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Hello Dear Readers! Another Halloween is over and much like Disneyland, my attention has now turned to Christmas. With visions of sugar plums dancing in my head I’ve dreamt up a whole host of topics today, a mixed bag, if you will, a little bit of everything … some Halloween — past, some museums & other wonderful things — present, and some Christmas — future. Here’s what we’ll be discussing:

Makeup • Monet & Lichtenstein • She Carries A Torch • Touring
• Disneyland/LA — A Commonality • Benefits • All Aboard!
• Hot Toys • Yummy Candycane-illiciousness • Last minute Luna

When I’m deep in the thick of it during Halloween time, I frequently have I-wish-I-knew-how-to-do-that moments and for me, being able to apply really good makeup falls under that category. Maybe you experience that too. Planning ahead for next year by taking a makeup class would be a good thing:

Ron Wolek, owner of Wolek Makeup FX Classes is bringing his knowledge and expertise to students this November in a series of workshops. Ron’s professional credits range from Makeup Department Head at Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, the Ellen DeGeneres Show, National Geographic, Orlando Opera Company, New York City Ballet and many others. His work has been featured on many red carpet events, television, film and theater.

Aspiring makeup artists can take their first steps towards an exciting career in Special Effects Makeup. The workshops will offer students the chance to master four special effects techniques including prosthetics, injuries, bald cap application and monster construction makeup. Classes are designed for beginners, stylists and experienced students alike.

Class begins November 7th at the Paul Mitchell School and students are provided with all necessary materials including model, makeup supplies, prosthetics and portfolio pictures by Seventh Image Photography. While this class is in Orlando, the website also lists classes in California for us westcoasters too. For more information, visit this link.

Halloween night saw the end of the fabulous Tim Burton exhibit at the Los Angeles Museum of Art. I sure hope you had a chance to go see it because it was awesome. If you didn’t, there is still plenty of awesomeness at LACMA. For a start, the Monet/Lichtenstein: Rouen Cathedrals exhibit:

Monet/Lichtenstein: Rouen Cathedrals presents a group of Monet’s impressionist Rouen Cathedral paintings together with Lichtenstein’s 1969 appropriation of the same subject. Monet painted thirty views of the Rouen Cathedral from 1892 to 1895 from different viewing positions, all quite close to one another, at different times of day. The series stands as the hallmark of the revolutionary impressionist movement. Over six decades later, Lichtenstein was inspired to paint his Cathedral series in the style of pop art as a response to the exhibition Serial Imagery at the Pasadena Art Museum.

Pop delved into the nature of repetition and seriality by taking an iconic image, cheapened by overexposure, and reinvesting it with renewed, ironic vigor and relevance. For both Monet and Lichtenstein, the subject of the cathedral is less important than the act of seeing; the installation investigates the nature of this obsession with sight. These paintings by Monet and Lichtenstein, essential to the formation of modern and post-modernism, present a visual narrative that unites the thematic concerns and visual strategies of these chronologically disparate artists.

Monet/Lichtenstein: Rouen Cathedrals exhibit is on display at LACMA through January 1, 2012. General admission provides a one-day pass to LACMA’s permanent galleries and to special exhibitions that are not separately ticketed. You can purchase general admission tickets online, at the LACMA ticket office, or by calling 323 857-6010: Adults $15, Seniors (62 +)/Students (18 + w/school ID) $10, Children (17 and under) Free. The museum is open every day except Wednesdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas: Monday, Tuesday, & Thursday, Hours are 12 noon–8 pm, Friday 12 noon–9 pm, and Saturday & Sunday — 11 am–8 pm. LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd., in Los Angeles CA 90036 and for more information, visit this link.

Right now, I’m wishing I was in New York. I imagine it must be a beautiful time of year to experience that city and I’d really like to be there in person to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade one of these years (see, I am thinking of Thanksgiving, after all). Which brings me to our next pressing matter.

Alas, it has nothing at all to do with Thanksgiving … but it is in New York. Torch cams have been installed in the Statue of Liberty. Cool, non? To be able to take a peek out at New York from Lady Liberty’s torch, well that seems pretty terrific to me:

On clear days, three cameras will provide unobstructed panoramas and live views of the famed New York City skyline, along with a front row seat to watch views of the majestic Hudson River and ships in New York Harbor. And that's just looking out.

The two remaining cameras have truly unique views. One provides a ultra wide-angle interactive view of the famed golden torch; and the final camera looks downward.

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. worked with its partner, the National Park Service, and EarthCam to make these views a reality. Not since 1916, when access to the Statue’s Torch was closed to visitors, has the public been able to view New York Harbor and its surrounding shores from the Torch. But now, the first ever TorchCam allows people around the world to see these panoramic images from any computer or smart phone. To look out from this unique vantage point, visit this link.

