Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Tree 2008

Here is our Christmas tree with the decorations. We also took a time exposure picture with the lights out to show the tree lights.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

This Year's Tree Topper

This tree spire will be topping our tree this year. We found it at an antique store in Carpenteria just after Christmas last year. It is similar to the spire my family had when I was a kid. I will post pictures after we have decorated our tree.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas First Day Cover

Here is a FDC I got at a Stamp Show in Santa Barbara several years ago. This was an interesting stamp series from The United Kingdom issued in 1977. It has an insert with information on the 12 Days of Christmas, the artist who designed the stamps, and the artist who designed the FDC.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's That Time of Year

Time to get out the Christmas items and start decorating. Ours are still up in the rafters in the garage but here is a decoration my parents just gave me (they got it at a church craft sale). I'll post some pictures when we have the decorations up.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Here is an amusing retro game we found several years ago. It was purchased at Toyland in Santa Claus Lane before they closed.

The object of the game is to flip all of the nuts into the basket in five tries. The best score I got was four out of five so that makes me a real Chipmunk!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Walf First Day Cover

Here is a First Day Cover that was made by Keith O'Brien. Keith got me interested in FDCs and has generously sent me others that he made. He also designed a number of postal cancels that were used for special events in Arizona.

This was the second appearance of Walf on a First Day Cover.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Acorn Salt & Pepper Set

This is a salt and pepper set we found in an antique store in Baywood Park (near San Luis Obispo.) The acorn shakers are about 2" tall and the leaf is 6.5" long. I don't know how old it is but I couldn't resist it because of the acorns.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Wonderful Acorn Shirt

Here is the wonderful shirt with the acorn logo I recently received from friends. Note the cool logo in the second picture. It is from the Oakhurst Dairy in Maine. They also sent this nifty hamster keychain.

Thanks again Keith and Carrie for the cool gifts!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Flea Market Find

Dan and I were in Carpenteria last weekend, walking along the main street looking at window displays in the antique stores. Some of them had elaborate seasonal displays. We didn't plan on buying anything but one of the stores was hosting a small flea market. We spotted this cute cookie jar just as the vendors were packing up. I couldn't resist since I collect squirrels and acorns, and the vendor offered us a price reduction! The cookie jar is about 10.5" tall (including the squirrel.)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Fun

We didn't put up many Halloween decorations this year, but here is a  picture of  one of my Halloween themed Re-ment items.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Build-O-Bama Paper Toy

I made one and you can, too!

See the Build-O-Bama blog a for details.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall Harvest Festival

This Saturday we went to the Underwood Family Farms Fall Harvest Festival in Moorpark. The festival is held on weekends from the end of September through the end of October. Pumpkins were available in a variety of sizes and colors in the pumpkin patches as well as beautiful sunflowers in an array of colors. They had a variety of animals, including goats, cattle and miniature horses. There were pony rides for the children as well as a horse drawn wagon and tractor pulled wagons. Of course, there were games, crafts, delicious food and produce.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Christopher Columbus!

We got this blind box toy from Little Tokyo back in 2005. He was figure #3 from a series of historical figures made by a company called Furta. The figure came with a stand and an information sheet in Japanese. Other figures in the series included:

#1 Natsume Soseki (Japanese novelist)
#2 Archimedes (Greek mathematician)
#3 Galileo Galilei (Italian astronomer)
#5 Ludwig Van Beethoven (German composer)
#6 Bust of Vincent Van Gogh (Dutch artist)
#7 mystery figure in silhouette (he might be holding a test tube)

The box states in English "There is no royal road to learning" and "The fist term". Perhaps this was the first series of these figures. It would be interesting to see what other historical figures were chosen to be commemorated in vinyl.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Terra Cotta Warriors

On Saturday we went with some friends to see the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. There were a number of terra cotta figures and interesting artifacts including architectural tiles, weapons and jade pendants. Some of my favorites were a very nice bronze heron sculpture and a suit of armor made out of limestone.

