San Diego Garden Centers

Summers Past has fun little fairy gardens tucked all over the nursery

Summers Past has fun little fairy gardens tucked all over the nursery

I went on a San Diego Garden Center crawl to see the locally-owned garden centers. My normal default is big-box garden centers such as Walter Anderson or Armstrong Nurseries.  I am doing my best to patronize family-owned businesses even if the prices tend to be a little bit higher. Family owned nurseries have selections, service and knowledge that the big-box stores do not.

Enjoy a cup of coffee on Summer's Past's covered patio

Enjoy a cup of coffee on Summer’s Past’s covered patio

I started at Summer’s Past Farm in Flynn Springs.  Summer’s Past has a solid selection of plants, gift items, a coffee bar and a sweet pea maze.  Every spring they host a Fairy Day and they have a good-sized selection of fairy garden items. I also like that they have locally owned merchandise such as scarves and notecards for sale.

Interior of Summer's Past

Interior of Summer’s Past

City Farmers Nursery is, well, in the ‘hood. Parking is horrible; my husband had to direct me out as it was so tight and haphazard. However, this is a great place to bring kids or the kid in you!  Lots of old-time ephemera, a gentle giant of a Rottweiler named Roxy wandering around, a coffee bar, chicken coop, pony, koi pond, red slider turtle pond and a mini-playground for the kids adds up to a magical place to explore. city nursery 4

I love that they use this old library index system for seeds you can purchase in your own specific quantities at City Farmers Nursery

I love that they use this old library index system for seeds you can purchase in your own specific quantities at City Farmers Nursery

Mission Hills Nursery has been a San Diego landmark since 1910! They have a solid selection of garden supplies, indoor and landscape plants.  Just be careful walking around outside, the ground is extremely uneven. I bought a small cactus for my fairy garden. The staff were really friendly here as well.

Mission Hills nursery is tucked just south of Washington Avenue

Mission Hills nursery is tucked just south of Washington Avenue

My last stop was Exotic Gardens. I have driven past this nursery on El Cajon for 10 years and never realized it was there! This is the place for cactus and succulents.  They have a good variety and the manager said they are willing to trade, depending on what you have. I told him I have an Epiphyllum that is out of control. He said he wouldn’t trade for it but if I brought it he would make sure the cuttings went to good homes. Gotta love that attitude!exotic nursery 4 exotic nursery 5

Epiphyllum

Epiphyllum

I enjoyed my San Diego garden nursery crawl.  It makes me happy to see small nurseries able to compete with the behemoths

Now it’s Your Turn! What is your favorite San Diego nursery?

 

 

 

Jason’s Deli North Carolina

Jason’s Deli offers healthy dining choices led by a forward thinking founder. Jason’s believes in providing employees with educational opportunities and the ability to empower themselves. Jason’s was the first major restaurant in the United States to ban artificial trans fats and eliminate high fructose corn syrup.

Ernie and I stopped there for lunch on the recommendation of a friend. We were a bit perplexed upon entering as we couldn’t figure out how to put our order in. There was a self serve kiosk but it was for the salad bar only. I asked the cashier what the process was for ordering. She said to look at the menu and order from her,  then take a seat and our food would be brought to our table.

Jason's deli sandwich

Jason’s deli sandwich

I chose the Famous Favorite Beefeater, Jason’s Deli’s version of the classic beef dip sandwich. I asked what the lighter portion meant and was told that meant less meat. That worked for me as I have never been a fan of over piled meat on sandwiches. I ordered the baked chips over regular chips. Soda water rounded out my meal.

Ernie chose the half pastrami and salad. He was given a bowl and piled up fresh greens, carrots, tomatoes and green olives. He also chose the baked chips.