I love home tours. It’s so much delicious fun to peek into someone else’s life and see how they decorate their abode. I especially love these events when the houses are in a historic district ... which brings us to this next pressing matter — The Old Towne Orange Home Tour:

If you’ve ever been interested in the historic homes in Old Towne Orange, your chance to explore them from the inside is coming soon. On November 5th and 6th, the Old Towne Preservation Association (OTPA) is hosting home tours of six historical homes in Old Towne. Visitors during the home tour are able to get a taste of Old Towne Orange’s historic past and understand more about why this is such a great place to live. This event only happens every two years so be sure to attend!

From 10:00 AM  to 4:00 PM, this Saturday, November, 5th you can go at your own pace on a self-guided walking tour through selected historic homes in Old Towne Orange’s historic distric. The tour begins at the Western Cordage Building located at 501 W. Palm Ave. There is parking available across the street from the Western Cordage Building and a trolley is available to transport to the homes where street parking is not ideal. Ticket prices are $20 per person. For more information, including how and where to purchase tickets, visit tthis link for more information.

What do Disneyland and the city of Los Angeles have in common? Why, Charles Phoenix, of course. Later this month another one of Charles’ fabulous city tours is scheduled to take place, and this one is Disneyland-themed. If you’ve never taken a Charles Phoenix tour, you need to put that on your “to do” list ASAP:

“Rediscover Downtown Los Angeles as I have,” says your tour guide Charles Phoenix, “It’s just like a theme park!” Experience the charm of Main Street USA, exotica of Adventureland, wilderness of Frontierland, magic of Fantasyland, and future of Tomorrowland – all in the heart and soul of the city!“Disneyland” Tour of Downtown Los Angeles.

Bob Baker's Marionette Puppet Theater

The 6-hour walking tour (you ride on a macaroni & cheese-colored school bus from location to location) begins at 11:00 AM, outside, in front of the main entrance of Union Station, and ends at 5:00 PM, also at Union Station located at  800 N. Alameda, Los Angeles. Tour attractions include, but are not limited to:

• Union Station, the last grand train station built in the USA.
• A ride on the Gold Line “Monorail” to Chinatown‘s classic and colorful exotica.
• Olvera Street landmarks and flavor, including a stop for Taquitos at Cileto Lindo, Charles’ treat!
• Phillipe’s for a “no host lunch” at LA’s iconic home of the French Dip sandwich
• Broadway Arcade, LA’s oldest “shopping center,” followed by extraordinary Batchelder Tile interior at the former Dutch Chocolate Shop as well as the interior of the Bradbury Building.
• Grand Central Market and a ride on Angel’s Flight up to the futuristic Water Garden on way to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
• Carroll Avenue and a stroll through the largest concentration of Victorian houses in Southern California.
• Bob Baker’s Marionette Puppet Theater for a classic puppet show performance followed by cake and ice cream in the party room and much, much more!

Museum and show tickets, snacks, souvenirs and transportation are all included in the ticket price. Itinerary is subject to change without notice and the tour happens rain or shine. You are advised to wear comfortable walking shoes and to not be late!

Charles Phoenix’s “Disneyland Tour of LA” takes place on November 25th, 2011. The cost is $79 per person. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit this link.

I sure love it when I hear the Disneyland train conductor cry out, “All aboard …”  Except for a turn on a doombuggy,I don’t think there’s anything better than that grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom, do you? A new exhibit, showcasing the artwork and inspiration for Disney railroads, trains and train attractions throughout the years, is about to open at the Disney Gallery in Disneyland — All Aboard A Grand Circle Tour of the Trains of Disney:

On the very first episode of the Disneyland® television series, aired October 27, 1954, Walt Disney proclaimed that "I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing, that it was all started by a mouse." However, an argument could be made that Disneyland® may have been started by a train. Walt's fascination with trains began when he was a small boy growing up in Marceline, Missouri, in the early 1900s. At one time he actually worked on a railroad, selling fruit, drinks, and newspapers to passengers when he was 15. His fascination with trains was rekindled in the 1940s, thanks to a number of Studio employees who were also railroad enthusiasts. This passion culminated in the construction of a 1/8-scale "live steamer" at his home in Holmby Hills.

Disneyland attraction poster/Sophia Loren enjoys a grand circle tour

When Walt Disney started to plan Disneyland in the early 1950s, it was clear  from the start that trains would play an important part in his creative vision - and trains have continued to be a focal point at Disney parks worldwide. Walt Disney was never alone in his enthusiasm for trains. In fact, his fascination with rolling stock was shared by a number of his studio employees, most notably Ward Kimball and Ollie Johnston, two of his "Nine Old Men" in animation, and Roger Broggie, a machinist who would later go on to become a vice president at WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering). These kindred spirits encouraged Walt to pursue his passion. In the same way, Walt has inspired generations of people to develop an interest in trains, primarily through the ones found in Disney parks.

