An Ode to Instagram

20130813-063537.jpg I. Love. Instagram. Like an insane amount. While I’ve fiddled with other forms of social media, namely Facebook and Twitter, neither have yielded the same results as Instagram. As of this morning I have nearly 400 followers and less of 10 of those are actually friends and family members, the rest are strictly Lefty Lex fans. Amazing!

Let me share with you a few of the awesome things that have resulted from my IG love:

  1.  I’ve been able to connect with a bunch of adoptive mamas-in-awaiting and have been blessed to contribute some Lefty Lex goodies towards their adoption fundraising efforts. (Due unto others…) 20130813-063547.jpg
  2. I’ve been able to connect with an insane amount of crafty biz chicks and watch the beauty of this community as everyone supports/promotes one another. This connection ultimately brought me to my next upcoming fair, Penelope Lane Boutique! (SoCal mark your calendars for 9/28 and take a trip to Seal Beach; more info to come). 20130813-063553.jpg
  3. I found my new most favoritest product ever… the teeny tiny hoop pendant by Dandelyne!!! I can’t even put into words how completely head over heels in love I am with these hoops. Seriously. I received my first shipment (of many to come) two weeks ago and have been in love ever since. Sorry Husband. 20130813-063559.jpg
  4. I had an insanely successful Instasale with the support of my fabulous IG followers! I plan on doing a full length blog on this experience alone in the near future. But it was a fabulous experience and I plan on doing many more to add funds towards our adoption.

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5. I have been able to share bragging photos of my adorable niece! Yes, I am officially an auntie! My sister-in- law gave birth to our first niece, Emersyn Lucille, one week ago today and little Emery has stolen our hearts. I know that I’m biased, but is she not the cutest little niece to ever grace the planet? I can’t wait until she and her parents move back to San Diego so I can teach her to be the youngest crafter ever!

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In closing, if you’re not yet on Instagram, get there! And once you’re there, follow @LeftyLex. Then you can keep up with all of my shenanigans in real time! I wish you all a very merry Tuesday and I’ll speak with you soon. Cheers!

*Disclaimer: I will do my very best not to include photos of the above child in every single post from here on out, but no promises can be made. You have been warned.

Happy Bastille Day!

Bonjour! Apparently this Sunday is Bastille Day in France, which celebrates the storming of Bastille on July 14, 1789. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on French holidays so, by all means, click here if you want to educate yourself further: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastille_Day.

I bring this up only because I am super excited about the amount of traffic that I have been receiving on my Etsy page and all of this due to this little guy below!

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While I have made several country hoops in this fashion, Mr. Vive la France is my most popular. This little guy was featured in several treasury lists over the past 36 hours. My favorite of which being: http://www.etsy.com/treasury/MjU5NTExNjF8MjcyNDcyMzAzMA/bastille-day?index=1&atr_uid=, http://www.etsy.com/treasury/NjEzMTkwNXwyNzIyMTU4MTU5/joyeux-fete-nationale?index=3&atr_uid=, and http://www.etsy.com/treasury/NjEzMTkwNXwyNzI0NzI0MzQw/bleu-blanc-et-rouge?index=0&atr_uid=. I love being in Treasury Lists and seeing how my work has been curated along with other handmade artisans. And due to these treasury lists I have acquired at least 20 new French followers of Lefty Lex Creations on Etsy! Woohoo!

I have made no secret in hiding the fact that Spain (France’s neighbor to the West) is my favorite country to visit. I will, however, say that France is the most beautiful place that I have ever been to! I always like to follow this by saying that that is a pretty big compliment seeing as I grew up in Hawai’i and live in Coronado, California. France is literally jaw-dropping. I’ll share just a few photos then send you on you merry little way to enjoy the weekend.

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I guess I should explain the “Hi Sam” photo. Sam is my former co-worker and best guy friend who always seems to live hundreds of miles away from me. Over the past several years, whenever either of us travel we say “hi” to each other on slips of paper, in the sand/dirt, etc. It has become a fun little to-do between the two of us and our photos now span several countries and States… and now you’re in on our secret too! Sshhh… Au revoir!

