Sewing Along

My sewing room is almost completely set up. I have been busy developing my new skills. Learning the lingo. Finding places to gather my supplies. Investigating websites and watching YouTube videos.

There is a lot to getting into a new hobby. I am lucky to have space to create. My little sewing room now has some art on the walls, and space for some new upcoming fiber art.

Created by my mother Alina. When she was traveling she brought this project along.
My mother-in-law gifted us many years ago.

My closet has shelves to store my fabrics that I have been gathering. I have a chest my mother bought when she lived in Hong Kong. It is getting filled with rulers, rotary cutters, clips, pins, threads, etc. The coupons from Joann’s comes in handy.

My first project was a wall hanging for my grandsons. Dinosaurs in bright colors. Except for the binding I hand quilted this one. I was so excited to gift it to them that I forgot to take a picture. Well I know where it is so on Monday I will be babysitting and I’ll grab a photo.

I started with a few small projects. I found a cute book of pot holders and began to learn how to appliqué.

My first project.

This pot holder was quickly followed by three more.

I made two of these for my cat people.

I then tackled a baby quilt for my grandson due in 2-3 weeks.

This is more of a soft quilt to lay on and not under. Babies do not use blankets until they are older so this will be useful for the little one.

Then I started to follow some quilting blogs, watching some tutorials and reading some pattern books. I decided to get some practice at cutting and stitching straight 1/4 inch seams. And I began my next project, a small pieced quilt. The last time I pieced a quilt was 40 years ago. My neighbor was a quilter and she helped me. I machine pieced and hand quilted a twin sized quilt for my four year old son. I don’t have a photograph of my work. I was pleased with the result. I had my daughter soon after and life continued on. My mother also quilted for the first time two twin quilts.

My sewing machine set up with a Sew Steady table.

My machine is currently sitting on a desk. I just got a new chair. My previous desk chair is quite old and the hydraulic lift was no longer working. I would sit at the desk and continue to slip lower and lower. A sinking feeling. New chair I can sit at a better angle. I still may end up looking for a better solution with better ergonomics.

I am practicing matching points. Some nights I sew a couple of squares, and then while watching tv I rip out about half of them. I am kind of a perfectionist when I look at my work closely. I know that once it is done the mistake will be happy little unique moments.

Quilt in progress. This is called a scrappy quilt design.

The color class I took at Cosumnes River College with Patty Felkner prepares me for my new endeavor. This quilt called for 4 dark and 4 light colors. Design was not my focus this time. Can you tell?

I am lucky that there are quite a few local quilt shops near my house. I visited 4 shops and found my new “home”. This shop has helpful people and nice fabrics. The shop is called Swifty Stitches after the Golden Retriever, Swifty the owner’s dog. This afternoon I met Swifty and his friend Lila, another Golden Retriever. Getting some puppy love is an added bonus. I signed up for a beginner class that starts in February. I hope that I will learn some new techniques.

Blockheads 3 starts this week. Designers from all over will provide patterns and the fb group will share the outcomes online. I thought I might be overwhelmed, but the group has encouraged me to jump in. I will experience new techniques and can find help if I need it. I bought some fabric (fat quarters) and so I will be busy.

Sew here I go! I will continue to blog, take photos, read about raising a puppy, pursue my genealogy and “dabble along”.

Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020 – The world keeps spinning

My head has been so full of noise that I did not realize that I have been neglecting to write.

So what what has caused me to think that my brain is playing “Pong”. I think that my loss of focus has been due to my dog deprived life. I have changed my sleeping pattern to a staying up late (2 am). I have always been more of a night owl since I retired, but this is getting ridiculous. This week I am making a better effort to wake up before 8:00 am, get going, and not drift back to sleep.

So what else is going through my head. It bounces from one interest to another. From Genealogy to Photography to my newest interest in Quilting. Not that these interests can’t coincide in one person, but that each pulls me away from the other. My son called this “dabbling”. Maybe I just continue to find new and interesting things to learn.

Oh, probably the most disorienting part of my life is news and the media (ie Facebook). Need I say more?

This 2020 election is very important. Be sure you are registered to VOTE!

