Grandkids

I’m sorry, I’m missing my oldest granddaughter here. I’m happy to say she has been so busy with life, school and friends that I don’t have a picture. Yes, I’ve seen her, but I don’t need to snap a picture every time.

It had been a year since Aytan spent the night here, with his issues, this past year has been extremely hard. One of the many special needs kids who were thrown under the bus. A large pancake for breakfast was in order.

Something else I’ve only been able to do recently, go to the park with this one.

As in playground, we’ve walked around parks, but actually playing in the playground, with other kids!!!

Fun in the Jacuzzi, he wouldn’t look up! Why he found looking at my feet so interesting, I don’t know.

These two in a box! This is the box that the huge light fixture came in. They were very disappointed a week later to see it gone.

On Cams birthday in May, as we were leaving the beach, West was invited to try out a slack line. He liked it so much, that using leftover Christmas money he ordered one for himself. Trying it out at the park, I’d love to fine that guy for lesson.

Love how adventurous these two are.

Then I went and sewed some skirts. I’m hoping to sew some dresses soon.

Yes, this fabric is from the large stash I bought.

Leah

making bags is addictive

Once you start…

I love the bag I made for my friend. I have an old drawstring bag for my knitting, yes, I made it, yes, it is nice, but I want something new!

In my new to me stash I have some very nice Kaffe fabric, look at the size of those flowers! And the color!

Once again, batik for the drawstring part. A fun bright print for the pocket as well as edging the pocket with baby pompom tape. Also, I bought some webbing tape. maybe the color isn’t perfect, but it’s there in the little yellow print.

Oops, when I gave my friend her bag I forgot to put in my label. so on my bag, that is staying with me – I put it in.

A friend who needlepoints needs this pair. She is having a house warming party in a few weeks.

More Kaffe fabric with batiks! There are a few more people who could use a nice project bag, so much fun!

Another bag, a thank you gift for teacher Julie, the one who runs the Grandma and me program I go to with my granddaughter.

I’ve had this fabric for a while. Time to cut into it.

This time I remembered to put in my label.

Brave new world, I bought this pull at JoAnns. On the package there was a QR code, Of course I clicked and saw a little video with instructions for installing the pull. I’m glad I did! I probably could have figured it out, I do appreciate replacing the old pull.

I added a cute pair of scissors that apparently I had lying around. I had previously bought this little embroidery kit, since when I mentioned embroidery, Julie has already tried her hand at it.

Leah

ALL DONE!!

The design project is over! the final chairs for the breakfast room arrived. Samantha came over with a stylist and a photographer to document everything for her portfolio.

The photographer took this image with my camera and the news lens. She was impressed, phew! Cuz I spent a lot of money on this lens. There is no such thing as one perfect lens, this one will has some nice features and gives a very sharp image.

This is the styled version. As Samantha says, this is not how you lived this is pictures that make things look good for publicity. So here is one thing I noticed, Courtney, the photographer, raised one of the candle holders, it looks great in the picture, but IRL, you do’t do that.

She brought most of the objects, I provided many as well, which is fun. Notice the goblets, I bought those from her. Why not, they are unique.

Looking at the bench.

Notice how few pillows there are here? I had to rib Samantha, she wanted a ton of pillows, we cut back, in this image, a few are completely removed.

I put back one or two pillows.

I prefer this more open look.

Once again, staggering the candle sticks. These are my Shabbat candle sticks, they get used every Friday night, and no, to with these kind of fancy tapers. I do like the reflection of the ancestors in the mirror.

While styling, Samantha put up a painting her father had painted, also nicely reflected. And no, that was not for sale.

Nicholas did a great job staging this little cabinet, using many of my own pieces, I left some of them were he put them.

He arranged a whole bunch of goodies for the shoot. And then, left most of the food here. We sent Nicholas home with the bread and some of the sweets, there is only so many carbs that I need.

The chairs arrived! Gorgeous, comfortable. This is how the delivery guys placed them and I LOVE it! So did Samantha, so they will stay this way.

The stylized shot, well, my version.

The chairs are very comfortable, and yes, I also bought the white vase. It is such and unusual shape, I like that I can put in fewer flowers and still have a statement.

So its’ done! We pretty much came in on budget. We upped the budget a little part way through because of the kitchen. Having the kitchen painted was a must and having it done at the same time made all the sense in the world. But it wan’t exactly part of the dining/breakfast room. So it is all a win. I’m thrilled.

