The Russian Nesting Dolls
Are Coming

Hurry over to Brew this Friday, December 16th for the annual Matryoshka show.

I’m not gonna lie - this is my favorite time of year. My calendar is jam-packed with craft fairs, art shows, and every kind of perfect holiday community-gathering event one can think of. A new favorite is the Matryoshka Show!

Once again filling the warm walls of Santa Rosa’s favorite little coffee and beer hub, Brew, these creatively painted Russian nesting dolls will be on display and for sale on December 16th, from 6pm until 10pm. With nearly 30 different artists taking part in this year’s show, event creator Melinda Sterne is excited to see what they come up with.

The event is one night only, and was created with the purpose of putting cool art out there into the world during the holiday season, when people are looking for unique and handcrafted gifts. Each set of dolls is set up for bidding, which is actually pretty dangerous for me because I am a very competitive person. Luckily, 100% of the proceeds go back to the artists, so we can all feel good about our bidding war antics. Or, mine. I try all of the antics.

This year’s Matryoshka Doll event features an impressive lineup of both professional artists and makers, as well as those who like to dabble and had their interests sparked after attending last year’s event. The dolls will be as varied as the styles and imaginations of their painters, and you will not want to miss your chance to take one home. While you peruse and plan your bid, don’t forget that Brew not only serves coffee, tea and other non-alcoholic beverages, they also have a great selection of beer and wine, as well as food! Try their avocado toast. Trust me - it’s deeeeelish.

See you on the 16th!

Matryoshka Show location:
Brew, 555 Healdsburg Ave, Santa Rosa 95401
Event info on Facebook - HERE


  • Aaron Lucey
  • Adriana Roberts
  • Amanda Filippetti
  • Anthony Celeri
  • Asher Katz
  • Bonanza Mazur
  • Commodore Saxon Warrik Kingmaker
  • Eric Thomas Bostrom
  • Erin Opperman
  • Gabe Katz
  • Gary LaBonte
  • Gregory Thompson
  • Hannah Cadigan
  • Jan Zeitlin
  • Julia Reid
  • Julian Paris
  • Loren Butchart
  • Loren Hansen
  • Lydia Fossgreen
  • Matt Cadigan
  • Merisha Lemmer
  • Mr. Hensen
  • Nicholas Haig-Arack
  • Ruth Alison Donovan
  • Ryan Taylor
  • Soli
  • Venka Workshop


The SoCo Meat Co.

I first met Rian Rinn about 10 years ago, when we were both living in Healdsburg. I had my first place (and therefore a kitchen) without roommates, and was just learning to cook. Rian was peddling meat out of his garage in an ad-hoc CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). I’d come home with random cuts every week or so, and then search my cookbooks and troll the internet on how to use this new-to-me piece of meat.

Just like my cooking, Rian’s meat providing has evolved over the years. Today, along with his partner Jenine, they run the Sonoma County Meat Company. This custom butcher shop, located at 35 Sebastopol Ave. in Santa Rosa, opened in Spring of 2014. Since then, they have been serving the people of Santa Rosa and surrounding communities with high-quality, locally raised and sustainable meats.

sonoma county meat company

I regularly turn to SCMC for whole chickens, assorted cuts of beef, rabbit, sausages and bacon. They do their own smoking and make their own sausage, and there is always a new flavor of something to try. The staff is always friendly and happy to cut something smaller, or piece out my chicken for me. I like asking for recommendations on how to use a particular cut I’m not familiar with. If they don’t have what you’re looking for in their case, make sure to ask if they have it in the back. If not, they are always happy to make a suggestion for something similar.

img_6686One thing that I love about the Meat Co is that they don’t shy away from nose to tail. If you’re looking for a head to make headcheese or blood to make blood sausage, or fat to render for lard, they won’t give you a blank stare and think you came from crazy-town. Try asking for something like that at Safeway. I haven’t yet mustered up the courage to make headcheese, but it’s on my list of culinary experiments, and I am glad to know where I can source such a thing.

In addition to providing meat for retail customers like me, people can bring in their livestock and game for processing. They are the county’s only USDA inspected facility, making it possible for small farms and ranches to have their animals processed and packaged for sale at their own farms. They also offer a meat CSA, providing customers a monthly allotment of locally sourced meats.


Make sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for notifications of sales, classes and events. When you visit, check out the collection of knives on the wall, all procured from customers over the years in exchange for sausage. My vintage curved butcher’s knife is down there on bottom row.

There are plenty of places to visit them online, too.

Fresh Prints

In one of Santa Rosa’s many quaint and diverse West End neighborhoods, there is a gathering of friends, artists, neighbors and makers all showing up in one backyard for one reason: to support each other’s dreams.

Okay, maybe more than one reason, but that’s a big one.

