Author: Erin G.

smudge.

OOoOo somebody snagged a bunch of extra plant goodies from the Plant Potions class! Thank you to Tracy for letting me take home some unused plants from the tablescape! I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making smudge sticks so this was the perfect opportunity. I brought home (from left to right) sagebrush / desert sage, lavender, purple sage, and rosemary. Another friend just so happened to gift me an abalone shell, perfect for smudge stick holding because in smudge stick practice it connects you to the sea. Additional materials for smudge stick making: cotton cord, scissors, and garden shears To create: Trim plants to desired height. Create bundles. I had enough plant life to create three small bundles. Cut cord to about 6x the length of your bundles (can be more or less depending on how many times you wrap each bundle and how thick your cord is). I doubled up the cord when I wrapped since it was relatively thin. Tie a knot at the bottom, leaving enough of a tail to …

plant potions.

I’ve taught classes at Rare Bird but can you believe I’ve never taken a class here until recently? What? I know! I signed up for Plant Potions with Tracy Chocholousek, co-owner of Rare Bird and founder of White Sage Wellness. It was so fun to join class here as a student. And Hubby joined me, too! The space was set up with a beautiful plantscape. It looked like we were going to sit down for a multi-course meal with wine pairings. Yum. Tracy started class with a brief lesson in scents and we participated in an herbal ally meditation. I enjoyed this – we had to experience a plant, it’s scent, how the scent made us feel, and what it tasted like. I chose rose geranium – the leaves had a subtle sweet smell and made me feel calm. After the exercise, we got to smelling! We smelled all the essentials oils available for mixing, working our way through scent groups and taking notes on if we liked the scents or not. Tracy had a …

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!