Month: January 2020

the other rbg.

My “craft fame” brought me to this hidden gem: the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek! I was invited to teach a crafty workshop in the garden this spring so I came for a tour of the workshop space. If the weather is good I’ll be teaching out on the patio with garden views; if it’s cold we’ll set up indoors in the new event space. After my crafty workshop tour, I got to explore the garden! It is a beauty! The Bancroft family owned over 400 acres of Walnut Creek. The property was a fruit farm in the late 1800s and was passed down for generations. Eventually, the family sold much of the land and the last of the fruit trees were cut down. Philip Bancroft, Jr, encouraged his wife Ruth to take over the land with her plant collection. Apparently, she owned so many potted plants – she was an original plant lady! The garden now sits on 3.5 acres, and their original family home still sits on the property (you can see …

a weaving rainbow.

My friend Vilasinee of the Loome came out with a few new maker tools, including a rainbow loom! Ka-yoot. I was very excited to try it out. For this craft you will need: Rainbow Loome tool Non stretchy cord Assorted yarn Felt Fabric or hot glue Fabric scissors Crafting needle The complete details can be found in V’s super helpful how-to video using the larger of the two rainbow looms, but in general: Use the non stretchy cord to set up your loom (this is called the warp). Weave a rainbow using a basic/tabby stitch (this is the weft). V recommends starting your weave at the top of the rainbow; I agree. This helps with achieving a more defined arch shape. Once you fill in the open arch shape, remove the rainbow from the loom. Untie the knots made in the warp, then remove the warp from the notches, one at a time. Alternate pulling the loose warp cord to secure the weft. I started from the middle and worked outward. Sew loose weft and …

lemon roll.

Lemon roll: a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, food for your soul, what the Hubs and I look forward to on San Diego trips. My first time at Tokyo Sushi Loha was back in 2006. It was the closest sushi place to my grad school apartment and they passed the spicy tuna roll test (When trying a new sushi restaurant, I always try my go-to roll: the spicy tuna roll. If I like it, I can eat there again.). I found myself frequenting the restaurant, often bringing guests and getting take out for evenings in. In the process I was able to try a number of their rolls. Then along came the Lemon Roll. Nobody makes it quite like Tokyo Sushi Loha. Nobody. The closest you can get to it in the Bay Area is a 49er roll, but it’s not the same. Trust. Ingredients: California roll base Fresh salmon and yellowtail Thinly sliced lemon, rind on Green onions Cracked black pepper Sesame seeds Special sauce (crack sauce) The rind is kept on the …

giant pompom.

I had so much yarn (there’s still a lot!) so I made a giant pompom! Materials: All the yarn – scraps work great for this project 2 cake circles – go big! (You can also start with a big piece of cardboard and cut out your circle size of choice.) Rope, 3 feet in length Pencil Scissors (for cutting cardboard and for cutting yarn) Draw and cut a slit and a ~5 inch circle in both cake circles. You can use the hole from the first cake circle as a stencil for the second. Line up the two cake circles and begin wrapping with yarn. Continue to wrap until you can no longer pass yarn through the center. This took me 4+ hours. Cut open the yarn wraps along the cake circle circumference to expose the cake circles. Place the rope in between the two cake circle layers. Tie a tight double knot. Carefully remove the cake circles one at a time. It’s ok if you bend or even rip apart the circles to remove. …

meet the maker.

For the last East Bay Yelp Elite event of 2019, we visited Melissa Joy Manning‘s jewelry shop and studio in Berkeley. In true Yelp Elite style there were of course treats (both to enjoy at the event and to take home!) and merriment! I invited my friend Connie to be my +1. It was her first Yelp Elite event! The evening started with jewelry perusing and shopping. The staff knows everything about everything and they were so happy to be able to share the Melissa Joy Manning process and code of ethics with us. There were many everyday pieces as well as more extravagant pieces, each carefully made in the back studio. I loved the look of the shop, too. There were vintage jewelry cases and inspirational design elements like ceramic hangings and geode wall art throughout the shop. Then, a behind the scenes look in the studio where their team of jewelry makers create each piece of jewelry sold in shop and online. Our studio guide Lisa shared the brand history, showed us around …

the bow room.

In celebration of Christmas and finally visiting the Bow Room at the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe in Irvine, I got my nails done Hello Kitty Christmas style! (My nail artist Masako is amaze!) Ready for all the holding cute Hello Kitty things photos! The Bow Room serves tea during the day and fancy adult beverages at night. To get there you first pass through the Grand Cafe area which serves treats like donuts and cakes and sells Hello Kitty merchandise. If the host isn’t at the entrance, you can knock on the golden bow door knocker to enter. And once inside… Pink and gold bows er’where. So. Cute. Tea time! For the afternoon tea, you get strawberries and cocoa cream, a selection of savory and sweet treats, your choice of tea (or other beverage for an extra fee), and jellies to complete the meal. I ordered the lychee peach tea; everyone enjoyed their tea selection! It’s all in the details. Hello Kitty face plates, tea cups, sugar ‘cubes,’ butter stamp, cocoa face, three-tiered plate stand, …

joone.

Joone is a craft kit company based in Chicago. I met founders Whitney and Lauren at Craftcation last year. I got my hands on their paper cutting kit – a craft I’ve been wanting to try, but didn’t know where to start. It made for a nice travel craft for my winter break because it came with everything I needed, including a tray to collect my paper scraps, all in a small box. The paper cutting kit comes with materials to create at least 2 bookmarks, 3 gift tags, and 1 4″x6″ art piece (you can probably use it as a post card, too!). There’s even a practice sheet to get used to cutting with an Xacto knife. The how-to guide has lots of tips for cutting with an Xacto knife – super helpful! Once you cut out your design you can add a colorful backing with Modge Podge. They include wax paper, too, to line your table / not get mod podge everywhere. I can’t say this is a craft I want to do …