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Treasure Trove: Once Around – Mill Valley

Knitting wool at Once Around

 

One day a couple of months ago, I was googling (can you believe that is now a legitimate verb?) for art stores in my area as I was in need of a new reflector board for my food photography. My original one was, or should I say still is, packed away with some of the artwork somewhere in a box I have yet to feel motivated to open.

 

Pink-baubles

 

On demand, Google delivered: a hefty list of links on the left of the page, and a map filled with red pins on the right. Two of the red pins were even a voice throw away from where I live. But the one that called to me was one called Once Around in  Mill Valley, so I checked out the website. In my book, any excuse is good to go to Mill Valley. If the expectations are high, then the reasons pile up.

 

Once-Around-shop-window Entrance-to-Once-Around

 

My expectations were not crushed: Once Around is one of the most beautiful and well assorted art and craft stores I have ever seen. If you are an artist, or enjoy crafts of any kind, or both, this is the kind of place you want to take your time exploring because you will find a lot of treasure you had never even thought of.

Not only is it well assorted with quality items, but everything is beautifully displayed, often by the use of vintage pieces both as display and decoration, making it a feast for the eyes as well as a session of color therapy.

 

Open-sign-at-Once-Around Welcoming-display-at-Once-Around Business-cards Date-and-cards

 

Once Around is clearly the love child of someone very passionate and with a strong creative streak, in one word, an artist. Meet Julie Stanton, the Fairy Godmother and mastermind of Once Around. We e-mailed back and forth for a few weeks setting things up, and, when I finally met Julie on the day I went to photograph the store, I was immediately taken by her sparkling energy and bright smile.

 

Julie-Stanton-of-Once-Around

 

Julie opened Once Around five years ago together with her sister. It was their second creation, expanding from a previous knitting shop. Soon after, her sister moved away to be closer to family, and Once Around remained as Julie’s own. She said she likes to fill the place with all those wonderful items that your know are out there, but not easy to find.

Julie is one of those amazing women that make you wonder how they do it all. Besides being a successful business woman, she is also married with (grown) children. They are a family of artists, just expressing themselves in different ways.

 

I asked Julie where the name Once Around came from, and this is what she answered: “It’s primarily about living life to the fullest, since we only “go around once”. Also, there is a lot of “around” motion in crafting, knitting, sewing, even drawing; a lot of circular movements.”

 

Tissue-Paper-Flowers-at-Once-Around Colorful-crepe-paper Sky-blue-note-cards Workshop-Room-at-Once-Around Vintage-Seamstress-Models

 

The spacious craft room above is where classes in various techniques are held, as well as free weekly workshops. You can check the schedule of what is coming by clicking here. The website also offers free tutorials in the craft of the week section, which you are able to save on your computer as PDF files.

You cannot help but be inspired. As I walked around the store taking photographs I considered taking up knitting again, or maybe learn origami. If my mom saw this store, she would want to start one of those colorful quilts she always mentions from American movies.

 

View-of-Once-Around-Store Detail-of-Exquisite-Wrapping-paper Red-and-gold-wrapping-papers

 

This is going to be a very visual article, filled with lots and lots of images and rich in color and showing wider views of the store as well as details of the beautiful items within. So sit back and enjoy the scroll, and let your creativity be inspired.

 

Japanese-style-papers Blue-toned-wrapping-papers Beautiful-wrapping-papers Colorful-Papers-at-Once-Around Origami-paper Papers-and-ink-pads-at-Once-Around Stamping-anyone?! Assorted-rubber-stamps Urban-and-Nature-Stamp-Kits Colorful-ink-pads Flower-petal-ink-pads

Assortment-of-Ribbons-at-Once-Around Tangerine-Ribbons Ribbons-and-Felt-Fabric Colorful-felt Basketful-of-Ribbons Duo-toned-silk-ribbon Divine-Twine String Hemp-Cord Patterned-ribbons Rainbow-Silk-Ribbons

Colorful Treasures at Once Around

Notice the vintage typewriters along the top shelf against the wall

Knit-and-purl Knitting-section-at-Once-Around Fluffy-knitting-wool Hot-pink-wool Soft-and-fluffy-wool Double-sided-knitting-needles Fluffy-wool Fluffy-green-wool It

 

I think we are all creative in one way or another, whether we choose to make art our main activity or not. So which is the way in which you express your creative side? Do you knit, quilt, crochet or maybe cross-stitch? Do you paint or draw? Or maybe you are a digital artist, or a photographer. And there are no musical instruments in this store, but you could be a musician.

 

Besides my camera, my current tools of choice are colored pencils and acrylic paints, but over the years I have painted baskets, umbrellas and silk cushions, did pencil drawings for friends, took up cross-stitch for a while – the super-detailed kind – and even started a quilt I never finished. For a while, I even knit fluffy and gorgeous shawls for everyone just because of the pleasure of watching and feeling the colors and texture of the wool develop on my lap from the needles. It was like a meditation.

