A Visit to Pinterest HQ

Welcome to Pinterest

After our morning walk (in a steady drizzle), my sister Kathleen and I went to #38 Makers Show at Pinterest Headquarters on Saturday.  I was delighted to see their space, and attending a Pinterest-curated craft fair of SFMade vendors was also pretty cool.

The weather had cleared up by the time we got into the city.  There was a line outside the brick warehouse in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood.

One end of line Getting closer

Although it wrapped around the corner, it was moving fairly steadily.  As we chatted in the sunshine, a staffer brought around a tray of cookies and pointed out cider at a nearby table so the wait was really pretty nice.

Autumn Cookies

Once we got inside, there was music playing in the large, industrial space.  A buffet table was loaded with delicious snacks for munching, and there were interesting things to look at in every direction.

A large blue assemblage to one side served as both a room divider and artwork.  It reminded me of “It’s A Small World” at Disneyland.

Blue Room divider

More blue

We stopped for a nibble before checking out the vendors.

Menu

Just for fun I had scribbled out a “Pinterest Bingo” card for each of us. I made a list of items that I thought we might see at a Pinterest event.  Kathleen rolled her eyes a bit but went along with my silliness.  We saw infinity scarf and Mason jars before we even got inside!  Other items I was able to cross off were fingerless gloves, ampersand, chevron pattern and cake platter.  We didn’t see spray-painted plastic animals, something felted,  something Steampunk, tissue paper or washi tape.

This is a wall with pictures of some of the original pinners on Pinterest.

Wall of users

I decided not to take pictures of the crafts because it was crowded and a little tricky to get good quality photos, which they all deserve.

Here are links to some of the sites of makers that had products that caught my eye.

3 Fish Studios – I love the graphic of the bear hugging the state of California.

BikeWrappers – Reflective, protective, decorative wraps for your bike frame.

b-spired – Greeting cards made from laser cut wood.  They also had some wooden bow ties, laser cut ornaments and cute old-fashioned toolboxes.

DDCC – Dirty Diana’s Clean Clothing – Beautiful active wear for women. “Live clean. Get Dirty.”

Drywell Art – Quirky artwork for eaters and drinkers – lots of diagrams and charts.

Hilside Bags – Zippered bags in tons of fabrics and many different sizes, with oilcloth lining.  You can do custom-order at her website and choose the exterior fabric, interior oilcloth lining and color zipper or choose an exterior and let the designer choose the others for a more economical option.

Kika’s Treats – Locally sourced sweet treats, like the delicious caramelized graham crackers dipped in chocolate, with alternative sweeteners, no white sugar or corn syrup.

note*ify – City-inspired cards and other paper products.

Poco Dolce – Delicious gourmet chocolates

Richshaw Bagworks – I was tempted by their graphic Golden Gate Bridge tote bag and at their website found cool customizable backpacks, messenger bags and other bags and totes.

Sharon Zimmerman Jewelry Design – Modern jewelry with interesting organic shapes.

Urban FarmGirls – Gorgeous living wreaths with grapevines and succulents.  Garden and plant design.

Usagi Team – Bow ties for the well-dressed pet.  Some with shirt collars, some without.

Wildebeest – Pet leashes, collars, harnesses, and my favorite, the “meadow” pet rug.

There was something for everyone, including this pup.

Golden

The show was set up in the wide open first floor cafe space.  Office areas and the stairs were cordoned off, but there was plenty to see.

Ready Steady Go

DIY

How about this office desk…

Office Desk

made from a car?

made from a car

harassment Nothing GoodBoring Shit

Pinterest offices are pinned on a full wall-sized world map – this just shows the a portion.

Map

Conference Rooms are named after Pinterest trends (is Kale available?  OK, let’s meet in Ombre then).  And if you want to meditate or nap, just slip into the Quiet Room.

Shhhh

A stacked suitcase/plant stand.

Plant stand

How about a Lego wall?

IMG_0199

As we left, we got a freebie: Pinterest artists were silk screening posters on the spot and giving them away.

38 Makers Poster

SFMade is holding a holiday gift fair on December 13 & 14 but it won’t be at Pinterest.  It is at Fort Mason Center, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and it is free entry.