The most interesting part of the exhibit was a terra cotta warrior standing very still on a pedestal in the lobby. Visitors were amazed when he suddenly, but slowly, moved. Although he never spoke he amused people by giving slow high-fives, waving to children or walking slowly through the exhibit hall. The warrior was a performance artist from Taiwan, Jarry Cheng, who added an element of surprise to the experience. Here is a link to a YouTube video (not mine) as an example.

The last day of the exhibit is October 16, 2008 so you still have a chance to see it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lego Fun

One of the fun places we went this summer was the Lego Store in the Glendale Galleria. We have a small collection of Lego bits and pieces that had been accumulated during the 80s and 90s. It was interesting to see the variety colors and shapes that are available now. We had fun filling some plastic containers at the Pick-a-Brick wall. When we got home we spread out our new purchases and started combining them with our older bricks and just played around. It was therapeutic.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Re-ment Scale

I was requested to show images of my Re-ment items with some sort of reference for scale. I have read that Re-ment is about 1:6 to 1:8 scale. There is a difference between the two blenders in the first picture. The one on the left is from 2004 and the other one is from 2007. I've also included a picture of the more current blender with it's life size counterpart (which we so conveniently had on hand!) The Re-ment blender is 1.5 inches tall and the real blender is 15.75 inches tall.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Re-ment Blender from 2004
Originally uploaded by deeneedee

I got my first taste of Re-ment back in 2005 when I purchased a set from a grocery store in Little Tokyo. The detail of the miniature items was really amazing. I didn’t get into collecting them at the time because the sets were imported from Japan and were not widely available. This May I saw some sets for sale at the Vinyl Toy Network show and my interest was renewed. Re-ment now has a website in English that gives the locations of stores were their items can be purchased. So now I have been able to add to my collection. Good thing they are so small!

The image shows the first Re-ment set that I purchased, click on it to see more photos on my Flicker photostream.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Oh my! August is almost over and I haven’t posted for quite some time. Dan and I were busy with various projects and trips. One of the projects was organizing the garage and putting up shelves. We also got a new desk for my computer, Yay!

We took various trips to L.A. and San Diego. I have been uploading pictures on my Flickr account so check them out! And have a fun (and safe) holiday weekend.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

San Diego

Orangutan and Siamang
Originally uploaded by deeneedee

Last week Dan and I took a trip to San Diego. We didn’t make it to The Comic Con because they had sold out of memberships. So instead we just visited the usual places, like the San Diego Zoo.

The first exhibit we went to is Absolutely Apes. It’s best to see them first because the apes are usually near the viewing windows. The day we went the orangutans and siamangs were out. They are very interesting to watch especially since they watch us to see what interesting things we might do.

The next stop was the Monkey Trails exhibit. They have a variety of different monkeys that sometimes share exhibits with other animals such as pygmy hippos or dukirs. After the monkeys we checked to see if the gorillas and bonobos were out. The gorillas were hiding in hard to see spots in the exhibit but some of the bonobos were out.

When we were done viewing the primates we checked out some of the other animals. On this zoo visit we stayed longer than we usually do and got to other parts of the zoo that we don’t often see. We took a lot of pictures. I’ve uploaded some on Flickr so check them out.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pasadena Part II: Norton Simon Museum

After the the Vinyl Toy Network show, we went to the Norton Simon Museum to see the Marcel Duchamp Redux exhibition.

I took a few pictures out front of the Barbara Hepworth sculpture Four Square (Walk Through) and some of the Rodin sculptures. Dan helped by making the sculpture of Saint John the Baptist suitable for family viewing.

We went to the Duchamp exhibit first. It was smaller than I expected but they had some good pieces on display. They had a set of four "rotoreliefs" that were best viewed in person. These were motor driven turntables that rotated an image to give the impression of a form in movement. I had seen the still images in books (such as the fish in a pond) but it was good to see them in motion. I also enjoyed Boite-en-Valise which was a collection of some of his works (including The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even/The Large Glass) in miniature.

