Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Venice Beach and The Big Balloon Parade

Christmas was a quiet one. On Christmas Eve Nana and Grandpa stopped by for presents and dessert...

With Grandpa by the tree.
 We've all been recovering this week since the flu descended on the house.  By Monday, though we were feeling much better, so on Tuesday we headed up to Universal Studios to use our passes one last time before they expired.  

Unfortunately when I bought them I didn't pay much attention to the fine print about blackout dates, which is what Tuesday was.  So we were turned away at the gate. In an attempt to make our journey through L.A. traffic worthwhile we headed over to Venice Beach to check out the boardwalk.
Here's Phoebe at the beach.


A fantastic photo of me at the beach!
These are the art walls. Street artists can paint anything they like here but must get a permit (which is free). 
Chloe studying some of the art work.
 Along the boardwalk they sold these incredible "Day of The Dead" skulls.
And we found the famous fortune telling machine, Zoltar, from the Tom Hanks movie"Big"....
Of course the girls had to get their fortunes!


It wasn't "Grinchmas" at Universal but it sure was a beautiful sunset.
Today we woke early (for vacation) and headed down to the San Diego Bay to catch the "Big Balloon Parade"...

Here's Jay Jay the Jet Plane making his way up the very sunny street.
Mother Goose lurking overhead.
Apparently maneuvering a giant balloon near the waterfront is a challenging task.  They kept losing control of these things right next to us!
Raggedy Ann was a favorite of the children standing near me.


Her "handlers" all dressed the part and the little girls nearby loved it!
This astronaut was my favorite one. Perhaps because I once co-designed and built an astronaut amusement ride.

Raggedy Andy



Uh-oh! Andy started tipping over a bit... Pull!!

If it happens in San Diego the zoo is there!

And here's the San Diego Zoo's panda balloon. :)
Some of the Native American dancers in what must have been some very hot costumes (they were all smiles though!)

They were followed by this giant eagle balloon.... A VERY hard balloon to manage, it was crashing and turning every 100 feet!

 Here he is nearly hitting the ground. Those boy scouts really had to work hard with this guy.

And here's a crowd of wiener dogs.  They were tossing plastic hotdogs into the crowd! My kids were never so excited to get a dog toy!

And here's the giant wienerschnitzel balloon looking good as he "ran" by.
Like at every parade the Shriners were there in their tiny cars and fez's.  It's funny (and somehow endearing) that some men come to a place in life where they decide to do this with their free time.
There was also a clown in a tiny bus, though I can only assume there are many more clowns in there than just this one...
Woody also spun about overhead, but Mike took this great shot of him!
This was truly an impressive parade and very nearly worth the horrible sunburn I managed to get.
It ended with the "Cat in The Hat" and then everyone cleared the sidewalk.  So we headed over to the festival on the Broadway Pier.
Over at the fair we found the Lorax posing for photos....

So of course the girls had to pose!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope you have a joyful holiday!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gluing sticky balls and other projects

Today we headed up to South Pasadena and pitched in to decorate the float for the Tournament of Roses Parade...
This is the girls at check-in.

As you can see the float is evolving.
It's been painted (partially)to designate where the different flowers and seeds will be glued.
This is part of the spaceship.

Some of these pieces have already been covered in leaves.
All of it though must be covered with natural materials.
Seeds have been glued in many sections but there's lots more to do.
This was our assignment.  Take these pokey, sticky balls and glue them to the float!
Here's Chloe at work using the nasty smelling floral glue.
 
They were to be shading, the bright areas will be covered with various flowers next week (if they put them on now they would wilt before the parade). First we glued the sticky balls in place.
Then I held them there till they stuck.
Then I'd stand up and step back to get away from the fumes.
We managed to put down A LOT of sticky balls.
It's quite a huge project!



Here at the tables, other volunteers are adding glue in advance to sticky balls so they attach better when we glue them on.

If you'd like to see the design again go here!

This week I also managed to paint the cover for my next e-book of "The Horribles".  I was told to put a cat on the cover so here's Remus...


I also had a design meeting on Sunday for "Once Upon A Mattress", so I sketched my design for the back panel that will be "The Wizard's Chamber"...
Now that I've gotten my work out of the way I need to run in circles with hundreds of other shoppers over at the mall!  In the mean time "Happy Hanukkah" to all who celebrate. :)
"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut

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