Last weekend while visiting Southern California, I strolled the streets of Balboa Island near Laguna Beach. If you have never been to Balboa Island, you must take a couple of hours to visit this adorable little place of summer beach homes and eclectic shops. There are little clothing stores, local food and best of all, gift shops. I consider myself a creative person, but walking through these shops puts my creative thoughts into overdrive. I don't normally write posts about stores, but I can't describe all the cool stuff I saw in this one little shop without mentioning it - Valinda Martin's Art for the Soul Gallery & Gifts. According to the employees, Valinda finds independent artists from around the country and gathers their unique gifts in her little shop.
I wanted to make everything in the store. The creativity was oozing out of the walls in this store, and instead of trying to describe some of the amazing art, I took the liberty of taking some pictures.
This was the display just inside the door. Valinda found an artist from Arizona who recycled license plates and makes plaques from the individually cut letters and numbers.
There were several of these little "woodies" and some 60's style VW buses around the store. They open to reveal a small chest that can be used as a beer/soda cooler.
There is an entire wall devoted to shiny ceramic pendulum clocks. Look at the quirky designs! I wanted to take everything home!
Here is a wall of sheet metal sayings. I loved the way everything was displayed on bright yellow walls. The bright cheery vibe kept my interest (until my 15-year old son dragged me out).
Finally, I found a wall of wooden plaques made by a North Carolina artist. While I'm not sure how these were made, it looks like a paper background was made from little pieces of different kinds of paper "modge-podged" into a single sheet that was then copied. The artist then drew directly onto the paper and the entire thing was again copied (probably for more mass production). It was really cool.
I'm just scratching the surface of all the treasures in this quirky little store. (I didn't think it was too polite to stand around taking pictures of everything.) I will definitely go back again and maybe try out a few ideas I saw in this shop and several others. If you do get to Balboa Island or their other store in Laguna Beach, stop by and enjoy the creativity on display.