Another downtown Los Angeles gem. The hotel Figueroa. It was built in the late 1920’s by the YWCA as a hotel for businesswomen, but unfortunately it didn’t survive as one and by the 1930’s was simply a hotel.Nothing in Los Angeles is simply anything. If you have seen any movie or TV show where people are meeting in a restaurant or lobby in the middle east – it was probably filmed here.Although when doing so, they have to remove the Buddhas and the very Mexican looking items.A view into the restaurant
These tiles are on the wall right as you enter, I need to find more about them.
The long hallway to the bar and pool. As wonderful as this lobby is, and it is a feast for the eyes. This is what is really impressive about this hotel.
Yes indeed an in-ground pool. When this was built, land was at a premium and since then, no-one, not even the Los Angeles Athletic club put a pool in the ground. It has survived the area being run down and everything around it becoming parking lots. I met an old woman who told me that as a child she learned how to swim in this pool.In the bar area, right off the pool is this wonderful day bed, I’m sure that at night when the place is full, people enjoy this luxury.
Over 20 years ago, I was a student at FIDM , in those days, the only places I went was the school campus and up to the garment district. Downtown was still very sketchy. I’d often drive down Olympic Blvd to get to the freeway. I’d pass a large building, with three sections facing Olympic. There always were and still are full size advertisements on these sections. Only years later did I find out the history of the place and venture in to look at the lobby. I have since met people who have stayed there. The rooms were renovated a few years ago, but are simple run of the mill hotel rooms. These days the hotel is right across from LA Live and the Staple center. Sure you can stay in the JMW Marriott, or stay here, enjoy history and take a dip in that pool!
I tend to use one handbag for a season, changing only between winter and summer. Once I started making bags, that changed somewhat. I am particular, I don’t want the loving hands at home look, or even just another quilted bag.. The finishing details matter. At a quilt show last year I found this patternSince they were also selling the hardware, I bought this Korean pattern. Don’t you just love name: bag bostonian. When I travel I like to buy fabric and yarn as mementos, that way when I am working or enjoying a completed project – it reminds of the trip. I found this charm pack of fabrics in Oregon. The instructions were wonky, but other people have made this bag, thank God for the internet. I used not only batting but a layer of canvas as well as the lining fabric. This bag had good body and doesn’t flop around. I also like the combination of simple squares with circular quilting.Unclipped the bag is very spacious, I probably won’t use it often like this.When piecing the fabric, one never knows for sure if the conversation piece will be in the correct location. Luckily it worked out for these typewriter keys.A final touch was these little feet. But something was missing, I had used a sturdy zipper, but the pull was typical, small and not easy to use. Back when I was making Jewelry, I wire wrapped this fish. The necklace came apart long ago, but I held onto the fish. Perfect, now it has found it’s new home.And final shot, looks very good in action.
I love LA, I love that no matter how much I explore I know I will never see it all. So here it is, a cool overcast Sunday morning, perfect day to tackle the Baldwin Hill Stairs. First of all, I didn’t know that this area is a one hundred year old state park.Being middle age or slightly above, never go on a hike without water or a walking stick. We saw people on the path who wished they had a walking stick, next picture will show you why.The Stairs were built sometime after 2000 using old recycled concrete. As you can see, the stairs go straight up, 500 ft. elevation and they are NOT even, or even matching. So yes, climbing steps that are 10.5″ high is easier with a walking stick. Joel rides his bike every week for 40 miles, he had no problem climbing these stairs. Me, it took me a little longer with more stops. We saw many people who use this as their outdoor stairmaster. Anytime I can snap a picture of downtown LA, I am going to do it. Yes, I have an affinity for downtown. On a clear day the view is spectacular. Can I just say, walking under a hazy cloud was easier than the blazing sun.I made it to the top. That is west LA and Century City behind me. Also, there is a wonderful plaque on the ground extolling the wonders of concrete.Looking in the other direction, the oil fields of Baldwin Hills. We have many oil rigs throughout the city, many are camouflaged, these are right out in the open and I love them! Concrete and oil, it built the southland. Beyond in the haze you can see the control tower of LAX as well as the spider shape of the Theme restaurant at the airport – also known as Encounter. The ocean is beyond, not visible today – this isn’t LA smog – this is simply early spring haze. Within an hour it all burned off.Looking down at the Balona creek, now an ugly concrete channel. The subject of how and why the rivers in LA came to be encased in concrete is worthy of a book. Actually someone probably wrote one. I of course took the picture because of the large graffiti with someone doing just that – riding his bike. The bike path goes all the way down to the ocean, 6 miles away.
