"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Posts tagged “design

Twisp Highlights- Twisted Knitters Yarn Shop,eqpd Bags, Cinnamon Twisp Bakery

Meet Susan.  Most gracious yarn store hostess.  Every yarn store you visit has “a feel to it” and this is one welcoming shop.  See the label for the botanical dyed local yarn. Just beautiful. I bought some sock yarn weight with silk yarn with a label Three Fates.

Twisted Knitters Yarn Shop


Meet the founder of eqpd (say:equipped) Jonathan Baker, originally from New Hampshire, Rhode Island School of Design grad ( he even used to camp in Ossipee NH where my SIL used to live)

I bought a cool red bag.  If you look at the Twisted Knitters pic above you will see the project bags (red, white and blue) that stand open, have a place for needles, instructions and are just perfectly designed.


Check out this apron made out of two pairs of jeans.  A loaf of dark rye sourdough hit the spot for lunch. Added some sharp cheese.  Cinnamon Twisp Bakery

Metal Restorer-People at Work

Meet John.  He restores metal downtown. Lots of metal.  

I spoke with him when I was downtown for lunch on jury duty selection day. 

 John used to teach shop but it was difficult to land a full time teaching position. 

How about these doors that have been restored? 

Here’s the BEFORE.  Check out left top corner 
I have to return to photograph some elevator doors he has restored. I should have asked him if he redtored the ones in the City County Building?Bronze elevator doors post, my guess? yes.

200 Tons of Sand Divided by 5

My friend Roberta called me today. What a great find for the blog! She told me about the cool competition happening in front of the main Carnegie Library.  Pittsburgh themed and sand sculptures being created by five international teams of two, right under a big tent in Oakland.

The competition is over Friday afternoon at three-“Trowels Down”

200 tons of sand from a quarry was delivered to the walkway in front of the museum, then moved by a front loader.

Each team received 40 tons of sand to sculpt.

IMG_2860International Sand Sculptor Katsuhiko Chaen  has a Sand Museum in Japan


IMG_2917Teammate Bruce Phillips from San Diego concentrating on details of “Dear Andy”.



Teammates Andrius Petkus from Lithuania and Maxim Gazendam the Netherlands creating “The Pearl”IMG_2912“The Pearl”




“Master of Steel”


Jon Woodworth from Texas and Karen Fralich from Ontario Canada work on their sculpture “Master of Steel”


Fergus Mulvany from Ireland and Thomas Koet from Florida

“The Renaissance of Pittsburgh”




“Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio  The Three Graces of Pittsburgh”

Teammates Ilya Filimontsev from Russia &  Susanne Ruseler of the Netherlands


IMG_2943Sifting the sand to get rid of the rubble


IMG_2946Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh- Main

IMG_2942If you want to try your hand at sculpting sand, here is a link from Katsuhiko Chaen  to the Sand Museum in Japan on how to do it.


and FB page

A Charm Bracelet Started in the Sixties

Now I’m in my sixties! 

Do you have one of these in a drawer or a jewelry box somewhere? I hardly wear jewelry nowadays.  These were popular when I was in 7, 8th grade- freshman in high school. (1966-67).  Charm bracelet definition and history

Maybe  you’re sporting one of those trendy cable types with the bead charms? Each one a carefully chosen gift by someone who knows you or a gift to self, to commemorate an interest, travel or person in your life. 

Funny, I have a guitar and a grand piano on mine but am not skilled at either. I taught myself on a Sears guitar the summer of 1964 and could strum Michael, Row the Boat Ashore but a charm to signify guitar playing is funny. And I took piano lessons, unsuccessfully.

I’ve seen gold charm bracelets in antique stores for a lot of money. You wonder about the owner and the significance of the charms collected. And a full charm bracelets can make way too much annoying noise, jingling in the theatre. 

