We Had Such Grand Plans

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This post is purely for me because nobody cares what I did for Halloween when we have a massive election going on. But I care and I can’t start my month off properly if I haven’t blogged and created a new banner. So here goes!

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“We Had Such Grand Plans” could be the title of this whole year. We make plans, they backfire. Over and over and over again. But  unlike the rest of 2020, my plans for Halloween this year actually sort of worked out. Well, mostly. The only part of my plans that didn’t work out was that Joon was at her mom’s this year and couldn’t really participate in my grand plan but I forgive her because she sent me a photo of herself wearing the costume I designed and it looked absolutely smashing on her. So there’s that.  I actually think I had a even better Halloween than ever because I got to do all my favorite things.The rest of my family might not agree but I was a happy camper.  And by favorite things I mean: making crazy costumes, carving pumpkins and eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Really, that’s all that matters to me.

First up let’s talk about costumes: The grand plan was I would be the mad hatter, Payam would be Volcano Man from the movie Eurovision: the story of Fire Saga, Bug would be a Plague Doctor and Joon would be a witch. Except when I showed Joon the sketch she promptly decided she wanted to be the Mad Hatter. Fine with me! She makes a better model for my work anyway.

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A week before Halloween we got to work. Bug created her plague doctor mask out of a balloon and paper mâché. I thought we were going to paint it black but once we saw how historical and interesting the newsprint was we decided to keep it unpainted as a political and historical statement. That was all Bug’s decision which I think is brilliant. Instead of throwing this mask away I think it will be an art piece we keep in the family for a long time.

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For the Mad Hatter I whispered up some cardboard similar to my crazy cake lady hat. That was such a fun costume. This hat didn’t turn out quite as well as the cake but it was still over-the-top silly which is really all I cared about. Of course Joon looks amazing in her thrift store suit, her crazy hair and the cane her dad put together for her.

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Payam’s costume is a hodge podge galleria of ramshackle cardboard glue-gunned together to look like armor. His helmet is made from San Pelegrino boxes. It was really fun to make. If only I maid a faux fur cape I think I would have really nailed it. But considering he only wore if for the photo I think I put in more than enough effort.

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Around four o’clock I called the family (Sans Joon) together to take a portrait in front of our garage. I’m thinking this is going to be the background for all family photos this year. No need to hire an expensive photographer for Christmas cards when I can use my handy dandy remote and my camera on a tripod. It’s not as magical but then neither has this whole year been. I think families standing in front of garages will pretty much sum up this year.

As you can see I am still learning out to use my remote. Hopefully I’ll be a little more natural at it for our holiday photos.

I want to say, and then we carved pumpkins but you can tell we actually carved pumpkins first. Whatever, it fits better here in the post.

 

I’m so happy Bug shares my love of carving pumpkins. Yes, it’s messy and slimy and gross but it’s also really fun!

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Bug made a pumpkin eating a baby pumpkin and I made a laughing scary mouth pumpkin. Not super creative but fun nevertheless.

We didn’t want to spend too much time on them because we had a photoshoot to do in the tunnels with Bug’s creepy plague doctor costume! And even though I planned all sorts of time to do it we still managed to run out of time and rush the whole thing. I don’t think I’ve ever done a photoshoot where I don’t feel rushed and don’t make a thousand mistakes. It’s kind of the nature of the biz since your subjects usually get bored way before you ever nail the money shot.

Anyway, I forgot my tripod… it was super dark and green from the weird tunnel lighting. In some ways I think it makes the shots better but I also know I could have done a way better job.

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I think it definitely checks all the creepy boxes.

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Pretty much encapsulates 2020 I think.

 

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And so that’s that! We came home, ordered pizza from California Pizza Kitchen, handed out a few candies with tongs and masks on and called it a night!

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And yes, we already voted. In case you were worried.

A Perfect Day Out

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Even though we haven’t been in strict quarantine for months, it still feels like we’ve been cooped up since forever. We do get out these days to enjoy the alfresco dining that is popping up everywhere but we haven’t really been out out for a long time. So yesterday, when we spent the day in Laguna Beach, it felt like we were on vacation. Like really on vacation! If I squinted really hard and forgot that we were only a half hour away from home, I could almost feel like I’d flown thirteen hours and I was back in Italy. Laguna Beach feels like Italy sometimes. It’s just such a quaint touristy sort of town like that. I love it.

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Yesterday we took a pottery class at Artime Barro studio in Laguna Beach.   I booked it a few weeks ago and carted the whole family off whether they wanted to go or not. At first the girls protested. They usually like to meet up with a few friends at our local shopping center in our neighborhood. It’s a habit Payam and I are not that fond of, given the risks of covid AND the fact that they are both starting to think that hanging out with a passel of boys is the cool thing to do. We fight them on it but give in regularly. Parenting, it is not for the weak.

After a few eye-rolls and sullen sulks with headphones in the back seat, they gave in and started to get excited too. It felt so good to be back as a crew having an adventure again. I LOVE love love when all four of us do something fun together. I guess, that’s the meaning of family after all. Now all those adventures my mom used to drag my brother and I off to make sense. These are the things that makes moms happy! Like really really happy! I should plan these sorts of adventures every week.

Of course everything comes with a price and a pottery class was $40 per person BUT you get to make two things each, you learn a new skill and it’s really really fun.

Bug-at-the-pottery-wheel

Bug is taking ceramics in highschool already so she’s a pro. I took a sculpture class at the local community class years ago but throwing pottery on a wheel is completely new to me. It is so relaxing. I found staring at the spinning clay almost hypnotizing. I could have stayed there for hours.

making-pinch-pots

We took turns. Two of us making pinch pots and two of us learning how to use the pottery wheel.

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Pinch, pinch, pinch.

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Spin, spin, spin.

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I defied the instructions and made a fox instead of a pot. I thought I’d get in trouble but the instructor said it was perfectly fine. As long as I had a hole for the air to escape I could totally make a fox head instead of a pot. And that is why I like Laguna Beach and artists in general: It’s okay to break the rules and be creative! If Laguna Beach didn’t have such traffic problems I would seriously consider moving there. It is definitely my kind of town. Maybe someday…

artime-barro-studio

The studio is so nice and open, you almost feel like you are out doors. There are several doors and all of them are open with the gentle ocean breeze wafting through. In the back is the classroom area and off of that there is another outdoor seating area. In the front where you check in and out there is a little shop where you can buy locally made pottery. Lots of really cool gift items.

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Of course it’s decorated crazily.

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My favorite part is the interactive wall map where you can write on a broken shard of pottery and glue it to the wall with stucco.

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I really hope this studio lasts forever. Firstly because I want to go back and make more pottery and secondly because I put SAJ up own the wall and I want her to live there forever.

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Just fun all around. I think I should get a job here. Too bad I am a newbie at ceramics.

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In true laid back Laguna Beach fashion, dogs are, of course, allowed. I would not bring Cody here though. His sweeping giant tail would costs me hundreds of dollars.

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There is a cute little pot on the check out counter. I want to make one of these one of these days.

I-miss-the-ocean

After our pottery class we walked down to the beach. When in Rome… You can’t really visit a beach community without at least putting your feet in the water. I miss living by the ocean. I’m only 15 minutes away now but you’d be surprised at how rarely I leave my little sunny town to go find it.

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Covid or no covid, I’m so glad to be out and about with my crew.

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Then to top off the day we got gelato. Because that’s what you do when you go to Laguna Beach!

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I even had some, which if you know me is a pretty big deal. It was such a perfect day.