Nov. 16 2015 02:49 PM

Our top picks for things to do this week

Marbling workshop
Photo by Amanda Rouse


Been to the mall lately? It's already a crowded mess of holiday-rabid shoppers vying for parking spots who find out the store they're going to "just ran out" of that gift. We're not humbugging, mind you. We just like to think our readers would opt to buy their holiday gifts at a local boutique (check out our holiday gift guide in the Dec. 9 issue for some great options) and appreciate a personal touch when getting gifts.

That's what makes Handmade Holidays, a series of workshops at the Lux Art Institute (1550 S. El Camino Real) in Encinitas so great. Starting on Thursday, Nov. 19, and continuing through Saturday, Dec. 19, Lux will offer a variety of workshops for crafty folks whose creativity isn't limited to boozy eggnog recipes. Learn simple printmaking techniques to craft one-of-a-kind wrapping paper and cards (Thursday, Nov. 19). Make your own wooden ornaments (Wednesday, Dec. 9) for the tree or to give as gifts. The workshop series will offer a wide variety of options at—best of all—an affordable price (most start at $50).

"It really is simple enough for students to continue at home," says Amanda Rouse, who teaches the marbling workshop Monday, Nov. 23. "I provide information on where to buy supplies and demonstrate the process," For those unfamiliar with marbling, Rouse says: "Marbling is an ancient Persian decorative process used to color paper and objects. It was commonly used inside the cover of handmade books. Artists float paint on a cellulose liquid, making intricate patterns and designs that are transferred to paper."

Rouse says her class is a bit of a catch-all in that marbling can be used to make cards and ornaments as well as scarves and bandanas. There will also be classes on crafting paper succulents (Dec. 5), block printing on fabric (Dec. 12) and Shibori dyeing (Dec. 9).

Vasko Dukovski
Photo courtesy of 2015 Ensemble Échappé


Fresh Sound organizer Bonnie Wright has been dedicated to bringing avant-garde music to San Diego since 1997. While we're not historically inclined to run out to see a concert featuring a solo clarinetist, we'll make an exception for Wright's latest concert featuring Vasko Dukovski. The classically trained, multidisciplinary musician has no fear blending sounds that don't traditionally complement one another, which are often paired alongside theatrical vocals or upbeat instrumentals. In addition to his solo career, he's the co-founder of The Grneta Ensemble, which won the prestigious Arriaga Chamber Music Competition in 2010. Dukovski will perform his program "Space and Time: Sound in Space," which features composed and improvised clarinet pieces. The concert will take place at the Bread & Salt space (1955 Julian Ave.) on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for everyone else.

Photo courtesy of Randy Crawford
“Trolley Crossing, Little Italy”


Funding for local art has been a slippery slope around town, but Little Italy isn't about to say arrivederci to its cultural presence. Instead, the Little Italy Association is hosting Minor Magic, an art exhibit featuring local illustrator and graphic designer Randy Crawford. The exhibit will raise money to revamp the neighborhood's art scene, including a new mural near the intersection of Grape and State streets. Starting Saturday, Nov. 21, Crawford's Photoshop-savvy manipulations of San Diego spots and foreign urban scenery will show at the New City America office (710 W. Ivy St.) with a private reception from 6 to 9 p.m. While there, guests can meet and greet Crawford while munching on tasty bites. Entry is free, but RSVP is required at The exhibition will be open to the public on weekdays until Dec. 30.


See all events on Friday, Dec 9