Jason’s Deli serves a good beef dip sandwich. The bread is crusty but soft and soaks up the au jus perfectly. The roast beef was thinly sliced and cooked well. The only disappointment was the chips. Ernie and I were both expecting homemade baked chips and were very disappointed when the sandwiches were served with Lays baked chips. If you’ve ever eaten Lays baked chips you will understand our dismay. Lays baked potato chips taste like potato cardboard. That kept this blog from being a rave review.

jasons deliJason’s deli offers complimentary garlic bread, crackers,  muffins and ice cream. I found the garlic bread to be very greasy and over cooked. The cornbread muffins were bite sized and nothing to write for the recipe for. The ice cream was nice;  it reminded me of Dairy Queen soft serve ice cream.

I would go back to Jason’s Deli. This time I would order regular chips or the salad with my sandwich. The service was good,  the food solid,  the bathroom was clean and they have a wide variety of different things to choose from. From healthy salads to muffalettas,  pasta to specialty sandwiches,  there’s something for everyone.

Jason’s has six locations in North Carolina. Ernie and I went to the one in Cary, North Carolina.

Now it’s Your Turn! What’s your favorite menu item at Jason’s Deli?

South Park Walkabout

South Park Walkabout --- The Grove, a fun, eclectic store

South Park Walkabout — The Grove, a fun, eclectic store

South Park is an artistic neighborhood tucked between Golden Hill and North Park, just northeast of downtown San Diego.  It’s tree-lined streets host artisanal chocolate restaurants, art studios, unique shopping and four times a year, the South Park Walkabout.

Each South Park Walkabout has it’s own flavor, influenced by the seasons.  The most recent walkabout did not disappoint.  The only caveat—-parking is horrendous.  Either plan to arrive much earlier in the day or prepare yourself to circle endlessly for the few parking spaces available while you do your best to avoid pedestrians busy texting and not paying attention.  South Park walkabouts are a mob scene. Bar patrons spill out onto the sidewalk, enterprising homeowners host live bands in their front yards, others set up impromptu art studios in their garage.  South Park has a fun, funky vibe.

South Park Walkabout at Bad Madge

South Park Walkabout at Bad Madge

One of my favorite stores in South Park is Bad Madge.  I had the opportunity to talk to Bad Madge owner Tanya McAnear at the San Diego Vintage Flea Market about how Bad Madge, a fun, funky shop filled with eclectic vintage finds, came to be named.  Apparently Tanya had a previous business sending out actors to auditions, and one of her ‘talents’….Madge….had a tendancy to not show up to auditions. She would get sidetracked and became known as ‘Bad Madge”….and the name seemed appropriate for her new store.  It’s fun that she is housed right next to Made Good, another fun shop with clothing, jewelry, and home tchotckis.

South Park Walkabout has quirky musicians for your listening enjoyment

South Park Walkabout has quirky musicians for your listening enjoyment

On this South Park walkabout Tanya had hired a whistling accordion player decked out in 1950’s Rita Hayworth style. You have to love  an accordion player who is also a world class whistler.

South Park Walkabout

South Park Walkabout — La Cueva Nostalgia Shop

Another fun shop is La Cueva nostalgia shop.  This shop is crammed full of religious punk rock images (yes, really!) side by side with Virgin Mary, Breyer Horses

Now it’s Your Turn! Tell me what your best memory of a SouthPark walkabout was? Do you have a secret parking space?

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Teardrop Trailer Camping

Teardrop Trailers are super easy to tow and place in the campsite

Teardrop Trailers are super easy to tow and place in the campsite

Teardrop trailers are a new concept to me.  Ernie and I were raised tent-camping and loved it.  However with age comes the need for a bit more comfort than what the hard ground offers, and when a friend bought a teardrop trailer and showed it to us, we were sold.  We bought a Little Guy Teardrop trailer in San Diego and started attending Teardrop and Vintage Trailer group camping or Rallies.

I had no idea of the world I was about to enter.  Teardrop trailer enthusiasts run the gamut from home-built to sleek, tricked out super modern.  Teardrop trailers come in many shapes and sizes and reflect their owners unique personality.

Lake Perris 2014 Teardrop Camping (119)

Roly’s handmade stealth fighter teardrop trailer.

