Fire Recovery

The fires that ravaged Sonoma County have been contained, but there is a long road of rebuilding ahead. Here is a list of organizations and institutions whose funds will be used in the local community. Links range from RCU’s general fund to several more specific funds in my fields of interest or otherwise close to my heart. Particularly as we get into the giving season ahead, please consider making a donation to one or more of these funds. Thank you.

Redwood Credit Union Fire Relief Fund

Redwood Empire Food Bank

I attended both the JC and SSU and had great experiences at both. Many current students, professors and other employees have been affected by the fires.
Santa Rosa Junior College
Sonoma State University

Sonoma County is home to many undocumented immigrants, a good number of them no doubt contributing the physical labor for the “Wine Country.” Anyway, due to their status they are ineligible for some forms of assistance, and possibly reluctant to engage the system for other forms they may qualify for. UndocuFund is raising money for this population.

For the creative community
Creative Sonoma

Trail rebuilding

And spend local!
Here is a list a friend compiled of restaurants whose owners have lost their homes.
Buns & Burgers, Larkfield
China Bowl Bistro, Piner Road
El Patio, 4th St. downtown
Fandees, Sebastopol
Gio’s Pizza, Yulupa Ave (near Kirin I think)
Goji Kitchen, Mendocino Ave
Homerun Pizza, Larkfield
Jeffrey’s Hillside, 4th St. (Near the Flamingo)
KC’s American Kitchen, Windsor
Kin, Windsor
La Texanita, Sebastopol Rd
Lala’s Creamery, Petaluma
Lee’s Noodle House, Hopper Ave
Lupe’s Diner, Windsor
Mai Vietnamese, Cotati
Mel’s Fish & Chips
Pamposh, Mission Circle
Royal China, Santa Rosa
Simply Vietnam, Cleveland Ave
Sushi Hana, Sebastopol
T4 and Poke, Mendocino Ave
Tex Wasabi, Santa Rosa
The Publican, Windsor
Tipsy Taco, Santa Rosa
Toyo Sushi, Marlow Rd

Gratitude Page

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Flying Circus!

It may have been that last year’s Journey to the Moon set the bar pretty high, or that I was having different sorts of circus-y decor expectations, but I was a tad underwhelmed at first by Castle in the Air‘s Great Transformation this year – Flying Circus. But then I noticed the giant giraffe with a top hat and mistletoe, which definitely turned things around. As I wandered around I found that indeed there were plenty of circus themed items, along with lots of holiday decorations, knick-knacks and gee-gaws. Somehow they manage to have what seems to be pretty much the usual inventory of inks, pens, crepe paper, rubber stamps and craft supplies as well. So much to look at! And this year, besides the patch (which I preferred the colors on, but I’m not a patch person) and pin, they had a sticker to commemorate the Transformation. Anyway, despite the initial – not disappointment, that’s too strong – just not as HUGEWOW as last year – it was worth seeing to and I’m glad I went to check it out. Pop in if you happen to be in the area!

more pictures

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IONTW – December 10, 2017

An Advent practice.

Also celebrating the season – The Grand Transformation at Castle in the Air is complete! This year’s theme is the flying circus.

and speaking of SHINY! one hopes they mix something other than concrete with it!

New collection of National Park postcards. But go through the main page so you see the discount code. (You’re welcome.)

Not just for the dogs.

Hate to end on a sad note, but used up all the other things, and … San Jose Tofu is closing.


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IONTW – December 3, 2017

the sands of seriffe

a good thing to keep clear about which is which

vegetable and plant embroideries, paper food

more paper (although, alas for me, in Albany NY) Strathmore Paper is showing 100 years of sample and sales books.

great article about Mission Gallery, now in Cambria, CA.

also on the theme of living artists. or perhaps it’s that thing of having Something To Do keeping you going.

WOW! Stay in a library??? And what a library!

