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Friday 28 September 2012

Road Trip California

After our recent visit to Disneyland we took a road trip along the beautiful Californian coast back to San Francisco.

Here's a little look at some of the sights along the way.

We started our road trip in Carpinteria, near Santa Barbara. We had driven there the night before to avoid Los Angeles peak hour on a Monday morning. After a delicious bagel breakfast in Carpinteria we headed to the beach at Santa Barbara where we spent a short while splashing about in the waves. The girls, Ava in particular, were super excited to spend some time at the beach. Back home in Australia we would go to the beach quite regularly however here in San Francisco the beaches are just a little cold so we've only been once or twice.

Two excited kids

The Happiest Place on Earth - Day 2

Here it is... day two of our Disneyland adventure.

Now if we thought it was hot on day one we were in for a big surprise. It was even hotter on day two and even though us Aussies should be able to cope with the heat not experiencing any for over a year has messed us around. It probably got to about 34c on day two which we would easily have been able to cope with back home but seeing as our San Francisco Summer weather barely gets above 25c we really struggled. Poor Lola in particular looked like she was about to melt half the time.

To escape a little of the heat (and to get into Disneyland a little faster) we decided to catch the Monorail from Downtown Disney to Tomorrowland. After the eventful ride on Big Thunder Railroad the day before Ava was a little wary about catching the monorail. She was pleasantly surprised to discover that it really was just like a small train and that we hadn't tricked her again!

Once we were inside Disneyland the girls were eager to head straight back to It's a Small World for a second go. Given the heat we were happy to go along with this and buckled ourselves into the boat for another 15 minutes of nauseating (but air-conditioned!) cheesiness!

Pretty excited for round two of It's a Small World

The Happiest Place on Earth - Day 1

Ok, so I've been a little slack with posting lately. So, so much going on over the last month. I think it's about time I catch up with a look at one of the reasons I've gotten behind in the first place.

So prepare for a total onslaught of photos...

Here it is...

Our trip to DISNEYLAND!!!

Ava had been looking forward to visiting Disneyland since well before we made our move to the States. In an effort to help her get excited about our move we'd told her than we'd be living in the same state as Disneyland. Ok, so we're at the other end of the state but compared to Australia San Francisco is pretty close to the home of Mickey Mouse. Knowing that Mickey and his friends were only a half day's drive away, Ava would ask almost on a weekly basis when we'd finally make it to Disneyland. Well, that day finally came a few weekends back when we made the trip down to sunny Anaheim to meet up with my sister, Kylie, who was on holiday in America. Disneyland AND seeing Aunty Kylie? I think all of Ava's dreams came true in one go!

Day 1

Where to start about Disneyland? There's just so much to see and do that it's hard to work out what to do first. Ava had made a short list of "must do" rides that was pretty much all located within Fantasyland so that made for a good place to start. Of course, getting to Fantasyland took an awfully long time as we were greeted with friendly Disney characters and photo opportunities at every turn! Lola had been a little (ok, a LOT) grizzly when we first arrived at Disneyland but that all turned around when she spotted Pluto. In the past she's been very apprehensive about meeting life size characters but she took to Pluto (and every other Disney character she met) straight away. It's amazing the transformation that cuddly pup brought about!

Hooray for Pluto!

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Roadworks Festival 2012

It's been a busy few weeks here at Little Hiccups with a big road trip, visits from family and friends and a quick European vacation. More on all of that later. In the meantime I thought I'd share an event that we attended this weekend here in San Francisco.

Each year the San Francisco Center for the Book holds their annual Roadworks Festival. The major drawcard of this festival is the steam roller produced linoleum block prints. Last year we missed out on attending the Roadworks Festival as it was held a few weeks before our arrival in the states. I was pretty excited that we could make it this year.

One of my favourite prints from the day by Mike Kimball

The kids loved watching the steam roller roll over the lino block, paper and padding. The results were amazing producing some spectacular prints - all of which are available to purchase for $500.00. Now if only I had a spare wall and a spare wad of cash...

Here's a look at the steam roller printing in action.

Setting up the lino block and paper for printing

Ready to roll

Rolling, rolling, rolling

Lifting off the print


Cleaning up one of the lino blocks

As well as the steam roller printing there were plenty of activities to keep us busy. Ava in particular was keen to try out all sorts of printing and book crafts.

Ava's first project (and the one she was most excited about) was making her own little note book. She started by printing an image on the cover using a table top printing press...

Ava prints an image onto the cover of her note book

Cover printed

Then it was time to bind the pages and cover together using a simple stitch technique...

Ava stitches her book together

All bound together

Once Ava's book was bound together she printed a design inside using a lino block.

Ava rolls out the ink

Rolling the ink onto the lino block

Here comes the print


Next up Ava made badges for Lola and herself. She chose images from a magazine and squeezed them together with the badge components in the badge press. The lady helping Ava was surprised that she could work the press all on her own. Ava was pretty pleased with herself about this! She's very strong, you know ;)

Ready to squeeze the badge parts together

Use those muscles!

Next up was fruit and vegetable printing courtesy of Whole Foods supermarket. Ava printed with celery, capsicum, apples and lemons to create a brightly coloured lunch bag. Ava was a pro at printing with fruit and vegetables given her previous experience with this crafty project.

Printing with capsicum

Printing with celery

One of a kind printed lunch bag 

The last craft project that Ava worked on was a print on the Vandercook press. This is similar to the press that I used when I did my letterpress workshop earlier in the year.

Crimping the paper in place

Starting to move the roller

It's pretty heavy!

