Saturday, September 04, 2021

All Things Tiki

I have been lacking (understatement of the year) in getting anything posted to my blog in years. Not promising I will be fixing that anytime soon, but wanted to add in a quick post about some of my favorite things. I have always loved all things Tiki ever since I went to Hawaii when I was 10. Also there was hints of it going to my grandma's beach cabin rental. I started going to Trader Sam's at the Disneyland Resort about 10 years ago and that was a real "A-Ha" moment where it all just came together. I just wanted to sip on amazing tropical drinks, listen to soothing tiki lounge music and doodle everything in sight. If you have not been to a tiki bar, look some up and go check one out!
During the lock down when I could not go out for any yummy drinks or atmosphere, I realized that it meant more to me than I thought. I took the refunded money from the conventions and trips I could no longer attend and purchased the ingredients to make my own tiki drinks (no small feat). You cannot just make the drinks, you have to fully commit. I searched my garden for fresh mint and flowers and began collecting mugs and glassware. After the concoctions were mixed and the citrus sacrificed, I ended up with little slices of paradise served up to cheer me up. Then of course I had to sketch them all! My Instagram became full of tiki drink sketches and photos. Here are a bunch of those sketches:

After a while, the bars began to open or offer take out so I was able to get out and explore some of the area's finest. High Roller Tiki Lounge in Solvang is the closest. They may not serve Rum, but their drinks are so good and refreshing. I wish I had a schedule that allowed more trips there. Ventiki in Ventura is one of the next best things to Trader Sam's, but it is kinda a long haul to get there (1hr 15min one way). I have not tried the Test Pilot in the Funk Zone in Santa Barbara yet, that would be closer but I would still need a designated driver ;)
I have a fantasy of drawing/painting Tiki drinks and selling them and might try my hand at that soon. I also have named my home bar and want to work on a sign and a fun little menu or something. It is called "Zul'Tiki" in the Zandalarian Troll style. 

I'll end this post with some old paintings I did back before my last trip to Hawaii. These hang in my house and are a nice reminder of the paradise feelings that destination can give.


Thursday, May 09, 2019

End of Winter and Wondercon!

 These were my Valentines for this year. I feel like I make like 40 a year to send out and give out. It is so fun! I got a little head start thanks to out new Skype Art Night that my family and me do. My daughter likes to take her laptop upstairs and join in from there. It is so great to be able to "hang out" with my sister who is up in the Northwest. We hope to make a trip up there soon. In these Valentine's I used my old heart stamps I carved a few years ago. I really like the way they came out. One of them I carved backwards, but it still looks cool.

 WONDERCON 2019!!!! Our first con ever! I have always wanted to go to Comicon but it sells out so fast! This one is closer and had not sold out. We had so much fun. These photos do not do it justice. Awesome cosplay everywhere! The hotel was jam packed with cosplayers. It was so surreal! I wish I had taken a video so you can get a feel for it. I loved all the venders. The art was amazing! The toys were so cool! There was SO MUCH STUFF!!! We are totally going again next year!

 Unico! I totally almost bought this. Oh the nostalgia and memories!
 It's Matt! How is the 9 pack going?
 Overwatch? There was a lot over overwatch cosplay.
 Mr. and Mrs. Packman! So cool!
 My daughter was Mabel and I was Dipper. She was adorable! We even had a photo request. 

Skellator! What an awesome cosplay!
 Tank Girl!

We have so many ideas for next year already! I think we are starting up our journals again for our round robin. I have a little more work to do on the one I have. I hope to finish up my horse painting....finally! I just need to work on the grass a bit. I want to start on another painting, but I cannot find a good backdrop for the image I want to use. I would love to take some time to get some photos around the valley too. The grass and super bloom are fading. It was so very beautiful. I have thoroughly enjoyed soaking it all in, but have not thought to pull over and photo everything. The photos never look as good as what I see.

Catching Up?

 Winter highlights and inspirations. Last year we decided to see what Christmas season was like at the Disneyland Resort. We were not disappointed. We stayed at the Disney Peir hotel and loved all the underwater themed Christmas trees. We finally got my daughter to come on It's a Small World ride. The Christmas decorations looked amazing! Some of the trees at the park were ginormous!!

 My family ditched me with Darth Vader. Pretty intimidating to see him alone. He is so tall! Kylo Ren was angrier though. The Castle looked amazing. The reflection in the water was beautiful. We really had a nice trip.

Had some fun creating in a journal exchange. Always so intimidating. Everyone seems to have a well established style, but mine feel forced. I just did some sketches similar to what I would have done in my journal. I had to fit in a sketch of my cat Stella. The eucalyptus branch is from the beautiful tree that used to be in our parking lot. The landlord took it down which made me so sad! I will forever miss the sound of the wind blowing through it's branches and the sound of the birds and bees that loved it.

 A few more photos of our Disney trip. I had to stop at Trader Sams for a few drinks and a sketch. Always love it there!! And a super sweet snuggle from my favorite kid in the Tiki Tiki Tiki Room. Cannot wait to get back there.
 My daughter decided she still was not ready to say goodbye to Halloween so we decided to decorate at home for a Holloweenesque Christmas. It was really fun to do.
 The tree topper I made. It is supposed to be a full moon. Even Ogrim Doom Hammer got into the season. I hand carved a big stamp for my cards this year, but I am not sure if everyone got theirs in time. The red ink did that thing where it did not want to dry. I really enjoyed making it and loved the way it came out. A lot of people thought I bought it.

 So this was most of my winter this/last year. I did have one Christmas themed decoration on my table. I have always loved this little LEGO gingerbread house. We made gingerbread cookies this year. They were so good! The tiny houses were too cute to eat. So many happy and warm memories!