Category Archives: city life

Don’t Procrastinate – Renegade Craft SF This Weekend

Coming up for air to let all the San Francisco area people know that Renegade Craft Fair‘s holiday show is SUPER early this year. As in THIS weekend. It is usually a great chance for procrastinators to get their last-minute holiday shopping done. But this year, we all have the chance to be a bit more responsible and get our holiday shopping done before Thanksgiving!

There will be over 300 vendors, selling handmade food, art, clothes, and more. Come by and see me. I’m right down the middle aisle, near pals Etta + Billie, Lemon Bird Jams, and Nosh This.


Love letter to Japantown, San Francisco

mochi painting

mochi painting from my sketchbook

I’m not exactly sure when my love/obsession with Japan began. I know that I had Japanese import versions of ska CDs before I ever tasted sushi. The fact that Steve loves Japanese pop culture as much as I do certainly fuels our joint fascination. I love the food, the culture, the design, the art, and the uniquely foreign perspective forged from years of isolationism. Really everything. We’ve been fortunate enough to get to travel to Japan twice, and hope there are many more trips in our future.

For the past three years, I have been part of a business group, made up of creative entrepreneurs and makers. We all met at various craft shows in the Bay Area and have been meeting once a month for years, to share resources, vent our frustrations, and give advice to each other. And this year, we started a little blog, sharing a little business advice, some recipes from our monthly meetings, local retailer interviews and our favorite spots in the Bay Area. I recently wrote my own little love letter to Japantown in San Francisco. Hop on over and discover my favorite places to eat and shop in one of the few remaining Japantowns in America.

And if you want to amp up your own obsession with Japanese food, may I suggest the multi-volume, hilarious food manga series Oishinbo (available at Kinokuniya and UmamiMart) and the funny food memoir Pretty Good Number One, about a young American family living and eating in Tokyo for a month.

summertime cocktail prints, ready to rock


The weather has taken a turn for the sunny, and dare I say, warm? I was actually able to sit outside at Public House with my father on his short visit to SF yesterday, and *may* have even said it was hot at one point. And the sun went down behind the buildings and it was all over.

But, it is supposed to be quite lovely this weekend, which means it will be a great time to hang outside and stop in Renegade Craft Fair at Fort Mason. There are over 200 vendors, including your’s truly. Drywell Art will be front and center, quite literally. We’ll be set up next to my pal Kai, at Nosh This, who will be slinging Bacon Crack (TM) after a long hiatus.

Jam-maker extraordinaire, Lemon Bird and culinary soap-master Etta+Billie will be sharing a booth nearby, and my pal Sharon Z. will be there too with her eponymous jewelry line. Some other faves are SF tees for kids by my friend, the newly engaged Jamai of Animal Instincts, and the always amazing art of Ryan Berekley. (I just saw a show of his while I was in POrtland … really hoping he’s made some prints of those pieces!)


And Drywell Art will have some new goods on display, including a slew of framed original watercolors and at least two new cocktail diagram prints, the Sidecar and Sazerac.

Stop in, eat some chocolate and say hello.



Preparing for 17 weeks of travel was challenging, to say the least. As with any trip, it seems like the last week or so is the most jam-packed time, when you are frantically trying to make sure everything is ready to go and you haven’t forgotten anything important. Any sane person would put all their energy into getting prepared and use any remaining time for a bon voyage party and relaxing with friends you won’t see for months.

I, however, am not a sane person. Eight days before my departure, I commented on Padrecito bar manager David Ruiz’s Instagram post, showing the progress of the long-anticipated Mexican restaurant in Cole Valley. Padrecito is taking the place of neighborhood stalwart EOS, which closed last year. Cole Valley is my neighborhood, and I’ve been peeking into the brown paper-covered windows of the restaurant, checking on the progress for months. That one little comment turned into an email exchange, which turned into a phone call, which then turned into a quick meeting at the bar. And that’s how I found myself, less than a week before my departure, illustrating the cocktail menu of a neighborhood restaurant.


And it looks pretty bad ass, if I do say so myself.

As cool as the menu looks, imagine how delicious the cocktails are! I’m beyond bummed that I didn’t get a chance to see the restaurant in action before I left. But if you’re in San Francisco, you have no excuse. The restaurant is gorgeous, and if the food and cocktails at sister restaurant Mamacita are any indication, Padrecito is going to be delicious and packed very soon. (Sneak peek of the dinner menu is here). From what I hear, soft opening was this weekend, and looking to open for real on March 12th or so. Follow @PadrecitoSF on Twitter for updates.

So get over there, and have a cocktail for me. Bonus points to anyone who tweets a picture of their cocktail and the corresponding illustration to me at @ilovedrywell.

Sustenance and Carly Rae Jepsen

I’ve kind of been riding high this week, flitting from a group art show – Mixed Meat-ia– opening at Lolinda, curated by the Bold Italic, to a friends and family pre-opening at the much-anticipated Hi Lo BBQ in the Mission (twitter can do amazing things, people). Notably, I’ve NOT been flitting to and from the Hall of Justice, because my number didn’t get called for jury duty this week. And to top it all off, on Friday, I’ll be at the opening reception for the Sustenance group show, at Rare Device.