Roly is a man who has built at least two teardrop trailers that I am aware of.  He has a Woody that has its own wooden satellite dish and toaster, amongst other things.  But to this year’s Teardrop group camping he brought his newest creation…the Stealth Fighter teardrop.  Roly had no scematics nor plan but as always managed to pull off something unique.

Trailorboat. Yes, really. A trailer, and a boat all in one!

Trailorboat. Yes, really. A trailer, and a boat all in one!

Then there’s the Trailerboat. That’s not a mis-spelling. These trailers were made in San Rafael, CA from 1961-1963.  Approximately 300 were made, mostly in white. There was both a white and a custom-painted yellow trailorboat at this Teardrop rally.  Trailorboats originally came with a small boat on the roof. It slept 2 and there is a roof under the boat so you  can enjoy the boat and trailer simultaneiously. There are only about 30 Trailorboats around today. The white Trailorboat was attached to a vintage Zombie VW wagon, complete with zombie hula dancer on the dashboard.  Love it!

Here's the Yellow TrailORboat

Here’s the Yellow TrailORboat

Redneck trailer...includes gun turrets, outdoor shower...

Redneck trailer…includes gun turrets, outdoor shower…

I also saw my first Scad-A-bout, which were originally made in Pacoima, CA. There were several in varying stages of restoration, but this one was the best. I loved the bright tourquoise paint and loved hearing that her current owner bought it because she had loved camping in one as a kid. Teardrop trailers catch hold of your heart.

Teardrop trailer ice chest stroller

Teardrop trailer ice chest stroller

Vintage teardrop trailer and auto

Vintage teardrop trailer and auto

Several people had vintage autos to go with their vintage teardrops. One of my favorites is owned by Deborah and Dan. They pull their dark green teardrop with a 1950’s Chevrolet. Both are in beautiful condition.

On the complete opposite end is Richard and Anna Woods’ home-build Redneck Teardrop.  Remininscint of a military Humvee, it boasts a hot water tank and outside shower amongst it’s unique features. Next door was TearDropOne, an experimental craft pulled by an equally star-painted VW Bug.

Teardrop 1

Teardrop 1

The owner has over 30 themes, and this year was the 1960s.  From the overly-endowed, afro boasting female mannequin to her 5 o’clock shadow hippie friend, I think this was the most extreme and fun theme there.  I especially liked the ‘bug guard’ he has on his vintage VW and his Haight-Ashbury street sign pole.

Hippy teardrop

Hippy teardrop

Not to be outdone, Normal and Callo rocked the Tiki Hut theme, complete with tiki torches, hula girls and a grass skirt for their teardrop trailer.

Tikki Hut teardrop trailer

Tikki Hut teardrop trailer

Saturday night is the dutch oven potluck.  I learned you can cook anything in a dutch oven.  Deborah made insanely moist carrot cake.  She told me that to get to 350 degrees you put 3 charcoal briquettes under the dutch oven, and then 6 briquettes on either side of the Dutch oven.  She likes to use parchment paper to line the Dutch oven to keep the food from sticking. Yum! She’s also a Dodger and UCLA fan so she’s one of Ernie’s favorite people to talk to.

Designer dog

photo courtesy of www.mysticcreekpuppies.com Morkie puppy

Many people brought their pets.  I had Maggie, Molly and LeeLee with me.  Maggie and Molly walked with us; poor LeeLee is getting so old that she had to wait behind because we forgot to pack her stroller.  Many dogs were rescues, which warms my heart.  However, the worlds newest cutest dog (sorry Molly!) had to be a Morkie….a Maltese Yorkie mix.  Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of this beautiful cinnamon-furred bundle of love, so I had to grab a photo of the internet.  This photo does not even begin to show how cute that puppy was.

Now it’s Your Turn! What’s your favorite part of Teardrop camping?

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Fun Places to Travel in the United States

I love to travel and see new things. I’m a gypsy at heart.

These are some of my top places to Travel in the United States, not in any particular order. So far, that is. I still have a chunk of the country to see.

