In 1973, when Ramona Clayton was 19, she moved to Germany where she earned a PhD in molecular biology and worked with sterile medicines. But she also began making pottery—a hobby that would become her profession when she moved back to the United States in 2004. Rather than going through the licensing hassle necessary to work as a microbiologist in the States, she opened terramonary stoneware & porcelain, where, in addition to making stoneware and porcelain pieces to sell, she teaches others her craft. The studio's name—and Ramona's reason for returning to California—comes from her husband, Terry. Starting out as high-school sweethearts, they lost touch not long after graduation. After 22 years apart, Terry found her on the Internet, called her, and asked if she remembered him. She did. "He signed his love letters with 'Terramonary,' which is just an anagram of 'Terry' and 'Ramona'," she recalls. To Terry's delight, she thought it would be a catchy name for the business and even used her science know-how to break down the parts of the word into Latin and alchemic roots that symbolize the four elements. Ramona fires her long-lasting pieces in the kiln outside her studio, which sits on a concrete porch where she and her students also glaze their pieces. Inside, the wheels and workstations are in a separate area from her showroom, which brims with decorative pieces as well as plates, cups, and serving pieces that are safe for ovens, microwaves, dishwashers, and time machines. "My goal in life is to make pretty things useful—or useful things pretty," she says. "If it's too delicate or it's just decorative, people are afraid of it."
The seasoned craftsmen and designers at Santa Barbara Frame Shop & Gallery take pride in preserving and enhancing memories in all of their forms?from artworks and diplomas to posters and dog-eared time-share brochures. They draw on a selection of hundreds of frames, selecting one to match your keepsake before enhancing it with a precision-cut mat and non-glare glass. As a testament to the framers? acumen, walls throughout the shop showcase local artists' paintings, serigraphs, and photos, each fitted within its own regal frame.
The horticulturists at 7 Day Nursery have dedicated more than 29 years to equipping guests with the organic means to build their gardens, housing a variety of lush greenery and eco-friendly supplies. Guests can dot their flower beds with a colorful palette of annuals and perennials (2.99+), or plant veggies ($2.99+) and California-raised fruit trees ($34+) to supply salad bowls and Carmen Miranda’s hat collection. A blossoming selection of houseplants infuses vibrant hues in plain, empty dwellings ($3.99+), and garden art and pottery accentuate flower patches in front lawns. Eschew harmful chemical pesticides with organic fertilizers that improve growth without polluting waterways or wilting innocent lawn flamingos.
Big Wave Dave's Pumpkin Patch outfits front stoops in fall finery with a showcase of locally grown, organic pumpkins, while regaling tots with a bevvy of free games and prizes. Customers peruse the orange orbs beneath an all-weather tent that repels rain and migrating autumn leaves, selecting future jack-o'-lanterns from the patch's assortment of $10, basketball-size gourds. The outdoor pumpkin emporium equips novice etchers with a variety of carving kits, candles, and stencils to surgically enhance unexpressive spheres with flickering grins. Kids can compete for prizes in a series of autumnal games, or vault over invisible hurdles in the Santa Barbara location's complimentary bounce house.
Patrons step into the locally owned Patterson Self-Storage and Moving Box Supply Store, a winner of Santa Barbara Independent’s Best of 2008 and 2009 Self-Storage, to procure secure boxes and storage materials for bundling up household valuables. For added padding, patrons can wrap fragile figurines in large plastic bubble wrap ($0.40/ft.) or fill pools with packing peanuts ($6.55) to perfect jackknives during the winter. Customers can tuck prized possessions into small ($1.85) or large ($3.85) boxes, or send them in holiday shipping cubes ($1.20). For customers in a rush to get to the post office or to the pony express, sets of supplies are available, such as the quick pack ($26.32), which includes small, medium, and large boxes, as well as a roll of tape.