Year: 2018

butterfly in the sky.

I was lucky enough to see the monarch butterflies while they were at their overwintering site at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Newark. As part of “butterfly season” the farm hosts monarch butterfly info sessions in December and January where you can learn all about monarchs, their life cycle, their migration patterns, and how we can help sustain their habitats and food sources. I probably learned about the life cycle in grade school, but hearing about the different stages from an Ardenwood docent was a different experience and I learned so much! After the lesson, docents take you out to the overwintering site to see the butterflies in person. Butterflies in the sky! And they’re up in this tree, I promise! I’m not one for insects, but butterflies are a definite exception. Monarch butterflies are fascinating! They migrate from Canada down to California or Mexico (depending on what side of the Rocky Mountains they reside) and back. It takes 3-5 generations of butterflies to complete the full migration loop. Each generation lives for 2-8 weeks, but …

tassel time.

Decor idea: felt tassels! I made these tassels similar to how you’d make tissue tassels, but making them with felt creates a sturdier tassel. You can turn these into a garland or use them as a bag accessory. I like them for gift packaging, too. Materials: Felt (a 9in x 12in piece of felt will yield 2-3 tassels) Scissors Hot glue Yarn (2 feet per tassel) Keychains or other hoops Fold felt in half (hot dog or hamburger style). If hamburger way, cut the felt in half; if hot dog way, cut felt into halves or thirds. Then cut fringe starting from the open side towards the fold in 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch increments, leaving about an inch at the fold uncut. Open the felt, then roll and glue to seal. Create a loop around a keychain or other hoop. Secure with yarn. Wrap the yarn around the tassel; cover as much of the tassel as you wish. Then double knot and trim the yarn. Trim the tassel to your liking. Then decorate and …

shop feature: mom & pop. 

Mom & Pop in Point Richmond really is a Mom & Pop! My friend Joy took me on one of her product drop-offs and I got to meet Mom Kelly in store! Mom & Pop is part shop and part art gallery. There’s lots of gift ideas and inspiration for getting creative. They feature a handful of local makers including my friends Joy and Laura. Mom Kelly is a photographer and her prints can be found throughout the shop, too. I love all the color and all the whimsy. Come check out Mom & Pop next time you’re in Richmond!  

take your wifey to work day.

I finally visited my Hubby at his work! 🙂 I got a badge and everything. Sure, I still don’t quite understand what Salesforce does, but my Hubby works at the cafe there so I got to explore, meet the cute characters, and enjoyed a Tuxedo Mocha with a view.   The cafe was crazy busy and loud up until closing time which keeps Hubs on his feet all day. There’s cold brew on tap, as well as tea and snacks up for grabs. The vending machines are filled with lots of tech…and Twix, too. Also cool – each quarter the cafes feature a new coffee roaster who staff can meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. This quarter’s brew: AKA Coffee.   Once Hubs got off work he took me around to visit all the cute character statues. First, we visited the lobby of Salesforce West, which reminded me of New York Times Square because of the giant bright TV lights.   I like all the nature brought into the building — the plants, …

makers studio.

Right next door to Rare Bird is the Rare Bird Makers Studio which houses a creative workspace for workshops and events, as well as a couple of artist studios in the back. I’ve been fortunate enough to team up with Rare Bird to teach some of my felt workshops in the space and host a felt flower crown bar. I love the open space and especially admire the custom built tables; they are on wheels so it’s easy to change up the space for each event. It’s a welcoming space with tea for all, a place to store your bags and jackets, and lots of inspiration all over. Catch the latest events online.

shop feature: rare bird.

First shop feature of the year: Rare Bird in Oakland! I hadn’t visited until I taught my first class here last Fall, but Rare Bird has been around for over seven years now. And no wonder, shop owner Erica has curated an amazing collection of goods from all over. I visit and feature a lot of local shops, and to some, it may seem like the same old stuff, but each one really has it’s own style and personality. Rare Bird definitely packs a lot of patterns, boho-fab looks, and can be a shop for everyone. There are goods for the home including candles and wall art, a selection of menswear, these awesome speakers (made by Erica’s partner Matt!), goods for plant lovers, creatives, chocolate snobs, and so much more. And I love, love, love the women’s clothing and accessories collection. I cannot get enough embroidered dresses and tunics, and pretty patterned pouches! Next time you’re in the Piedmont area, give Rare Bird a visit!

heath.

I went on the Heath Ceramics tour – so impressive and so inspiring! I have been a fan of Heath for some time and dream of having a complete Heath dining set one day. I love the simplicity and color palettes. Learning about the history of the company and seeing the entire process makes me even more appreciative of the craftsmanship that goes into each piece. Our tour guide shared the company’s origin story then took us around the factory, starting with the clay mixing room. The factory aims to be zero-waste; any scrap clay gets sent back upstream in the process. There are so many steps in making a Health piece. Some pieces begin with a mold… Larger pieces begin on these spinny cutting machines… The pieces sit to cure, get sanded and glazed by experts, then hang out in the oven. All of the pieces get inspected and triaged into firsts (for sale!), seconds (for sale on sale!), and thirds (not for sale, but used for construction and other projects!). Heath began as …