept can be the hottest months. But the days get shorter, and this year the kids actually are back in school. Unfortunately with masks and with fear that the teachers union will once again shut them down – because they like the goodies but don’t like teaching.

So on the last day of summer vacation for the boys, it was back to the beach! We had been going to the park more than the beach this summer, and I missed it a lot.

There were hardly any people on the beach, but there were huge flocks of seagulls, I sent the boys into the middle of them – just because. Meanwhile, how cool is this bird and shadow?

Yes they caused mayhem, but it’s birds, its’ ok.

Even while chasing the boys, I managed to stop and snap this seaweed and feather.

They painted one lifeguard station rainbow. Maybe now that the LGBYQW I DONT CARE, have added other garbage to their flag, maybe we can have the rainbow back just as a rainbow? Or heaven forbid as a reminder that God will not destroy the earth again? Yeah, I’m being biblical.

View from the pier.

So now people go there to have their picture taken. I wonder if the life guard kicked them off?

I spoiled the boys! Got them ice cream cones – real big ones! No, Dad wasn’t happy, but I’m a grandma, I get to spoil them. Anyway, after this we spent about 15 minutes watching a leaf float down the edge of the street to a drain. These boys are so curious and can do something like that. A passerby was so impressed with that, not all kids are addicted to technology. Then it was on to another hour in the playground where they ran around with other kids and worked off some of the sugar high.

It was really hot over the weekend, so off to Santa Monica we went for some cooler weather. No, didn’t go down to the beach, just stood up on the palisade park and enjoyed the view. Interesting how there are no homeless there, Santa Monica must dump them all in Venice.

A new law was passed by LA city council that limits where the vagrants can live, so far I haven’t seen any change in my neighborhood. I guess laws only apply to those of us who pay taxes.

Leah

Biscornu

What is a Biscornu?? it is a funky eight sided little pin cushion. The word is French for something silly. Anyway you start with squares.

I made the mistake of using Aida, I realize that I hate Aida, it is really hard on my hands! But once I started I didn’t stop. I went on working.

Two squares, front and back. I sewed them together, matching the corner of one block to the center of the other.

The end result is this shape.

I know! There is more work needed for me and my micro lens. But look at the gorgeous detail of the stitches!

There is more! take the thread and pull through the centers, the shape changes and adds dimensions. I know, I sort of missed the center on the back, this is not easy to do, although a longer strong needle would have made things easier and its’ not like I don’t have needles. I was impatient

How cute is this??? I got the pattern on Etsy, sure I can create my own, but I won’t. I chose my own colors, most of them are left over from Tom Foolery.

That magenta line is the joint between the squares.

Another one of them close-ups! Look at that corner, there is something so satisfying about these little X’s.

One more, just because.

Leah

Photography class

Took an outdoor photography class with my friend Marshal. Wandering around a park in Beverly Hills learning about composition. So there is nothing exciting here, just learning how to see and try and capture the small moments.

Like the play of sunlight and shadow on the tips of these leaves.

A closer look at one of the plants, once again, the wonderful play of light and shadow and texture, if the leaf in the foreground were a narwhal….

I took a lot more pictures of these plants, but one must edit down.

Interesting composition of the drainage area. Pay close attention to the posts, because I am going to focus in on them.

Because it was very bright daylight, light and shadow play a very big part here.

What happens when we add one leaf into the foreground? Where does your eye go?

Moving just a little bit, the line of the posts changes, as do the shadows.

Now the ivy becomes so much more important than the posts.

I didn’t get a close up of all the decay and rust on one of the posts. This was a very fun exercise.

How about looking straight up at a tree?

Light, shadow and texture. In this case the textures are very similar.

Capturing the power. btw, do you see the ant there? I didn’t until I looked at the photo.

Off setting the image of the sculpture, Japanese print style, not centering! Also, good contrast between the rocks and the blurriness of the leaves.

I am hoping for more of these classes!

Leah

Tom Foolery

For my first reproduction sampler I chose a very funky one, from Hands Across the Sea Samplers. This is what attracted me off the bat.

