Still sewing

I’ve been sewing more clothes, but am not able to wear them yet because it’s cold! It even rained a lot the other day, in late May!

A quick skirt. If summer ever arrives, I need to make more of these. Many of my older skirts are showing their age.

for me, summer is skirts and dresses.

The fabric is from a line of Downton Abbey Prints, I don’t quite get the vibe, but I wear a lot of blue and it is a nice print.

My camera is so good, I can simply crop the images and the resulting image is just as sharp. Maybe too sharp? I know, for 60 I like very good, but it is a little surprising to see all the wrinkles and blemishes. I remind myself, this is what the camera sees, this isn’t what the world sees.

You know what, even if everyone saw all the little details, I look mighty good. I never wanted surgery, or botox or things like that. I fool myself with cremes and other ‘anti-aging’ products. One thing I do is always have sunscreen on my face. Have since I was 20 years old. So what if the crows feet show up when I smile, the smile itself is worth it. Ahh, the dangers of a camera that captures every detail.

I’ve started a hand applique, Baltimore Ablum style quilt. Btw, the background fabric has much more purple in it.

I’m still loving the macro lens. Look at that silk thread, the tiny needle, the bee!

I am using the appliquick method, it works for me. I love how smoothly everything goes.

I found this block on Barbara Brackmans’ blog Civil War Quilts. I also have a few books with Baltimore Album patterns. I’m sure I will be mixing and matching, I have the feeling that when it comes to setting everything together, it will look very different from a traditional Album quilt.

Fair Oaks Pharmacy

I’ve been driving Aytan to his school in South Pasadena for six months now. Just once a week, but still I’m in South Pasadena once a week. So you’d think that I would have visited this landmark before now.

The building and the business are over 100 years old. What they are really famous for is their Soda Fountain. And yes, Fair Oaks Ave is on the original Route 66.

I love old Blade advertising. This is neon, I wonder if it is lit up at night. I’m only here in the day time.

So here we are, a lunch counter, as well as tables and chairs. I tried to bring Aytan here to try the ice cream, but he wanted frozen yogurt so we went to Menchies instead.

I love how this old time place is decorated. The live plants, the hexagon tile floor. The use, of ceiling tiles on the backdrop of the counter.

Yes, there is more to this pharmacy than just the soda fountain. There is a real pharmacy, but most of the space is used to sell wonderful items.

Like old fashioned candy. Maybe these Hershey’s isn’t old, but I’ve never seen these before.

Sorry, I got my finger in the picture, how unprofessional of me! Gummi teeth and gummy piggies. I’ve never seen those before. You can see some candy corn, but really, who eats that stuff!

This is even stranger, Chicken feet??? I use them for making a great chicken broth, but as a candy? I’m sure they all taste the same, but these different shapes are unusual and fun.

Wax bottles? I remember as a child having wax candy lips. Those adorable tennis balls? They are jaw-breakers, a woman was buying them. I’m sure they sell a lot of this candy, it is so novel.

First time I’ve seen this kind of packaging for buttered pop corn flavored Jelly Belly. I love the packaging, the truth is, I can’t stand this flavor. I love real pop corn, but I alway try and avoid the white ones cuz I’m scared I’ll get the pop corn flavor. Someone must like it, its selling.

Then they sell old fashioned games and toys. I wonder if there is some copywrite about pin the tail on the donkey.

I am so tempted to buy this knitting set, I also wonder if this wooden train set fits the Ikea wooden train, which is just a knock off of the Brio trains.

Also tempted to buy this loom, it looks like the real thing, with a real shuttle. I may have to get it as part of a birthday present for Shira.

Yes, it’s the tapestry weaving set that I like, but look at the names of these other games!! Sooo tempting!

I had these two as a child. I bet the people who buy these are like me, nostalgic. How do we explain this to our grandkids?

A wonderful visit back in time. So glad I made a point to stop in.


So Cam had his third birthday party. What with the move and all, it was at an indoor gym. I don’t think his parents will ever go back to hosting on their own, this is so much easier.

Yup, he had a ball!

Jumping on the trampoline with his cousins and friends.

It was in the old neighborhood, so it was also goodbye to old friends.

All the cousins were here to help celebrate.

Dinosaur cake! Thank you Ralphs, they really make the best birthday cakes. All Cam wanted was chocolate cake. He’s been having it when he comes here… uh, oh, we’ve created a chocolate monster.

I just noticed, he had more than four candles to blow out!

Girl Cameron and boy Cameron enjoying birthday cake. They are just one month apart.

There was also pizza, what is a birthday without pizza! Notice that Westley really like eating his fruit!

Eyal had cake on his own birthday, he is learning how yummy cake is!

Another dress!

