Modern Mouse

Gift Guide: Back to School

24 August, 2010 0 comments Leave a comment

First day of school have you hiding in your mouse hole? Never fear - the Back to School Guide is here!
Get the flash player for our Back to School gift guide here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Artist Profile: Intwined

14 August, 2010 0 comments Leave a comment

If Steve Urkel owned a few sweet bowties from Intwined and ditched those suspenders, he would have had Laura swooning for him in no time! Are we right or are we right? Intwined’s playful yet sophisticatedly crafted bowties make us want to do a funky dance. And if you like it, you can also put a bowtie ring on it! [caption id="attachment_801" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Bowties by Intwined"]Bowties by Intwined[/caption]

The Intwined Story A company that seeks to combine two elements that fundamentally clash, but when paired together, are a match made in heaven. Intwined proves that opposites attract and can form a beautiful piece that strangely match. Our bow ties are as unique as the personalities that wear them. They are dressy accessories that can fit into a classy affair or add class to something as simple as a Sunday stroll in the park.

In my other life… My past work experience was as an assistant merchandiser. With positive feedback from my friends, I decided to make a career of my hobby and I’m loving every minute of it!

Did you know? I probably have over 100 different types of fabrics/patterns in my house!

I've also been known to answer to... People call me Jenn - sometimes bill calculator & mom :P

[caption id="attachment_803" align="aligncenter" width="329" caption="Jenn Lui - Daly City, CA"]Jenn Lui - Daly City[/caption]

Artist Profile: Blockhead Press

13 August, 2010 0 comments Leave a comment

A splash of vintage and a cool dash of modern minimalism - Blockhead Press screenprints are just that! And there’s something for everyone, from cute latte stuffies to stylin’ skull belt buckles. Here at Modern Mouse we’ve been taking turns rocking out on the awesome Flying V and Stratocaster guitar stuffies. We love Blockhead Press “a latte”!! [caption id="attachment_776" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Linocut Latte Stuffie by Blockhead Press"]Latte Stuffie[/caption]

The Blockhead Press Story Blockhead Press is a Petaluma-based printing operation owned and operated by me, Jennifer Ruffing Paisley. Blockhead Press offers simple, crisp (and often humorous) graphics on a variety of items including household items, cards, prints, and bags as well as unique products such as belt buckles and graphic paintings. All of Blockhead Press’s work is imagined in my personal noggin and then 100% handcrafted.

Each image originates in a linocut – a hand-carved sheet of linoleum, which is then inked and printed on to a substrate (this is often called relief printing). I started printing more than twenty years, when my dad offered me his old linocutting tools and a few blocks (he had been into linocuts 20 years earlier). I loved it and printed various things for the next several years, but it wasn't until my kids were born that I really began printing regularly and obsessively. The craft offered me the flexibility of working in stops and starts, which was necessary with young kids, but was not possible with painting, my primary artistic outlet at the time. Since that time, I've learned to screenprint, which has opened up a whole new frontier for my images.

In my other life… My left brain works part-time in the affordable housing industry for low-income seniors. It's a tangled web, but challenging and fun on a geek level.

Did you know? I live with four boys at home - two sons, one husband, and a papillion/pomeranian mix. The only other girls around are our three hens - Princess Leia Eggwalker, Madame Ovary, and Yoko Eggo.

I've also been known to answer to... Just mommy and sweetheart, and the occasional unmentionables.

[caption id="attachment_783" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Jenny Paisley - Petaluma, CA"]Jenny Paisley - Petaluma, CA[/caption]

Saturday 7/31: Wire Work Pearl Jewelry Class!