Morning Glory Pool Yellowstone

Morning Glory Pool in Yellowstone. Worth the time to travel here

Old Faithful Geyser

Old Faithful, named because of its predictability in erupting

Old Faithful Geyser

Everyone waiting for Old Faithful. People travel from all around the world to see this.

1. Yellowstone National Park.  Our first national park (1872) is an amazing experience, whether you are coming for an American safari experience, to see Old Faithful or Morning Glory pool. I saw a grizzly bear, Pronghorn Antelope, Bison, Bald Eagles, Black Bears, a wolf pack hunting Elk, Moose running through our Gros Ventre campground in Grand Teton.DSC_2117 DSC_1432

Moose wandered through Gros Ventre campground every day

Moose wandered through Gros Ventre campground every day

Zion National Park

Zion, home to enormous red sandstone cliffs

Bighorn Sheep herd Zion National Park

We saw a herd of bighorn sheep in Zion National Park

2 and 3. Utah counts as two because Utah is blessed to have five amazing national parks. Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands. Each one is unique. From the orange hoodoos in Bryce to the soaring red sandstone of Zion to the historic Fruita District of Capitol Reef, not one is the same.  If you have two weeks you can see them all without rushing. We rush to Europe to see culture; Europeans rush to America to see Utah. You can camp or stay in one of the historic lodges.

Zion National Park is a photographer's dream

Zion National Park is a photographer’s dream

4. Los Angeles, CA. From the museums (Norton Simon, The Huntington Library, the Getty, LACMA, MOMA, La Brea Tar Pits) to the funky neighborhoods (Fairfax Farmers Market, Melrose, UCLA and Westwood, Venice, Santa Monica) to the famous restaurants (Spago Beverly Hills, The Magic Castle, Phillips Barbeque to the first McDonalds in Los Angeles), the famous beaches (Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice), and the iconic places (Hollywood Sign, Sunset Blvd, Griffith park Observatory, Hollywood Bowl) it could take your whole life to see just Los Angeles. I know, I’m a California Native and I still haven’t seen everything in 49 years! I escaped Los Angeles to San Diego and never looked back, but there is a lot to do in Los Angeles!

Oldest McDonalds in Downey By Northwalker (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Oldest McDonalds in Downey By Northwalker (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

LA Museum of Natural History

LA Museum of Natural History

5. San Francisco, CA. There’s the Golden Gate bridge and Park, Chinatown, North Beach, Alcatraz, hopping on the Trolley, union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square and Treasure Island.  What’s not to like.  Wear layers and your best clothes for this hip city where people spend money on clothes since they don’t use cars!

golden gate bridge6. Washington DCWhat a city.  From the monuments to the public art to the free gardens, all easily accessible from a great Metro system, there’s something for everyone in Washington DC. Go to the monuments at night (The Lincoln Memorial is open until 11 PM!) and beat the summer heat in the museums during the day.

Las Vegas travel Paris

Can’t get to Paris? This is definitely not the same thing but if you squint your eyes and daydream it’s easy to pretend.

$28,000 dress.  Really.

$28,000 dress

7. Las Vegas, NV I used to hate going to Las Vegas.  I’m allergic to cigarette smoke, don’t gamble, and hate the heat. I would always come home sick from the smoke and crowds of people.  But Las Vegas has cleaned up it’s act.  Air is circulated much better.  There are tons of things to see for free (Treasure Island pirates, Ceasar’s palace promenade, the Bellagio’s Conservatory, the Fremont Street Experience, the fountains at the Bellagio, which are synchronized to music, the list goes on! ) and it’s a people-watchers treat. I just learned that there is a 24-hour-a-day Tiki lounge in Vegas. How did I miss that?

8. Hawai’i. There are several islands to choose from.  Maui for relaxing and black sand beaches, Kauai for even more relaxing. The Big Island for active volcanos and insane stargazing at night. Oahu for shopping and nightlife and of course Waikiki beach.

Black Sand Beaches are amazing. They are not soft on your feet though!