We’ve been hosting people and it is delightful. I am very happy.

Leah

Macro Photography

I bought a new lens for my camera, no not macro, just a good all around lens. The basic one I bought with the Sony A7III is fine, but all the photographers recommend better lenses. So I bought one. That made me go out in the yard with the macro and get pictures. I need to get better at this macro stuff.

This is what a tomato flower looks like. Regardless of the tomato, the flowers all look the same.

Here is a tomato, finally ripening! That is one tomato, not two, its’ an heirloom and I can’t wait to bite in. I will, it has to be nice and ripe first!

I have a couple of Alstroemeria plants and capturing them close up on camera is fun.

God’s paintbrush.

Yes, I pick them and bring them indoors with the roses for floral arrangements.

Lets’ follow the the progress of the Hydrangea flower.

Will this deepen into pink? I did add acidic food in the winter, to try and turn them purple – clearly not enough.

Oh well, beautiful in pink.

Finally, a rose.

Leah

Mostly cross-stitch

Once I finished the May block of the Sew along, it was back to this piece. A LongDog Sampler – Quaker style. I’ve really enjoyed making this my own by doing it in all kinds of bright colors. I did chance some of the small motifs. She had some butterflies using the back stitch. I decided I didn’t want any back-stitch. So I filled in with other motifs.

One small corner of the work. I then took it to a framer. I hope it comes out well, cuz framing ain’t cheap! Unfortunately, in my area there are two needlepoint shops and they look down their noses at cross-stitch. One of them does finishing, but I won’t give them that kind of business, also, they are backlogged a few months. I couldn’t find any recommendation online about framing needlework. So I drove around, some of the stores had mirrors outside – that just wasn’t appealing to me. Found a large framer, and in I went. the woman who helped me was very impressed with my work – that is a good sign. So now I wait.

I had bought the pattern Tom Foolery, it works well with pattern keeper! being a multi colored project I can now really appreciate pattern keeper. As I click on a color to work with, it highlights everything on the page with that color. So as I work an area, I can fill in as much as I can of that color.

This is completely different from Fruits of Plenty. A lot of color, a lot of crazy designs. Whoever the girl was who made the original many years ago, she had a very vivid imagination as well as had a lot of fun. There are some traditional elements, like a house, Adam and Eve and all kinds of flowers and animals. It is fun!

Another good thing about the craziness, yes, I have made a mistake or two, but it doesn’t throw everything off, because its’ a lovely mess as it is.

I was playing with my macro lens, so you get to see the stitches the way I see them through the magnifiers.

That crown abutted the border in the pattern, that wasn’t a mistake. The other thing is that the border does not match on the right side. I’m leaving it as is.

Who is this gal with a top-hat standing on the chimney of the house?

How about a rainbow tulip? Yes, I am having a lot of fun. Junes’ segment of Fruits of Plenty is arriving and this will be put away again. Although, this time, I only have one month to do, and it won’t take long, so I’ll be back to this soon enough.

On Memorial Day we had friends over, yes there was bbq, more important – these festive boards. This is the new way to serve appetizers. It was also fun to pull out the runner I bought in Belize.

I honor both American and Israeli fallen soldiers.

A word about Memorial Day. I remember in the 90s, it was the start of summer, sales, bbqs, a long weekend. Then came the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Right started pushing the notion that its’ about the fallen. Not wrong. But these days, anyone who had a relative who died years after serving is now jumping on the bandwagon. For them we have Veterans Day.

And now people shame other people for having fun – remember this is about the fallen! not your BBQ. Can we find a nice middle, where we remember those who fell in battle as well as have fun and enjoy the long weekend?

Leah

Birthday present

Not for me, for a friend, I made some presents. You may have noticed that I have enjoyed making some project bags. Well her thing these days is knitting, that needs a roomier bag.

I downloaded the pattern from Etsy. a bucket like this is easy to make, I like it when someone gives me the measurements. Also, every so often there is a new trick to learn. I really like how this has a drawstring top.

The outer fabrics are from my stash. I used Soft and Stable to give the bag the body, so it stands on its own. The fun part was using some batik fabrics this friend gave me. Returning her fabrics in new form.

I used two different fabric, one for the lining and one for the outer area, they play very nicely together.