To finish off the hike, we looked for a Taco joint, most of our hikes have been on the east side of town, where the best tacos can be found. Instead we found this food truck and yes, I finished off my fish tacos before thinking of taking a picture of them. Trust me, they were good.
The wedding is fast approaching. My son Yishai is in charge of the ceremony and all religious aspects. His fiance Yochanan is in charge of colors, decorations and everything else. The colors he chose are: black, white, grey and green. Gotta honor the Irish side, not just the Jewish one.
His two adoptive dads have an amazing succulent garden, somehow they had to be used in the centerpieces. So we came up with the idea of planting succulents in large pots (happening now, so they will be well established by May). Meanwhile, I found the instructions for these wonderful fabric roses on Pinterest, (yay Pinterest). And we got to work. The pots are earth tone. The succulents will provide the green, therefor we decided that the flowers will be black and white. Yoch and I belong to the LA Modern Quilt Guild which meets at Sew Modern
Of course that is where we bought most of the fabric. Then divided it between the two of us and started cutting and sewing the strips for the flowers.Today eight of us gathered together to assemble the flowersI had to run out to JoAnn’s to get 3 more glue guns, so glad I have their coupons! Yes, there were burnt fingers, that hot glue is deadly but I know no other way to get a fast assembly line going.
Yoch with a very successful finished flower – his first!Here is the whole gang of flower makers. Friends, family and funAfter 5 hours we had made close to 100 flowers. Here they are all bunched together in the sun for their group portrait.And here they are, lined up with the obligatory green.
I’m hoping to see my friends making more of these wonderful flowers for other occasions. We are all experts now.
Although we didn’t have winter this year, one way to note the change of seasons is to sew new clothes. I bought enough of this printed cotton lawn for a cute shirtwaist dress. Going through my patterns I decided to combine these two.Pattern on the left for skirt, pattern on the right for top. I wanted pleats, not gathering in the skirt. I had to lengthen the top down to the waist. I also knew I’d be inserting a side zipper.
I need to get better at this photography, move away from the tree, readjust the clothes better. But now I’m too lazy for a re-shoot, so here it is. the finished dress.The skirt called for two pockets, I put in one since there is a zipper on the left side.It has a lovely flow, the skirt swings.I lined the whole dress. The front panels needed self-lining because of the collar, I used plain white because I had it one had. I could have bound the armholes separately but I felt the skirt needed lining because it is simply too sheer, so might as well line the whole thing.
Had these cute buttons that match the green in the print.I am loving the evenness of my machine stitches, as well as the clarity of this photograph.
All in all, a lovely new spring dress, I am having so much fun using the new machine. Many more projects on the way.
I am falling in love with California tiles. It makes perfect sense that in a city where homes were built from clay (adobe) there will be a wonderful ceramic tradition, and there is. Ernest Batchelder has his own unique style, namely – he didn’t glaze his tiles, they don’t shine, he would paint many of them, and seal them. Notice the ones on the floor by the elevator, color, but no shine.
Many private craftsmen homes have fireplace surrounds with his tiles, in downtown LA, we have amazing examples of his work. This building is one of his largest commercial installations. Unfortunately you can’t go up to the mezzanine level to look down, it is a fully functioning office building these days and yes, the tenants are paying for privacy.
If asked what I prefer knitting or crochet, my first response will be knitting. Then I have to qualify that answer – garments, socks, shawls are best knitted. Crochet is very different and is wonderful for fine lace, Kippahs and softies – or hug-able animals.
Sometimes I see a pattern and that is exactly what I want -no need to put my own stamp on it, such was the case with Fatty Lumpkin
At my local JoAnn’s I found wonderful baby skeins of colorful acrylic yarn. Yes, for soft toys, acrylic is great . I followed the 24 page instruction booklet to a tee, no getting extra creative here.
Kudos to Heidi Bear for designing this pony, I am always happy to pay for other peoples’ hard work. I wouldn’t have the patience to figure out how to put this together.
The eyes aren’t the animal eyes you can buy and insert, they are simply black buttons.
I wasn’t sure where this little fellow was going to end up living. With friends having babies, there would always be a good home for this fellow. Those babies will get something else, this pony isn’t going anywhere.
Every year in April we have an event called: Los Angeles Yarn Crawl. It is a creative way for yarn stores to get more business on one weekend. I will probably go this year because it is fun to hang out with friends in yarny places.
Last year I stayed home, I didn’t want to spend money on more yarn, of course I have no problem spending money on more fabric.
Instead, I went out to lunch with two knitting friends, one mentioned that her stash is way too big and that I should come over and ‘shop her stash’. It was a win-win. I got a lot of sweater quantity yarn, and she got more space in her closet.
Meanwhile another knitting friend shared a great bit of information, with my Los Angeles public library card I can download magazines from