Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A bird's eye view ...

 Discover ‘Refound Treasures’
In Nancy Smith and Bonnie Miyamoto’s Booth

Bonnie Miyamoto
Nancy Smith
If antiques and unique vintage items are up your alley, you won’t want to miss a visit to Nancy Smith and Bonnie Miyamoto’s booth next time you’re at the Sparrow.
“I call them refound treasures,” Nancy said of the items they offer. “They call to my heart memories with grandma, mom and sweet friends.” Good friends themselves as well as neighbors, Nancy and Bonnie landed at the Sparrow last October and soon after expanded their booth.
“We chose The Rustic Sparrow because we really liked what items were here for sale, the vendors and the way the shop was run,” said Bonnie. “We felt it was our cup of tea,” Nancy agreed, and believes their booth "adds a feeling of nostalgia, whimsy and flights of fancy” to the store. You’ll find a wide array of furniture and home d├ęcor items including lamps, pillows, candles, shelves, glassware, framed prints and mirrors, and clocks.  Items come from all over, including New England, where the two conducted a buying trip last fall. Take a look at these photos.

Come to the New Escondido Saturday Market!

If you enjoy fresh produce, unique crafts, delicious baked goods, home-crafted foods and fresh-brewed coffees and teas, come on down to the new Escondido Saturday Market! Starting this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the market will be open on Kalmia Street at Grand Avenue. You’ll also find food vendors, health and nutrition information, downtown business discounts and much more.  This is the start of a great new downtown tradition!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A bird's eye view ...

Join 'Paws in the Park'
Help Homeless Animals and Support the Escondido Humane Society

It’s going to be more than just a walk in the park on Sunday, March 30, when people and canines gather to have fun and raise money for the Escondido Humane Society, which rescues animals, returns lost pets to owners, cares for homeless animals and works to find them permanent homes.

You’ll want to mark your calendars for this day of family and dog-friendly fun at Kit Carson Park in Escondido. 1.5 and 2.5-mile walks for dogs, their owners and other supporters will start at 9 a.m. and circle the park.  Contests, demonstrations and other activities for dogs and humans will include a doggy wet T-shirt contest, “Terriers and Tiaras” (a fashion show for dogs), face painting and paw printing, a performance by San Pasqual High School cheerleaders, and a demonstration by the Ballistic Flyball Team. Be sure to check out the vendor booths at the Paws Expo. They’ll be stocked with fun, unique and practical pet products.

This fundraiser is for all animals helped by our humane society. It’s a private, nonprofit organization, so it depends on donations and support from people like you in our community. Last year, Paws in the Park raised over $90,000. The goal this year is $100,000.

Here’s how we all can help. Go to the society’s web site at
Fundraising. You can raise funds for Paws in the Park as an individual or a team, and the web site will give you an online kit to tell you how to do it. You or your team could be eligible for great prizes for raising from $50 to $2,500. Set up your own fundraising web page on the site and send the link to family and friends who can electronically give their tax-deductible donations. Complete instructions are posted. You can register online or by mail by calling (760) 888-2235.

Become a Sponsor.  Individuals, businesses and organizations can help this great cause and become more visible in the community by sponsoring Paws in the Park. You’ll also show your love for animals! Depending on the amount of money they contribute ($500 to $15,000) sponsors can receive free gifts and recognition on certificates, T-shirts, posters and mentions in EHS publications. And of course, sponsorships are tax-deductible.

Become a Vendor. Rent a 10x10 foot booth for $150 (tax-deductible), know the money is going to help sheltered animals and sell your wares to pet lovers from 8 a.m. to noon. Application information and vendor guidelines are posted on the EHS web site.

Volunteer. You can help make Paws in the Park a success, which benefits this great cause, by volunteering at the event. Volunteers will work from 6 a.m. to around 12:30 p.m. doing everything from helping vendors assisting during games and contests to greeting the public. Volunteers also help set up and take down of the event. Check the web site for more information and to sign up. 

