All posts filed under: Local Tourist

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!

ink stand.

On vacation, I craft. 🙂 While in Tokyo I heard about a creative space called Ink Stand where you can design your own ink color. Lucky for us they had space for two while we were in town. We arrived a little early for our color appointment so we admired the space and all of the color inspiration on the wall. Ink Stand has a laboratory feel – the staff wear lab smocks and everything was clean. The glassware also added to the feel. We worked with beakers and glass stirring rods. Also, the staff use those magnetic lab stirrers to mix larger amounts of ink. Ink science! Each station has a 17-pigment selection (plus a dilution solution), mixing cups, a glass rod (for stirring), a paper pad, a pen (for note taking), a glass pen (::ahem:: a $300 handmade glass pen, for testing your inks), and a menu with a color blending chart. Each setting was neatly organized – the placemats had outlines for where everything was to be placed! At the beginning of …

what’s good in the ‘hood.

For our third wedding anniversary we made sure we kept our weekend free to celebrate, but then we were so busy with Craftcation (me), tennisings (Hubby), and Japan travels (more on this soon!) that we didn’t actually plan anything until the last minute. Whoops! But lucky for us, we live in the Bay Area where everyday can feel like a vacation and we thought up some last minute plans. On Saturday, our anniversary eve, we picnicked at our wedding park (Live Oak). I prepped some snacks: roasted cauliflower and potatoes, dill cream cheese to go with the cutest heart-shaped lavash crackers, a cucumber dill yogurt salad (we had a lot of dill…), and leftover dumplings from breakfast. Plus beverages. It was beautiful out and there were many people enjoying the warm weather. We admired the trees, Hubby rested in the sunshine, and I painted a little. Afterwards, we went to a favorite Japanese market (Tokyo Fish Market) because it’s fun there and I love markets. On Sunday, our anniversary day, we hung out at one …

avfkw.

OMG, OMG. I finally visited A Verb for Keeping Warm. I stumbled in on a whim while I was on my way to grab some snacks next door. Such a good stumble – look at this place! A wall of yarn, a wall of fabric, and everything in between. They carry in-house dyed yarn – that’s like super local. There’s also yarn and fabric from all over the nation and world. They produce their own line of DIY kits and sewing patterns. I want them all. Plus, there was inspiration everywhere. I liked that they had clothing samples for all their sewing patterns. You can even try the clothes on to see which fit is best before you commit to making it. Ooh, there was dried indigo hanging all around, too. I’ve never seen a real indigo plant before! There is space for workshops, and I had little peeks into one of the dye studios (there are two studios!) and their natural dye garden. Dreamy… My bounty! I bought my first sewing pattern, fabric for …

oh hi.

En route to Craftcation I pit stopped in Ojai for total fangirl moments! This was only my second time ever driving from Northern to Southern California on my own and my first time taking the ‘back freeway’ to Ojai – what an adventure! I almost drove the whole way non-stop, except I saw a vista and stopped for a photo. 🙂 When I finally made it to Ojai, I had three stops on my list (besides gas and a potty break!). First stop: Summer Camp. This store is so fun! I love that it’s filled with wanderlust goods (gimme all the things) and items made locally, I love the mural out back and the cacti that surround the grounds, and I love that this spot used to be a gas station (it still has the structure). Oh, oh, and I love that Ojai pun “oh hi.” I picked up one of their oh hi sweaters, plus a card and a locally made rope basket. Eee! My second stop was the Farmer and the Cook for …

shop feature: long weekend.

Yay! I’ve had Long Weekend on my list of shops to visit for a while now and when I finally did, yup, you guessed it, I was a total fangirl. Look at all the pretties! The shop owners have curated items from near and far, and they’ve got a dreamy collection of art supplies. Pens, watercolor everything, …gimme all the pretty paper journals!  Eye drool… (Is that a thing?) They have a small art gallery in the back where they feature local artists’ work. On my visit the featured artist was Maria Schoettler. The cutest part of the shop (besides these lil figurines and the shop dog Charlie): they are only open on weekends! Come visit on your next free (long) weekend!

neon.

Also in Vegas, I dragged my friend to the Neon Museum! Why this outdoor museum featuring old and mostly non-functioning neon signs intrigued me so much beats me, but it was awesome! I knew the signs had to be huge to light up the night sky and attract visitors but whoa, they are gigantic!! The museum is smallish and you can do a loop rather quickly, but it’s nice to stroll through and search for signs buried behind other signs. It’s also fun to stumble upon a tour to learn some sign history (If I ever go again I’d want to pay extra for the tour.) You get a pamphlet to guide you through some of the featured neon signs and there are docents throughout if you have any questions. There is so much history in the museum. It was sunny out and all the signs looked lovely against blue sky (#nofilter). There’s also a night tour and light show, but the signs didn’t have to be illuminated to appreciate the beauty of their design. …