Out and about with a lot of other people

Pasadena Showcase house has been around forever, well at least 30 years. I haven’t gone every year, but its’ a fun event. See a big old house, each room done up by a different designer. Well, last year it was virtual, because the designs were in process when everything shut down. This year it was a progressive garden tour.

We met at Descanso Gardens and by we, I mean a heck of a lot of people. Got on shuttle buses, and no I never needed to wear a mask. Most people didn’t, a few die hards will be wearing them in 10 years. We drove a short way into La Canada where three houses awaited. Here I am in the driveway of one of them, looking across the great expanse of grass back to the road and of course, the San Gabriel mountains beyond.

We didn’t go inside any of the houses, it was all about the grounds and the gardens.

This gives you the idea of size, now I am on the road taking a picture back towards the house. CA is a very densely populated state, there are areas with large estates – this is one of them. Most of our Million dollar homes are on tiny lots, so these estates, although pretty far from the city – are a delight to see.

All three houses had lovely pools and two had tennis courts as well. This one had a full fledged playground. Not just one little pay structure.

Quiet path with side gate. I’ll be honest, the gardens were large, but this wasn’t a garden tour. I got pictures of lovely flowers, this house had a few fruit trees and had some tomato plants in the back, but it wasn’t about the gardens. It was the space, the ability to get people out on one day to experience some beauty while raising money for Pasadena Showcase house. They donate to all kinds of cultural causes. It was almost a magical afternoon after one and a half years of nothing.

Cameras foreshorten things. Look at the size of the man in the foreground then the people under the umbrella – the space between is large, there is a daybed creek in-between.

this is between the entrance gate and the house. And behind the house there is much more.

Yup, down there is a tennis court.

Also, in front, this large expanse of lawn.

Of course there was a large swimming pool, I just got a picture of one of the many ponds or pools running off from the area of the swimming pool.

There you go, a corner of the pool with the first of the fountains and smaller pools.

Outdoor rooms galore!

I think there were a few others, this property was massive!

Third house, large like the others. Their tennis court became the vendor area – lovely stuff, plenty of people were shopping.

Here we were allowed to peak into the doll-house. Outside here.

I guess this is a replica of the breakfast room. I think this is original to the house, although, it might be a lucky designer who got to actually design a room this year.

Next I’ll be sharing flowers.


Getting granddaughter ready for nursery school

She needs a sleeping bag and pillow case. Not going to buy one of those TV character ones made in China

Went and bought fabric. I had made the bear for her big brother, so she gets the cat. All pinks and purples!

Not the best of pictures, but you can clearly see this is a bag!

Haven’t given it to her yet, so I took pictures with the doll that looks like her.

you can see that the pillow is made from the backing fabric. I bought that off the sale rack, and that was the only one that had enough for the pillowcase. Quilting fabrics aren’t cheap! Of course there is a lot of fabric here.

The folded sleeping bag. Some fabrics I bought specially, others are from my stash.

Then I went ahead and made her a dress from leftover fabric. I had made the older granddaughter a dress out of this fabric last year, I bet its’ already too small so I don’t think they will be ‘twins’.

It is not my finest most accurate work, but if she wears it a few times, we’re good.

It is a cute print, it’s rayon, so it will breathe. I was left with a lot of very small scraps.

Lettuce edge using the serger. Not great, but like everything else. One needs to practice, I didn’t. Its’ fine.


From the garden

I got a new lens for my camera and I’m learning, I’m learning.

The tomatoes are growing, I don’t have a bumper crop. I hope to, I went and bought food for tomatoes. I water them regularly. I’m hoping. Anyway, the grape tomato is just from the hardware store. The Heritage tomato is From Tapia Bros. I gave my son the grape and the grandkids ate the other one, I hope to have more soon so I can eat them myself.

Here we go, a tomato and basil from the garden.

My grandson has been wanting to pick the few carrots I have, this may be too early, but we picked these and they were tasty.

It is amazing what a macro lens can see that my naked eye can’t. This is a very close up of a bottle Brush.

A close up of a hibiscus.

Here is another close up. The colors are too blue – it’s a camera

I just downloaded a plant identification app. So I took a picture and found out that this is Perez’s Sea Lavander. This is the picture I took for the app, and the colors are truer.

Funny how my camera focused on the small back flowers.

Gerbera Daisy

I’m not going to check what this is called, its grown in my garden forever.

Close up of geranium.

And roses.



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.


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.



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.


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.


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?


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.


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.