The Sustenance show is curated by Lauren Venell, who you may know as the master-mind behind Sweet Meats — those amazing plush hams and other assorted meat products. The theme of the show celebrates the history of the space that Rare Device now inhabits on Divisadero. It has been at one time or another, the Bank of Italy, a butcher show, and an orphanage. We were given the guideline to do something that relates to the hisotry of the space or the theme of sustenance in general.

I already knew that the space had been a butcher’s shop, but as soon as I found out that it had an Italian connection, it took me all of 5 seconds to figure out what piece I was going to make.

Yeah, I listened to a lot of silly pop music during the crush of December. I’m not embarassed. And you know you like it too.


Now available as a 8.5 x 11 print!

guanciale sq


RSVP here.


SUSTENANCE150 Years of Feeding the Community at 600 Divisadero

Rare Device presents “Sustenance”, a new group gallery exhibition with a focus on the unique histories of 600 Divisadero and the positive effects the residents of the space have had on the community. Curated by Lauren Venell, the show features local art by Lauren Venell, Heather Hardison, Samantha Barsky, Alyson Thomas, Dan Brazelton, Tina Jett, Ally Ritchie, Andrew Venell, Karen Curtiss and Brian McHugh.

Opening Reception: Friday, February 1 from 6 – 9 PM

About “Sustenance”: 600 Divisadero Street has provided nourishment to everyone around it for over 150 years. Since 1876 this piece of pasture has housed an orphanage, a Bank of Italy, a neighborhood meat market, and now, Rare Device shop and gallery. Each of these institutions has fed the community–sometimes with food, and sometimes with more spiritual sustenance, as a place for neighbors to gather and feel at home. The community also feeds 600 Divis, much like tributaries feed a river. Generations of San Franciscans have flowed through here, sometimes stopping and spending time with the people, goods and spaces that have grown and changed here over time.

In 1876 the Pacific Hebrew Orphan Asylum was built on the site of 600 Divisadero, which fed dozens of children–and, after the 1906 earthquake, more than 50 other members of the local community as well. Even though the kitchen was destroyed, Superintendent Henry Mauser grilled meats over an improvised fire pit for weeks following the disaster.  50 years later 600 Divis continued that tradition by serving local residents with high-quality, low-cost meats at Divisadero Meat Market. Divisadero Meat Market stayed open under just two different owners, finally closing in 2010. Now the storefront is home to Rare Device, a welcoming spot where people can nourish their spirits and homes with meaningful, beautiful objects, or gather for community events like children’s story time.

About Lauren Venell: Lauren Venell is an independent designer and artist from San Francisco, whose products can be found in stores around the world. Her work has been published in titles by Chronicle Books, Klutz/Scholastic, and Quarry Books, and featured in several media outlets including The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Everyday with Rachel Ray and on Canal+ Television. Lauren lives and works with her husband and an ornery parrotlet named Elvis.

About Rare Device: Rare Device is a store and gallery that features functional experiments and original ideas in art, design, craft and fabrication. Owner Giselle Gyalzen constantly seeks out objects that are beautiful, evocative, well constructed and thoughtful. We are pleased to bring to our San Francisco store an ever-growing roster of local, national and international artists and designers for a truly “rare” experience.
Rare Device ( is located at 600 Divisadero Street, at the corner of Hayes. Store/gallery hours are Monday through Friday noon to 8pm, Saturday 11am to 7pm and Sunday 11am to 6 pm.

For more information contact: Giselle Gyalzen at or 415-863-3969


snippets of stuff


roof top view in cole vally

Some snippets of life in the last week, which after making a last minute ticket to Dallas and DC, mostly involved harried cooking and socializing.

San Marazanoscanning san marzano tomatoes

Mystery Box

Russian River Brewing

limited edition posters

italian prune plum torte

happy hour on our roof

posing chicken

zuni chicken

chicken and waffles

yam tater tots

the BEST jam


From top: view from our roof / canning san marzano tomatoes from Mariquita Farms / $25 “mystery box” haul from Mariquita Farms / lunch at Russian River Brewing with Nosh This chocolates (and, uh, Nosh This (Kai) himself, along with Steve and Kimra) / limited edition posters commissioned by Fleisher’s Grass Fed and Organic Meat for their new Park Slope store / plum torte / cocktail hour on our roof / raw chicken pose / impromptu dinner party with Zuni chicken / chicken and waffles and yam tater tots at Criolla Kitchen / cocktail hour with the parents in texas with lemonbird handmade jam / and oh yeah, i bought some art! the top one to be specific.

Thank you LA, for giving me a summer

A couple weeks ago, I ventured outside of the 415 with my meaty art in tow (oh, plus Steve and some egg mcmuffins) to participate in the Renegade Craft Fair in Los Angeles. It was my first show outside of San Francisco, and despite a lower turnout than anticipated (thanks a lot, Carmageddon) I’m definitely counting the show as a success. Why?