Next we went through the 19th century gallery because Mike prefers the older works of art. We also saw the Mallol Miniatures exhibit. It was interesting to see these smaller pieces after seeing his much larger sculptures in the garden.

We stopped in the museum store to see if they had a book on the Duchamp exhibit. There were books on Duchamp and DADA but nothing specific for the show. I got a post card of Duchamp as Rrose Selavy and some cool goldfish magnets. On the way out I got one last shot of Rodin’s Monument to Balzac.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Vinyl Toy Network Show, Pasadena

Last weekend Dan, Mike, and I went to the Vinyl Toy Network show at the Pasadena Convention Center. It was very interesting and there were a lot of unusual vinyl toys there.

The first stop was the Mr. Toast table. I found out about this show from the blog a sampler of things. I met the creator, Dan Goodsell and purchased a Mr. Toast plush toy, a key chain, and Imaginary World Comics #2.

Next I found someone who was selling the Spider Baby Boom figures and purchased a couple. I got Daisyboom and Biingaboom (now Softyboom has some siblings!)

We also got some Sketbots, Sheep Dream Stars Dream (Zodiac sheep), Zipit and Muny zipper pulls, a Mint Chocolate Chip Buff Monster (in a very cool package), a weird Liberty Meadows cow keychain, and a very cool Dumb Dummies chase figure.

Mike bought a very cool Rement Donuts To Go set for me. It was the Coconut & Healthy Donuts set. It was really nice of him to do that (but he should have got the Homer as Mr. Sparkle tee shirt for himself instead.)

After overloading on vinyl toys, we decided to get some lunch at the Fair Oaks Pharmacy . They serve delicious hot dogs and deli sandwiches at their old time soda fountain.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Happy Hollow Zoo

Here are some pictures from last summer’s trip to Happy Hollow. They have a small zoo but it has some interesting animals. The day was overcast so some of the animals were hiding. We didn’t see the jaguar but we did see a wallaby, some zebu, meerkats, guinea pigs, some capybaras, lemurs, and some goats. I wonder if they will add some new animals when they renovate the park.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Happy Hollow

These pictures are from Happy Hollow Park and Zoo in San Jose, CA. Dan and I took a short trip there last summer. Happy Hollow was a place I used to visit when I was a child. The park has been there since 1961 and I wanted to see it again before someone got the idea to close it. It was good that we saw it when we did. The park and zoo will be closed in July for some major renovations and won't be open until fall of 2009.

The one part of Happy Hollow that I remembered the most was Danny the Dragon. How could anyone forget something so cool! I had vague recollections of the Small Carousel and the Mini Putt Putts. I didn't remember King Neptune's Carousel or the Granny Bugs.

We will have to make a trip there after it opens again to see the changes.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Magic Castle

Last weekend Dan and I were invited to visit the Magic Castle by friends. None of us had been there before so we were not sure what to expect. The Magic Castle is a private club and you need to be a member or get guest card from a member. They also have a strict dress code.

We arrived about a half an hour before our dinner reservations so we would have some time to look around. The Magic Castle is in a large Victorian house and is decorated with antiques and magic memorabilia. There is a piano playing ghost who takes requests. Other haunted elements are portraits with eyes that seem to watch you and a table in one of the bars that mysteriously rotates when you set your drink down.

Dinner was served in the elegantly decorated dinning room. The meals were good and filling (especially the Chicken Marsala and the Crème Brulee!) Some people had birthday celebrations there and a cake was brought out by a wizard.

After dinner we went to see some of the magic shows. The First was the main show in the “Palace of Mystery”. The show featured two magicians and a ventriloquist. The second show was in the “Parlour of Prestidigitation” (I just love that name!) The show featured the magician that our friends knew. The shows were very entertaining and the performers excellent.

The last stop on the way out was the gift shop. Dan and I purchased some souvenirs to commemorate our visit. We all enjoyed our first experience at the Magic Castle.