Month: August 2019

legoland.

On my San Diego vacation with the fam, we went to Comic Con, tasted all the chocolate at Chuao, and ventured to Legoland, where everything is awesome. My niece and nephews are still big Lego fans. It was my first time to visit Legoland, but they have been to Legoland many times before so they each got to show me their favorite parts. We spent the entire day there. OMG, I was ded, but it was fun! We rode as many rides as we could. My brother-in-law got the Reserve n Ride pass so we could cut lines! They have all kinds of carnival games (I played a few!) and some of the rides were more like interactive activities. Of course, there were lots of structures made of Lego bricks. There is a mini land which features major U.S. cities, all the rides had some kind of Lego feature, and there was a Star Wars section with Lego scenes and characters. You can tour a small scale Lego factory, see Master Builders in action, meet …

chuao.

I went a on a Chuao factory tour! Chuao is a disc to bar chocolate company; they use Guittard chocolates for all their chocolate bars. I’ll admit I wasn’t as impressed because I’m a fan of bean to bar companies where they actually process the cacao, but, I was told the owner believes “white chocolate isn’t real chocolate” so I’m a fan! Also their churro chocolate bar is amazing. To start the tour, our tour guide provided us with a Chuao history lesson and we tasted a bunch of samples. Then, a walk through of the factory (no phones/photos allowed). It’s an active factory so we got to see product being made and packaged. We even got some sneak peeks of seasonal chocolates, but I can’t tell you about them because it’s a secret. What I can tell you is that on our visit they were making Lego-shaped chocolates for Legoland and we got to taste them. How fun! Fun fact: All the samples they pass out during tours are rejects (with slight imperfections that …

bead thangs.

As part of backyard birthday celebrations, in addition to tie dye festivities, my friend Angel led a beaded necklace craft. Ooo, there were so many beads to choose from. I ended up chosing matte black, white, cream, pinks, and gold. My go-tos. For this project we used Miyuki Delica size 11/0 beads, beading wire, bead glue, and spring loaded jewelry connectors (the black line in the photos). For mine, I went freestyle, but you could also plan out a pattern. Tahdah! I made a long necklace. It could also be a 5-wrap bracelet. It’s super delicate and fancy! 🙂 I’m always hesitant to use jewelry glue in my jewelry projects. I’m not fond of the smell, how if it gets on your skin it hurts, and I never trust that I will actually make my project sturdy for wear. But thanks to Angel (adult supervision!) I feel good about this project. Bead much? Share what you like to make below!

tie dye.

I did tie dye for the first time! My crafty friend’s crafty daughter wanted to celebrate her birthday with a crafty party. Part one was tie dye! Tie dye is similar to indigo dyeing but with essential differences: (1) there are lots more colors, (2) instead of dunking into a vat we squirted color onto the fabric, and (3) these dyes have to sit longer before the big reveal for 12-24 hours (versus the 12-15 minutes per dip for indigo dyeing). We used Jacquard powder dyes and a tie dye kit from Dharma Trading Company plus some extra bottles, funnels, and measuring spoons/cups. We got the jewel tones color kit – super bold and gorgeous. We mixed urea with water and added dye powder to each bottle and we mixed a vat of soda ash solution. We dunked our fabrics in the soda ash solution before dyeing to help the color stick to the fabric. We folded, rolled, and tied our fabrics. We had socks, tees, sweatpants, headbands, and dish cloths. And I brought a …

te fiti @ comic con.

On our second day at Comic Con we dressed up as Te Fiti and Te Ka, the island from Moana. I based my costume inspo off of the Funko Pop characters so accessories were on the cute side – ahem, Te Ka’s fires were adorable instead of menacing. For Te Fiti I created so many flowers for the crown, dress, and a bag. I also made Te Fiti’s heart with felt. I found a green caftan dress and discovered armpit pads in case things got extra sweaty in San Diego (these are popular among stage performers!). I opted for gold sandals, did my hula hair so it was nice and fluffy, and added flowers to the base of the caftan. And of course I needed a purse to carry Comic Con goodies; I thought if a Hawaiian island had a purse it would be a straw bag for sure. For Te Ka my nephew wore all black and splattered his top and bottom with red, orange, and yellow paint to look like lava. I made …

clay.

I took a clay wheel class with my crafty friend Connie! It was so fun! First we had a tour of the studio – there’s a wheel room, decorating room, drying area, kiln space, glaze room, and show room. There’s even a a window area where used clay can lay out to dry so it can be used again. Classes are kept small – there were six of us in class. Our instructor gave a demo of how to throw a piece, then we all made a piece together. She made sure we all had correct posture while using the wheel. Then, we had maybe 20 minutes of open play. I even got to try the wheel the left-handed way (spins clockwise instead of counter clockwise). I made three pieces total. Once we finished on the wheel (and cleaned up our stations), we moved to the decorating room where we added texture and designs to our pieces. Here, you can add handles, spouts, holes… It helps if you know what you want to make going …

hi neighbor.

I finally made my way to Neighbor in Oakland. This shop celebrates handmade craft. They have lots of home goods, a selection of beauty products, apparel, tea, and giftables. I particularly enjoyed the baskets. Giant baskets! And all the wall art. They have a cute backyard, too, complete with bar, and you can host special events there! Where are some of your favorite neighborhood shops and gathering spaces? Share below!