August ~ Third Thursdays


What: Third Thursdays Piedmont Ave Stroll. We stay open late to feature local artists and mingle with our community, all while noshing on snacks, sipping wine and grooving to resident DJ SOB.

Featuring:  Collage by Thomas Young  (read his bio) and clothing and accessories by Matlena Hourula (read her bio).

When: Thursday, August 21 from 6-9 pm

Where: The Rare Bird – 3883 Piedmont Avenue – Oakland, CA

July ~ Third Thursdays

What: Third Thursdays Piedmont Ave Stroll. We stay open late to feature local artists and mingle with our community, all while noshing on snacks, sipping wine and grooving to resident DJ SOB.

Featuring:  Oil Paintings by Michael Dadasovich (read his bio) and haberdashery by Rattana Designs (read their bio).

When: Thursday, July 17 from 6-9 pm

Where: The Rare Bird – 3883 Piedmont Avenue – Oakland, CA

June ~ Third Thursdays

What: Third Thursdays Piedmont Ave Stroll. We stay open late to feature local artists and mingle with our community, all while noshing on snacks, sipping wine and grooving to resident DJ SOB.

Featuring:  Multi-media art by Cybele Gerachis (read her bio) and Oakland-imagery note cards by Samantha Barsky (read her bio).

When: Thursday, June 19 from 6-9 pm

Where: The Rare Bird – 3883 Piedmont Avenue – Oakland, CA

May ~ Third Thursdays

What: Third Thursdays Piedmont Ave Stroll. We stay open late to feature local artists and mingle with our community, all while noshing on snacks, sipping wine and grooving to resident DJ SOB.

Featuring:  Vibrant paintings by Rachel Znerold (read her bio) and hand-woven beaded jewelry by Danielle Marie Andress (read her bio).

When: Thursday, May 15 from 6-9 pm

Where: The Rare Bird – 3883 Piedmont Avenue – Oakland, CA

April Art Stroll

Hey there rare birds, spring is here and we hope you’re making the most out of the longer days and gorgeous blooms. We’re marking the season by updating our merchandise throughout the store and bringing in all new vintage wear for the warmer weather! Drop in during the Piedmont Ave Stroll on Thursday, April 17th from 6-9 pm, to check out our new wares as well as the works of featured artist Ruth Hernandez and all-natural products by body care mixologist Nieves Rathbun of By Nieves.

Ruth’s work, inspired by the natural world, living creatures and geometric shapes, will be up all month long. By Nieves, a line of skin care products handmade with only natural ingredients, gives your body the healthy care it craves. Most By Nieves products have multiple uses, and you’ve got to try them to believe them. Plus, Rare Bird has refreshed our merchandise throughout the store, so stop by to get acquainted with the wares of  new local designers and artists, along with our recent switch over to spring and summer vintage wear!

Ruth will be on hand during the Stroll so come by to meet her and discuss her work, and get the skinny from Nieves on all the uses for her amazing natural body care line. You can also browse our catalog of classes while you enjoy refreshments on the house and listen to sweet tunes spun by DJ SOB.

See you at the Stroll, Thursday, April 17 from 6-9 pm!


What: Third Thursday Art Stroll

Featuring:  Nature- and geometry-inspired art by Ruth Hernandez and handmade, all-natural body care products by Nieves Rathbun of By Nieves.

When: Thursday, April 17 from 6-9 pm

Where: The Rare Bird – 3883 Piedmont Avenue – Oakland, CA


n2About Nieves:

For the better part of her childhood, Nieves traveled the West Coast with pack donkeys alongside her father, a folk musician and renegade intellectual. Through her upbringing in the counterculture, Nieves became acquainted with alternative therapies, herbal healing and aroma therapy at a young age.

Before launching her By Nieves skincare line, she worked for V’tae Perfume and Bodycare and Zia Natural Skincare. Now a 20-year veteran of the skincare industry, Nieves still loves researching essential oils, skin care and over-all health, pursuing information sources in modern science and traditional folk remedies. She has taken cosmetic chemistry courses from Rebecca James Gadberry, pesters Mollie Jensen for advice and is honored to study perfumery with Jeanne Rose.