Wednesday afternoon, I was out with a couple of friends and admired one’s bracelet with holiday charms, a charm a month bracelet. I told her about mine. She asked me if it still fit! Hmmmm, how much bigger is my wrist now? It has enough links so  yes it still does fit but I didn’t know until I got home, dug it out and tried it on. Ha!

The one charm is a typewriter with a tiny carriage that moves back and forth. Fancied myself a writer? 

I think I remember which friend gifted me the Forget-Me-Not.  There’s an enameled disk from a 1965 field trip to the UN. 

When I came home and found my old charm bracelet and went to photograph it, I mistakenly pulled out a crystal dish I thought would look good under it. The dish towel was a better solution. No reflection.

It’s silver and unpolished. I remember you could have the charms sodered on so they wouldn’t come off. If I were to add a charm for my interests today it would have to be a skein of yarn and knitting needles and places visited would fill it up and then some. Charms for my life now could be so different.

Photographing jewelry is tricky, I forgot.

One aspect I wasn’t really aware of or considering is this- “The wearing of charms may have begun as a form of amulet or talisman to ward off evil spirits or bad luck.[1]”.          

 Of course…….lucky charms! Duh!

Feel free to send a photo of your charm bracelet or a write about a specific charm. Initial pins were the rage in the late sixties, too. 

The dish towel for a backdrop 

…compared to my first thought of using a the crystal dish as a backdrop to photograph the bracelet 

The shadows from the dish looked better than the jewelry.

Plastic charm necklace from the 80’s blogpost you might remember.

Meet Malka- A Stitch in Dye

Austin, Texas is noted for live music and creative artists.

And stunning hand-dyed, uniquely-patterned fabrics, by Malka Dubrawsky. Touring her studio, I was reminded of my color theory class, studying Josef Albers.

In between wedding and celebrations, Colleen, who hails from Nova Scotia, made arrangements to meet Malka at her studio, A Stitch in Dye.

Colleen is an avid quilter and follows Malka’s blog.

The four of us piled in Joanne’s car and her son Chris, ferried us to A Stitch in Dye where Malka welcomed us and generously gave a tour of her studio.


Malka Dubrawsky – Fiber Artist

26074255430_c07b8adf97_kMalka explained the dye process. We learned about the addition of soda ash.

Lengths of fabric soak in dye. Wax in electric frying pans for making the designs on the fabric


26321167766_3db3fc7cff_kWax design drying, ready for a dye bath


Button jar

25741790244_61ef3cd42e_kJoanne spotted these gloves on a shelf.  Thanks J.


Custom designs available and international shipping! Click for her Etsy Store to see samples of her vibrant hand dyed fabrics. She has written two books.

Color Your Cloth: A Quilter’s Guide to Dyeing and Patterning Fabric and Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspiration.

26347120015_67c1d4d60d_oLeft Handed Appliqué Scissors.

26321137986_7e4f2f7d75_kStacks of fabric to be sewn into quilt designs

26074218620_1663b13e6f_kThanks for a wonderful tour.  Malka saw us out to the parking lot.

Glad Colleen had such a cool connection in Austin.   The fabrics she bought were richly colored and fabulous designs. Can’t wait to see your quilt creation, Colleen. Send photos for upcoming blog post!

Front Porch Still-Life at Dusk

Reblogged From March 2010 -if you’ve followed since the start, you remember this photograph 
Old seltzer bottles, a birdcage, the texture of the wicker, some stained glass at dusk.
J’s front porch with the sun sinking behind. Condensation inside the old glass, the metal tops. Artists usually arrange inanimate objects to create a still-life to paint or draw. This was already there, waiting.

But then it is an artist’s house.
Still Life, a grouping of inanimate objects arranged in a pleasing composition
Setting sun through old turquoise and plain glass seltzer bottles

Yarnphoria in Philadelphia

Knitters find yarn stores when they travel. It’s fun to buy souvenir yarn.  Add to the stash. I bought sock yarn dyed after a Monet painting. When I wear them I’ll remember our time in Philadelphia. Of course I have to knit them first.

