Art, Inspiration and General Musings

June 30, 2010

On the Street...Sacramento, CA

I don't normally make a habit of harassing random people on the street, but when I spotted Raquel last weekend at the Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour I couldn't resist! She was wearing the most adorable dress and I just had to know where it came from. Turns out she made it herself! I loved everything about it: the neckline, the material, the simple silhouette - not to mention the shoes and skinny belt she paired with it. I asked if she sold them anywhere and she said no - laughing and joking that maybe she should. We exchanged names and I made her promise to send me a photo of her and her totally covetable dress. Well, she made good on her promise. Here she is with her pooch Benny 2.0. Thanks, Raquel. It was lovely meeting you! P.S. If you decide to start selling these dresses email me!

Power Couple

Something magical occurs when wood and baby blue join forces. Seriously. I'm pretty much a sucker for anything that incorporates the two. Throw in some puffy clouds and there's no helping me. Take for instance this double cloud pin by UK-based design duo Lost at Sea - it's lovely. Don't you think?

June 28, 2010

The Fringe Giveaway Winner is...

Drum roll, please! I'm excited to announce that the winner of the $25 gift card to Fringe is commenter #23 - Jae! Special thanks to Audrey of Fringe for donating the prize. Even if you didn't win, I highly suggest you stop in the shop to see all the pretty goodness.

Congratulations, Jae! Shoot me an email so we can work out all the details. Oh, and you have to promise to send me a picture of whatever fabulous item you pick out! Happy Monday!
{winner chosen by}

June 27, 2010

Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour

Yesterday marked the first-ever mid-century modern home tour in Sacramento...and it was awesome. The tour featured a very small vintage car show, screenings of Scopitone films from the '60s (my favorite was "Femininity" by Donna Theodore), an 11-home tour and several local points of interest. Photography was forbidden in most of the homes - with the exception of a few, including my two favorite homes on the tour. Yay!

One of my favorite homes on the tour was this two-story custom home designed by Robert N. Hill in 1963. The home features floor-to-ceiling windows, a floating staircase and a front-yard pool - what?!! Can you say "amazing"?!!

{love, love, love the floating stairs}

{By the way, this is the front yard! This is the first front-yard pool I've ever seen - love!}

{the doors lead into the living room and there's also small window for easy access to the bar - brilliant!}

{the kitchen featured tiles by Heath Ceramics - specifically "oval" from the dimensional collection}

{Darcey & me - look how cute Darcey is! She told me she was channelling Joan from Mad Men while getting dressed that morning}

Perhaps my favorite home on the tour was a two-bedroom designed by George W. Haggert back in 1964. The home featured a dropped living room, shag carpeting and some truly swoon-worthy furnishings and decor.

{many of the homes featured vintage & quality pieces mixed in with items from the likes of IKEA, like this sofa}
{knitted lab rat - available from Etsy seller Crafty Hedgehog, $125}

Another home that I adored, was that of tour co-coordinator Gretchen Steinberg (who I interview here). Built in 1961, the home was designed for a semi-retired pear farmer by the name of T.B. McCormack. Gretchen shares the home with her husband and children. The home features a mixture of quirky retro pieces and mid-century modern furniture.

{The above George Nelson Sunburst Clock was in several of the homes on the tour}

{large RCA dog aka "Nipper" and Eames Armchair}

{a pear pillow by Jonathan Adler pays homage to the original owner}

{the family's quirky sensibilities are evident from this vintage toy gun display}

Want to see more photos? Head over to the Bows & Sparrows FB page.

