Customizable Notebooks

July 29, 2015

Bird Rock journal

In addition to art prints and greeting cards, did you know you can buy personalized notebooks, address books and planners on Minted? Last year I entered one of these challenges and now have a few notebooks for sale: you can find Bird Rock here and Macaroons here.

Macaroons journal

Add your name (or a recipient’s), pick a colorway, and customize the finishing by choosing grommets or spiral binding. You can even choose lined or unlined paper, calendar sheets, or address pages, depending on the intended use.

Bird rock journal

Heck, while you’re at it, throw in some stickers. Like Minted says, you can basically personalize these notebooks to suit any purpose. Happy journaling!

Macaroons journal

(All images by Minted)

Now Selling at West Elm: Big Egg

May 27, 2015

big egg west elm minted

This is something I’ve been dying to announce for a few months now: I have an art print for sale at West Elm! Through a partnership with Minted, one of my art prints was chosen to be sold at westelm.com and in select West Elm stores for the next six months or so. For this particular contest there were over 5,200 submissions, and I’m so thrilled and excited to have been selected by one of my favorite retailers. You can see Big Egg right here, and if you happen to live near a West Elm store, you might see it there too. If you do, let me know. In the meantime I’ll be right here, pinching myself.

Taverns and Caverns: 24 Hours in Murphys, CA

May 20, 2015

Last weekend we decided to take a road trip to someplace we’ve never been before, so we headed to Murphys, CA, a little Gold Rush town in the Sierra Foothills. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive east of San Francisco, and it’s full of wineries, cafes, art galleries, restaurants—and a whole lot of history.

First stop: Ironstone Vineyards for a little wine tasting. Our pourer, Bob, was the nicest guy. The kind of down-to-earth guy you want as your neighbor. He pretty much gave us a sip of everything on the menu—and then some—as well as recos for dining and more wine tasting.

Ironstone4

When we booked our hotel the week before, there was only one room left in town (and we soon found out why).

The annual Jumping Frog Jubilee was happening at nearby Angel Camp and there was a huge Harley-Davidson gathering. I’m assuming the two were related, although I hear the gatherings happen a few times a year. I have never seen so many motorcycles in one place. It made for a noisy weekend but was also kind of fascinating.

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We had intended to check out the Saloon on Saturday night, a historic landmark hotel and bar, but decided to do it on a less rowdy weekend.

The town itself is really small, with maybe 3,000 people, so it was really easy to walk from one end to the other. Murphys kind of felt like Yosemite meets Sonoma: charming little historical buildings turned into storefronts, dining spots and tasting rooms, with a touch of the Wild West thrown in.

I have a thing for barns, and there were a bunch of them scattered around the main drag. They have so much character.

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By the way, if you like red wine, check out the Villa Vallecito tasting room in town. Bob recommended it and they have a great Grenache and Payaso (which I hadn’t heard of before).

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We also loved Grounds for breakfast. And Aria for takeout sandwiches. We never made it to Vee’s for dinner, but wish we had. Bob recommended those too.

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There are three things we didn’t do, that I wish we had (and definitely had time for):

1. The Mercer Cavern tour: It’s 16 stories deep (the guide talked me out of it due to fear of heights but I think I could’ve done it).

2. Panned for gold (hey, you know…when in Rome…).

3. Checked out Angel’s Camp, which I thought was a state park, but is actually another small Gold Rush town, and ground zero for the jubilee. So again, maybe next time on a quieter weekend.

Which basically gives us at least three more reasons to go back.

Murphys-house4

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Flea Market Finds

May 5, 2015

Maybe it was my art school training, but there was a time when I would’ve been horrified to bring home art from the flea market. Now, it’s my favorite thing to buy. This past weekend I went to the monthly faire at Alameda Point, and found enough paintings to mentally make a nice little gallery wall. I had to pass on purchasing, as I’m almost out of wall space, but hopefully this inspires you to scavenge for some one-of-a-kind treasures of your own.

A Modern Calligraphy Workshop

March 23, 2015

Calligraphy

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).

Pippa & Co.

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.

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Calligraphy-2

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.

Pippa & Co.

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.

Pippa & Co.

Pippa & Co.

Pippa & Co.