Monday, December 2, 2013

December Artist of the Month: Jennifer Holmes

This month our featured artist will be Jennifer Holmes! Her photography boldly explores the colors and spaces that inhabit both urban landscapes and the natural form. More of her work can be found on her site Green Dragon Photo

Here is a statement from Jennifer about her work and process:
So much of what I attempt to explore in my work is the search for beauty. The photographs you see are a reflection of that desire; the beauty of the human form, the exploration of the abstract, the microcosm of natural detail that otherwise might go unnoticed, the gritty urban reality. 
I attempt to play with the negative and positive space that is created by the juxtaposition of shapes, or color or focal points; like puzzle pieces that fit together - or do not.  
I believe the viewer should see what they want to see in art - to stimulate their senses. I love when people see something differently than what I necessarily intended to create.... I have presented something provocative, creating a conversation and having them involved with my art.   
Originally hailing from the East Coast, I have lived in Oakland my entire 24 years of residence in California. I have exhibited in a variety of locations throughout the East Bay and California, including the Esteban Sabar Gallery, the Studio One Arts Center, the North Valley Art League Carter House Gallery, the Joyce Gordon Gallery, the Frank Bette Center for the Arts, the Lightroom Gallery, the Back to the Picture/SOMA Gallery, the CK Gallery, and Art on the Balcony Gallery, and the Walrus Shop at Temescal Alley.

Join us this Friday, December 6th, for an opening reception at Walrus from 6 to 9. Friday is also the Temescal Winter Art Hop, so there is sure to be a wealth of amazing local artists, artisans, and craftspeople throughout the neighborhood! Be sure not to miss it!! More details can be found here or through our facebook page!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Alternative Kitchen Innovations: An Upcycled Island for Your Cooking Space

We are so pleased to share a pictorial of our latest home innovation project!

Recently, one of our clients reached out to us in need of an alternative counter space in his new, yet surface-less kitchen. For a family that spends a large majority of their time cooking & feasting together, he expressed that a large and simultaneously centralized space was of utmost necessity. With only a basic idea of a fixture and it's use, he reached out to our team for concept, design and carpentry support.

Needless to say, we are so proud of the upcycled kitchen island we designed & built for our client and his family! After visiting our warehouse inventory, we decided to create an island with an antique dresser base, which provides not only ideal height, but loads of tucked away storage space. Additionally, we've resourcefully decorated the side areas of the dresser foundation with beautifully crafted branch & rebar hooks by local artisans Willa Mamet & Joe Karr of Bohemian Blacksmith. For the counter top, we upcycled the top of a old oak school desk, which we sanded, refinished and fine tuned in our offsite studio workshop. Project by Wendy and Coal from WALRUS with help from Asa Bartholomew.

Interested in the final product? We'll, voíla!

And finally, even their baby loved it! 

 Happy Holidays! We are supremely grateful to all our wonderful customers at WALRUS!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Walrus Treasures at Ruby's Garden!!

The Temescal District is full of so many great shops and restaurants, but one of our favorites is Ruby's Garden, a hip children's clothing store located at 5026 Telegraph. We recently got to partner with them sharing some of our kid-perfect upcycles and reinventions inside their shop! Here's a few pictures of the adorable pieces we have there but check out Ruby's Garden in person for great children's clothing sized from infant to eight years and a fun, playful dose of Walrus design!

 Two kids trays ($40 each): These adorable trays were painted in bright pink and have sturdy handles on both sides, making them perfect for setting up tea parties or effortlessly carrying the whole gang of toys around. One of these charming trays is painted with chalk paint so it can be used to share messages or draw!

grey and orange shelf unit with rounded side ($145): A fantastic piece for the corner of a room, it can house books, toys, stuffed animals or craft supplies. The orange offers an energetic burst of color that is ideal for an active kid's room!

(available through our etsy

glossy red windsor child's chair ($75): this fantastic glossy red chair was revived with a shiny coat of paint and sweet black circle accents to make it look like a ladybug. this piece would make a wonderful desk chair, seat for the dinner table or fun addition to the playroom!


vintage nightstand ($125): there is nothing more perfect and practical for your special kid than this upcycled nightstand with an antique handles. it can store and display your little one's favorite nighttime stories and before bed essentials in a chic and stylish way that would fit any room.

red display ladder ($70): a fantastic display ladder painted in a rich red that's perfect for the holidays. it can display blankets and textiles or simply add a beautiful wash of color to your space.

 small blue-green shelf with raw wood ($40): A sweet little display shelf that would be ideal for kids to show off their tiny toys or organize stickers and art supplies.

 olive toy shelf ($95): A dainty olive shelf that is perfect for displaying dolls and other toys. the piece of hemp rope on the top display adds an earthy and rustic touch. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


We’ve got an incredibly busy November here at Walrus! Here’s what’s new and ongoing!

