SEARCH: Party Decorations on a Budget

Party Decorations on a Budget

by Elliot Thorpe

One part of the many facets of parenthood I love is all the gluing and painting and (not so much) glittering. It eventually branched out into the customary school projects for my children—among which we had an ’award winning’ World Book Day costume, a scale model of one of the Giza pyramids (complete with sand and a tomb), and a tiny medieval castle (with a real water moat). Then along came those obligatory birthday parties.

With the saturation of kids’ shows and movies, it’s relatively easy for parents to think of a theme for such an event. It can be pretty basic. My daughter went to one last month that was “princesses and superheroes,” so there were any number of little Auroras and Moanas running around, colliding with mini-Hulks and Spider-Men, all vying for…

Read the rest in SEARCH Magazine‘s Fall 2022 #Homemade issue.

SEARCH: Origami! You Can Do It

Origami! You Can Do It

by Emerian Rich

Paper crafts are magical activities that cost little to no money, produce a wondrous product when done, and can be shared by people of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities. Although we attribute the creation of paper folding to the Japanese, paper folding and cutting has been around in all different cultures for centuries.

Starting in China during the Song Dynasty (905-1125 CE), a tradition of paper folding was used at funerals to honor the dead. In Japan, the traditional butterfly design used during weddings can be documented as early as 1680. Even in Europe, a well-developed napkin folding technique

Read more in our Fall 2021 You Can Do It! issue….

Bonus! Check out Emerian Rich’s instructional video on our Search Magazine YouTube channel.

SEARCH: DIY Grab it Easier

DIY Grab it Easier by Larriane Barnard.

It’s almost time to dig seldom used pots and pans, specialty baking dishes, and decorating kits out of the back cor-ners of your cabinets.

If you’ve got arthritis, COPD, bad knees, or you’re just getting old, you know how hard it is to reach into the bottom cabinets, especially the dead corners where turkey roasting pans live. If you’re on a budget, you’ve likely never indulged in a remodel to install fancy, pull-out drawers or slide-out shelves.

Here’s an inexpensive and quick way to keep you off your knees and your head out of the cabinets. Find a measuring tape. Measure the width of the cabinet opening, inside edge to inside edge, and sub-tract an inch for clearance. Measure the height and depth. Write those measurements down, maybe draw a diagram…

To read more, click on the Winter Issue here.

SEARCH: Dean Martin

Dean Martin
by Elliot Thorpe



“I sang some songs, acted here and there, but no way would I call myself exceptional. I just hope I did my best for my audiences.” ~ Dean Martin.


A somewhat self-depreciating comment from the late, great Dean Martin on his own career. This laidback approach to his work belied a committed and professional entertainer, even though his formative years (born Dino Paul Crocetti on 7 June 1917 in Steubenville, Ohio) showed a general disenchantment for any form of authority. He could only speak Italian for the first five years of life and remarked as an adult that his English wasn’t “all that good either”.

A welterweight boxer, a speakeasy croupier, a steelmill worker, and blackjack dealer aren’t exactly the most auspicious starts. Not until his late twenties did he secure a job as a bar-room crooner. This brought him into the same circles as a young mime act, Jerry Lewis. Lewis’ manager suggested to Dean’s that the two acts become one. They debuted as ‘Martin & Lewis’ on stage in Atlantic City in 1946. After ten years, a stack of films, and countless stage and television appearances… continue reading the Fall issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Sound-Absorbing Wall Art

Sound-Absorbing Wall Art
by Suzanne Madron

It’s summer time, and with it
comes—what else?—noise. Lots of
noise. From loud motorcycles, to
neighbors running their lawnmowers
at all hours, to kids shrieking as they
get doused in cold water from a
garden sprinkler, to fireworks the
summer brings with it a lot of noise.

The idea for this article began as a gift to a friend of mine who just moved into a house situated between a high-traffic street and train tracks. While getting new windows had helped to cut down on a lot of the noise, the house is old and relatively uninsulated.

The issue was how could we cut down on the street noise at the front of the house,  which was where my friend spent much of her time. There wasn’t a lot we could do about the train, but luckily it doesn’t come through often.

While visiting, I noticed my friend had a lot of pre -stretched canvas art on wooden stretcher frames, and as she complained about the noise from the street, it got me thinking back to the days of audio production, and how form and function could be married to cut down on the noise my friend was experiencing.

Enter the perfect housewarming gift for the noisy house, audio panel artwork.

This project won’t silence all noise and is not meant to be a professional recording studio setup by any means. However, it will dampen noise. The more audio panel art you put up, the better the sound dampening… continue reading the Summer issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Mid-Michigan Ren Fair

Mid-Michigan Ren Fair
by Valarie Kinney

Photo of women at fair

Just outside the bustling tourist
town of Frankenmuth, Michigan, is
a forest filled with fairies, pirates,
and belly dancers. The sign is not
huge, and it’s hand-painted, so
people often drive right by, not
realizing what a gem is hidden in
those woods.

