Saturday, January 19, 2013

Me and My "Creepy Friends" in Pasadena

James and I journeyed up to Pasadena last Sunday to the Rose Bowl Flea Market. If you've never been, and you like digging through piles of old stuff to find hidden treasures, then this is exactly for you. If you dislike digging through piles of old stuff to find hidden treasures, then this is exactly NOT for you. It's held every 2nd Sunday of the month in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl. I've been once in May when it was slightly too hot to fully appreciate all of the old jewelry, artwork, cameras, mounted antlers, furniture, shoes, train sets, etc, but January was perfect. Especially January in California, when one day is in the 50s and a few days later it's in the 70s. (Whilst I'm contemplating wearing floaty dresses and sandles, my lovelies in England are posting pictures of snow and ice - wish I were there to see it, there's just something so magical about England in the snow!)

This booth was filled with old cameras and lenses and typewriters. The irony of taking a picture of it with my cell phone wasn't lost on me.

Imagine this scene times 1000. That's how big this flea market is.
This man walked right in the middle of my picture. But I like it. Yeah, you go, Unobservant Man!

We also met these guys, whom my aunt calls my "creepy friends".
 I walked away with a gold necklace of a person riding a penny farthing bicycle, an overpriced mustard seed charm, and 3 round chandelier crystals that I intend to make long necklaces out of. I was very very tempted by an old camera simply for the quality of the dirt on the viewfinder (for my TTV photos), but decided that the two viewfinder cameras I have is already enough. Plus there was no one around to ask pricing, and I'm terrible at haggeling (plus I hate it), so I would have probably paid too much for it anyway. Ah, regrets.

Another great thing about the Rose Bowl Flea Market is that the Gamble House is 5 minutes away. The Gamble House was designed by Greene & Greene and is a really gorgeous example of Arts & Crafts architecture and design. The only way to go inside is on a docent-led tour. I had been in high school on a field trip (A friend and I also got yelled at by a docent at another museum on that same trip for standing too close to the artwork. To be fair, it was a tiny painting and we were trying to see the brushstrokes. I think of that every time I go into an art museum.), but James has never been, and we both figured it was high time we take a tour.

A very dark Gamble House

You're not allowed to photograph the inside of the house, but this art glass door is spectacular from inside.

Yet again, a very dark Gamble House
 All of the furniture was designed for the house, and one thing that I thought was really cool was that each piece was finished the whole way around. Even if one side was designed to always be facing a wall, it would still be completley finished. Greene & Greene included motifes that were carried throughout the rooms, like climbing rose vines, and the motif would be repeated everywhere - fireplaces, andirons, chairs, the headboards and footboards of beds - amazing. They'd include these tiny details that just made the piece. In the dining room, they had designed twin art glass sconces, and on the inside of each was a tiny bat, which was a motif carried in from another room in the house. It's well worth a visit if you're in the area.

By the way, we finally took our Christmas tree down. Except it took us until Wednesday to do it. And we were still using the lights on it. (Cue horrified gasps.) We survived, no bigs. And now, I am watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Cause that's just how we roll around here.

Friday, January 11, 2013

At What Age Is It Unacceptable to Not Spell-Check Your Blog Posts?

Welcome to 2013! I hope everyone's New Year's Eve was wonderful! Mine was quiet - James and I had "Asian Fare" for dinner (which means frozen pork buns, orange chicken, and pot stickers from Trader Joe's), watched a few DVDs, watched the ball drop in Times Square at midnight, and toasted with a mini bottle of cava. Then we went to sleep. You know, I've really made a terrible 20-something. Maybe my 30's will be better.

James and I went to Crystal Cove on Sunday. It's a state park off of PCH between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, and I've never been. We got caught in a rain shower, saw a rainbow, and wandered among tide pools and old cottages.

James at Crystal Cove's tidepools

Crystal Cove
Crystal Cove

An absolutely gorgeous day - is there anything like a vast landscape to make you and your problems feel oh-so-insignificant?

The only thing that ruined getting caught in a rain shower under a rainbow was the fact that I didn't bring an umbrella, rain coat, or camera case, and I had my DSLR zipped up under my hoodie looking like a preggo woman while it slowly got more and more damp. The camera is fine, btw.
 Although our year got off to a quiet start, I have a feeling it's not going to stay that way. Our Christmas tree is still up, and every day I feel thankful that it hasn't burst into flames yet. (It's coming down tomorrow, I promise.) I turn 30 in a little over a month. (Can you tell it's totally weighing on my mind? What the heck? I remember when I was in college, my friend Max found himself repeatedly in relationships with women turning 30, and he said it made them go "a bit mental." At the time, my 22-year-old self thought "Why would that upset them so much? How dumb!" And now here I am, actually semi-freaking out. I vascilate between wanting to hide at home or go out to a dance club in LA where I and my friends are sure to be the oldest ones there to mark the occasion. Poor James.) Also, there is at least one trip back to London on the horizon - 2 friends have had babies, and I'm going to will myself not to get sick because  I want to hold some babies!

So, hello 2013, may you be a year of laughter, friendship, growth, positive energy, forgiveness, strength, and resilliance. Also, maybe the year I remember (or care enough) to spell check my blog posts.