Thursday! Come Trick or Treat with the Temescal & Telegraph District. A fun, family-friendly event for kids and parents with treats, face paining, live music and more. The parade will start at 4 pm at La Calaca Loca on 51st and end around 6 pm at Ancient Ways on 41st. A costume contest will be held at Ruby’s Garden and participating shops along the way will be giving out all sorts of ghoulish goodies!

Friday! Join us for another fantastic First Friday Evening celebrating local art and talent! Our artist of the month is Suzanne Forrester who’s work is delicate and persistent. The artist describes herself: "Suzanne Forrester is a visual artist living on the border between here and there. Her work is mostly figural in nature and is concerned with matters of the heart. The paintings are women centered, intuitive and introspective. Pattern and repetition, likelihood and probability, are currently playing at the corners of her mind and inform this body of work.” You can check out some of her work here on our blog!

Sunday! We will be at the Alameda Antique Faire! Come join Wendy and Erin to explore some fantastic antiques and beautiful vintage clothes. The event will last from 6 am to 3 pm. Come visit us in booth I-9!

New at Walrus!

We’re so lucky to have such an amazing rotation of beautiful things and talented people in our world. New this month is Olivia Carter’s beautifully delicate paper crafts. This creative CCA graduate has a refined attention to detail and can create anything with paper. Come check out her hand embroidered notebooks in our shop or custom order one of her beautiful registries for a baby shower, wedding or new home!

Pendleton Pillows by Walrus! Pendleton Mills Fabrics are an American classic and their thick, warm wool is perfect as the cold season gets closer and closer! Here at walrus we upcycled these throw pillows from old Pendleton blankets. Their bold patterns and soft wool will add the perfect amount of warmth and character to any cozy living room.

Upcoming Event: Chair Upholstery with Wendy Renz! Join us on Sunday, November 17th from 3:00-5:30pm in the Temescal Alley for the first in a series of new product-focused workshops presented by Walrus. Chair Upholstery with Wendy Renz is the premiere onsite comprehensive course that supersedes our previous furniture painting workshops and will dive into the basics of chair upholstery in all it's glory. The event costs $40 and you can register here!

And Don't Forget! We now offer interior design services by Jenny Lane

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

November Artist of the Month: Suzanne Forrester

Our November artist of the month is Suzanne Forrester who’s work is delicate and persistent. The artist describes herself: "Suzanne Forrester is a visual artist living on the border between here and there. Her work is mostly figural in nature and is concerned with matters of the heart. The paintings are women centered, intuitive and introspective. Pattern and repetition, likelihood and probability, are currently playing at the corners of her mind and inform this body of work.”

Join us for another fantastic First Friday evening celebrating local art and talent! This Friday, November 1st from 6-9 pm!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Craft Fair at the Chabot Carnival

Join Wendy and other local craftspeople this Sunday, October 27th, at the Chabot Carnival Craft Fair.  Get a head start on your holiday shopping with an assortment of locally made and handcrafted gems. The Craft Fair will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room from 11 am to 3 pm and a portion of the proceeds will go to Chabot Elementary. See you there!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mini Maker's Faire this Sunday, 10/20

Join Walrus's Wendy this weekend at the East Bay Mini Maker's Faire for some painting and crafting fun! From 10am to 5pm, Wendy and the lovely ladies who run HackerMom's will be celebrating the joy and excitement repurposing and crafting can add to your life. The East Bay Mini Maker Faire is a family-friendly celebration embracing rockets and robots, digital fabrication, DIY science and technology, urban farming and sustainability, alternative energy, bicycles, unique hand-made crafts, music and local food, and educational workshops and installations. Admission is $20 for adults on the day of the event or tickets are available for $15 advance purchase here. We hope to see you there!!!

Location:  Park Day School, 360 42nd Street, Oakland, CA  and Studio One Art Center, 365 45th Street,  Oakland, CA  94609.  Faire entrance is at corner of 42nd & Opal.

More information about the faire and attending can be found here!

