Author: Erin G.

sunnylands.

Yay! I finally made my way to Sunnylands! I had never heard of Sunnylands until my colleague who lives and works nearby told me about it. I was super intrigued. It’s free to visit the grounds. If you’re feeling extra, you can also go on a guided tour of the garden and house. There’s a cafe, and a gift shop with the cutest desert mod birdhouses. But I was there to get my cactus fix! Seriously, why are groups of cacti so amazing to look at? Sunnylands is perfectly manicured and they’ve got plenty of desert plants to enjoy. On my visit it was a perfect 75 degrees (ok fine, that was really hot for me, but the shade was lovely!). I had a snack with my friends, we strolled, and I watercolored. Even though there were people around, it was a tranquil place. It just felt so peaceful and welcoming. This was my last visit to the Coachella Valley for work (for now!) but if I’m ever back in the area I definitely want …

messy play.

My friend Robin of Messy Play Kits makes the funnest kits for kids, and for grown ups like me. I tried out her bamboo soap kit. It comes with everything you need to make a blob of soap; just add a mixing bowl. Everything inside: cornstarch green dye bamboo fragrance liquid soap sweet almond oil instructions All the ingredients are portioned out so you just open, pour, and mix. It’s definitely more fun to use your hands to mix it all together. After a few minutes you’ve got usable play-dough like hand soap. You just pinch off a piece and work into a lather. I know this is for kids but I much prefer using the kits for myself for less mess. Ha! Robin makes other fun kits, too! ~ Slime-a-day kits, subscription boxes, all kinds of messy play!

triangle looms.

Weekend project: Use trio of triangle looms I impulse purchased back in June of last year because I had to have them and needed them now so I could finally say I used them. 😦 I used them! They were still in their original packaging and had that freshly laser beamed smell.   I decided the larger triangle would be a stand alone piece and the medium and small triangles would be displayed together. For the larger triangle I used yarn in dark blue and blushes; for the other two I decided to go with more vibrant colors.   I like using one yarn in different ways to add texture and dimension to my pieces. It also prevents me from buying too many types of yarn in the same color. For the large triangle I used four types of yarn/material; I added braids and wove multiple strands at a time to add some variation. Weavings are great because you can use yarn scraps to create your pieces, too. For the triangle duo I simply dug into …

knits & knots.

Here’s the yarn store I mentioned in my last post! Knits and Knots is filled with all the things! I’m not a knitter or crocheter, but I do love me some locally dyed yarns for special tassels and weaving work. When I stumble upon a yarn shop while on vacation I always ask where to find the special yarn. Shops usually carry one or two local brands. Here, they carry Storyteller yarn. I’m always inspired by the projects on display. Sometimes I wish I had this kind of craft patience. The shop also carries giftable items ~ cards, DIY kits…. PS And they are located behind Wildwood so you can get a double dose of shopping small! Do pretty yarns make you swoon, too? Share yarn tales below!

quick trip: lake tahoe.

Here’s a throwback Thursday post if I ever met one. Before the craft show marathon I got to meet up with my parents for a quick weekend getaway. Here’s a 24-hour guide to Lake Tahoe! Visit Tahoe City. Enjoy shops, foods, and lake views. On our stroll I spotted a couple of cute boutiques. I visited a home goods store – Pineapple. Plus a handmade gift shop – Tahoe Trunk Show. They carry items made by California and Nevada makers. We headed down to the lake for waterside photoshoots and serene scenes. For lunch, we enjoyed sushi at Tahoe City Sushi. They served us free sake! And we found the Ursa Mater, bear of pennies! This piece is on display now thru July 31, 2019. Go be fancy. In the evening, we lounged at the Ritz-Carlton because my parents are fancy. What’s nice is that the hotel is non-guest and family friendly. Outside, there’s bocce, views of the slopes, horseshoes, and fire pits; and inside, lots of seating for gathering with friends. We had dinner at …

pop-up inception.

This past weekend I got to hang out with Angie of Bobo Design Studio in her pop-up space. Her shop is part of Moment, twelve parking spaces in the San Pedro Square parking garage turned retail destination. Currently, there are four shops and every few months new pop-ups will move in. What a fun concept! Angie invited me to have a pop-up in her pop-up (We call it pop-up inception!) as part of the National College Football championship festivities. The championship game was held in the San Jose area this year, and they closed off the street to celebrate. The road even got a football field makeover. My set up! I brought the usual suspects – pennants, wall hangings, clips, and my flower crown display. I brought flowers in team colors for anyone who wanted to make a crown to cheer on their team, too! It was Clemson (purple and orange) versus Alabama (crimson red). Here’s a peek into Angie’s shop. She designs all these goodies, just launched a travel journal (and it comes with …

winter picnic.

To kick off the New Year, Hubby, Sis-in-law and her partner, and I planned a lil park picnic. Yes, it was 40 degrees outside, but the sun was shining and the air was fresh! I set up my 4-foot table and stools, brought out my picnic plates and indigo napkins, and adorned each place setting with a sprig of flowers because it’s a fancy grown up gathering, y’all! I put together a cheese plate of sorts with veggies, fruits, carbs, and dips. It’s always fun to use my tiny cheese knives, and I love mixing and matching snacks. I also attempted a lemon dressing/dip (recipe below!). We tossed together a salad (Trader Joe’s kale-cabbage-pistachio-ginger salad pack for the win ~ I’m a huge fan of all of their salad packs!) and I made roasted broccoli with dates and a lemon herb sauce (recipe below because it was delicious!) We also had homemade pumpkin soup! And homemade hummus! And more cheese! And more carbs! It was so lovely to spend a relaxing afternoon with great people in the …