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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Not Surfing USA but Shopping USA!

I know some readers are wondering about what items piqued our interest enough to part with some money and actually buy things on our recent trip.
I've already shown a few items such as the little souvenirs I bought for our great nieces, the rubber ducks, T shirt and socks that I brought back for DD1 and her housemate, and some yarns that I bought as gifts in Alaska and a very expensive skein of yarn I bought in Seattle. 
In the Disney Theatre Gift Shop in LA I fell in love with...and bought this ( rather expensive) owl puppet for my DD2's birthday. That birthday is been and gone so I can now show this puppet...she loves owls and she loved this puppet!

I did play with this puppet to make sure the eyes did blink and the head swiveled like the label said! Lol

At the same gift shop I bought 2 of these G clef pencils; one for my neighbour's grandson who plays the violin, and this one for me!

I visited a number of quilt shops during the 5 weeks but only bought a modest ( well I think it's a modest 'haul'! lol) number of purchases and I was fine with that. I bought a number of children's novelty prints with Eye Spy quilts in mind...

I bought this bundle of US sized fat quarters of 'Alaskan themed', fabrics for DsD1 in Juneau. (hmm photos from One Drive seem to have minds of their own!)

Here are a few other items I bought...lots of socks for gifts...I think though that perhaps I will keep these 3 pairs?  :-)
These 2 pairs were for DD2 (the owls) and her partner who is a carpenter.

A few cards of buttons like these from Skagway...

I bought 3 skeins of yarn to keep, like this one from Skagway..

A number of Christmas decorations like these 3...

In Britex in San Francisco, I bought some Solvy to experiment with  printing stitching designs on the sheets of this stabilizer instead of tracing...this technique was explained here on the Wild Olive blog. (This product is a lot cheaper in the U.S.)

Some children's books from Munro's Bookstore in Victoria BC...
 DsD3 had told me about this's rather lovely.  

DH bought  T shirts for the 'partners' of 4 of our girls and one for his brother. He also bought some knick knacks for his golfing buddies. He bought shorts in Old Navy and Macy's but I didn't bother with any clothes buying as I had had a bit of a spend up at Black Pepper before we left for our holiday!

But DH and souvenir T Shirts...he loves them! And he had fun adding to his collection. To fill up the collage grid, I included a jacket bought in Alaska and some souvenir caps that DH bought. Also the 'cat' Tshirt in the top right hand of the first collage, is a T shirt DH bought for me :-)...the rest are for him...the gifts to the 'boys' are not in the collage.

  It's a lot of T shirts!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Saturday night...

A drive from 'our' side of town to the south-eastern part of the city...
An early dinner...
Fish of the Day was Snapper. We asked if the fish could be grilled instead of being 'battered'...
No that wasn't possible but we could have the fish we did.
How appropriate that the view from a Fish Cafe should be this! Yep, Manly Boat Harbour. 

After dinner, a short drive...
And when that curtain came up, we saw the most wonderful show; without fail, the Savoyards Players always 'deliver' to their audience. The singing, the dancing, the acting, the costumes, the music/orchestra, all were superb. 
And the show? 
Lots of fun! 

A bit more of Huntington Beach...including some shopping.

DH's cousin took us to some of her favourite places along the beachfront at Huntington Beach.
Here we are standing on a rock wall where A often takes photos of surfers and people fishing from the rocks...

Looking out to sea, the oil wells in the distance. Huntington Beach is now a classy neighbourhood but its origins were as an oil town.

We walked along the beach; that's a lifeguard lookout tower behind us.

I noticed these large cement bowl-shaped structures on the beach...

With their warning that they may be hot...
These structures stretched in a line up the beachfront. They were, of course, fire pits. So it must occasionally get cold in California.

On another day we went shopping. Through the power of Google, DH had discovered that there was a sporting goods shop called Dick's at HB. (It's a chain of stores which we had noticed on the east coast on our 2011 US holiday) So one morning A took us out to find the store that DH really wanted to look through... 
Well! You wouldn't believe it, but in the same shopping precinct there was a Michaels store! So A and I went looking through that store while DH checked out Dick's. 
The first thing I noticed was the displays for Autumn/Fall decorations. 

Then A decided we should have some's legendary in the family, a story about another one of DH's cousins who was visiting Cousin A from Australia. This cousin convinced A that they should be at the door of the Michaels store by 5.30am to be first in line grab the bargains at a big sale. And when the store opened, this cousin bought up big and posted a number of parcels of the sale items back to Brisbane!
So A took these staged photos of me for the purpose of posting the pics on Facebook and tagging the other cousin...

Only staged...I didn't buy any of these items! lol
Then I checked out the yarns in Michaels...
There was row after row, shelf after shelf, just filled with yarns!!
And there even 'Ginormous' balls of yarn!!
I 'posed' this one to give an idea of how big it was! lol
And no! I didn't buy a Ginormous ball; I bought a much smaller ball of variegated yarn and some scrapbooking flowers that I will use to make gift tags. But I certainly had lots of fun looking!
In the meantime, DH bought a polo shirt at Dick's.
After that, on the way home, A took us to a suburban street in HB to show us a 'celebrity' house. (DH and I had chosen not to do a 'celebrity homes' tour in Hollywood)
Apparently this house is owned by former porn star Jenna Jameson. Some sources suggest she paid $2 million for the house. So a local 'celeb' apparently!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Night with Friends...