We stopped by the San Francisco Wholesale Flower Mart and though we saw some beautiful flowers, Kathleen just bought one succulent.

Succulent

I’m sure it would have been bustling in the early morning on a week day but it was fairly quiet on this weekend afternoon.

Pink & White

Purple

For more photos of the Pinterest Offices, check out this BuzzFeed article.

Thank you for your visit.

Bay Leaf Pepper Berry Wreath

 

 

 

 

 

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Fall Colors

Yellow Red Grape Leaves

Here’s a quick photo post.  I had Veteran’s Day off and we went for a drive through the Sonoma and Napa valleys.

Yellow Red Dark Green

After a string of warm, sunny days, it was a cool, foggy day.

Down the row

Purple Grapes

Stripes of crops

Trailing Red Leaves

The tapestry of different colors was beautiful.

Big Red Leaf

Glowing, Warm Color

Yellow Vines in Rows

Vines on a hill

Thanks for stopping by.

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Darkness & Light

Day of the Dead altar 2014

Rem and I set up our Dia de los Muertos altar last weekend.  Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is a not an event from the culture either of us grew up in but we borrow or share it with our neighbors here in San Rafael and San Francisco.

Each year the altar is a little different. It seems like each year we have new names to add to our garland of hearts.

Heart Garland

This year we included sweet Ruby and I found a photo of a much younger Rem and a young Ruby to display.

Ruby Girl with Rem

In addition to our altar, we attended the San Francisco celebration for the first time.  This included a Festival of the Altars in Garfield Park and a Procession with traditional Aztec dancers, artists, activists and community members.  I like the description on the Dia de los Muertos SF site about the event:

Dia de los Muertos is a traditional Meso-American holiday dedicated to the ancestors; it honors both death and the cycle of life. In Mexico, neighbors gather in local cemeteries to share food, music, and fun with their extended community, both living and departed. The celebration acknowledges that we still have a relationship with our ancestors and loved ones that have passed away.

In San Francisco, Day of the Dead has been celebrated in the Mission district since the early 70s with art, music, performances and a walking procession, which help us contemplate our existence and mortality — a moment to remember deceased friends and family, and our connections beyond our immediate concerns.

Altar in SF

So – a holiday that remembers and honors our loved ones that have passed away, and uses both food and art in the celebration. This is Pan de Muerto, or “bread of the dead,” a sweet bread yeast bread, from our altar last year.

Pan de Morto 2013

At Craft Gym in late October we made Papel Picado or perforated paper, used as decoration for different occasions but for Dia de los Muertos, it usually depicts humorous and whimsical skulls and skeletons.

Homemade Papel Picado

Rem and I have some beautiful papel picado that we bought on a visit to Tijuana with much more detailed and elaborate designs.

commercial papel

Artisans using traditional methods use chisels to cut through about 50 sheets of tissue paper at a time but machine made versions are also available.  I cut mine with scissors and did one sheet at a time.

In our celebration of Dia de los Muertos, I notice the contrasts: skulls that are made of sugar, bright, festive colors instead of the more familiar dark ones used around death and grieving in our culture.

Candles glow on our 2013 altar.

Candle Lit Altar 2013

This past weekend I paid a visit to my dad’s grave. It was late in the afternoon and from the path below his grave, I could see the piece of abalone shell set into his gravestone, catching the rays of the setting sun.

I hiked up the hillside  and cleared away stems and dried up flowers from the site, arranged some fruits and vegetables of the season, then scattered the dried flower petals around. I still feel deep sadness and miss my dad terribly, but I also honor his memory in many ways, including lighting candles on an altar for Dia de los Muertos.

After shedding a few tears, sharing some current events and singing some songs, I took a final look at his grave.  The colors of the abalone shell, glowing in the last, diffused sunlight were beautiful and reminded me that even as our days become shorter and we’re entering the darkest part of the year, there is still light and beauty to be found.

Thank you for your visit. Thank you, Rem, for sharing your photos.

Altar 2014

 

 

 

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Happy Halloween, 2014!

Two Pumpkins

Here are two of our carved pumpkins this year – I was doing the last one after work today, a bit last minute.  Buy I got it done before the first trick-or-treaters arrived.