Black Sand Beaches are amazing. They are not soft on your feet though!

The view of Waikiki beach from the top of Diamond Head. Take TONS of water. This hike is not for the faint at heart

The view of Waikiki beach from the top of Diamond Head. Take TONS of water. This hike is not for the faint at heart

8. Sanibel Island, Florida.  Like seashells? This is your Mecca.  You can dig six feet down and still not find sand.  There’s even a special name for beachcombing here, “The Sanibel Stoop”.  Make sure you stop at the high-kitch Bubble Room for a meal.

The shore is littered with seashells. I took an ENTIRE suitcase home with me.  A small one, but still...

The shore is littered with seashells. I took an ENTIRE suitcase home with me. A small one, but still…

The uber-kitchy Bubble Room on Captiva Island

The uber-kitchy Bubble Room on Captiva Island

Now it’s Your Turn! What are your favorite places to travel in the United States?

 

San Diego Vintage Flea Market

San Diego Vintage Craft Faire has furniture, jewelry, soaps, and ephemera

San Diego Vintage Craft Faire has furniture, jewelry, soaps, and ephemera

I had the chance to go to the San Diego Vintage Flea Market in North Park and was pleasantly surprised by the variety and pricing of the merchandise.  Vintage pieces ranged from 1950s magazines, 1960s ashtrays and Tikki cups, vintage clothing, to Parisian inspired shabby chic.

Several vendors said they got their vintage pieces from garage sales, antique stores and estate sales.  They were all passionate about what their vintage goods were and very friendly.  The atmosphere was flea market meets craft faire.

My Lucky Dragon soaps at the San Diego Vintage Craft Faire

My Lucky Dragon soaps at the San Diego Vintage Craft Faire

I spoke to Christi, the owner and artist behind Lucky Dragon soaps.  She has had a successful online store and has been selling at craft fair booths for 2 years.  Her whimsical cupcakes, mud soap bars and bath fizzy balls are all organic and locally made in San Diego. I can’t say that her products are vintage, but they did fit in with the funky-fun atmosphere of the Vintage flea market.

There were vendors selling every type of earrings and necklaces, next to repurposed typewriter key and pocket watch jewelry.  There were booths that reminded me of swap meet vendors —- product haphazardly displayed—-to vignettes that screamed Parisian chic.  I saw many things that my mother in law had that we had given either to other family members or thrift store donations.  I heard people over and over saying “I remember having this!” or “My grandmother used to have one of these!”

There were large glass grape clusters, fiesta ware, typewriters, vintage clothing, home décor.  Each vendor seemed to have an era or style they gravitated to; 1950s, 1970s, vintage Parisian flea market.  All the vendors were happy to answer questions about their merchandise and several advised that prices were negotiable.

I promised this paper mache angel would have a good home

I promised this paper mache angel would have a good home

I bought a fun angel and a couple pairs of earrings.  I’m at the stage in my life where I want experiences instead of more items for my home, so just being there and soaking in the sights and sounds of the vintage flea market were enough for me.

I had a chance to meet the owner of Bad Madge, Tanya McArea,  who I referenced in my blog about the Fall South Park walkabout. She is a vivacious extrovert who has a great sense of style.  I can’t wait to interview her on my blogtalk radio program WOMEN HELPING WOMEN.

Ooh La La! Fun tableau at the San Diego Vintage Flea Market

Ooh La La! Fun tableau at the San Diego Vintage Flea Market

This particular market was held in North Park in the parking lot behind the historic Birch Theatre on University.  Parking in North Park can be challenging now that this neighborhood has transformed itself from scruffy to trendy, but if you are willing to pay for parking, there is a multi-story parking lot at University and 29th.  I know a lot of San Diegan’s don’t like to pay for parking, but for me to not have to stress, I’m happy to pay a few dollars to not have to circle the block and then try to wedge myself in between cars, or try to parallel park on a busy street.  The parking was $3 for 3 hours; well worth it..

