I try to participate in the Minted challenges as much as possible, and I’ve always been so inspired by the designers who do their own calligraphy and hand-lettering. So I finally decided to take a class over the weekend. My boyfriend and I signed up for an Intro to Calligraphy workshop at Pippa & Co. in Alameda (quite possibly the cutest party store I’ve ever seen).
The class was taught by Jillian Schiavi using Micron markers and Jelly Roll pens, rather than the typical calligraphy pens and nibs. I’m not sure if that made it easier or harder, but we learned the same basic techniques, strokes and exercises.
It did not come naturally to me, but my boyfriend seemed to have a knack for it. This is definitely something I’m going to have to practice for awhile before entering any contests. And we both agreed: if all we end up with is better handwriting at the end of the day, all the practice will be worth it.
Regardless, I’ll most likely be back at Pippa & Co. to try another class. This store offers some really fun workshops from time to time. And if that’s not your thing, come for the adorable space and festive party supplies. You’re bound to find something that puts a smile on your face.
My motto for the new year is “See, and be seen, in 2015”, but it may as well have been “The year of change”. Just 5 weeks in, and I’m already adjusting to lots of changes, both large and small. I’m not big on change, but I’ve finally decided to stop resisting. So I’m going to add one more thing to the list: a new name for the blog.
Although I haven’t been posting much lately, I have been spending lots of time thinking about this blog. And the new name, daybybay, sums it all up for me as I continue to collect inspiration from my favorite place on Earth (otherwise known as San Francisco). In the coming months I’ll be doing a design refresh as well, but I wanted to introduce the new name first. Baby steps, right? In the meantime, you can still get here via jotsnap.com. And if you’re the type who likes to jump right in, and not hold on to the past, welcome to daybybay.
The first time I went to Alcatraz was during my first visit to San Francisco. The second time was after I moved here and played tour guide. And the third was a few weekends ago, on a date, to see the Ai Weiwei installation.
I admit, I didn’t know much about this internationally-renowned artist/activist beforehand, but had heard a lot of buzz about the show, called @Large. Plus it was an excuse to play tourist in my own town for the day.
The show was included in the ticket price, and intertwined within the prison walls. What’s really interesting is that Ai Weiwei created these seven site-specific installations—without ever leaving China. Briefly imprisoned himself, Weiwei is still not allowed to leave his own country.
Some pieces were so subtle, mainly using sound, I initially didn’t even realize they were part of the exhibit. But once we walked to the New Industries building, where the large, splashy sculptures were located, it became pretty obvious. This dragon kite, called With Wind, greeted us at the door.
Those portraits on the floor are made of legos! You can read more about that here.
The show also extended through the dining hall and hospital areas of the main prison, where porcelain flowers filled the sinks, tubs and toilets. And it was very (creepy) cool walking through the asylum and seeing those old beds. This would make a great night tour. Maybe on trip #4.
If that doesn’t impress you, check out this amazing view on the way back. And just like Alcatraz, it never gets old. The Ai Weiwei show runs through April 26.
My latest card design for Minted.com is now up for sale: you can buy Painted Pines here, in three different colorways for the holidays. I was thrilled to have one of my designs selected for their holiday collection as there are thousands of entries in this category, from some fantastic designers. And you can also check out my new Minted storefront, where you’ll find posters and art prints—more to be added soon!
At the end of last year I sold some danish modern chairs, with a fair amount of post-sale regret. While I didn’t actually do the re-upholstery work, I had the vision of turning them from nothing into something awesome, and really loved the way they turned out. So shortly after I sold them I found another chair to transform and fill the void. It was on eBay and in Florida (could it be any further away?) yet it had potential and seemed in pretty good shape, so I bid on it. And won it. And had it shipped to San Francisco via Greyhound Bus. My plan was to live with it for awhile (the existing upholstery wasn’t too terrible) while I hunted for the perfect fabric.
However, when I headed down to the bus station to pick it up on a Friday afternoon during rush hour (which I wouldn’t recommend to my worst enemy by the way), and unpacked it, I realized it reeked of smoke. Hoping it was just “bus fumes”, I let it air out in the empty apartment next door for a few days. But no such luck: this was smoker’s smoke.
To make a long story short, my plan of living with it for a while went out the window, and my “winter project” became someone else’s winter project. I took it to Klassik Living in Berkeley, where they stripped, sanded, stained, repaired, re-stuffed and re-upholstered the chair. It may have been overkill as it really wasn’t in bad shape, but I wanted no trace of that smoke in my apartment! And I splurged on some Norbar fabric to top it off. Because after all that work, this one was going to be a keeper……at least until I got the itch again.
Some friends and I went on a beautiful hike in Mt. Tam this weekend. Just a few miles over the Golden Gate Bridge and you’re immersed in nature, and on this particular hike, a heavy forest filled with Redwood trees.
Whenever we decide to go hiking in the Bay Area, one of the first things I do is pick up my trusty book, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles, to decide on a park and a trailhead. This time we decided on a 5 mile loop that started across from The Mountain Home Inn.
We started down the steep Ocean View Trail and within the first mile we spotted an owl: a Spotted Owl. (See it on the branch up there?) And it was obviously used to hikers because it didn’t seem phased by us being only a few feet away.
We continued on towards Bootjack Trail and found ourselves at the back entrance of Muir Woods, so we took a detour and walked through—it had been a while since I’d been there. And as usual, it was super crowded with tourists.
We then followed the Troop 80 Trail back to Alice Eastwood Rd (a steep climb out, with lots of stairs) and finished our hike. With the little detour through Muir Woods it ended up being over 7 miles, and we definitely worked up an appetite. Fortunately, the hike ended back at the Mountain Home Inn where we had lunch on the back deck and enjoyed this gorgeous view.
I saw these Illume candles while I was standing in line at Whole Foods the other day, and I’m totally into their random patterns and watercolor look. Makes me wanna break out the brushes.
(Images from Illume)
In typical fashion, this summer has been pretty foggy in San Francisco. Yet the fog brings such a mystical look to the Bay that I hardly mind it. And I love the soft, muted colors that come with it. It’s the perfect place for a peaceful morning walk.
It may have been two weekends ago, but I’m still thinking about all the fun things I saw at the biannual Renegade Craft Fair (the best, in my opinion). I love this show because I get so inspired to create my own projects—which I mostly set aside until the next craft show comes around! These $10 DIY terrariums (above) from makerskit were a hit. Not only were they fun and quick to make, we got to top ’em off with these cute little dinosaurs. Some other favorites:
Mugs in great shades of green from Jessica Wertz ceramics in Berkeley; pretty handmade arrows by Fletcher and Fox; concert posters and illustrations by DKNG Studios.
A series of simple, modern graphics on coasters from The Coastal that pair perfectly with these textiles from Dozi, and even these paintings from Salt and Pipper.
And these furry mounted unicorns and monsters by Yetis & Friends. I swear, from job descriptions to some flavored salt that I just bought, unicorns are trending.
I recently came across these prints on Etsy, by Australian artist Simone. Aren’t the colors and shapes sweet? So simple, yet sophisticated. You can find more in her Etsy shop: Ammiki.
(All images courtesy of Ammiki)