One moment I am all about connecting the dots on my Ancestry family tree. I just started writing down my own personal story as a child of two Holocaust survivors. My hope is that I will one day be able to articulate a coherant story to others. I am a participant of CVHEN (California Valley Holocaust Education Network) and Sacramento Second Generation Holocaust Survivor’s group (now renamed Holocaust Survivors and Descendants). Though I find that with all my reading on the subject I sometimes need to take a step back from this subject. It is at that moment I take up another interest.

Photography helps me get out. Sometimes I just need to force myself to get out of the house. And away from the television and the continued crazy news that surrounds me. I don’t want to bury my head in the sand, but I have some very serious questions as to where this country, and the world is headed. This very clearly harkens back to my family’s past “real” experiences. So with camera in hand, and a great group of friends we head out to explore local spots. So far the weather this fall/winter has been quite favorable to getting outside. In other words, Sacramento has not had very much rain.

Fountains in Roseville are mesmerizing.

The climate here in Sacramento has changed in the almost 40 years I have been here. I remember all the fog that enveloped Sacramento when we first moved here. Moving into my first house in 1980, there was so much fog that lasted throughout the day that I didn’t even know which window would receive sunshine for the first 3 months (December through February 1981). Then we had record rains. I remember driving from my house in Sacramento to Orangevale 10 miles away and not knowing if the visibility would allow me to make it to work on time. I never understood the mass pileups on the freeways when I was in New York. The fog just engulfs you from out of nowhere. It has been quite a while since I have seen that kind of fog. I just looked up Tule Fog, and discovered why scientists say there is less of this phenonomun. Cleaner air. Good for the driving public. Do you remember the Tule fog? Can you see that my focus drifts.

Back to photography. Since my camera group changed the format from Camera Toutin’ Tuesdays to Camera Toutin’ Days our busy schedules get in the way. Doctor and dentist appointments, haircuts and massages, grandkids, and life may get in the way, but a steady group of 6-8 shows up. I am lucky to have found a good group of friends to share my joy in photography. I know that I can always find peace with my photography.

Here are some of my images from the year 2019. Not my most productive year. I did have that spinal surgery that kept me out of the loop for a while.

Taken with my new Macro lens.
Long Beach at sunset.

Looking back through my images I found some inspiration.

Plan to pop the champagne cork tonight at midnight.
My first date with my husband occured on New Years Eve 1966. No drinking and driving.

The year 2020 starts tomorrow. Bigger and better plans for the coming year. Around February 8 a new grandchild is set to arrive. That makes #7. My daughter is having a boy to add to her 4 boys and 1 girl. Busy family.

Ginger and Ace are expecting puppies in February. I am hoping to to bring one of the pups to my house in March.

Here is Ginger and Ace!
This handsome Henry was shopping with his human. I so can’t wait to have a dog friend of my own. This is a mulligan Australian Labradoodle standard size. I await a smaller version.
Plan to watch out! Be aware of your surroundings!

Heading to New York “The Big Apple” in March before our puppy joins our household. Planning to play tourist. See a show, visit relatives, and gather genealogical info. Also NYC is great for street photography and of course eating.

I plan to continue to spend less time in malls unless they are outside like the Fountains. Well I will see how this works out.

And I hope that everyone around me can follow this saying. There is entirely too much animosity circulating now.

Happy New Year to all my friends and followers. Here’s hoping for a bright 2020!

The Misadventures of Subi Blue / Thanks Costco

Last week my husband and I made the trip south to visit my family for the High Holidays. In preparation for the 8 hour trip, and the upcoming rainy season we bought 4 new tires for my Subaru Outback. This two year old car has about 32,000 miles and I guess the tires wear out quicker in the hot Sacramento sun.

Trip down was uneventful, but lengthy. We usually stop a Pea Soup Andersen’s and we almost missed it. Needed to be on I-5 and not 99S.

Pea Soup Andersen’s

Traveling through Los Angeles and into Orange County the traffic is unbelievable. Looking at all the single drivers I can’t imagine commuting daily to work. Listening to the traffic every 10 minutes there didn’t appear to be any freeway that way flowing. Accidents, cars on fire, people being airlifted, and more accidents. Lots of distracted drivers in the bumper-to-bumper parking lot. I just didn’t want to be one of them, and we weren’t. Yah!