This is large enough for a knitting project. Not for a blanket, but my friend doesn’t knit blankets, I think this size is perfect.

I put my present project and a few tools. If you think that rotary cutter doesn’t have anything to do with knitting, you are correct. This is simply to show that this isn’t a decorative panel, it is pocket. The pattern suggested pockets inside as well. I didn’t do that.

I did this instead, I made her a smaller project bag that can hold all of the knitting tools she needs.

Fun fabric from that haul.

An inside clip for scissors.

A fun zipper pull.

Then, using more fabric she gave me, I made myself another project bag.

Soon, you will see what project goes in here. This one is for me.

Leah

and now, Forest Lawn memorial park

A few items that are permanent display at the museum as well as a few other incredible things I saw at the park.

A bronze bust of Mark Twain.

Compare to a stone head from Easter Island. Very different cultures, very different times. And yet we see that humans have this need to create art.

A close up of a marble sculpture. The sculpture itself wasn’t all that interesting, what I found interesting was how the rough marble is still in place. Seeing the contrast of the smooth worked figure coming out of the rough marble is what interests me here.

I walked outside and came across some more marble. It was a gorgeous day! These kind of clouds in May in Los Angeles are very rare. I try and pay attention to my surroundings, enjoy what nature and man has to offer.

While walking outside, I met the director of the museums here at Forest Lawn, we had a lovely chat, about the clouds, about the Judson exhibit, about what is coming next, about the Park in general. I just love talking to people. I know he appreciated someone who comes specifically to see his work.

I sat on this bench you see in the reflection, but just look at that reflection! Maybe because it is a reflection and is framed so well, it actually was more impressive than just turning around and looking at the view. I think this is one of the things that good art does. It is the framing and presenting of reality in a different way from reality itself.

Of course they created a small replica of a Gothic Cathedral. A rose window. I was going to crop out the more modern light, but I didn’t. I like them together.

I then aimed my camera up at the wonderful spines of the gothic ceiling. Even on a smaller scale, this is so impressive.

And then I wandered into the hall of Resurrection. I had heard of this, I didn’t realize how beyond huge this is. They usually have an audio visual show going along side this monumental painting. Probably pointing out the different aspects of what is happening here. I was glad to be in the room alone in silence. Well, turns out there were others there, but still it was silent.

Another point of view, just so you can see how huge this hall is.

This is a cemetery. Yes, they rightfully call it a memorial park, and it is beyond beautiful, serene and calm. Real people are buried here. I had to stop at this one with all the toys. Two run boys. one of them just 10 years old. He died in 2017, five years ago and yet, the family still comes and places all of these items, to them, the loss is very immediate and real.

Leah

More from the Judson exhibit

I think this is an example of Judson starting to use fused glass. Still a lot of the traditional use of paint as well. This is also the beginnings of working with artists. Of course, an artist is always involved in the process of painting and figuring out the placement of the glass. But in this case, an artist who works in another medium, making the switch to working with glass.

Multi media. Ok. I couldn’t get into the explanation of this circle of chairs. I’m getting bored with the deep social issues behind every piece of art. What caught my eye here is the traditional basic stained glass along with its wonderful reflection. Glass is all about how the light effects both it and us.

Another chair I really like is this one, the caning of the seat done in glass. I really should have looked under the chair to get a better view of the shadows. I’m also thinking that it would have been very interesting to see the process of the weaving of these strips of glass.

How cute is this dog? I didn’t read the label, I don’t think Judson made him, I think the artist did, but note that he looks like stained glass, with the lead channels.

Side view.

And now, some older pieces from the archives. A panel for the Hollyhock House in Hollywood. Over the years Judson has gone back to repair old stained glass panels. Btw, here at Forest Lawn they have a workshop dedicated to repairing the stained glass which is all over the Memorial Park.

Stained Glass has always been evolving. In the early 20th century the use of pearlescent and multi colored glass was very popular. I don’t think there is any painting here, it’s all done with multi-colored glass.

Here is a close-up of another panel. Whomever made this panel tried to get those air bubbles in a certain location. In this case, they had to work with a glassblower to get those bubbles. Glass blowing and stained glass artistry are very different, even when at times, they intersect.

Here is a wonderful example of the use of opalescent glass. A few months ago, on their FB page, Judson advertised an online meeting the stained glass society. This is the one thing I’ve like about zoom, the ability to watch interesting lectures. Anyway, a glass and mosaic restoration artist from Berkeley spoke and shared amazing slides of fireplace surrounds. These were made in the early 20th c. often using this opalescent glass.

