Thursday, December 22, 2011

Finally a new blog!

Happy Holidays everyone!

What ever it is you do or do not celebrate you have to admit there is something special about winter and what it brings.

The earth is gently going to sleep as we are preparing ourselves for her cool afternoons and chilly mornings. We give gifts, make big pots of soup, loaves of bread, sit in cafes with good friends, we celebrate a year that has past and a new one beginning.

We will make promises to ourselves that we may or may not keep, still we will be ourselves, always ourselves. Maybe this year we will share a little more of the very best parts of us, parts we may just be discovering. You are never too old or too wise to learn something new about yourself.

Tangerine started off as a way to honor my daughter and do something she would have loved. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a retail girl, a business woman, or even a very serious person at all butI love this space, the people who come here and the time I have had to do something I would have never thought I could do.

One of my promises to myself this year is to give a little more of myself to this store this year, to make it mine, to make more art and share it, to teach more, and to just enjoy this process, it's a blessing to be able to get up and come here everyday. I am an artist, and this place is about people, making art, laughing, sharing ideas, and just being in the moment.

Thank you to all of you who have taught me how to be a shop owner but not lose who I am, you know who you are.

So if you live not too far away come by, hang out, play, talk, share a cookie (just not my cookie) and take a class or get yourself a little happy.

Upcoming classes will be posted to the website the first of the year the offerings are irresistable, silver clay rings, journal making, paperclay dolls, ceramic bowls, junk jewlery...

May your new year bring you prosperity, great big hugs, moments that leave you breathless with joy and a new friend or two.

Make Art=Be Happy


Friday, June 10, 2011

Michael Demeng Registration OPEN!

It is that time of year again! Michael Demeng will be here at Tangerine teaching three new and wonderful workshops at tangerine. I just opened Registration and the calls are coming in. All the information you need is at the Tangerine website just click on "workshops" and you will get all the down and dirty including photos of new classes.

For the last three years this workshop weekend has been great fun. It is noisy, dusty, gluey, painty, and a little sweaty. Michael is wonderful instructor he is generous with his time, supplies and knowlege. There is always something new to learn and try and no one leaves disappointed.

So if you have been demengted, have always wanted to get demengted or just want to get your hands dirty give us a call, sign up and prepare to be enchanted.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Darling you look wonderful!

I am in a strange mood this morning...

I love me a little craft store, the cheesier the better. When I was young we didn't have them, the closest you could get was a hobby shop and not every town had one. We had a drug store with two long isles full of office supplies and odds and ends that rocked my world. I can still remember neon stickers, that brown glue with the rubber cap, twine, markers, rubber bands and really fat crayons that smelled like heaven.

As a grown up there are the usual suspects in every town, the big box craft stores (you know who they are) where you can find all the made in China shiny-and-pretty you could imagine. I have been sucked in last minute for red glitter, double sticky tape or a tri-fold for my sons school project. It isn't as fun as it was when I was a kid, it is a little bit of an overload for me now,a little too much plastic in one place.

I long for the good old days when there were still down towns full of Mom-and-Pop places; a shop that just fixes watches, a place that only sells fishing tackle and bait, a real bakery where you can find cookies and cakes still finished with whip cream, and a candy shop where the owner knew you just had a filling and wouldn't let you buy sugar-babies.

Tangerine is meant to be one of those places where the owner knows your name and that your daughter lost her first tooth last week. When I order something new I know which customers will love it, I know who to call when I find rhinestone buttons, and I know just who to invite to special gatherings. My customers know a great deal about my personal life and I enjoy listening to all their stories.

Tangerine is a tiny store and things get a little dusty sometimes. You won't find anything practical here but you will always find something to make you smile. I choose my products carefully because I don't have a corporate budget, I look for great deals to please my customers pocket books, and I look for irresistible trinkets to tickle their funny bone.

Today a new box store came to town, I went in with my coupon to buy chip wood boxes for a class I am giving and to check out the competition. Once again I was disappointed, there were rows of colorful product, hundreds of this thing and that, and a loud speaker to announce who was next to be helped by a human to process their order.

How did it come to this? When did people stop caring about who they gave their money too? When did people start thinking that the person who mispronounced your name printed at the bottom of your sales slip cared if you were really happy with your purchases?

In this economy every penny counts, every purchase is important, and every person deserves sincere customer service. It may not be popular or a corporate-success-model to care less about your bottom line and more about the people who you serve who are responsible for the success of your business.

I hang a sign on my door letting my clients know I am picking my son up from school or running down to the hardware store for another paintbrush or home with the flu. I write my cell phone number down, they can call me, I will rush back for them, they get it, they understand.

I don't live in a small town but I operate a small town business, I pretend it's 1953and I own a little hat and glove shop, and my ladies come in after tea to gossip, shop and to be told how pretty they look, "Darling you look wonderful" because they do. It feeds them, it feeds me, and it feels right.

There are stressful days, days I am crabby, days I am worried that the big-boys will take over the world and shops like mine will be instinct, then there are days when a regular customer will come in and tell me that her husband got a new job and they are going to the Grand Canyon for summer vacation, and do I have anymore of those Buddha boards for the road trip. The best part is before she leaves she says "I love this store it feels like it's my store" I tell her it is and I mean it. Then its all worth it all over again.

