The Wende part II

First, I’m going with the Jewish artifacts.

These are from Jewish Russian Refuseniks, either given to American visitors, or brought out when they finally got out themselves.

This is the Book of Esther, on a scroll, because The Torah and the five megilot (scroll books, Esther, Ruth, Eicha, Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes.) are all read at different times of the year and also must be in scroll form. Interesting, this was brought out in 1970 by a Jewish family but they donated it to a museum rather than a synagogue. Who knows why?

I was slightly disappointed in this exhibit. Not the artwork or the artists, but it was South Vietnamese who escaped, or one or two artists from Ho Chi Minh city, which used to be Saigon – so all South Vietnam. A friend now has a daughter in law from the north. Her son spent 6 years there and married a local girl. Thankfully he couldn’t handle even benign communism – so they are now in the US. Her problem is that being from the north – she is a little reluctant to meet the vast expat community here – who all escaped from the south. Btw, her parents were probably born either at the tail end of the war or afterwards.

Tuan Andrew Nguyen This is in honor of the mile markers on the Baatan Death March in the Philippines during WWII. The originals, KM makers where made of concrete long after the war ended. Here is his replica of KM marker 0 of the Death march. Although Philippines isn’t Vietnam, as you can see from the previous image, the Philippines were among the first to open camps for refugees from Vietnam.

Same artist, carving into Louisville Sluggers the image of the first Buddhist monk to immolate himself in 1961 in protest of the Vietnamese government. This was about religion, but the unrest caused the government to fall, which certainly didn’t help when the communists decided to wage war and take over the south.

Although this looks like a quilt, it isn’t, it is woven from a very large photograph and very brightly colored photo paper.

A refugee arrives in America with her children and nothing else. She makes her living sewing, mending, using her hands and simple sewing tools many of us recognize in order to provide for her family.

And now we get to quilts!! An artist who knows how to use a needle and thread. Adapting old photographs, using old clothing and creating what we call, raw edge appliqué. I’m sure she saw this going on in the quilting world. This is not a Vietnamese technique, but she does it extremely well.

This artist lives in Vietnam, so it is fun to see modern people.

She really is a great at this technique!

Love sharing some details.

It was wonderful finding another museum. this is one I will probably return to again. Since it is very well done. Also, she didn’t do raw edge, she turned them under, which is more impressive to me. Also she hand appliquéd and embroidered.


The Wende Museum of the Cold War

Wende means turning point in German, and what a change the Cold War period was. And no one was collecting or documenting. Enter Justinian Jampol, a young native Los Angeleno who took it upon himself to start collecting and documenting the Cold War period, primarily in East Germany and the USSR. At the age of 24 he started the actual museum project

In 2012 the museum was granted a 75 year lease on the unused Armory in Culver City and what a great building it is for this museum.

I found some old images of the building before Culver City put it to good use by leasing to the museum.

The mission statement outside. different people will find different messages here

I will say, this is primarily a research center, with wonderful space for displays. There are glass cases with all kinds of paraphernalia from different aspects of the Cold War, in this case its’ the listening and spying devices. a little scary, especially since today in the West, the systems are so much more sophisticated and very much in use.

Radios and a telephone weren’t that different from their counterparts in the west.

There are a number of these toys, which any hipster would die to give to their children. Renate Muller from East Germany who developed these said they are for use in therapy with children – those who have sensory issues. I’m sure she is right about that, I also wonder if by saying it has a purpose she was able to simply make toys. Dora the quilter told us how when growing up in Romania, she was told to bring her favorite toy to school where it (a doll) was confiscated because not everyone had toys at home. I’m sure the teacher took it home for her own child.

A Wooden carving of Lenin. And I see how the amazing Chinese tradition of ceramic works becomes part of the propaganda of Mao.

Out in the lovely garden there is this sculpture of Yuri Gragarian, The first man to go to outer space, quite the hero in Russia and the USSR.

I’m pretty sure they have events here, the garden is lovely, they are building another event center in the back.

Another view of the garden. Btw, while researching the old armory, in 2007 there was a brutal murder on the site. I go digging for history and some ugly stuff comes up.

There are plenty of pieces of the Berlin Wall to go around, there are a few in LA and all over the world. Ninety six miles of wall, surrounding the island of West Berlin from the surrounding communist east.

This one is 4th generation, constructed in 1975. The long base on the eastern side was there to prevent people from ramming the wall and toppling sections. the wall. Nov. 9 1989, is the end of the communist block, people from the east stormed the checkpoints into West Berlin and subsequently toppled the whole wall.

The front, or West side of this piece was painted by the artist Thierry Noir, it was updated once it was removed to this site. He is the first famous artist to paint one of the blocks, Keith Herring and other modern artists followed suit.

The main exhibition area inside is dedicated to traveling exhibits, more on that anon.


