California living and adventures in creativity

Nov 2

Jonsi concert at Oakland’s Fox Theater

It’s been a long time since I’ve witnessed true creative genius at a concert. My husband recently introduced me to the Icelandic artist Jonsi, and we had the privilege of seeing him perform live at Oakland’s Fox Theater. As a side note, the Fox Theater is stunningly beautiful and in my opinion has the best acoustics in the Bay Area.

Jonsi’s music is very hard to describe. He sings in English and in Icelandic, but for me, the lyrics seem insignificant compared to the grandeur and complexity of the music. His music is bold and mysterious and takes you on a journey, building to a point where you are left heartbroken.

I didn’t know what to expect seeing him live - I thought it would be impossible to pair visuals with his music genius - Turns out I was very wrong. As you can see in this video my husband took, his videos complement his music perfectly. I felt as though I was transported into a musical short story with illustrations.

The true test of a concert in my opinion is how long it stays with you. It will be a long time before my mind stops drifting back to Jonsi’s performance. What a rare treat!

tags:   music   inspiration   art
Sep 3

californiablue has a new look!

I am thrilled to unveil my new earring cards! I’ve been contemplating tweaking my branding for a while and decided that my earring cards were the first item that needed a little makeover.

I wanted a more simple earring card with less color so it wouldn’t compete with the color and design of my earrings. Fortunately I have a talented friend who does wonderful letterpress work! Despite my indecisiveness, she patiently provided her advice and applied her expertise to my new and improved earring cards. I love the simplicity of design, the spacing of the letters and the color of the ink (my signature californiablue).

My friend Bridget has her own Etsy shop called Janky Press. Check out her unique collection of postcards and prints. If you are lucky, she may even help you with your next project!

tags:   Etsy   branding
Aug 16

Etsy Fundraiser in support of animals!

It is my distinct pleasure to be part of an Etsy fundraiser where a portion of our sales goes to Saving Shelter Pets.

This is an organization run by a fellow Etsian who shares my strong convictions concerning animal welfare. Her organization facilitates rescues from high-kill animal shelters and promotes spay & neuter, in an effort to give all pets the chance at life they truly deserve. Pet overpopulation is a national problem, and every one can do their part to prevent unnecessary euthanasia of healthy, adoptable pets.

From August 16th through August 26th, by purchasing from one of the participating Etsy shops, not only will you be supporting handmade, but you will be supporting a program which makes a difference in lives of animals. Check out all of the Etsy shops that are participating in addition to californiablue!

tags:   etsy   pretty things   animal welfare
Aug 9

Splash of orange

Our rose bushes are not only a beautiful unique color combination of red, orange and yellow, but extremely prolific! They typically give us flowers from April through October, and we are currently on the 3rd cycle of blossoms.

The other day I noticed an orange lady bug hanging out on a rose petal and wondered if he/she was attracted by the vibrant color? I sure was :)

tags:   gardening   home   pretty things   color   inspiration
Jul 20

Olallieberry Heaven

My love affair with the olallieberry started last June when I discovered these amazing little jewels at our local farmer’s market. At the time, I was engaged in a quest for the perfect crumble, and despite a very close second by my traditional favorite (rhubarb and strawberry), the olallieberry crumble skyrocketed to first place!

This year we had the pleasure of actually picking these beauties at Swanton Farm, a nearby organic u-pick farm. The farm was beautiful and it was a cool foggy morning making berry picking easy.

We managed to pick a huge amount in a relatively short period of time, and all I could think of was the multitude of recipes we could try with this tart, luscious berry. Within a few days we had incorporated our beloved olallieberry into many of our favorite recipes. We enjoyed a delectable crumble, olallieberry oatmeal pancakes, olallieberry frozen tart yogurt and even an olallieberry muffin.

In the case of the pancakes and muffins, we simply substituted the blueberries for olallieberries. With the frozen yogurt, we simply crushed 1/2 cup of olallieberries, strained them, and added the juice to the yogurt mixture while it was churning……

The rest of our massive haul of olallieberries are frozen and ready for the next recipe! Check out these recipes from Swanton Farm showcasing the olallieberry.

tags:   home   recipes   olallieberry
Jul 15

California blue

It constantly amazes me how truly beautiful this great state of ours is!