A detail, while working with the lead, these three dimensional stamens were added to the image. I can’t get over the creativity of humans.

Hoping for more exhibits like this. I think by June the Getty and the Norton Simon will reopen. I’m there!

Leah

Back to a museum!

I have to start by talking about the return of open blatant Antisemitism. I don’t care what excuses people use. Attacking Jews simply because they are Jewish is antisemitism. It is that simple. Sad to say too many Jews feel we are to blame and too many Jews turn a blind eye when the Dems, their favorite chosen party are either part of the problem (the Squad) or are silent (Schumer). We had it good under president Trump and now we will be made to suffer for those four years. Am I worried, of course I am, but then my ancestors lived with this for 2000 years, why did I think that I’d be spared?

Now, on to museums. I finally went to a museum in LA, no not LACMA, their exhibits right now are political garbage, they abandoned art a long time ago. I went to the museum in Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale. What an incredible place. They have an exhibit of Judson Studio Glass, one of my favorite institutions in LA.

First a plaine-aire painting by the founder of the glass studio, William Lee Judson.

I was so thrilled to be able to see this panel myself. I have followed the whole story of the Glass installation at the Church of the Ressurecton in Leawood Kansas. So to have a chance to see one of the prototype panels is wonderful. I could get up close and personal with this. Here I am across the room.

Up close. With these panels, there is some painting on the glass, but much more so, there is the use of fused glass within the stained glass. This gives so much more depth to the images. Oh, and I really like how this is displayed with a backlight, so I can see it as it should be, light flowing through the glass.

Look at that eye! look at how fusing glass frit is what gives the depth and interest to the image. I love how an old art is getting a new infusion of technique.

Here is a close up of the work of Narcissus Qualiattta, he is the one who started the use of fusing in stained glass and today he is the director of innovation at Judson studios. Please enlarge this image so you can see the details.

After working on the 138 panels for the church, the artists in the studio needed a break. They made this in honor of Kobi, this was 2017. I happened to visit the studio and I saw this being created.

Many artists now collaborate with Judson. Moving from paint to glass. I will share more images in my next post. They were only able to get a few examples from the artists for this exhibit. I met the museum director, we had a lovely discussion about art at Forest Lawn. Have I already said what an amazing place this is?

Using the fused glass on a smaller scale. These lamps are the kind of items that would utilize fused glass, the use of it in very large panels is what Judson has innovated.

Yes, I have another post in the works about this exhibit and another about Forest Lawn. I don’t like these posts to be too long.

Leah

back on track

It took me six weeks to redo all of the Fruits of Plenty SAL, and that includes the months of April and May. Btw, many mistakes were made, some corrected, some not.

Here I am working on May, I ended up finishing May before I went back to March.

I had something wonky happen with this octagon, won’t point out what it was. but I was concerned the pattern wouldn’t fit, so I started from the bottom to meet up in the middle. Yes, there is a mistake here that I later corrected. I am hoping that I am calmer in June, only working on one segment and I won’t feel rushed – which of course leads to mistakes.

Done! Yes I did a little extra, but then I stopped. I have other projects. Yes, I am absolutely loving this. Amazing pattern, I love the colors. I do have to say, the navy blue sheds a lot of lint and tangles more – probably something to do with the dye. Dark dyes will do that. I adore the violet, truly.

I’ve been having problems with my knitting. My friend reminded me that this pattern comes with a tutorial on Craftsy, that helped. I still hate the way she wrote the pattern, but at least I am back on track.

I found a wonderful tutorial on making project bags. From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZTtpO6gXeQ&t=930s. I learned how to use the backing as the binding while making very neat mitered corners!

Sewing fabric from a friend who was moving and gave me some of her old stash.

I bought this sampler as a PDF, because it is so goofy! I am very happy to say, it works with Patten Keeper.

There are 25 colors, I went through all of my floss and found some matches, so I didn’t have to order as many threads. With the craziness of the pattern, subtlety isn’t an issue here.

I had ordered the linen, I have a printout of the pattern, I have the pattern on the tablet. Threads are ready to go. I guess I’m not a monogamous stitcher anymore. Although, I’m still at the stage of one SAL and one extra project.

Leah