Recent Posts

Friday, March 29, 2013

Beach Glass and Tu-tu's? Art Is The Connection And Common Ground

 West Coast Connections and The List!

I have been heard to say that life is all about connections.... how we connect, where we connect and why we should connect.  The past month has definitely been about connections.  Some of which were planned, and then, some of which that were not.  How wonderful.

It began on a plane to the San Francisco area.  My husband had a week of business there and the change in our virtual piggy bank became my ticket for an adventure.

Now I had been out to the SF Bay area several times before, but this time I was had a list and I was on a mission.  After replacing an all weather SF tourist jacket of many years, I finally ate the Dungeness crabs that I had craved since the last visit, and tanked up on the chocolate from the Ghiradelli Ice Cream Parlour.  Ah, zillions of calories later and those tasks complete, I was ready for the one day of wine and ART in Napa Valley.  Yes, I said only one day.  There was much more on my list this time....

I really, really wanted to visit a little corner of the world called Benecia, just north and to the east of SF.  There are beaches there, reported to have oodles and oodles of beach glass.  I was ready to find beach glass treasure, and I had stashed the baggies in my pockets to haul it!  

Benecia is also where my art sisters from the Art Is You Retreat have been, hosting an amazing intensive series of workshops,  and also where dozens of artists now live, work and play.  I understand that a long time ago Benecia was a major operational military arsenal for our west coast.  I  think the armory and barracks now serve a better purpose. the middle of an awesome sunny day in Benecia, I found Carrie Campbell Clayden and her oh so fabulous art studio and retail space, Hip Chicks StudioDone in true Californian style, the shabby chic nest of everything glitzy, ruffly, white washed and romantic lived there.  Okay, I wanted to live there too.... 

Carrie, thank you for spending time with me, showing me around, and jumping up and down for joy in our Tu-tu's that day.  So glad we "connected" Here are some pictures of our Oh, SO FUN day!


Oh, and about the beach glass.  Well, yes there was glass on the beach.... but not so much wave action.  As a result most of the old glass had washed ashore but was still in shard form.  Pretty but also pretty sharp.  I had a helper guy  ; )  and we picked through lots for at least one baggie!!

 Another part of my trip found me in Berkeley California for a jaunt down 4th Street to where there was a beautiful stained glass store called the Stained Glass Garden.  Ou La, what wonderful art and classes they offered there!

Also, along 4th Street was a super duper scrapbook supply store called Scrapbook Territory....which said it all!  
My feet just walked right in, dragging my purse along with them!!  However, the greatest prize was not found in the many stamps and papers there actually, it was in meeting a kindred spirit, and teacher, Carine RosenblattI was drawn to her table as she prepared a mixed media class for her students.  Carine had been to Art Is....You in Petaluma California before.  We chatted in usual art sister fashion!!  I told her all about us East Coast gals at Stamford, CT  in the Art Is.. Retreat there each fall.  We are now "connected"  as bff's on FB.  hehehe.

Finally, another important, but unexpected stop on this journey was in Palo Alto.  Along California Ave is a small but sassy consignment shop called The Bargain Box.  I had to stop, I just had to!!
Inside, I found a few treasures to make for my shotgun shell bracelet classes....some repurposed belts.  I also found Maggie Peterson!  Maggie was an artist too that volunteered at the shop.  How luck for us to "connect" there and to share a bit about each others lives.  Maggie told me about Asilomar and about the art retreats and classes there.  It is also where Art & SOul events had occurred in the past.  Thank you Maggie for sharing and taking time to chat! 

The List:  

buy a SF touristy jacket - check
eat crabs and die eating chocolate- check
find the wine and cheese and beauty of two favorite Napa Valley wineries- check
meet the beautiful and talented Carrie Campbell Clayden (and dance in Tu-tu's) - check
collect the beach glass- check (well sorta)
find fellow art sisters along the way- check   

West Coast Mission complete : )