Shop Party Santa Rosa Craft Fair
North Bay Letterpress Arts Holiday Open House

mark your calendars for next Saturday, December 9 – Fire Relief Fundraiser at the Snoopy Museum! and, for those of you in Southern CA, the Dickens Holiday Celebration at the International Printing Museum

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IONTW – November 26, 2017

The Sonoma Ash Project is collecting ash samples through the end of November. Artist Gregory Roberts is working with the community to give survivors of the wildfires a new object from the remains of their homes.

next level pies

no guilty pleasures – own what you like, with awesome quote from Dave Grohl

Artist Jeremy May creates laminated jewelry from vintage books!

next weekend allthecraftsfortheholidays:
Dragonfly Floral Holiday Gift Soiree
SFCB Holiday Book Arts and Craft Fair

Saturday and Sunday:
Luther Burbank Home and Gardens Holiday Open House
Santa Rosa Handmade Holiday Crafts Fair

Shop Party Santa Rosa Craft Fair
North Bay Letterpress Arts Holiday Open House

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Museum of Ice Cream

Who am I and what have I done with the myself who doesn’t go for The Next Big Thing? Who doesn’t Believe the Hype…

And I can’t even remember how I first heard about the Museum of Ice Cream. Probably the Facebook, but then I missed getting tickets when sales opened the first go-round. I didn’t actually realize I’d missed getting tickets until I got an e-mail from one of my doppelgängers with a link to an article saying a second round of tickets was going to be released. So, for the second round I made an event on my calendar so I’d be reminded.

When the BUY TICKETS button activated (OK, a couple of times before, but they said what they meant about the time) I clicked, and (first time for me) got put in a virtual queue. (I screen shotted it to share with you, but it’s not so readable, and I won’t subject you to the whole text cut and pasted in here. You’re welcome.) Wow! I wondered if there was that much demand, or if they had undersized servers, or what. Anyway, after not all THAT long – for sure not the up to an hour that they warned of – I got to the actually buying tickets part, and there seemed to be plenty of choices for days and times.

As they said they would (preferred method), 24 hours before my ticketed time I got a text with a link to my e-ticket to display on my smart(er than me) phone. Ah the miracles of modern technology…. Day of, we actually got to the Museum before the ticketed time, but the nice man policing the line said to go ahead. We were metered in – needing to show the ticket on my phone and photo ID with a matching name. Wow, they take this seriously!

The others in our group were a family with 3 boys and a group of 5 young women celebrating the birthday of one of them. The woman who had let us all in gave us an introduction – combination explanation and pep talk – and had us choose a “team name.” No one was busting out with anything, so she voluntold the kids as “team captains” and extracted a favorite flavor (Rocky Road) and favorite animal (which I can’t remember – and made a name from that. From the flavor I would have gone with Rocky Roadrunners, but no one asked me.

Once she was done with her spiel we went downstairs to a room with ice cream factoids on one wall which we’d been instructed to read, and a liability waiver on the other, which hadn’t been mentioned. There was another audience participation (ugh, really?) with a staff member and then we were let past the barricade to the Ice Cream Vault – the building had been a bank at one point. Which, disappointingly, we did not actually get to go inside the Vault.

From there, it was, for the most part, proceed at your own pace, with the caveat that it’s a one way trip – no go backsies. Although, I didn’t actually test that. Each room had a name, and theme, with usually a bit of explanation. And yes, several of them had ice cream or other treats. The first was a Strawberry It’s-It, with a custom label with the MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM printed on it. Wonder how many you have to buy to get that!

Hmn… let’s see… can’t remember now how many time slots there were per hour, and if they said how many tickets per time slot, but… I’m sure it’s conservative – say 50 people an hour, and an 8 hour day. Yikes. 400 It’s-It … yeah that would add up after a few months. Anyway.

Many of the exhibits did rely on repetition – that point where there’s so many of a thing that it becomes a bigger Thing – and so part of my brain was always wondering about the making of it all and so many questions – how many pink letter sets are there in the alphabet room? where does one get something like that? trying to imagine ordering supplies … I’d like however many hundreds? thousands? of pounds of plastic sprinkles… and how had they decided on what rooms and what order and hmn well I suppose this is someone’s Idea of Ice Cream.

