November 29, 2010
A glimpse of our holiday card.
There’s a beautiful 2011 calendar on the back.
Come in to pick up one of your very own.
If you didn’t recognize the handiwork, this card was made by the same wonderful company that produces our business cards.
Boy, do we love these guys.
Night Owl Paper Goods.
November 29, 2010
These exquisite ornaments (made from glossy magazine pages and glitter!) speak for themselves!
Enjoy these photos and come in and snatch one up ($9-$13/each) while they’re still available.
We are SO grateful to the very talented Alicia from Brazenwench Workshop for allowing us to sell her beautiful creations in the shop.
November 22, 2010
A few images from our selection of holiday goodies...
November 18, 2010
Last night I attended another city-sponsored event.
This was a wine and hors d’oeuvres affair at Tyler Florence’s shop in downtown Mill Valley put on by the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce.
It was the November mixer for the Chamber and, as a new business member I felt it was my civic duty to attend and participate in our business community to both network with other business owners and contribute to the retail vibrancy of our city.
Actually, they had me at wine.
But no matter what got my tired feet through the door, I was glad I went.
Here are all the good things that happened:
1. I remembered to bring our business cards.
2. I knew four people there! Two of them happened to be the parents of one of our employees and I got the chance to gush about her a little bit.
3. The wine was wonderful.
4. I allowed myself to be peer-pressured into standing up in front of the crowd to say a few words about Once Around.
No one boo-ed when I introduced myself and I remembered to mention our free coffee.
5. I won a prize! In the raffle! The first winner of the prize had already left, so I was the grateful runner-up recipient of 2 tickets to the Marin Singers’ holiday concert!
I felt very grown up.
November 16, 2010
Last night, I went to an open house at the public library.
Hosted by the City of Mill Valley, its purpose was to educate us, the public, on the proposed changes to Miller Avenue. The event was of special interest to me as Miller Avenue is the main drag of town and the street our store just happens to call home.
For those unfamiliar with the area, Mill Valley has at least 2 major retail areas. Miller Avenue is one and “downtown” is the other.
“Downtown” is a place filled with bustling pedestrian traffic every day of the week - strollers, dogs, mountain bikes, retirees or the independently wealthy? all wandering around its 3 coffee shops, toddler-filled plaza and array of cute boutiques.
Miller Avenue, on the other hand, has a slightly different character. Cars regularly race down the street, presumably on an emergency mission to Whole Foods, and it can take a bit of patience/luck to cross the street safely. The sidewalks are inconsistent in this part of town and for that reason, we don’t get much “foot traffic.” Businesses here tend to be more functional, i.e. places to do errands.
And while our shop doesn’t necessarily fall into that category, we are very lucky to be considered a “destination” spot for a lot of shoppers (I need to go to Once Around and buy some glitter!), AND we have over a dozen on-site parking spaces.
Other boutiques are not as fortunate and could benefit from an increase in wandering pedestrians. The City of Mill Valley, it seems, agrees and is eager to help.
From what I could gather, the focus of the plan is to create a more neighborhood-y feel to the street. Wider, more easily accessed sidewalks and bike lanes, more trees and more parking. Sounds good to me.
But not, it seems, to at least one of my fellow business owners. He is opposed to the proposal, as he’s worried that parking and access to his shop will actually be reduced as a result of this plan. Hmmmm.....
It will be interesting to watch the process unfold in this wonderful community of involved citizens with strong opinions.
And I will most definitely keep you posted.
November 15, 2010
This one is called “Holiday with Matthew Mead” and you are unlikely to find it on any magazine racks.
More a “book-a-zine” than simple magazine, Matthew says it is all about “celebrating and offering inspiration for the Christmas season.” And that it does!
A self-published venture, Mead sells “Holiday” directly to customers via his website only...or we have several copies for sale here at the store.
November 12, 2010
We’ve stumbled upon what we are predicting will be this year’s quick, cheap and easy holiday gift.
It’s the Wyvern Lace Kerchief. Pattern by Gabi Bolland.
Depending on your knitting experience, this project may look difficult but it’s really, really not.
Knit stitches, purl stitches, some increases and decreases and that’s it.
Get over your lace phobia. Seriously. Don’t even call it “lace” if it makes you nervous. It’s just some knitting with holes in it.
It gets better. The yarn used in the pattern is Frog Tree’s Alpaca Sport Melange.
We just happen to have every color of this yarn and we sell it for $7.50/skein. And less than one skein is needed.
The pattern costs $5.
For the math-challenged, that means you can complete this beautiful and expensive-looking project for around $13 ($12.50 plus California state tax).
But wait! There’s more!
The entire pattern is 56 rows.
Perfectly do-able over a couple of afternoons....like say, a weekend.
So, how many do you think you can make before Christmas?
p.s. The pattern calls for adding beads to the “tips” of the kerchief. We didn’t have the right kind on hand, so we skipped that part. Looks pretty great both ways, we think.
November 10, 2010
Classes? Yep. We’ve got ‘em. And they are all perfect for beginners.
Sign up soon, though. Space seems to go quickly for these great teachers.
Click on the title of the class to download a PDF of the official class flyer.
COLLAGE & PAPER CRAFTS CLASSES by Virginia Simpson-Magruder
Make That Gift Special! Workshop - Collage Gift Bags and Boxes Using Recycled Holiday Cards • December 13, 3:30-5:00 pm
Express Yourself! Workshop - The Magical Medium of Altered Books and Journals • November 20, 12:30-2:30 pm
SEWING WORKSHOPS by Sarah Baker & Chris O’Keefe
Introduction to Pattern Sewing for Adults - Make a Pair of PJs • November 21 OR December 12, 1:00-3:30 pm
Introduction to Sewing for Adults - Stitch a Tea Towel • December 3 OR December 10, 7:00-9:30 pm
Sewing Workshop for Teens - Make Your Own Messenger Bag • December 11, 1:00-3:30 pm
November 10, 2010
While we are thrilled to announce that much (but not all) of our Christmas stuff is out on display,
we pause briefly today in honor of Thanksgiving and its selection of cozy craft supplies.
November 08, 2010
November 05, 2010
As much as we try, either we can keep up with this blog or we can make the store look nice. Not both apparently.
This week, the store won. The looming holidays may have something to do with it.
Take down and put away Halloween. Put out Thanksgiving briefly. And now, get ready for you-know-what.
To add to the workload, we decided to beef up our knitting section by about 100%, add a shelving unit to the fine arts section to store art pads of various types and sizes (for watercolor, acrylic, drawing, etc.) and design 2 new ads! All good things, but time-consuming.
Since we obviously haven’t had time to take any new photos lately either, we’ll leave you with a shot from the “Goodbye Party” we held this summer for two beloved employees who left for college this fall. It’s been a lifetime since this summer...
With Thanksgiving (and the possibility of seeing these fantastic girls again!) on the horizon, we can’t help but reminisce.
We love you and miss you, Sammy & Isabelle!
November 01, 2010
We’re easing ourselves into the world of bookbinding.
Having never done it ourselves, we’re fumbling a bit to assemble all of the correct supplies, but here’s what we have so far....
All photos from MacPherson’s
heavy duty awls
...and a few kits which include complete materials and instructions.
On order: bookcloth and bookboard.
Do you have any experience with bookbinding? If so, we would love to hear from you. What are your favorite products?