Abiding by the very simple philosophy to make products using only beneficial ingredients, she developed a line using wholesome, time-tested ingredients in unique formulations. Her handmade natural body care line, By Nieves, is produced with primarily organic ingredients and served with a sassy sincerity.




About Ruth:

Ruth is that person who goes on walks and returns with things collected along the way.  Her paintings are inspired by these natural objects, such as driftwood or feathers.  Her illustrative works reflect nature, texture, and a love for shapes and geometry. If she isn’t painting you can hear her playing music and making coffee.

March Art Stroll

Flowers will be blooming soon and trees will be exploding with blossoms! Come celebrate the official first day of spring with us at the Piedmont Ave Stroll, Thursday, March 20th, 6-9pm, when we will be featuring local artist Jeremy Burmeister‘s up-cycled work and terrariums galore made by our very own Erica Skone-Rees for your spring decorating needs!

Jeremy’s creations, made from found vintage items, are inspired by the natural curiosities he  discovered during childhood strolls along the Jersey shore. Erica’s whimsical terrariums made with quirky air plants are the perfect way to bring some personality and life into your home. Or, let them inspire your own terrarium creations; we have everything you need to make one of your own!

Pop by during the Stroll to meet Jeremy and chat about his work, find that perfect terrarium, and enjoy wine, community, and music spun by DJ Selector MAKBUILT. And don’t forget to sign up for our DIY Terrarium Class on March 26, all supply needs are covered in the course fee. Visit our classes page to check out the other amazing classes and workshops we have coming up.

See you at the Stroll, Thursday, March 20th from 6-9pm!

What: Third Thursday Art Stroll

Featuring:  Found object art by Jeremy Burmeister and air plant terrariums by Erica Skone-Rees

When: Thursday, March 20th from 6-9 pm

Where: The Rare Bird – 3883 Piedmont Avenue – Oakland, CA




About Jeremy:

Jeremy Burmeister is a Bay Area artist with a flair for found objects of vintage and organic varieties. His creativity finds expression in the media of jewelry, sculpture, mirrors, and performance.

The organic sensibility of Jeremy’s work owes to his childhood near the southern New Jersey shore, where he was fascinated by oceanic creatures, insects, fossils, and other treasures. The result is a harmonious combination of discovery and invention that distinguishes his art.

Jeremy’s unisex jewelry collection features bronze, sterling silver, and some carved hardwood pieces. The mirrors are assemblages of disused antiques, repurposed and salvaged woods, found bone, and rusted and weathered materials.

Occasionally, Jeremy can be found performing at the antique fortune telling booth of Malvoye the Mentalist, a rare revival of America’s side show and carnival history.

Jeremy holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University.



Air Plant Terrariums crafted by a Rare Bird:

This month we’re featuring hanging glass terrarium worlds inhabited by quirky air plants.

Most Bay Area-ites have seen air plants and terrariums in shops, home décor magazines, on Pinterest, Etsy and even in your friends’ offices or homes.  These unusual green friends are trending right now because of their quirky personalities, easy maintenance, and ability to add life to urban landscapes.

Air plants are hardy plants that can live in most indoor environments. Erica’s favorite way to house and grow air plants is in a ventilated glass hanging globe — come by Rare Bird to see the whimsical hanging plant worlds she created for our March feature. Or pick up all the ingredients to create your own.  We’ve got all the hanging glass globes, plants, rocks, moss and crystals you need to create your own dreamy terrarium world.

Plus, Erica is teaching a DIY Air Plant Terrarium workshop on March 26th.  Join the class to create your own fantastical landscape and learn about how to care for your new quirky green friend.