From the road, it’s an unassuming chunk of land sandwiched between two farmhouses. There’s a winding dirt drive that leads to a grassy flat lot.

At the entrance of the forest is a faux castle front, also apparently painted by hand. Nothing fancy, but once you cross through the entrance, you find you’ve fallen into another time. Another place.

It’s magic.

Music from a harp wafts through the trees, and various fairytale characters chase one another down the lanes, engaging in impromptu skits, laughing.

A myriad of vendors line the paths, cheerily hawking their wares. The Skullduggery sells swords and other weaponry as well as well-made leather tricorns. Potter’s Apothecary offer handcrafted soaps with cheeky names such as ‘Dirty Wench’ and ‘Under Kilt Care’. There is quite literally a shop for anything you’d hope to purchase. ‘Support Your Local Hookers’ demands a sign hanging out front of a shop that sells unique crocheted designs as well as books, and across the way from that wooden hut, you can… continue reading in the Summer issue 2017.

SEARCH: The Ghost Ship Fire

The Ghost Ship Fire
by Sumiko Saulson


ghostshipFriday, December 2, 2016 marked the tragic loss of 36 lives in a fire at the Ghost Ship, a warehouse near the famous Jingletown art district in Oakland’s Fruitvale community.

Ghost Ship was a live/work art and event space and, like many such spaces here in East Bay, home to an eclectic group of creative people. Many of the people who lived there were integral parts of the Bay Area’s underground art scene. They included both members of the synthpop act Introflirt, Nicole Renae Siegrist and Ben Runnels, DJ and beatboxer Billy Dixon, and Ara Jo, a key member of the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest’s organization team.

The SF Zine Fest made this official statement regarding her passing. “Ara’s work in the zine community asked us to hear the least heard voices and to value the least valued lives—in other words, asked us to remember the society that zine culture says is possible.”

James Leon, a DJ and underground horror filmmaker, once spent nine months as a resident artist and event organizer at Ghost Ship. During that period of time, he produced a musical event called Fabrik Haus at the ill-fated venue.

“The artwork within was amazing,” said Leon. “They were actively involved with making a positive difference within the community. They had all …continue reading the Spring issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: BAY AREA, The Palace of Fine Arts

BAY AREA, The Palace of Fine Arts
By Emerian Rich

pofa8Walking under the grand arches of the Palace of Fine Arts is so breathtaking, I find it hard to compare it to anything in the Bay Area. Sure maybe if you visited the Pyramids of Giza or the Pantheon in Rome, you would feel the same inspiring experience, but this is in our own backyard.

For those of you unaware of the palace’s history, it was constructed in 1915 for the Panama Pacific Exposition. Its purpose was to exhibit art and was to be torn down directly after the event. As one of the only surviving structures of the fair, it’s amazing to note it’s still in the same spot as originally built. Designed by Bernard Maybeck, an arts and crafts movement architect and instructor at UC Berkeley, the structure was inspired by Roman and Greek architecture. While most of the exhibition structures were torn down or relocated after the event, the palace had a friend in Pheobe Apperson Hearst (Mother of William Randolph Hearst). Phoebe, always the activist, founded the Palace Preservation League even while the exhibition was still running. However, while Phoebe had saved the structure, it wasn’t stable…continue reading.

SEARCH: Monique Harris – Artist, Poet, Unstoppable Creative

Monique Harris – Artist, Poet, Unstoppable Creative
by Emerian Rich

0719161059bMonique Harris is a woman with cerebral palsy who has accomplished more in her lifetime than many of us without the challenges she’s had to overcome. Monique grew up in Philadelphia and came to the Bay Area with her artistic mother when she was twelve years old.

Starting off in business school, Monique earned her degree at twenty-four. Using a head wand, she can navigate the computer, and a mentor taught her to use Photoshop about seven years ago. She hasn’t looked back. Her art pieces are composite pieces created fully on the computer…continue reading.

SEARCH: Colorful Murals Bringing Oakland to Life

Colorful Murals Bringing Oakland to Life
By Sumiko Saulson

muralOakland is well-known for its vibrant art and culture scene, which includes First Fridays Art Walk, galleries, cultural centers, dance halls, concert halls, and poetry cafes. Neighborhood cultural fairs and festivals help make the city’s daytime offerings as exciting as its nightlife. One prominent aspect of Oakland’s visual arts scene is street art. Graffiti artists, taggers, and muralists contribute to the array of colorful exterior artwork. Paint isn’t the only medium used to create these works of art. Mosaic murals are increasingly popular.

Murals such as “Past/Future” mural at the Hamilton Apartments at 2101 Telegraph Avenue help raise the morale of the community. The mural features a painting of Ray Charles on one side and a richly hued study of two young African American women on the adjoining, street facing side with the word “Future” across the top. It was created by a muralist who lives in the building. He changes the artwork a couple times a year…continue reading.