I will not be a tycoon anytime soon, I may not have a television commercial or really great branding gurus. Instead I will be here, at Tangerine, keeping it real and doing my best to hold onto some old ideas of what business should look like.

Monday, May 9, 2011

First Ladies Craft crafty!

So we finally did it and it was so much fun.

Last week we gathered at Tangerine for a ladies craft night. Everyone brought a little treat to share and a few ephemera-esque goodies and we simply played, ate, had a little wine (thank you Julee Herrmann) and made junk journals that were pretty snazzy. I on the other hand was sneezy.

Early in the day I came down with a gross cold compliments of my little guy who likes to bring me these things home from school. I didn't want to cancel so I was the hostess with the pocket full of tissue and a big red nose. My apologies to anyone I germed.

The food was suppose to be quick and easy, a bag of chips, a bottle of bubble water but we had some really yummy stuff. Is it just me or do wine, women, food, and art go perfectly together.

So we have to do it again because we just have to. In June there will be another, and we will be making party hats! and I promise journals one more time, you can never make or have enough journals.

If you have not been to Tangerine in a while it is time to come in, check out what classes are cooking and hang out. Where Women Create just came in and it's beautiful, so is the new ADQ. Stampington is going to release it's new children's magazine perfect for little artists, super for summer.

Michael Demeng will be here in September and I am opening Registration June 1st. The projects are amazing, I will post them this week. His workshops fill up fast so make sure you call or come in early.

For mothers day I got a pretty terrific grill and made some killer pizza. Yes you can BBQ pizza and it rocks me upside down. Just use a pizza stone, some applewood chips, your favorite dough recipe, and all the pizza fixins. OMG ladies you will never put pizza in the oven again.

I think I will bring some to our next ladies craft night.

Make Art + Be Happy

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


It is February here in California and once again I am being tricked into thinking winter is over. This is the time of year when we get a few exceptional days that make you think about little sweaters, sandals and pic-nics...

I have fallen for it before but I am older and wiser and know that this is a little teaser, a false spring that will turn back into frosty mornings and much needed rain before the real spring arrives.

Daffodils are up, ah magic. I love when they push through the soil and bloom over night. Daffs are one of my daughters favorite flowers and I planted a big sack full of bulbs for her when we moved into our house about 15 years ago. Every year when they come up I remember her excitement and how much she loved these little tea-cup an fairy dress blossoms.

She outgrew daffs and became a tulip girl, but they still had to be yellow, I planted those too but they come up red! There must have been a labeling mix up at the nursery but I like to think they come up Red because I love her so.

Here at Tangerine things are changing and blooming. The new studio is up and I should begin working in it next week. Hopefully we can work out the live feed soon, stuff that takes technical-know-how boggle me and take a little longer. The store still has some of the construction dust to get rid of but I finally got everything put away, it looks so pretty!

We have some new things, some silly gifts; mustache clings for your bathroom window so you can try on a different face. We have a hot-flash space gun that is actually a fan to cool you off when you pull the trigger. The candy is back, just a few favorites because it just wouldn't be the sweetest place in Dublin without it!

New friends keep arriving and it makes my day to meet someone knew who gets what we are doing here at Tangerine and that is loving the sweet things life has for us, laughing at the things that amuse and confuse us, making art because it is what is inside us, and creating a community of like minded people who remember how to play.

Come play, make art and be happy!

Guess what I just did?

Here are some before and after sometimes are better than words but coming in and seeing it for yourself is way more awesome!

I took a storage area that has not seen the light of day for 15 years and turned it into a studio at Tangerine. It was hard to be in two places at one time, now I can make art and be at the shop at the same time, twice as much fun.

The space is small, half the size of my regular everyday studio but with a little space engineering and a lot of thinning I was able to fit in just perfectly, it's a happy squeeze.

I have more to move in, a little more organizing to do and I have to make a big mess and make it my own but as of today I feel officially moved in.

Enjoy the photos!

Make Art = Be Happy.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Everything...

Well it has been a terrific year here at Tangerine. I have made some new friends, met some great artists and the customers who show up once seem to show up again and again...I am grateful, blessed and on most days just blown away by how this little store has such a big heart.

I am still in the process of updating the website. I hate doing it and it is always on my list of things to procrastinate, top of the list actually. My goal is to have it all pretty and new by New Year unless something more exciting comes up like a root canal.

New Classes are going up today, this I am seriously excited about, there will be plenty of fun art making here this year so keep checking the website for updates.

In January I am building out a tiny studio here at the store, it is going to take a little muscle a lot of imagination and some magic to make it happen but it will be a sweet workplace to make art and do demos. Many of you know that my home and studio are not too far away from Tangerine and often I can be found there instead of here. Hopefully with a studio space at the store I can be found here more often.

I wish all of you a very Merry Holiday season may you be surrounded by people you love, have plenty of cookies to nibble on and may the new year bring growth, prosperity, discovery, and harmony.

Make Art=Be Happy