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Leilani Labong

The City's Best DIY Classes

Life's a Stitch
Self-taught sewing skills just so-so? The gals at Craft Haven in Potrero Hill offer a three-part learn-the-basics package called “The Works” that turns your butterfingers into instruments of needle-and-thread wizardry. Dates ongoing, 520 Hampshire St.,

Pattern Behavior

Decorate your old hardcovers 18th century-style with paste papers. The SF Center for the Book teaches this glorified finger-painting technique using pattern-inducing materials such as Bubble Wrap, plant leaves and sponges. June 26, 300 DeHaro St., 415-565-0545,

Child's Play

SF Traveler Personality Types: Insider Tips from a Foodie, an Adventurer, a Spirituality Seeker and a Road Tripper


Bay Area dwellers travel like they do everything else—passionately and competitively, with a willingness to go to the ends of the earth. Here are expert tips from four San Francisco traveler personality types.


Wind Sports: Now's the Time to Catch Some Air


THE EXPERT: Richard Jepsen, lead instructor at OCSC Sailing School: “Sailing has the social construct of a picnic with friends.”

WHY DO IT: Because it combines the exhilaration of conquering the sea with the sights and sounds of a relaxing day at the beach. Who wouldn’t sign up for that?

SF Travel Profile: The Adventurer

Harlow Salvador Newton, 38
Noe Valley; Owner, Tico Guide Travel and Buenaventura Eco-Lodge and Retreat;
Co Founder,


Obsessed with: Petzl headlamps, Leatherman multiuse tools, my little traveling Buddha
lucky charm.

SF Travel Profile: The Spiritual Seeker

Ami Mehta, 39
South Beach; Director of Innovation, Hinduja Group

Obsessed with: Yoga, surfing, meditation, Vedic astrology.

In the past five years: Been to India, Thailand, Hawaii, Costa Rica.

Best tip for surviving a retreat: Pack light, open your heart and go with the flow.

SF Travel Profile: The Road Tripper

TaggyLee Mermis Bowers, 34
Elementary special-education teacher


Obsessed with: It’s-Its, cheap rhinestone sunglasses, mechanical penny squishers.

In the last five years: Been to the World’s Biggest Box of Raisins in Kingsburg, California; Devil’s Backbone in Crater Lake, Oregon; Ostrichland in Buelton, California.

SF Travel Profile: The Chowhound

Clay McLachlan, 38
Sausalito; food and wine photographer

Obsessed with: Camembert, pimientos de Padrón, white truffles.

In the last five years: Been to Thailand, India, France, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Vietnam, Mexico.

Get Blissed Out at Yoga Mandala's Workday-Friendly Urban Yoga Retreat

Let's be clear: I'm not dedicating my first official post as the new travel/outdoors/any-pursuits-of-the-active-kind blogger to yoga because I'm some kind of self-proclaimed guru who finds enlightenment through sun salutations. Oh, no. I trudge to class three days a week and subject my body to all manner of torturous twists, bends and inversions only because I'm chasing the flexibility I attained in the summer of 1985 when I took gymnastics classes in a misguided attempt to become Mary Lou Retton. This is not to say that I am not open to finding enlightenment in my practice, which is why I'm contemplating the five-day Urban Yoga Retreat at Yoga Mandala in Berkeley (which starts today!

Kelly Malone's Workshop: A DIY Haven

In 2007 Kelly Malone had an enviable job as a stylist for Victoria’s Secret and was in New York City when she received a fateful phone call from her San Francisco doctor. “He told me I had ovarian cancer,” says the Philly native, who moved to SF in 2005 to work as a visual merchandiser for Gap, Inc. The then-33-year-old promptly quit VS and underwent chemotherapy. “I didn’t want to sit at home and feel sorry for myself, so I threw a party in my backyard for all my friends to sell their handmade crafts.”

Gravel & Gold: A New Vintage and Design Destination in the Mission

The fact that Gravel & Gold’s URL could be read, rather morosely, as “Graveland Gold,” produces satisfied grins on the faces of Cassie McGettigan, Nile Nash and Lisa Foti-Straus, the twenty-something friends who co-own the new Mission District boutique that specializes in home accessories and vintage clothing. “It’s a little dark, but it seems to be an awesome name for a vintage store,” says McGettigan, a Virginia native.

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