09 July, 2010 0 comments Leave a comment

Clear your calendars everyone, on Saturday 7/31 we'll be hosting our very first class right here at Modern Mouse! Jewelry enthusiasts will be excited to hear that this class will be taught by Mollie Chen of Mu-Yin Jewelry, maker of the peapod necklaces and other deliciously delicate pieces of wire wrapped and freshwater pearl jewelry you've seen on our shelves. In this class, students will learn to connect wire links to make bracelets, necklaces and/or earrings. Depending on your speed, students will go home with 1~2 colored pearl bracelets and/or earrings. Mollie will supply base metal wire, pearl beads in assorted colors so that students can create a color mix of their design. Tools will be provided and will also available to purchase after the class! [caption id="attachment_742" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="You too can make a bracelet that looks similar to this!*"]Pearl Bracelet by Mu-Yin Jewelry[/caption] *Pearls supplied for the class will be slightly different. More class details:
  • Class: Wire Worked Pearl Jewelry
  • Date: Saturday, July 31st from 10:00am - 11:30am
  • Instructor: Mollie Chen, Mu-Yin Jewelry
  • Price: $45 per student, all materials included
  • Materials: Base metal wire and colored pearls in assorted colors will be provided. No need to bring a thing but your fine selves!
  • Class size: maximum 6 students (2 minimum)
  • Levels: Beginner
  • Techniques: jewelry layout and design, creating and connecting wire links, attaching jump rings and clasps
To sign up:
Or, reserve your space by paying in full using one of the options below.
  • Call us at 510-814-8830 with your Visa, MC or Discover Card payment info.
  • Email us at eleen@modernmousegifts.com to let us know you're interested, and we'll contact you to arrange payment.
  • Visit and pay in store by cash or credit card.
More about Mollie: Mollie's been making jewelry for 5 years and runs her own successful shop on Etsy. Her jewelry has been featured on multiple blogs as well as on Figure Magazine, and her work has even attracted the attention of Elle Magazine last year. Mollie's blog includes lots of jewelry making tips and one of her jewelry tutorials was published in Bead Trends magazine. She also had some jewelry making tips published in BeadStyle Magazine back in 2008. To top it all off, Mollie is the fearless leader of our Full Time Etsy Crafters Team, an Etsy Street Team that's been spotlighted a few times on Etsy's widely read blog: You can read even more about Mollie in her interview for Inc.com's recent article, "How to Make Money on Etsy".
[caption id="attachment_752" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Or make a pair of earrings like this!"][/caption]
The fine print:
  • If you register but are unable to attend the class, simply contact us at least 7 days before your class for a full refund.
  • Sorry, we cannot offer refunds for missed classes.
  • If your class is canceled due to low registration, we'll call to notify you of the cancellation and you will be issued a refund or class credit for the fees you paid in advance.

Editor’s Choice for Best Indie Design Store!

02 July, 2010 6 comments Leave a comment

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! Talk about a great way to end the week: I found out last night that Alameda Magazine picked Modern Mouse as Best Indie Design Store in its "The Best of Alameda 2010" issue that's hot off the presses! If I could grab both your hands right now and jump up and down in ecstatic, squealing jubilation...you can bet I would! [caption id="attachment_726" align="aligncenter" width="350" caption="The Best of Alameda 2010 cover"][/caption] As soon as I got home from the store last night, Jimmy (aka Mr. Mouse) strolled casually out the door to greet me.
Jimmy: "Have you seen the Best Of issue yet?" Me: "Ooh it's out? Not yet, why?" Jimmy (giving me a look of sympathy): "Sorry M, you didn't get Best Gift Shop". Me (waving my hand dismissively): "Oh, I didn't expect to win that at all. It'd have been a miracle if we did!" Jimmy: "That's true, but still. I know you would have loved to see Modern Mouse in there. Wanna see it anyway?"
We walk to the kitchen table, where the magazine is of course strategically opened to page 57. [caption id="attachment_729" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="The Spread"][/caption] I scan the pages. The MaeBee Jewelry and BrooklynThread bracelets catch my eye. Wait. I gasp. "Best Indie Design Store. Modern Mouse??? Editor's Choice! OMIGOSH OMIGOSH OMIGOSH!!!" Clapping, jumping and squealing ensue. [caption id="attachment_728" align="aligncenter" width="448" caption="Best Indie Design Store: Modern Mouse!"][/caption] What a cool category to be in, and what a great write-up!
EDITORS CHOICE Best Indie Design Store Modern Mouse Part art gallery, part retail store, Modern Mouse in Alameda Towne Centre beckons you to stop inside and browse through the gift and household collections of original goods. Your eyes quickly scan the bold colors, cool graphics and sleek styles for items like hand-felted flower vases and bowls, bolts of fabric by Echino by Etsuko Furuya, hand-knit stuffed animals and neckties featuring hand silkscreen graphics of lobsters, honeybees or missiles. Owner Eleen Hsu believes in supporting the close-knit Bay Area artist community and showcases local talent by displaying their handicrafts while giving them a place to tell their story. Scattered among the store are cards featuring the artist’s picture, story behind the artist and interesting tidbit section. Now where did I see Lego cuff links? 2228 South Shore Center, (510) 814-8830, www.modernmouse.eleen.com — Karen Granados
A fat hug and huge thanks to Karen Granados and Alameda Magazine for the honor! And congratulations for their Readers Choice awards, to my fellow local business owners whom I've recently gotten the pleasure to know!

