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Archive for the category “Family”

An Announcement About The Puppy

Officially as of today, the Puppy is no longer the Foster Puppy, she is now Our Puppy.

We’ve had her for so long now, she really has become part of the family and we couldn’t see anyone else giving her the home we were already giving her.  So we contacted The Bill Foundation, who we’d been fostering her through and they replied that we’d been such good Foster Parents that they were waving their adoption fee!  Welcome home Puppy!

Do you think she knows?

Do you think she knows?

We will be celebrating by getting her some new dog tags with our information on them. Our little created family just keeps growing.

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Treasure Hunting and The Pier (A Wolf At The Door: Part I)

After much plotting and scheming and a very substantial bribe (see Neil Day), Gibby and I were able to talk The Wolf into visiting us in L.A.  Our first day together, the theme was get cool stuff to wear throughout the week.  First we went to Ross. Surprising, I know, but a coworker cued me in to the fact they were selling proper bow ties (read: Not pre-tied).  We found a bowtie that matches Gibby’s currently  turquoise hair and The Wolf’s very first bowtie, a red plaid cotton lovely. Next, we took him to Jet Rag, an awesome two story shop full of vintage goodies.

Bear with me as I try to learn how to use the camera I got from my brother’s lovely fiancé.

Bear with me as I try to learn how to use the camera I got from my brother’s lovely fiancé.

Inside the store is separated into men and women’s clothing, decade, and in some sections, even color. The Wolf headed straight for the western shirts.

I told you they were arranged by color!

I told you they were arranged by color!

Meanwhile, Gibby had an eerie feeling that the hats were getting jealous of his Panama and quietly sneaking up on him.

Don’t look now…

Don’t look now…

We found a great 30’s style coat for Gibby and I was able to get it half off because it needed some repairs on one of the arms and in the back panel.

Next we headed to The Wolf’s favorite store, Necromance to meet up with his sister, Disney Girl, and adorable nephew, Stormageddon.

Need a two headed pig in a jar? How about Victorian Mourning lockets? They’ve got it!

Need a two headed pig in a jar? How about Victorian Mourning lockets? They’ve got it!

Necromance is one of those odd little shops that everyone should visit at least once, should they come to L.A. It has everything from taxidermy bats to secret society robes from the 50’s to black facial tissues for your all Gothic Elegance themed bathroom.  The Wolf was gifted a neat t-shirt from Disney Girl and I gifted him with a pair of sunglass pince-nez as a good luck charm for his novel. Disney Girl picked up a beautiful jeweled beetle pin that I may have to get a twin of next time I’m there.

Then off to the Pier!

Santa Monica Pier has become a favorite destination for Gibby and I. It has a large beach, a wonderful boardwalk filled with fried food, fair rides, and buskers. We started by visiting the first ever Hot Dog On A Stick.

Oh, yeah, the boys have matching hats.

Oh, yeah, the boys have matching hats.

This location intrigued me because it was somehow out of time and space, given it was demolished back in 2011.

Is there such thing as a Ghost Hot Dog Stand?

Is there such thing as a Ghost Hot Dog Stand?

We each got one of the three lemonade flavors they had to offer. Cherry for Gibby and I, Lime for Disney Girl, and Classic for The Wolf. We sat on one of the low walls and enjoyed our hot dogs on sticks.

I am wearing one of my favorite of my Grandma’s dresses and The Wolf is wearing his T-Shirt from Necromance.

I am wearing one of my favorite of my Grandma’s dresses and The Wolf is wearing his T-Shirt from Necromance.

Stormagedon missed out on the dogs, but he did get some quality Uncle Wolf time.

Adorable family is adorable.

Adorable family is adorable.

Then we hit the boardwalk. The day was over cast, which made for some fun “god rays” pictures.

Puuuurdy!

Puuuurdy!

We enjoyed looking over the grey water at the end of the pier, where people were fishing and a busker performed on a keyboard.

My handsome boys!

My handsome boys!

My handsome boys!

I got a smile out of Stormageddon!

I got a smile out of Stormageddon!

Then The Wolf insisted I relinquish my camera so he could take photos of me and Gibby.

Hair flower made by me.

Hair flower made by me.

Hair flower made by me.

Disney Girl and The Wolf got a very generous funnel cake which Gibby and I helped with before they succumbed to sugar rush. The overcast day started to turn to a chilly sunset, so we made our way back down to the beach. A lovely end to a lovely first day with our dear friend…

See you soon

Pioneertown and Mr. Keaton (Red Lipstick & Camping: Part II)

If you have not read Part I, you should go do that or you will be missing out on some very pretty pictures of our awesome campsite at Joshua Tree. All caught up now? Good.

