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Artist Profile: Animal Instincts

April 19, 2014 – 5:23 pm | 3 views

Monkeys and pandas and dinosaurs, oh my! What could be better than locally inspired art with animals? Unleash some animal and local love with Animal Instincts! Our new apparel artist Jamai Lowell, of Animal Instincts, designs this fun, bright & colorful apparel line. His designs are hand-drawn, inspired by street art and the beautiful landscapes of San Francisco. Seeing as how they’re available in so many sizes and designs, they’ve …

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Handmade Highlights: The Heated Interview by Local Take Recap

March 23, 2014 – 5:04 pm | 131 views

Cristina Espinosa, the mastermind behind The Heated (aka those great tea/kitchen towels/napkins at the shop), is an amazing artist, musician and overall just a great person to work with. Her recap on how her interview went really says a lot about her as an artist and a business owner. We love her work (and so do you), so feel free to read on! The actual interview is blockquoted at the end of this post for ease of access and less clicking. :)


Are you familiar with the store Local Take in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco? You should be! They opened up in May of last year but the truth of the matter is that I’ve known and worked with the owners, Jenn and Kyra for years. As you might have gathered from the name, Local Take carries items made by local artists. It’s a great place to shop and I highly recommend dropping in if you’re in the neighborhood.


So when a reporter from a newspaper that covers gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender stories came in to inquire about which of their makers is an out gay person, my name came up. Raymond Flournoy gave me a call, we did a little phone interview and it came out in this week’s paper. Here’s a link to the story online:


bay area reporter

I’ve been interviewed a few times and I’ve got to say that Ray got more quotes correct than any other reporter I’ve worked with. I swear, some reporters just make up quotes but not Ray, darn it. The interview got me thinking about being out and what it means to me. A few years ago, I was taking a business class and the teacher, a woman maybe ten years my senior, admitted towards the end of the semester that she is gay but that she’s always terrified to talk about her wife as freely as I talk about mine.

The thing is, I’m still scared every time I say “my wife” out loud to strangers but I do it anyway because I think it’s important for people to realize that gay people are not a fictional concept, they’re real, regular people. I make it a point not to hide because it’s who I am. To live any other way would be a lie. You may not like it. You may hate it. But I don’t care because I’m not living my life for you. So, now you know your local, lesbian screen printer. Do with that knowledge what you will.

The Heated » Bay Area Reporter.


Local Take’s interview with The Heated is below. :)

“Lighting the entrepreneurial fire

Another San Francisco small business took a major step in the latter half of 2013. Christina Espinosa, the heart behind the brand The Heated , made the former side project her full-time job. Espinosa originally sold her screen-printed kitchen towels as merchandise to promote her musical career, but she soon found that the screen-printing was becoming more successful than the music, so now she is fully concentrated on developing her product line.

The towels are currently sold in specialty boutiques throughout the Bay Area, as well as online in her Etsy store. Espinosa’s top selling designs feature San Francisco icons such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Sutro Tower, and fittingly all of the towels are printed in San Francisco. The towels themselves are made in the U.S.

Espinosa, an out lesbian, noted that she has never hidden her orientation, freely posting photos of her wedding to her Twitter and Instagram accounts.

“I wonder if being a lesbian was actually a small advantage for me, because it made me and my products stand out a little,” she mused.

In the coming year, Espinosa is planning to expand The Heated to include a line of screen-printed cards and flour sack napkins to match the kitchen towels.

The path for a single entrepreneur is not simple, but Espinosa encourages others to step out to see what is possible.

“I was just a self-starter with no formal training,” she said. “I didn’t even know how to do the screen-printing, except for the directions on the box. But I took an idea and ran with it, and I think a lot of people could do that. If you want to learn something, just go for it.”

The Heated towels are carried by various boutiques, including Local Take (3979-B 17th Street, San Francisco), Marion and Rose (461 19th Street, Oakland), and Modern Mouse (2223 South Shore Center, Alameda), as well as online atwww.etsy.com/shop/theheated. “

Artist Profile: Jared Alconcher Designs

March 16, 2014 – 1:30 pm | 102 views

Have you seen those cool Alameda signs by our door lately? Well, I would like to introduce to you our new artist, Jared from Jared Alconcher Designs. Jared re-purposes wooden benches and designs them with visually stimulating typography. If you haven’t seen them you should come see for yourself. Continue reading to learn more about Jared.

