Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Canvas Shop Draws Visitors to Seal Beach

Unique Gifts and Artists’ Haven
Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to the following copyrighted material. For permission to reprint or excerpt it and/or link it to another website, contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com

You can find the most unique gifts, art, clothing and surfboards at Canvas Shop (702 Marina Drive in Seal Beach). SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel saw books, stationery, journals, stickers, games, and one-of-a-kind items you don’t see in other stores.

Ryan and Tammy Callis, the husband and wife proprietors of Canvas Shop, said that most of the things in their store are made in the U.S.

Each of their gift items originates from small businesses, local surfboard shapers, and artists.

The couple has plans in the works to create an artists’ haven by expanding their store so that they can invite artists to be part of an Artists’ Series. Ryan is an artist himself and has taught at Biola University, which inspired him to create a venue to showcase local artists and introduce them to the community.
Ryan’s Work Room

Currently, Canvas Shop hosts different music groups and screens independent films, such as the award-winning bodysurfing movie “Come Hell or High Water,” which was featured recently. Like Canvas Shop, the movie celebrates the ocean and the environment.

Ryan and Tammy took over Canvas Shop in 2011 from its original owners of 30 years, who made custom canvas boat covers, and they added art, surfboards, and gift items into the mix.

Tammy told SurfWriter Girls, “Our regular customers come in monthly to see the latest things. They come from every walk of life, all ages and backgrounds.” She and Ryan love working at their store because it lets him spend time on his art and they get to meet interesting people. Another plus is that it’s walking distance from their home.

In the back of Canvas Shop there’s a garden area with additional artworks on display and chairs where people can sit and talk. There’s another bigger, grassy area behind this where the store stages music performances and shows outdoor movies.

Canvas Shop is right next door to devynn’s garden, which makes the perfect retailing mix with shoppers strolling back and forth through a connecting door.

The flower shop makes beautiful flower arrangements and also sells clothing, jewelry and skin care products.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Huntington Beach Farmers Market

Surf City Block Party on Main Street
Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to the following copyrighted material. For permission to reprint or excerpt it and/or link it to another website, contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com

When they hold a Farmers Market on Main Street in Huntington Beach you know it’s going to be something special.

Corner of PCH and Main St.

On Tuesdays they close off the street and it becomes one big party with everyone picking out fresh produce and flowers, sampling the vendors’ wares, and trying on clothing and jewelry.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel couldn’t wait to taste the just-picked strawberries overflowing out of the boxes.

Every kind of produce imaginable was on display…oranges and apples, tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini, cucumbers, lettuce…all the ingredients of a super salad.

Baba Food was showcasing its Mediterranean dips, natural hummus, salsas, pita breads and chips. David kept giving us samples to try. The chipotle dip was spicy and irresistible and so was the avocado and tabouli.

Nearby Scotty B’s Hot Sauce was advertising all its flavors – “from mild to wild.” Scotty himself was in the booth eager to show off the trophy for his award-winning gourmet hot sauces.

Not to be outdone, Alex’s Fruits and Nuts had lots of healthy snacks – and Juan wanted us to try all of them!

When you go to the Farmers Market make sure to pace yourself…and leave room for the baked goods and desserts.
Planet Cookies was in a prime location and, like its sign said, it had “Cookies the size of a planet”…double chocolate chip, snicker doodles, and cakes, too.

SurfWriter Girl Patti had to pull Sunny away from the booth even as Daniel was trying to tempt us with more.

Ann’s Bakery had two booths – one with a delectable selection of preservative free breads, coffee cakes and cookies and another with hot tamales steaming in the pot. Erik, whose family has run the business since 1967, talked to us about his plans to expand it.

For a taste of Italy, Dolce Monachelli’s was just a step away on Main Street with an array of mini-bundt cakes to die for – amaretto del orso, coconut apricot brandy, pumpkin spice, lemon citrus, and more. And Preston kept the flavors coming.

And what street fair would be complete without mini-donuts and funnel cake? 

Avila’s El Ranchito was at the Farmer’s Market, too. It opened a mini-version of its well known Orange County restaurant. Customers were lining up to order their favorite Mexican specialties.

