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Sep 02nd
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A Lot of Lotta

blog_beauty1She’s a self-made crafty businesswoman whose textiles, designs, post it notes, bags, and much more have defined her as the “go to” woman in Scandinavian design. Meet Lotta Jansdotter, one of our design favorites. Visit Jansdotter.com for a full look at the artist. Long ago, Jansdotter was a student at Santa Cruz’s very own Cabrillo College. Then she took the next logical step and took her creative self to the bustling artistic haven of San Francisco. There, she launched her own business and began designing textiles and more. Her simple, modern, accessible, nature-based, and completely beautiful style quickly won her legions of fans and followers. After a while, Jansdotter took off to Brooklyn, New York, and her business continues to grow. She’s published several books on sewing and design through Chronicle Books, she teaches art workshops, and these days you can find much of her stationery items at any local bookstore. I’ve been to her work studio in Brooklyn and plopped down a bunch of money on bags, paper products, sewing kits and more. Recently, Jansdotter came out with one of her most inspiring books thus far, “Handmade Living.” It’s something of a coffee table book that takes a look at her home in Brooklyn and her work studio, and the creative way she has decorated and designed these various places. Think of it as a gateway to a great designer’s personal world. The book feels more like a magazine—something to escape away with, read, dog-ear pages, and become inspired.  Learn how to make a mobile, discover a cinnamon roll recipe, find a creative way to hang your dishes, and so much more. “Handmade Living” will help you take a stab at creating your own handmade life.

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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Foodie File: Beer Thirty

Cups runneth over at Soquel’s new beer garden

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.