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1  Re: Little Visitor Round 21 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: Today at 12:23:06 AM
Alby arrived home in a box heavy with souvenirs, including lots and lots of paper goods like menus and local newspapers; so much that I really couldn't photograph it all.  Minus all the reading materials I think this is most of the rest of his souvenirs:

The pouch with the letters RFL is from a cancer fundraiser called Relay for Life and is exactly the size I've been hunting months for and has already been filled and put into service.

Here's the photo album -- had to look at it several times to realize the reason The Hulk is on the cover is that it's a mask covering Alby (look close and you'll see his tiger stripes through the eye slits and just below the chin) on which are many of the smaller trinkets that were in the box (the two wee frogs have taken up residence on the back ledge of my bathroom sink):

There were five or six reusable bags, like this one for the Atlanta Braves, right next to which is a Braves cap Pez dispenser; also shown are toiletries, pens, a sturdy Wendy's cup, and a crocheted scrubby:

Among the goodies seen here are a mini Coca Cola glass, a candle, small jar of homemade corn cob jelly, a little bottle of berry syrup, butter knife with a loaf of bread handle, a tea wallet, and a new canine pal for Alby:

Thanks, koalascout, for showing Alby around your home town and taking him on your travels.
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2  Re: Sock Monkey/ Sock Critter Swap Round 9 - Gallery!! in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: July 05, 2015 11:57:58 PM
Carmen Miranda was a Brazilian singer/actress who made a number of very popular American musicals throughout the 1940s.  She was famous for her flamboyant costumes and turban-style headwear that overflowed with fruit and flowers.  If youre not familiar with her, heres a link to a Google result with lots o pictures: http://tinyurl.com/p9x6aon.  When I was in college, my friend Conrad and I watched a lot of movies from that era and became quite fond of Carmen for her firey characters, wonderfully outrageous style and persona, and the great music in her movies.

And of course Im telling you all this because she was on my list and is what angielou1 chose to monkify, so without further ado, I present to you Carmen Monkranda:

This is angielou's first sock monkey, but she's a proficient poppet maker so Carmen has some poppet-type construction with dimpled knees and elbows, defined fingers and toes, and a womanly bosom to boot.

Her wraparound top has little puffy sleeves that tie:

Her headdress doesnt have any fruit on it, but its a right proper turban:

(I think there's a full head of up-swirled hair under there, but I'm afraid if I remove the turban I won't get it back on properly!)

Beneath her shimmery, ball-fringed outfit she sports a pair of wraparound leopard print panties

and a matching leopard-and-lace bra:

angielou also made another of Carmens signature fashion pieces, a pair of platform sandals:

When I put Carmen on my list I thought that if someone made her Id give her to my friend Conrad who was not only my co-fan but who also introduced me to sock monkeys via the one made for him by an aunt when he was a child.  Right now, though, I'm not so sure....

Thanks, angielou!
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3  Re: Mixed washed and unwashed fabrics in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by waterbaby on: July 05, 2015 01:54:48 AM
Thanks for your input, donniesgirl.  In addition to some washed and some not, the fabric is also a mixed bag in terms of quality.  The blocks are all the same: a 9 patch, sliced diagonally in both directions, the resulting triangles mixed and matched for a great scrappy look.  It's been a great group project, with everybody contributing fabric, making squares, sewing 9 patches, and cutting triangles, all mixed together.

I've got the first top almost done (just want to add some borders) and it's been...interesting putting the blocks together as the triangles weren't all the same size because there's apparently a bit of a range in our members' interpretations of "1/4 inch seam"...!  Fortunately, even with the seam differences I've been able to trim all the blocks to the 12-1/2 inches, and while not all the squares on adjoining blocks match up, the scapiliciousness and visual patterning created by the combination of squares and triangles provides plenty of distraction:

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4  Re: Little Visitor Round 21 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: June 23, 2015 11:41:11 PM
Mel and Tom joined me for a day on the TV show Awkward and got a chance to see a soundstage with permanent sets.  On the other side of these walls are several rooms of the lead character's house, and at the far end is the backyard:

This is behind the backyard wall, with trees that can be seen over the top of the fence and a backdrop that looks like neighboring homes beyond:

Here's a peek into the foyer and hall after we'd wrapped for the day; the "Hot Set" tape lets people know to keep away, but if they must enter not to disturb anything as there is more shooting to be done with the furniture and set dressing just the way they are now:

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5  Re: Little Visitor Round 21 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: June 14, 2015 09:43:31 PM
Mel and Tom enjoyed some fun in the sun when we attended a miniature golf fundraiser.  The castle seen in the background here houses a games arcade:

The yummiest hole on the course:

This tournament is a relatively recent offshoot of a "real" golfing fundraiser that's been going on for more than 30 years, both of them benefiting the Motion Picture & Television Fund (in very broad strokes: for people who work in the movie and TV industry, the Fund provides healthcare, wellness, and aid services, and also maintains a large residential retirement campus).  They take place on the same day, and later in the afternoon all the players meet on the grounds of the campus for food and drinks, the awarding of the "big" tournament trophies (the mini tournament had it's own ceremony) and a raffle with dozens of prizes.

At the mini golf course there were a dozen or so raffle prizes with containers into which you could put tickets; the rest of the prizes were more lottery style where every ticket (except those that had won at the mini tourney) was put into a drum and pulled.

