alley gallery

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I want to give a huge thank you and shout out to @anittheflea for buying me the new Bowling Night stuff pack! In addition to supplying Marinette’s new hair (which you might have noticed is slightly different from her old cc hair), the pack also let me build this awesome bowling alley for Piper and Louis to have their birthday party in!

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Howell Lanes Bowling Alley a Bowling Night NoCC Build by SimDoughnut

This is a fairly accurate recreation of my childhood bowling alley, Howell Lanes in Howell, NJ.  It’s where I had birthday parties as a kid, and later  bowled in a league as an adult before moving out West to Minnesota.  Howell Lanes is also where my childhood friend Parker Bohn III learned to bowl, and eventually went on to become a highly ranked professional bowler on the PBA tour.

Howell Lanes, wasn’t a very swanky Bowling alley, in fact looking back on it, it was a bit dodgy. That was okay though because we went there to bowl, not to be mesmerized by the aesthetics. Howell Lanes featured a small Cafe, a Bar, a Pro Shop, and a room where we could kids could play Pinball, and later video games.  I’ve included all of these features in this build.

The build sits on a 40x30 lot, is set as a Bar, and I originally built it in Newcrest. You can find the Howell Lanes Bowling Alley in my SimDoughnut gallery while in game.  This is a NoCC build, so just use the tags #bowling #howelllanes, or #bowlingnight to find it.

I hope you enjoy the build as much as I did creating it.  It brought back a lot of fond childhood memories, as well as happy memories spent there with my own children.

Have Fun :)!

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July 9, 2017

“FAMILY TIES”

by Otto Schade

Born in Chile in the early 70s Otto Schade, aka Osch, studied architecture and made a career as architect and urban sculpture, until a fascination with surrealism and abstract art turned his passion toward painting. Painting since 1996 he says his work typically treats themes with a sharp, ironic touch and his paintings have now been exhibited all over the world. After moving to the London district of Shoreditch he became interested in the local street art scene and his trademark ribbon style emerged, relying on his background in architecture. In Los Angeles in December, 2015 Schade painted this large 29’ x 98’ family of elephants overlooking Glendale Blvd. as part of a new Gabba Gallery alley beautification project—Animal Alley.  @otto_schade  @gabbagallery  

A Bid For Your Heart (One Shot)

Summary: College AU. Once a year the campus gallery has a fundraiser allowing students to place bids for a blind date with an art student based solely on the work they’ve displayed. Camila spends her last $40 unknowingly bidding on Lauren’s artwork, and she’s determined to make the night worth every last penny. - L

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San Francisco Indie Book Crawl

Last week, I was delighted to find Sanne’s (booksandquills) and Marion’s (marionhoney) BookTube footage of the Indie Bookshop Crawl in London. There was a contest to see how many independent bookshops YouTubers and bloggers could visit in a single day, a spirited initiative to drive business back to the “little guys” of the book world.

Inspired by their charming videos, I decided to engineer a bookshop crawl of my own, targeting the myriad of independent book sellers in San Francisco. The goal: to visit as many indie bookshops as time and public transportation would allow. Instead of collecting stickers, I committed to purchasing at least one book from every shop. My boyfriend graciously decided to join me, and added to his own collection along the way.

Beautiful day by the Bay – I never get tired of this view.

We started with Book Passage, a little store on the backside of the Ferry Building. I didn’t see any used books here, but loved all the personalized recommendations and the display featuring books from California. Front and center was Edan Lepucki’s debut novel, California, which was my first purchase on the book crawl.

My boyfriend had an interesting exchange with the shopkeeper here. The man told him that while customers always ask if he’s read this novel or that one, no one ever bothers to ask him what he’s read lately. I believe he recommended something akin to Doctor Zhivago.

Our next stop, Chronicle Books, proved a little more upscale in its decor. This local publisher is nationally distributed, and each book featured in the shop was created by them. No adult novels or YA here, just a lot of cookbooks, children’s literature, and gift books.

I died with laughter over Jeffrey Brown's Vader’s Little Princess, a picture book depicting Darth Vader and a pre-adolescent Princess Leia. I bought the 30-postcard set to send to friends, and may include some in the giveaway if y'all are interested.

I loved the streamlined display – it made it very easy to see what was in stock.