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Important & Personal News

Hello! Remember me? I know, I know, I’ve been the world’s worst blogger as of late. It’s not that I do not love sharing with you; it’s just that I have been so insanely busy in my little corner of the planet.

Now, time to get personal. Okay, the entire vision/purpose of Lefty Lex Creations shifted a few months ago from something that I enjoyed doing/a goal that I had set for myself to its current mission: Operation Adoption Fundraiser! I share this because yesterday was my 29 ½ birthday. (Yah, happy halfie to me!). Now normally people over the age of 9 do not give a hoot and holler over half birthdays, right? And it is certainly every woman’s lifelong goal to never reveal her age; especially if she’s hitting a milestone year. However, I am broadcasting my 29 1/2th because it means that I have exactly six months until Husband and I can officially submit our application to adopt from China! Hoorray!!!

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Now, there is still MUCH to be done in between now and January 10th. One of the largest being fundraising. Husband and I are very smart with our money and are not lavish people; so we have saved a healthy amount towards our adoption over the past year or so. However you would be amazed at how much an adoption costs!

The “average” Chinese adoption costs between $27,000-$35,000. Um, yikes? Why so much? (This is the question that usually follows when I astonish people with those numbers). Well, a bunch of little adoption fees add up to one giant expense overall. Application fee: $500. Homestudy: $4,000. Dossier fee: $800. Orphanage donation: $7,000. Child’s Visa: $380. Closing an adoption and brining your child home: priceless. (Sorry, I couldn’t refuse; the list was beginning to sound like a bad credit card commercial!). Obviously, the fees I listed are not the only one associated with adoption, but you get the gist.

I share this all to explain why I’ve been blog MIA. I have been working my little butt off on custom orders and preparing for craft fair after craft fair after craft fair. All of this because I want to be a mom and we need funds in order to make that a reality. If that means that I have to continue waking up at 5AM and put 3 hours of Lefty Lex work in before going to the office and then picking up the stitching again as soon as I’m home and put in a few more hours, then so be it. I’m not looking for pity here, I’m just sharing. And if you have a rich uncle who wants to donate to our adoption, by all means, send him our way!

In the meanwhile, I encourage you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and (best of all) Instagram and if you see something that you like, I’d be more than happy to sell it to you. I also do custom orders (which I absolutely love) so if you don’t see what you’re looking for, then just ask. I will be starting bi-weekly Insta-sales, so I’d encourage those of you on Instagram to follow @leftylex.

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Geez, I can be wordy! Well, hopefully I didn’t bore you all to death, and if you’ve made it this far I applaud you. And I’ll reward you with this tidbit. When shopping at my Etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/LeftyLexCreations), use coupon code: ADOPT to receive 15% off all purchase of $18+. And please, pass the word along! Thanks for listening to me ramble, I’ll see you all soon.

 

 

Weekend Wrap-Up: SDICM

It is over!!! The San Diego Indie Craft Market was the big to-do this weekend, and I’d like to report that it was a success. Whew, what a relief! And today, your’s truly (who usually wakes up at 5AM) slept in until 6:47AM… that’s almost 2 extra hours! I justified it as being my reward for a job well done at SDICM. That’s justifiable… right?

Let’s start at the beginning. The initial 30 minutes of vendors setting up for a craft show looks something like day 2 of Extreme Home Makeover. You know, the demolition has already been done and a slew of contractors and laborers are running every which way with PVC pipe, wood beams, drywall, etc. Yes, that is almost exactly what initial set up of a fair looks like!

