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One of a kind…

This is Jess Brown, and her dog Shortie, in her Petaluma workshop where she handmakes the most beautiful and ecologically fashionable dolls I have ever met. Her inspiration for the dolls came from too many cashmere sweaters shrunk in the wash and a desire to have beautiful, yet functional, handmade dolls for her daughter.

Why shouldn’t dolls wear silk and cashmere too? Especially when the fabric would otherwise end up in the landfill. Jess takes leftover fabrics from local designers and combines them with fabric cut from clothes she finds in local thrift store to make the hair and clothes for each doll.

Jess’s wonderful dolls are gaining a lot of attention, nationally and internationally, so our local artisan is very very busy these day. And my recommendation, grab one while you can, because they won’t last long. You can find Jess and her dolls (and lots of other ridiculously cute children’s clothing) at Maude, her store inĀ  Petaluma on Kentucky Street.

This is Mima, the original doll Jess created for her daugher, who has had lots and lots of love over the years. If you click on the photo, you can read the very cute note Jess’s daughter left on her sewing machine. It is written in Mima’s words.

The Women Behind Biofuel Oasis…

Today I got to meet the women of Biofuel Oasis.

Biofuel Oasis was founded in 2003 to provide greater access to biodiesel, a renewable fuel that reduces harmful tailpipe emissions. They are a women/worker-owned & operated cooperative that values sustainability, local production, and community.

And it is a very exciting year for this group. Not only is their business in the middle of the whole alternative-energy political swirl, but they are moving to a beautiful new station in Oakland in a couple of months, and most importantly… they now have new photos by paige green photography. Wow, it’s a big year indeed.

I enjoyed my quick glimpse into the bio-diesel world of these rad women, although the priority of this trip was to take formal photos, so I didn’t get to see them in action as much as I would have liked. But I guess that just means I will have to make another trip.

If only my little Honda, Ralph, were a diesel and if I lived in the East Bay, then I would most certainly go to them for all my biodiesel needs, but unfortunately Ralph isn’t and I don’t, so the best I can do is to tell all you… so if you live in the East Bay and you have biodiesel needs then these are the women to go to.


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