Public Art: Funk Zone Mural Picasso style

Santa Barbara Funk Zone picasso like public artpublic art mural

I just had to share this fab Funk Zone public art mural – seems to have the influence of Picasso or at least the bright colors Picasso liked to use from the 1930’s period.  This public art mural has happiness and sunshine oozing from every color!

I’m not certain of the artist so let me know if you do.  If you’re in the Santa Barbara area, the Funk Zone was just doing a call for mural artists.  If you want to see more Funk Zone public art murals check out this street which changes pretty frequently and was updated to this set of murals.  Yes, one more public art mural worth putting on your walking list is this one.

Picasso Inspriation…

The Dream by Pablo Picasso

The Dream by Pablo Picasso

Still Life with Pedestal Table by Pablo Picasso

Still Life with Pedestal Table by Pablo Picasso

Now that I’ve mentioned Picasso, my art bucket list includes creating a stained glass Picasso wall hanging – I’m kind of leaning towards the Still Life with Pedestal Table.  After seeing this Picasso stained glass work of art-it does look amazing!

TD Stained Glass Picasso

TD Stained Glass Picasso



Public Art: Look High and Low

public art funk zone sticker tie guy

Sometimes you just don’t know where you’ll find public art and the story behind it! Wall murals or manhole covers are pretty easy to spot, but sometimes you have to look high and low to see unexpected public art! This makes it a pretty fun scavenger hunt since you don’t know what your hunting for if you’ll actually find anything at all!

Found this interesting tie guy, that’s at least what I call him, up high on a fence post in the Santa Barbara Funk Zone.

A block later, I found the same looking tie guy on the sidewalk

public art funk zone sidewalk tie guy


Here’s my completely made up titles for the random public art of tie guy:

  • Can’t bear to look…I’m wearing a freakin’ tie! No one wears ties!
  • X and O….please I need a kiss and a hug right there and there
  • Luvin’ the new tic- tac- toe lab coat!

Yea maybe I’m luving public art too much and this was just a random act of line drawing…no story and no plan to make it art.  That’s ok I’ll take art where ever it’s found just because it makes life a little more interesting!

“The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?”
~Pablo Picasso

Enjoy your spare time wandering across random art!


Life is a Voyage Mural

Public Art Life is a Voyage mural

Artist: Chadillac Green

Life is a Voyage and I’ll be taking one to Seattle, WA this week for a little lake-side vacation with the family and I’m laptop free for the week – which will be weird! Wierd and  hitting the pause button on the posts (I know total sadness, but I will come back with good stuff to share!)

You can find Life is a Voyage mural in the Santa Barbara Funk Zone! Yep, it’s another one of the fab public art murals decorating this bohemian spot in the city.  Luv this mural since it gives the flash back thought to an old sea captain- crusty and salty is the vibe –  sitting down and start telling you how it was and how it’s gotten out of hand and thing used to be simpler. I’ll be doing the same and flashing back to how it was without a TV and a laptop and likely no WIFI…Yikes! What will I do in my spare time – catch up with me next week and I’ll share the unplugged edition!

Enjoy your spare time plugged in or maybe your unplugged too!

Dinner Adventure at Spare Parts Bistro

pare Parts Bistro Pop up Dinner


To round up the week on the Santa Barbara Funk Zone, the public art and penny cafe,  I had an amazing dinner adventure at Spare Parts Bistro!  Spare Parts Bistro is a pop up dinner or otherwise called a supper club experience. What’s that you ask?  It’s a weekly 5-course prix fixe dinner put together by a chef and a restaurateur at a location that will be sent to you only after you RSVP (and yes the location is still in the Santa Barbara area)! Each weekly dinner only seats 20 and it’s all at a communal table where you get to know other fun people, learn about each course as its served and have a great dinner adventure!

The dinner adventure began when we entered The Loft which was the location for this inner. Outside The Loft was just as interesting as the graffiti type art mural in the entry hall!