You can learn about upcoming events for the San Diego Vintage Flea Market by “Liking” their page on Facebook.  That’s how I ended up at this fun, funky, vintage inspired market in North Park.  Their location changes so to keep up to date with them go to: https://www.facebook.com/SDVintageFleaMarket

I enjoyed the San Diego Vintage Flea Market, and will definitely go again.

Now it’s Your Turn! What is your favorite flea market in San Diego?

Dog Teeth cleaning for less than $100

LeeLee getting her ears and teeth cleaned

LeeLee getting her ears and teeth cleaned

Dog teeth cleaning in the USA has become the equivalent of a very high-end car payment.  I’ve been quoted between $400-$600 to clean my dog’s teeth.  As I have three rescue dogs, that expensive treatment quickly becomes a house payment!

So until now I have decided against dog teeth cleaning.  After all, growing up we never cleaned our dogs’ teeth, and it didn’t seem to bother them.  It’s only recently I’ve heard about dog teeth cleaning.  It’s almost like dog teeth cleaning has become the new fad.

Here's the nasty cyst we had removed while Daisy was under for her teeth cleaning

Here’s the nasty cyst we had removed while Daisy was under for her teeth cleaning

My dog LeeLee had dragon breath, and so did her ‘cousin’ Daisy.  They both had such bad breath that neither I or my friend wanted to snuggle our doggies anymore.  So we faced the outrageous cost of dog teeth cleaning.

I still delayed, until I started going to Mexico for relaxation and got to know some expatriates down there.  I was referred to Albeitar Clinica Veterinaria, which is on the free road just by the garish purple/pink hotel, off the Cuota at the huge OXXO station.

Stop and get some amazing street tacos next door while your dog gets his teeth cleaned!

Stop and get some amazing street tacos next door while your dog gets his teeth cleaned!

Dr. Paola Picos Diaz and her husband own the clinic, and their prices are insanely reasonable.  Approximately 600 pesos for cleaning, which includes the visit and anesthesia.  That’s about $50, or one-tenth of American vet prices!

So I have taken LeeLee down to the vet, and now we took our friend’s dog Daisy down. We have the SENTRI pass so as a friendship gesture, and in exchange for a home-cooked meal, we were happy to do so!

Daisy definitely needs a teeth cleaning! Wow the bad breath!

Daisy definitely needs a teeth cleaning! Wow the bad breath!

Dr. Paola cleaned Daisy’s teeth, and also removed 2 cysts. One was black and we found out it was because the skin had died. Blech.  The other was on her elbow.

The final cost of the dog teeth cleaning, visit, anesthesia, cyst removal and pain meds? $135.00 US Dollars.  Yes, $135.00 versus the $900.00+- it would have cost in the USA for all that treatment.

Here's Daisy post surgery. She is going very well.

Here’s Daisy post surgery. She is going very well.

Dog teeth cleaning can be affordable.  If you drive down, stay to the very right side after you enter Mexico, and then once you get close to Playas, stay to the left and get on the Cuota, or toll road.  It’s about $2.50 for the toll, and since you are getting off at the huge OXXO station, you don’t have the 2nd toll.  The $2.50 pays for roadside assistance, clean bathrooms, police monitoring, and smooth sailing on well-maintained roads.  Once you exit at the OXXO you will make a left turn and Dr. Paola is on the right side before the garish hotel.  And if you have time, stop in at the restaurant next door, they have amazing street tacos!

Albeitar.Rosarito@gmail.com

Tel: 661-120-2480 or 661-850-5278

Now it’s Your Turn! Tell us about a great experience you have had with Dr. Paola.

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Washington DC Art

Washington DC art covers more than the skyline

Washington DC art covers more than the skyline

Washington DC overflows with art.  From the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, where the only Leonardo da Vinci painting in North America is (Ginevra de/Benci) to the Claes Oldenburg’s Typewriter Eraser, Scale X and the visually fantastic Roy Lichtentein House in the sculpture garden, you can spend weeks filling your senses with art. And….it’s almost all FREE!