Our second day in Joshua Tree, we had breakfast and coffee on one of the outcroppings of rock.  I am one of those strange people that doesn’t need coffee on work days but does feel the necessity for it on weekends and vacations. I use a Malida for camping coffee and it’s simply delicious.  I decided that morning that the smell of brewing coffee should remind me of sitting in the warm sun, breathing the clear morning air, and watching Gibby happily making cups of coffee.  And since I work in a coffee shop, I just get to happy all through my shift now. It’s the little things in life.

After breakfast, we headed to Pioneertown to beat the midday heat.

Where’s some tumbleweed when you need it?

Where’s some tumbleweed when you need it?

Pioneertown was built in 1946 by Hollywood investors wanting to create a “living” movie set. The exterior was built to resemble a 1870’s town, but inside were ice cream parlors, bowling alleys, and motels. More than 50 films and a handful of television shows were filmed there during the 40’s and 50’s.  Today, there are some neat little shops, a custom saddle maker, a pottery/jewelry maker and gunfights at high noon (okay, they actually happen at 2pm, but where’s the fun in that?) We had fun exploring the sets, walking heroically through the swinging doors and posing in the jail.

Once upon a time I spent three summers doing historical reenactment at Lake Tahoe and Virginia City in Nevada. My first summer, I played a “soiled dove” name Julia Bullette, so it was fitting to take a picture in front of the “Bath House”

I love that Puppy is looking off in the same direction as I am.

I love that Puppy is looking off in the same direction as I am.

After wandering, we had lunch at Pappy and Harriet’s, a great barbeque place filled with families, bikers, tourists, and featuring a bartendress with a beehive and blue eye shadow. My kinda place! Gibby chowed down on some ribs, I had a bleu cheese burger followed by a sarsaparilla.

We did one more tour around the town, then headed back to Joshua Tree, hitting some thrift stores along the way. I found a sweet little gingham blouse, a soft cotton western shirt, a floral pencil skirt, and a stunning 50’s velvet cloak, Gibby got himself a mint colored shirt to kick off his summer wardrobe and a lamp made from an old tin 7up can, Lemon found a fantastic 40’s fur wrap, and That Red Head Girl a great pair of dress shoes.

Remember that Buster Keaton photo I told you about?

Source unknown

Source unknown

It was taken during filming of his silent “Go West”, I wish I knew who the photographer was, but I have yet to find a name in spite of searching the internet. Gibby is a big Buster fan, as am I, so as soon as we knew we would be camping around these kind of trees, we knew we had to recreate this shot.

On our way back to camp we stopped by the side of a rode several times, Gibby in his Buster get-up and Lemon following close behind with her camera.

Lemon and Gibby getting the shot at the first location.

Lemon and Gibby getting the shot at the first location.

The Lemon/Gibby version:

photolauren.com

photolauren.com

I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this photo! A great homage to one of Gibby and mine’s shared passion of Buster Keaton films and the silent era.  Yet another work of art from this trip!

It was getting late in the day as we got back to the campsite and I had work the next day, so we packed up the Big Blue Box to head back into town. But, not before Lemon got one last shot of us with the Big Blue Box…

Me in my new gingham shirt, Gibby in his mint shirt, and Puppy snuggled between us.

Me in my new gingham shirt, Gibby in his mint shirt, and Puppy snuggled between us.

And thus, we drove out of Joshua Tree as the sun set, talking about how much fun we managed to cram into only a day and a half of camping. I can’t wait for our next camping trip! Bring on Summer of 2013, a summer full of adventure, I’m certain.

Full Moon Over Joshua (Red Lipstick & Camping: Part I)

To celebrate That Red Head Girl’s birthday and college graduation (she got a degree in theater, what a gal!) we packed up the Big Blue Box and headed out to Joshua Tree.  I had never gone desert camping before, so it was like entering another planet. Joshua Tree is not only filled with the namesake trees, but also some amazing boulders, perfect for exploring and since Lemon was there, taking equally amazing photos. Gibby and I came prepared with a suitcase full of costumes and one very striking photo of Buster Keaton to recreate.

We found the perfect campsite sitting right up against an expanse of rocks that reached back as far as the eye could see.

Our "backyard"

Our “backyard”

After setting up the tents, I ran around with Lemon and took some pictures while we waited for “golden hour” to take That Red Head Girl’s epic graduation photos. The running gag was that not only did I camp in vintage/vintage style clothes, but I also kept changing my outfit throughout the night.

Outfit 1: Driving to the campsite and setting up the tent.

 I’m wearing a long skirt from my Grandma as a dress and holding our little foster dog, Puppy. It was Puppy’s first camping trip, and she did stunningly well!