Now I understand multiple cross-stitch projects

This is the project I chose while taking a break from the huge Solomons Temple.

Being in a stitching groups, there is a lot of enabling going on…. this is from a French designer, I bought the letter L as well as the letter K.

I went in a different direction, I chose a dark blue-grey 36 count linen I have on hand. This means two strands. I narrowed my colors down to three, gold, grey-white and a variegated color from Sulky, which is thicker, so I only need to use one strand.

I enjoy, choosing the colors, since the original used about 7 colors and I’m only using three.

There are a number of animals. I like this dog, there is also a rabbit. I know some French, so I recognize some of the objects. but I don’t think all of them start with an L. Maybe this is a Labrador, which is the same in French.

There were some mistakes, so I rearranged some of the motifs, and yes, added my name. And now I need to figure out, am I going to make the K? Will I frame them together? Who knows

This image actually makes me happy, it says I only completed almost 70%, which tells me that it counts the background as stitches as well. Since I am clearly done and I marked everything as finished – it means that my big project has also been counting the background.

It is a joy to get back to this. I now realize that I can’t simply work only on this, I’ll have to do other projects as well – but I won’t be working on 50 WIPs.

I have also been making cloth napkins for the San Fernando Valley Quilt Guilds’ boutique and sale in October. This is fabric I bought in that huge sale two years ago – glad to be putting this to good use. I have more fabric, I may make more napkins, or maybe placemats.

We had a large party here on Sunday. it was lovely in the afternoon and evening to sit outside, eat, drink and talk. What a lovely time. One of the guests brought me these beautiful flowers. Lillies that have now opened and I love the color!


Back at the park

Summer is slow and I like it that way.

I shared a lot of pictures from here and yet, there is always more to see.

People leaving nice messages.

I hope he catches a fish – it is hot sitting there in the sun with no shade or hat. I did see other people who did catch fish.

Most of the birds are happy to find any shade available.


It seems that in order to kayak on the lake, one needs an escort.

These are all the same kayakers.

I don’t know what bird this is, it isn’t an egret or Heron, they have very long necks.

Always something new to see, if you takes a different path.

Golfers on the green.


This and that

Shira got braces, she is away at sleep away camp, I’ll see her in a few weeks and hear all about it and how she is liking her braces.

Aytan is spending a whole month at sleep away camp and is loving it!

Picking West up from basketball camp

Elk and family spent a whole week on a huge cruise ship and had a great time.

We are 6 months into the book club and it is going great! All 15 of us showed up!!! I wonder if that will ever happen again?

Neighbor has pomegranates, but will they survive the squirrels?

I’m trying to buy vintage rather than new made in China. So I found this Bauer bowl, Old pink color. Is it really vintage?

Maybe, old Bauer incised their name and the three indentations show where it sat in the kiln. I have bought new Bauer, I’m not into collecting for collecting sake, I want to use what I buy.

And so I did, as soon as I got this home and washed it. Old antique shops are very dusty!


Faith Ringold

When looking for a picture of Faith, I looked for one where she is old, she is 92 years old, so sharing a picture from 40 years ago – doesn’t show the beauty that radiates from this artist.

With two friends, we drove to Hollywood to see the exhibit. Faith Ringgold A survey This exhibit was better than many I have seen a museum. My one complaint about galleries, they don’t have didactic panels. And the whipper snapper at the front desk lectured me about how modern they are – I have to scan the code on the wall. I’m glad I did, but limiting access to only people with a smart phone – isn’t very smart.

I saw an image of her famous quilt – Tar Beach – which later she used in writing a Children’s book. At the time I was more of a quilt snob, so the use of a painted center with a quilted border felt like ‘cheating’ to me. I have evolved since then, Quilts are much broader than basic blocks and fabrics. Looking closely I can see how important those Hawaiian fabrics are – the beach.

One thing I learned is that Faith is a pioneer feminist, Black activist. I really appreciate her for that, what bothers me is that today – there is a whole new crop of people who feel that they are at the forefront of the fight as if the likes of Ringgold are meaningless and their hard work didn’t bring about a lot of good change.

From 1974, back then I wouldn’t have called this a quilt. And today, to me it is an art quilt. The very traditional quilt pattern is painted, the border is fabric, and it isn’t quilted. She paints, she quilts, she makes gorgeous dolls.

3 women flanked by very colorful painted canvases with leather fringe

The figure on the left is Aunt Edith, the center one is Aunt Bessie, I don’t know the name of the third woman. These were made in the 70s. Her mother made their clothes, she was a fashion designer who got a degree at FIT – way back when, like in the 30s? No one every mentions these kind of accomplishments – because people like to only give credit to change when it happens through large social groups, like feminism or BLM.