Seeing the Star Spangled Banner in its new setting (I saw it when it was behind the wall with the pendulum back in the 1990s) was so insanely powerful.

I don't know if Dorothy's Ruby Red Slippers count as art but they are part of our national history

I don’t know if Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers count as art but they are part of our national history

I remember being at the Louvre and trying to get to the Mona Lisa.  After you fought your way through throngs of tourists snapping photos, you could only look at her behind a velvet rope and she is encased in bullet-proof glass.  There is nothing restful about seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre.  Yet I stood all by myself gazing at Ginerva de’Benci in Gallery 6 with no rope, no crowds, no glass.  This painting was overlooked by many people and it amazed me that so many people just walked by. I was able to marvel at the soft, misty atmosphere da Vinci creates without being hurried along.

This is the insanity at the Louve to see the Mona Lisa

This is the insanity at the Louve to see the Mona Lisa

This Washington DC artwork is the only da Vinci in North America

This Washington DC artwork is the only da Vinci in North America

The only thing I didn’t like about the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC was that the numbering of the galleries seemed random and I kept getting lost.  Unlike other museums, the docents here were on the snarky side and acted like I was stupid for getting lost.  Take a look at this floor plan. It’s like a bunch of little cubbies, almost like one of those mazes where you have to figure out how to get out of them.

The floor plan for the Washington DC National Gallery of Art is a mouse-maze

The floor plan for the Washington DC National Gallery of Art is a mouse-maze

House 1 by Roy Lichtenstein looks like a wooden sculpture of his pop-art style…until you walk by it and the house transforms itself into a three-dimensional structure. It’s a mental/visual trick that is stunning. It looks like a house, but it’s not.  Ah-mazing!

This is a surreal sculpture that visually changes as you walk past it. Stunning.

This is a surreal sculpture that visually changes as you walk past it. Stunning.

The Eraser sculpture makes me think of my assistant, who is in her late 20s.  I remember when I showed her carbon paper…she had no idea what that was.  I’m sure she would have no idea of what the Eraser sculpture represents either.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the art I saw in Washington DC.  We spent a week there and I know I could easily spend more time and still not see everything. The Metro is convenient, the city buzzes with excitement, tourists from all around the world are everywhere.

Now it’s Your Turn! Tell us what your favorite piece of artwork is in Washington DC.

Washington DC has art inside and outside

Washington DC has art inside and outside

 

Coronado Artisans Alley

Coronado Artisans Alley

Coronado Artisans Alley is full of Christmas kitch to enjoy

My first craft fair as a vendor was the 2014 Coronado Artisans Alley Craft Faire.  The Coronado Artisans Alley Fair has been an annual event for 42 years, and I was hopeful on the sales results I would get for my Bounds(TM) Beauty Rounds. I didn’t know what to expect but knew that I would learn a lot.

The craft booths were very well-decorated. There were the normal ornaments, masses of booths selling jewelry (I think at least 25% or more were jewelry), wooden Santas, colorful wreaths, wind chimes, body lotion, the normal gamut for a craft faire. Patti Clark-Sanchez had custom-made Day of the Dead Skull purses, very cool! I met Michelle Irvine who, in addition to her lovely jewelry, also had the coolest sheer drapes surrounding her booth, which made it feel very feminine and spa-like. The Coronado Artisans Alley requires that items be at least 80% hand-made and it is a ‘juried’ show. I had to submit samples of my work. I had sent in a photo note card and a sample of my Bounds(TM) beauty rounds, which are a 100% USA cotton handmade makeup remover.

Coronado Artisans Alley Craft Faire

There were fun character-themed hats at the Coronado Artisans Alley Craft Faire

The 2014 Coronado Artisans Alley was not very well attended.  There were multiple empty booth spaces, and the people who came to the faire did not seem to be buying.  I asked some of my booth-neighbors about this and they all agreed that the crowd was really light.  Perhaps it was because we had had three days of rain, an anomaly in San Diego, and Saturday was a glorious and hot day, with blue skies and a nice ocean breeze. Perhaps people weren’t in a shopping mood?

