All posts filed under: Local Tourist


Step right in to Tinsel in Berkeley! I frequently pass by this shop thinking I must go in someday. Someday was last Saturday, finally! Tinsel is known for their vintage trim so I was expecting to see lots of ribbons, tassels, and fun things for decorating. I was correct, but oh, there was so much to look at and my brain went into overdrive as I started to think about all the projects I could make with everything in the store. What an amazing collection of things on spools – fabric ribbons, metal ribbons… They had bottle brush trees (I love these things!) for every occasion. This handy passementerie (art of making elaborate trimmings or edgings) guide needs to be an art print. A wall of passements… If I was a master seamstress I would be ALL OVER these trims. Everything looked so elaborate, detailed, well-made. There were bins of vintage appliques, beads, charms… Spools in all the sizes… My family’s cigar company ;)…plus golden scissors… These flower middles reminded me of my childhood and …

good goods.

Small batch artisan goods?! I’m on it! My friend brought me to the Epicurian Trader because she thought I’d appreciate it. Beautifully packaged goods all sorted nicely…dreamy. She knows me so well! This is a great place for finding a special gift (the stuff is basically already gift wrapped!). Chocolates, spirits, wines, cheese, baked goods, snacks, hot sauces! They had it all. Who is the curator? I must meet them. Also, I want a whiskey wall. Market hop much? Share your fave boutique markets below!

what a color.

More watercolors + cafe shenanigans with Hubs. This time around I’m taking my Pinta PH handmade watercolors out for a spin. These paints are made with Philippine rocks and soils. Amaze. Look how adorable! I almost didn’t want to open the packaging because they were so cutely wrapped. 😜  Each pot is labeled with colors in Tagalog so every time I open up the box I can do a vocabulary review. And the pots are magnetic, too, so it’s easy to take these paints on the go. I’m no watercolor pro (yet! ;)), but these paints are amazing — lovely, bold, and vibrant! Timeless Coffee, Berkeley / Plants and Mirror Images Devout Coffee, Fremont / More Plants It is safe to say I am addicted to these watercolors and to painting plants…and perhaps also to visiting new cafes. But these are all good addictions, right? 🙂 What’s on your current skills-to-improve-upon list? Share below!

le petit elefant.

Yays! I visited my friend Genevieve – owner and designer extraordinaire at le petit elefant – at her first open studios event of the year. It was super major cute! Her space is set up like a shop and is also where she creates and does all her biznaz tasks. I love seeing Genevieve’s work at crafty events, but at her studio you get to see the entire collection – shelves and shelves of awesome! Greetings for every occasion, original art, prints, books, … And my fave section: the sticker table! Oh look, more stickers! And more cards and stamps! I grabbed a few items to add to my collection, and a few cards and gift items for loved ones. Can’t wait to gift all the cute! Until next visit! Have you visited any maker studios lately? Share below!

shop feature: jered’s pottery. 

Another product drop off with my friend Joy was at Jered’s Pottery in Emeryville. I had never been. After the Heath tour I had a livened interest in ceramic studios. I was so excited for this visit. (Fun fact: Jered once worked at Heath!) The showroom features the Jered’s Pottery collection. Most pieces are hand thrown which is super impressive because they all look the same! Here is the famous Richmond Cup (because the studio used to be based in Richmond!)… There’s also a seconds room with pieces that didn’t make the cut. I almost purchased a set of these mugs and matching plates. But, alas, we don’t have room for more kitchenware. Wouldn’t they have been so cute for hot cocoa parties? 🙂 Um…I want a pottery studio now. #makerproblems

butterfly in the sky.

I was lucky enough to see the monarch butterflies while they were at their overwintering site at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Newark. As part of “butterfly season” the farm hosts monarch butterfly info sessions in December and January where you can learn all about monarchs, their life cycle, their migration patterns, and how we can help sustain their habitats and food sources. I probably learned about the life cycle in grade school, but hearing about the different stages from an Ardenwood docent was a different experience and I learned so much! After the lesson, docents take you out to the overwintering site to see the butterflies in person. Butterflies in the sky! And they’re up in this tree, I promise! I’m not one for insects, but butterflies are a definite exception. Monarch butterflies are fascinating! They migrate from Canada down to California or Mexico (depending on what side of the Rocky Mountains they reside) and back. It takes 3-5 generations of butterflies to complete the full migration loop. Each generation lives for 2-8 weeks, but …

shop feature: mom & pop. 

Mom & Pop in Point Richmond really is a Mom & Pop! My friend Joy took me on one of her product drop-offs and I got to meet Mom Kelly in store! Mom & Pop is part shop and part art gallery. There’s lots of gift ideas and inspiration for getting creative. They feature a handful of local makers including my friends Joy and Laura. Mom Kelly is a photographer and her prints can be found throughout the shop, too. I love all the color and all the whimsy. Come check out Mom & Pop next time you’re in Richmond!