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But instead of home building supplies and (generally) men, you have a flock of chicks running in and out of the building with tables, tablecloths, backdrops made of pegboard, wood, fencing, fabric, etc. And most importantly, their handmade lovelies! There is, of course, always the endearing (and no doubt begrudging) husband who assists his frantic wife during these crazy moments; my own husband was counted among these brave soldiers this time. Thanks, boys! The lucky husbands are free to leave once set-up is completed, but some poor souls get trapped into playing assistant during the entire fair. I was fortunate enough to have Momma Lex help me out once the fair craziness actually began. Thanks, Mom!

I was also fortunate enough to be back-to-back with my buddy Kate of Small and Great Crochet and Emily of Lovenote Crafts. Both of their booths were ridiculously adorable and I hate the fact that I was so busy that I couldn’t walk around the fair and take pictures as proof of just how amazing all of the booths looked. You’ll just have to take my word on it; I wouldn’t steer you wrong. Being next to Kate and Emily was lovely and I was genuinely so happy whenever I saw them make a sale. I did a cheesy dance and round of applause when I saw that Kate made a pretty big sale to a family who purchased a few of her items, including an adorable crochet octopus (the mom had a half-sleeve octopus tatoo)!

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I did have a few beefs with the venue; namely, my booth space was so incredibly dark that you really could not see the colors of my embroidered pretties. (The photos above have been heavily brightened.) This killed me! I take painstakingly care over selecting just the right shade of a particular color when creating a piece, so the fact that all 6 shades of purple on an ombre hoop looked like only one shade of purple was extremely frustrating. I was not happy. The closer a customer stood to my display, the greater their cast shadow became. It was torture. And I’m sure my mom was tired of hearing me complain about it.

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Overall, the highlight of my day was definitely meeting my fellow vendors. I absolutely love meeting other creative souls, and I hope to play vendor again with these lovely ladies… and soon! It almost felt like the first day of school when you walk into your classroom and look at a sea of faces; some familiar, some unfamiliar but all friendly. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: all craft fairs should close their doors to the public and remain open for vendors to shop (or swap) each other’s booths for at least 20 minutes. I was so sad that I was not able to experience all of the handmade goodness that was created by all of the SDICM vendors. All the more reason for the second round of the San Diego Indie Craft Market to come along very soon!

SDICM Vendor: Two Shabby Sisters

I’m going to be completely honest and tell you that I have a major design crush on today’s SDICM vendor. I guarantee that you will become admirers too, just take a look at their lovelies! We’re dealing with a dynamic duo today, Two Shabby Sisters!

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Please tell us who you are and what you do? We are Jennifer Ciani and Morgan Olinger, best friends (more like ‘sisters’), military wives and stay-at-home mommies, who share the same passion for giving new life to old vintage furniture finds and creating unique shabby chic home decor.

What types of lovelies do you make? A little bit of everything! We started our company out refinishing and repuropsing vintage furniture and giving it new life but have now expanded to offer a variety of products, from hand painted custom signs to hand sewn burp cloths, diaper cakes, lampshades, message/ memo boards, picture frames… You name it, we probably make it! Not only do they “make” it, they make it extremely well, I want to live in a world of their creations!

Since you are so diverse do you still have a single favorite material? We solely use chalk paint on all of our hand painted products and furniture pieces. We love choosing materials that are natural and eco-friendly.

So what and/or who is the inspiration behind your creativity? Jennifer: My inspiration first and foremost comes from my great-grandfather, who from as far back as I can remember pushed me to follow my creativity. As a young man, he landed a job as a window display artist for Sears department store, along with hand painting signs for their store displays. He had to leave his career to serve in WWII, but eventually returned to the job that he loved. He instilled in me that nothing can come between you and the passion that you have to create. He pushed me to share my talent with the ‘world’. My second inspiration is my grandmother, who is now 84 and still full of life and creativity! She noticed my creativity from a young age and encouraged me to create. She took me to countless craft and street fairs as a little girl. It was my dream to one day be one of those “crafty ladies” with my own booth! And lastly, the biggest inspiration in my life is my Mother. She not only was my biggest cheerleader, she taught me everything that I know. She kept a spotless ‘model home’ worthy house, she could sew just about anything and juggled raising two children while running a business from home. She did it all. Unfortunately, I lost my mother to lung cancer in late 2011 while I was pregnant with my Daughter. It is because of her guidance, encouragement and example that I have followed my dreams!

