Tag Archives: California

surf art

We picked up this t-shirt and a few others (including one that’s already at the bottom of the lake- grrr…) at the Thalia Surf Shop in Laguna Beach, California on our summer excursion to the sea about a month ago. A fantastic shop (with great online shopping as well) with a nice local art influence making it essential to pop in every time were in that neighborhood.

Designed by local artist Tyler Warren- I’m loving his art, as does my daughter- I think we’ll be ‘sharing’ this shirt. I’ll intervene on behalf of fate and insist it be left out of future wake boarding trips or other apparel endangering activities such as building barbwire fences, painting barns and such.

What is it about surf art that’s so appealing? Pleasant seaside memories? wishes for future trips to the beach? leaving all you worries behind to stare at the water and wiggle your toes in the sand? All of the above and then some.
By the way, if I were to get a tattoo… this guy would be at the top of my list of designers- just saying.

The best fabric shopping in the world

Just in case you’ve been really tied up in knots wondering if my sewing machine is still perched out on the sand, fully exposed to the salty elements, I’ll dispel your worries- here is the real sewing station- still fantastic but in closer proximity to a plug and a lot more shady.


Here is what I’ve gotten sewn- hardly anything, thanks to the call of the surf and sun… and aren’t you happy for me? I’m happy for myself, especially happy when I took a leave of absence to trip up to downtown LA  to one of my favorite places to fabric shop. ever.



Ahh, the garment district, a fabric lovers mecca. Michael Levine on Maple Ave. is pictured above, I think I was in there for at least 2 hours- it felt like 10 minutes. Not the cheapest store but its nice to have so much under one roof. For instance- I bought zippers at Michael Levine for about $1.35 each, then saw the same zippers around the corner for about .33 cents each. Same goes with fabric- if you are a super saver, shop around the neigborhood and negotiate prices as you go, Michael Levine doesn’t negotiate.


Alexander Henry prints- I always love.




Block after block of fabrics & trim- then- gowns, cheap clothing, shoes, suitcases, Angry Birds everything, taco and ice cream carts…





Here’s what I came home with: a few upholstery weights, canvas and linens.


And just a couple of cotton fabrics- filling in some gaps in the fabric stash and picking up a yard or two of prints I fancied.


In no particular order and not meant to go together…

What I really needed was zippers, belting, bias tape and all that little stuff I hate running out of and having to make a trip to the store. All stocked up now- HOORAY!


Of course now I’m sitting here thinking about that one other thing I should have grabbed… oh well, I think I’ll lay on the beach for a few more days and worry about it all later!

I love what you’ve done with the place

We have been vacationing on this same stretch of So Cal beach for 20+ years, thanks to my most fantastic in-laws ever. It’s been interesting and at times intriguing to see new houses built, old houses fixed up (or torn down to make way for shiny new houses) and subtle changes happen in the neighborhood over the years. Here’s a brief tour of the street, starting with my hands-down favorite house. This Spanish style house, probably built in the late 60′s- early 70′s isn’t even close to the biggest or fanciest. It’s been kept in it’s original stylish form over the years, simply restored (not torn down) and kept in immaculate condition- it’s my beach house crush.
The house (below) takes up three lots and is ginormous, but I do love the patio- grass is a nice touch and great furniture- especially half moon chairs with accompanying umbrella.
Another large and spacious house I’m drawn to. I love the modernness, industrial massive concrete shape, wooden window frames and the comfort and convenience of under-home storage and lounging possibilities when the sun gets too hot.
This used to be the most forlorn, ugly and perpetually empty house on the beach, in 20 years I never saw any sign of life- not an opened window shade or chair out on the deck. I wanted it to be torn down, it was so bad, but finally, in the last year the whole house has been renovated and is now a lovely sight to see.
Beach party clubhouse, well utilized empty lot.
Nice spacious patio, love the splash of color on the lounge chairs.

Great tile work, another eye catching splash of color.
There are succulents everywhere in these parts- I’m so jealous in a climate envy kind of way. I have to stop and drool over the variety in these gorgeous planters every time I pass by.
My favorite house’s Spanish neighbor. Not as tiny and quaint but well preserved and stylish.
Tiny garden with all the necessary elements present.
Bring on more succulents, colors and textures.
Old school beach retreat.