 

The-Quilting-Wall Quilting-fabrics Silk-Velvet-Rolls Velvet-rosettes Small-treasures-at-Once-Around Scrapbooking-anyone? Assorted-do-dads

Dried-flowers Pine-cone-roses Dried-Flowers Dried-apple-slices Pine-Cones Dried-Rose-Petals Colorful-Notebooks Candy-striped-straws

A-wall-of-paints Colorful-crayons It Paint-brushes Acrylic-paints

Colored-pencils Pink-and-lavender-art-pens Assorted-chalks

 

I still have my first, very treasured box of Caran d’Ache colored pencils, and have added several others since. So yes, I have lots of colored pencils in all sorts of shades. And now it is also canvases, paint brushes and acrylics – which I like because they dry faster than oils and can be diluted in water and not turpentine. Eventually, I will show you some of my work.

 

So, are you inspired yet? Any ideas of what you are going to create next?

A good place where to find fun ideas for crafts and D.I.Y. ideas on-line is a blog called A Subtle Revelry, which covers all sorts of topics.

 

 

ONCE AROUND

352 Miller Avenue – Mill Valley, Ca 94941   l   ph. 415-389-1667   l   fax   415-389-1257   l   oncearound@me.com

Open Monday – Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm – closed on Sundays and major holidays

 

Update of July 12th 2016 – Unfortunately, I found out a few days ago that, because of a personal crisis in Julie’s life, Once Around will be closing on August 1. I am very saddened to hear this, and I know you will join in sending Julie love and wishing her the very best.

 

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  • 08/14/2014 - 7:50 pm

    Linda - Monica,
    What beautiful photos of a heavenly place. The colors and choices fill me with joy when I see so many ways to be creative. I hope to visit this shop when I come to California. I’d love to go there with you.
    xoxo LINDAReplyCancel

    • 08/14/2014 - 7:53 pm

      Monica Schwartz - Thank you Linda! I would love to take you there. Just let me know when you are planning to come this way next. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • 08/16/2014 - 12:33 pm

    Sonia (foodiesleuth) - Oh, my word! What a beautiful and exciting place…I would get lost in there…it would be so hard to decide what mischief to get into next and what to buy…so much to take in!

    In some of my previous lives, I have painted with water colors and pastels…I’ve sewn, did cross stitching (not pre-stamped on fabric but the Spanish way with a net over the part to be embroidered and following a picture pattern by counting stitches)…I’ve knitted and scrapbooked (mainly recipes)….sometimes I get the urge to go back to one or more of those activities, but have no place where I can just lay out everything to work on and be able to leave it each day until I can get to it again… One of the rooms in my dream house is a craft room I can just close the door on when not in use!

    Beautiful photos, Monica!ReplyCancel

    • 08/16/2014 - 4:11 pm

      Monica Schwartz - Ah, just like I want an art room, so I can also leave all the paints and tools out all the time and just close the door. A bright room with lots of natural light and white walls. Well, let’s hold the vision, Sonia, and fill it with details and let’s see what happens.ReplyCancel

  • 08/17/2014 - 3:42 am

    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - What an amazing store! I love the twines, ribbons and wools and the colours that it all comes in! 😀ReplyCancel

    • 08/17/2014 - 1:22 pm

      Monica Schwartz - Isn’t it just, Lorraine! It’s a prop paradise!ReplyCancel

  • 08/23/2014 - 8:53 am

    Carley Biblin - I found this post after I blogged about my own trip to Once Around a couple days ago (oh, happy accidents!). My photographing was cut short by my toddler, but it is the kind of place where you can click away and not have to worry as much about composition. I love all your pictures. And it’s so exciting that I found another blogger near me with some similar interests. I would love to get in touch and meet you.ReplyCancel

    • 08/23/2014 - 1:55 pm

      Monica Schwartz - Hi Carley: one of those synchronicities! Isn’t Once Around just wonderful?! Julie really has a magic touch. I would love to get in touch and meet you, too. I will e-mail you. Aloha, MReplyCancel

  • 12/26/2014 - 4:55 pm

    Nona - I ADORE once around! I visit whenever I’m in mill valley…..gorgeous job, Monica!ReplyCancel

    • 12/27/2014 - 11:57 am

      Monica Schwartz - Thank you, Kate! I love that store, and could spend hours there. Happy New Year! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • 04/08/2015 - 9:22 am

    Jeanie - As I prepare for a move to Mill Valley, you can’t imagine my delight finding out about this great shop! I was not aware of this gem and was feeling bummed out thinking there were no shops to feed my quilting and knitting needs. As soon as we get settled, my first stop will be to Once Around! Thanks for this post:).ReplyCancel

    • 04/08/2015 - 10:59 am

      Monica Schwartz - Jeanie: I am happy you found the post so now you can delight in all the treasures at Once Around!
      You will really love it! And I am sure you will love Mill Valley, too!

      All the best for your move. Monica 🙂ReplyCancel

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