Saturday, July 31, 2010

Renegade SF

Went to Renegade at Fort Mason today with my friend Sarah. I was pleasantly surprised by how many new faces and crafts were present. At last years show I didn't find a single thing that pulled my heart strings, but I came home today with a bag full of treasures. Some favorites and must haves were...

My favorite purchase of the day was a dress made from recycled vintage bed linen crafted by Field Day. Every dress is one of a kind, and I didn't see single woman who tried on a dress walk away empty handed. The silhouette was adorable and the fit worked for all body types.

I loved these leather cuffs made by Leighelena of Austin, Tx! This clever brass clasp paired with brown pebble leather, metallic leather or bright jewel tones made for really striking pieces. She also makes a line of enamel necklaces, bracelets and rings that are truly beautiful!

Oh Ma Felt's hand dyed, hand felted swatches of wool felt made my mouth water! They were so enticing stacked in towers of color encompassing every delicious shade in the rainbow!

Using Oh Ma's Felt, artist Kata Golda made a most adorable menagerie of woolen animals. Her new book, Hand- Stitched Felt, with step by step instructions for making these adorable animals, is available in her online shop or through her catalog.

I was so happy to discover Uppercase, "a magazine for the creative and curious"! This was their first time at Renegade and I couldn't resist indulging in a few books and magazines. My best find here was Swedish artist, Camilla Engman's Book. I can't wait to explores its pages tomorrow morning while sipping a cup of earl grey!

There were so many talented crafters at the show! If you need a cool screen printed shirt, some new wall decor, a fuzzy softie friend, an awesome piece of jewelry or a mug with a mustache etched on it, then Renegade's your place! The show's on tomorrow too and I highly recommend checking it out if you are needing some DIY inspiration and a little retail therapy! Enjoy!

Friday, July 30, 2010


Today has been a very... strange day.
Let's fast forward to late afternoon:
I came home and signed onto my email having neglected it over the past few days. In my inbox I found an email from my 8th grade teacher with whom I haven't had any correspondence since I was 13. He happened to find my work online and sent an email inquiring if I was the Courtney Cerruti he once had taught many years ago. It was a nice and unexpected surprise.

Later, I went for a walk and while stumbling down the hill, ipod on, I looked up to see a fawn in silhouette about 50 feet away. I stood still, transfixed by the simple joy of seeing its tiny body outlined in the setting sun's rays. After a moment of us watching one another, it trotted off across the street. The spell broken, I took a few steps forward and was met with a second fawn as it too stopped to regard me before cantering away. And of course, following its little ones, a mother deer emerged from the brush and trotted after her babies up the canyon wall. I smiled to myself at the unexpected appearance of this very common yet treasured scene.

I proceeded along on my walk, nearing home, when I noticed a fare amount of debris scattered on the street. Upon closer inspection I discovered that the little squares littering the road were discarded slides. Over a span of several blocks I collected over 100 slides and even a few semi crushed boxes labeled in neat script with the following descriptions:

Sacto Blue Bldg
Evinrude /Truffle
Margie's Florida Trip
Redwoods- 2
Signs in Mendo

... a most curious list...
These brief labels and the images they described made me wonder about the person who took the photos, the nature of their trip, what was documented and why the slides were discarded on the side of the road. Did someone toss them out the window in an act of liberation or did they fall out of a carelessly packed suitcase strapped to the top of a car? Would the owner of slides be heartbroken over their disappearance or would they even notice their absence?

the end of the trail

These events are not so remarkable and maybe not even unusual, but they made me think about all the ways in which people exist in the world and how an individual's story can intersect another's. If I stop for a moment and think about all the people I've encountered today and how at the moment we spoke or exchanged a smile, our two worlds, existing in their own time, space and experience touched for just a moment before spinning off again in their own direction, it occurs to me how much opportunity there is in this world to change the course of another's life...

Despite the events of today I am grateful for an unexpected email, a moment of beauty in nature, and a trail of lost memories like a line of breadcrumbs leading me into an unknown future.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Went to Unbound today with my friend Susanne. The show at the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek features Book Arts by various artists both locally and nationally recognized. Some of my favorite works are as follows...

Evidence of Compression by the amazing Julie Chen of Flying Fish Press. Chen's limited edition books range from shaped books housed in complex box structures to wooden games with carefully crafted components.

I loved these little nature studies on discarded library check out cards made into an accordion book.

