Archive for the ‘Claremont’ Category

USYVL Volleyball in Claremont CA

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009


USYVL Volleyball Claremont Spring 2010

US Youth Volleyball League (USYVL) is now accepting registration for spring season.  Claremont plays Tues 6-7 pm and Sat 9-10 am starting April 13.  Blaisdell Park. Registration is now until March 15.  Register at USYVL.org.

Girls & Boys 8-week Volleyball League

When: Tues 6-7, Sat 9-10

Where: Claremont at Blaisdell Park

Starting: April 13, 2010

Cost: $140
Ages: 7-15 with three age divisions (7-9, 10-12, 12-15)

For more information please visit USYVL.org.

Surf’s Up

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009


Learning How to Surf at a Surf School Near San Diego

Catching a wave at San Elijo State Beach

Catching a wave at San Elijo State Beach

I always hated the sand dripping from my brother’s wet suit in the shower growing up in Huntington Beach. He never cleaned out the tub. I adored the smell of the surf wax on his board though. I spent about a decade living at the beach, but I never tried surfing. I regret it now, not only because I missed out on the thrill of catching a wave, but because now I cannot teach my kids how to surf.

Barbie Surfing shirt
Barbie Surfing by barbie
See other Barbie T-Shirts

When my daughter wanted to try surfing during a camping trip to San Elijo a few years back, a friend took her out on his 10-foot surfboard, and she loved it. The next year we gave her a certificate for a surf lesson for a Christmas gift. When summer came we went back to San Elijo, which is in northern San Diego County, and she got her lesson at the Billabong Eli Howard Surf School located right in the campground. This summer she went back to the same surf school and her younger brother took a lesson there, too. See my review of this surf school below.

The surf instructor taking my kids out to the next wave.

The surf instructor taking my kids out to the next wave.

DivineSlide Tiki shirt
DivineSlide Tiki by DivineDude
More Divine T-Shirts

If you’ve never surfed, but you want to help your kids want to try it, here’s some tips.

Follow basic safety precautions:

Make sure they are strong swimmers.

Make sure they have experience swimming in an ocean, not just a pool.

Make sure they know what a rip tide is, and how to swim perpendicular to the shore to get out of one.

The next step is to pick your beach and your instructor:

Pick a beach with one- two-foot waves that come in slow sets and a beach that does not have dangerous rocks. The season and time of day make a difference.

Pick an instructor who is patient and enjoys kids. A friend who surfs may work fine (and do it for free). But you might want to try a surf school for the very first time. These instructors have been trained in water safety. They also have experience in explaining a sport that is a bit hard to explain. Most important, they know how to help “launch” a beginning surfer. You will not have to buy or borrow a surfboard if you use a school as they usually have long foam boards. These board are easy to learn on and softer if they hit you in the water. Surf schools usually offer wetsuits during the lesson as well.

To find a surfing school, just Google the words “surf school” or “surf camp.”

My son's first surf lesson.

My son's first surf lesson.

The school at San Elijo was professional. It offers private lessons, semi-private, or group. They also have surf camps for summer.

A great feature of this surf school is location. You can take camping gear and make a trip out of it. Surfing lessons are not inexpensive, but if you camp instead of staying at a fancy hotel, you can save in lodging. 

The waves at his beach are perfect for beginners. The water is pretty warm . . . in late summer you do not even need a wetsuit.  The vibe is good for families. And there are great restaurants nearby if you want to camp and fall asleep to the sound of the ocean, but do not want to do your own cooking.

If you are looking for a great gift idea for Christmas, a birthday, a graduation or another special occasion, a surf lesson may be a great idea.

Pics of our surf trip are up in the gallery.

Let me know if you have other suggestions for non-surfing parents who want to help their kids learn to surf.

If you are going to be out in the sun for long, use plenty of sun block and try Zinka the kind the hard core surfers use. They sell it at the camp store at San Elijo and you can get it at Amazon.

Also, be sure to take a camera so you can capture an experience they will want to remember.