This clown. I hadn’t seen anything like him in other samplers, not that I have done extensive research. I also thought I liked the haphazard nature of this one. This is how the sampler got it’s name, from this fellow. Nicola has no idea who the girl was who stitched this, or when. (Its’ always young girls). Clearly she was a free spirit and just did her thing.

The finished sampler. It has many of the traditional elements, a house, many animals, Adam and Eve, bowls of fruits, some human figures. This girl went to town! I chose the wrong linen, it was a Weeks dye works and it was flimsy. At 36 count I used one thread over two, and the coverage isn’t great, but I felt that two over two would be too much for this flimsy fabric. I’m glad to say that it should fit nicely in a 14″ x 11″ frame, since I’m not in love with this and don’t want to spend too much money framing this.

Here I was about halfway through. I came to realize that I prefer more order in my cross-stitch. I was off in so many places. In this case it really didn’t matter since the original creator was as well. She just went to town and filled every space.

I tried to stay close to the called for colors, sort of sorry I did, because the contrast on the house isn’t really there. Halfway through I started playing more with the colors. There are 3 or 4 shades of green. I can understand a dark and a light. My feeling is, she worked one area, ran out of that color and picked up something close.

There wasn’t much rhyme or reason to the border, initially she worked it out symmetrically, although the colors changed.

Then she didn’t match up the diamonds, oh, even back in the day design irregularities are part of the work. Which gave me a lot of freedom for the same.

Love this guy on the chimney.

And this lady, yes, if you look at the whole, Adam and Eve are there as well.

Animals and crazy flowers abound.

Love the basket of cherries (it may be called something different), once again, she had no interest in accuracy.

I squeezed my own initials in there. I will try to avoid one over one is the future – yikes! Maybe I’ll try it on a 28 count, but this was tough! At least my initials are right next to what I call an elk, in honor of my son.

Yes, I’m happy to have done this. I am interested in some more traditional samplers. All of this is very calming to me and it’s a fun adventure. I even started a group of stitchers, so far we meet once a month at my house. If ever we can meet in a restaurant without mask, well go there, simply because I’m not available every month. As much as I’ve enjoyed watching Floss-tube, meeting in real life is so much better.

yes, I’ve already started a new project.

Leah

Pajamas

FB has been sending me ads for some very cute cotton floral pajamas. I couldn’t resist, I clicked the link. $180???? Either they aren’t made in China or someone is making a killing. This is why I sew, I can make them for a lot less.

I had what I thought was enough fabric from that $50 haul a few months back. So off to Joanns’ I went and found this cute pattern. A few things off the bat, there are pockets in both the pants and the top. In general, I like pockets, but I don’t need them in pjs.

Second of all, the pattern called for 4.5′ fabric, I only have 3.5’….

The reason I bought the main fabric is because there was so much of it, I’m not crazy about it, I tend to like more color, but I knew I’d make something. It is something of a reproduction, and it is very very soft. Not like most quilting cotton. the red fabric, from my stash. The piping? Also from JoAnns. Yes, I can make piping, but why if I can find a ready made match, especially for PJs.

I shortened both the top and the pants, I was very careful in laying out the pattern pieces. Commercial patterns always want you to buy extra, which isn’t a bad idea, and yet, I’m happy to say, I pulled this off with less fabric. Also, I didn’t do a great job of ironing this…

Nice thing about PJs, they need to be loose and comfy. Which these are.

I know I bought red buttons, can’t find them. These blue ones work even better, they pick up the blue and white in the fabric. A very nice touch. I love my garment sewing machine. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, I used the zipper foot as a piping foot. I think I’m going to treat myself to a real piping foot. The button hole stitch on this machine is lovely. I learned somewhere that I don’t need a specific button stitch, simply drop the dog feeds, use a regular zigzag, I do use the button foot, it helps. I start the stitch manually, making sure to hit the holes correctly, and then zip zap! I’ve sewn on buttons.

