Monday, May 21, 2012

Maker Faire, 2012!

Yesterday we went to the Maker Faire. The weather was perfect, warm, sunny and not windy (until the late afternoon), but it was VERY crowded in the middle of the day, with super-long lines for food and bathrooms (and everything else!). The most fun part for me was two mini-classes in making chain mail and twisted wire bracelets. They cost $10 each but that included all the materials and tools, and I brought home two nice bracelets! This is the first chance I have had to actually MAKE something at the Maker Faire, and I really enjoyed it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Doof Museum of Culture and History

This was the funniest part of the show--a spoof on "outsider art" exhibits, it had a bunch of examples of art using the "Doof" cartoon character, even a sweet little embroidered portrait. There were also long stories about each artist.

Ft Mason Fine Art Fair Preview Night

I may be pushing the limit on number of photos in one blog, so I will add the others to a second blog. We went to the evening preview at the annual SF Fine Art Fair at Ft Mason last night, and really enjoyed it. The free snacks were scarce (I bought a sandwich) but there was plenty of free wine (red and white, one of each!) There was a lot of art I liked, you can see some of it in these pics.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Crocheted Wedding Blanket

Sunday, I made a great crochet find at the Alameda Antique Market--a wedding blanket made in 1955! Not THAT old, but it's in almost perfect condition. There are two sets of initials in the top of the border, plus the date, so that's why the seller thought it was made as a wedding gift. It's one of the most colorful crochet blankets I have ever seen, done in very fine cotton thread. The initials and the two red flowers in the center were embroidered onto the crochet mesh after it was completed.

Chinese Garden in Monterey

Finally, I was in Monterey on a Saturday and had time to check out Orientations, the wonderful antique store there. The beautiful stucco building is crammed with Chinese, Japanese, and Korean antiques, but they did not allow photos inside, so I am able to show you only the lovely walled garden (there are lots of interior photos on their website). They are currently having a small exhibit of contemporary Japanese lacquer ware, true works of art. My son bought me a hand painted glass ornament with tigers on it for an early Mother's Day gift.
On the drive home, I stopped at Pie Ranch and bought a small walnut pie and some bread. They were almost sold out, I should have stopped on my way down to Monterey in the morning.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Lovely Day in Oakland

Saturday, I went to Verb for Keeping Warm to meet Stephen West, a knitting designer who was having a book signing there. Although I've seen their booth at Stitches West every year, this was my first chance to see their shop, which is very nice, small and welcoming. There is a small selection of fabrics (mostly cottons for quilting) and an equally small selection of yarn, mostly wool and alpaca. After the book signing, I got a lemonade at the little cafe next door (which has bicycles hanging up inside!), sat in the sun for awhile, then we visited Lacis, which is about a ten-minute drive away. I had been here many years ago, but the shop has grown and now contains a wonderful selection of vintage and antique lace, lovely old dresses, and every thread and tool that a needleworker could want (even reptile skins!). The book selection is vast and covers sewing, embroidery, crochet, knitting, and all types of lace work. Many of the vintage items are for sale, so if you're looking for a tablecloth or other linens trimmed with handmade lace, this is the place. On the way home, we stopped for dinner at our favorite restaurant, Horatio's, on the bay in San Leandro.