Celebrating Sweet Store Signage

28 May, 2010 3 comments Leave a comment

They say that signage is a store's "silent salesperson", helping communicate important messages to guests without even saying a word. Which is why I wanted to take the time today to celebrate all the fun storefront signs that none other than our girl Reagan has been whipping up week to week at Modern Mouse! [caption id="attachment_681" align="alignnone" width="480" caption="Triple threat cuteness (clockwise from top left): pinwheel, Reagan, and new stuff signage "][/caption] If you've walked through the shopping center anytime within the past few months, you've probably seen our colorful spinning wheel...and maybe even admired the artwork underneath it every now and then! That would be the work of Reagan Jones. For all who've appreciated it, and for those of you who've yet to, here's a little walk down signage lane. {cue music!} [caption id="attachment_682" align="alignnone" width="480" caption="Aww. Remember these days, before we upgraded our whiteboard markers?"][/caption] One of my favorite things each week is seeing what little nugget of happiness RJ will leave us with on the board. "Rain, Rain, GO AWAY!!" for example? Or little chickies declaring their love for each other! "Don't Worry, Be Happy!" or peace, love and happiness (in symbols, of course). Next time you stop by, we hope you'll take a moment to check out RJ's rainbow-brite work of art. It's sure to bring a smile to your face, not to mention tip you off to what new goodness is in store! [caption id="attachment_684" align="alignnone" width="480" caption="One of Reagan's first Modern Mouse signs ever!"][/caption] Thanks for the signage love, Reagan!

Treats for Easter Baskets!

30 March, 2010 0 comments Leave a comment

Still shopping for Easter basket-worthy goodies for the little boys and girls? How 'bout some that are a) lovingly hand-designed/crafted and b) won't cause a sugar high? Here's a little roundup: [caption id="attachment_653" align="alignnone" width="495" caption="Easter chicks by Parami Panda"]Easter chicks by Parami Panda[/caption] [caption id="attachment_654" align="alignnone" width="495" caption="Felt hair clips by The Pickled Pumpkin"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_657" align="alignnone" width="381" caption="Flower Power Swirl Necklaces by favmoongirl"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_655" align="alignnone" width="430" caption="1" pins by steppie"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_656" align="alignnone" width="200" caption="Do-It-Yourself Paper Robot Kits by PIPEROIDS"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_661" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Robot in the City by Alexander Shen"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_660" align="alignnone" width="265" caption="Animal Ears Hat by Colette Kids"][/caption] And hey, didja get invited to a potluck this Easter? Try surprising your host with one of these no-cook Easter meals! [caption id="attachment_658" align="alignnone" width="495" caption="Moody Toast Pillow by Wonder-Thunder"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_659" align="alignnone" width="314" caption="(Easter) Ham Plush Toy by Sweet Meats"][/caption]