This trip was planned as a time with family. Visiting with Ed and Leti in Laguna Nigel, we met up with my niece and nephew for dinner in Long Beach. On the way we stopped in Winchester at the Art Supply Warehouse. Leti takes art classes and wanted to get some supplies since we were close by. I have been looking all over for turquoise fountain pen ink for my Parker pen. And there it was.

Mural outside of Art Supply Warehouse

My nephew works for Swift, a subscription computer ap for cycling. Interesting tour of the inner workings of this business. Wonderful view of the city from high above Long Beach.

Arrived as sun was setting.
Amazing view of Long Beach

The star of the evening was meeting my very cute great niece Sidney. See for yourself.

Sidney kept removing her bow. Mom put it back on.

The next day our tour guide, Ed took us to Laguna Beach. Enjoyed the nice weather, and I got some photo time.

Love the sound of waves crashing.
Plein Air artist
Artistic bench. We did lock eyes!
The letter M
Selfie
Cacti and Bouganvilla contrasted
World Trade Center Memorial

Dinner was served at a Persian restaurant Darya. Great meal, and a delayed birthday cake surprise! Belly dancer entertained us tonight. Sorry, I couldn’t figure out how to import a short video clip. So I used Luminar to enhance this photo.

Fantastic belly dancer

Dinner preparation started, and continued for the next two days. The only boxed ingredients was my wide noodles, otherwise recipes were created from scratch. I made Apple Lochen Kugel, and Leti cooked, and cooked, and cooked. Traditions between Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews are quite different. Plenty of discussion about gefilte fish.

Giving us the fish eye. There is areason we needed the eye of the fish and no tail.

I guess, it may an aquired taste. I’m not fussy so everything was delicious.

Ok. So did I start this blog with Subi Blue and Costco? Took off at 8:45 am to miss the main commuter traffic into LA. But as soon as we got to Grapevine a light came on to let us know there was a problem with the tires. Our new tires. Found a gas station, checked the air and put in some. Light goes out, great. Light comes back on in about 45 minutes (about 60 miles later). Find another gas station, and more air in tire. Now we decide to look for a Costco. Using my iPhone directions we head to Hanford, Ca. Driving down roads in the middle of no where we drive about two hours. Passing places and towns, agriculture and desert sand. Of course we still needed to stop to replace lost air. Corcoran, Ca. has a gas station and we continue.

Subi Blue in Corcoran, Ca.

Arrive in Hanford. Plenty of cows, but we are not stopping for pictures. Mooo! Looking for East Lacey Blvd, and arrive at the destination according to my phone and it is a field. Can’t find Costco. Air is now leeking out faster. We stop at Wyndam in Visalia and get directions to Costco in Visalia. Guess we blew past Hanford!

Now is desperate need of air, we stop at another gas station, but the air pump is out of order. More directions, and finally arrive at Costco in another 15 minutes. Worried we might be driving on the wheel. Luckily there was one tire left in our size. Two hour delay where we dined on the usual Costco hot dog meal. With sourkraut. Thanks Anne. Replaced with same type tire at no charge, (road hazard warranty!), gassed up and we were ready to go. Thanks Costco and Ernie R. for getting us on the road so quickly.

Arrived home at 10:45 pm.

I haven’t left my house since Monday. So glad to be home.

Unfocused

Have you ever sat down to do one thing and end up somewhere else? Of course you have. Well that is what I am going through, therefore my ability to blog has been stymied.

It seems like just the other day that I planned to write about my last minute plans to just get in the car and get away from the Sacramento heat. And we did. I just booked a room at Half Moon Bay, and off we went. Coming from 100 degree heat to 65 degrees felt good. Thought I might be cold, and I brought along a sweatshirt, but never felt the need to wear it. The weather was overcast, the air still, and dry.

Lovely Public Art found along Redondo Beach in Half Moon Bay

Beach scenes along the San Mateo coastline.

Wildflowers along the cliff at Redondo Beach
Sam’s Chowder House – Good food, nice views, but no sunsets.

Downtown HMB has an artsy touristy vibe. One art studio is dedicated to the creation of art. Last time we were here it wasn’t open. This time I was able to explore.

Doris Williams, harpist, staging angel, and breath coach posed for this photo Go to her website for more info.
Crochet Graffiti Squid
Mural supported by local city and businesses abound.

Funny, but after a couple of days I was looking for some sunshine. So we headed south to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Lots of sun, carnival games, fast food, and street photo opportunities with my Fuji x100f!