Boosted Color Pumpkin

Earlier in the week I worked on this batch of pumpkins.  Rem picked up a package of glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth and I decided to use them in each one.  The pumpkins are on either side of the stairs coming up from the carport.  I used the plant holders from our patio as  way to display them.

Yawn

Because these pumpkins were right by the stairs, I decided not to put candles in them.  Instead I just carved out the mouth to insert the fangs and used black Sharpie and white correction pen for the faces.

Big Eyes

Snarl

Skull

Soul Patch

Crazed Smile

I also did a few embellished pumpkins after seeing this link to A Beautiful Mess on Pine & Plum.  This is a fun way to decorate pumpkins without carving.

Embellished Pumpkins

The spider web was done with black Sharpie. The white pumpkin had a pretty stumpy stem that became part of the spider with the application of some black acrylic craft paint.

Spider Web

Nailheads

Decorative upholstery nail heads worked well with this green and yellow pumpkin and they are easy to push in.

Glitter Pumpkin

I think the shape and color of this dusty-orange Cinderella pumpkin looks great with a topping of Mod Podge and copper glitter.  Mod Podge was used for the decoupage stem and also on the small orange mini pumpkin with the black and white checkered ribbon shown in the group picture of embellished pumpkins.

Green Rhinestones

I looked into my craft stash and found these green stick-on jewels. I used pins at the top to hold down the end of each strip, but the adhesive was strong enough to hold them on the rest of the way.  Some clear gems and a large-stick on pearl decorate the stem.

Next year I think I’ll come back to the embellished pumpkin idea.

Hope your Halloween was both happy and safe.  Thanks for stopping by.

Bloodshot Eye

 

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Rain Reigns Supreme

Rain Hat

Here is my Halloween costume for 2014.  Yes, it looks like rain. It IS rain.  In fact, a colleague said I was the Raining Queen!

I was inspired by this picture on Pinterest and I’m very pleased with the results.

IMG_0087

Once I found this beaded curtain online, I was off and running.

I bought a large wire wreath form at Joann Fabric and Crafts (I made three visits to the store, which was crazy this time of year) and used that to start my hat.  Duct tape, nylon mesh and some hot glue gave me the rest of the structure and then I piled on the nylon net and tulle to form the big cloud.

Grey chiffon which my mom and I fashioned into a capelet, was worn over a black chiffon skirt, grey t-shirt and boots that I already had in my closet.  My sister Sarah helped with sewing and loaned me silver raindrop earrings.  I added some stick-on sequins to the capelet and used some on my face as well.

Close Up Rain

With California in a state of drought, rain seemed like just what we need.  We’re supposed to get it tomorrow, but I’m not sure I want to take credit or blame if it messes up the Giants World Series Victory Parade or trick-or-treating.

More Rain

I enjoyed the many lovely compliments I received and was pleased that all my hard work on this costume resulted in a prize at our Halloween fundraiser lunch event.  I won the “Black & White” category (costume could be black, white or black and white).

There were other creative costumes, including a plethora of different Dorothy’s in gingham and ruby slippers for one department’s hilarious group entry: 50 Shades of Dorothy – each with a different take on the classic. Scary costumes were also represented like this frightening creature with wings that opened and closed.  Great work, Jon!

Hawkman

Wishing you a very happy, safe and yes, even soggy Halloween.

back

 

 

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Black & White

Black & White

Here is a little preview of my Halloween costume.  Last year I was very colorful.

This year I’ve been working on something that is less colorful but very effective.  Almost all the items in the picture are part of the final costume: duct tape, black nylon mesh, white netting, grey chiffon and ribbon, crystals, beads, ribbon and thread.  The silver nail polish will be part of the whole ensemble but is not actually part of the costume.

Not shown but part of the costume: a wire wreath form and grey tulle.

Tune in Friday for costume photos!

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Silly Spiders and Yummy Mummies

Mummies and Spider

I’ve got two quick and easy little projects for you.  To tell you the truth, I think the little spiders are cute but I’m not entirely sold on the mummies.  However, since I’ve made them, I may as well share them and let you decide if you like them or not.

spiders in pumpkin tree

The spiders look pretty adorable and goofy and if you made a few Little Yarn Pumpkins, these spiders go well with them.