Dropping In print
Dropping In by TinkerM
Browse the prints and posters at Zazzle

Tips for Visiting San Diego Zoo

Monday, August 10th, 2009


We just got back from a great trip to the San Diego Zoo.  We went with my brother who lives in San Diego.

Some tips:

Discount Tickets and Deals

Never pay full price. Be sure to do an search for online discounts and deals at San Diego ZooAAA has a coupon out now that gives you $9 off.  You have to print out the coupon plus show your membership card.  Usually the membership card gives you 10 percent off, but this is even better.  You can also check discounts at Costco.

The Gorillas are one of the best exhibits.


Also, Mimi’s Cafe has some voucher you can get if you stop by.  It allows you to buy an adult deluxe admission at the San Diego Zoo and get a free child admission.

You can also try eBay for discount tickets if you plan ahead.

If you plan to ride the little bus at the zoo (and you will if you want to see it all) then get the deluxe admission.  In fact, it is kinda hard not to get the deluxe admission cause I don’t think they even list the regular admission at the gate.  You have to ask for it.  So if you are sure you do not want the bus then ask.

If you ride the bus, get in line early.  My brother gave us a tip to sit on the right hand side of the bus.  Both sides are Ok, but the right is the best.  Also, sit on the top deck of the bus.  You see more.  Unless it is super hot.

Bring a camera with a zoom lens if you have one.

Panda at the San Diego zoo. See the pandas early to avoid the line.

Panda at the San Diego zoo. See the pandas early to avoid the line. This is one of just a few zoos that has pandas.

There is sometimes a line at the panda exhbit so try to do that early. A panda cub was recently born so the mom and cub are off display.  But there is another panda (pictured) you can still see live.  you can see mom and cub online via a live panda web cam.

The koala exhbit is chock full of cuteness.

Do not miss the gorillas or the koalas.

The newest exhibit is Elephant Odyssey, which showcases the link between fossils and ancient species and the current animals, especially those of the California.  While the exhibit is very well done, I still find it hard to watch elephants at the zoo.  Even if the enclosre is large and well furnished, it’s hard to think these guys are happy. The exhibit is educational, however, and would be great for kids learning about evolution or fossils.

I sorta hate to see the cats (jaguar and tiger etc) pacing at the zoo as well.  San Diego has nice enclosures, but any zoo still seems a jail in a way for some of the animals.

Overall, San Diego is one of the better zoos.  We like the LA zoo as well, but this was great for a change.

Check out the pics of my trip in the gallery.

For more info on the San Digo Zoo, visit the official zoo site.

The zoo has a great gift shop for souvenirs . . . but it is a little pricey. Visit it at the end of your trip so you do not have to carry purchases around. Or better yet, shop after you are home from Amazon (see links above for some great ideas).

Volleyball Team T-shirts with Numbers on Back

Thursday, August 6th, 2009


Volleyball Teams Can Zazz It Up at the Net!

Creativezazz’s exclusive “Net Threat” design can now be ordered with team numbers on the back. The back design features the same stylized volleyball swooshing down from a spike and fun lettering as the front.

volleyball t-shirt front

volleyball t-shirt front

volleyball t-shirt with number on back

volleyball t-shirt with number on back

You can order Net Threat shirts and other creativezazz design through printfection.com, a company known for quality print work and customer satisfaction. And printfection often has coupon codes, so be sure to check printfection or creativezazz on Twitter to see if there is a recent coupon code.

The volleyball team coach can show some style as well with a version of the t-shirt that says “coach” on the back.  A great gift for a volleyball coach.

volleyball coach t-shirt

volleyball t-shirt with "coach" on back

If you want numbers on the back of any of my other designs, or want me to create a unique design for you, please let me know. Contact me at:  emailcreativezazz.com. Thanks.

How to Make Bookmarks From a Photo

Saturday, June 27th, 2009


Here’s how to make deluxe bookmarks that look like they came from a upscale bookstore. Personalized bookmarks make a small extravagance perfect for a gift or party favor.