February Art Stroll

Greetings, Rare Birds! With all the summery weather lately you might have forgotten that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! We have  fresh new merchandise suitable for sweethearts, plus we’re delighted to be featuring the inspired and inspiring work of two new Birds this month. Join us for the Third Thursday Art Stroll on Thursday, February 20th from 6 – 9 pm to meet them!

Melina Meza‘s dazzling photographs , part of her “Photo of the Day” project, will grace our walls all month long. Come have a look at her unique views of nature, architecture, and the East Bay. Also, check out featured designer Maggie Miglio’s organic jewelry designs, which combine raw stones with brass and other metals to create gorgeous necklaces and earrings. Both artists will be on hand during The Stroll, along with resident DJ SOB.

We’ll have wine and snacks laid out in our new classroom space, so it’s the perfect time to check that out, too. Loads of new classes have been added to the schedule since last month’s Stroll, and they’re filling up! Feeling crafty? You can register for a class (or “playshops,” as we like to call them) during the Stroll, or anytime by phone or email.

See you at The Stroll on Thursday, February 20th from 6 – 9 pm!


What: Third Thursday Art Stroll

Featuring: sumptuous local photography by Melina Meza and organic jewelry by Maggie Miglio.

When: Thursday, February 20th from 6-9 pm

Where: The Rare Bird – 3883 Piedmont Avenue – Oakland, CA


Day 152 rainbow spiderwebLO


About Melina:

In 2010, Melina’s passion for photography reignited with the purchase of her beloved iPhone. Low-tech phone applications such as Hipstamatic, CameraBag, and Tiltshift heightened and confirmed her way of seeing detail, texture, color, and shapes, in all things great and small. Melina finds the most consistent inspiration for photographs outside in Nature, where her muse comes alive with the company of the elements: gazing at clouds, playing with reflections, driving down the freeway pre-sunset, kneeling before plants of all kinds, and capturing the personality of the seasons with one simple click of the camera.

Taking pictures has now become a daily practice for her, like meditating or doing yoga. She believes that being creative is food for the soul and is as important as eating your organic kale. To learn more about the creative process, Meza embarked upon a project called “Photo of the Day”—which simply means she committed to taking and sharing with her Facebook community one photograph each day for 365 days.  Some of the local shots from that project make up this month’s Rare Bird show.



rarebird8About Maggie:

Maggie has been making jewelry since she was kid. She enjoys using brass and gold plated materials combined with raw stones to create something that feels organic. Shapes in nature constantly inspire her work, symmetrical and naturally asymmetric alike. When Maggie isn’t making jewelry she is a full-time student and can often be found gardening or sewing.


January Third Thursday: New CLASSROOM + big SALE!

Happy New Year! It’s Pam here writing, the new kid in the flock. I wanted to let you know what I learned from “Holiday 2013″ and that is this: Rare Bird customers are the best! I enjoyed watching you so carefully choose just the right gifts for your friends and loved ones. Some of you took a while (no frenzy here!), asked for help, deliberated, considered, debated. (Yes, you snuck some items for yourself too, and that’s ok!) I thought about how lucky your recipients are to have thoughtful friends like you! Thanks for making Rare Bird part of your holiday season.

Ok, now on to the exciting new developments of 2014:

Rare Bird Art Classes

The shop will be closed from January 6 – 12 as we kick up dust, building a new space to teach a wide variety of art “playshops.” Come check out the brand new classroom during January’s Third Thursday Art Stroll, where we’ll have a sneak preview art project for you to make-and-take. Plus you can pick up the schedule of winter/spring classes while you’re here and start signing up!  Be sure that your list of New Year’s Resolutions includes “MAKE MORE TIME TO PLAY AND BE CREATIVE.” :)

Big Sale: 40% off a whole lot of cool things!

We’re ringing in the new year with a big ‘ole SALE! Look for the marked 40% OFF section in the shop, beginning this week. We’ll be adding lots of items throughout the month, making space for our classroom, so check back often, including Third Thursday, January 16th, during Art Stroll.