And I'm telling you all this because Mel and Tom proved to be a great good luck charm for me.  For the mini golf raffle there was only only item on the table that interested me -- a fancy-dancy immersion blender -- so that's the jar into which I put all my tickets...and I won!

Then our mini golf foursome was awarded certificates for getting the highest score; now of course in golf what you're working towards is the fewest number of strokes, but this being the just-for-the-fun-of-it game they were keeping it light and, well, fun!  (One of my teammates kept telling people we got certificates for losing and I kept contradicting her saying, "No, we didn't lose, we got the most points!")

To cap it off, at the after party one of my remaining tickets was pulled from the drum and I won a four ticket package to a Dodgers baseball game...!

Mel and Tom were feeling pretty proud of themselves as they posed with all the loot:

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6  Re: Little Visitor Round 21 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: June 06, 2015 11:19:49 PM
Mel and Tom got their first peak at backstage Hollywood when I worked recently on a nice little independent film.  Here they are checking out the script on my computer at what we call video village, where I sit along with the director, the cinematographer can check lighting and framing, the writer will be there if its a TV show, sometimes a producer:

Lots of the equipment on a set has nicknames (my favorite is C-47s -- clothes pins!).  This is a taco cart, which holds apple boxes; this one has half and quarter apples and pancakes (the skinniest ones):

No idea where the taco cart name came from, but apple boxes are so called because in the early days of movie making they used actual boxes that apples were shipped in to do what these contemporary, very sturdy, purpose-built boxes do: basically making things or people taller; full apples also double nicely for sitting when there aren't chairs around.

One day we shot on a warehouse-turned-soundstage, where you can see that even a small (both budget and crew size) production uses a lot of equipment:

We did a very cool visual effects shot while we were there where the camera was mounted on a scissor lift, raised high above the floor to shoot straight down on our actors who were supposed to be on the outside railing of the Golden Gate Bridge, a section of which was perfectly replicated by the art department.  The scene itself was actually filmed on and around the real bridge, but as you can see, this shot could not have been done there with any real safety (or permission!).

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7  Re: Little Visitor Round 21 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: May 25, 2015 11:34:24 PM
Tom and Mel had fun in the kitchen recently making Toffee Apple Oatmeal cookies.  Mel kept an eye on the dry ingredients while Tom oversaw the cutting of the dried apple rings (we tried a knife but scissors are considerably more effective with the little bit of stickiness that occurs):

The add-ins -- oatmeal (one of three cups), pecans, toffee bits, and of course all those chopped up apple pieces:

The boys tag-teamed scooping and mounding dough onto the cookie sheet:

Waiting by the timer for a batch to be ready while another one cools:

Cookie pile!  (This is probably half of what we baked -- the recipe yields almost four dozen):

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8  Re: Little Visitor Round 21 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: May 14, 2015 11:17:06 PM
We went to the opening of a small art exhibit this afternoon at the Ebell ("e-bell") of Los Angeles.  The Ebell Cllub  is a "social, educational, and philanthropic organization founded by women" in 1894 and the Los Angeles Clubhouse and Theatre was built in 1927 (it's hard to see here but both dates are on the cornerstone seen in the lower right of this picture):

To call this a clubhouse is a bit of an understatement, as it's a complex of unified structures occupying much of a large city block and includes a 1300 seat theatre, two smaller performance spaces, ballrooms, a small library, a professional kitchen (and at least one other residential sized), collections of clothing/costumes and artwork dating back to the 1800s, a central courtyard, and more.  A neighbor of mine who is on the Board organized this show.  Last year she asked me to sing at a 1920s themed event they did and I took the opportunity while at rehearsals there to poke around the place a bit (never did get to the main theatre).  Unfortunately we didn't have enough time today for Mel and Tom to get a peek at more than main downstairs areas and to check out the exhibit of work by a group of southern California artists.  There was a wide range of styles, and we liked several of the pieces, among which were this painting (much larger in person than it appears here)...

...and this whimsical cityscape made out of recycled pieces of picture frames:

The man who made it saw me taking the picture -- and of course Mel and Tom so the LV exchange got explained to the delight of his whole party -- and asked to see what how I shooting the photos.  He then pointed to one of our other favorite paintings and suggested taking a picture so it looked like M&T were actually in it.  So I did (this is straight from the camera, no cropping) (and I just realized I didn't show it to him!):

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9  Re: OTBT - One Tiny Bird Thing - GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: May 09, 2015 06:04:48 PM
Received this very sweet appliqued-onto-cotton quail (my home state bird) from desert6flower66:

The wings are leather (I think) while the belly and neck are a brown with black velvety print, with hand-embroidery that provides the look of white-tipped breast feathers:

It usually takes me ages to decide where to put things, but I knew almost immediately that this belonged on the wall over my work table:

Thank you, d6f66!
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10  Re: OTBT - One Tiny Bird Thing Swap (SU CLOSED; SO 4/30/15) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by waterbaby on: April 23, 2015 09:23:57 PM
Here are some urban birds to round out the great pictures everyone's been posting.

There's a nest in the bottom of my porch light which not all but many years is home to a new family, and though I've definitely heard babies I've only ever seen parents:

Pigeons, of course, are plentiful here in the big city:

And a few of our residential neighborhoods are home to rather more unexpected fowl; this is one of a handful spotted strutting around some well-tended front yards:

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