Morgan: My inspiration comes my grandfather and grandmother. As a child, I grew up watching my grandmother sew and create crafts for her church craft fairs. My mother is another huge inspiration to me, watching her re-create old “junk” into one of a kind treasures thanks to all of my dad’s FREE ally scores! As he says, “The only trash there is, is something that the earth can absorb. Everything else can be recycled into something new.” Creativity runs in my blood!

It’s obvious that both of these ladies were born into families that fostered and championed their creativity. And even as an outsider, I’m confident that their families must be so proud of their talents and willingness to put that creativity to use!

Back to the topic at hand. Would you like to share your five favorite products with us?

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And finally, where can the good people find you on social media, Etsy, and other sites? 
Etsy: Etsy.com/shop/TwoShabbySistersShop (coming soon!)
Facebook: Facebook.com/TwoShabbySisters
Instagram: @TwoShabbySisters

Needless to say, I’m a giant fan of Two Shabby Sisters and hope that you now are too. Make sure to stop by the San Diego Indie Craft Market on 6/23 and say hello to Jennifer and Morgan! Click here for info: https://www.facebook.com/events/366212010146804/?fref=ts. If you follow them on Instagram you’ll get a sneak peak of the goodies that will be accompanying them to the SDICM!

(And just because I seriously cannot help myself, here are two more adorable Two Shabby Sisters creations!)

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SDICM Vendor: Lefty Lex Creations

Yup, I am now going to highlight myself! Those of you who are regulars to the blog already know about me, but those of you who are are new-comers around here are not yet so familiar. So allow me to introduce myself.20130618-063352.jpg

Who I am and why I do! I’m Alexcis and I’m the owner of Lefty Lex Creations. I became interested in handmade items about five years ago and began putting my 8th grade Home Ec sewing skills to use making baby quilts for friends. I loved the creative process and being able to give something that I had personally made, not store-bought, but had to put that creativity on hold for a few years while I completed grad school. Once graduation was over my poor brain was dying for a creative release and I became consumed with sewing, knitting, and (most recently and fervently) hand embroidery! Since then I have not been seen without some form of craft in my hand. I stitch whenever and wherever I possibly can; I’m obsessed!

What lovelies do I make? While I do occasionally sew and knit still, embroidery is my primary art form and embroidered hoop art is what I enjoy creating the most. Embroidered hoop art is an embroidered design, on a piece of fabric, that is affixed to a wooden embroidery hoop. Was that technical enough for you? Hoop art is basically decor; it can be wall decor or it can be placed in a plate holder to fancy up a shelf, desk, table, etc. I also like using the teeny tiny 3″ hoops as added flair when gift-wrapping presents!

Favorite tools of the trade? This is the thing that I love most about embroidery… the materials are so basic! My favorite embroidery supplies are small wooden hoops (never mind that plastic nonsense!), DMC embroidery floss, and quality solid, colored fabric. I have been drawn to muslin and lace lately but I typically love all the bright colors found in Robert Kauffman’s Quilter’s Tweed line. Love them!

What inspires me to create? Creating is first and foremost, an artistic release for me. There is nothing like picking up a needle and floss after being glued to a computer screen for 8 hours in the office! But my primary reason for selling my creations is to raise funds for my adoption! My husband and I are in the embarking upon an international adoption and it is going to cost around $32,000 to bring our little one home from China. So, I suppose, my true inspiration is create is parenthood; we are very anxious to become parents!

