Far more than an emporium of colorful textile patterns, Urban Burp holds over 5 tons of vintage fabric dating back to the early 20th century, collecting original vintage threads that weave memory and nostalgia into their very fabric. The studio takes its unusual name from the intense experience of recognition that seeing and touching a piece of familiar pattern can bring. "All that emotion has been shoved down into the lower chakras and all of a sudden it takes one piece of fabric to bring you back to that place," owner Electra Skilandat told The San Francisco Chronicle. She continues to elicit that response with bolts of cloth decorated with the floral designs and abstract art of the 1920s, or the bold color mixtures and fractal patterns that were popular in the ‘50s and ‘60s.
Skilandat traces her love affair with textile design back to her childhood in Boston, where her mother lovingly hand-crafted all of her clothes for school and play. Over the years, Electra amassed a collection of over 1,000 bolts of fabric and experience in interior decor. After the death of her only son, she rediscovered her creative instincts, opening the fabric shop with upholstery and drapery services that would precede Urban Burp's stunning display of warp and weft. As guests peruse the studio's ample supply of original vintage pictorial and patterned designs, sewing patterns, and notions, Skilandat unfurls her decades of wisdom during interior decor consultations.
For more than 29 years, the shelves and displays of AFTOSA have brimmed with both popular and hard-to-find art supplies. Specializing in ceramics, AFTOSA's staffers decorate the venue with clay-based works of art from various artists, and offer a variety of products, including ceramic, polymer, and resin, as well as books on ceramic design and tools such as pottery sealants and turntables.
Along with ceramic gear, AFTOSA equips customers with premade wood and metal tile products, glazes, and display products.
With more than 15 years in business, FastFrame’s Napa Valley location helps enhance fond memories with a variety of framing and photo-related services. Bring in prints or negatives from your backpacking trip through high school and have the photos conveniently imprisoned on CD ($10) or DVD ($15) or reproduce reminiscences sized from 4"x6" to 18"x24" ($5–$44) with photo-printing services. Restoration services ($10–$98) will reverse the age of old photos, repair damage to records, and add bright hues to images that predate the invention of color. Napa Valley FastFrame’s fine custom and ready-made framery (prices vary widely) is available to encase an abundance of items, including pictures, instruments, and 13-foot anaconda skins. Owner and certified picture framer Fred Cooper and his expert framers are happy to guide clients through copious selections of inspired custom framing that follows decorative and classical designs.
Many of FoamOrder's organic mattresses swaddle sleepers in Natural Sense organic foam crafted from rubber-tree sap and free-trade clouds. The all-natural fibers of the mattresses—which come in five levels of firmness—encourage restful, stress-free slumber by resisting dust mites, mold, and the temptation to cheat on the SATs. Customers can clothe skinny twins ($850.07–$1,698.50) in certified-organic-wool mattress protectors with water-resistant, needle-punched fibers ($59.95–$98.85 for a twin), and teens sleep in style with full bed sets that include a headboard ($129), box springs ($195), and a bed frame ($54.95). Floorboard-phobic foam-lovers can hoist beds out of harm's way with a Captain’s bed frame ($780.80 for a queen), which stands 15.25 inches off the ground, eliminating the need to memorize lengthy levitation spells.
Since 1976, the environmentally conscious staff at The Futon Shop has stocked futons, furniture, and frames built from chemical-free cotton, natural latex, and hybrid soy foam, among other virtuous ingredients. Cushy mattresses, vibrantly shaded futon covers, and platform beds preserve the earth’s bounty as effectively as they accommodate human bodies and under-the-bed monsters. Homeowners can also illuminate domiciles with eco-friendly Eangee lamps, which have a carbon footprint of nearly zero and are manufactured by workers who earn a living wage. Even little ones can enjoy the environmentalist furnishings by napping on an organic crib mattress nestled in a bunny white baby crib.
Moe's Books tempts readers with a massive selection of more than 200,000 used, new, and rare books . Named for the firebrand founder Moe Moskowitz, the four-story space sits blocks from the Berkeley campus, a location that's played a significant role in shaping the store's vibe. The shop has sheltered anti-war protestors, hosted readings, and put on events such as midnight Pynchon releases with Pynchon-themed snacks, drinks, and anti-interview shrouds. Today, the spot continues to attract book lovers, who remain free to peruse the ever-changing stock or sell back their own books in order to even out collections or wobbling tables.