Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fourth Street is My Muse

 Leone Candy Tins

I have a confession to make, I've been in a kind of creative rut lately. My ideas don't form as quickly as they used to.  And for the ones that do surface, I have no desire to actually make them.  That's how I've been all summer until now.  I realized the problem stemmed from a few things.  One, I worked on a large project that sucked all the creative energy out of me. Two, I've been obsessed distracted with searching for a new home.  And three, I just don't have a moment to myself to think.  By the time my children are in bed and the house is quiet my brain is basically mush.  So to change things around I decided to visit one of my favorite places, Fourth Street in Berkeley.

A lot of things inspire me but what I draw the most inspiration from are visual things, store fronts, toys, clothes, displays etc.  It's like a creative switch turns on in my brain when I see new and unique things.  So today I thought I would share a few things that inspired me on my trip to fourth street.

Leone Candy Tins (pictured above) - I discovered these candies in a past trip to fourth street and have been purchasing them ever since.  I like to save the containers for small gift boxes and travel candles.
One of my favorite stores for inspiration is Castle in The Air.  It's a stationery store filled with pretty paper, glass glitter and other treasures from around the world.  I was instantly charmed by these vintage dime store watches.  I purchased one for my daughter and one for me.  I'm already brainstorming Valentine card ideas inspired by the toy timepiece.

Saving the best for last, I stopped at Anthropologie.  They could be selling me rusty cat food cans and I'd want to buy them because the merchandising is that good. Of course they didn't disappoint, upon my arrival there were giant paper flowers that looked like they were growing out of the store's floor.  But what captured my eye was the tiniest of details, a shirt label.   It's like a little piece of art hidden in the inside of a garment. I love that it looks like a little air mail stamp.  I love that it's embossed. It makes me want to cut it off and use it in a collage.

How do you conjure up inspiration when you're suffering a creative block?  Go to the museum?  Spend time with nature?  Learn something new? 


Deanna said...

I do laundry....lol
I feel ya, summer has sucked most of everything out of me. We have our house on mkt and most of my time has been spent keeping it clean with 4 kids out of school. yuck. Good luck house hunting...I'd rather do that than deal with this stinky picky buyers mkt.

Lisa U said...

4th Street sounds like such a nice place! Must go next time I'm in the Bay area. I was just thinking about how I'm in a creative rut too! I do love those Anthropologie tags though. Free People store usually has some pretty cool eclectic things and displays too. I LOVE Japanese stationary stores and Daiso! Muji also just recently opened an SF store - you are so lucky! http://www.muji.us/store/

Maiden Circuits said...

I take a long bath =D. Then search the net, look at my favorite craft artists' blogs for inspiration =D

bybido said...

I love 4th St. And I love Castle in the Air. I'd love to take a class there someday.

Gosh, I remember so many years ago (back in my grad school days) when there wasn't a whole lot down there...a Peet's, Market Hall, Crate and Barrel Outlet...

It's quite a street these days!

Rebecca said...

ooo fun stores! Anthro always inspires me. I am like you, I like the visual so a trip to Tinsel Trading Co. here in NYC usually perks me up or Kinokuniya. I also (of course) love Pinterest but I have an Inspiration Book tat I have pasted things into for years that I always turn to when I need a little spark. Just the making of the book is creative in itself. Cheers!

Joy said...

Oh, I am so feeling the same way! I wish we had a store like that near here... I don't think I can ever leave! Anyway, lately I've started exercising and that seems to help my creative juices... unfortunately, it hasn't motivated me to blog. Sorry, I don't think I'm being much of a help, but know that you are most definitely not alone.

Anonymous said...

Laughed out loud at your description of Anthropologie!! So true...and thanks for the gut laugh!

Zakka Life said...


I've never been to Tinsel Trading Co but I checked out the site. Looks like a wonderful place for inspiration. And I totally agree with you about Kinokuniya, it's hard not to find inspiration in that store.

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