October 29, 2009

Thursday Photo Assignment: Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat, everyone! Hope you all have a very festive Halloween. Next week's photo theme is: "the road". Please send your pics to smartsandcrafts@gmail.com before next Thursday!

Derek's photo

Lauren's photo

Lise's photo

Jonathan's photo

Aurora's photo

Beth's photo

Tony's photo

October 23, 2009

Thursday Photo Assignment: Sticks & Stones

Oops! All day yesterday I was walking around thinking it was Wednesday, and I completely forgot to post our "sticks & stones" photo assignment! Here they are....

Oh and PS- next week's photo assignment is "trick or treat", in honor of Halloween and our new gallery show. Send 'em over to smartsandcrafts@gmail.com and they will be posted next Thursday. Promise!

Derek's photo

Lauren's photo

Karen's photo

Jonathan's photo

Beth's photo

Lise's photo

Joelle's photo

Christine's photo

Audrey's photo

Aurora's photo

October 22, 2009

Passport Event at the Shoppe this Saturday!

We are very excited to be one of the local merchants participating in the San Francisco Arts Commission's Passport 2009 event in the Mission this weekend. It's a great way to support the arts in San Francisco and the perfect opportunity to meet many of the most talented and exciting artists working in the Bay Area right now. There's tons of information below, but basically this is how it works: 12 awesome artists will be hanging out in 12 locations around the neighborhood this Saturday from noon to 4pm (artists and locations listed below). You purchase a special moleskine "passport" and are given a map indicating the various locations around the Mission. Then you tour around the neighborhood collecting the special stamps each artist has created for the event in your passport.

Passport 2009
Saturday, October 24, noon–4 p.m.
Passport 2009 home base: Mission Playground, Valencia between 19th & 20th (directly across the street from the Curiosity Shoppe).
Stamps located at various locations in the Mission District, San Francisco
Pick up a map, purchase a passport, or bring family and friends to relax on the lawn and enjoy a hot dog and soda. Nice.

Participating Artists: Libby Black, Michelle Blade, Lisa Congdon, Maria Forde, Colter Jacobsen, Veronice De Jesus, Sean McFarland, Barry McGee, Tucker Nichols, Maria Proges, Clare Rojas, Andrew Schoultz, Marci Washington

Participating Locations: Aquarius Records, Bombay Ice Cream Company, Paxton Gate, 826 Valencia, Mission Pie, Box Dog Bikes, Needles & Pens, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, Casa Sanchez Restaurant, Dynamo Donuts & Coffee, Curiosity Shop, Schmidt’s. Click here for a map of the locations.

How to Buy a Passport
Passports are $25. Available NOW at locations including the SFAC Gallery, Electric Works Gallery, Silverman Gallery, Rare Device and at the Passport 2009 kick-off party or you can buy Passports online by clicking here or here! Passports may also be purchased the day of the event, at Passport 2009 home base, located at the Mission Playground, (enter on Valencia between 19th & 20th).

Passport 2009 is organized by the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. Proceeds from the event go toward the SFAC Gallery’s Programming Fund, which supports artist honoraria and exhibition costs.

October 17, 2009

Making stuff at home that you can buy at the store

It's no secret that while we love living in the city, we have dreams of someday moving to the country and learning how to live off the land. In an ideal world, we'd figure out a way to enjoy country life without giving up our connection to the culture, art and community that we love so much about urban life, but for now the best we can do is embrace the city while learning as much as can about the art of making things at home. First step: cooking.

We are fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood that is chock-full of amenities, including some of the nicest restaurants in San Francisco. We live within walking-distance of some of our very favorite places to eat, which means we eat out... a lot. There is an appreciation for food in this town that we've never experienced anywhere else, and the opportunities to enjoy incredible produce and artisanal meats, dairy products and prepared foods are plenty. Of course once you have tasted the amazing flavor of $6 yogurt and $8 preserves, it's really difficult to go back to the bland, watery stuff that comes from the supermarket. And so we have started making stuff at home, which is not only educational, fun and rewarding, but even MORE delicious than the fancy stuff from the local market.

Aside from home-grown honey, which we have been enjoying for a year now, we roast coffee beans at home, make yogurt and granola weekly, and have recently been experimenting with bread, sauces and preserves. Since we don't have our own garden, we happily accept donations from the bounty of our families' gardens, which have provided us with pounds of apricots, apples, tomatoes and squash over the past year.

