Month: July 2019

coffee, tea, treats.

For someone who doesn’t drink coffee I had my share in Japan. The coffee scene is on fiah and the attention to detail makes the experience so much more special. A few coffee (and tea!) explorations to follow. My favorites were the spots with coordinating tiny treats. & Coffee by Maison Kayser was one of our first stops. Hubby had an espresso; I had a lavender milk tea. We also ordered a pain du chocolate and our beverages came with little chocolate treats. It was quiet when we arrived (before 8AM on a Saturday). This was our in-between spot after sushi breakfast and before Itoya shopping. We heard about the Toyko Coffee Festival from a local magazine ~ I like to pick those up from airports; sometimes you get lucky with ideas. En route, we ran into a cousin-in-law who at the time lived in San Diego – so random! So we all tasted cups of brew together. There were over a dozen coffee vendors, mostly from the Tokyo/Kyoto area, but also a few international …

ggc.

I kicked off my Feed the Fish co. summer crafty events with the Girl Gang Craft June Market. There were over 120 makers, a live DJ, food trucks, and a raffle. This venue though. The event was held at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center. I’ve attended some work conferences here so I was a little familiar with the space and how grand it is, but I didn’t realize how many vendors you could fit in there! Some images from set up… My booth! I was super excited that I got assigned to a corner booth with a wall! Double special. I brought a new sign holder (my letterboard has been knocked down too many times) for my felt flower crown bar sign and we were allowed to hang things on the wall with painter’s tape so hang I did. It all came together nicely. It was a long show (six hours!). My squad brought me snacks to keep me alive. Spicy tuna bowl and shrimp nachos from Bonito Poke (Thanks, Hubby!), iced chai by Bhakti …

gouache.

I’ve been so curious about gouache paint, but hadn’t come across a short workshop until recently. How do you use it? Is it watercolor or is it acrylic? How do you even pronounce gouache? I had so many questions. Lucky for me, Cleo Papanikolas (painter, author, and illustrator!) taught a three-hour gouache techniques class at Handcraft Studio School. (This was my first class in the ‘new’ studio!) Also lucky for me, the class focused on paining flowers and I’m all about nature painting! Our stations were filled with Cleo’s painting diagrams, little floral bouquets, a paint palette, water, a selection of papers to test, brushes, a fan to help dry our paintings, and a water spray bottle to rehydrate our paints as needed. Also, her business card is a travel-sized paint palette; there’s paint on the inside and it comes with a brush – so clever, so cute! Cleo walked us through different gouache (like squash!) techniques and we dove in. We used Miya brand gouache paints, which she says are the best ‘cheap’ paints …

bamboo.

One of my favorite outings in Japan was our Arishiyama adventure day! We got up early to visit the famous Bamboo Grove! There is the main path with crazy tall bamboo – the one that is highly photographed. I wonder how old the bamboo is here. It seems they preserve a lot of the bamboo grove, but there are also areas where they grow and harvest the bamboo for building and craft material. We took our time taking it all in; it was so peaceful. You know us and crowds though – we left as soon as it got hard to take a photo without a photobomber. But not before having a panda photoshoot. 🙂 Ahh, where do you like to explore on vacay? In the natures? Share below!

red, white, and mew.

Not quite an Independence Day post, but…kittens! KitTea is a cat cafe in San Francisco. There’s a small shop with cat related goodies, a cafe that serves small bites and teas, and the kitten hang out area. There were two spots left when my friend and I arrived – lucky us! There are 15+ kitties at this venue. You can pet them and hug them, and play with them if they’re awake. Most were sleeping during the hour we were there. Ah, cat life. I wanted to take a nap after this visit, too. Here’s what my Instagram feed would look like if I had a cat. Yay kittens! And yay independence! Hope you and your furry friends stay safe tonight!

bookbinding.

I received a freebie ticket to a Paper Source workshop (Thanks, Craftcation!) so I took a bookbinding class. There were only two of us in class ~ semi-private class for the win! We were quick to finish too, so our instructor shared some bonus fun things we could add to our notebooks. Paper Source provided all of the materials and tools, plus a handy “book sewing” guide. I chose different papers for my front and back covers, and copper sparkle cord to bind my project. The most time consuming part was punching the sheets of paper for the notebook. Someone create a five-hole punch with 1/8 inch holes, please! We used binder clips to hold the stack of paper together while we added bookbinding tape to the corners. Then we glued on the front and back fancy papers using a liquid glue. Next time, I’ll try using glue stick – maybe it’ll dry faster. Then, bookbinding! Using the sewing needles made the process easy. We finished our projects in under an hour, so our instructor …