From visually stunning — and very tasty — cakes (and platforms to put them on) to inspiring artwork and insider tips on channeling your inner creative, these finds from Bay Area artists and experts are sure to energize the home and spirit alike.
On A Pedestal
As durable for an outdoor tabletop as they are stylish for a fun indoor setting, all of the pieces in San Francisco–based Tina Frey Designs’ Pedestal Collection have been sculpted by hand, then cast in resin. From Tina Frey’s Pedestal Egg Cup ($37) to the playful Large Dome on Pedestal Stand ($403), the full collection is available in white or gray — and in some cases, an almost translucent shade called “fog.” Fill these playful modern vessels with colorful flowers or delicious nibbles and enjoy the perfect marriage of form and function. tinafreydesigns.com
Stamps of approval.
Prolific San Francisco–based author Diane Dorrans Saeks’ latest book, Stamps & Stamps: Style & Sensibility ($50, Rizzoli), gives design lovers a peek into the world of the Southern California design duo Kate and Odom Stamps. Beautifully illustrated, the tome showcases the couple’s expertise in layering pattern and texture to create inviting spaces for actual living. It even includes an appendix with tips on where they source antiques and textiles. rizzoliusa.com
For the last six years, Marin-based sugar and food artist Michelle Heston has created some incredibly delicious trompe l’oeil masterpieces like this lemon cake (from $75) — a dark chocolate and espresso cake with Swiss buttercream, robed and sculpted in tinted modeling chocolate — that have regularly garnered top honors at good old-fashioned county fairs. What began as a hobby turned out to be anything but half-baked; Heston’s been featured on Good Day Sacramento and in the Dallas Morning News and Chicago Tribune. Her clients include singer-songwriter Michael Franti, Emmy Award–winning TV personalities Liam Mayclem and Jan Wahl, and California cult winemaker Jamie Kutch. @hestoncakes on Instagram
Angel of the Mourning
Artist Danielle Mourning’s recent exhibition Stay With Me — a multiroom, multisensory experience that’s overtaken her Pacific Heights Victorian — has been completely booked month after month since she opened it to the public this winter. Prior to beginning this two-year installation, the San Francisco native focused primarily on photography; in particular, self-portraits. Available through her online shop, a selection of striking images from her 20-year body of work — including this large-format archival print, Annelles’ Cornbread ($465) — have been reproduced in a limited edition. daniellemourning.shop
In her first book, The New Oil Painting ($16.95, Chronicle Books), which drops this month, artist Kimberly Brooks illustrates the fundamentals of oil painting, from necessary materials and how to set up your space with healthier, more environmentally safe solvents, to colorfully illustrated techniques and guides for novice and experienced painters. Although the contemporary artist — and wife of Academy Award–nominated actor and writer Albert Brooks — is based in Los Angeles, she finds inspiration throughout the year at her family home in Sausalito. kimberlybrooks.com