Thursday, December 02, 2010

A Favorite Shop: Tail of the Yak

It's holiday-time at Tail of the Yak, one of my absolute favorite shops in the Bay Area. The other day my friend Lisa and I took a little ride over to Berkeley to see the seasonal magic at this most charming shop.

You've probably heard me talk about Tail of the Yak before, but I'll say it again. Magic. Owners Alice, Lauren and staff do an amazing job of creating a space that makes you feel as if you've left the world behind. From paper-adorned antique Santos statues to vintage ribbons and amazing estate jewelry, this is wonderland at its finest.

What are these you may be asking? They are "surprise balls." That's right. Artist Anandamayi Arnold has been making various "surprise balls" for the shop for many years. I've seen everything from fruits to lumps of coal.

I look forward to every Christmas to see the newest creations by Anandamayi. This years' florals just knocked my socks off! The surprises are in the bulbs of the flowers.

Surprise balls are wound tightly, like a ball of wool, around their sometimes lumpy contents. Anandamayi starts with a streamer and adds little prizes as she builds the ball. The only problem is it's too pretty, who wants to open it?

Surprise balls run about $18 to around $95, depending on the amount of work involved.

Love this chocolate ribbon...

vignettes of charming ornaments grace the shop...

This is just a very small area of the large jewelry case that graces the shop. Everything is so specially selected and each piece is extraordinary. I could gaze through the case for hours...


curiosities abound such as these figural-shaped graphite pencils...

AND, during the holidays a special annual tradition at Tail of the Yak are custom-designed poster-size calendars by co-owner, Lauren McIntosh. If you make a purchase you get one of these treats! I still have many of my old ones from years back. They are truly works of art.

If you happen to be in the Bay Area, you must visit this charming store. My photos just don't do it justice!

Tail of the Yak
2632 Ashby Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
510.841.9891

5 comments:

fancylinda said...

Fantastic! I would love to visit this store someday. Thanks for the photos.

FrenchBlue said...

How festive & fun it looks! You are so lucky to go. It's like a party!!
Every picture you took has little hidden surprises~ Now not later... tell me NOW!!
xxx

Rebecca said...

OMG! I LOVE Tail of the Yak!! I've been twice this week! Today I got two surprise balls! I've been hunting for better images to use as a post but I think I may repost your's (with a link back of course!) Love this post!

Noel Solomon said...

LOVE THOSE SURPRISE BALLS!

Thank you for bringing the festivities~

Xoxo Noel

Erin in Morro Bay said...

We love Tail of the Yak!! Every time we get up to Berkeley we hit Castle in the Air, Dick Blick and Tail of the Yak - pure bliss all around. Great pictures of all the luscious goodies.
Erin