1. An outdoors show that was actually WARM!

Drywell booth at Renegade LA

Ludo's food truck at Renegade LA
large and in charge charcoal butchery

True, sometimes I’ll get a rare warm Sunday show with Indiemart, but for the most part in SF, it is inside shows or crazy windy outdoors ones. LA was lovely, tented, and a full 30 degrees warmer than SF at the same time.

2. Confirming that LA folks love meat too. 

LA is for Meat Eaters.
check out the meat on that board

There were a couple of people who didn’t quite seem to “get” the strong rallying cry of “Los Angeles is for Meat Eaters” but overall, I got meet a ton of excited food and meat lovers, including numerous chefs, and friends of chefs.

3 little piggies

3. We got and used a dolly.

Steve and the meat beard of justice
Doesn’t he look super happy? It’s all because of the dolly. 

No idea why it took us over a year of doing craft shows to spend a mere $28 to get the most amazing, back and marriage saving device ever. Thanks to Margaret of  Paper Pastries for the insanely key tip.

4.  Visiting The Bruery and Beachwood BBQ

ribs at Beachwood BBQ
my art at Beachwood.
Steve drinking Bruery Cuir
Steve drinking a glass of Cuir beer from The Bruery

Heading south also meant the chance to see my custom artwork I made for Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach (I might have had some amazing ribs and Telegraph Reserve Wheat on tap while I was there too). The place was fantastic, and finally getting to meet Lena and Gabe, the owners was such a treat. I’ve been delighted to discover that so many of these awesome business I love are co-owned by husband and wife teams.

Beachwood BBQ
custom art at Beachwood BBQ

Seeing the custom art in person was such a crazy trip and so exciting. As you can see.

We also managed to sneak in a private tour of The Bruery in Placentia, courtesy of the crazy nice and generous Ben, PR dude extraordinaire. I’ll have a separate post about that.

Inside the Bruery
The Bruery

6. Palm Springs, baby. 

mid century awesomeness

Oh, and a quick jaunt to Palm Springs after the show didn’t hurt a damn thing. More on that later….


October has proved to be insanely busy, with lots of food, drink, friends, and vacations. All good, but man, do I need to get some arty work done!

Wanted to share some shots from an Oktoberfest progressive dinner that we had a couple of weeks ago. This was our third progressive dinner and they are pretty awesome. Each course is hosted at a different house, which allows for a fairly easy way to host a dinner party for 8 to 10 friends, since everyone shares the cooking and drink duty. The host houses are all within walking (or a short Muni ride) from each other, so things progress pretty quickly.

And it helps that we have some crazy good cooks in the group — the spread included homemade soft pretzels, beery cheese sauce, an insanely delicious 8 hour roast pork shoulder, spatzel gratin, homebrewed oktoberfest beer, and german chocolate beer floats, and mini apple struedels.

Oh yeah, and I can’t pass up an opportunity for costuming….

Indie Mart!

Whew! I’ve been a busy bee, wrapping up some final pieces for Indie-Mart on Sunday. I’m excited to offer a larger print of “Ghost Meat” in 13×19 that frankly, looks amazing. There will also be tons of prints, mostly in the 5×7 range along with some pig butchery figurines and even some originals.

The whole event should be blast, with live music, cheap beer, food, DIY terrariums, and puppies(!)

If you’re in the area, come on by and check it out! I’ll be smack dab in the middle of everything.

Indie Mart
Wisconsin, between 16th and 17th
San Francisco
12pm to 6pm
Sunday, June 6th

birthday boy

front of card for steve!

A happy belated birthday to my mister!

This weekend we heard that PacMan just turned 30 too, so I had to incorporate that into the card I painted for him.

inside of card

As is common for us, I didn’t get him a physical present, but rather a promise of a summer trip.

So excited to go to Pheonix to try out Pizzeria Bianco, often regarded as the best pizza in the US!

Steve also commemorated his 30 years by painting the eye on his daruma (which I made for him as a Christmas present). Traditionally, one is supposed to paint in one eye when they make a goal, and when the goal is achieved, the other eye is painted. I guess it is supposed to remind you with it’s one black eye to keep focused on your goals. or something. I’m obviously not really sure.

I’ve been healing from some minor whiplash, so although his birthday was on Monday, we just celebrated last night with an awesome dinner at a neighborhood sushi place that he’s been dying to try since we moved here. The food was delicious and the older japanese couple that runs the place are unbelievably adorable. I got a tip (from yelp) to order Kurosawa sake, as it is from the owner’s hometown of Nagano. From there on they couldn’t have been nicer, even showing us the pictures of a young Yo-Yo Ma and other famous musicians who have eaten and performed there over the last 26 years. Comparing our experience to the many negative reviews about the service on yelp, just confirms my theory that people get bad service when they are assholes. (This theory was also proved true at Momofuku Ssam Bar in NYC).

Other than that, busy busy here prepping for Indie Mart on June 6th! I’ll have some more updates before then!