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1.) Talking heads: I adore these colorful silhouettes and have probably made many more than I will ever need (or sell)! I love their simplicity yet their boldness. 2.) Art Deco Randomness: I love the colors and whimsy of this piece. I just let the needle move where it wanted to and this was the final product! 3.) Bride & Groom hoops: I made my first set of these hoops for my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding but have sold quite a few pairs since then. They are fun little props to use at a bridal shower or on the big day itself. 4.) Happy Thoughts in Ombre: I used fly stitches and monochromatic color palettes to create lovely ombre effects in every color of the rainbow. If you’re looking for a certain color, it’ll be with me at the fair! 5.) Embroidered Lace Necklaces: I inherited yardage of vintage lace with stains throughout so the only logical solution was to cut it up into pieces and use them as necklaces! The designs are very simple but make a big impact.

And that’s me in a nutshell, folks! Feel free to follow me on social media at:

Blog: https://leftylex.com/
Vine: Lefty Lex
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeftyLexCreations
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeftyLexTweets
Instagram: @leftylex

You can also find my products on Etsy by clicking here:http://www.etsy.com/shop/LeftyLexCreations! And don’t forget to visit me this weekend at the San Diego Indie Craft Market. Just 5 short days! For more info click here: https://www.facebook.com/events/366212010146804/?fref=ts. I look forward to seeing you around!

SDICM Vendor: Lottie Hop

Happy Friday ,all! Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to another San Diego Indie Craft Market vendor who also happens to be the head of the San Diego Etsy Society, Brenna Hopkins! She is truly a gem! so! without further wait I give you our interview!

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Please tell us a little about yourself! Hello, I’m Brenna Hopkins of Lottie Hop! I have always been an artist. When I was 5 I was drawing comics, when I was 11 I started making jewelry and sewing, and at 27 I taught myself to crochet. I love all types of crafting. I used to work in the food industry in a patisserie, but I am now a stay at home mom to my beautiful two year old daughter Charlotte.

You definitely have many talents! What types of pretties do you sell in your shop? I make what ever strikes me as fun and interesting to make. Right now I make jewelry and accessories using my extensive collection of antique and vintage buttons and sewing notions. I also make jewelry using vintage toys, prizes and charms, which is how I got my start in jewelry making when I was a kid. We didn’t have a lot of beads and jewelry making stuff, so I had to improvise with what I had laying around. I like to be resourceful with my crafting, it’s a habit that never went away. I also crochet toys using left over yarns from projects people never finished, or if they bought too much yarn, I grab it and make something of my own. I also make hats and head bands, and sometimes I take commissions for toys if someone has something specific in mind that inspires me.

What are your favorite items to create with? Antique and vintage buttons, especially very old mother of pearl buttons, black glass and jet buttons from the Victorian era, shoe buttons and mid century colorful plastics. I love crazy colored yarns from the 70’s. And I really like working with wire.

What types of items inspire most to create? At the moment I’ve been inspired by a book I bought that has all of Harper’s Bazaar’s clothing and jewelry adverts from the Victorian era in it. It’s really lovely. I am also inspired by music. My whole line of antique button jewelry I recently made was inspired by the album Ceremonials by Florence and the Machine.

And which of your five favorite creations have you decided to share with us? Gimball the baby octopus. My blue and green mis-matched button hair pins, the buttons don’t go together at all, but I love them. My grilled cheese earrings, they’re a new creation and they’re my favorite thing I’ve made so far right now. My grey mammoth earrings, they’re just fun. And lastly the pig with the top hat I made on commission for my friend Amy.

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And where can the good people connect with you online?
Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LottieHop
Blog: http://www.lottiehop.com/l/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LottieHop

Please visit the San Diego Indie Craft Market on June 23rd to meet Brenna in person! More SDICM details can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/SDIndieCraftMarket?fref=ts. I promise that you will not be disappointed! Now rush through the remainder of your Friday and enjoy the weekend!

SDICM Vendor: Vaux Swift Jewelry

Let’s get back in the swing of things and meet another wonderful San Diego Indie Craft Market vendor… Vaux Swift Jewelery!