Coronado Artisans Alley

Coronado Artisans Alley had all kinds of cute things for little girls.

I talked to a woman in the booth behind me. She was selling hair bows and crocheted character themed hats. She said that this was her third year and would probably be her last year, based on the price of the booth and the results she had.  She said three years ago she made $800 (on hair bows!), last year she made $400 but it had poured rain, and this year she thought she would be lucky if she made $200.  Considering the booth cost for the Coronado Artisans Alley was $125 for 2014 and is increasing to $140 for next year, she said it doesn’t make economic sense as you have to be here from 9 AM – 3PM.  She said she also works the Otay Ranch (Chula Vista – Eastlake) Mall Farmers Market on Tuesdays from 4PM-8PM, they let you set up as early as 2 PM, and it only costs $35.00 each night. She said she generally makes $200 a night there.

Coronado Artisans Alley

Artisans Alley was my first craft fair to see how my Bounds(TM) Beauty Rounds Makeup Removers would sell

The woman in the booth across from me was selling these really cool baby swaddlers and little girl tutus and tutu-dresses.  She said that it was terribly slow. She has been coming here for years, and this was the worst she had seen it.

I also spoke to Tawnya LaFave of IB Crochet. She had not only a corner booth but a secondary one! She too said the fair was really slow, and she does better at the Imperial Beach Farmers Market. This was good information for me.

I am glad I experienced the show.  I only sold 11 sets of my Bounds(TM), and after paying my friend’s daughter for helping me and the booth rental ($125) I basically broke even.  So for me the Coronado Artisans Alley was great from a learning prospective, but not from an economic one, and I will not be going back as a vendor.

Now it’s Your Turn! Tell us about your experience as a vendor or attendee. Is there a particular vendor you come to every year to buy your holiday gifts?

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Why Use Urban Healing Center HIllcrest?

Urban Healing Center in Hillcrest has over 20 practitioners

Urban Healing Center in Hillcrest has over 20 practitioners

I recently went to the grand opening of the Urban Healing Center in Hillcrest.  It’s tucked at the south end of 10th Street, right off the 163 FWY and Robinson. Street parking can be a bit limited, but it’s free and more importantly, non restricted! That’s different for Hillcrest, kingdom of smart parking meters that zero out your time when you leave the space. Seriously? Okay, that’s a whole different blog topic!

The entry to Urban Healing Center does not prepare you for the huge space it actually is!

The entry to Urban Healing Center does not prepare you for the huge space it actually is!

Back to the Urban Healing Center. Rather than just one service such as massage or acupuncture, Urban Healing Center is a membership-driven center.  There are 20 healers offering a wide variety of services including acupuncture, different types of massage, meditation, chiropractic services, reiki, psychic readings, sound healing ( Teri Wilder using her gong, Maria Theresa Larsen using crystal bowls), feng shui, reflexology, group as well as private yoga classes, smoking cessation, NLP, hypnotherapy and more. Here’s a link to the variety of services the Urban Healing Center offers: http://www.theurbanhealingcenter.com/v/services.htm

A group of the Urban Healing Centers practitioners and friends

A group of the Urban Healing Centers practitioners and friends

There is a large center space where classes, events and workshops are held. There are four smaller treatment rooms surrounding the center space where members and non-members can get individual treatments in privacy.

Urban Healing Center is at the end of 10th street and Robinson. There is free street parking, unusual for Hillcrest!

Urban Healing Center is at the end of 10th street and Robinson. There is free street parking, unusual for Hillcrest!

What I like about Urban Healing Center is unlike a gym, you don’t have to sign up for a two year membership. Clients have the option of purchasing either a monthly or longer membership. The membership gives them discounts on most services and some events are free for members. However, you do not need to be a member of Urban Healing Center to have access. For example, Pauliina Parris is holding a feng shui workshop December 6- $15 for non-members.
You can find Urban membership here:  http://www.theurbanhealingcenter.com/category-s/1823.htm