Greetings from Oakland!

It’s day three of our Make Your Voice heard tour, and Kim Werker and I are working away at a Peet’s Coffee Shop in Oakland, California.

Yesterday we had a fabulous day of touring San Francisco with artist Sonya Philip who gave a true tour with stops at Scrap San Francisco (@scrapsf), a non-profit urban recycling centre focused on reuse for artists, teachers and makers and food stops at famous Tartine Bakery and tacos in the Mission District (which are just famously delicious).

Following our first event at The Booksmith in Haight Ashbury, SF (see pic above) with Rena Tom, we were hosted by Lisa Congdon at Diesel Bookstore, a wonderful bookstore here in Oakland, California. It was a thrill to hash out topics of creativity, creative demons, ‘women’s work’, and creating in the age of social media with these amazing smart women to a full house in Oakland.

We also snuck in a mac & cheese dinner with the amazing knit lit author Rachael Herron, who is a total delight to talk to about life, writing, knitting and all things in-between. My head is spinning from such a wonderful couple of days. I’ve been instagramming my favourite moments as they happen.

Both bookstores are really perfect bookstores in the sense that they love books and the people who write them – we spent our time before the panel at Diesel writing on their lists of “10 Books that Influenced Your Life”. With handwritten shelf talkers (the recommendation cards that stick out from bookshelves) and attentive staff, both are prime examples of  why we need small bookstores to thrive and flourish – there’s a personal care that you receive as both an author or a reader that a big box store or online retailer just can’t replicate. I heart independent booksellers (and if you do too, check out Diesel’s Indiegogo for a refurb after 25 years).

Part of our adventure at Scrap SF was collecting materials for our workshop tonight at MakeShift Society San Francisco. Kim will be leading participants through creating their own Mighty Ugly Creature, I will follow this up with some creativity prompts, and Betsy will finish our Round Robin with her own thoughts on sewing and psychology. There’s still a few spots left, and you can register here.

Tomorrow, we’ll be catching a fight to be part of a panel at Powell’s City of Books in Portland for Design Week and a workshop with MakerNation. For details of Portland, Seattle, and our other tour stops, visit my event page.