I made these baseball bookmarks to give out to the members of my son’s Little League Team at the end-of-season party.  If you bought these at a bookstore or gift shop they would run $3 to $4 a piece. They take a little time to make, but the cost breaks down to less than 50 cents each in supplies.

Step One:  Make the Art

Using photo imaging software (I use Photoshop) create your artwork to fit a 2″ x 6″ area.

These are printable bookmarks. You can print them yourself if you have a good printer. Or you can have them printed at a photo place. Remember that when you get photos printed, the edges often get trimmed a bit.  So do not include any vital art in the edge border.

Open a new file that is 4 x 6.  Duplicate your artwork and position 2 copies inside the new file so that you print two bookmarks on one 4 x 6 photo.

Have your photo printed on lustre finish (not glossy). Lustre is more durable and does not show fingerprints.

bookmark printed two-up on standard 4 x 6 photo

bookmark printed two-up on standard 4 x 6 photo

Step Two: Back and Trim the Bookmark

Once your photo is printed, you will want to back it with acid-free cardstock.  You can buy cardstock in 8.5″ x 11″or  scrapbook paper works as well.  Plain or a pattern will work. You can get paper at craft stores or online.

Back the bookmark with acid-free paper. USe an acid-free gluestick.

Back the bookmark with acid-free paper. Use an acid-free gluestick to glue it to the paper.

Carefully glue down the photos. If you do happen to get glue on the front of the photo, use rubbing alcohol to wipe it off. Next use an Exacto knife and straight edge to trim.

Use an Exacto knife and straight edge to trim.

Use an Exacto knife and straight edge to trim.

Separate the two bookmarks

Separate using Exacto.

Separate using Exacto.

Bookmarks with rounded corners look more professional.  Luckily it is easy to make them with a handy corner punch you can pick up for a few dollars at a craft store or online.

Use a corner punch to round the corners.

Use a corner punch to round the corners.

Corner rounded.

Corner rounded.

Step Three: Attach a Tassel

Use a hole punch to make a hole in the top. You can use a standard hole punch, or use a simple shape.  I used a star punch for this bookmark.

To attach a tassel, loop it through the hole as shown in the following photos. You can use store-bought tassels or make your own

Put loop through the hole.

Put loop through the hole.

Insert end of tassel through the loop.

Insert end of tassel through the loop.

Pull tassel tight.

Pull tassel tight.

Et voila! You now know how to make a bookmark that looks like you got it in a bookstore. My daughter and I make these and sell them at craft fairs.  We also give them as gifts.  I like to add them to a present in place of a gift card.

Now that you know an easy way to make bookmarks, get inspired by checking out some of my other bookmark designs. If you are a scrapbooker, you can probably find lots of paper, stamps, and punches to come up with interesting bookmark designs.

I’d love to hear your ideas about custom bookmark designs. I think they would make a creative party favor for a wedding, Bar Mitzvah or birthday party.

Related post: How to make a Tassel

Mrs. Dieken’s Class Party

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009


End of School Year

Mrs. Dieken’s fifth graders celebrated the end of the school year along with the other fifth-grade classes.

Photos are up in a private gallery. You will need a user name and password to view the photos. Parents: if you need a password, Contact me at:  emailcreativezazz.com

Related posts:

Information on volleyball this summer near Claremont

Cute Volleyball T-shirts

Information on ice skating near Claremont

Photoshop: Adding a Person to a Group Photo

Monday, June 8th, 2009


Photoshop Magic Adds Missing Player Into Her Team Photo

One of our players left before the award ceremony and was not in the group photo of her team. Her coach called her and she came back to pick up her medal. I took an individual photo of her and told her I would Photoshop her into the group photo.

Here is the result.

If I had not told you I added her, you would have thought she was there.  If you look closely you will see that she does not have the same shadows from the tree leaves as the other girls. Her individual shot was not in the exact right place to get the correct lighting and shadows to match.  But I think it works pretty well.