I’m on a roll! Even though sewing standing up sucks. My seams are a mess, but I have another dress.

I’ve had this fabric for a few years. The sewing blogger Gertie Hirsch had a line of fabric with JoAnn’s, not sure she does anymore. Anyway, I think this is a rayon cotton combo. It called for a sheath dress, since I only had 2.5 yards. I recently found this pattern. You know what’s funny, while scanning through all of the Quilt market posts on IG, I saw someone had made this dress and was showing it in their booth.

This is all that was left when I finished cutting out the pattern pieces. I admit, I didn’t try my hardest to maximize every inch, but still…. talk about little waste.

No construction images. I will say, the cap sleeves actually constrict my arms a little. I may make this again, without sleeves.

Here I am, trying to get a handle on using the phone as a remote, learning curve!

Getting a back shot is easier, I’m holding the phone in front.

Hey, there is a smile on my face. Also, I’ve been playing a lot with makeup lately, I think I’m getting pretty good at it. Not a painted hussy, but makeup does make a woman look prettier.

Not bad looking for a sixty year old, no peels, or surgery or lifts.

I have a skirt in mind as well. I recently cleared out a lot of items from my closet, so its’ time to refresh with new sewing.

Sewing a garment!

No, I don’t have my sewing tables, it’s been five months…. Koala will be getting an earful from me when this is over. So I set up my garment machine on the cutting table.

This means I will be sewing standing up. It’s one thing to do so while piecing quilts or even quilting. It is very different when sewing garments.

I even tried making tailor tacks instead of marking the fabric. Well, I did so for one section. I gave up and pulled out some Frixon pens for the other one. Btw, in the background are pockets that I plan on inserting into the sides of the dress.

Maybe if the machine were higher than sewing standing up wouldn’t be a problem. But it is, I can’t see the sewing machine bed very well. To say that I made mistakes is an under statement. Between not sewing for months and then standing awkwardly, I made a ton of mistakes. One of them was sewing the side seams without the pockets, so once again a pocketless dress.

Almost done, it will be a loose lovely comfy rayon dress. Right now it’s raining, so I’m not sure when I’ll be wearing it. Another rayon fabric I’ve had for a number of years, this will become a sheath dress. For the sewers out there, it’s a Gertie Hirsch fabric from Jo-anne’s

Next I needed to figure out how to take pictures. There is a way to connect my phone to the camera, then I can use it as a remote control. I was impatient, so I set the self timer and some test shots.

Not bad, I did get some very fuzzy shots, here I am in what I’m wearing today, a sweater, cuz the rain just stopped. For me, this is cold weather.

Pay attention to this photo, I will appear in the exact same pose in the dress in the next one.

Hmm, maybe I should come up with new poses? As you can see, it is a lovely little summer dress. Pockets would have been nice…. But I’ve already served the seams, this dress will remain pocketless.

It really is adorable! I put a zipper in the back, turns out I didn’t really need one. Oh well, it’s there, I might actually use it.

Yes, the smile is genuine, I’m very happy with this dress, now on to make another!

The Japanese Garden

On Mothers’ day we went here for a visit. I have been here a few times and really need to come back and spend more time.

Right next to the Tillman Water reclamation plant is a wonderful Japanese garden. Well, it’s actually on the grounds of the sewage reclamation plant. I wish we had more of these in CA. Sure, the water all goes to Lake Balboa, the LA river and irrigating a lot of golf courses and public parks. It actually is clean enough to go back into our pipes, probably cleaner, but at least this is some very good local recycling.

The Japanese garden was installed in order to show how useful this plant is. My sons live nearby and they do say, that sometimes, early in the morning, they get a whiff of sewage. Some of us get that whiff just walking down the street these days….

There are a lot of water features here, along with very traditional Japanese plants. The structure in the back is a tea house. It is available for rent for events.

Waterfalls, an important element in a garden, as it aerates the water as well as creates very soothing sounds.

This is the largest waterfall. I’m sure some pretty heavy ground movers were used to excavate the garden and create different levels.

I think these three are trying to push the rock into the water.

It was Sunday, there were plenty of people there. I love how the cousins get along so well.

I love so much about this image. Four kids in the same small area, each in their own world.

On the roof of the tea house there is this very interesting gutter, it appears to be made out of metal, which I think is unusual.

Aside from people, there are plenty of birds. Because of the reclamation plant, there is plenty of water in the LA river just down stream. That area has become a bird sanctuary. One of these days I need to find some birders to go with and get an education.

More geese with the Brutalist headquarters in the background. I’m not a fan of brutalist architecture, but I’m willing to take another look.

One more goose. Btw, most of them hang out in Lake Balboa which is just across Woodley Ave, I guess some of them want to be away from the crowds.

