While we were in Berkeley for the wedding festivities, we managed to carve out a few minutes to visit Castle in the Air, a wonderful little shop that I had only read about. It is located on Fourth Street which needed much more exploration than we had time for. There are sidewalk cafes and many, many little unique shops including Paper Source and a Japanese paper shop (I have forgotten the name), but "Castle" is the gem. It is small, much smaller than I expected, but so full of delightful things.
If you are anything like me, you enjoy a good display. This little shop is one awesome display after another. I wanted a bit of everything. They have puppets from around the world, Venetian masks, truly unique greeting cards...
...wrapping papers from Italy, France and my favorite papers from Budapest. The Bomo Art Paper from Budapest and many of the Italian papers are sold in full sheets, not the half sheets that are the norm in 99% of the stores. I was able to get two of the Bomo Arts papers that I have been looking for. I have been covering books with these papers.
I picked up one of their newsletters and they offer many interesting workshops in quite a variety of mediums. The studio/classroom area is upstairs. We were distracted by things downstairs and forgot to go up and take a peak. I so wanted to just hang out there. The owner wasn't there but her staff was just so friendly and helpful.
If you are unable to visit the shop, go visit the Castle in the Air website. It is so different and entertaining all by itself.