Contemporary Craft Show

For years this show would occur biannually at the convention center in Santa Monica.  Well  they are in a midst of renovation so last year the show moved to Pasadena.

I have no problem going either place, actually Pasadena is much easier for me.  So I grabbed some local friends who had never been to this show and off we went.                              Amongst the many shows, faires, events in the park – this one is the best quality.  I have purchased multiple items here throughout the years.  I forgot my camera so used my phone. Many vendors do not allow photos, I understand that, also, I was trying to capture the feeling, not the details of their work.IMG_2524Woodwork- what can I say, smooth as buttah!IMG_2525Unique and interesting lamps.  Not too thrilled with the ones that look like hand-granades.  To be honest, none of these are my style but they are fascinating and well displayed.IMG_2527There were all kinds of handbags, many like these, as well as some very interesting leather ones.  I must confess, this booth is more of an inspiration for what I can make. In the past I have bought bags at this show.IMG_2528A lot of unique clothing, these coats really caught my eye.IMG_2530Wow to this glass work! Stained glass with other wonderful objects from nature. IMG_2534What I bought!  Dotty is a hand weaver who figured out that you can make money with small items, so along side her scarves she has polymer clay jewelry as well as fun necklaces, bracelets and earrings for the Sewers/quilters among us.  What a creative idea.

Here are some items I have bought in the past. Others, like a glass lamp, already broke. Or some lovely bags – I probably gave away. I am not a packrat, I don’t save everything, I don’t even save wonderful handmade items. My grandmother was a packrat, I learned that that is not a good thing to be.P1020584A few years ago, I bought this wonderful ceramic garden sculpture by Leslie Codina, she continues to make more of these in new fresh colors.P1020582I think this has been in my garden for 3 years, still bright, pretty and no chips.P1020592Unfortunately the woman who weaves these cotton chenille blankets no longer comes.P1020594Hint of blue, a good contrast to the gold/yellow.P1020586A silk dyer, also no longer there, but there are others, just as talented.P1020588



A look at where my raw materials come from


Go look at the pictures, even read the article.  Fruits of the Loom. I love it when a good photographer captures the essence of an industry.  My only quibble with the article is about how the textile industry is in it’s final death throes.  Sorry, I beg to differ.

It isn’t what it was 50 or even 150 years ago. It has changed, but with all of us crafters out there as well as a thriving garment business going on all over the US (I can give tours of the LA area garment districts alone). Textiles haven’t died here and all moved to China.  Like every other business – it has changed. Change is not death.

Anyway, enough of my soapbox, just go look at the photos, they are wonderful and they tell an amazing human+machine story.


Urban Nine Patch has arrived safely at it’s new home with my friend Lynne. And Bella came to live with me.BellaThese colors are pretty true, as you can see I took the picture outside. The beautiful frame is handmade as well – by Lynne’s husband. Isn’t it a beauty?  He didn’t want to part with this, but  now that he has the quilt at home – he is thrilled.Bella

Colors are not true, I’m still learning this camera stuff, but Bella fits in very well in my dining room.P1020266We have a silly commercial here that happy cows make happy cheese, cows prefer the sunshine of CA to say Wisconsin. Bella came from the northeast and should be very happy here.

I am not one to sell my work, back in the day when I did, I cut corners in order to save on expenses and time.  I love being able to make things and not keep a record of what my profit will be. This exchange worked out better than expected. We traded goods, Lynne got a beautiful quilt that looks as if it were custom made for her. (She promises pictures soon). And I have a wonderful watercolor that I love.  Oh, and we met on Facebook, so there you have it, never pass up an opportunity to make new friends.


Quilt and Dress being shown at the Modern Quilt Guild meeting

I sort of cringe when I see myself in these photos. I figure, if  I’m sharing all this on the blog, I better get over my self-consciousness!


People watching in LA

Last night on a whim, we hopped on the subway and went downtown. We were heading to LA Live.  On the way I was able to show Joel the hidden treasure that is Hotel Figueroa.  Yes he was suitably impressed.pool at Hotel Fig at night

There was a Clipper game last night, it was fun watching the people stream into the Staple Center.

As for LA Live, meh, we ate at one of the many large, similar, not so great food – restaurants. At least it was a balmy night, we sat outside  and enjoyed more people watching. It was a fun evening but we don’t see ourselves hanging out at LA Live much, there are better options downtown.

I love this image
P1020224Love how well dressed they are,  she is holding his coat and he is holding a paper bag. Probably their leftovers from dinner.  I enjoy speculating

about the people I see, trying to invent some fancy story.neon downtownSetting the scene,  I love signs, I love the juxtaposition of the shapes, the words, even the clouds and the lacy leaves of the trees.  Beauty and good composition can be found anywhere.


Random DTLA (downtown LA)

My introduction to downtown was in the early 90s’.  We had recently moved to LA from Israel, for Joel it was moving back, for me it was a whole new world.  Our first year here I started taking classes at LA Valley college, a wonderful local community college. I then enrolled at FIDM and set out studying textile design. That is a subject for  a different post.

FIDM had just completed their lovely new building, so I found myself going downtown a few days a week. I stayed very close to the campus. I would venture to the Fashion District and even got a part time job there.  But in those days, downtown was still very sketchy. So I never ventured far.

How things have changed, today I am a downtown docent with The LA Conservancy and I love exploring on my own, which is what I did the other day. I’m sharing some pictures without much information. I know I should get better at both taking the pictures and gathering information.  Meanwhile, just enjoy some wonderful architectural details,  Los Angeles can boast as much as NY or Chicago – we have real beauty here which I am happy to share.Interior of Hayward Hotel LobbyThe exterior of this building is on my Downtown Renaissance tour,  since I am doing all the talking I don’t take pictures. I had the opportunity today to enter the lobby.  Today this is a low income building, but as you can see, the owner Izek Shomof takes very good care of his buildings regardless of how much rent is being paid.

