Saturday, October 11, 2014


Feel like you'd like to dip your toe in a tropical ocean this weekend?

Swim with a sea turtle?

Dive to the briny deep in a steampunk submarine?

Maybe glimpse a mermaid or two?

Well, you're in luck—and you don't even have to leave Santa Cruz to do it! Just surf or snorkel your way over to Beth Gripenstraw's Open Studio.

For one weekend only, Beth has converted her living space just off Mission Street into an underwater extravaganza!

A pair of dolphins leaping over a coral reef greet you as you climb the front steps.

The entryway is full of tide pools and kelp beds, and as you enter the main room, a giant sea turtle and his entourage of jellyfish swim lazily by.

Glide into the showroom where Beth displays her colorful, sealife-decorated ceramic platters, bowls, urns, and earrings, along with her sea urchin pots.

Just keep an eye out for these no-nonsense guardian mermaids; they're watching your every move!

But I have to say, my favorite is the dining room, transformed this year into the interior of Captain Nemo's Nautilus submarine, from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

I love the gears, gauges, and tubes along the wall, to regulated the engine (they even belch out steam!), the bolted metal door and window frames, and, of course, the octopus—or is it a giant squid?—watching it all from outside the cabin window.

Of course, the captain's table is set with Beth's festive dinnerware, which this year includes square, starfish-decorated trenchers and vibrant fish-shaped plates.

As a matter of fact, Beth's exuberant ceramic pieces are grouped all around the house, along with her quirky and imaginative watercolor paintings. So don't get so bedazzled by the environment that you miss any of them!

Now hear this: Beth will NOT be open Encore weekend, so tomorrow (Sunday) is your last day to enter her world. So chart a course for #232 in your Open Studios Guide, and enjoy!


  1. As ALWAYS, Beth never disappoints! She has such a great imagination and vision through those eyes of hers! An ABSOLUTE DELIGHT!

  2. I love to promote Beth's fabulous Open Studios environments. It would be a shame for any art lover in SC to miss out on the fun!