What: Third Thursdays Piedmont Ave Stroll

Featuring: a Sneak Peek DIY craft project in our new classroom space AND a sweet 40% off sale.

When: Thursday, January 16 from 6-9 pm

Where: The Rare Bird – 3883 Piedmont Avenue – Oakland, CA

December Art Stroll

Happy holidays and thanks to all who came out for last month’s 3rd Anniversary Bash! Now is the season for giving, so join us for the Piedmont Ave Stroll on Thursday, December 19th from 6-9pm to find artistic, personal gifts for your loved ones and to canoodle with our featured local artist and designer.

Megan Eckman of MME studio will tantalize your eyes with her imaginative illustrations printed on bookmarks, pillows, cards and more, while Bess Petty’s “Bird Versus Bird” line  is the perfect fit for any naturalist, nature lover, and bird watcher. Find Bess’ original artwork printed on wall decor, stickers, magnets, pillows and more!

Come browse Megan’s and Bess’ selection all through December, and discover all that Rare Bird has to offer for stocking stuffers and special gifts. Browse our eclectic mix of coffee table books, onesies, soaps, candles, and works ranging from jewelry and bowties to wall art by 100+ local artists — you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list. Shop local at Rare Bird this season and pop in during The Stroll Thursday, December 19th from 6-9pm  to chat up Megan and Bess about their wondrous works, shake a leg to the tunes of DJ SOB, and enjoy a bit of wine while supporting local art, design, and independent business.

From all of us at Rare Bird, have a wonderful holiday season!


What: Piedmont Ave Stroll

Featuring: illustrations by Megan Eckman and bird- and nature-themed products by Bess Petty.

When: Thursday, December 19 from 6-9 pm

Where: The Rare Bird – 3883 Piedmont Avenue – Oakland, CA


About Megan:

Megan Eckman, the illustrator behind Studio MME, is on a mission to rekindle wonder.  Her work tells the modern fairy tales of forest-dwelling polar bears and party happy arctic foxes.  She strives to make people laugh every day.  After earning her creative writing and art degrees from Minnesota State University in 2009, she immediately launched her own business and has been re-igniting imaginations ever since.



About Bess:

Based in Oakland, Bess Petty hatched Bird vs. Bird in 2007 as an experimental handful of pouches and bags made to sell at a local art gallery. She now is a regular presence at Bay Area craft fairs and at stores around the country.

All the bird, animal and botanical illustrations featured on Bird vs. Bird products are Bess’ original work and reflect her life-long love for nature and birdwatching.  She has chosen in particular to highlight many of the birds seen in her home territory of Northern California.  All of the Bird vs. Bird’s products are handmade by Bess, always with an eye to using recycled and salvaged materials where practical.  Many signature items, such as her coin purses and stickers, are printed on materials saved from her day job in the commercial sign industry that would otherwise end up in the landfill.

Bird vs. Bird Designs has been an Etsy Featured Seller, and has been mentioned in a variety of blogs and publications, including Dwell Magazine’s Friday Finds and the Oakland Museum of California’s Member Magazine.


November Art Stroll

Rare Bird is turning THREE! We would like nothing better than to celebrate our birthday with our beloved customers, so join us for this month’s Piedmont Ave Stroll and Holiday Craft Fair on Thursday November 21st from 6-9pm. Help us blow out some birthday candles, find locally handcrafted holiday gifts, fete our featured artists and meet the newest member of our flock!

That’s right, Pam Consear, a fellow crafter, teacher and community leader, is now on board as co-owner of Rare Bird, LLC! Welcoming Pam means that we’re growing stronger, wiser, and more creative. For you, our community of Rare Birds, it means:

•    a fantastic shop owned by two local artists (double the creative brain-power!),

•    a steady stream of inspiring classes beginning in 2014,

•     services designed to make your life easier and more artful, ranging from wedding decor consulting to backyard mosaic murals to home organizing and beautification.