P1020160I love the detail on the railing. Hotel Hayward was originally a hotel for traveling salesmen, very close to the PE Trolly station. Even then the cost for rooms was reasonable, but the lobby was very well appointed.
P1020166 This building is further south on Spring st, someone was filming there. I just love the details.P1020167 How about these wonderful eagles?P1020169 I think the address of this building is 801 Spring st. Spring st and Main st. meet  just beyond this location.  I was capturing the exterior when a young man with a camera exited and he just let me in.Straddling two streetsAs you can see, the building straddles two streets. Today this is a residential building, the lobby is beautiful and well cared for.P1020173 The details on the ceiling are lovely, someone cleaned and possibly repainted them.P1020174There are three elevators, only one still has the original doors, I don’t know if the car was replaced.  As you can it, it used to have one of those dials that let you know what floor the elevator was on.  I did see that the other two are modern doors, no I didn’t take pictures of them.

That is it for today,  I promise many more in the future.


Part of the Diane Von Furstenberg show

At the DVF show in my dressThe show closes tomorrow. I was at LACMA today, being a docent they let me in even though it’s not open to the public on  Wednesdays. There were some cute hipsters setting up for a party there tonight.

I asked one of them to take my picture. (once again, just with the iPhone). She was so surprised to hear that I didn’t buy this dress, it isn’t made under the DVF label. She had a whole new level of respect when I told her I made this dress myself.

So now, I’ve got proof that I was part of the show here in Los Angeles.


Back to making jewelry

Having a blog means I need fresh content.  Not complaining, just saying. So my creativity goes in cycles, knitting, sewing, quilting. There have been years when I stopped do any of these things. During one of those periods I got into beading in a big way. Yes, my eyes were younger than, it was easier.  Of course I still have a reasonable stash of beads and supplies. These days, big funky cheap looking jewelry is all the rage and to be honest. For $20 I can pick up something adorable downtown, buying the materials for the same necklace would probably cost me $40. green necklaceCase in point.  I get a lot of compliments when I wear this. So on that same trip downtown, where I found my I Love LA fabric, I found beads. Let me put it this way, the friend I was with wanted to visit the bead stores – they weren’t new to me.  I ‘thought’ I’d just be showing her around – yeah right. Of course one of the stores was having a big sale, like $2-4 for strands of nice beads.  My friend bought quite a few, me I bought some as well.  What I had in mind was knocking off this necklace.original and new beadsWhich meant finding a focal piece and getting some chain, two things I didn’t have at home.assembling the necklaceTools of the trade and starting the beading process.finished amber color necklaceKnock off,  never looks exactly like the original – that is why it’s called a knock-off, not a copy.P1020196I like the end result very very much. Went to dinner last night with girlfriends and one immediately asked if I made this. Score! So no, I don’t see myself getting back into beading in a big way, but it sure is fun from time to time to pull out the old tools, get a few new beads and make another necklace.  Oh and cost, yeah, I think this one was closer to $30.


Visit to Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach Ca.

IMG_3482Today was a fun day with the grand kids at the Aquarium of the Pacific. I remember visiting  when it opened 16 years ago. Of course I’ve been back since, going with grandchildren makes it all the more fun. When it first opened, they stocked it with baby fish, by now many of them have grown and many others have been added – it really is a magical place.IMG_3484They have 3 or 4 pools where children (and adults) can use two fingers to touch the animals. Here it is sea anenomes,  in other pools it’s baby sharks, baby rays, star fish and jelly fish. Not the stinging kind!IMG_3485Aytan didn’t get the message to look at the camera.IMG_2309They have divers in the big central tank, saying hello is always fun.

What did Aytan think was the best part? Feeding the Lorakeets.IMG_3487 IMG_3491Birds at an aquarium?  Birds from Australia no less?  Well I guess it is on the Pacific ocean. At $3 a pop for that little cup of food, it is probably one of the best money makers the aquarium has.

This is a wonderful place for anyone interested in the bounty and beauty of the ocean.  A fun place to spend a nice brisk spring morning.


Diane Von Furstenberg Knockoff

The moment I saw the DVF dress show, I knew I had to knock off this dress. Actually I already have.

wrap dress 1I had bought this cotton jersey print at Joann’s on a whim. I have quite a large library of patterns and I made this cute little wrap dress.

This time around I’d like to use a few more elements from DVF.Fabric and patternI bought this fabric last year at Michael Levine’s Loft. One thing that Michael Levine does is work closely with jobbers. These are the guys that buy out mill ends and such from the many local manufactures. Which means you will see fabric here you won’t see anywhere else, unless it’s already on a garment. It also means you have to wade through piles of junk to find the gems.

They are brilliant at charging $2 a pound, rather than charging by the yard. I can attest that fabric weighs more than you think. I have come out of there having spent a lot more than I intended to. fabric close upAside from being a very detailed tropical print on a black background, the fabric has another element. It is overprinted with  vinyl polka dots, which shimmer and glimmer as you move. This is a cheep way of accenting fabric rather than covering it with sequins. I don’t know what the fabric is, my guess is some kind of polyester with a little bit of lycra.

I’ve been sitting on it for a while, once I saw the DVF show, that was it, it must become a fabulous DVF style wrap dress.Vogue 8379Perfect pattern, it has the collar and the short sleeves. One modification I would like to make, is the  pleats at the waistline which give fullness in the breast area. I would like to modify that. DVF dresses don’t have that element. So I will be playing with some cheaper knit to get the front bodice  to fit nicely without those pleats.