New Kid on the Robot Block

21 March, 2010 0 comments Leave a comment

[caption id="attachment_642" align="alignnone" width="495" caption="Ritz the Robot gets to know the PIPEROIDS"][/caption] PIPEROIDS paper robots have long ruled the robot block here at Modern Mouse, but they're now joined by a new friend — Ritz the Robot from Robot in the City! Ritz (seen here talking to Hammer Rose and Muscle Joe) and the PIPEROIDS have been getting to know each other since Ritz arrived at the store yesterday in the hands of Alexander Shen (whom we're ever so grateful to fun and faithful Modern Mouse customer Shannon for introducing us to)! [caption id="attachment_644" align="alignnone" width="495" caption="Plushie Robot Invasion!"][/caption] Of course, we can't exactly say that PIPEROIDS have been the only robots in store. 3 Fish Studios' Retro Robots and Lonely Robots landed on our shelves shortly before Valentine's Day, but they really kind of just kind of keep to themselves, occasionally intermingling with the Bears in Thoughtful Repose but for the most part reclusive. [caption id="attachment_643" align="alignnone" width="421" caption="Retro Robots postcard set by 3 Fish Studios"][/caption] Especially the Lonely Robots. Never a peep out of these guys, I tell ya! [caption id="attachment_645" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Lonely Robots postcard sets by 3 Fish Studios"][/caption]

A Little Somethin' for the Leaf Eaters

18 March, 2010 0 comments Leave a comment

[caption id="attachment_636" align="alignnone" width="471" caption="Herbivore Necklace by Lulu Bug Jewelry"][/caption] To all my veggie-feeding shoppers: finally, a pendant just for you! We've just received a big fat shipment from Lulu Bug Jewelry that we're super-excited about because it includes not only this brand spankin' new pendant, but 10 other new designs as well! We're talking dogs, cats, birds, bunnies, squirrels, koalas (!), ladybugs, chickadees and...cupcakes! Ooh did we mention cat paws AND dog paws?! [caption id="attachment_637" align="alignnone" width="430" caption="Tiny Paw Necklace by Lulu Bug Jewelry"][/caption] Of course we have something for our meat eaters too. We've always carried the Sweet Meats collection of plush hambones, t-bone steaks, pork chops and bacon. But we recently added Sweet Meats' Mini Plush Ham Pattern and Kit. That's right, a DIY hambone kit! [caption id="attachment_638" align="alignnone" width="490" caption="Mini Plush Ham Pattern and Kit by Sweet Meats"][/caption] Remember, we add new things on a weekly basis — and often more than that! So if you haven't been in awhile, drop by and check it out!

Artist Profile: Angelina Fong Designs

12 March, 2010 0 comments Leave a comment

Knitters and crafters rejoice - our days of carrying around awkward workbaskets are over! Armed with Angelina Fong's eye-catching roll organizers, we can now have the satisfaction of feeling neat and pretty while we work. Time to pull that dusty half-finished scarf out of the closet... [caption id="attachment_628" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Kimono Roll Organizer by Angelina Fong Designs"][/caption] The Angelina Fong Designs Story I started my business in April of 2009 and it actually came about more by accident than out of careful planning. I'd been making handmade items for myself and as gifts to friends and family for years. People always told me "you could totally sell this!"  but I always thought they were just being nice. To my surprise, around March of last year, I actually started to receive requests to buy my handmade items (mostly from coworkers and friends) and it just took off from there. In my other life… My past work experience is mainly in media.  I've worked in everything from newspaper to movies to radio. I currently work full time in digital marketing. Did you know? People used to make fun of me in college for knitting and crocheting, calling me a "grandma". Then it became trendy. Go figure! [caption id="attachment_616" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="Angelina Fong - Foster City, CA"][/caption]
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