I thought since it was October, my favorite month of the year, I would share with you a couple of my “favorite haunts.” These places transcend time and the common world of the retail shopping experience, and are more like a magical trip to a forgotten world somewhere between European arts and a Steampunk village shop. Both venues are in
. Berkeley, CA
Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles is our first stop. Every time I walk up the doorway of this place my heart begins to race. I am flooded with visuals: brilliant colors, textures, and objects I have never seen before except here. I love massive selection of uncommon threads, needlework tools and equipment, books, and a plethora of foundation materials to create just about anything from a spectacular Chapeau to a tatted lace doily. And most importantly an extremely knowledgeable staff, that seems to know what you want or need before you do. There is even a lace museum in the same building! With its high ceilings and vast array of goodies and books, you will not ever leave Lacis empty handed.
My next stop is the fascinating Castle in the Air located on
’s famous Fourth Street sharing other specialty shops as neighbors. Shopping on Fourth Street is never disappointing, and Castle in the Air is on the top of my list as a destination. Amazing seasonal window displays are worthy of more than a casual pause. Once inside the doorway you are greeted by German puppets, miniatures in antique glass cases and an excellent selection of items like heavy crepe papers, real glass glitter, blank books, drawing and calligraphy inks, scrap and just about anything sparkly to create your own wonders. They have classes and a gallery upstairs run by artists that create their own work and are masters at their craft. Many people frequent this place to purchase a gift that one could not find anywhere else including fountain pens in all colors and styles, reproduction classic fairy tales, European greeting cards, hand carved collectibles, paper mache figures, and French ribbon. Berkeley
Happy haunting and may you discover these places and your own secret nooks on your travels.