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11  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: November 14, 2016 12:27:22 AM
Phoenix, your office view sure beats mine -- plus you get fresh air!

Saturday Giles went to a special movie showing at one of the gorgeous old movie palaces in downtown Los Angeles that has been restored to its original glory; this ornate panel is just part of the decor:

After saving front row balcony seats with our sweatshirts (the only reason to bring them since it's been in the 80s and 90s for a week now) we went next door to the 100 year old indoor open air (for lack of a better description) Grand Central Market for something to eat...

...where I also tried a very tasty gingerbread stout:

Then it was back to the theatre for some pre-show fun.  What kind of pre-show fun you ask?  Well, among when the movie is a 45th anniversary showing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, for one thing you get your picture taken with Oompa Loompas!

(Giles is sitting on a giant Wonka bar, which I unfortunately didn't realize was out of frame until I was uploading the pictures.)

And to cap off the evening, while walking back to the car we came across a fine example of...WEST coast palms!

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12  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: November 11, 2016 11:59:37 PM
Giles arrived yesterday and has had his first visit to my office job, met the pups, and tonight went to a screening and panel discussion for an TV show I worked on a lot the first half of the year.

At the office he was introduced to some of the staff...

...where he had a chance meet a distant relative...

...and enjoyed the view from the full-wall window behind my desk (so-o-o thankful to have a window cubicle)...

For some reason my dogs Bella and Fred get kind of wierded out by Little Visitors, especially Fred, the little one.  They'll give a quick little nose-ing...

...but there are no cute snuggle pictures to be had.  Usually they keep turning their heads away when I try to get another photo, but today I at least managed to snap them each posed with Giles -- though both still look wary and on their guard...

Had hoped to get some good pictures of the magnificent venue where the screening was held, but most of it was cordoned off to make sure people funneled up to the part of the third floor where our event was held -- in probably the least architecturally interesting area of the building.  (Although we did learn that the small lecture hall where we watched and listened was the site of Amelia Earhart's last public appearance before she set off on the journey from which she never returned -- !)  However, I'm a little familiar with this place and was able to show Giles a little bit of it, including one of my favorite views on the first floor:

I love everything about it -- the shallow steps that turn and turn again, the beautifully warm wood, the chandelier, every element -- but I think maybe most of all it's that little Juliet balcony (as I think of it) halfway up the stairs.
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13  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 (SU 10/13 - 10/27 SO 11/02 and 03/01) in ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED by waterbaby on: October 27, 2016 12:30:33 AM
Questionnaire sent and readying Alby for a new adventure!

Although it occurred to me that I've rarely taken Alby out and decided to give him some Los Angeles adventures of his own while he's still here ....

Last week he came to work with me on a TV show:

Then over the weekend we went to a fundraiser at Santa Anita Park (racetrack) -- horsies!

It's been fun taking him around and I'm a little bit tempted to keep him home this round....
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14  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 23 Gallery! in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by waterbaby on: October 08, 2016 11:11:22 PM
Alby is home with a passel of souvenirs and a terrific scrapbook:

The treats included TWO bags of locally roasted coffee beans (one Guatemala, one Ethiopa) and a bar of dark chocolate from a local confectioners; a bag stuffed with vintage buttons; from the Nasher Art Museum a rainbow-leaded pencil, translucent eraser, and mini wooden puzzle; a set of crab stickers from Maryland (one of which is now on Alby's traveling case); and three needle felted acorns, which I believe were made with roving I'd snuggled Alby into for his cross-country trip!

The mini wood puzzle, in a matchbox sized box, turned out to be a set of tiny blocks, and being a lover of both miniatures and blocks, I had to play with them a bit right away:

And then there is the album -- what a feast!

There is a section for every month of Alby's trip with the first page of each section having a pocket with various memorabilia and is also a calendar noting that month's dates of excursions and events -- great idea!