I bought a size one needle (similar to a toothpick) that is an 8 inch circular and will learn to master making a sock on it after I watch the video a few more times.

You can become creatively inspired in new directions in a new yarn shop.

I was fortunate I had time to knit on this trip.

I walked to Yarnphoria 1016 Pine Street from our hotel. Several times!


  The wooden swift and ball winder, used expertly by Yarnphoria owner, Dona.

Gertie, the rescue dog who helps mind the store, liked my lap.

In fact, I think she likes everyone’s lap.  There’s a sweet pic of her on the store’s FB page.


Fingering, sock, lace weight, worsted, bulky, chunky are all yarn weights.

Colors arrange like an artist’s palette.

Planning a project out of the “American Wildflowers Collection” cotton yarn made in Philadelphia by Made in America Yarns

(Those are Dona’s cool shoes she got on Etsy)

  Rings Around the Collar Pattern. Now that’s a cowl!!!

Proprietor Donna, originally from New York, designs and knits the dresses with gorgeous yarns.

She has great energy to help calculate yardage, do all that knitting math- and I sat and swatched the yarn to get my correct gauge before I left the store. She wound all my yarn for a special project (SPOILER ALERT!)

Not just different weights but all types of fiber content from cotton, bamboo, mohair, silk, merino wool to super luxurious cashmere. You name it.
FB Yarnphoria page

Here’s a review I found online –

“Adorable shop! Fantastic yarn! The owner is amazing and will help you with anything you need. What yarn to use for what time of year, what yarn to use for babies, anything you need. If you’re a beginner or advanced, she is just amazing – and she knits/crochets? castles! And hats! And dresses! She can make anything and wants to help you make anything as well. A perfect location for a perfect shop. Of the 5 yarn stores I’ve been to in my life, this takes the cake by far.”

Seasons on a Kitchen Wall

Or the wooden side of an open cupboard is more accurate.

I bought these when we lived in Germany

Decorative plates. Villeroy and Boch Naïf pattern

The order of the seasons is what I notice, how I put them up- perhaps in order of preference?

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Next I’ll be in the basement digging around for Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons album I think is down there. Jen H has inspired us to post our seasons.


trying to show the detail without the glare.

Be My Valentine Gallery 

But first- Who is working quality control at the candy heart message factory?



and Be My Valentine Gallery – Hearts around the house

Red Cupid photos courtesy of my friend Joanne (wood cut creations by Sue John’s husband)

  Candy from my sister. Sweet!
  Tray of raspeberry jam hearts at Colangelo’s bakery in the strip

  And the one I brought home with me to devour!



Handmade Lace and Toile du Juoy

Thursday afternoon, my friend Barbara showed me a pretty pillow she had made at Alterations Express.  She used fabric from her mother. her grandmother’s handmade lace and her special pillow.

When I saw the fabric I said,”Oh, my friend Joanne gave me a knitting bag made of something similar and it’s French and has pastoral scenes.” but I couldn’t remember the term and had to look it up-

  Toile du Jouy

(and here is a link to a blogpost about the history of toile)


Barbara went and got a box with beautiful pieces of lace, created by her grandmother, Josephine Cinquegranni DiGalbo (b. 1890) Notice the blue edge on the lace.

I looked at the lace with admiration. Such expert craftsmanship and beauty. I asked Barbara is she had a photograph of her grandmother.

IMG_5774Barbara’s Grandparents, Angelo and Josephine, on their wedding day.

Her grandmother’s town of origin was Castlebuono, Sicily. The photograph was  taken on Butler Street in Lawrenceville, a Pittsburgh neighborhood.

And here is a photo of their daughter, Mary Ann, Barbara’s mother. I had the pleasure of knowing her and remember her for her kindness to my children.


And here are some of the lace specimens, her grandmother’s pattern books and crochet hook were in the box, too.




A note in Barbara’s mother’s hand about the lace.