All Aboard opens at the Disney Gallery on Saturday, November 12, 2011. On hand for the opening of this new exhibit will be a special artist signing from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM featuring artists Steve Adams, Jeremy Fulton, Jeff Granito, Larry Nikolai, Noah, Olszewski, Maggie Parr and Yakovetic. For more information, including photos of the pieces that will be available for purchase, visit this link.

We’re gonna wind it down here with a couple of Christmas items, a list and something yummy. Do you have your Christmas shopping list made up yet? I think it’s a good bet that if you’re reading this, someone on your list will probably be getting something Disney, right? Disney recently released their Top Ten list of most-wanted toys for 2011. Are any of them on your list?

• Disney Animators' Collection Princess Toddler Dolls — from the Disney Store
• Disney AppMATes Mobile Application Toys — from Spin Master
• Disney Pixar Cars 2 Bomb Blastin' Mater — from Mattel
• Disney Pixar Cars 2 Remote Control Vehicles from the Disney Store
• Disney Princess 5-in-1 Wardrobe Set — from the Disney Store
• Disney Spotlight — from First Act
• My First Disney Princess Singing & Storytelling Belle — from JAKKS Pacific
• Pirates of the Caribbean Black Pearl Playset — from LEGO
• Rock Star Mickey Interactive Plush & Role Play Guitar — from Fisher Price
• Trivial Pursuit: Disney For All Edition — from Hasbro

Me personally? My most wanted toy I’m hoping for Santa to leave in my stocking is, a Cars 2 Popemobile and Pope. I’ve been a good girl, really, I have.

Pope Pinion and the Popemobile

We’ll wrap it up today with some sweetness. I’m thinking about all those yummy confections one can purchase at Disneyland as soon as Christmas time arrives. Besides gingerbread, one of the first things to come to mind is the handmade candy canes Disneyland’s Candy Palace turns out every year. Oh my, they are delicious, freshly made candy cane is a wondrous thing indeed.

Alas, the quantities are severely limited and in the last few years it has been a major hassle to get one’s hands on said candy canes. But, there’s a nice alternative I mentioned last year, it’s one that’s relatively close to the Disneyland area, and one that’s much easier to access. Which is why it’s on my list again this year — Logan’s Candies in Ontario, a candy store that has been making yummy goodness since 1933:

Come and see the craftsmanship and care we put into all of our handmade, gourmet candies. We even share the candies that we make right in front of you. Until late in the season, we make candy canes EVERY weeknight evening. Jerry pours the boiling liquid onto the slab at 5:30 pm, 7:00pm, and 8:30 pm. As we begin selling out of them, then we make them earlier in the day (almost always in 1 1/2 hour time segments) We suggest bringing the kids in early November because it is much less hectic! But, we make it fun even if it is crazy! Demonstrations are limited to available space. Please show up 15-20 minutes prior demonstrations to ensure availability.

Logan’s Candies is located at 125 W. "B" Street in Ontario, CA 91762. Logan’s is open Monday - Friday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM, Closed Sundays. On Candy Cane Demo days Logan’s is open until 9:30 PM. (Also — just one note from me to you, so you can plan accordingly, public restrooms are not available at Logan’s.) For more information about Logan’s Candies (they make much more than just candy canes) and candy demos, visit this link.

As we were going to press, there was a last minute announcement from the El Capitan Theatre about a special booking; a chance to see two recent releases up on the big screen again with a few added bonuses:

The El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood will host a limited return engagement of “Cars 2” (in Disney 3D) and “Winnie the Pooh.” Beginning Friday, November 4th, and running through the 20th, “Winnie the Pooh” will show daily at 10:45 a.m., 1:20 p.m. and 4:10 p.m., and “Cars 2” in 3D will screen at 7:00 p.m.

"La Luna" still

Additionally, each screening of “Cars 2” will be preceded by a new Pixar animated short, “La Luna,” and each screening of “Winnie the Pooh” will be preceded by the Disney animated short, “The Ballad of Nessie.” As a special bonus before each screening of “Winnie the Pooh,” Winnie the Pooh himself will appear live on stage. In addition, The El Capitan Theatre will exhibit art that went into the making of these films. There's also a special “Winnie the Pooh” breakfast at 9:15 on weekends.

For ticket and showtime information please visit www.elcapitantickets.com. Or, call 1-800-DISNEY6.

Okay, we’re all through here for today. If you want to know what I’m up to, you need to follow Pressing Matters on Twitter. You never know what you’ll find there — food, museums, shopping, Disneyland! Follow along as I search for the all the latest Pressing Matters & tweet about what I find:


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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: As of December 2009, bloggers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to disclose payments and freebies. Sue Kruse and Al Lutz did not receive any payments, free items, or free services from any of the parties discussed in this article. They pay for their own admission to theme parks and their associated events, unless otherwise explicitly noted.

© 2011 Sue Kruse