Here are the two photos I combined.

How did I do it? To make it look real, the trick is to make a accurate selection around the person you want moved. It helps to feather the selection by one or two pixels. Another tip is to try to adjust both photos so the lighting looks similar. I adjusted the group photo lighting a bit to make it appear less shadowed.

Related posts:

Cute Volleyball T-Shirts

Ice Skating as a Summer Sport in Claremont

Friday, June 5th, 2009


Cool off on the Ice this Summer

In some parts of the country, ice skating is a seasonal sport. Skaters wipe off their blades and put away their gear when spring melts the snow.  But here is So Cal, figure skating and hockey are both year-round.

In my hometown of Claremont, CA, we have two nearby ice rinks. Both are in Ontario. But don’t get them confused. Each has its own feel.  One is more than four decades old, while the other is only a few years old.

When the weather gets hot, call some friends and check out one of these rinks.

Both rinks offer:

public skating

hockey lessons

figure skating lessons

broomball

birthday parties

skate rentals

The older and smaller rink is:

Ontario Ice Skating Center
1225 West Holt Boulevard
Ontario,  CA  91762-3639
(909) 986-0703

The newer and larger rink is:

Center Ice Arena
201 S. Plum Ave.
Ontario
(909) 986-4231

My daughter skates at Center Ice Arena. She likes it because it is bigger than the rink on Holt. But our neighbor’s daughter started at the Ontario Ice before Center Ice opened, and she loves it.  Try them both.

If you want to see a local figure skating competition for free, check out the ISI Open at Center Ice July 18 and 19, 2009.  My daughter competed in this the last 3 years (see pic of her at event above).  We are coming as spectators this year. For two days local figure skaters from all levels compete. A great way to see the thrill of figure skating up close. More details are at the Center Ice site.

Related posts:

How to Buy Used Figure Skates

Figure Skating Gift Ideas

How to Buy a Figure Skating Competition Dress

Volleyball Summer Camps in and around Claremont


Volleyball Summer Camps in Inland Valley, CA

Thursday, June 4th, 2009


Volleyball Camps this Summer in the Inland Valley.

Many USYVL parents have been talking about volleyball this summer. USYVL does not have a summer league in our area. I am trying to  put up links to Inland Valley volleyball camps that I know about. Most of the info below I cut and paste from various websites and then put the link for more info. If you know more about these or other volleyball programs, please let me know and I will post the information.

Club West Volleyball has summer volleyball camps. My daughter did a volleyball camp there the last 2 summers. I know several kids in our league did this camp. It is mornings and you get good instruction. Indoors. $150 a week. You will need knee pads. Please note that Club West is moving from La Verne to Rancho Cucamonga. The Web Site has the La Verne address on it but the flyer you download has the new address.

Junior high camps are for 8th grade or younger. They also have camps for older kids.

JUNIOR HIGH CAMP #1 7/5/10 – 7/9/10 9:00am – 12:00pm $150.00/Week

JUNIOR HIGH CAMP #2 7/12/10 – 7/16/10 9:00am – 12:00pm
JUNIOR HIGH CAMP #3 7/19/10 – 7/23/10 9:00am – 12:00pm
JUNIOR HIGH CAMP #4 7/26/10 – 7/30/10 9:00am – 12:00pm
JUNIOR HIGH CAMP #5 8/2/10 – 8/6/10 9:00am – 12:00pm
JUNIOR HIGH CAMP #6 8/9/10 – 8/13/10 9:00am – 12:00pm
JUNIOR HIGH CAMP #7 8/16/10 – 8/20/10 9:00am – 12:00pm
JUNIOR HIGH CAMP #8 8/23/10 – 8/27/10 9:00am – 12:00pm

Claremont McKenna hosts a Nike Camp that is both for overnight campers and day campers. It is more intensive I think, and more expensive.

Cal Poly Pomona lists volleyball  summer camp on its website (see below for dates). Do not know much about it.