Mother’s Day

I am so blessed to have all my kids and grandkids nearby. Really blessed, which is why I spend so much time helping them out. I have too many friends who either don’t have grandkids or they are far away and they only see them a few times a year. For years our tradition has been to go for a hike and have a picnic. The thought of a restaurant – yikes! Shivers!

Nothing better than this! We went to the Japanese Garden in the Sepulveda Dam area in the San Fernando Valley. This is right next to a very large water reclamation plant. Yes, it can have some unpleasant odors, but the garden is lovely.

With a large group, we got separated from time to time. It’s all good, this way I could look across a waterway and snap pictures.

Aytan with his uncle Yishai and a goose! He really wanted to get a picture with a goose.

Here he is with the goose.

I adore this, all five of them together.

Mother and son, always warms my heart. Btw, I only appear in the first picture. We brought a tripod, but were not allowed to bring it into the garden. So we set it up outside, set the timer and I ran into the picture.

We crossed the road to an open park and had our picnic as well as fun with the kids. Eyal loves bubbles.

Aytan was playing with an airplane, all of these items from the dollar store. I love the dollar store, it makes buying stuff so easy.

Becky bought these items. She bought some kites. There was only a slight breeze.

Aytan and Shira running with them, she actually did get it up in the air for a while.

She makes friends so easily, she gave one to another little boy. We left before his family did, we said no problem, keep the kite. Did I mention I love the dollar store?

Joel ran with the kites as well. Elk and Mandy had to leave before the picnic, having just moved into a new home, there are a lot of issues. I am so grateful they came for the walk in the garden.

So I only got family pictures of two of the families. I’m sure I’ll get pictures of the others soon.

You can see how blessed I am and I know it. I thank God every day for these blessings.

Just a street in the San Gabriel Valley

I’m just walking up and down a street in South Pasadena. This part of the LA basin looks so different from other parts of the city. The craftsman bungalow is very prominent here.

On this street, the ‘bungalows’ tend to be larger, two story homes. One thing that is very particular to San Gabriel valley is the use of local rocks. here both on the porch and the chimney.

The deep colors, greens, grays. The deep eaves. Here brick is used instead of stone, love the irregular size and shape.

With all the rains, everyones’ gardens are looking so green and lush. The Windows are divided into four sections, sometimes you’ll see three. The upper panes are also divided.

Loving these coulmns, with their shingles. Deep front porches are common, the balcony above, not so much.

OMG, this front yard! and once again, a deep front porch.

Here is what was a traditional craftsman bungalow, yet look at the new roof, it is sort of a storybook roof. I actually enjoy seeing how many of these old homes are upgraded in the fashion that the residents enjoy. These are homes, they should be changed and lived in.

Another craftsman that was somewhat changed and updated. The thick window frames are traditional. The colors are still muted, but much lighter and brighter.

I’d almost call this home a simple ranch with a few craftsman details.

And here we have a house that isn’t craftsman at all.

Or this one. This is why I have a problem with the newer tract homes that were build since the 70s. One small street and you have different styles. Something that we have lost.

Same house from another angle. I had so much fun doing this, I need to visit more streets and just give you a tour of the homes.

Comparing cameras

Iphone vs. Sony A7lll.

Iphone, very very nice, also, very close to the flower.

Sony, biggest difference, the background is blurred and the edges of the flower are somewhat blurred, I could have used a larger aperture.

Iphone, great crisp detail.

Sony, blurred background, I think the rose is just as sharp


Sony, captured the colors a little differently.

iPhone pink rose.

Oops, My focus didn’t work too well on this image from the Sony.

I had already cut the flower and brought it inside, so second attempt in slightly different circumstances.

The verdict? That iPhone is really good! especially in great light and with close up of flowers. I will continue to use my macro lens and enjoy the SonyA7III, it’s just nice to know how good the iPhone is when I am out and about and don’t have my other camera with me.

Finished another quilt top, I’m itching to quilt them, I now have three…

I started working on a girl quilt. I chose a pink background.

All the parts come together.

There are a lot of irregularities, but when you look at the overall design, you just see what looks like a cross stitch pattern.

The whole quilt.

Girl and boy, side by side.

I have been organizing the sewing room. I bought some small plastic zip bags, I think I might need some more.

I should have done this years ago, a pouch for elastic, a pouch for ribbon…

I need some more pouches, the zippers are a mess…

I ended up keeping some of the plastic containers, the clothes patterns fit perfectly on top of the dressers. I still haven’t filled all the drawers but…

Sure, I could sweep the floor! But look all empty and clean!

Right now I have the ironing board in the middle of the room and I’m loving it! Soon the cutting table will be much cleaner as well, that is once I get the tables….