We hope to see you at Kit Carson Park on Sunday, March 30 to support the animals who need help in our community and the Escondido Humane Society, which offers that important help. And remember, tax-deductible donations to the organization are accepted throughout the year.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A bird's eye view ...

Chocolate Festival Leaves Sweet Memories Behind

Chocolate, beer and wine lovers had a great time Saturday, Feb. 8 at the fourth annual “For the Love of Chocolate and SweetArt Festival". The Sparrow was one of many businesses along Grand Avenue that became tasting stations for the event, offering pairings of chocolate, and either wine or beer from local breweries and wineries. We were Station No. 19.

The Sparrow was proud to once again welcome Iron Fist Brewing Co. from Vista, which is always a festival favorite. This year, Ren from Iron Fist brought the beer Hired Hand, a Belgium Saison. It was paired with flourless Chocolate Petites provided by Major Market’s, brought by Heather from the market’s bakery department. Festival goers loved the pairing. They also loved shopping at the Sparrow. It was definitely a party!

Ren from Iron Fist Brewing Co. and Heather
from Major Market paired up their specialties.
Above and below, festival goers enjoyed visiting
our tasting station and shop.

Vendors Ursela Koenig and Kris Robinson
joined the festivities.

Here are some fun facts about chocolate:
- A recent study shows that when men crave food, they tend to crave fat and salt. When women crave food, they tend to want chocolate.
- American and Russian space flights have always included chocolate.
- American chocolate manufacturers use about 1.5 billion pounds of milk a year, surpassed only by the cheese and ice cream industries.
- Aztec emperor Montezuma drank 50 golden goblets of hot chocolate every day. It was thick, dyed red and flavored with chili peppers.
- Chocolate syrup was used for blood in the famous 45-second shower scene in the Hitchcok movie “Psycho”.
- Leonard Herschfield invented the Tootsie Roll in 1896. It was named after his daughter.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A bird's eye view ...

 Love Shabby Chic? Visit Our Painted Pieces Booth

No visit to The Rustic Sparrow is complete without a stop at vendor Loni Malloy’s booth. Owner of Painted Pieces, she is truly an artist when it comes to creating shabby chic decor.

"I like what I do because I can ‘play’ and be creative using different colors, textures and pieces," she said. “I can help someone furnish their home then move on to another project."

Loni has been painting and treating furniture since 1990. She said she found it a perfect way to furnish her house and work from home. It evolved into a business as family and friends asked her to do work for them and told others.

Loni Malloy of Painted Pieces in her Sparrow booth

Today at the The Rustic Sparrow, Loni continues to take ordinary furniture and accessories, and transform them into amazing one-of-a-kind items. In addition to white, she paints in blue, green, yellow, red and many other colors. She also takes custom orders. Hutches, chairs, tables, nightstands, dressers, desks, and end tables are only some of what you’ll find. Lamps, jewelry boxes, lettered glass windows, mirrors, picture frames, candlesticks, chalkboard “windows”, salt and pepper shakers, and jewelry boxes also fill her space. But pictures speak louder than words. Just take a look at some of Loni’s work.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Visit Our Tasting Station at the Fourth Annual Chocolate Festival!

Chocolate, wine and beer lovers, hold onto your palettes – the event you’ve been waiting for is coming back and The Rustic Sparrow will once again be a part of it! On Saturday, Feb. 8, Grand Avenue in Escondido will be transformed into Sweet Street during the Fourth Annual For the Love of Chocolate and SweetArt Festival.

The Sparrow, at 128 E. Grand, will be one of a number of tasting stations downtown that will offer pairings of chocolate and either beer or wine.  We’ll be serving beer from Iron Fist Brewing Co. in Vista, one of many great breweries and wineries to take part in this fun event. We’ll also be open for business as usual, so come on in and check out what our eclectic group of vendors to offer – there’s a good chance you’ll find that perfect Valentine’s Day gift!

Stroll down Grand (“Sweet Street”) and be tempted by delectable candy, cupcakes and cookies for sale and visit local restaurants – many will offer delicious samples from their menus. Take a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride and dance to live music following the tastings after in a Champagne Garden at Maple Street Plaza.

