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December 2016 Picks

Tree Tops

What started as a necessarily low-budget gift idea has evolved into a fashionista’s dream. In 2009, stay-at-home mom on a budget Amy Miraflor taught herself to sew to keep up with “crafty moms.” She chronicled her progress on a family blog and remembers, “I started sewing a little for myself. Then I took on the task, with help from some do-it-yourself blogs, of embellishing some hoodies from my closet for a trip to Disney World that my family was taking in December.

I got gobs and gobs of compliments while in Florida. I posted some pictures of the hoodies on my family blog and almost immediately I started receiving emails from people asking if they could purchase one. A couple of weeks later, I put up a Paypal link on my blog and sold 15 in 30 minutes.”

Fast forward to today, and Evy’s Tree has become known as a high-end manufacturer of women’s hoodies, shrugs and coverups. Amy serves as designer and her husband, Brandon, has stepped in as director of operations. (The company is named for a decorative tree adorning the bedroom wall of the couple’s young daughter.)

A small Santa Rosa storefront is open by appointment and on select days throughout the year, but most orders are placed online.

Off the Cuff and On the Page

What did people do in Sonoma County during the 1930s? A history book could give you the straight demographics and events, but to find the spirit of early 20th century contemporary life, it’s best to find a journal of someone who lived through it.

Tractors, Trains & Shipwrecks: Yesteryear recollections of Sonoma County is the collected works and handwritten notes of Donald R. Richardson, a man who, described by his daughter Donna, “Had two goals in his life: Build a dam and write a book.” He did both.

The book is split into two parts. The first section is a typed memoir of Donald’s most interesting events, including shipwrecks, airplane salvage attempts and memories of his neighbors and friends. This section is complete with historical photos he’s kept throughout his life. The second section contains the actual handwritten notes Donald kept, scripted in immaculate cursive (when handwriting was very important) and complete with strikethroughs and corrections.

Lovingly completed by Donna in her father’s memory, this is a collection that captures the soul of one of Sonoma County’s legacy residents. It’s full of adventure, excitement and fond memories, and readers looking for some insight into how things worked back in the early 1900s needs to seek out this book.

Hidden Helper

Holiday season is here, and we all want to look our best. For women of a certain age (or those who’ve survived certain medical conditions), the desire to wear a favorite party dress can be derailed by self-consciousness about crepey upper arms, loss of muscle tone or age spots.

Local entrepreneur Margo Zatkovich was faced with this dilemma a few years ago, and rather than reaching for the nearest Pashmina to cover up, she developed My New Arms, a clever little undergarment that disguises those common conditions. With long sheer sleeves (made of cool, comfortable nylon in a variety of skin tones) are attached to a soft bra (regular or racerback; nude or black), it can be worn under anything sleeveless to give the illusion of bare arms while adding a little support and keeping things taut.

Don’t give up on your favorite evening wear, sundresses or sports shirts—this little secret makes it all wearable again. So far, My New Arms is available online or at S.H.E. and Oakmont golf shop in Santa Rosa and The Mustard Seed in Napa.




In this Issue

The Heroes Next Door

Firefighters are our heroes. They face the menace of raging wildfires while others seek safety, and every day, they assist individuals experiencing traumatic events. Incredibly, many firefighters perf...

Stars in Our Eyes

Indeed, viewing Saturn’s rings, as well as nebulae, clusters of stars and other galaxies millions of light years away at the top of the Mayacamas Mountains is truly breathtaking—an experie...

How to Save a Park: Broadway Style

As the sun sets behind Sonoma Mountain, a talented group of professional singers and dancers perform on a stage set within the old winery ruins at Glen Ellen’s Jack London Historic State Park. T...

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