Woodwork by Cipriano Mendez

So much of the magic that makes a Walrus item is created in the workshops of our talented artisans and craftspeople. Luckily, Cipriano Mendez, one of our talented woodworkers,  has a great Youtube channel where he invites us into his working space. There, you can see how he handcrafts a number of beautiful items for Walrus. This video shows how he crafts these gorgeous wooden bottle stoppers we have in the shop.

You can find more of Cipriano's work and videos here!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


First Fridays This Week! This month at Walrus our featured artist is local talent Lynda Kravitz who's art you can see here on our blog. Join us on October 4th from 6-9pm for a First Fridays opening reception with refreshments, good company, and great art.
October Workshop! On Sunday the 13th come join us for a furniture painting workshop with a focus on stenciled details. Supplies and refreshments provided!!
New Items! A Gorgeous upcycled dresser with bold chevron pattern by Walrus for a pop of color in any room. These fantastic Artisan bowls and bottle openers by Artist and Woodworker Robert Cizauskas would make great gifts. Willa Mamet's branch hooks are the perfect way to bring nature into your home with style and function. 
And Don't Forget! We now offer interior design services by Jenny Lane

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October First Fridays!

This month at Walrus our featured artist is local talent Lynda Kravitz. Her bold and colorful abstract pieces display lush, wide brushstrokes, energetic paint splatters and an amazing sense for texture and contrast. Join us on October 4th from 6-9pm for a First Fridays opening reception with refreshments, good company, and great art.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Temescal Alley's First Friday
470 49th Street
Oakland, CA  94609

Monday, September 23, 2013

Reclaiming Nature

As the summer slowly comes to an end here in the beautiful Bay Area, we're gearing the shop up for the upcoming fall season with new products that we feel truly emanate the spirit of evolving nature within the home.

Our owner & product designer Wendy, is always on the local hunt for raw materials for us to re-work, and with a more recent fascination with "found wood", she's created and curated a petite collection of varying deadwood & driftwood based objects along with hardware by local designer Willa Mamet to resourcefully decorate your dwelling space with.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


September is here bringing all sorts of new things at WALRUS
 In-lay pieces we're making...

First Friday tomorrow night! Come out for some homebrewed kombucha, wine, apples & honey for New Year, and new photography show by Justin Lewis.  View Justin's work here and here
Series of Workshops/Tours for Fall
All workshops are on Sunday afternoons 3-5:30 or so in Temescal Alley:
  • Sept 15 Furniture Painting for Couples through HowAboutWe $75 per couple
  • Sept 21 Maker Tour through Localite $45 per person
  • Sept 29 Furniture Painting $45 per person
  • Oct 13 Stenciling and Painting Designs on Furniture $45 per person
  • Oct 27 Furniture Painting $45 per person
  • Nov 17 Chair Upholstery $40 per person
  • Nov 24 Jute Photoboards as gifts $40 per person
  • Dec 8 Cork Projects as gifts $35 per person
  • Dec 22 Letter and Number Pillows as gifts $35 per person 

New items in store now: 

Apothecary Lamp and others by local talent Emily Winston,  who just did all the lamps for Toast's new addition!

Also come see new pillows by Walrus, the most beautiful vintage sari quilts yet, and gorgeous live edge wood bowls that fly out of the store! 

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, Jenny Lane is our new Interior Designer and will have her own page on our blog soon!

Monday, August 12, 2013

What's Trending at Walrus: We Love Faux Inlay!

We're always in the market to try something new at the shop, and recently, we've found that our current love lies within repurposing some of our favorite distressed pieces with a faux inlay stenciled motif!
The stenciling process can be a rather meticulous one, especially on surfaces that need to be refinished, but leave it to owner & resident furniture painter, Wendy Renz, to take on the challenge with absolute ease.

We wanted to share our most recently completed faux inlay piece, a wonderful Deco style parlor two top table with a sturdy wood top and beautiful filigree base (which has since found a lovely new home). Generally, Wendy works on a majority of our larger furniture pieces in our private studio space, but on this special occasion, we were able to catch her editing this piece at our Temescal Alley location. Luckily, our shop merchandising assistant, Erin, was on hand to document the process!

Do you have a piece of furniture or home décor that perhaps you'd like to give new life to? We'd love to help! Our faux inlay painting revitalization is available for custom order upon request! Just pop in and ask for one of our custom service menus, or contact us at:
Interested in learning the step by step process? Sign up for our email list and receive notifications about our next furniture painting workshop!