Celebration of Roses in El Cerrito

Happy Mother’s Day! My mom loved roses, and she would have swooned over the amazing profusion of blooms in George’s garden.

George with roses

All our dear friends: Graham Thomas, Sally Holmes, Mr. Lincoln, as well as Ispahan, Electron, Sombreuil, Double Delight and more are blooming like crazy. George says it’s the chicken poop; I credit his green thumbs.

Rosa Californica (California wild rose)

Whatever the reason, we’re really excited to show them off at next Sunday’s Celebration of Old Roses, our absolute favorite event in El Cerrito. Always the Sunday after Mother’s Day, this year it’s on May 17th, 2015, from 11:00 to 3:30 pm. Sponsored by the Heritage Rose Group Bay Area, the show is held at the El Cerrito Community Centera few blocks east of San Pablo Ave (the main drag in El Cerrito), at 7007 Moeser Lane (cross is Ashbury Ave).  The event and parking are free, and it’s wheelchair-accessible.

Butterscotch Rose bud

The heart of the Celebration is an overflowing 100-foot display of all kinds of roses. Everyone from expert cultivators to casual gardeners bring cut roses to share and show off. The roses are arranged by type, so just by cruising the collection you’ll get a great education! Need a rose identified? Bring it along for an expert’s opinion. This year for the first time children can get a free rose plant courtesy of Tom Liggett and the Heritage Rose Group Bay Area, while supplies last!

Mr. Lincoln rose

Along with the roses there’s a great collection of arts and crafts and flower-related products for you to enjoy -your chance to stock up on gifts for rose and nature-lovers in your life. I’ve had a table with my artwork and crafts at the Celebration for the past ten years, and I’ll be there with the things I make from my original photos, rose and flower-related, including jewelry, scarves, decorated boxes, purses, cards, prints, and much more!

Rose Show

We’ll have our sublime local honey and all-natural beeswax candles from our beehives. If you can’t wait until the Celebration, you can always buy our honey at Biofuel Oasis in Berkeley, or contact me to arrange for pickup.

George with honey

Put Sunday May 17th on your calendar — go to smell the intoxicating roses and then stop by our table to say hello. If you have any questions about the show, please email me at HeidiRand@gmail.com

In Celebration of Roses

It’s April, and that means the roses have taken over our garden!

Blue rose

All of our dear friends: Graham Thomas, Sally Holmes, Mr. Lincoln, as well as Ispahan, Electron, Sombreuil, Double Delight and more are blooming like crazy, so I’m really excited about the upcoming 34th Annual Celebration of Old Roses, my favorite event in El Cerrito.

 

Rosa Californica (California wild rose)

Always held the Sunday after Mother’s Day, this year it’s on May 18th, from 11:00 to 3:30 pm. Sponsored by the Heritage Rose Group Bay Area , it’s at the El Cerrito Community Centera few blocks east of San Pablo Ave (the main drag in El Cerrito), at 7007 Moeser Lane (cross is Ashbury Ave).  The event and parking are free, and it’s wheelchair-accessible. Last year parking was difficult because there was a swim meet going on, but that won’t be a problem this year!

Double delight rose

The heart of the Celebration is an overflowing 100-foot display of all kinds of roses. Everyone from expert cultivators to casual gardeners bring cut roses to share and show off. The roses are arranged by type, so just by cruising the collection you’ll get a great education! Need a rose identified? Bring it along for an expert’s opinion.

Mr. Lincoln rose

Along with the roses there’s a great collection of arts and crafts and flower-related products for you to enjoy -a wonderful chance to stock up on gifts for the rose and nature-lovers in your life. I’ve had a table with my artwork and crafts at the Celebration for the past nine years, and I’ll be there with the things I make from my original photos, rose and flower-related, including jewelry, scarves, decorated boxes, purses, cards, prints, and much more!

Rose Show

George always brings a vase of roses, and we’ll have his wonderful handmade soap and all-natural beeswax candles from our beehives. For the first time we’ll also have honey for sale! Our new brand is “La Ferme Melliferalle” (the name celebrates the wild honeybees that moved into our hive and have been so hardworking and productive). If you can’t wait until the Celebration, you can buy our honey at Biofuel Oasis in Berkeley.

George with honey

Mark May 18th down on your calendar — go to smell the intoxicating roses and then stop by our table to say hello. If you have any questions about the show, please email me at HeidiRand@gmail.com

El Cerrito Art Association Show and Sale

October is National Arts & Humanities Month, and in our town one of the highlights kicking it off is the Annual El Cerrito Art Association (ECAA) Show and Sale, held this coming weekend, October 4-6. The opening reception is Friday Oct. 4th from 7 to 9 pm. On Saturday the Show is open from 10 to 5, and on Sunday from 10 to 4.  It’s at the El Cerrito Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane, El Cerrito.

