Category: Travel

travel tuesday: san francisco’s britex fabrics

britex fabrics san francisco - floor 1 library ladder

It’s no secret that I actively seek out fabric stores when I’m on a trip. In fact, I might even say that traveling is simply an excuse to go fabric shopping in a new environment. Fabric stores feel like a little bit of heaven mixed with a little bit of home.

britex fabrics san francisco - red neon sign

San Francisco’s gem of a fabric store is Britex Fabrics. It’s huge (4 floors!), fancy, and packed with everything you could ever want.

I visited San Francisco, a delightfully walkable city, in mid-May. As I approached the entrance to Britex and noticed the giant red sign, I knew I was going to like this place.

britex fabrics san francisco - floor 1 library ladder

The ground floor features rainbows of wools and silks.

They use library ladders to reach the highest shelves – can you imagine? It’s like Belle’s library but with fabric in place of books. This is what dreams are made of.

britex fabrics san francisco - floor 2 fashion fabrics

The second floor houses home décor and cottons. I poked around the print cottons and considered a few, but this is where I must be frank: I’m bad at buying expensive fabric, and I’m terrible at summoning the strength to cut it once I bring it home. I was simply exploring, with no project in mind, so I continued onward.

britex fabrics san francisco - floor 3 rainbow trims

Floor 3 felt the most like a candy land. Walls of trims, racks of ribbons, and buttons of all colors and shapes. The ribbons were available in every imaginable hue.

britex fabrics san francisco - floor 4 remnants

Floor 4 is home to the remnants, interfacings, and clearance bolt ends. If I were to buy something, this would be my floor… and if I lived nearby, I’d be checking their bargains every few weeks. But for this trip, the inspiration alone was a sufficient souvenir. I need a library ladder! (but hopefully I never have enough fabric to warrant one!)

Another great fabric stop – where I actually bought some fabric! – was Fabric Outlet in the Mission district. Not as photogenic, and the area is questionable (careful!), but the store is an enormous basement filled with some of everything. Acting fancy at Britex and staring open-mouthed at the gorgeous fabrics was fun, but treasure hunting is my preferred way to shop… I like a little bit of a challenge, and I love to dig to find the best fabrics.

golden gate bridge, view from the beach

And who can visit San Francisco without taking a million pictures of this thing? It’s so pretty.

Travel Tuesday is a semi-weekly feature that allows me to recap the many trips I’ve failed to formally document. I’ll be sharing photos and fuzzy (but fond) memories from recent and not-so-recent adventures.

travel tuesday: silly things in basel

hannah and claire at the dreilaendereck in basel

Basel: A quick girls’ trip to Switzerland. A breezy round trip for me, and a first time in Europe for Claire and Hannah. It was wonderful to see Europe through their fresh eyes, and, as it always is with friends, the smallest things were the best things.

claire with a giant pair of jeans in basel

Or, sometimes, it’s the largest things… like this enormous pair of pants that I forced a hesitant Claire to pose with.

an oddly grumpy wooden church pew man, basel

The church pews in the Basel Münster were adorned with extremely grumpy wooden men!

red face carvings at the basel rathaus

And the windows of the Rathaus were bedecked in small, individually distinct faces.

tavern lantern featuring a urinating dwarf in basel

We spotted a tavern lantern that featured a urinating dwarf…

giant birkenstock in basel

… and a window-sized Birkenstock. Maybe it belongs with the giant pants!

wooden door in basel with exposed glutes

And of course, how could I resist sharing the wooden door with artfully carved men showing off their glutes? Resistance is futile. The glutes must be displayed.

the best schokocroissants of my life

On a much more serious note: these were the best schokocroissants I have ever had. I will never forget them, and I will never fail to wish I could continue to eat them daily. Three days, one croissant per day, was nowhere near enough.

Travel Tuesday is a semi-weekly feature that allows me to recap the many trips I’ve failed to formally document. I’ll be sharing photos and fuzzy (but fond) memories from recent and not-so-recent adventures.

travel tuesday: the land of st. patrick

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! As a proud member of the ghastly pale genetically Irish, I’ll be sporting my green for sure. And, since it’s Travel Tuesday, I’m sharing the obvious: a few photos of our family trip to Ireland in 2011. I posted an Ireland photo recap of days 1, 2, and 3 of the trip… but the blog never made it past day 3. This is what Travel Tuesday is all about, friends. It is with great pleasure that I bring you Day 6, July 19, 2011: Dingle Bay.

sheep at the coast in dingle, ireland

Dingle was the archetype of Irish landscape: lush, green cliffs dropping off into a brilliant blue sea. And the cliffs were consistently dotted with sheep.

sheep at the coast in dingle, ireland

So many sheep!

papa and andy on a cliff at dingle bay

We spent time climbing the craggy cliffs, some of us ascending higher than others (and making Mama very nervous). The colors and textures throughout the landscape were just phenomenal. The clouds rolled in and out throughout the day, lending my pictures depth and a perfect contrast to all the green.

dingle bay

andy skipping rocks at dingle bay, ireland

Eventually we descended to the small, beachy bay. We skipped rocks, and even waded in until the chilly water grazed our kneecaps. No matter what the season, if I’m at a beach, I force my feet to touch the water. It marks me: it means I was really there.

handmade raspberry sweatshirt

I wore a raglan-sleeved raspberry sweatshirt I had made specially for the trip. Pullovers are the perfect layer for traveling, because they don’t lead to competing hoods. We were the luckiest, though, for our Ireland trip had only one rainy day – not many hoods to worry about.

craggy cliffs at dingle, ireland

sheep climbing the rocks in dingle

shamrock on the sidewalk - dingle, ireland

First thing that morning, I saw a shamrock on the sidewalk – one of only a few that I witnessed on the trip. May your day today be filled with Irish blessings, and don’t forget your green!

Travel Tuesday is a semi-weekly feature that allows me to recap the many trips I’ve failed to formally document. I’ll be sharing photos and fuzzy (but fond) memories from recent and not-so-recent adventures.