On the way back to HMB we stopped and watched some kite surfing!
Pillar Point Marina

Anyway, back to my thinking being all over the place. Going to HMB I was thinking of exploring the possibility of getting a small vacation home/condo, but after our 5 day stay decided, not for us. Food was good, but I did not get the feeling that I would want to stay long-term. Felt good to return home. My husband met his siblings in Las Vegas for a couple of days. Don’t think Las Vegas will be calling our name soon. He did make it over the New York, New York and I think that an east coast trip is inevitable (if only for the deli delights). Went to AAA and got tour books to the east coast from Washington DC all the way to Maine, from Tennessee (grandson lives in Knoxville) to Indiana (David’s sister lives in Indianapolis). Some air travel, some car time. I haven’t been east in a while, and I haven’t visited the east coast in the fall.

May have to take a trip up the hill to Lake Tahoe, and see if a cabin/condo will be a place for a small vacation home. No ocean though. Close to home for a getaway, cheaper real estate than the coast, and things to do.

Forgetting real estate for now I turned to genealogy. My family tree is growing, but I am not sure what my focus should be. It is said that as a detective you should have “a question” you want answered. My second cousin has concluded his investigation of my father’s paternal side of the family. He has a trunk full of information that I need to transfer to my house. Hence another reason to get to the Long Island. I would at least like to put a photograph with as many family members as I can. All of Lawrence’s work was done without benefit of computer. Amazing. My father’s side both paternal (16 aunts & uncles) and maternal (8) were large families. They lived in Krakow, Poland for centuries. Of course the town of Krakow changed hands many times. I guess I will learn some more European history. One question I have is to what extent did the Holocaust affect the family? I am also looking at how the family member’s earned a living. I have much less information about my mother’s side of the family. I know that her mother had a large family, but I can only trace back to my great grandparents. I would like to fill out more of this side of the family lost. “Never Forget!”

Max, my daughter’s 9 year old Pomeranian stayed with us last weekend. He was an easy visitor. For a small teacup sized dog he has a wonderful temperament. Happy, not yappy, and uncomplicated. Max visited once the previous week for a short while, and remarkably felt right at home both inside and outside. He did watch the door for his family to return but did not seen unduly anxious.

Dogs welsomed in HMB

This time I realized that what I truly missed was having my dog. Libby was my first dog, and she was a wonderful Labrador retriever. But I can see that a small to medium size dog would be a better fit. I searched all the dog breeds, of which there are plenty and thought about what I need. I know I have enough energy to train a puppy. It has been a while so I started to review what that entails. I am sure that I want a trained companion. A dog that I can pick up is necessary. I am looking for a friendly, outgoing dog who likes to accompany me on outings. Looking at a smaller dog brings my list down to the following: Labradoodle (small – medium sized), Cocker Spaniel, French bulldog, Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever. So many choices, so many breeders.

I spoke to my vet, and asked about a Lagotto Romanolo, and a labradoodle. She did not know about a Lagotto, but she has a labradoodle. Just check out breeder. Making a decision about a breeder is now harder with the Internet. All breeders have the same exact rules, information, and policies. No home visits (keep pups safe and healthy), place deposit before pups are born, pups are picked in order of deposit placed. Just get to see puppy place when the pups are 6 weeks, go home date is 8 weeks. Priced the same. So I asked to speak to previous buyers, and get information there.

After much thought I found a Australian Labradoodle breeder about 2 hours away. I spoke to and met some dogs from this breeder, and I feel comfortable connecting with her. To adopt a pup from her will require patience on my part. She doesn’t plan on breeding new pups until early 2020. Another alternative would be to adopt from a breeder nearby. I also spoke to previous buyers, and it looks like that may be a way to go. She will have pups this fall. This breeder is younger, and age may have been a factor when I first spoke to her. So the time may be sooner.

This is a long term commitment. I still have the energy to raise a puppy, and most probably will be my last puppy I will train if I am honest with myself. This is why I don’t plan to rescue a dog this time. I want to understand the temperment, and train the dog from the start. I guess my age is starting to factor in to my plans going forward. I’m practical. That in itself is enough to focus on in an unfocused mind.

But I did manage to blog today. Yeah!

And so the story goes.