Gift Guide: Seein’ Green

March 9, 2014 – 3:13 pm | 127 views

Traditionally, Saint Patrick’s Day is a day of spiritual renewal for the sake of celebrating the introduction of Christianity to Ireland, but it is also celebrates the general culture and heritage of the Irish. For many of us, we think of the color green, shamrocks and everything lucky; however, Saint Paddy’s Day also includes Gaelic social gatherings known as “ceilidhs” that involve music and dancing. There is a lot of …

Artist Profile: Evelyn X

March 2, 2014 – 2:59 pm | 146 views

Hoo… Who? Who makes those cute cuddly owls you’ve been spotting around our shop? Evelyn Garcia, that’s who. I would like to introduce to you our new artist, Evelyn Garcia of Evelyn X based off of Redwood City, California. Evelyn uses up-cycled fabrics to create these plush owl dolls in various sizes and expressions. The owls also come with a secret compartment in the back so you can hide your small treasures. If you are just as coo coo for them as we are, read more about Evelyn X who makes these cute cuddly animals.

Handmade Highlights: Meet Martha the Pigeon | Studio MME

February 24, 2014 – 11:00 am | 108 views

Between her artwork and all of the stories behind each piece, there’s no debating that Megan Eckman of Studio M.M.E. has an amazing imagination paired with her artistic ability. I love the realness behind artists that are able to share their inspirations, especially when they come from such interesting sources! Studio M.M.E.’s prints, bookmarks and book are available at the shop; plus, her embroidery kits will soon be making a

Artist Profile: Floating Island

February 17, 2014 – 1:16 pm | 96 views

I would like to proudly welcome our new artist John Carey of Floating Island. Floating Island is based off of…..you guessed it. Our very own floating island of Alameda, California. Floating Island creates some fun and visually stimulating designs combining air plants and materials found locally off of Alameda. For those of you interested in making the world a more green and re-purposeful place, read more to learn about John Carey of Floating Island.

How Do I Love Thee ~ Ladies Edition

February 7, 2014 – 1:10 pm | 145 views

Okay friends, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and maybe you haven’t gotten a gift for that special lady in your life yet, that’s okay! We’ve got you covered on a plethora of levels. Pretend you’re asking your favorite gal: “How do I love thee?” Your partner knows you care, but sometimes you have to show it with a special something from a very Modern Mouse.

How do I love thee?

How Do I Love Thee ~ Gents Edition

February 2, 2014 – 5:30 pm | 208 views

That special gent in your life knows what he likes: well-made, comfortable, useful and awesome items. If you can combine all these categories into one gift or place, you’ve hit the jackpot! We’re here to help you hit that jackpot for Valentine’s Day. Imagine asking your favorite guy: “How do I love thee?” There could a plethora of answers to answer that question and the Mouse has just the stuff …

Handmade Highlights: Late Greats in Japan!

January 20, 2014 – 12:08 pm | 153 views

Congrats to Chen (Reichert) of Late Greats for the continued success of her historically-themed stuffies and pillows! Looks like her work has made it across the Pacific and into Japan, no surprise there. You can currently find Coco Chanel, Gandhi, Abe Lincoln and Frida Kahlo at the Mouse. :)


I love seeing my designs beautifully displayed in Que Sera Sera, an amazing boutique in Osaka, Japan.


Handmade Highlights: Le Petit Elefant Interviewed by Just Sweet Love

January 13, 2014 – 11:20 am | 204 views

“Handmade Highlights” makes a triumphant return to the blog with Gen of Le Petit Elefant! Considering Gen(evieve Santos) used to work here at the Mouse, we’re all pretty good friends with the mastermind; plus, we just love seeing her out and about in the world chatting it up with awesome internet folks such as Jenny from Just Sweet Love. I love this article, because it really unwinds Gen’s thoughts on