ECAA Art ShowThere’s a wonderful array of work by nearly 150 artists entered into competition, including paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, prints, mixed media pieces and digital art. In addition, there will be additional art for sale – a print bin filled with a wide variety of members’ work, and Saturday features an Artists’ Market with individual booths outside the Show, providing additional works for sale and another opportunity to discuss art with the professionals.

Garden Delights Arts and Crafts

I didn’t enter the competition this year but I will have 5 brand-new prints in the bin, and I’ll also have a table out front of the Community Center on Saturday – please come by and say hello!

What are you doing to celebrate Arts Month?

Art and Craft For All

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the other artisans in the ArtFirst! Holiday Show and Sale, as promised in my previous post and the one before that

Beka Brayer is  a mixed media assemblage artist. Beka says that her goal “is to breathe new life into intriguing old or found objects.” Beka has also published a limited edition hand embellished book entitled “Art of Whimsey”. She has contributed works for a wide range of fundraising benefits and has shown at ArtSpan, City Art Cooperative, Mission Artists United, and Studio 333.

Beka Brayer's assemblage, Don't Play With Matches

Glass blower Holly Wallace, formerly of Ruby Glass Works, is currently an exhibiting member of Berkeley’s oldest art cooperative, ACCI Gallery on Shattuck Avenue. Her work has been shown and sold at SFMOMA, Gumps, Celebration of Craftswomen, and many other galleries, shows and museums.  Holly describes glass blowing as “the whirling dervish of the art world. It is a juggling act with fire and form.”

Holly Wallace blown glass vases

Victoria Veedell paints vibrant and colorful abstract landscapes. In her words, she “captures the essence of nature by examining the effects of light on form in the natural world.” Victoria’s paintings have been exhibited nationally and internationally in galleries and art centers, and are in many private and corporate collections.

Victoria Veedell's oil painting, View of the Bay

Julie Long Gallegos creates hand beaded jewelry and accessories, including purses. Julie finds inspiration for her designs in Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts, California Decorative Style, Art Deco, the Wiener Werkstatte, African art and Native American beadwork. Her Klimt “Kiss” cuff bracelet and “Coral Snake” lariat appeared in Lark Publications’ Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry book (2012).

Julie Long Gallegos' Poppies Purse

The ArtFirst! Show continues this Wednesday through Sunday (November 28 through December 2) at the Village Shops and Galleries, 10330 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito (cross streets Eureka and Stockton), from noon to 6:00 pm.

This is my original blog post with all of the information about the show. Visit the ArtFirst! website.

The Fragrant Arts

I promised in my last post to introduce you to more of the talented artists and crafters who’ll have their work at the ArtFirst! Holiday Show and Sale

ArtFirst! Holiday Show and Sale

One of our main goals was to include a wide variety of artisans in the show, so I was thrilled when popular Pinole soapmakers Jane and Nadine Robbins-Laurent, of sassafras,were able to participate. They have a faithful following of customers for their handmade soap and bath products, candles, and fused glass jewelry at the Pinole Art Center and the Pinole Farmers Market. I always crack up when I see their slogan: “Life’s Too Short for Crappy Soap!”

sassafras soap

sassafras soap, copyright sassafras

Which leads me to another fabulous craftist – my husband George McRae. George is multi-talented. His main vocation is actingbut on the side he produces handmade soap and beeswax candles for our company, Garden Delights Arts & Craftsunder the name “Bubble Queen Soaps & Scents”.

George's cat soap

George uses only natural ingredients in his soap, and he doesn’t add color or extra scent, using only the ingredients (lavender is my favorite) for fragrance. By far the most popular Bubble Queen soaps are these cats. And for the first time at this show George will offer beeswax candles, handmade from wax produced by his bees (the hive is at a friend’s house in Richmond).

George's beeswax candles

After you’ve cleaned up good with either sassafras’ or Bubble Queen’s soaps, you’ll want to dab on some artisanal botanical perfumes made by Laurie SternLaurie is an award-winning natural perfumer. In her own words: “Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery revives the romance of the golden era of perfume through a blending of perfume’s legacy of romantic scent and gorgeous packaging with a modern sensitivity to organics, health, and ethics.”