June 26, 2010

Love, Chaos & Dinner :: Teatro ZinZanni

Last Thursday my friend Jasmine scored two free tickets to Teatro ZinZanni in San Francisco - can you say AMAZING?! Luckily for me, she decided to invited me along as her date for the evening. Now, for those of you who may not be familiar with Teatro ZinZanni let me enlighten you. It's an incredible dinner theater held in a 100-year-old spiegeltent, which is a large tent constructed of wood and canvas and adorned with stained glass and mirrors. While guests enjoy a five-course meal they're treated to awe-inspiring performances by aerial acrobats, contortionists, singers, vertical tango dancers and more. The theme changes every three months, but it is always amazing...and well worth the steep ticket price (of course, it's even better when it's free). Photos are forbidden during the performance (so sad), but the lobby makes a fine setting for a post-show photo session. Here are a couple pics I snapped:

{the bar in the lobby}

{Jasmine posing with some merch - this was before we saw the sign saying that this was not allowed. Oops. ;)}

{me posing on a couch - pretty self explanatory really}

{below a lovely chandelier}

{art in the lobby}

{semi-creepy fortune teller}

Ferm Believer

{image from Ferm LIVING}

I absolutely love this feather wallpaper by Ferm LIVING. It certainly makes being a renter more painful than ever.

June 24, 2010

From Greer To Eternity

{image from Tory Burch}

If anyone feels like whisking me away on a fabulous vacation to Capri - I'm game. Also, I would like to have this fabulous Tory Burch Greer jacquard dress for said trip. So, if you could get this for me that would be great. I wear a size 6. Thanks. Ciao!

Bird is the Word

{image from joepapendick}

I am absolutely crazy about these hand-crafted hanging bird feeders by St. Louis-based Etsy seller Joe Papendick. I especially love the berry pink color - although the feeders come in a slew of other totally covetable colors as well. The welded steel bird feeders are 12 inches in diameter, feature perching rods and also have a removable screen for easy cleaning. I love, love, love these! Nicely done, Joe.

June 22, 2010

Fringe Benefits :: Win a $25 Gift Card to Fringe

{Audrey Wells, proprietress of Fringe}

Ok, so I've decided that I'm going to start spotlighting boutique owners, or at least those who own and operate shops that I simply love. First on my list was Audrey Wells, the proprietress of Fringe, a Sacramento-based boutique that features new items as well as one-of-a-kind antique finds. The shop has often been compared to the popular chain Anthropologie, but I find Fringe to be far more unique and affordable. Not to say that I don't love me some Anthropologie - it's just that I can only afford items in that little corner tucked way in back (come on, ladies - you know what I'm talking about!).

At any rate, I contacted Audrey, who was more than thrilled to do the interview and even offered to donate a $25 gift card to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment. Simple as pie. Oh, and if you want to enter twice, make sure to follow Fringe on Twitter - and leave a comment here telling me you do! Deadline to enter is Sunday, June 27th. As for my interview with Audrey, read on.

{dress forms, gilded mirrors, soaps and candles - just some of the items in the shop}

Bows & Sparrows: How long has Fringe been in business?

Audrey: We celebrated our two-year anniversary in May.

{don't even think about purchasing that blue pillow - it's mine!}

B&S: What's your favorite part of owning the boutique?

Audrey: Probably the diversity of what I do, and the interaction. This is a really dynamic area and it draws so many different kinds of people. I never know what's going to happen on any given day - it's really exciting. The stuff that I carry seems to really draw in that type of diversity, and the items in here end up reflecting the people shopping here.

B&S: Where do you get your merchandise from?

Audrey: I go to flea markets in California and other states; sometimes it's from my personal collection - things that I've picked up from my travels, that I've decided to move along; estate sales; thrift stores.

B&S: How would you describe the style of the shop?

Audrey: Eclectic, enigmatic, exotic and evolving. People come in and ask me if the shop is a boutique, if it's a furniture store, a clothing store, if it's new, if it's old - well, yeah, it's all of the above.

B&S: Do you ever have a hard time letting go of something?

Audrey: I have things in the store that are for my entertainment only - including a little red dog that a homeless person gave me for Christmas one year, and I'm not parting with it. People have offered to give me a lot of money for it, but some things just aren't for sale. I'm not a total hoarder, but there are some things that I get attached to - things that have a special meaning to me.

Find Fringe at 2409 21st Street in Sacramento, CA or online here, here and here. Oh, and you can call the shop at 916.706.0216.