The Fresh Prints Party was born when local artist Wil Smith purchased his dream press, a Sturgis cp5, and he wanted to print up some T-shirts for friends since he now had the perfect machine for high-volume printing. “I’ve always liked the idea of instant gratification,” said Smith about the idea to turn his new press into a reason to have an event.


“I was inspired by Drive by Press’ adventures driving around the country hitting events and schools printing woodblocks on t-shirts out of the back of a pickup, and we wanted to do something different than a party or a standard art reception.” So he, along with his wife Jacquie, decided to make an event out if it, asking a buddy who makes wine in his driveway to pour tastes during the day, and inviting friends to spread the word.

fpwil copy

The result was a long day of fun, hard work, making new friends, and wall-to-wall art. So much so that the Smiths decided to make it a regular thing, inviting a different artist each time to create original art to be printed on T-shirts.


The second Fresh Prints Party featured local tattoo artist Loren Butchart, who hand-carved out of linoleum blocks each of his eight prints over the course of several weeks leading up to the event. About the artists he invites in for the project, Smith says he chooses them “based on how I think their imagery will translate into relief printmaking.” So far, they’ve all been pretty badass.

fploren copy

Fresh Prints guests are welcome to bring their own T-shirts and textiles, or to use any that might be available at the party. They choose from a selection of prints designed specifically for the Fresh Prints party by the artist, head into the garage - aka Wil’s art studio/workshop - to hand off their shirt, then head to the backyard for some good old-fashioned community bonding.


The backyard is where friends hug hello, strangers discuss the best way to prepare abalone, kids weave through the legs of anyone in their way, and dogs trot around looking for pats and snacks. It is almost certain there will be a baby being passed around.

photo 2

Wil and Jacquie are a very community-driven couple, and they make a point to highlight the talents of their friends, as well. Hello Nomad Roadside Biscuits set up shop at the last Fresh Prints event and offered a small variety of biscuits and cookies baked that very morning in proprietress Victoria Wagner’s oven. An artist across many formats, Wagner recently took her love of creation to her oven when she realized how hard it was to find a good biscuit. Seems legit, right - see a need? Fill it. Done and done. Plus, the biscuits are freaking amazingly delicious, so there’s that, too.

fpwilsmithSet up right next to Victoria was Repo Red Winery, aka the underground hobby ‘winery’ of Paul Malone, longtime friend of Wil, Jacquie and Victoria, among many others in attendance. Having poured tastes at the first Fresh Prints party, Malone was happy to return. “This little backyard event is perfect for all of us,” said Malone. “We’re all just making our own functional art to share with our neighbors - whether it’s T-shirts or wine or biscuits. They all compliment each other and it’s really fun to share that.”
The number one word that comes to mind when talking to the guests, artists, volunteers and neighbors of a Fresh Prints party is, without question, Community. Jacquie, the welcoming embrace and sparkling matriarch of the Smith family, loves this the most. “The best part of the event to me is the community involvement and excitement. People and families are coming in and out all day, and even months later I will see a t-shirt on someone and get giddy.”

Santa Rosa is so cool, you guys.

Into The Woods

Guest blogger Maja Woods introduces us to Santa Rosa artist Mary Jarvis.

Mary Jarvis has been creating oil paintings of wood grain designs—and only these paintings of wood grains—for the past 10 years.

mary jarvis Woodgrain 1B15-2B15Why would someone spend a decade painting wood grain designs? When asked, Jarvis just shrugs and says she finds the paintings beautiful and she finds joy in creating them. I have to agree that those are two very good things to find.

Woods have always been a big part of Jarvis’ life. Growing up in Wisconsin, her family would spend their vacations in a cabin in the forest. These were long, carefree days of playing in the woods. Then, at night, before going to sleep, she would lie in bed staring up at the cabin ceiling. Perhaps the daydreams of those childhood days became entangled with the wood grain designs she stared up at each night. Whatever the case, if you look back at Jarvis’ childhood notebooks and old school papers, you’ll notice that the margins are full of the looping, thumbprint-like designs of wood grain.

UribeMary_studio 1Later on as an adult, as she was sketching out other art projects, Jarvis noticed that those wood grain designs were still popping up in the margins. Eventually, she decided to paint one of them.

“It was quite a revelation to actual paint it. Up until then, my memories of wood grain were from our cabin in the forest. It was in a natural, earthy context. And the doodles were in pen or pencil, so they were monochrome. But then, once I had those oil paints in my hands, the pictures I made were very intense and colorful. Part of it is rooted in a traditional Midwestern upbringing. Part of it is from this no-holds-barred, avant-garde lifestyle I led for many years. And part of it is simply about freedom. There’s a respect for nature and tradition, and also for the wildness that breaks those rules.”

mary jarvis gallery“Woodgrain 1B15-2B15” by Mary Jarvis is currently on display at the Calibi Gallery, 456 10th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401″