The pattern called for all kinds of interfacing. Excuse me?? This is for PJs I want as soft as possible, I don’t need a firm collar or button band! Btw, here you can see some more of the blue.

A trick I learned from someone on You Tube. It’s hard to tell which is the front and which is the back on pajama pants. So I put a little button on the front. this one happened to be on the sewing table, perfect match! I’m glad I didn’t use these on the shirt, I like how the blue pops.

There it is, a new pair of pajamas. I love these, unfortunately we are having a heat wave, so I won’t be wearing these for a few days. I’m already planning some more pairs. Maybe a brighter floral? Definitely some flannel for the colder weather.

A visit to Mood is in order, although, I don’t think they carry flannel, that I will have to get at JoAnns. Good night everyone!

Leah

New quilt

It had been a while since I quilted anything, so I started looking around. I have some jelly-rolls. I could probably find an easy pattern online. Now easy for me, means it can’t simply be a jellyroll race – it has to be more complex than that.

There were a number of braid patterns, most were basic bands. One took the extra step to combine them all in a more pleasing overall pattern.

The jellyroll was mostly black and white with fashion elements, glasses, shoes, handbags. I combined some batik rolls as well as actually cutting some other fabric. Here you see how this basically creates a zigzag. I know I am very good at combing color and pattern. So There was some planning as I went along, but not a lot.

Then I started quilting. Its an overall flower meander. Once again, I probably quilted it more densely than needed. But because of the busy pattern on top, it just gives a pleasing feeling. Also, I think it softens the overall quilt, breaking up all this straight lines.

Its’ about 60″ x 70″, a very nice throw size. Aside from black, white, very neutral pales I used purple, green and two multi colored fabric. I deliberately avoided red, orange or blue. I wanted a more subdued feels, since these zigzags are a very graphic prominent pattern.

The pattern is created n rows, then, it gets a little fiddly, combining the rows. I was sort of careful with my placement of darks and lights while making the rows, but I had no control once I put the rows together. Which I like, there are stretches of light and dark that just happen organically.

It is fun to see that this almost square quilt looks great from any angle.

I pieced the back. Even using some of the leftover jellyroll, which also was used for the binding. I think I had about 6 strips leftover. I still have plenty batik ones. Yes, there is red in the backing. I used this fabric more for it’s black and white, and I’m fine if the red pops on the back.

Now heres’ the thing, I’m really not in love with this. It’s nice, it was fun to make, it’s even beautiful. I don’t need a massive stash of quilts, just ones I love. So this will be gifted to some very good friends who I know will love it. They also truly appreciate my work and know that by giving this to them, it is a gift from my heart. No, they aren’t on social media, so they won’t read this or anything else I post. I like that that, a gift in the real world. Whereas here, I can share some true thoughts without them feeling less because I don’t absolutely love this myself.

Leah

Odd and Ends

Last week we celebrated a birthday at an indoor playground.

Superhero cake!

Our Temple had asked families if they’d let their kids be photographed. So here are my grandkids, they are representing the Nursery school, even though they don’t go there. Also, I bet most people looking at this picture have no idea that this is a brother and sister. Oh well, they are so adorable, who cares!

Another picture highlighting the nursery school. This one is accurate, it was taken during the last Grandma and me session we went to. Notice that she is wearing the same dress… yes I made the dress, need to make her some more.

The teacher, Julie is brilliant when it comes to play, she simply used food coloring on rice, 10 minutes later it was on big mess of color.

Dinner with friends on their balcony in the Hollywood Hills.

Meeting a new friend for coffee. This is Kimi. A wonderful young woman from Africa, who through the Grace of God, literally pulled herself away from Wokism to going back to being a kind generous person. Go follow her at: https://www.locals.com/feed

My knitting friend Keri and her accompanist Dori singing at the her open night at the Garden Cafe in Sherman Oaks. What a lovely evening.

This weekend is The Manhattan Beach Open, the oldest beach volleyball competition. So in preparation, the Goodyear blimp was doing trial runs all day. fun to see it fly right over our heads.

Leah