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horticulture. 

Happy Earth Day! Featuring a local nursery seems fitting for today. Behold: Berkeley Horticulture Nursery. It’s like a nursery dream! I had been here once before to purchase a garden pot and have been meaning to visit again. This is by far my favorite nursery in the East Bay. Helpful staff, suuuuper organized garden, awesome selection, excellent prices, and all the inspiration!

 

Time to tend to the garden! How will you celebrate Earth today? Share below. 

 

hello kitty! 

I did it! I went to the Hello Kitty Cafe truck…finally! But it was completely on a whim. My parents were in town and heard about the Japantown Cherry Blossom Festival so we went. And we found parking! And we explored. And I saw the famous pink truck. And I left my family to stand in line. Ha!

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I was expecting a long wait considering the line length, but it went by fairly quickly. On the menu: Hello Kitty decorated cookies, mini cakes, macarons, and donuts; plus shirts and mugs.

Deciding among the available desserts was easy: get one of each!

We tried the donuts first (too sweet, but so cute!) and had the mini cakes for my birthday (triple layered and delightful!)! I sent the macarons home with my parents to give to my sister and niece, and the cookies keep for a little longer so we’re saving those for later. 😉


Where my fellow Hello Kitty fans at? Have you been to the truck or cafe? Share below!

 

stop, sticker time.

Most of you 80s and 90s kids probably remember giving or receiving a Mrs.Grossman’s sticker at some point in your childhood. I was never really a fan of the designs, but I have always been a sticker fan. So when I learned the only US-based sticker company was less than an hour away from home and they gave tours, it became my mission to visit one day.

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Tours are offered Monday through Thursday, and are about thirty minutes in length. The tour started with a video on the company’s history and then our tour guide walked us through the factory to see each step in action. At each station, we were rewarded with a sheet of stickers.

So. Many. Stickers. (We were only allowed to take photos of the sticker wall and sticker roll storage due to confidentiality agreements with some companies they work with and print labels for.)

How to make a Mrs. Grossman’s sticker:

  • Each sticker starts with a design.
  • Templates are made for each layer of color in the design.
  • Sticker paper is inserted and color is added one layer at a time, up to ten colors total.
  • Stickers are die cut and, depending on the sticker, the negative sticker space is removed from the sticker sheet.
  • Another machine checks to make sure the sticker was printed properly, and still another is responsible for packing the sticker sheets.
  • Should the design require foil designs, the almost-complete sticker is fed through another machine to receive 12,000 pounds of pressure.
  • For more intricate designs, stickers are cut using the LaserWeb machine.

We ended our tour in the sticker shop, and we received even more stickers to work on a postcard/sticker activity. My parents had all the fun.

And finally, my sticker haul! I am definitely more excited about the newer releases like the Puffies. I also love how they credit the sticker artist on the back of the sticker sheets. Nice touch!

Who had a sticker collection growing up? Raise your hands!

eggicorns!

Happy Easter to you! I saw this on Pinterest and had to make my own rendition. I made one first to test the waters and it turned out pretty good so I made a whole fleet, and they got more and more ridiculously cute as my eggicorn army grew.

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Materials and tools:

  • Plastic or real eggs
  • Cardstock (for the horn)
  • Felt (for the flowers) or other faux flowers
  • Scissors (for paper and for fabric)
  • Hot glue
  • Permanent marker
  • Candies or other treats for the inside

How to:
Get an egg of eggs. I found this bundle of colorful eggs at Target. Bonus, it comes with one golden egg!

Add a golden horn. Cut cardstock and roll to form a cone shape; use hot glue to seal. Then, hot glue the horn to the top of the egg.

Add flowers. Use any color combination to make tiny flowers for the eggicorn’s crown. Cut a spiral, roll starting from the outside, seal with hot glue, and hot glue in place around the horn. I made five mini felt flowers for each eggicorn. Alternatively, you can use other faux flowers.

Add eyelashes. Using a permanent marker, draw on eyes and lashes.

Add treats. I chose gummy candies for my filler.

Gift. These are perfect for Easter baskets, but why not use them as party favors, too!

And a photoshoot…

What fun projects have you seen online and had to try? Share below. Let me know how they turned out! 

nearcation: san francisco.