In the photo pockets on this page were some extra gifties picked up at arts and crafts festivals: a magnet with a vintage camera image, a sweet ink-and-watercolor dandelion miniature, and a packet of gourd seeds with growing directions (which I discovered after taking these pictures):

PerfectlyBohemian, you continued to intuit amazingly well as I'm a lifelong shutterbug with a penchant for dandelions and am a fan of gourd crafts (will hold onto those seeds for the time when I might have space to plant them)!

Throughout the scrapbook are brochures and tickets and other ephemera, like this Golden Gate Bridge Pedestrian Day pass:

And it was a toss up which coffee would be tried first, but finally decided on the Guatemala, which was deelish; I'm sure the Ethoipian tomorrow will be just as good...

Thanks so much, PB, for being a great host to Alby, for the lovely treats, and a truly splendid scrapbook!
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15  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 23 Gallery! in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by waterbaby on: October 04, 2016 12:19:52 AM
Looks like I'll be a little late sending Felicity back, dagnabit, as I, too, am having problems completing the photo album.

Meanwhile, here's a little more catching up, with some behind the scenes pix from the show I worked on the most during Felicity's visit.

There were several permanent sets on three different soundstages.  What I thought of as the main set (a news magazine) had three levels, two lower ones at either end, then six or eight steps up to a large open "bullpen", and finally a staircase up to the executive offices.  Here Felicity is looking down from the upper level to the bullpen:

...and this is a view from the bullpen up the staircase, with one the lobby/reception area below it:

And on the other side of that far wall?

Ah, the magic of the movies (and TV) (and cable and streaming).  This was also where craft service was set up, the area where food and drink is provided for snacking and munching and quenching to help us get through those 12-14 hour (or more) days.

This is a backdrop for another set, lit for a night scene:

Backdrops are kind of amazing, basically giant photo draperies on overhead tracks so they can be easily moved or changed out.  And in yet another bit of show biz magic they can be both opaque and transparent, sometimes simultaneously as you can see here -- that's actually light shining through those windows while the buildings appear as solid as real ones.  If it were a day scene, it would be lit from the front and look just like a daytime cityscape.
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16  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 23 Gallery! in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by waterbaby on: September 29, 2016 12:28:45 AM
Felicity's been in Los Angeles during a summer of record-breaking temperatures and into a fall with more of the same.  Back in June, this was the hottest we were actually out and about in:

And that was at 6:20 PM!

Autumn in Southern California its not unusual to have temps in the 80s, but here's what it was a couple of days ago at 5 PM:

And then at 6:15 this evening, just off a freeway at the crest of a hill

a little patch of rain coming down briefly on maybe a square mile or so.  By the time we were through it the temp had come down to about 10 degrees...although that didn't last long once we were out of the cooling effects of the rain.  Unfortunately it appears that mother nature was just going "nyah nyah nyah-nyah nyah" to our poor drought-stricken region, because that was the extent of the precipitation (except for what's coming out of me as I write this at a little after midnight with the temperature still at 81 degrees) (where's a little sweat-dripping emoji when you need one?).
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17  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 23 Gallery! in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by waterbaby on: September 27, 2016 04:25:42 PM
I am woefully, embarrassingly behind in sharing Felicity's adventures but am going to try to post something as daily as possible from now until she arrives home to catch up.

And Ill start with our most recent activity first: a visit to Olvera Street, one of the oldest streets in Los Angeles, and for decades both a tourist attraction and a shopping destination for locals looking to get Mexican-made items from clothing to ceramics to souvenirs and more.

Olvera Street is one long block, down the center of which are stalls selling all kinds of smallish things like mini guitars, plastic accordions, backpacks, serapes and huaraches, little toys and games, candies and snacks...your basic variety of chucherias (aka tchatchkes), while on either side of the street there are one- and two-story buildings that house stores selling more substantial goods (along with chucherias) and eateries.  Felicity got a new sombrero for the occasion and fit right in with the festive atmosphere:

One of the buildings on Olvera Street is the Avila Adobe, the oldest existing house in Los Angeles:

Built about 200 years ago, it was badly damaged during a severe earthquake in 1971, but has since been fully restored and furnished as it might have been in its earliest days.

Here's the parlor...

...and the kitchen...

