Saturday, June 18, 2011

playing with monkeys

Arashiyama Monkey Park in western Kyoto is better than any zoo because the animals are entirely free. In fact, we human visitors have to stay on our toes and not invite aggression from the monkeys. Visitors are sternly warned not to look the monkeys in the eye as it is seen as a challenge, and can cause monkeys to attack. The monkeys get into frequent tussles with each other.

I really felt as though I was transported into another world, surrounded by monkeys who were unfazed by human presence. Because they are not caged, they scamper around freely getting into whatever antics they want, unlike the decidedly depressed-looking animals at zoos.

In a quieter, less visited area of the park, I delighted in observing a baby monkey who was alternatively discovering the world, how to walk and climb, and clinging to its parent.

In addition to its delightful primate inhabitants, the park also boasted beautiful views of Kyoto.

This monkey was quite possessive of the viewfinder, and chased other monkeys away from it until a park ranger shooed it off.

I had so much fun recording this little one's capering about.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall/Holiday Shows

As the weather turns cooler and I start daydreaming about scarf patterns, it's also becoming the season for holiday craft shows. These are the ones we're already signed up for, and we'll update with additional fairs as they come.

Holiday Indie Mart
Sun, Nov 7
Three Parkside at 17th St and Wisconson, San Francisco, CA

Reclaimed Legacies: A Holiday Vintage Craft Show
Sat, Nov 13
Petaluma Women's Club, 518 B St. between 5th and 6th Sts, Petaluma, CA

Bazaar Bizarre Holiday Show
Sat and Sun, Dec 11 & 12
Sat 12-5pm, Sun 12-6pm
Fort Mason Center (Herbst Pavilion), San Francisco, CA

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Line of Bouquet Necklaces

I had great fun playing with colors, shapes, and sizes of flower cabochons to create this line. These necklaces are bold and impossible to ignore. Each necklace is also one of a kind.

Vintage yellow lucite beads and flowers in coral, grey, seafoam, blush, and white:

A necklace inspired by the rain and clouds of my favorite city, Portland, Oregon. Flowers in shades of blue, grey, and white:

A rainbow array of petite flowers:

Feminine pinks, corals, fuchsias, and creams:

Big, bold aquamarine flowers:

Soft, petite pastels complemented by one or two brighter shades of color:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


     I recently reread Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy and was just as blown away as I was the first time I read it.

     Few authors impress me as much as Sanderson does. His stories have heart and humanity, and are engagingly written with astounding creative plot twists and turns.

     Here's the premise of Mistborn:

     The tyrannical Lord Ruler has been God/King of the world since he defeated the mythical Deepness a thousand years ago. When he Ascended to his powers, he changed the world. The sun turned red, ash started to continuously fall from the sky, and night mists became a powerful, threatening presence.

     The former thief lord Kelsier conceives a plan to overthrow the immortal Lord Ruler, and enlists a team of Allomancers to assist him. Allomancers have the power to burn metal in their bodies for specific powers: for example, pewter for strength, zinc to enflame others' emotions, and iron to pull on nearby metals.

    Kelsier's youngest and only female recruit, Vin, quickly becomes the heart of the story. A child of the streets, at sixteen Vin has been abandoned by father, mother, and brother, and knows not trust nor love. Her latent Allomantic powers catch Kelsier's attention and in grooming her to be a powerful Allomancer and contributor to the team, he also gives her a family and a home that she can trust for the first time.

     The magics of the Mistborn world unfold through Sanderson's words like the best fantasy action movie you've never seen. The characters feel refreshingly alive and whole, unlike so many hack fantasy novel stereotypes. Perhaps the most fun part about reading this trilogy is rereading it and realizing how many hints Sanderson dropped that you missed on the first couple of readings. His crafty, clever style can only be truly appreciated upon repeated immersions in the world of Mistborn.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Salad for People Who Don't Like Salad

I don't like salad and I don't like salad dressing. I'm also not into time-consuming cooking, what with the prep and clean up. How, then, to convince myself to eat healthy?

Start with a big bowl of greens (2 cups is a serving). We buy the tub of mixed greens or baby romaine, and just throw it in the bowl.

Sprinkle cherry tomatoes on top. These are sweeter than regular tomatoes, which make the salad more appealing to my particular taste buds. They also don't require any slicing or chopping!

Rip up some deli turkey breast (honey roasted and hickory smoked are some of my favorites) into bite sized pieces and sprinkle on top. I find that adding some meat keeps me fuller longer.

Instead of salad dressing, which is so fattening it negates the point of eating salad, I cut half an avocado into bite sized chunks and throw them in. They're creamy and tasty, and you won't miss the dressing. Avocados aren't exactly low fat, but they're nutritious and high in fiber, which lowers cholesterol.

A sprinkle of shredded low-fat mozzarella can add a little dairy to your day too.

Shredded carrots, sliced celery, cucumber disks, raw bean sprouts, hard boiled egg whites (throw out the cholesterol-laden yolks), boiled sweet green peas, a sprinkle of chopped peanuts, and so on can all add some variety to salad. Flavor variety is good, but nutritional variety is even better.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


We had a grand old time in Portland last week, and I wrote reviews of many of the restaurants and shops we visited on Yelp. We can't wait to go back!

A few highlights:

We enjoyed traversing Portland's many bridges across the Willamette River toll-free (a seeming miracle to Californians).

We appreciated the lush, verdant, profusion of nature in and around the city and visible from nearly every spot in the city.

We loved that despite the abundance of interesting things to see and do packed into a small city, it did not feel cramped.

No sales tax is a wondrous thing.

Never have we seen or even heard of a food cart culture like Portland's. In the SF Bay, I doubt I have ever seen a non-Mexican food cart. I didn't know there were non-Mexican food carts. Portland sure did show me what I was missing.

If we lived here we would see live music for cheap or free all the time. The city has a plethora of tiny music venues, which is exactly the kind we love to frequent. And a bustling music scene.

If we lived here we would become bicyclers. Right now we ride our bikes about twice a year. But because everything is so close by in Portland, it's practical to ride one's bike as a mode of transportation and not just as a leisure activity. The frequent rain and bicycling don't really mix though.

Don't try to pump your own gas anywhere in Oregon. It's illegal and gas station attendants will chastise you.

The drive down highway 5 was gorgeous, show stopping, majestic. At least the Oregon portion of it is; when you get to California, it suddenly becomes brown and drab.

We're so happy that we went on this little road trip. It was the perfect celebration for my successful thesis defense and completion of my M.A.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer Craft Shows Added

We are delighted to announce a couple more summer shows in our line up!

This Saturday, June 26, we'll be at the Artist Market at the Blue Macaw. Location is 2565 Mission St, San Francisco CA. Time is noon to 6pm. 50 awesome local vendors.

Also Sunday July 18 we'll make our sophomore appearance at Indie Mart at 1600 17th St, San Francisco, CA. Time is also noon to 6pm. Around 75 awesome local vendors, plus live bands, workshops, beer, DJ's, food, and fun.

On Saturday August 7 we'll be at the Knit One One Craft Sale. Location is 3360 Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA. Time is 10am - 4pm. About 12 hand-selected crafty vendors selling our wares at the beautiful Knit One One Studio.

And finally, on Sunday August 22 you can find us at the Rock Make Street Festival. Location is Treat Ave & 18th St., San Francisco, CA. Time is 11am - 6pm. Over 100 crafty vendors, plus lots of live music. 

We'll update with more shows as they get added!