This kills me.

One reason I love this city so much is the number of affordable, alternative taxi services available. We had some credits to use with Lyft and used that service to get to 24th Street in the Mission district.

Third on our list was Paper: Press on Works, which is an adorable niche bookstore filled with expensive stationery and vintage photography and art books (miscellaneous plays, children’s literature, novels, and poetry were also scattered around the store). I came away with Promising Young Women by Suzanne Scanlon, which promised a novel similar to one of my all-time favorites, Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar.

My boyfriend had the good fortune to select a novel that was written by the shopkeeper himself – who gave it to him for free!

I adore the cover of this book.

A little ways down the block was the first of two bookshop co-ops, Adobe Books & Arts Cooperative. I loved the feel of this store. It was very cozy and inviting, and the first shop we visited that offered couches and comfortable chairs for prospective buyers. They also had a wide range of contemporary literature, which was a big plus for me after browsing the limited stock of the previous two booksellers.

Outside, they offered classics and children’s books for a dollar.

I was waffling between a water-stained, annotated copy of Lolita and a hefty hardcover edition of The Circle, but decided on something a little prettier and more compact: A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote.

I first read Capote on a holiday in Scotland and fell madly in love with his writing. I expect good things from this one.

After a brief stop at Philz Coffee to rest, caffeinate, and read, we headed a few blocks down the street toward Alley Cat Bookstore & Gallery. This was easily my favorite shop so far that day. It’s spacious, sunny, and incredibly well-stocked with a mix of used and new volumes. Towards the back of the store, there are two rows of chairs and a gallery of photographs. Currently on display is a collection of photos taken in abandoned buildings and ghost towns – absolutely fascinating.

This is but a fraction of their stock. I could’ve spent hours browsing the shelves here.

It took me a while, but I finally settled on a softcover copy of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Gaiman is one of the few authors that I trust implicitly, even without a synopsis of his books or a recommendation to go on.

Our fourth and final stop in the Mission was Modern Times Bookstore Collective, another shop with a great community feel. I read reviews on Yelp that said this place was hard to find, but unless you’re blind you shouldn’t have a problem – it’s very colorful and easy to spot!

Modern Times had a small used section towards the back of the store, but the bulk of their stock tended towards new, full-priced editions. I was immediately torn between One More Thing and Boy, Snow, Bird, and eventually settled on Novak’s debut as the next addition to my library.

One thing I especially appreciated about this store was its selection of Spanish books and local history.

By this point in the day, we were starting to feel a little worn down. We hopped in a cab to the last store, Green Apple Books, and ducked into a neighboring bar to catch the last of the Giants game, grab a couple drinks, and – you guessed it – read.

Green Apple Books is one of my favorite San Francisco haunts, though it is not nearly close enough to public transportation for me to venture out there more than once or twice a year. They have an impressive selection of both new and used literature, and I was swimming in book recommendation heaven with their extensive displays. I couldn’t escape Green Apple with fewer than three books: Alain de Botton's News: A User’s Manual, Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales, and a softcover copy of Dave Eggers' The Circle, which I’d already read and loved earlier this year.

Pictured in the background: My current bookshelf.

With our wallets slimmed and our energy zapped, we headed back to the East Bay to recuperate from our day. I loved getting to sample the indie shops in San Francisco – it was a great way to get out of my comfort zone and explore the city while adding to my home library. At the end of the day, we had visited seven booksellers and purchased 16 books (nine for me, seven for him). In a couple weeks, I might try this again in Berkeley and Oakland… stay tuned!

Jurassic Art!

This Saturday, June 13th is the Jurassic Art exhibition at the Fan Alley art gallery at 423 Brookhurst in Anaheim. My piece above, plus great pieces from dozens of other artists, will be available for one night only from 6 to 10 PM.

To celebrate the opening of Jurassic World, the show is mostly Jurassic Park themed. My piece however is one of my earliest dinosaur memories- The Primeval World, Realm of the Dinosaurs diorama from the Disneyland Railroad. Although you never can improve on a classic I thought of a few necessary upgrades (It should be an Allosaurus, not a Tyrannosaurus!) I won’t be able to make the show but I hope a lot of you can.

San Diego Comic Con commission preorders are open. Email me for details and requests.