Nearcation: San Francisco edition, because this is totally going to be a thing now. My God-sister and her hubs surprised us with a hotel gift card to spend a night on the town. We packed a backpack, jumped on BART, and played local tourist for 24 hours.


We stayed at the Sir Francis Drake near Union Square where you are welcomed by a red-suited doorman and a swanky lobby bar. We were given a room with a view…

We hardly come out to this area of San Francisco so we kept our adventures to any place we could get to by foot or by cable car. We had an afternoon meal at a hole in the wall Filipino street food restaurant. Then to a free craft event at Madewell with Jenny Lemons where we ran into my crafty friend Tally Sue.

En route back to the hotel, we picked up boba from Boba Guys (insert Instagram worthy photo below) and veggie pizza from Uncle Vito’s. TV and chill, y’all.

The next day we woke up when the sun peeked through the curtains. The photo doesn’t do it justice, but the bathroom was sun-kissed and oh so lovely. Add fresh scents and ahh. Good morning, San Francisco.

Breakfast was included with our room at the hotel restaurant, Scala’s. I felt super special because the food was already decided for us, and already paid for. Winning!

After checkout we ventured to Mr. Holmes Bakeshop, Utsuwa Floral Design (I picked up a marimo moss ball!), and various gift shops along Polk.

We rode the Cable Car from California/Van Ness to the end of the line near the Embarcadero. It was the Hub’s first time on a cable car in his adult life.

At the end of the route we spotted The Ramen Bar where we stopped for lunch and digested/people watched on the steps before heading home.

Hubby and I agree, it feels great to get away even just for a day. It’s a different kind of relaxing. Nearcation much? Share your travel tales below!

coffee bar.

I bought golden letter balloons for my crafty business’ birthday photobooth to spell out FEED THE FISH CO and I’ve been waiting for an occasion to use them again, especially since I could scramble up the letters to spell COFFEE. Enter (or rather exit) my coworker’s two week notice. He loves coffee, we loves coffees, I have a coffee sign. A coffee party was meant to be!

We picked up coffee from Catahoula Coffee; it came with cups, creamer, sugar, and stirrers (they use pasta!). We gathered coffee accoutrement, pastries, and treats from all over — the blueberry coffee cake was from La Farine, yum! I made rosemary simple syrup to share, and I’m getting good use out of my craft show display items since they double as party ware!

Coffee bar essentials:

  • Coffee – lots of cafes do coffee to go boxes and they can also provide hot water for tea
  • Creamer, half & half, assorted milks
  • Sugar, flavored syrups, chocolate drizzle
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg
  • Hot water, assorted teas

  • Pastries, fruits, veggies
  • Cups, plates, napkins, coffee stirrers
  • Any coffee related decor – my coworkers printed a cool coffee tasting wheel, made latte art cut outs, and found inspirational coffee quotes to frame
  • Display dishware (cakestand, plates, boxes) – take the cookies out of the plastic containers; you’re a grown up, afterall 😉

  • Friends!

I can also spell SIFT with my letters. I may need to throw a baking party next…oh yeah! How do you office party? Share your quick tips below.

lemons.

When life gives you lemons, you make embroidery sampler hoops! Ya! I recently took an embroidery workshop with Jennie Lennick of Jenny Lemons. Jennie designs, sews, block prints, and paints her uberly cute and colorful clothing line in her San Francisco studio. She also teaches fun workshops and creates playful embroidery + fabric art. Her foodcentric creations are my favorite.

I’ve taken an embroidery class before but learning from different teachers is always a good idea. Some stitches were familiar, others I had forgotten about, and still others were completely new. It was also great to learn new techniques for familiar stitches, and be inspired by Jennie’s projects and super helpful pro tips.

In this workshop we learned and practiced:

  • Running stitch
  • Backstitch
  • Whipped backstitch
  • Blanket stitch (or what I now like to call eyelash stitch)
  • French knots
  • Couching
  • Satin stitch

Here’s one of Jennie’s sample hoops.

Class went by so quickly; I could have easily continued to practice stitches for another couple of hours. Jennie serves hot tea in her workshops, too, so I was all relaxed and in the embroidery zone. I really want to work on my satin stitch next; my attempt at a pineapple looks more like a mango (see right hoop below). And my lines could be cleaner, too.

Time to practice! What (new) skills are you working on these days? Share below!