For a change of pace SurfWriter Girls stopped at the Pickle Your Fancy booth to sample water melon rinds made from a family recipe. Luis, who was manning the booth, said it’s a Midwest specialty that he hopes to get into local stores. He told us the watermelon rinds are really healthy. They’re packed with vitamins A and B6 and amino acids.

Once you’re on Main Street you’ll quickly see that there’s a lot more than things to eat. The fresh flower stands were beautiful…and had these show-stopping orchids.

There were lots of stands selling T-shirts, clothing and accessories. We saw jewelry, artworks, and toys. If you wanted to you could even get a henna tattoo.  

There was even a stand selling belly dance belts and rings.

The Objex Sports booth had a unique product that was perfect for Huntington Beach – sports bras...with a secret pocket. To put your money, cell phone, car keys...or even a canister of mace. Wicki Barszcz, the owner designer, created them for the woman on the go.

By the time SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti had seen everything and eaten all the free samples we had done a lot of walking.
So, when you go to the Huntington Beach Farmer’s Market be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Or rent a bike from the HB Bicycle Company…and pedal off the pounds.


Monday, January 23, 2012

"Come Hell or High Water" – Film Makes Waves

Bodysurfers Rule In Keith Malloy’s Film

Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to the following copyrighted material. For permission to reprint or excerpt it and/or link it to another website, contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com
Bodysurfing film Come Hell or High Water gets two thumbs up from SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel.

Director Keith Malloy and his cast and crew are riding an avalanche wave these days with the success of his debut feature film exploring the world of bodysurfing and the pureness of riding a wave. Filmed locally at The Wedge and in Hawaii, Tahiti and New Zealand, the film won Best Picture and Best Cinematography prizes at both the 2011 New York Surf Film Festival and 2011London Film Festival.

Photos above of Malloy and crew during filming

The Woodshed Films production was co-sponsored by Patagonia, the international sports and surf apparel designer, and Nixon, a premium watch and accessories brand. Part of the proceeds from the film’s ticket sales are being donated to The Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global alliance aimed at working toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts – a cause shared by the Surfrider Foundation.

The film, which has been praised as much for its Zen-like approach to bodysurfing as its stunning visuals, looks at the bodysurfing culture, the beauty and simplicity of the sport, and the spirit of the people who do it. Unlike its high-profile cousin board surfing, which has drawn huge media attention and marketing dollars, bodysurfing has always been pretty much under the radar. 

Malloy, who was already well known as a board surfer, decided to explore the world of bodysurfing as a way to better connect with the ocean. He certainly achieves this, drawing viewers into another world beneath the waves. “The pictures you get underwater create a dreamy state,” Malloy says on his website. His feelings about bodysurfing are summed up in Come Hell or High Water’s tagline: “It’s about taking a breath and kicking your feet in the big blue sea.”

SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti talked to Newport Beach bodysurfer Thomas Melum, a Wedge regular who is featured in the film, about his experience with the movie and why he likes bodysurfing so much. “I just love the ocean, “Melum said. “Bodysurfing is my passion.” His dad got him started bodysurfing and his best friend Christian took up the sport with him. Since then Melum has surfed competitively at The Wedge and Pipeline, spending as much time in the water as he can.
Film screening in Ventura

Melum, who helped Malloy find bodysurfers for the film, told us “I enjoy seeing people’s reactions to the movie when they see the things bodysurfers can do.” He added that the surfers make it all look easy, but people who haven’t bodysurfed “don’t know what it’s like to look down a 20-foot wave…or looking down and seeing the ocean bottom below.”
Thomas and Starky acting goofy

“Bodysurfing is kind of a goofy sport,” Melum laughed. “It’s never gonna be cool. I never got any chicks bodysurfing, that’s for sure!” With all the attention and awards that Come Hell or High Water is receiving now SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti think that might all be about to change.

Come Hell or High Water has been on a world-wide tour of film festivals and screenings this past year and has more coming up in Australia and Portugal. Locally you can see it on January 28th in Seal Beach at Canvas Shop (702 Marina Drive). The shop is hosting a 6:00 p.m. screening and party. Admission is free. For more information call (562) 760-7079 or check their website: canvasshopsb.com/blog/ 

Surfing and location photos provided by Thomas Melum