The building surrounds a central courtyard, on one side of which is an outdoor kitchen

with an overhanging grapevine trellis in full fruiting bearing bunches of tiny grapes.

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18  Re: Sock Monkey/ Sock Critter Swap Round 10 in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: August 15, 2016 01:23:15 AM
Before flying off to her forever home, Kaymonklee had a chance to hang with Captain Monkeypants, the brilliantly outfitted Mal Reynolds monkey I received from noelle some rounds back.  (For those not familiar, Mal and Kaylee are characters on the short-lived but long-loved TV show Firefly.)

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19  Re: Sock Monkey/ Sock Critter Swap Round 10 in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: August 11, 2016 01:50:51 AM
This has been a spectacular parade of monkeys so far, and what I received from Griminspiration only makes 10 that much more perfect a number for this round.

Opening the large box that arrived on my doorstep the first thing I saw was glittery black tissue paper and an envelope reading open me first.  Inside was the sweetest handmade card:

Removing the tissue paper I found some fun Monkeys in Space fabric that turned out to be a roomy tote bag

inside of which I felt something round and hard, larger than a softball, and I had an immediate thought as to what it might be.  I was mostly right (Grim had been inspired by one of my choices rather than taking it literally) and I actually gasped as soon as I started to see what it was that I was pulling from the bag:

Oh.  My.  Goodness.  One of the themes on my questionnaire was Space explorer/space cadet, thinking of those great 1940s and 50s scifi illustrations, ray guns, etc.  In stalking me, Griminspiration saw the astronaut sock monkey Id made in an earlier round and used the more modern, realistic look as a jumping off point for what she made.  And Id actually had astronaut on three or four previous round questionnaires, so bonus points for Grims crafting ESP!

The space suit has separate mitts for his hands, a sleeve for the tail, amazing boots

and everything is secured with Velcro straps.  Under the helmet his head is encased in a protective hood:

The contemporary space suit comes off to reveal a vintage style suit in silver lame (just imagine how cool it'll look with the helmet and boots on, too!)

and under THAT he was wearing his everyday long underwear that help keep him warm in the cold reaches of outer space:

As if all that isnt enough to love, Astromonk is perfectly crafted, beautifully shaped, AND has a wire skeleton that makes him completely pose-able!

Grim also sent along some perfectly chosen extras freeze-dried astronaut ice cream (Neapolitan), a mechanical monkey (pull down on the little banana at his feet and he claps the plastic symbols and his eyes blink), an alien from outer space toy, PLUS pin buttons with pictures of the astronaut monkey I made, two of his spacesuit flight patches, and a shepherdess monkey I made for a different round (!):

Griminspiration, thank you so, so much for creating this treasure for me!
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20  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 23 Gallery! in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by waterbaby on: July 29, 2016 01:42:50 AM
More behind the scenes with Felicity in Hollywood.  First: making it rain!

Heres Felicity looking out a window on a gently raining morning:

But that window is part of a set on a soundstage, so we cant just be sprinkling water on the other side or wed be drenching a lot of very valuable equipment, not to mention all the electrical stuff thats everywhere on stages.  Instead, plexiglas boxes are mounted outside the window, the rain comes in at the top and at the bottom gets siphoned back up to fall again:

Out on the street, sometimes you just need it to look like its recently rained, in which case you bring in a water truck

And when you really need a good pelting outdoors, there are water towers really just very tall skinny pipes from the tops of which the rain spews forth.  Here we had four of them, I think, because we were seeing about half a city block in our wide shots.

Now more movie magic, location edition.  We had a scene outside a post office, and when I saw the exterior where we were shooting I thought, How cool that they found a post office that fits the time period and where our story takes place" (though of course we'd added the period mailboxes and jeep):

Then I went inside to look around

and when I turned to right I saw that even after all these years I am easily taken in by the magic, because heres what was actually inside the building:

A huge empty space, being used partly to stage some of our equipment, while nearby extras waited to be called into action (one of the storylines in this episode is about the 1970 US postal workers strike):

And heres a pretty good clue as to what the building had actually been:

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