Storefront of the first Williams-Sonoma

Visit the First Williams-Sonoma

A timeline of Williams-Sonoma titled the Merchant of SonomaIf you are like me you might have thought that Willams and Sonoma are two people that got together to sell the finest cookware. Or you saw the kids musical “Dear Edwina”?…one song references “Williams” and “Sonoma” as people that sing along with the Fairy Forkmother to teach a chef how to set a table.” Fairy Forkmother – What a wonderful term!

A wall of photos at the Williams-Sonoma storeIn fact it was Chuck Williams who founded the first specialty cookware store in Sonoma, California in 1956. The store, a 1906 house on Broadway, was also the home of Chuck and his mother until they relocated the business in 1958 to San Francisco. The two story house is filled with pictures and newspaper clippings of Williams’ journey to become a culinary icon. It closed when they relocated to San Francisco, but in 2014 this location was opened again.

A stove decorated with Stanly Tucci’s cookwareHis former bedroom is now the design studio currently filled with Stanly Tucci’s cookware in a I-really-want-all-of-this kitchen. Upstairs, where you now can admire the furniture, was his mother’s living quarters. 

It is interesting to see how a great idea became one of the biggest and most successful retail businesses. They started as a catalog mail company and then expanded into stores like Pottery Barn, Hold Everything, and West Elm.

If you like to dive deeper into the evolution of cookware you should stop by the Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum in Napa. This museum showcases his extensive 4,000 pieces cookware collection. 

The first Williams-Sonoma store is located 605 Broadway, Sonoma, CA.

Do you have a Fairy Forkmother?

 

*I do not get compensated for mentioning this business and this blog post is my personal recommendation. 

 

Entrance to the Sonoma Overlook Trail

Hike the Sonoma Overlook Trail

Sign for the Sonoma Overlook upper meadow loopJust a few minutes north of the Sonoma plaza on 1st Street and Mountain Cemetery is the entrance to the Sonoma Overlook Trail. Parking is limited, but you can also start your hike from the cemetery. This 3 mile hike with a steady gradual 7% incline took us about 1 hour to complete. Once you reach the top you will be rewarded with gorgeous views of the Sonoma Valley and San Pablo Bay. From the south end you can see San Francisco on a clear day. 

Part of the trail of the Sonoma Overlook TrailThe road is uneven and sometimes muddy, so I would recommend wearing hiking shoes. It is mostly shady until you come to the top with the loop of the overlook trail and its meadow. We returned through the historic cemetery and I think that in itself is worth a visit. 

Way in the back you can see the Golden Gate BridgeAt the beginning, you can pick up several maps and info brochures by the map post near the parking area. No dogs, horses, or bikes are allowed. Please stay on the designated trail to avoid disrupting the hillside and encountering wildlife such as rattlesnakes, ticks, and mountain lions. 

You can find the entrance to the Sonoma Overlook Trail on 198 First St. W. in Sonoma, CA. On many weekends docent led hikes are available. 

Have you hiked in Sonoma?

Two Barbie dolls, one has its hands above her head

Reclaim and Reinvent Barbie, Sonoma Community Center

The Sonoma Community Center put together two popular concepts – reusing materials and Barbies as fashion models in its annual Trashion Fashion events. A funny wordplay on trash fashion. And who could be a better model than a Barbie doll? 

A tub full of Barbie dolls at the Sonoma Community CenterYou can pick up a doll at the community center for no charge. But to enter the contest you have to pay the non-refundable entry fee of $25 for one entry or $40 for two entries. If you, on the other side, have Barbie, Ken or other under 12 inches dolls to donate you can drop them off at the community center or at Bon Marche at 19405 Riverside Dr, Sonoma. Bon Marche is a Thrift Store that supports the community and funds building health clinics and gardens in Rwanda. Bon Marche accepts donations on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am to 3 pm. Please don’t leave your donations outside. As a plus, if you buy something you will be a zero waste star to reuse!

A selection of dolls for the Trashion Fashion exhibitAfter you acquire your doll the fun starts. Decorate your childhood style icon with recycled materials (please only wholesome images!). There will be a silent auction from March 28th – April 12, 2024. If your entry hasn’t sold in the auction it will be returned to you.

Your Barbie applications are due on or before: Friday, March 15th.

The Trashion Barbie: Reclaimed & Reinvented Gallery exhibit and auction has its opening night on March 28  and the exhibit will run through April 12th, 2024. The Sonoma Community Center is located at 276 East Napa Street, Sonoma. It is open 7 days a week from 8 am to 9 pm.

Trashion Classes & WorkshopsA group of dolls for the Trashion Fashion exhibit

February 10th

Trashion Design for Kids & Teens

10:00 am – 12:30 pm

February 12th, February 26th

Free Open Trashion Design Studio & All Star Demo’s

5:30 pm – 8:00 pm

 

There will also be two Trashion Runway Shows on April 6, 2024,  2:00 pm & 5:00 pm. These are wearable trashion creations. Tickets go on sale early March with SCC members 48 hour pre-sale. On the second floor of the SCC you can see previous examples of the winners.

 

Entrance to the exhibit Different Worlds at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

View Different Worlds, Sonoma

View of some of the artworks by Tsherin Sherpa. In front is one of the carpets.Different Worlds is the title of the new exhibit at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art in downtown Sonoma. The exhibit shows works by Bay Area artist Tsherin Sherpa

SA carpet depicting a tiger and in the back some of the paintings by Tsherin Sherpaherpa was trained in his home country of Kathmandu, Nepal as a thangka painter. Thangkas are traditional Tibetan Buddhist art. The artist invites us to his different worlds as an artistic mixtape of his religious roots and contemporary perspectives. The outcome is mystic but familiar. On our visit we caught up with a museum guide who explained some of the symbolism and techniques. I really liked the vibrant deconstructed paintings of swirled thangkas suggesting the artist’s mixed emotions and introducing the western world into his traditional upbringing. 

Multiple collages but also two carpets and a statue are on display until April 28th. Opening reception is Saturday, January 27th from 5 -7 pm. The film screening of ‘Above and Below: The Life of Artist Tsherin Sherpa’ is unfortunately sold out. But the museum might add a second screening. There are also activities for kids, for example free mangalas.

Two of Tsherin Sherpa's paintings with swirlsThe SVMA is located at 551 Broadway in downtown Sonoma. Opening hours are: Wednesday thru Sunday 11 am to 5 pm. Admissions is free every Wednesday, otherwise general admission is $10, seniors, students, and Sonoma Valley residents pay $7, people under 18 are free. 

How would your different worlds look like?