The Loft entry

Graffiti Art at the Loft for Spare Parts Bistro

The dinner menu is never the same and Spare Parts Bistro uses local ingredients with interesting twists. What it meant for me was expanding my food horizons! Yes, both my husband and I thought we might need to pick up a sandwich ‘after’ the dinner because half of the courses had things we weren’t quite sure about. Here’s the amazing menu which was truly amazing! 

Spare Parts Bistro menu

Spare Parts Bistro Food

I can’t say enough good things about the food itself since I ate every bit ! My favorite of course had to be the toffee candied bacon crowing the maple creme brulee – who doesn’t like bacon on their dessert!  What you should know is I ate every enjoyable bite and I’m not a seafood fan, I never have tried lamb outside of a gyro and creme brulee is never in my dessert line-up.  The same was true for my husband too. No after dinner sandwich was needed!

If your ever in the area check out the Spare Parts Bistro dinner and if not, check your town for a pop up dinner, farm table event or supper club!

Enjoy being adventurous about your food and spend time with great people making dinner an adventure!


Pennies For Decor

The Lucky Penny Cafe

Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is….Pennies for decor! This is the latest cafe coming to the Santa Barbara Funk Zone The Lucky Penny set to open in June.  No chance yet to check out the food but I had to share the amazing work of pennies that cover the entire outside of cafe.

Luv the way copper shines and that it’s used on a building (let’s not ask who’s going to clean the pennies after they tarnish!).

Penny Building


Pennies as decor seem to be one of the latest trends. Check out these floors, countertops  and tabletops…amazing patience and possibly the best use of pennies yet! Put those 5 gallon penny jars to good use and make it shine!  And yes, you can also go upscale and use dimes or nickels too.

Penny floor



Penny Countertop


Penny table


And if those aren’t enough ideas, you can basically use it to decorate any type of surface…backsplashes, wall frames, outdoor walls.

Enjoys creating a glowing copper piece or just stop by The Lucky Penny or anyplace like it!

New Art in Santa Barbara Funk Zone

Santa Barbara Funk Zone Mural


This week- although a bit delayed in starting the week – is all about the Funk Zone in Santa Barbara, CA.  Why? It’s another visit and this place always gets creative and there is always something new!  The Funk Zone has just had a great write up in Sunset magazine so expect this little piece of funkiness will be much bigger in a year.

Remember the art mural wall from this post which was already amazing – but expect nothing to stay the same in this neighborhood! With all the creative vibes going on in this area you’ll always get some interesting mural art..this is one of the latest updates on the Public Art Funk Zone mural wall.

Funk Zone Santa Barbara


This is the first black and white public art mural I’ve seen in the Funk Zone and it really gels with the classic theme of the mural … art medium is spray paint which is always pretty impressive!


Funk Zone Art Mural


Lucky enough to see artists in action creating their piece…

Funk Zone Painters in action


There’s always more around the corner too…

Funk Zone Wall Murals


Enjoy checking out local public art or if you’re in the neighborhood spend some time walking the Santa Barbara Funk Zone art mural!

Explore Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone

Earlier this week I had shared a bit of the public art in the Santa Barbara Funk Zone with the promise of bringing you more! Why share more? My thought is with such a great name like the Funk Zone, who wouldn’t want to put out an invite to friends titled “Let’s get Funky” or “Meet me in Funky Town”. Ok maybe that’s just me but I’m pretty sure my friends would seriously luv going!

So what can you plan for a visit to the Funk Zone?  The most important thing to know is it’s completely walkable aka you don’t need a car to enjoy it! It’s only a short walk from the Santa Barbara beach and the train so you really can make a day of it.

First stop, The Urban Wine Trail – yes this is just like hiking only wayyyy better! At last count there were about 17 wineries all within a couple blocks all pouring great Santa Barbara County (and a few from Santa Ynez) wines! Here’s the map and the winery’s on the trail so you can add it to your “make a date with friends list”.