Laurie Stern's Fleur de Caramel natural perfume

Laurie Stern’s Fleur de Caramel Parfum

If you want to meet Laurie in person and see her line of perfumes, she will be at the show the second weekend, December 1st and 2nd. Before then she’ll have luscious bath salts and other goodies available.

I hope you enjoyed this olfactory tour. Oh gee, did I mention when and where the show is? We’ll be at the Village Shops and Galleries, 10330 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito (cross streets Eureka and Stockton) from November 24th through December 2nd, from noon to 6:00 pm, open every day except Monday and Tuesday. And the launch party will be opening day,  this coming Saturday, November 24th, from 5 to 8 p.m. Hope to see you there!

This is my original post with all of the information about the Show.

Meet Some of my Favorite Artists

I told you the other day that my dreams to expand my usual solo Open Studio to include other artisans will finally come true, at the ArtFirst! Holiday Show and Sale starting next week. Here’s a look at the work of a couple of the amazing artists in the show. (And stay tuned, I’ll introduce you to more in my next posts). First, the most well-rounded, knowledgeable and generous artist I know —kayla garelickabstract photographer and photogravure printmaker. kayla writes that she seeks with her art to communicate her daydreams. Her business name is, aptly, “daydreaming arts.”

kayla garelick abstract photograph

copyright kayla garelick daydreaming arts

kayla is also a website wizard. She took time out of her busy schedule printing her work for this show, and appearing in other shows around the Bay Area, to create ArtFirst!’s site.

How many art shows boast talented mother and daughter artists? Meet Grace Taormina and her daughter Rachel. Grace is a mixed media and fiber artist who teaches a wide variety of art classes in the Bay Area and online at CraftArtEdu, and has published books about rubber stamping and other crafts. This is Grace’s Paper Paste Accordian Book.

Paper Paste Accordian Book

copyright Grace Taormina

Rachel Taormina paints and draws, works in mixed media, and creates upcycled jewelry. This is the home page of her website – showing the amazing variety of her artwork.

Rachel Taormina website

copyright Rachel Taormina

That’s your sneak peek for today! Much more to come, and if you’re in the Bay Area, I hope you can make it to the show — at the Village Shops and Galleries, 10330 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito, from November 24th through December 2nd, from noon to 6:00 pm, open every day except Monday and Tuesday.

Come to meet us at the opening launch party, next Saturday Nov. 24, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.

ArtFirst! Pop-Up Holiday Show and Sale

Since 2004 I’ve spruced up my basement studio and invited people in to see my artwork and handmade crafts for my yearly holiday Open Studio and Sale. From the beginning I dreamed of including other artists, but those of you who have come by know how small the space is, and that I filled it to the brim with my own work.

Garden Delights Arts & Crafts open studio

Well, my dream is finally about to come true. ArtFirst!, the art cooperative I started this year, is having a group pop-up art show and sale at the Village Shops and Galleries, 10330 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito, starting the last weekend in November and running through the first weekend in December.

ArtFirst! Holiday Art Show and Sale

We’ll be there from November 24th through December 2nd, from noon to 6:00 pm, open every day except Monday and Tuesday.

The opening launch party will be held on Saturday Nov. 24, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. I hope you can all make it, it’s going to be a blast! Our host at the VS Galleries, Mark Canepa, says he’s going to roll out the red carpet (really), and you’ll be able to meet the artists and enjoy music, wine and yummy snacks.

You won’t want to miss this exciting opportunity to see the diverse and unique work of eleven talented local artisans, and to shop local for original and one-of-a-kind handmade gifts for yourself and for family and friends. Some highlights include abstract photography by kayla garelick, assemblage art by Beka Brayer, my nature-based arts and crafts, blown glass by Holly Wallace, vintage-inspired loomed beadwork by Julie Long Gallegos, mixed media and fiber arts by Grace Taormina, fused glass jewelry and handmade soap by Jane and Nadine Robbins-Laurent, artisanal botanical perfumes by Laurie Stern, painting by Victoria Veedell, Rachel Taormina and our host Mark Canepa, and much more!

As always I’m eager to show you the many new photographs I’ve taken this year, and I’ve been working hard on my nature-based artwork and crafts. George brewed up a new batch of his wonderful natural soaps and we have a limited edition line of beeswax candles from local beehives.

Hummingbird at Flax Flower

The Gallery is wheelchair accessible and there’s plenty of free parking. It’s about a half mile from the El Cerrito Plaza BART station. I hope to see you there!

Follow ArtFirst! on Facebook. And please check out our website, created by kayla garelick.