Another successful print

We had a lovely afternoon in the sun watching the printing and taking part in the activities. The festival featured plenty of stalls from local artists and designers and I had to try my very hardest not to buy almost everything I saw. San Francisco boasts so many wonderful, talented artists. I'd love to be able to purchase one of the prints produced on the day. Oh how special that would be!

Mike Kimball's steam roller print features the shipping cranes synonymous with Oakland's waterfront 

Steam roller prints by Anna Branning, Caitlin Mattisson and  Rik Olson

Saturday 8 September 2012

Disneyland T-Shirts

The big day is here!

We're going to Disneyland!!!

And if that wasn't exciting enough, we're meeting up with my little sister who's visiting from Australia and she's coming with us. Yay! 

You may recall that when my parents visited from Australia back in May Ava and I made special "commemorative" t-shirts for their visit. You can see them here. I promised my sister that there just might be something special in store for her visit too so Ava and I got to work.

Ava drew the most gorgeous picture of herself, Lola and Aunty Kylie wearing Mickey Mouse ears on the tea cup ride. Ok, so it was actually two of Ava's pictures that I morphed together in photoshop. Either way, the end result was perfect for our commemorative t-shirts.

Now, when my parents came to visit it was just Ava and Lola who got to wear a special t-shirt. This time around there's a third t-shirt for Aunty Kylie.

Here's a sneak peek...

Lola and Mickey

T-shirt design

Lola, Ava and Aunty Kylie ride the teacups

Friday 7 September 2012


A few weeks back we took the girls to Curiodyssey in Coyote Point just south of San Francisco.

At Curiodyssey kids and adults alike can "Touch Science. Meet Animals" and the girls did just that.

The girls got to see plenty of creatures native to North America including possums, bobcats, turkey vultures (possibly the ugliest bird ever!), coyotes, otters, tortoises and porcupines. They were able to meet some of these up close and personal (the possum and tortoise) but most of the others were best kept behind their locked gates - I'm looking at you coyote! There was a raccoon enclosure but the furry little guys were very well hidden and we couldn't spot them. Ten months of living in America and I'm yet to see a raccoon - I'm not counting the one I saw squished on the side of the road on our drive to Sacramento!

All animals at Curiodyssey are rescue animals unable to be returned to their natural habitat. They have either been rescued after being injured or, such as in the case of the coyote, were illegal pets which have been imprinted by humans.

Ava helps Lola pat the possum gently

Retro Apple

Remember those Perler Bead creations that Ava and I worked on during the Summer vacation?
Well, Kim was inspired by one heart pendant in particular and set about making something for himself.

Now being a bit of a computer nerd, the first thing that Kim noticed when he saw Ava's rainbow heart pendant was its similarity to the old Apple logo - you know, the stripey rainbow apple. I on the other hand, thought it looked quite like a gay pride pendant!

Anyway, Kim decided that he needed to make himself a retro Apple logo from the Perler beads. When it was finished we stuck it on the back of our laptop for a bit of fun.

What do you think?

Retro Macbook Air!

Kim works on our retro mac

So colourful

Thursday 6 September 2012

First Haircut

Today Lola had her first haircut.

I had been putting it off for such a long time but that wavy, blonde mane of hers was just getting a little too frizzy and out of control. Time for a trim.

First haircut

Lola had seemed excited about getting her haircut. She always wants a turn when Ava and I get our fringes trimmed so I figured she'd be pretty happy that it was finally her turn to sit in the chair. Ava had been really good with her first haircut and sat still just staring at herself in the mirror. Little Miss Lola however was a completely different story...

We didn't get off to a good start with Lola refusing to climb up into the chair. Eventually we convinced her (read "bribed her"!) into the chair and she was pretty happy while the hairdresser put on her cape.

Happy with the cape

But then we had to move her slightly so the hairdresser could get at the back of her head more easily. That's when everything went downhill and Lola turned into a snotty, blubbering mess - with the cape pulled firmly over her head! The cape stayed in place over Lola's face and the top of her head for the rest of the time we were at the salon. The hairdresser was able to trim the back of Lola's hair to even it up a little, however the front of her hair (which is where the most work was needed!) was untouchable.

I'm not taking this cape off so don't even try!

Needless to say we left the salon with Lola looking pretty much exactly the same albeit with ever so slightly shorter hair and red, bleary eyes. I guess there's always next time!

Not too bad so far but starting to look a little worried

Snip, snip, snip

Lovely, long hair

Attempting to trim the front during a brief moment when Lola let the cape slip a little.
It went straight back up over her head about split second later! 

A stark contrast - here's Ava getting her hair cut for the first time.
Ava was about 6 months younger than Lola at the time so she has much less hair!

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Father's Day 2012: Australian Edition

Time for Father's Day number two for the year!

Lucky Kim gets to celebrate Father's Day twice a year. American Father's Day was back in June and now we have just had Australian Father's Day this weekend. Can you believe it's September already?

Seeing as Kim has already been spoiled once this year with Father's Day treats we decided to keep it a little more low key this time around. No presents this time but we did come up with a cute card.

You may recall that we attended our first baseball game a few weeks back. You may also recall that the girls were super excited to wear "baseball fingers". I thought that these two things would work nicely together for our Father's Day card. I'm always partial to a little cheesiness!

I took one of the photos from the game of the girls wearing their Oakland A's "baseball fingers", edited out the logo and text, added in my own details, added a cheesy greeting and voila, perfect Father's Day cards. I personalised them with the names Daddy, Papa (for my Dad) and Doug (for Kim's Dad - yes, the girls call him by his real name!).

Papa's #1 fans

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