I’m wearing a long skirt from my Grandma as a dress and holding our little foster dog, Puppy. It was Puppy’s first camping trip, and she did stunningly well!

Outfit 3 (No I did not skip a number, Lemon has those photos): Waiting for “golden hour”. Photo by Lemon

Dress was my Grandmother's worn with my light petticoat. Cardigan was found at Target and hat was bought at an antique shop forever ago.

Dress was my Grandmother’s worn with my light petticoat. Cardigan was found at Target and hat was bought at an antique shop forever ago.

Finally, ‘golden hour’ arrived and the cousins headed into the rocks for some graduation photos.

Lemon directing the shot…

Lemon directing the shot…

Reviewing the photos...

Reviewing the photos…

The finished shot by Lemon

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photolauren.com

How’s THAT for a graduation photo!

Then there’s this one too…

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photolauren.com

Once the sun had set, Gibby treated us to some very gourmet “hobo packs” with ground turkey meat, bell peppers, mushrooms, Italian spices and balsamic vinaigrette all wrapped up in tin foil and cooked over the campfire. That Red Head Girl grilled corn while they were still in their husks and together it made for a delightful meal. Gibby and I surprised That Red Head Girl with a decadent chocolate birthday cake complete with a sparkler for a candle. By that the time the moon had risen high and so bright that we turned off our flashlights and sat talking around the campfire eating cake, making smores and “perfect” marshmallows.

In the middle of the night, I was wandering back from the bathrooms and saw Lemon’s camera on a tripod pointed at the Big Blue Box, but no Lemon.  Not wanting to accidentally be in her shot, I stood behind the camera. Lemon joined me a second later, the timer went off, and this is what showed up on her view screen…

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photolauren.com

Remember when I said it was the middle of the night? Well, Lemon had her camera on long exposure, which gives this picture that cool daylight but with stars in the background look.  The wiggly lines coming off the Big Blue Box were done when Lemon ran around with a flashlight. Being wrapped up in the “Oh Cool!” factor of this technique, I asked Lemon if I could play. She graciously said, “Sure!”, I grabbed Gibby, and after one last costume change we got this shot…

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photolauren.com

How amazing is this? I love how it looks like it was taken on a studio set, but that’s just our campsite in the background. It was so much fun getting to collaborate with Lemon on this.  I have always been a huge fan of her work (as seen in my post about FotoSensori) and was delighted to finally get to work with her.  The shot was simply put together, with no planning whatsoever and yet to me, it’s a piece of art I am proud to be a part of. I am definitely having it framed once I get a chance.

Satisfied with a very creative day, Gibby and I snuggled up in our tent (seen in the photo above) and went to sleep awaiting another day of adventure…

To Be Continued…

(If you want to see more of the trip through Lemon’s lens, go to her website)

More Photos From The Carousel: Meet My Gramps

I just received these pictures from Lemon of our Carousel Adventure. And I am in love!

My Gramps. Everyone who meets him loves him, can you blame them?

My Gramps. Everyone who meets him loves him, can you blame them?

This is my Gramps, and a kinder more beautiful gentleman you are not apt to meet. This is the man who took me to my first play and got me my first library card.  The sheer joy on his face makes my heart leap.  My mum says he is still talking about his visit. Apparently he was just as delighted as I was that the cousins and I all turned into giggling little kids as soon as the ride started.  I can’t wait to see him again.

Love the rich colors. This is why I need a proper camera.

Love the rich colors. This is why I need a proper camera.

I think I’m looking back at Gibby in this picture. There’s definitely a certain smile I have reserved for him…

A good shot of the full outfit.

A good shot of the full outfit.

I can’t to wait to see more of that magical day through Lemon’s camera lens! And I am now especially motivated to save up my tips for a good blogger camera. While you and I both wait for more pictures, you should go check out Lemon’s  webpage.  Seriously…Go…Right Now!

FotoSensori or “If You Give The Cousins A Photo-booth…”

On Saturday, Gibby and I went to the art show FotoSensori to support Lemon (seriously, my cousin is an uber-talented photographer, take a moment to look at her work) and donate to a good cause.  The art show itself was an interesting and inspiring mix of photographers whose featured works were meant to invoke the senses through their photographs.  Gibby and I wandered through exhibits that featured the sensation of touch in dreams by depicting the common nightmare of losing ones teeth, sound with photos of nature complete with a video feed featuring said sounds, and I personally felt Lemon’s submission featured taste and smell with her use of banana peels as part of her display.

I am wearing a thrifted men’s top and one of my Grandma’s square dance skirts.

I am wearing a thrifted men’s top and one of my Grandma’s square dance skirts.