I love this piece by Emily Payne. It appeals to my fabric loving side because it reads as a textile from afar, and that palette and arrangement of hues is so seductive!

These amazing Touchstones by were so velvety and soft! They are for sale at the show for a mere $60 each.

I discovered artist Andie Thrams for the first time today. I adore her observation journals; They are so immediate and direct! Her images are full of life and color and all the text is handwritten. Much of the work in the show is comprised of limited editions. These little gems stood out not only for their exquisite quality but also because they are unique, one of a kind books, made by the artist.

I loved this accordion pop out book entitled Quell by Alison Yates. The presence of the artist's hand evident in the woodcuts is an aesthetic that is so pleasing to me. The story illustrated is that of a hunter who attempts to shoot a deer only to find it is really a woman with whom he falls in love...

These silhouettes were so striking against this curry colored wall. They were made with a series of tediously sewn cross stitches on a found book. Artist Lauren DiCioccio.

The show was a great survey of an artist's interpretation of the book and it made for a wonderful Sunday!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

To Mila on her 5th Birthday

Little one, look closely. See what I hold for you here?
Tiens, here, hold out you hand and take this present.
Come close and steady your breath. Don't frighten it away.
It is shy.

Little one, see here, it is all my hopes and dreams for you.
It is shining here, in my hand, a glowing light.
It burns for you, knowing it mirrors the magic you hold inside.
Look closely, whisper softly, it will tell you of your future.

Little one, tiens, take this gift, it is my love for you.
It is my protection when I cannot be there to keep you safe.
It is my knowing that you are bright and beautiful and one of a kind.

Little one, Little Mila, Happy Birthday.
My special girl.

Cafe au Lait at the Elmwood Cafe

Happened into the Elmwood Cafe this evening and had the most wonderful mocha made with the Cafe's own ganache and served in the most charming French Latte Bowl. I was lucky enough to meet the owner, Michael Pearce, who told me a little about how he came to take over the 89 year old Berkeley neighborhood soda shop (once called Ozzie's) and restore it to its original charm...
If you order a hot drink, expect to enjoy each sip from one of these French latte bowls...

Yellow and white striped awnings flank the corner side entrance while French bistro chairs and marble topped tables welcome patrons to stay and enjoy a treat!

A hidden treasure... Between two original 1921 built-in shelves, this peek a boo window offers a glowing scene of book patrons perusing at neighboring bookstore, Mrs Dalloways!

Elmwood Cafe makes all their baked goods on site including their delicious jams!

Perhaps most amazing is the Cafe's pledge to charity. Elmwood Cafe contributes a whopping 50% of their profits to charities locally and globally. Best of all, cafe customers get to vote for their favorite cause!

Owner Michael with assistant Carrie

Michael has succeeded in his vision to return this charming and historic neighborhood cafe to its original splendor by creating a unique space that serves delicious homemade food, fosters community and supports charitable causes with a nod to tradition and vintage detail. A definite feel good cafe!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Tiny Treasure

I was given a tiny treasure today by a friend...
A little bird told her I collected nests and she made this for my collection. Its no bigger than a quarter and is truly precious!

Thank you!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lisa Kokin

In keeping with recent posts, here is another artist whose work I love...
Best of all, book artist Lisa Kokin is a local artist who offers workshops in book arts and whose work is in the new show Unbound at the Bedford Gallery. I will probably visit the show sometime this week. My good friend and painter, Dickson Schneider is also in the show along with Julie Chen of Flying Fish Press, Emily Payne (another local) and believe it or not, Andy Warhol among others! Show is on until August 29th.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Off to Tahoe

My mom and me (when I was little) enjoying the lake.

Off to Tahoe tomorrow for a family vacation! Hope you are enjoying those summer moments with your loved ones!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tree Houses etc...

Inspired by C. Diaz's recent posts of dream houses, I had to do a quick post about the Yellow Tree House Restaurant in New Zealand. I love images of amazing tree houses, whether cobbled together as if held by magic alone, or sleek and graphic amid towering pines, unusual tree houses keep me wanting that perfect hideaway...

Inspiration in Color, Pattern & Print

A brighter bit of inspiration from two of my favorite books and designers...
Tricia Guild of Designer's Guild in the UK and Sibella Court of Society Inc in Australia.

Eye candy for those who love bold patterns, saturated color and a bit of sophisticated whimsy.

One of my favorite books to look through on a rainy day with a cup of Earl Grey...