All three are wearing masks, an homage to African masks, as well as the kind of beaded necklaces worn in Africa.

Aunt Edith (there is a series of 31 of these women, all relatives of Faiths’) also has a whistle. I caught on that this is a reminder of the whistle that Faith blew when protested The Whitney for not including first black artists and then women artists. I wonder if that is the actual whistle.

This is Dolores. I noticed that Aunt Bessies blue dress showed up again in the border of another work of art. This is the sign of a true quilter – use your stash!

Here we have Yvonne, Sugar and Evelyn. I’m very happy that the gallery included these, because going online and looking for information about these soft sculptures – I found very little. Because the art world is still locked into what they think art is – and this ain’t it. I of course love this.

One thing I love about Faith is that in her art – it’s not only about black people, she is part of a full culture.

Juanita, Eddie and Caron, 1973

I LOVE Juanitas’ backside, and how the fabric was used to emphasize a black womans body. This is being said by someone who is almost as flat as a board.

After the show, we went and had a lovely lunch. What a great day! hoping for many more.


Always look closer

I have shared so many pictures of walking around my neighborhood, and yet, I like looking closely and I see new things! Some are actually new, other are things I just haven’t noticed before.

This is on a street I don’t walk down often, so maybe it has been here a while.

This is new, the track running around the whole yard and the sign to enjoy the train and to please keep dogs away from it. I haven’t seen an actual train, I wonder if they are waiting for Christmas time – no idea.

This conductor by the side door is new. So I’m expecting the train to show up soon. I’ll take a video when it does.

The Art walk by CBS studio, a lot of items have been taking out over the years, but why is this the first time I actually paid attention to this one. Here is the sculpture on the whole.

Emotion pulls everything far down vs…

information, evidence, facts, observations… all the hard work people should do to actually come to conclusions.

I have shared this house often, not much has changed, except the golf cart that used to sit in the front yard, what I want to share is the garage and the house above it.

I walked down the alley to take these pictures. An angry sun, lions head other images in the stone. Pay attention to that small dragon climbing the wall.

The backdoor to the yard.

Chaplin and ??? looks like it has been here a while and has been fading for a while.

The pirate, looking at something. what could it be?

A Pirate girls, is she climbing up or down?

Seeing him from the back, how wonderful is it that his shirt is actually torn! This is not some fancy pirate.

Is this the same scary dragon or another one? Is this who the girl is trying to escape from? Who knows, all I know is that I love that creativity abounds as public art.


A tree comes down

Sunday morning, all is quiet and suddenly a crack and boom. I didn’t go look until about half an hour later and this is what I saw.

The huge redwood next door, decided that one of its’ branches was just too heavy. all I could think at this moment was God was watching over me, it landed in the driveway but didn’t damage our house at all.

View from the other side, I had to walk through the house of course.

An extremely close call.

Here is where the branch cracked and broke, a large portion ended up on the roof of the guest house. I immediately went next door. A young couple is renting there – we all were in shock, they hadn’t checked right away, when they did, they said a branch broke into their roof and they had to save their cat from the guest house. They also told me that the owner died recently and the house is in trust for his special needs son.

facing this in the driveway, I immediately called my gardener, he prunes our trees. Both cars were in the garage, I didn’t need to be anywhere until the afternoon, but this had to be taken care of asap.

God bless Octavio, he immediately arrived, on a Sunday, with a truck and started cutting. I warned him how huge it was! He had to call in reinforcement to chop off what was hanging over our driveway.

There is his guy, but in the tree, cutting down more of the branches.

After a few hours this is what it looked like.

He doesn’t have the wood chipper, so he drives this to the city compost center.

The neighbors gave me the contact for the Trustee, Octavio is bringing the receipt today- one thing he forgot in his rush to get over. This is what it looks like after his work – which wasn’t cheap at all.

The story continues….


In Hiatus

I fell in love with this cross stitch pattern a few years ago. I think I found it free online. It’s called Solomons Temple, although to me, it looks like and Indian Temple. I ordered 46 count fabric and found out that is too small for me. so another order for 40 count, and yes, it is very large.

The 46 count is on top, I know, it’s a little fuzzy, but I simply couldn’t see even with the magnifiers and pushing the needle through was hard. The small icon in the middle looked too much like a swastika to me, so, it got changed, differently each time.

This time the. 46 is in focus.

Working on the roof

There is a lot of full coverage, a lot more than I thought, or maybe I just didn’t take that into consideration.

10% and I”m slogging through. at this point it says Have till December to finish.

This might have been the 10%, not sure

I love the birds.

Here is where I am now.

Here I am, 24%, almost a quarter and I’m burnt out. so I’m going to make some smaller projects, I’ll probably work on this from time to time.

Of course, I had to make a project bag for this to live in.

I do need to remember to pull it out from time to time.