What I love most about Lemon’s work is her total commitment to being vibrant. Her choices of colors, lighting and framing take you into a world rarely seen in modern photography.  She creates a kind of photo mythology filled with people you want to meet, places you want to go to, events you wish you had been invited to and, especially in my case, clothes you want to wear.  Her photography has earned her a loyal following on Flickr and Instagram and it’s no wonder she was invited to take part in this art show.

Okay, I’ll stop gushing about my cousin now and get distracted as I was that night by this sign:

“Dumplings!!” you say? I think I shall.

“Dumplings!!” you say? I think I shall.

And I did.

And I did.

I had the basil chicken dumpling which were a perfect little gallery browsing snack.

At the front of the event was a photo-booth and the cousins being cousins we made full use of the fun. Enjoy the silliness.

The Shmisters….

Civil War Face

Civil War Face

Wait...

Wait…

I think I see where this is going...

I think I see where this is going…

Pure photo-booth genius!

Pure photo-booth genius!

The Cousins….

Oh Joy!

Oh Joy!

My favorite of the set...

My favorite of the set…

Now that's just silly. And a family tradition.

Now that’s just silly. And a family tradition.

Oh Sad.

Oh Sad.

And The Couple…

Suspicion and attraction?

Suspicion and attraction?

How perfectly Pin-Up is my face here?

How perfectly Pin-Up is my face here?

And how adorable is Gibby?

And how adorable is Gibby?

Putting that hat to good use…

Putting that hat to good use…

And on that note, I bid you goodnight. Thank you for indulging.

 

My Gramps Knows All The Carousel Songs

The last time we were back home, my Gramps told me a lovely fact about him and my Grandmother that I hadn’t heard before. Whenever they would travel together to a new city they would without fail ride the local train and find a carousel.  As of yet, I have not found a neat L.A. train, but there is a stunning carousel on Santa Monica Pier, so when Gramps and my Uncle Playa came to visit for That Red Head Girl’s graduation and birthday, I claimed a day for the carousel.

That Red Head Girl has lived in L.A. for almost six years and her sister, Lemon for four, but neither had ever been inside the building with the carousel, so it was awesome to see their reactions.  Gramps was absolutely delighted, and we got him into one of the “chariots” which I used to think was for snuggly couples, but Gramps assures me that it’s for Grandparents and their doting grandchildren.  Uncle Playa rode with Gramps in the chariot, Gibby took a horse behind them and the cousins and I took the front.

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The carousel was much zippier than I expected, and I found myself giggling like a little kid.  I wasn’t alone.  The cousins were just as giggly and silly, something I’ve always loved about my family.  We’re always little kids just under the surface.

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I am wearing one of my Grandmother’s dresses and my light petticoat.

 I have also decided that from now on I am only riding carousels side-saddle. It worked for Mary Poppins!

After the first go, Uncle Playa told us to all stay on and ran to the ticket ladies to buy us another round (pun intended). We swapped steeds, That Red Head Girl taking the chariot with Gramps, Lemon taking a goat, Gibby another horse and me happily claiming a bunny.  It always bothered me as a kid that the non horse animals were always on the outside track of the carousel, never moving up and down.  But this carousel happily has its non horse animals on the center track.

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Lemon being a true photographer and using the safety strap to its fullest in leaning to get a good shot. I neglected to get a picture of me on my bunny, still getting the hang of this blog thing!

After our second go, we decided to walk the pier with the plan to end the day with a few more carousel rides.  It was a beautiful sunny day on the pier and we all made a stop a hat vendor. Lemon found a great rollable wicker visor, That Red Head Girl a perfect “adventure hat” and Uncle Playa found the biggest, most Texas styled wicker hat I have ever seen.  Gibby found himself a Panama style fedora, and a week later he still hasn’t left the house without it. More on that in a later post.

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Lemon in her new visor enjoying the ocean.

 We found a great fish and chips shop with open windows and Jamaican music.  Everyone enjoyed a cold beer, fries and onion rings.  Having to be at work that evening, I opted for a non alcoholic carbonated beverage.

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I couldn’t resist making Gibby take this photo, it was just too perfect!

We ended the day on the carousel once more, Uncle Playa using his new hat to try to get his horse to go faster, some more death defying camera work from Lemon, That Red Head Girl clearly ignoring the “Do not move on carousel while in motion” signs for her own pictures and some not so sneaky leaning over the horses kisses for me and Gibby.  For our last ride, I sat in the chariot with Gramps.

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The carousel has a wonderful organ that plays bouncy old vaudeville tunes.  My Gramps knows the words to all of them, and he sang the lyrics to me as we rode. I pitched in some harmony on the songs I knew, and it was pure magic.

Since their visit, I’ve heard that Gramps wants to make some more regular trips down to L.A.  There’s even talk of a muscle beach photo shoot. I can’t wait.

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