All posts tagged: berkeley

stop and smell.

Have you visited the Berkeley Rose Garden? May is a lovely time to wander the garden. I especially appreciate a sunset visit. Sometimes Hubby tricks me by saying something adventurous and romantic like ‘let’s go to the rose garden,’ but what he really wants to do is check out the Rose Garden tennis courts (yes, they have tennis courts!). I’m not mad about it though; look at these blooms and the view! There are plenty of spots to sit and levels of garden to wander. I not-so-secretly would love to be able to name off varieties of plants so I like that the rose bushes are labeled with common names. Also fun: There’s a tunnel that connects the Rose Garden to Codornices Park across the street which has a playground, lots of grassy hang out space, a creek, and hiking trails. For more rose garden adventures, try the Morcom Rose Garden in Oakland or the State Capitol Park World Peace Rose Garden in Sacramento, too. I hope you get to take some time to enjoy …

ceramics with bebe.

I took Bebe ceramics painting at Brushstrokes in Berkeley. For his first piece, since he was quick with the paintbrush, we did a collab and I tried to paint the rest of the piece with his initial paint splatter as my inspiration. We left the studio with a season pass and the intent to bring Bebe regularly to get some more painting time. He ended up painting an additional four pieces – one for each grandparent (for Christmas gifts!) He painted a pair of mugs for one set of grandparents and a pair of bowls for the other. This time, Bebe painted the full pieces. We even got his handprint on a few of them. On our visits, he also enjoyed looking at all the ceramic pieces, climbing up and down the studio steps, and exploring the studio environs. I would say he is a minimalist painter with a hint of Pollock. Brushstrokes is a full service ceramics painting studio (they also have art classes and rental space) and I’ve been coming here for years. …

cookies at the claremont.

To celebrate being fully vaccinated I met up with my basically-family friends for an outdoor cookie decorating event at the Claremont hosted by East Bay Provisions. The Claremont had converted part of their parking lot into an outdoor restaurant and event space. It was the perfect weekend to be outside! Each ticket came with a dozen sugar cookies (we received kitten, bear, turtle, and butterfly shapes), four icing colors, assorted sprinkles, popsicle sticks, and hand wipes. Our host came around and provided a quick demo. I was hoping for more direction, but it really was meant for open play. Since I do much better looking at samples, I watched my niece decorate her cookies first and was inspired by her creations. My favorite technique was piping out splotches of color and then taking one of the popsicle sticks to drag the color across the cookie. It made it look like watercolor and blended the colors (almost) seamlessly. I really liked how my bears turned out! In the end, they all tasted the same so we …


Favor in Berkeley is filled with colorful jewelry, treats, and gift items for all your fun friends! I visited last month during peak Christmas shopping times so they also had a great assortment of ornaments, too. There’s something to look at everywhere you turn. Take your time because there are some hidden gems – like felted mushroom garlands! And kitten zippered pouches and balloon animal ornaments! And appropriately inappropriate bracelets. And tequila necklaces. What a fun visit! The owner even treated us to bon bons and I went home with a mushroom garland. Have you visited Favor? Share your favorite gift shops below!

saturday market.

I miss weekly farmers markets at work (they were discontinued), so whenever Hubby and I get a chance, we visit a local farmers market! Most recently we visited the Downtown Berkeley farmers market. I hadn’t been in years. There are ready-made foods, lots of fruit samples, local honey, flowers, and services like table massage. But you know me, I’m there for the PROOO-DUUUCE. Today’s bounty: zebra tomatoes, malunggay (OMG this stuff is so hard to find!), basil, radish, tiny eggplants, pears, and peaches. When I shop I usually don’t have a recipe in mind; with a farmers market like this it’s easy to be inspired. If you ever shop this market, you can also treat yo’self to the bounty of restaurants in the area. We went to Imm Thai for lunch and Asha for treats. You’re bound to run into street festival, too; there’s always something happening around the Downtown Berkeley area. Always looking for farmers market suggestions. Share your favorites below!

head west part 2.

I participated in my first Head West Marketplace; this time as a vendor! The market is largely vintage and second-hand. There were also jewelry merchants, painters, plant people, homewares shops, and then there was me! I’m pretty sure I had the cutest shoppers. And the best booth neighbors! Say hello to Ruth Tillman Designs, S for Sparkle, and Akshu and Ing! It was a beautiful day for an outdoor shop! Thank you to the Berkeley community for coming out to support small businesses and to Jimmy of Head West for inviting me to join the event! Join me at all my Feed the Fish co pop up shops. Follow along at Post cover photo credit: @eboniewj

sad animals.

I met Brooke Barker of Sad Animal Facts during her book tour stop at Pegasus Books in Downtown Berkeley. She was on tour for her new book: Sad Animal Babies. If you don’t know her work already, OMG check it out! At the meet & greet Brooke shared stories – three stories to be exact. In the first, she compared human babies to animal babies, the next story was about her whale watching trip in Washington, and the last was about her fanny pack discovery in Japan (spot it on the chair)…. All were a little silly, and all were true! After story time (Brooke is a great story teller by the way!), she answered audience Qs. I enjoyed hearing about her creative process and animal encounter stories. My favorite question from the audience though was “Would you ever write a book about happy animal babies?” Answer: neverrrrr. And then she signed books and drew an animal for each of us. I asked for a hummingbird; Hubby asked for a panda. I asked her if she gets self …


Hubby and I headed to 4th Street in Berkeley for Bouquet Market. It was our “wherever we want to go” date day and I picked an outdoor market for obvious reasons, but also because it would let us enjoy the fresh air and walk a bit after lunch. Bouquet was held in the north parking lot, which is usually where I park when visiting 4th Street so I was only a little upset I actually had to look for street parking. Ha! In any case, the market had a mix of handmade and vintage finds. There was mostly clothing, jewelry, and home goods. I enjoyed seeing all the textile prints and colorful displays. I saw my friend Roxanne of Roxanne Roxanne Designs, but everyone else was a new-to-me vendor. There was music and a food truck, and we went home with a pumpkin & almond candle by Tule Fog. Yay, shopping small!

studio sew.

Aw yea, Hello Stitch studio day all up in this biz! My zipper workshop came with a free studio day and I was all over it. I wanted to practice sewing more zipper pouches. I prepped all of my fabric before heading into the studio so I could maximize sewing time. I wasn’t sure how long it would all take but I had prepped for seven pouches. I ended up sewing four pouches in four hours. The first pouch took the longest and it got easier to follow all the steps the more I made. I used fabric and zippers from Joann and Black Squirrel. Dreamy! I am loving mixing and matching fabric designs. And I’m learning more about what fabrics work best for this type of project. What’s great about a studio pass is you get access to all the space and to sewing pros. It was so convenient to have areas set up for all aspects of sewing – the ironing area, the cutting area, and the sewing area. There’s also a lounge area, beverages, …


Hula time! For my second hula performance with Halau Makana we danced at Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center. Ashkenaz has music and dance events six days a week; the last Sunday of each month is dedicated to Ethnic Dance. Pre-performance I asked Hubby to take a photo of me in my Halau Makana gear and pre-hula hair. He took a mirror photo O_o, and then a real one… Behind the scenes! While I was waiting my turn to practice our routine, I enjoyed the sweet sounds of soundcheck (our band was awesome!), watched some of the performances, and helped get costumes ready. Check the space! Ashkenaz has been a Berkeley establishment for 45 years; imagine all the sharing and community building that has happened over the years in this space! I performed the same dance as my first performance, but this time we had different costumes: Red! Ooh la la. I had so much fun performing with these ladies. And to start a tradition – selfies with Cat! Since I was only in one dance, …