Look at this beauty I picked up at an antique fair last weekend. Isn't she lovely?
And to think I nearly didn't buy her . .the man on the stall kept lowering the price while I dithered and dithered. (My dithering doesn't always have such successful results).
I finally got my purse out and I'm so glad she came home with me as she has been exquisitely painted. But I wonder why the artist never finished her?
I rather like her unfinishness (is that a word?). I like her battered canvas casually leaning on the bathroom mirror but she can't really stay there as my make up bag sits on this shelf. I feel quite strongly that she should live in the bathroom and remain unframed as she needs no more adornment. I worry that the canvas may not like the steam of the bathroom; although we have got a bathroom fan and she is painted in oils. Do you think I should risk it? I am dithering again.
Which brings me on to one of my many unfinished works. This trail of dancing imps and fairies which is inspired by Margaret Tarrant's "The Fairy Way".
I haven't got round to colouring it yet but Im quite liking it as a line drawing. I may put it in the Pixieland colouring book which is yet another unfinished project. I'd like to feel that I am not alone with works that have been discarded along the wayside. I would feel a whole lot better if you shared yours with me.
I'm really enjoying Tuesday night's telly: Desperate Romantics, the BBC drama about the Pre -Raphaelite brotherhood and although they have made the characters a lot more laddish than they probably were, it is fun to watch. I love, love, love Amy Manson as Lizzie Siddel, she is perfect.
And if you still want some more beautiful things to gaze upon, go visit the new emporium from this lovely lady and this one too. It's simply stuffed full of delights and such lovely design. Aren't we lucky to be able to visit chums whenever we fancy?
The time: Early on 1st day of the hols (jet lag sure has some advantages).
Destination: The flea market at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena as suggested by Erika and Victoria.
Willing parciptants: Roland and Alexei.
Vibe: Not such happy bunnies after a 2 and a half hour drive when a jolly man at the Rose Bowl said " No flea market today ma-am. 2nd Sunday of the month only"
Cue much rolling of eyes by the male members of the party.*
"Sorry," mumbled by very humble female member of party who then checked on Roland's Blackberry to see that she had got the date totally wrong.
On the plus point: Pasadena- sure is pretty. Lots and lots of cute little houses with cottage gardens. And there is always a late opening Borders store and Walmart somewhere in the vast metropolis that is LA to keep everyone happy.
I picked up a whole load of fabulous magazines as the range was phenomenal; a blogging magazine would you believe, Arts & Crafts Home as we both love the furniture, a weird illustration art mag that had some really strange stuff in and my favourite: 100 ideas Flea Market and especially this page but it doesn't give you any idea of what that quilt is made out of. I want that quilt.
Whilst we were in LA we drove up to Michael Jackson's house late one night to see the shrine outside. It was massive. I took lots of pictures so I could stick them together in one big long line but it went a bit fuzzy when I put it on the blog so this is just the middle section.
Roland was a big fan of MJ when he was a child and Alexei loves his music and dancing. And me? Well, I'm sorry he's gone but I couldn't get over the weirdness factor. I hope I don't get lots of crazed fans visiting this blog and ranting on about him because I couldn't bear that.
Anyway, I was most amused to see this carefully placed portaloo just over the street.
I'm guessing that the residents of Bel Air don't want fans weeing in their flower beds.
Now everyone likes to pick up some interesting souvenirs from their travels and bloggers surely must be amongst the most talented at spotting the treasures from the tat.
My favourite bit of San Francisco was Haight Ashbury as it was the centre of flower power and it is still very far out, man. The psychedelic patches were a must for my jeans particularly the groovy toadstool. And you can never go wrong with a snow globe.
I was served by a dude who was surely left over from the first summer of love and Alexei is now the proud owner of a tie dye T-shirt made by someone who designed a Grateful Dead record cover or something. I forget.
The heart with wings decoration and the Mexican Day of the Dead figures came from a shop we were just driving by in San Diego. It is called Vintage Religion and is run by the very lovely Philip and he has lots of fabulous religious artifacts from all over the world. We had quite a chat as you could imagine.
I think it must have been divine intervention for me to find his shop in our few days in San Diego.
Here's another Heart from Philip's shop that is now on the back of the Front door. Hearts with wings are a very personal motif for Roland and I as it is on the Maraldo coat of arms. Which, incidentally, I designed when we got married because in my world every new couple needs a touch of heraldry more than a toaster.
I bought some summer sandals -silver Flip flops. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are possibly the comfiest shoes I have ever owned and promise a complete workout for the bum and legs and I'm hoping mine are gonna look like the ones below very soon. Here's hoping . . .
Anyway, the streets of San Francisco proved very tiring on the legs so these were a timely purchase. But we could always relax in our "boutique" hotel.
I normally snort at a hotel that is described as a "Boutique" as that usually means a poky room with one wall painted in an accent colour. However Hotel Frank proved to be very glamorous indeed as you can see from our room. Shame it had to be shared with a 9 year old boy,even though he is very lovely. But there you go.
And finally . . the cutest, sleepiest koala bear from San Diego zoo. Reminds me so much of our Bluebell.
* I am lucky. Neither Roland or Alexei get stressy about my inepititude although no doubt they will store this one away for future amunition.
It would be hard not to fall in love with California. Perfect weather and oh-so friendly and helpful people and the chance to do all those touristy things that I privately thought I might hate but actually enjoyed. I am not a fan of Disney in general . . . I don't know why but I can't get over the thought that it is a slightly sinister organisation . . . but I really did want to see the big pink castle at Disneyland. We soon found out it is not at Disney in California. However, one small disappointment isn't bad going for two whole weeks.
This is the closest we could get to the Hollywood sign without a long dusty hike but it was thrilling nonetheless to get an iconic shot. Uncle Sam the bush baby has got in on the picture as Alexei found an American one to add to his collection. Uncle Sam proved to be a most affable travelling companion.
As you can see Venice beach was perfect for a spot of showing off your muscles although the weather was a bit iffy on this day. And Alexei is a bit pale and skinny to look like a true Muscle Beach regular. It was also great for people watching as you can probably imagine.
Now it can be a trifle boring seeing other peoples holiday shots so that's your lot. The next installment will have some more unusual things I promise. Like some of the treasures I picked up along the way and the tale of the wild goose chase to Pasadena. Let me just say, the measuring of time and distance are not my strong point.