Sunday, May 31, 2009

the silver (gold) lining

I just came back from the Union Design Festival (formerly Capsule) in Hayes Valley. There were lots of goods from independent artists, designers and crafters to be had. I will do a proper post for the festival but I just wanted to share the news that there is a new store opening in San Francisco in a few days.

Designers Adrienne Wiley of Frolick Jewelry and Liza Anongchanya of Ofina Jewelry have teamed up to open Covet, a boutique and design studio in the Inner Richmond. This is really great news and is a silver lining to all the not-so-great news we've been hearing lately about beloved independently owned stores and boutiques closing up shop in the city.

Today, I snapped up a necklace from Ofina. Her pieces are very simple and classic and priced very reasonably. I also own one of her lariats which I bought at last year's indie mart.

The 14k gold filled and bone necklace in the center is now mine :)

Please support local shops and designers, they play a huge part in making San Francisco the great city that it is.

Covet Grand Opening
Thursday, June 4 5-9PM
391 Arguello Blvd @ Clement St.

or call 415.751.1158
More information at

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Our trip down undah: Sydney Markets and beaches

We spent a full week in Sydney. I really wanted to be there during the weekend so that we can experience the markets that Sydney is known for. We managed to visit 2 of them, the Glebe Markets and the sightly more posh Paddington Market.

I loved the Glebe Markets where there were a lot of independent designers and crafters. One thing that I noticed was that booth owners did not want anyone to take pictures of their wares. This was obviously a letdown for me. One person even asked us to delete any pictures we just took. Even though I was able to sneak a few pictures here and there, I don't think it's right for me to post them here so images for this post will be few and a bit generic.

I want to say though that I bought a very pretty necklace from lime lily. If you go to their site, you'll find a few images of their line.

One more thing that Sydney's not short of are beaches. I was amazed at how clean the beaches are. The water is almost always crystal clear and the sand so fine and white. We visited Bondi, Manly and Watsons Bay. It was so nice to just hang out at the beach for a few hours to relax. That's something that we rarely do here in Northern California.

Click on the image for a bigger view:

From Watsons Bay with a view of Sydney

A surfer at Manly Beach

A rock pool on the way to Manly from The Spit

Swimmers at Bondi

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Our trip down undah: Melbourne

We just came back from a holiday in Australia. We spent most of our time in Sydney but we also took trips to both Melbourne and Tasmania.

One thing we loved about Australia in general is their very vibrant cafe culture. My husband and I each had our fair share of flat whites and cappuccinos, sometimes even having 2-3 cups a day.We couldn't help it! The coffee was so good and the cafes were too irresistible.

Having a flat white at Degraves

We were in Melbourne for only 2 days so we didn't really get to see too many things but one neighborhood we made sure to spend our time in was Fitzroy. Our Aussie friends told us that we'd definitely enjoy it there and they were right.

Brunswick street is lined with cafes, galleries, restaurants and shops. It was easy to spend the greater part of our day in this area. There were also a good number of shops that sold items by local Melbourne designers and artists.

Pillows by Bird Textiles

We also paid a visit to the Queen Victoria Market. There was an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. We also loved walking around the wet market where they sold meats, seafood, cheeses and more. We also made it a point to make a stop at the American Doughnut bus!

Yep, these 2 San Fransiscans traveled around the world to get american doughnuts. It was was really good!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

ceramics class report + finished products

I took a ceramics wheel class in April and May at Ruby's Clay studio in Noe Valley in San Francisco. I'm trying out several creative outputs and since I never took any arts and crafts class in school (besides embroidery), I figure now's the time.

At the beginning of the class, I was being hard on myself. I couldn't figure out how to center on the wheel and could not remember the steps to make a bowl. I started talking to my classmate who have taken several ceramics classes before. She said that I shouldn't get frustrated, that I was doing well and that it's important to practice a lot. This made me feel a bit better. I started coming into the studio during drop in hours to practice.

I placed a tea cup beside it for size comparison.

I put too much glaze on this one so it ran.

Unfortunately, my instructor was not particularly instructive. I learned mostly by asking her questions (sometimes she was helpful, sometimes not), talking to my classmates, watching videos on you tube and practicing on my own time.

My husband says this one is his favorite, because it was one of a kind. This was supposed to be a taller cylinder but I had to cut the top off because it became too wobbly.

In the end, I enjoyed ceramics and have decided to take another class later in the year. I think this is something I can grow to love and enjoy over time.