We’re the same Bird, just rocking some new feathers! This month’s Stroll and birthday party is holiday craft fair-style, featuring four local artists:  Rare Bird owners Erica Skone-Rees and Pamela Consear, as well close members of our flock, Suzanne Baker and MAKBUILT. Check out the artists’ work and bios below, and meet them at the Stroll on November 21st from 6-9pm. DJ SOB will be rockin’ the tunes, wine and refreshments will be flowin’ and birthday festivities will be in full swing. Remember to shop local this holiday season!

What: Piedmont Ave Stroll and Holiday Craft Fair

Featuring: Mosaic home and garden art by Pamela Consear, boxes of boom by MAKBUILT, exquisite jewelry by Erica Skone-Rees and graphic appliqued pillows by Suzanne Baker.

When: Thursday, November 21 from 6-9 pm

Where: The Rare Bird – 3883 Piedmont Avenue – Oakland, CA


About Erica:

 Erica Skone-Rees has been a creative little bugger since childhood, always curious about what could be made with the things surrounding her.  At age 8 she was gifted a DIY jewelry kit and found her niche.  Today, she designs and crafts her jewelry line using natural gemstones, woods, precious metals and scared meaning.  Erica regards each piece of jewelry as a talisman that holds personal messages of support and strength, or a mantra – a friendly reminder to breath, trust in the journey, and above all, love.

With this sense of mindfulness, she developed “intention necklaces:” pieces with mantras or words of inspiration stamped on discs of precious metals, holding sacred meaning for the wearer.  One intention necklace features sterling silver discs stamped with the words “forever growing” and strung with red jade and peridot stones.  Intention necklaces are designed to offer strength, support and magic by infusing the wearer with the combined power of the stones, the words and the lovely design. Erica invites you to find an intention necklace that speaks to you or to custom design your own, and to wear these precious stones and metals in good health.



About Pam:

Pam Consear, of HandyGal Studios, admits to compulsively picking up shiny metal objects off the ground. And also to having friends who bring her bags of broken jewelry, nebulizer hoses, and head gear wires at parties. She uses such items in her own artwork, and to supply the many art classes she teaches for adults and children. Soon those classes (along with more “normal” ones!) will become fixtures at Rare Bird, as Pam is joining forces with Erica this month as co-owner of the shop!


About Suzanne:

Suzanne Baker is an Oakland artist and craftista who creates one-of-a-kind pieces of functional and decorative art using bits and pieces of reclaimed items – skirts, scarves, discarded paintings and drawings, kimonos, album covers, frames – in combination with new materials. She uses these materials to create appliquéd pillows, cameo silhouettes, collage art and other Suki creations, all characterized by a graphic collage aesthetic and bold colors. Of all the bits and pieces caught in the wake of creating her art – the tag of a thrifted tie, a piece of fabric’s selvage edge, the colorful snips of paper left over  – almost nothing is wasted. In fact, these discards have inspired some of her favorite pieces.



About MAK:

Oakland born and raised, MAK is the designer and creator of MAKBUILT, a line of re-purposed, fully functional, one-of-a-kind art.  A builder by day and an artist by night, MAK is influenced by music and street art – his own art combines yesteryear’s retro aestheticS with modern technology and functionality. MAK’s love for music and nostalgia for the era of his childhood inspired his own version of a boom box that re-purposed his father’s wooden briefcase into a portable sound dock enabling him to share his tunes wherever he rambled.  Many ooh’s, ahh’s and requests later, he created his own line of ‘boxes of boom’ under the pseudonym MAKBUILT.

MAK’s desire to investigate how things are made and function fuels his own innovations, leading him to turn his bicycle into a motor bike, a belt buckle into a carved wooden pocket knife, and resulting in a finished carpenter’s “face-lift” of a vintage camera. Each one of MAK’s unique pieces is imbued with his personal touch: a devotion to craft and a flair for style. MAK continues to add new designs to his repertoire, so be sure to keep an eye on his work by following and seeing his work in person at Rare Bird, in his hometown of Oakland, California.

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