I am happy to share my latest children’s picture book, BEACH MYSTERY. “What mystery lies on the shore of this secret beach? Explore nature and find a curious sight with a magical friend on a special beach walk.”
8×8 inches. 20 pages. Hardcover.
This is one of those stories that practically wrote itself. The illustrations are photographs I took over several months of time, and when I edited them from my camera, a children’s story began to form in my imagination. Having recently finished my first book A Fairytale Tea Party, which was such joyful fun, I really did not expect to write another story right away. But when the creativity strikes, you go with it, right?
There on my doorstep was the package I had been waiting for: My copy of my first published book for children, A Fairytale Tea Party. I could not wait to open the box, and was excited to see how well it turned out.
It is a tiny little book, 7 inches square, and just right for the little hands it was written for. I have grandchildren, so this is a special memory to share with them.
A Fairytale Tea Party is about the delightful journey to a special tea party, in a land of wonder. A rhyming book, it is perfect for young children up to age 6, or for anyone who is young at heart!
This is one of those things I have always wanted to do, and is a dream come true to have done it finally. What is it you ask? Well, I wanted to write a children’s book, and now I have. My first book (yes, I hope to write more) is called A Fairytale Tea Party, and the inspiration that made it finally happen was a few photographs that I took the other day.
Stopping at a bakery and seeing the goodies inside and the bunny baker outside was the icing on the cake (pun intended). The cake itself was an invitation to host a virtual tea party, which I had never done before, but wanted to. So I started there, working on my tea party ideas, and that led to the book.
The tea party will be filled with images and the fairytale tea party story, and I had so much fun writing it that I decided I would like it in book form for my grandkids and for my own keepsake. So one thing led to the other, and now both the party and the book are done.
The little thing (the online tea party) was the journey to the big thing (publishing the book). Kind of a metaphor for life: It’s all about the journey. Little things can lead to big things.
And this is one of Tricia’s Things, hence this blog post.
SOLVANG in Danish means “Sunny Fields” and so this park in the charming little Danish-style village of Solvang California is aptly named Sunny Fields Park. This park has a great big playground full of smooth wooden castle tower playstructures with lots of nooks and crannies to explore, windmill walkthroughs, water mister for hot days, viking ship to climb on, swings, slides, theater cut-outs and more. Ages 3 and up.
There is also a separate section of the playground for smaller children from 2-5 with parent supervision. This section has an adorable little gingerbread house to play in.
At the park you will also find a baseball field, a huge lawn area, picnic tables (some are covered), and clean restrooms. This is not your ho-hum plastic and metal playground!
Alamo Pintado Rd.
Solvang, CA 93463
Santa Ynez Valley
Santa Barbara County
Phone: (805) 688-7529
All photos taken by Tricia on my old Casio point and shoot camera.
In San Luis Obispo I often hear people call this toy store Uncle Toms, but that is incorrect. It has actually been named TOMS TOYS for about 25 years, and was only called Uncle Toms for a few years at the very beginning (with the original owner who then sold the store). That just shows you what power an old brand name has!
We happened upon this great ETCH-A-SKETCH art on RainyBayArt.com and just had to share it, since we are in the toy business. This artist is really good with Etch A Sketch art and here is one interesting question we read on his FAQ page:
“Where do you find Etch-a-Sketches these days?” “I have powerful connections with Santa’s elves, who manufacture them by hand and deliver them to key drop-off points for me. These drop-off locations include: toy stores, department stores, Fred Meyer, etc. Apparently Ohio Arts doesn’t do a good job with their marketing, because a lot of people aren’t aware that you can still buy Etch-a-Sketches, exactly the same as the ones you grew up with, just about anywhere.”
Classic retro toys are still around and as popular as ever. Toys such as Slinky, Hula Hoops and Silly Putty, Radio Flyer Red Wagons and Wooden Blocks can be found in many specialty toystores today. People marvel that the classic toys are still around, and everyone enjoys taking a moment to slip back into childhood memories.
The artist’s site is www.rainybayart.com and he does sell Etch-A-Sketch art too, which he says he makes permanent (so you can’t shake it to erase it!). Check out his website to see how he does it.