Recently we experienced another example of California’s infinite beauty when we traveled up to Tomales Bay. It is a narrow inlet in Marin County, about 15 miles long and one mile wide (see below) map.

It was a gorgeous sunny day and we were completely surrounded by blue sky and blue water. We had a beautiful view looking toward Point Reyes, just hills and wide open space. It was incredibly peaceful.

Although we only spent a short time there, we definitely will explore this area more.

tags:   travel
Jul 12

Inspiration for californiablue jewelry

If you have a creative outlet, a common question you will receive from people is, “what is your inspiration?”

For me, when I create californiablue jewelry I am inspired by light, color, plants and water. All of these factors come down to one thing - where I live.

Recently our house was included in the home tour section of the wonderful blog, As we were being interviewed and the pictures were taken, I realized that my creativity was really born in this house. All of the detailing found in this house is truly inspirational. From the unique ceramic tiles to the beamed ceiling, it is clear that very creative minds were behind the craftsmanship of our home.

We feel very grateful to be living in this house and sharing it’s creative spirit.

Here’s the full article and pictures. Enjoy!

tags:   home   inspiration   etsy   californiablue
Jul 5

Happy 4th of July!

We spent a wonderful weekend visiting friends up north (I’ll dedicate a separate post to this) and participating in our neighborhood’s Rose, White and Blue parade and festival.


I manned a booth were we invited area animal rescue organizations to help spread the word on all of the amazing work they do. We were promoting pet adoptions of rescue animals, volunteering and fostering opportunities as well as informing the community about low cost clinics and feral cat colony management.

Check out some of the great organizations represented at our booth:

Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue
Society Dog
Our Pack
Nine Lives Foundation
Itty Bitty Orphan Kitty
Lincoln Hound Society

We were thrilled at the turnout, and all of the animal rescue folks were so nice to spend an afternoon with.

It was fitting to feel particularly grateful for living where I do this 4th of July.

tags:   home   4th of July
Jun 29

The perfect summer necklace

Here’s my take on the perfect summer necklace.

It needs to be incredibly light weight. Nothing is more uncomfortable than heavy jewelry when it is hot out! It also needs to be able to be worn with a dress, a t shirt and maybe even a bathing suit if you are feeling super fashionable!

These necklaces are so fun to make, and the color options are endless (pictured are three different necklaces, although you could wear them together). More of these will be added to my Etsy shop very soon.

Happy summer!

tags:   etsy   pretty things
Jun 24

My DIY Succulent Garden

I love Sunset Magazine. I really don’t say this about any other magazine, but I find so many great articles ranging from recipes to travel to indispensable gardening tips. In one of their recent issues, Sunset did an article on container succulent gardens planted in frames. I was intrigued.

My first task was to find a big frame that would work for this project. Fortunately I found the perfect frame at our local Goodwill Store for a total of $1.20 (they were having a 50% sale that day)! Next, instead of purchasing a bunch of succulents, I thought I would reach out to people in my neighborhood to see if anyone had some baby succulents, aka “chicks” that needed a new home. I was thrilled to meet so many succulent lovers and people were incredibly generous about letting me take some of their supply. In fact, in one case I was doing a neighbor a favor as she was thinning back a section of succulents. I painted my frame to match the trim of our house, and bought some cactus specific soil. I even had left over chicken wire from the compost bin I already had made (yet another article from Sunset).

Here is my finished project. I’m still waiting a bit longer for the succulents to take root before I hang it up in our patio area. As a result of this project I became a bigger fan of the succulent. I love the shapes, the texture and all of the hues of green. Especially in California where water is precious, succulents make beautiful gardens and even vertical art!

tags:   Sunset   gardening   home   succulents

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About me

I live in Northern California with my husband and three cats (Pinky, Newbie & Henry). This blog explores creativity in many forms and simple daily pleasures. californiablue handcrafted jewelry is my creative outlet and inspired by where I live. Contact me

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