The first Friday night of the month in Blogland, is Friday Night with Friends (FNwF) . As the night rolls on through the various time zones, 'crafty' bloggers work on their individual projects, then share on their blog the progress on the various projects. Cheryll over at the Gone Stitchin' blog, is the organiser of this event and in this post of hers you can access the links to all those who signed on for this month.

So, what did I work on? Since I came back from our holiday I have alternated between sewing hexie flowers, and, joining donated squares into blankets. (Just before we went away I was given several lots of squares from a few sources but left the joining of them until we came home.)
And it was the latter that I worked on last night. 
I finished putting together 30 squares which used indigenous colours. One of the other ladies in K4BN had crocheted the squares for me to join, as items in indigenous colours are very popular and are so often requested by community groups that the group supplies items to, for distribution to their clients.

On Tuesday at a Knit and Natter, I was shown another way to join squares which is quicker and uses less joining yarn. 
Instead of the dc (or sc in US terms) into each space like I usually do...

I was shown this method that does, 1 dc, 3ch and then 1 dc in the space after the cluster of trebles. 
The join is strong and looks neat, so I'm happy to continue using this method. 
And I finished the blanket with just 2 rows of double crochet around the edges. 
I use a lot of black yarn joining squares and earlier this year my supply was starting to run low. I checked out a number of stores online, (as well as Big W, Spotlight, Lincraft etc) and kept 'doing the sums' with adding postage etc and eventually found a listing on EBay for 12, 100 g balls of acrylic 8 ply. Adding on the postage, the unit price came out to be $2.60 a ball, a good price for us here in Australia. And I started using this supply yesterday...using the method of joining I described in this post, should mean this stash of black yarn should last awhile.

On Tuesday I took several bags of squares along to the Knit and Natter hoping to find some volunteers to join them...I was feeling overwhelmed with all the squares that I had to join. I'm pleased to say that 2 people took all the squares and I feel a great weight has been lifted. I'll be able to get on with some other projects of my own. And there is a lot more free space in my sewing room. Also, I've found renewed enthusiasm to join the remaining squares (I only gave away half of what I had to join) and have joined/made  6 blankets since last Tuesday!
Hmm...I've had a few goes at trying to get these photos to insert without luck!
 These are the the squares that I gave away!
 Why not visit some of the other participants in FNwF? Just use the link to Cheryll's post.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Surfing Museum...

DH's cousin A, had heard of a Surfing Museum in her hometown, Huntington Beach, and suggested that we might like to visit. We checked the opening times on the website and headed off. We found a park just outside but then discovered that the museum was closed. There was no 'be back soon' sign on the door, but I checked around the back and the actual back door was open but with a security screen door closed. Cousin A called the mobile (cell) number which was on the sign on the door, but we got no response. We figured that if we strolled around the town for a while and come back, we might find it open.

Interesting sign seen on our stroll...

DH's cousin is a keen photographer and wanted to take some 'fun' photos with us!
She got us to pose in front of a shop window...
 On the footpaths there were brass plates honouring various surfers...
 We wanted our photo taken with this surfer's plaque.
 And on the side wall of the Surfing Museum, there was this mural...
After our walk around the block, when we got back to the Museum, it was open. So we spent the next hour or so in nostalgia mode, although none of us had been surfers.
We are standing in front of a bust of the 'Father of Surfing', Duke Kahanamoku from Hawaii.

Those early surfboards were big and looked like planks! :-)

Now some boards that look a bit more like the modern ones...and a cute little statue.
Looks like this man made his name as a surfboard maker extraordinaire...
A surfboard with a light?
An alcove had lots of old posters of Surf Bands. Remember Jan and Dean's hit, 'Surf City'? Well Huntington Beach was known as Surf City.
Painted footprints on the floor featured 'surfing facts'...

In that alcove with the posters was a set of shelves...there was a hotchpotch of bottles sitting on the shelves.
The lady who ran the museum said that the bottles were filled with sand from all over the started a while ago and the collection has just grown. There was a vegemite jar in the collection so Aussie sand is there! lol The French one had a charming 'bib' on the jar.
Talking of Australia, on display was also a jacket worn by Aussie Team members competing at the 60s I think it was.

There were videos on surfing to watch...
 And movie posters...
There was also the cornerstone from the old Huntington Beach Pier...

It's a pretty 'laid back' sort of place, this museum. The lady in charge didn't blink an eyelid when A talked DH into picking up a surfboard from the display, so she could take a photo...

As Museums go, it wouldn't be the 'flashest' but it was lots of fun looking around.

And DH did not buy a Tshirt at the museum!