Home In Sunny San Diego

Nearly two weeks ago, on a Wednesday morning after a few months to prep emotionally and pare my life down to what would fit in my Jeep and a sizable U-Haul, I left my beautiful home in the Bay with Max so we could both begin anew here in my hometown of San Diego. It was a bittersweet ending and I find myself still terribly homesick for San Francisco, and my friends and the wonderful people who came into my life there. It was a journey I’ll never forget, and something tells me Max and I may one day call the Bay home again.

So needless to say, it’s been a whirlwind coming here and getting adjusted, as I’ve frequently recounted to everyone who’s asked. On one hand I’m glad to be home…I’m close to family, in the sunshine again, finally moving in with Max, and with my friends here…but there is so much about my life in the Bay that I feel I’m missing, and that “reverse culture shock” I’m feeling still sits pretty heavily in my chest, and in lumps in my throat when I find myself alone, which is frequently at night while Max is off tying up loose ends back in the Bay Area. But I’ll continue to adjust and will hopefully find a balance once again between my work life, family life, relationship life, and writing. I love this blog, but it’s a lot to keep up. I will try my best to get a few new stories up that I have in mind. I’ll also be exploring the amazing world of vintage, thrifting, and antiquing that Southern California has to offer. It’s a new adventure for sure!

Casa Artelexia in North Park, San Diego

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“Love yourself.”

It’s something I learned to do, at least in part, during the months I worked for Casa Artelexia in San Diego, before my life-changing move to San Francisco. As I mentioned in a social media post after touring the new shop, I found so much of my confidence here and I learned to love my Mexican heritage, and I became even more enamored by Mexican folk art. I had had a sad few months trying to find work after I got back from college, was living at home, and was struggling internally with a long term relationship. I had remembered loving the shop and walked in to ask for work when Elexia, the talented woman who owned the store, offered me an internship. I was her first employee, and after a month of writing blog posts, a newsletter, and web copy, she hired me.

Working at Casa Artelexia was one of my favorite experiences. Her shop in Little Italy is filled with antiques, folk and modern art, textiles, and oddities unique to Mexico, and when I was working there, a large art gallery. Every week at Artelexia brought with it a new art show and a frenzy of shop admirers both Mexican and not, and I had the freedom to run her blog, craft and create, and simply enjoy time with visitors. When the time came to leave, Elexia supported my decision and even tried to help me find work in San Francisco. She’d also lived there.

Nearly three years later I keep in touch with Elexia, and her family and friends on occasion, and finally visited her brand new second shop in the North Park area of San Diego. I was completely amazed by the shop and the bohemian modern route she took with this addition to her business. I wanted to share it on my blog because I feel as though this is what The Tufted strives to be: authentic, inspired by vintage, bohemian, and respectful to all cultures.

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This fantastic paper flower wall, like the one in the main shop in Little Italy, was designed and created by Tania Fischer. You can find her DIY tutorial to craft these yourself on her website. Artelexia has also hosted paper flower workshops and a myriad of others including adult wine and craft nights, coiled basketry (which I had the pleasure of teaching!), Nichos, pinatas, felt ornaments, papel picado, and so many more.

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Casa Artelexia is a shoppable gallery of Mexican and bohemian folk art, much of it from southern Mexico in places like Oaxaca and Chiapas. The shop features whimsical pieces like painted Talavera pottery, traditional and modern textiles, artwork buy local artisans, and Mid-Century Modern furniture upholstered in Mexican and South American textiles (these are some of my favorites obviously). You can also pick up unique greeting and post cards and have your gift wrapped at the counter with confetti and papel picado.

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When I visited Elexia this past Christmas, she had a vignette set up for the occasion with a mix of modern and vintage finds and craft accessories.

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Every so often Elexia has the office of the new store open. The space is filled with art and items from her own collection that she’s displayed beautifully on vintage shelves and furniture.

Have you visited San Diego recently? Check out Casa Artelexia in North Park and Little Italy, and stop in for beautiful Mexican folk art, crafting, and great people!