June 21, 2010

Art Happens :: The Sketchbook Project

Calling all artists! There is a really cool art project going on right now called the Sketchbook Project, wherein thousands of artists from around the globe will fill Moleskine Cahier sketchbooks with their unique works. Each artist must select a theme from a predetermined list, which includes: storybook, in flight, nightmare, happy thoughts and face in the crowd. The artists then have until January 15th, 2011 to complete and submit their work.
After receiving all the completed sketchbooks, the collection will embark on a six-city tour before landing at The Brooklyn Art Library, where they will remain part of the permanent collection. Each sketchbook will feature a barcode, enabling the artist to track how many times their book is pulled from the shelf (pretty cool, huh?).
The cost to participate in the project is $25, which includes a 5.5" x 8.5" Moleskine Cahier sketchbook. Sign up before October 31st to participate! Below are a couple of examples from past sketchbooks.
{pages from sketchbook by Ken McCarthy}
{pages from sketchbook by Rachel Anilyse}

{pages from sketchbook by Kate Castelli}

June 20, 2010

Win A Poem

Yesterday, while shopping in the Mission, I stumbled upon these adorable trade tokens by Leafcutter Designs. They were only a buck a piece, and made me smile so I picked up a few. Who knows who I'll end up giving them to - perhaps a friend, a passerby on the street or maybe one of my readers.

In fact, if you're interested in winning a poem written by me, leave me a comment along with one word to get me started on my poem. I'll pick one reader to write a poem for (just know I can't promise it'll be any good). Then, I'll send you your poem along with a trade token that reads "good for one poem." Just remember, if you win, you have to pass the token along - which means you'll be writing a poem, too!

Leave your comment before Wednesday, June 23rd for a chance to win. Good luck!

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there - especially mine! For the longest time, I never really felt like I knew my dad that well - as my parents split when I was pretty young and my dad moved around a lot. Then, my dad gave me the best gift ever. He gave me homemade coupons (yup, my dad got crafty!) redeemable for sections of his autobiography. Now, every three months I get a letter from him that is chock-full of funny and heart-wrenching stories about his childhood and life. It's seriously the best gift I've ever received. Thanks, dad!

June 19, 2010

Best. Day. Ever.

I suppose it's consider "in bad form" to be a braggart, but after the day I've had I simply can't resist - sorry. Oh, and I totally understand if you want to stop reading right now, but if you're intrigued, please continue on.

It all started bright and early this morning, when Darcey (aka Gal Friday) and I hit the road for San Francisco to take our first letterpress class. The class was taught by the ever-so-talented Jordan Ferney (of Oh Happy Day!), and was held in the studio she shares with her artist husband, Paul Ferney. Jordan was super sweet and did a great job giving us a truncated history of the letterpress as well as showing us her first letterpress attempt (which really wasn't that embarrassing). Then, she gave us all a play-by-play of how to use a letterpress before setting us off to give it a whirl. I love, love, loved the class - and now I have 250 Bows and Sparrows business cards that I designed and printed myself. Yay!

Jordan was gracious enough to permit me to snap away during class - and, being the shutterbug that I am, that's just what I did. Here are just some of the many photos I took:

{Jordan's letterpress, a Vandercook 4}

{Darcey takes the helm}

{My turn to give it a whirl - by the way, I totally made that apron from pillowcases about 10 years ago.}

{Jordan's corner of the studio}

{Close up of Jordan's inspiration board}

Ok, so you probably think that the letterpress class was all I had to brag about, but wait, there's more! Darcey and I also got to see our friend Brian, who joined us for some coffee at Ritual and a little shopping in the Mission - where I scored these awesome arrow earrings! Yup, still bragging.

At any rate, we said our goodbyes to Brian and headed off to 4th Street in Berkeley to meet my lovely friend Jasmine (see below).

{Jasmine and me, pre churros}

See, here we are together, right before we ate some delicious churros. I have pictures of us eating the churros, but found them to be a little too suggestive - if you catch my drift.

Think I'm done bragging? Not even close! Next, I get a phone call from a little lady by the name of Vanya, who happens to be one of my favorite people, ever. At any rate, she is on 4th Street coming to find us, and she does. Thus rounding out the: Best. Day. Ever.

{Jasmine, Vanya and me - I seriously love these ladies}
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