Making yogurt is ridiculously easy. We take a quart of milk, put it in a saucepan and heat it up to 180º. Then we let it cool down slowly to 110º, stir in a tablespoon or two of yogurt from a previous batch, and let it sit overnight, maintaining a temperature of 110º. Our stovetop has gas burners with pilot lights that are always on, so we just put the hot milk/yogurt mixture in a jar, and place it in a cast iron skillet on a burner. By the next morning, we have yogurt! You could also place your jar in the stove or in a cooler filled with warm water.

The super delicious and super simple granola recipe came from my Mom, and you can download it here.

Derek orders a few pounds of green beans from Sweet Maria's every couple months, and at around $6/pound for pretty much the best beans around (our current favorite is a Yirga Cheffe from Ethiopia), you can't go wrong. The roasting takes about 10-15 minutes per batch, and he roasts them in our "coffee" table in the living room every couple weeks.

My sister let us fill up a bag of tomatoes from her garden last weekend, which we turned into an amazing tomato sauce with the help of a KitchenAid strainer attachment that we borrowed from Leigh & Andrew. Derek cooked down the tomatoes, which we ran through the strainer and then thickened up with some onions and spices. Delicious!

October 15, 2009

Thursday Photo Assignment: Curl

Here are the curl photos of the week! I love 'em!! Next week's theme is: "sticks & stones". Please email your pics to: smartsandcrafts@gmail.com before next Thursday!

Derek's photo

Lauren's photo

Lise's photo

Jacqueline's photo

Tony's photo

Beth's photo

Leigh's photo

Aurora's photo

Jonathan's photo

Lydia's photo


How excited are we to be hosting an art show by our friends from Treatzone, Sandy & Matthew Davis? (And how lucky are we that we get to be friends with so many of the talented artists and designers whose work graces the walls and shelves of our little shoppe??) Next weekend they will be in the shoppe gallery installing their show, Trick-or-Treatzone (just in time for Halloween!), and we would love for you to join us at their opening reception a week from this Friday. I promise we will have candy corn. And maybe even mini-Snickers. Here are the details:

Spooky new work by:
Sandy Lynn & Matthew Davis (aka Treatzone)

October 20-November 22, 2009

Opening Reception:
Friday, October 23rd
at The Curiosity Shoppe
855 Valencia Street, SF

Sneaky peeks of some of their artwork below...

A little more time for "curl"...

We are heading out early this morning to speak at our friend's "professional practice" class at Cal State East Bay, so I'll be posting this week's photo assignment later on today, hopefully around 4pm or so. This gives you a little more time to submit a "curl" photo! In the meantime, here's some inspiration from one of my favorite photographers, Karl Blossfeldt.

October 14, 2009

Shoppe Correspondence

One of my favorite things about owning a store is getting to work with all of my favorite artists and designers, who will sometimes even say YES when you ask them to create custom designs for your shoppe. Case in point: our new awesome shoppe correspondence cards, courtesy of the über-talented Rose Lazar of The Great Lakes. These postcards are handprinted on chip board, and I can't wait to start sending them out!

Tour Guides!

Last month we were thrilled to be featured in the SF Chronicle's "On the Town" column, where local residents are asked to list their favorite spots to visit, eat, shoppe, etc. in the Bay Area. You can click here to check out our entire list, which includes the Randall Museum, Yamo, and the Headlands Center for the Arts.

Unfortunately we weren't at the shoppe on Sunday, but evidently a group of people came by to let us know that they were out visiting every single place on our list! We couldn't be more honored, and we hope they had the time of their lives!!

October 13, 2009

Fall/Winter Wardrobe

This season I am challenging myself to make any and all new additions to my wardrobe, in an effort to learn better sewing techniques and save a little money. It's frustrating that buying yarn and fabric sometimes ends up costing more than purchasing new clothes, but I found that with some extra hunting, bargains can be found! Then there's the question of whether or not you'll be satisfied with the end result, whether or not it will fit, etc etc etc... but I've come to terms with the fact that this is a learning process, and if you accidentally sew the zipper to the bottom of the skirt (which I did) and it takes more time ripping it out than it did to sew it in, that's just part of the JOY of making things for yourself.

Owl Sweater

The pattern for this sweater was a free download from this website, and I found some natural wool at our local yarn store for real cheap. Only had to purchase two skeins, and I have a ton leftover. It was fairly easy to knit, and I learned how to make short rows in the process! As soon as I sewed the button eyes onto the owls, I really fell in love with it.