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Hello there SDICM vendor! Please tell us who you are and a little about the fabulous shop you own. My name is Kerry Greenwood and my shop is called Vaux Swift Jewelry. I hand make beaded jewelry. I also make jewelry using metalsmithing techniques. Recently I have been hand dyeing muslin and turning it into baby swaddle blankets.

What are your design materials of choice? My favorite materials are semiprecious stones and interesting and unusual beads and chain. I am always looking for things I have never seen before. I love bright colors and interesting textures.

So what inspires you to create your masterpieces? I am inspired constantly by my environment, in my free time I am an amateur photographer so I am always exploring new and old places trying to see things I have overlooked. I am also very tactile, sometimes the feel and look of different materials will give me inspiration.

Would you like to share your five favorite pieces with us?
My little wire rings with geometric shapes are some of my new favorites, African chevron necklaces, faceted stone necklaces with drapery chain, super long dangly chain earrings, and my bright baby swaddles. (Quick interjection here! Are you seeing that chevron necklace? Gasp, it’s absolutely amazing!!!)

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Aren’t these pieces wonderful?! A quick glance at http://vauxswift.storenvy.com/ made me want to start my Christmas list early!

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Be sure to keep up with Kerry on social media at the following:

Instagram: @vauxswiftjewelry
Tumblr: http://vauxswiftjewelry.tumblr.com/
Facebook: Facebook.com/vauxswiftjewelry
Twitter: @Vaux_Swift
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/kerryg81/my-work/

If you’re in the SoCal area, remember to meet Kerry in person on June 23rd at the San Diego Indie Craft Market! Click the link for more details: https://www.facebook.com/SDIndieCraftMarket?fref=ts. And don’t forget to check out my earlier interviews with other fabulous SDICM vendors… these chicks have some serious talent!

 

San Diego Indie Craft Market

We have yet another fair on the horizon, ladies and gentlemen! If you remember, last month I was ambitious stupid enough to participate in two fairs on the same day! After that stressful (albeit successful) endeavor, it’ll be nice to focus all my energy on one single (four hour) fair… the San Diego Indie Craft Market!

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The San Diego Indie Craft Market will be hosted by the same lovely team that runs the largely successful San Diego Vintage Flea Market. Unlike many other craft fairs, that allow the occasional mass-produced vendor to enter, all items found at the SDICM will be handmade!

I can’t stress the importance of buying handmade and supporting local artists enough! Rather than going to Wal-Mart and buying something that was made in Bangladesh (in God only knows what type of working conditions), you are supporting and individual or team who created a quality product right here in the USA. Your handmade purchase shows that you care about more than blind consumerism and that you are interested in more than merely following the latest trends; you’re looking for unique items that can’t be found in every retail store worldwide. Your handmade purchase promotes the dreams, and sometimes the livelihood, of a local artist!

Not convinced yet on the importance of handmade? Then I challenge you to read these articles and maintain your same view: http://poppytalks101reasonstobuyhandmade.blogspot.com/http://www.handmadeology.com/10-awesome-reasons-to-buy-handmade-gifts-this-year/http://papernstitchblog.com/2011/05/10/the-number-one-reason-why-people-buy-handmade/. Enjoy!

This will hopefully be the first of many fairs for the San Diego Indie Craft Market and I am committed to making this fair as successful as possible! Thus, I will be dedicating the vast majority of blog entries this month to the San Diego Indie Craft Market and its talented vendors. Stick around to meet the faces, stories, and products of the talented artists that will be at the SDICM. You’re in for a treat! And don’t forget to mark your calendars of Sunday, June 23rd; we look forward to seeing you at the Queen Bee’s Art & Cultural Center from 2PM-6PM. Cheers!

**On a side note, Queen Bee’s Art & Cultural Center (3925 Ohio St, San Diego 92104) is just a few short blocks from my all time favorite restaurant, Chop Suey Peking! Peking is a lovely little Chinese restaurant that has been family owned in San Diego since 1931! My Nana used to take me there as a little girl, so it will always, always hold a special place in my heart. So if anyone wants to get dinner after the fair, holler at me!