Second stop, great food – Red’s Bar & TapasUnion AleBay Roadhouse Bar & Grill and Metropulos Fine Food Merchants plus The Lark will be opening soon and Spare Parts Bistro Supper Club is a pop up dining experience that changes locations, but has frequented The Funk Zone.

Pulled chicken and bbq sauce sliders. Red's Bar & Tapas

Third stop, local shops and ART! – everything from surfboards, to fine knitted fashion and amazing galleries and more public art!

Funk Zone Mural by Skye Gwilliam and Martin Diaz

Enjoy spending your spare time exploring the Funk Zone!

Santa Barbara Funk Zone Public Art

Funk Zone Public Art


Great public art can be just a walk around the block or in this case a block from the Santa Barbara Train Station.  In case you need a reason to take the train to Santa Barbara check out my last post.  This is a great wall of funky public art and not surprisingly it’s right outside the Santa Barbara Funk Zone!  Just thinking there’s a city with a place called the Funk Zone makes ya want to visit even more.  I’ll share later this week more on the Funk Zone so you can put it on your must visit list!

Here’s what you can find if you take a walk down the block…

Santa Barbara Funk Zone

Funk Zone Santa Barbara

Matthew McAvene Funk Zone Art

Enjoy taking a few moments when you’re in any city to “walk around the block” since you never know what you’ll find!

Why You Should Take the Train to the Zoo

Amtrack Pacific surfLiner Train

You have some spare time – exactly one day. You have already told your adorable daughter (insert any young child here)  the zoo is on the agenda. You’d like to fit in some good local food, excellent coffee, see family and a bit of downtown life..aka some cute small shops.  By the way you promised to take the train too – public transportation!

Let me start from the end – the train is awesome! You seriously feel like you took a vacation. No driving, no bad drivers and no bathroom, gas or snacks stops.  Plus, you are able to give your adorable child great lessons in saving the earth by taking mass transit and the unexpectedly crazy people who use public transportion…but more on that later.

Why should you take the train to the zoo? Besides having promised to go to the zoo with your adorable young one, here are some fab reasons why as an adult should visit anyways…

1. Big teeth animals! The zoo still has super cool animals with that look mean but can’t eat you. I would really prefer to see this in the zoo than getting a personal visit in the wild

santa barbara zoo crocodile

2. Flamingos are awesome! Not just because they can stand on one leg, but they can pretty much hide their entire head in their body.  I’m sure we’ve all had days where this would really come in handy. It’s great to see this gift has been given to someone too bad it wasn’t me

Santa Barbara zoo flamingo

3. Photo bombing surprises.  Leave your camera with your family while you take a time out for the restroom, and realize when you download the photos, sleeping pig photos have have appeared.

santa barbara zoo pig

4. Lizard and tortoise food battles!  Where else would you get to see a lizard and a tortoise battle it out for kale.

santa barbara zoo lizard and turtle battle


5. A swan nest!  Pretty cool and will be even more impressive when there’s an egg. Guess the Zoo will be getting a few more admissions from me just to check it out again.

Swan nest


In case you’re wondering this is the Santa Barbara Zoo in Southern California.  We did squeeze in great local food with family at Jeannines, a mexican cafe that is amazing unfortunately the name totally escapes me and Kai Sushi since it’s my daughter’s namesake.  Yes, we also squeezed in a visit to my favorite local handmade shop Plum Goods. 

Now to the later part about a lesson in public transportation and crazy people you find… our return train from the zoo adventure also included an announcement to all travelers that there are reasons for having rules about “intoxication”.  This was followed promptly with the train backing up to the nearest station, waiting for the police to haul off a few drunk college boys who apparently weren’t being good travelers.   Good time of course to add a few insights for my adorable daughter on not drinking or having the police pick you up.

I highly recommend taking the train to the zoo if you ever get the chance.  A great day away and well worth every bit of spare time!