The festival will begin at 1 p.m., with tastings until 5 p.m. Online ticket sales are over, so buy yours starting at 1 p.m. the day of the event at Maple Street Plaza.  Admission for 10 beer/wine and chocolate pairings (age 21 and up) is $45. Designated Driver tickets (chocolate only) are $30, and admission to Sweet Street is free!

We look forward to seeing you at the festival and whenever you wing your way to the Sparrow.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A bird's eye view ...

Welcome to the Neighborhood, JP Catholic!

Here at The Rustic Sparrow, we welcome new neighbors who help make Grand Avenue community so special.

One of the most interesting recent additions to our neighborhood is John Paul the Great Catholic University. The campus is headquartered on Grand, at the site of the former Mingei International Museum. The institution was originally founded in 2003 under the name New Catholic University. The school's board of trustees changed the name in 2005 to honor the late pope, and the college moved from Scripps Ranch to Escondido last summer. JP Catholic held its first classes last fall. We’ve had the pleasure of welcoming some of its students in our shop as customers.

The school offers masters degrees in Business Administration and Biblical Theology. It also offers two bachelor of science degrees – Business, with concentrations in Entrepreneurship, Sales & Marketing, Leadership & Management; and Communications Media, with concentrations in Screenwriting, Producing, Production/Directing, Acting, Animation and Game Design. (That’s right, a future superstar behind or in front of the camera could be learning his or her craft just down the street!) JP Catholic even has its own sound stage.

The university sticks to its Catholic roots and faith with a goal of bringing “the light of the Gospel to all nations by passionately articulating the faith using new forms of communication.” It’s Business Department’s “Do.School” offers students a rigorous academic and mentoring program, and “The Incubator on Grand,” a block away from the main academic building, is a place for student start-up companies to grow, complete with desk space, a conference room, and other business support items. The school prides itself on being "a hub of applied innovation and creativity, leadership and entrepreneurship."

So welcome to the students and faculty of John Paul the Great Catholic University. We’re glad to be your neighbors!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A bird's eye view ...

Nature and the Sea Inspire Two Sparrow Vendors

Our artistic vendors here at The Rustic Sparrow draw inspiration from many sources, whether they’re designing their booths, searching the world for unique and beautiful items or handcrafting their own works of art.

Nancy Duthrie of Beach Girls Soap
The sea and the nature's beauty inspire artists in two of our booths. Soon after entering the shop, look straight ahead and you’ll see the Beach Girls Soap booth. Using a beach/mermaid theme, vendors Nancy Duthrie and Kris Welk offer a natural line of handmade soaps, candles and body butter.

Made locally in their workshop, they contain no parrabins, detergents or palm oil. Nancy points out that although parrabins are commonly used in cosmetics, shampoos and other products, Beach Girls’ products are free of the preservative.

Parrabins have been linked to cancer. She said use of palm oil, which many other company’s products contain, is causing the needless destruction of palm groves. Instead, Beach Girls uses shea butter, which is a great moisturizer.

Handmade jewelry
Beach Girls Body Butter
 Beach Girls also carries jewelry (most handmade by Kris and Nancy), birdhouses, and soy candles created by Kris. Nancy started the company in Maui and sold her products to cruise lines and resorts. She and Kris chose The Sparrow as their latest venue “because we kept hearing about it from everyone. I’d be in here all the time even if I weren’t a vendor.”

Above and below are two pieces
from the Moss Gathers Stones
In another booth, vendor and artist Kris Moss Robinson uses the raw beauty of nature to make exquisite necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other jewelry. Traveling to rugged sites on the Northern California coastline, she harvests stones from the sea that have been naturally polished by waves and creates one-of-a-kind pieces.

Kris Moss Robinson

“They’re unique because they were originally created by nature, and are part of the beauty that surrounds us everywhere,” Kris said. She said she decided to join The  Rustic Sparrow “because I love the uniqueness and friendliness of the shop.” A play on words, she uses her middle name in the name of her company, Moss Gathers Stones.