Denim Skirt w/ Pockets

The fabric for this skirt was leftover from our shower curtain project, and the design came from an old Butterick pattern of my Mom's from the '70s. In my opinion, all dresses and skirts should have pockets, so I was really excited when I came across this pattern in my stash. The best part about making this skirt was the $2 invisible zipper foot I bought that actually worked. My first invisible zipper! It's a miracle and I can't believe I never tried using one before.

Red Cape w/ Hood

I've been wanting a woolly red cape for a little while, and thought I'd finally be able to afford the 2.5 yards of fabric during the last day of our local fabric store's 40% off sale, but $25/yard was still too pricey, even with the discount. Fortunately though, I was able to find two identical scraps of red wool in the remnant stack for $8/yard. I took about 6" off the bottom and sewed button holes instead of attaching loops like the pattern suggested. Looks like I might end up being Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween this year...

Working For the Weekend!

I know it's early in the week, but I can't help mentioning how excited I am about this weekend. There are two events coming up that I've been looking forward to all year.

The first is the Grand Opening of Southern Exposure's new home here in the Mission. For those of you not familiar with SoEx, it is the most innovative, generous, exciting, inspiring, active, and amazing arts organization in the Bay Area (and beyond). I've had the honor of serving on the board for a while now and I'm constantly amazed at how incredibly important SoEx is to artists and the arts community here in San Francisco. Look around, if you see something cool happening in the arts, chances are SoEx has something to do with it.

We're celebrating SoEx's gorgeous new space (and 35th Anniversary!) with a 2-day extravaganza. Friday is the Member's preview party and first look at the inaugural exhibition "Bellwether" featuring an all-star lineup of amazing artists from the Bay Area. There will be tons of free food and drink from some of San Francisco's most delicious restaurants. I highly encourage people to come to this very, very special event. If you're already a member, See You There!!, if not, you can easily sign up right here, right now. You can also join Friday at the door. It's $50 ($30 for artists) and there are tons of great advantages of becoming a member (including a very special gift of a limited edition poster created by Jason Munn of The Small Stakes!!!), and there's never been a better time, or reason to join. On Saturday we'll be opening our doors to everyone! We're blocking off the street to continue the celebration with lots more food and drink for sale from the neighborhood's famous street cart vendors. We'll be there both days, hope to see you too!!

Sunday, we're heading out to the Treasure Island Music Festival! It's the best curated music event of the year, and we're huge fans of every band on the bill. We're especially excited to see our friends Thao (of Thao with the Get Down Stay Down) and Tommy Guerrero. They're amazingly talented and always, always, always blow us away. So excited!!!

October 11, 2009

Zen and the art of the home haircut

In these tough economic times, we've had to scale back on some of the luxuries we have grown accustomed to, which for us includes visits to the salon. Monthly for Derek, and every couple months for me. I've tried cutting D's hair at home before, but never touched the top, for fear that I'd leave a big gaping hole in it or end up cutting off way too much. This week I finally felt confident enough to give it a try, and I'm happy to report that it was a success! (Thank goodness he has such thick hair...)

D's hair, pre-haircut

D's hair, post-haircut

My rules were as follows:
- Don't say "oops", no matter what happens
- Cut a little at a time, and go back to trim more if it's not enough
- Don't get overzealous with the electric trimmers

It probably would have helped if I'd watched a how-to video or two beforehand, but then again my false sense of confidence proved to be enough! I'll do a little research before the next cut, though. For myself, I've decided to let my hair grow out again, with an occasional at home bang-trim every few weeks. We'll see what happens... (Cut to photos of both of us in 6 months with long, shaggy hair...)

October 09, 2009

Bee Boyz

For any of you out there who share our love, wonder, and enthusiasm for bees and beekeeping....here's a real treat. Man, how much better would our little video have been if we had rapped over it...??

(via mental floss)

October 08, 2009

Thursday Photo Assignment: Point

Another amazing collection this week! Thanks to everyone who sent in a photo! Next week's theme is: "curl". As always, please email your photos to: smartsandcrafts@gmail.com before next Thursday if you'd like to participate.

Derek's photo

Lauren's photo

Tony's photo

Jonathan's photo

Lise's photo

Lydia's photo

Kalli's photo

Leigh's photo

Caroline's photo