Spiders and Pumpkins

Now before I go any further, I have to include this disclaimer: I know spiders have eight legs and mine only have six and they’re also pretty much missing a body.  You can make more realistic spiders, if you prefer, and I made one just to show you that I could:

8-legged spider

But the following directions are for rare 6-legged spiders.

Spider supplies

You will use two black pipe cleaners, googly eyes, adhesive if the eyes are not self-stick (I used small glue dots) and a pair of scissors that you can use to cut the pipe cleaners.  In some craft stores and sites, pipe cleaners are called Chenille Stems, but they’re really the same thing.

Cut the two pipe cleaners in half, making four pieces.

Four Half Pipe Cleaners

Twist three of the pieces together right in the middle, twisting a few times.

Twisted Pieces

Wind the last piece around the twist in the middle, going around three or four times with each wrap next to the one before, not on top of it.  Then turn back and wrap a second layer of pipe cleaner over the first.  It should be snugly wrapped, but not too tight.

Wrapped center

At this point, it kind of looks like a spider that has had an unfortunate encounter with a shoe.

Make bends at the ends of each leg for little spider feet.

Flat Spider

Then bend each leg so the bend is higher than the body – kind of making it shrug it’s little spider shoulders.

Spider shoulders

Now you just need to add eyes.  You can put on as many or as few as you like, but I generally go with two.  I use small glue dots to adhere the googly eyes.

A reminder about using glue dots: take the embellishment, in this case a googly eye, to the glue dot.  Press it onto the glue dot, than peel off the embellishment and the glue dot together.  This is much easier and more efficient than trying to peel the glue dot off the paper strip and getting it stuck to your fingertips before you can adhere it to the embellishment.

Spider Trio

That’s it!

If you purchased some glue dots for making the spiders, you might want to try these Yummy Mummies: cheesecloth wrapped candy bars.  I went to the free weekly Craft Gym at Once Around last Tuesday mostly because I wanted to see if they had restocked orange chenille yarn to make more pumpkins.  I figured I’d also pick up googly eyes for making spiders.

The mummies are kind of a cute way to dress up a candy bag for Halloween but I think that most people who would be happy to get candy, wouldn’t care if it came done up as a mummy.

Mummies eye spider

I had cheesecloth at home and when one of the other crafters gave me some candy bars (I shared DIY tips and supplies for both Yarn Pumpkins and Silly Spiders), I decided to make some at home.

I used cheesecloth, scissors for fabric, an ink pad and a sponge, a distress dye stain (you only need one form of ink or dye – even a brown felt marker will work), googly eyes, adhesive, and thin candy bags like the Hershey’s in the photo.

Mummy supplies

When I picked up googly eyes for the spiders, I found these eye stickers by Jolee’s Boutique and grabbed a package. I’ll try them on some mini pumpkins.  You can also use a small circle punch and a hole punch to create eyes.

Cut a small nick one one side of the cheesecloth to get started, then tear several strips, about two inches wide. My fabric was 36 inches so my strips were 2 x 36 inches.  You can cut it if you prefer, but tearing it adds a great raggedy edge.

Fold up the strips and then sponge or smudge ink on the edges of the fabric.

Distress Inked Edges

When the ink or dye is dry, use a small glue dot or a bit of adhesive (directions at craft class said to use hot glue, but you’re likely to melt some chocolate that way), even double stick tape will work, and stick one end of the strip of cheese cloth to the back of one candy bar.

Wrap the bar, using several strips as needed, finishing with the end glued to the back of the bar.  Add eyes and that is it.

Yummy Mummies

To make paper eyes, I used a small circle punch, I think it is 1/2 inch, and a standard hole punch.

Making Eyes

I drew red veins on white paper and punch out two circles.  Using the smaller hole punch, make two smaller dots or circles.  I actually drew on the white paper with blue-grey marker and punched the irises from that. A black marker created the pupils. Foam dots adhered the eyes to the mummy.

Tied Eyes

I still think the spiders have the mummies beat (6 hands down) but with the right chocolate bar, I might be persuaded otherwise.

In the meantime, get your Orange and Black on and Go Giants!

Go Giants

Thanks for creeping by.

 

 

 

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