So it wasn’t pure experience and enjoyment. There was the ongoing puzzlement, and wondering about the origin of some of the rooms in the what the heck were they thinking? kind of way and jeez I hope I don’t have nightmares about giant gummi bears and O.M.G. SO. MUCH. PINK. (which I am not a fan of.)

The other thing I had to wonder about is whether something like this would exist without social media. In some ways it seemed like that was the main point – to get The Picture(s) to post that you were there/had been there. One young woman – not from our original group but that we came across later – would very carefully arrange herself in each tableaux, with the cultivated expressions to capture the blend of whatever it is you’re supposed to convey in your online persona these days. It was both fascinating and disturbing to me. Well, I suppose we all have our filters for how we interact with and experience things. I felt like I might have been overly harsh in my thinking toward her when I saw the back of her jacket – ANTI SOCIAL SOCIAL CLUB.

Not to say I didn’t enjoy it, but part of me would have rather just been making and eating ice cream. What else do you need, really? Anyway, I’m glad I went with someone so I had some sort of reality check and can assure myself I didn’t just make it all up, particularly the weirder bits. It did have some entertaining aspects, but I’m not quite sure what I was supposed to get out of it – I know, I know – celebrating ice cream, right, no Big Message – but, yeah… can’t shake the feeling it’s just a big bamboozzle, smoke and mirrors, surface glass. Well maybe that’s the metaphor there – like dessert, empty calories. Only sweets seems like a great idea, but it doesn’t really nourish you. I hadn’t really known quite what to expect, but I guess that’s another point – sometimes you just have to go and find out.


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Old Mission Santa Barbara

Which, I don’t know that there’s a New Mission Santa Barbara, but I suppose when you’ve been around since 1786 you can call yourself whatever you want. As these things go, it was established on the named saint’s day – December 4 – making it the tenth of the twenty-one California Missions. Santa Barbara is number thirteen for the ones I have visited.

The Mission Church is still an active parish and the Mission has a community of Franciscan friars. In addition to the buildings, there is a cemetery and mausoleum, and extensive gardens. Guided tours are offered, but we just went through the grounds and museum on our own. The self-guided version is easy to follow, and, like any good tourist attraction, you end up in the gift shop.

The Museum was small but well done, and had a nice selection of artifacts on display. I found the history video shown at the start a little hard to swallow though, with its repeated insistence on how the Mission was a blending of cultures and how friendly and equitable it all was between the Franciscans and the Native people. (my paraphrase)

I quite enjoyed the gardens though, and the GIANT old fig tree in the cemetery with its pitter pat of dropping figs. I later saw that there is also a La Huerta Historical Garden (tours requiring advance reservation) that includes plantings representative of the Mission era – Sonoran wheat, olives, grapes, citrus trees, bananas, sugar cane, pomegranates, peaches, guava and prickly pear. That sounds cool! Note to self if I ever get back to Santa Barbara. (Apparently there’s a carousel too, (in town somewhere, not at the Mission) which I didn’t know when we were there, although I only heard about it because it’s going to be leaving! But I digress.)

The front of the church, with the columns looks sorta fake, and, to me, doesn’t quite go with the rest of the outside of the buildings, and what I think of when I think of California Missions but the inside was quite lovely. Oh, maybe it was the pink color that put me off. Anyway, I suppose the architectural style seemed like a good idea at the time. It is a very pretty setting, and it’s always fun to try to imagine what it must have been like back in the day.

more pictures

Visit date: 10/28/2017

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IONTW – November 12, 2017


Things organized neatly.

How ordinary becomes extraordinary by consistency over time – Hisoko Koyama’s forty plus years of observing and documenting sunspots.

Minneapolis on the radar from a Bay Area friend moving there, and then another friend’s son just going away to college there. Looks like there’s lots of cool stuffs to do!

This may be a repeat, but totally worthy – ancient trees and starry skies.

More cowbell!

If you’ve ever thought that XP wallpaper looked familiar…

Photographer Will Chub has made his beautiful image of the Round Barn available for download for personal use.

Brooke Holve’s new website! Brooke, along with Tiana Krahn, Lyn Dillin and Tami Lovett-Brumfield, are now on display in the NBLA gallery.

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