jack of all trades-oakland

What a fun experience this show was for me.

I headed out in the rain this past Saturday to attend my first Jack of all Trades Market in Oakland. I arrived in the Jack London Square area, easily finding a parking space, quick chat with a friendly parking attendant, and headed out into the downpour wearing my cozy boots and ridiculously pink umbrella.

Puddle hopping toward a building I hoped housed the event, I met a woman named Carolyn, who was also braving the soupy weather while her friend was in a conference. What a blessing for me, on my lone journey, to meet a sweet stranger who happened to share my favorite color and similar tastes in shopping as well! What fun! We shopped the upstairs first, chatting with a couple of vendors. Both of us bought adorable bird prints mounted on wood by Maggie Hurley.

My choice, of course, was a Blue Magpie Jay titled “The Chatterbox”. Carolyn selected the Robin print, as it included our favorite color. I loved hearing some of Maggie’s stories about the birds she first photographed then painted. One of the paintings was called “Butterfly” even though it depicted a bird. Maggie said she was photographing the butterfly when the bird swooped down and ate it! Ah, life.

Print on wood by Maggie Hurley

Print on wood by Maggie Hurley

At this point in my day I’m beaming inside. Funny how when you are on a path, the right path for you, the stars align and you just enjoy the journey.

Immediately after purchasing our little bird prints on wood we came to another table with lovely wood veneer greeting cards. We chatted with Chris about these well designed cards handcrafted in San Francisco. Check them out! Their web site is beautiful.

Chris was also showing some super fun pillows by his friend Rebecca Taylor: Maker of Whimsical things. I loved these Golden Gate bridge pillows! She has a great eye and is eco friendly, using scraps from the design center to make these clever home accents. I didn’t see the bridge pillows on her site so you may have to contact her if you’re interested in one. Oodle Ba Doodle is the name of her company.

I bid Carolyn goodbye while drooling over some beautiful jewelry the artist made with pieces collected in Bali. Carolyn was off to meet her friend for lunch and I had more exploring to do. I truly did enjoy meeting her.

There were lots of clever things to see. People reselling the neat vintage things they’ve found, antique maps, jewelry, reclaimed wood furniture, a beautiful tree swing made from wine barrels, soaps, lotions, cotton candy… You name it.

The last thing that caught my eye were these fantastic sconces! Ricky Nelson of Nelson Metal Art repurposes mostly metallic items. The lights he made really caught my eye. I recognized the parts but could not place them! His card, (and T-shirt) read “We Make Things Out Of Stuff”. These lights have the right “stuff” Ricky! I hope you are inspired to do more along these lines.

This brings me to the end of my first exploration at Jack of All Trades. I truly had a wonderful time and was inspired by people and the things they made.

xo

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