Monday, July 06, 2015

Playing Around

Here's my latest journal!  It's on a playful game theme, and I had the best time putting together papers and images and bits from old games to make this.  It brought back so many memories of fun times playing games with my family.  I used vintage game bits, too -- old monopoly money and cards, old playing cards.  I even broke out my Dremel and drilled holes in a few old poker chips and dice and Monopoly hotels.  It's funny what you think about drilling when you're holding a Dremel in your hand...

At any rate, this one makes me happy.  You can see a full video flip-through if you want... and yep, it's up for sale on my Etsy shop but I might have to make another for me.  Oh boy, more drilling!

Saturday, July 04, 2015

A Summer Treasure Hunt

Have you heard of "The Curse of Oak Island?" My sister told me about this tv series on the History Channel, and now I'm obsessed. 

 This reality show follows two brothers, Rick and Marty Lagina, as they search to find possible treasure and the answer to some long-existing mysteries about Oak Island in Nova Scotia.  Rick, the older brother, read about the island, the lore of its treasure, and the history of discoveries there in a Reader's Digest magazine when he was 11 years old, and he became obsessed with the story.  Now, he and his younger brother Marty (an oil engineer) have bought an interest in the private island and have invested millions of dollars in exploring it.  There's a great interview with some of the main guys here that explains how they got involved in the mystery.

There's a great cast of real-life characters, including long-time treasure hunters and Oak Island explorers.  There are experts who come to give advice on discovered coins, old wood, hieroglyphic marks on rock, metal detecting, you name it.  There are stories of discoveries on the island made as early as 1792, and suggestions that the island could be the hidden location of the ark of the covenant, the lost menorah from Solomon's temple, treasure hidden by the Knights Templar, the Rosecrucians, maybe even Spanish pirates. 

So there are the treasure-hunting dreamers, but they're teamed with skeptical scientists who want evidence and scientific reasons to believe that there's reason to keep exploring. It's fascinating to see how they apply the latest technologies to try to find out what's there.

This is really a great adventure show, and it's got me hooked.  I'm part way through season 2. There are two seasons' worth of shows available on Itunes and Amazon Instant Video and it looks like there are some full episodes on Youtube. There'll be a season 3 according to the show's facebook page, but there's no specific air date yet.

It'd be a great family show, I'm thinking -- a great way to combine history and modern science and technology.  If I were still home-schooling Miss C, I'd love using this to link up science and history and geography.  

Anyway, I'm loving this show -- even with the History Channel's style of overly dramatic announcer, and the way they repeat a lot of information which gets tedious if you're binge watching several episodes per sitting (as someone MIGHT be inclined to do.  Ahem.)   It's the perfect summer viewing.  I can hardly wait to see what happens next.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Continuing on our tour of Humboldt County...

There are a lot of victorian buildings in Northern California, and it's a joy to see them still used and in good shape and well cared for.  On the way to Eureka last week, we stopped for a bit in the little town of Ferndale, which calls itself "the Victorian Village."  Perhaps you've seen bits of Ferndale without even knowing it:  it was where "The Majestic" with Jim Carrey and "Outbreak" with Dustin Hoffman were filmed, and its victorian buildings are recreated in Legos in the California Legoland.

But I digress.

 The town is basically a main street about 3 blocks long, and then a lot of homes, some charming and victorian, some more ordinary.  But we strolled up and down Main Street, admired the beautiful architectural details, took a few photos.

Ah, they don't make buildings like they used to, eh?

It's nice to see them occupied.  Here's a shot of the main street.

Immediately after taking this picture, by the way, we made our way to the Ferndale Pie Shop and bought a strawberry rhubarb to take home with us.  It was delicious -- truly tart and rhubarby.

Oops, I'm digressing again.

The next day, we set off to find the most famous victorian house in Eureka, the Carson Mansion.

It was built by lumber magnate William Carson in 1885, and was a private residence until the late 1940's.  It was then bought by a private group whose mission is the restoration and preservation of historical buildings.  From what we could tell, the inside is only accessible to club members for dinners and such.

But my, it is beautiful.  All that detail!

It would be a great sketch subject, if you had a good place to sit and a few hours to do it.

My sister and I both fell in love with the victorian house directly across the street, known as "the Pink Lady."  It's currently for sale, and when we got home we looked up the listing to see if we'd correctly guessed the price.  Any guesses?  You can see the listing here.  (Oh!  I see the listing shows it as "off market" now.  I wonder if the Ingomar Club bought it, too?  It was listed for $1.3 million when we looked.  I'd guessed a million.... so I was only a few hundred thousand off!) 

Anyway, we liked this house a lot.  Carson built it for his daughter when she got married.

Kind of makes you want to sit on the porch and drink sasprilla, huh?  I don't even know what sasparilla is, but this house makes me want some.

I think it was just after this that we wandered off to find lunch.  All that architecture made us hungry.