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NEIGHBORS : Costume Party : The Horns say all went well at their Leap Day on a Saturday fete, which featured guests in past, present and future attire.


All went well at the Leap Day party held by Scott and Doug Horn of Newbury Park. For those who don't remember, the Horns got their friends together to celebrate the rarest of occasions--a Leap Day falling on a Saturday. They invited guests to dress in costumes from the past, present and future.

"There were a handful of futuristic space-age costumes," Doug Horn said. "There were a handful of people dressed in surfer-type outfits from the present time. We had some swashbucklers. Some 1920s gangsters showed up."

But the most popular, he said, was 1960s attire, with brother Scott leading the way. "He had a John Lennon, psychedelic, Yellow Submarine-type look," Doug said. "He had been growing his hair long. He pulled out a Peter Max tie that our father used to wear."

And what was Doug's costume? "I was a humanoid from the 31st Century," he said. "I had made a sculpture out of this triple expanding foam for an extremely large brain."

It's been rather festive lately. First the Leap Year celebration, and now we're in the midst of National Weights and Measures Week. Pretty exciting stuff.

The county's office of weights and measures is observing the occasion with an exhibit at the Government Center. The display shows some of the things that the department weighs and, well, measures "to ensure equity in the marketplace," department head Bill Korth said.

Korth said the week commemorates the presidential signing of the first United States weights and measures law on March 2, 1799.

This public observation should bring some deserved attention to this under-appreciated government agency. "As a rule, most people don't know we exist," Korth said.

Hundreds of California artists will convene at the Westlake Plaza Hotel on Saturday and Sunday for the 17th annual Egg Artistry Show and Sale. That's right, these are the folks who construct and decorate those intricate egg designs.

Last year at this time, we told you about the guy who painted a likeness of the Last Supper inside a Rhea egg and the man who made a replica of a Volkswagen, engine and all, out of another egg.

That's just some of what these artists can do with eggs.

"I've seen an egg (made of) 12 different eggs, or pieces of them, and some of those eggs rotated," said Lila Davis King, president of the Tri-County Egg Artists organization. "There was one that had an egg within an egg within an egg, with the outside eggs rotating. I know some of the eggers spend months making them, maybe even years."

King said she has never created such an elaborate piece of egg art, but she does have a list of personal favorites. "I've done a beaded ostrich egg, clocks, an ostrich egg lamp, an (ostrich egg) purse."

Hold it. An ostrich egg purse? "You can open it up and it's lined with velvet," King said. "You used to see them at egg shows, but the ladies don't seem to carry their ostrich egg purses much anymore."

Your attention please: Another mall is now open in Ventura.

Now, don't panic. It's not one of those sprawling shopping centers. It's an antique mall, a facility where independent antique dealers lease space to display and sell their items.

The business will operate out of the 5,500-square-foot Heirlooms Antiques shop at 327 E. Main St. "We've never done this before," Heirlooms owner Rene Endly said. "We did research in the area and found that the good antique malls have waiting lists of 50 to 70 (vendors)."

So how do vendors benefit from operating out of a mall? Endly said some of them sell at flea markets. With the unstable weather lately, she said, it will be a plus to have a roof over their heads.

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