Volleyball (Three separate camps for boys and girls)
Dates: July 6-9 (Youth camp); July 26-29 (High School camp); August 2-5 (High School camp)
Ages: 8-11 (July 6-9); 12-18 (July 26-29 and Aug. 2-5 — no 2010 HS graduates)
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Youth); 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (HS camps)
Cost: $125 (Youth); $225 (HS camps)

Location: May Gym (Youth); Kellogg Gym and May Gym (HS camps)

For more information on Cal Poly Pomona camps and clinics, please call the athletic department office at (909) 869-2810.

Cal State San Bernardino’s summer volleyball program is as follows:

TIMES: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., July 26-28, 2010
8:00 a.m. – 12 p.m., July 29, 2010
LOCATION: Cal State San Bernardino
Coyote Den & Coussoulis Arena
CAMPER ELIGIBILITY: Camp is open to all girls entering grades
7-12 and to graduating seniors.
COSTS: $225 per camper due by July 16, 2010.
After July 16, 2010 cost is $250.

SportsWorldVolleyball in Ontario lists summer camp on its website.

June 21-25, 2010 peeWee Day Camps SportsWorld Coaches & Athletes Boys & Girls 2nd through 5th grade interested in learning the basics of volleyball in a fun-filled atmosphere. Campers can register for a single day or the full-week.
coming soon Beach Camps SportsWorld Coaches & AVP Players Prepare at SportsWorld, perform at the beach. We offer the only indoor beach volleyball camps in the US – and guarantee no sun burns ! You’ll learn the special rules and skills needed to play beach volleyball along with music, video and surprises !
July 12-16, 2010 NIKE Volleyball Camp SportsWorld Coaches & AVP Players Week long camp for girls interested in indoor or beach volleyball. Developing fundamental skills for the beginner and strategy, positioning and team-play for the more advanced camper. NIKE games, gear and prizes!
July 27-July 28, 2010 VB Clinics Gold Medal Olympian, Pat Powers Two day clinic for intermediate-to-advanced skill levels interested in learning higher-level aspects of volleyball. Ending with “Survivor” an exciting game scenario created by Pat Powers that pulls it all together – parents welcome each day.
August 2-5, 2010 The Next Level Gold Medal Olympian, Ryan Millar Week long camp led by current Gold Medal Olympian as he prepares for the Olympics in London 2012.


Glendora Youth Volleyball has a program in the fall, but I do not think they have one for the summer. Several of our players have played in Glendora as well. I do not think they have a website, but they have an email gyvforfun@aol.com.

Arsenal Volleyball has a volleyball league but I am not sure if they have a volleyball summer camp. Web site not that clear.  Let me know if you know any more about them. They play in Upland.

If you know of any other Inland Valley summer volleyball camps, please let me know.

If you go to the beach this summer, consider Laguna Beach (Main Beach) as it has sand volleyball courts. Fun to play or just to watch. Or just call some friends and play on the Claremont city court. If you have other suggestions, please share below in comments.

Don’t forget that USYVL is now taking registration for fall. You get a discount for registering online early and for volunteering as a head coach.

Creativezazz Volleyball T-shirts

Finding cute volleyball related t-shirts can be hard, so I came up with a few of my own volleyball t-shirt designs and made them available at Printfection.  I can also supply the designs to other vendors if requested. I can do custom designs if you have an idea.

The Claremont Club has had sand volleyball classes in the past. We have not done these so let us know if you have any more info.

Volleyball T-shirts and More

Volleyball Team Names


Claremont Little League Rays 2009

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009


Play Ball!

Pics are up in the gallery of Claremont Little League Rays. You can view a slideshow of a couple games from the season. I got some great action shots. Just click on the photo below to go to the gallery.

I love the players in their Major League uniforms!

Thank you to all our dedicated coaches and the family members that helped out this season.  Congratulations to the players for their effort and sportsmanship.

I welcome your comments on the photos.

See how I made the Rays bookmarks I gave out at the end-of-year party.


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