Made with Love

Made with Love… with affection, fondness and enthusiasm. Read about our philosophy and join us in spreading the love with our Instagram photo and coloring contests–details below!

Made with Love Mural_Poet and the Bench_Pink Bear Mural

Made with Love, of self—our identity—what makes us unique and how we serve our heart.

We adore this quote by Amin Maalouf, discovered via Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings, which is a beautiful way of illustrating how wrapped up our identity is with love, and as Maria says the “insightful exploration of difference, allegiance, and the underlying commonalities of the human experience, timelier than ever in our culture of divisive Otherness”. The quote by Amin goes like this:

A person’s identity … is like a pattern drawn on a tightly stretched parchment. Touch just one part of it, just one allegiance, and the whole person will react, the whole drum will sound.

Imagine how delicious that symphony is with love!

Made with Love, of family, friends, humans—because of, and despite our genetics. The loving kindness toward people that we feel as a connection [to others] in our social tribes, communities, and even strangers as part of a larger worldview.

Made with Love, of lovers—passionate and compassionate love. Fiery short term love, romantic love, true love and long term romance capable of incredible resilience.

Made with Love, of nature—Mother earth and all of her living things and organisms: air, water, soil, and fire; the flora and fauna, the animal kingdom, fungi, the bugs, bees. Your pets, your garden, your environment.

Made with Love, of sharing. A love of baking and cooking where our emotions become part of our recipes and the recipients’ experience as we share around the communal table. Or gardening, and the bounty of flowers, vegetables, fruits and herbs we grow and pass forward to others… Of putting together one's ideas or means for a common benefit: love, compassion, happiness.

Made with Love, of creating in an artistic pursuit. In 2019 in the Harvard Gazette, an article was written about Ellen Winner who explored “The Aesthetic Attitude to Art.” We love this quote:

My best guess is that art itself is not a direct product of natural selection, but is a byproduct of our bigger brains — which themselves evolved for survival reasons. Art is just something we cannot help but do. While we may not need art to survive, our lives would be entirely different without it. The arts are a way of making sense of and understanding ourselves and others, a form of meaning-making just as important as are the sciences.

Reading in Psychology Today, from an article back in 2015 entitled Loving the Process Means Everything for Creativity, the renowned psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wanted to study where, in every day life, were people really happy. Quoting the author, “He studied artists and scientists, trying to understand what about their work or their use of time that made it worthwhile. Was it money, fame, fortune, purpose?" Mihaly explains why enjoyment is so critical for creativity:

Perhaps the most important quality, the one that is most consistently present in all creative individuals, is the ability to enjoy the process of creation for its own sake.

Without this trait, Mihaly says that creators wouldn’t have that innate striving… they’d go more for commercial pursuits or where there’s more predictability. There’s risk in being a creator and putting your soul on a plate everyday. We get it.

We love the part where the author goes on to explain that this enjoyment of creating fosters what Mihaly called “flow.” Not a new concept for sure but we like how he describes it. He said,

When we enter a state of near-unconscious ecstasy: we lose track of time, our environment, and ultimately ourselves. We are enraptured in the work, where our focus is as intense as a child looking through the window of an ice cream store on a summer day. This state of flow is a surefire sign that the work we’re doing is meaningful and fulfilling—that something within it ignites our curiosity, where rewards are secondary, but most importantly we do it because it would kill us not to.

It’s a magical force, love. No matter how many ways we feel it. It mesmerizes us, brings us to tears, gives us comfort and other intense emotions.

At Poet and/the Bench we feature and celebrate our carefully curated collection of artists whose passion is to imbue their art with love and to elicit love in the ones who enjoy and appreciate it. For all the kinds of love everyday, we invite you to join in on the fun with us as we unveil our first-ever public mural.

Made with Love Mural_Poet and the Bench_El Paseo Lane_Mill Valley

Made with Love Mural_Poet and the Bench_Bonnie and Jeffrey

#madewithlovemural #pinkbearmural to spread a universal message of love. Artist @momohead62 interpreted our brief with references to the Northern California environment of our shop; the inclusiveness of identity we express in ensuring all are welcome, feel a sense of belonging and value; and in the most delightful way that ultimately is about being made with love–as is our vibe!

đź’“ Spread a universal message of love đź’“

Pose with Our Mural! Enter our MADE WITH LOVE ✨GIVE AWAY✨!!

  1. FOLLOW @poetandthebench on Insta, if you aren’t already
  2. VISIT us at 11 Throckmorton Avenue, head to our side entrance on El Paseo Lane and locate the Made With Love Mural at our back window facing the lane by the restaurant Paseo.
  3. TAKE A PIC with you and our mural—individually, with someone you love, your pet, a bunch of pals… get creative (but keep it clean!)
  4. POST your pic in your Insta Feed or Stories and TAG @poetandthebench AND with 3 HASHTAGS: #poetandthebench #madewithlovemural and #pinkbearmural
  5. EXTRA ENTRY: TAG someone you love or who is a maker of love
  6. BOOST YOUR ENTRY: Tell us your take on MADE WITH LOVE in your post
  7. SUBMIT at least 48 hours prior to the deadlines below
  8. WINNERS: Each month, for the next 3 months we’ll pick a photo to feature and the person who posted it will receive a gift certificate to Poet and/the Bench for $100

We will direct message the 🏅WINNERS🏅 on October 31, November 30 and December 15, 2021. This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by Instagram/Facebook. Give away begins at 7:00 PM PST on Oct 7 2021 and ends at 11:59 PM PST December 15 2021.

Made with Love Mural_Poet and the Bench_Curator Bonnie Powers_Jewelry Jeffrey Levin

Made with Love Coloring Contest! Enter our MADE WITH LOVE ✨GIVE AWAY✨!!

Pick up a coloring page at our shop at 11 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, or print it out here. Color it with all your imagination and bring to our shop, post it on Instagram and/or send a picture of it via email.

We will pick a winner in December in each of 3 categories

  • Kids up to 10 years old
  • 11-18 years old
  • 19+
Details below. Have fun!!

    Poet and the Bench Made with Love Mural Coloring Page Download

    Enter our MADE WITH LOVE ✨GIVE AWAY✨!!

    1. COLOR our MADE WITH LOVE Coloring Page
    2. BRING it to Poet and the Bench at 11 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley OR EMAIL it OR POST it on Instagram
    3. FOLLOW @poetandthebench on Insta
    4. POST the pic of your coloring page in your Insta Feed as a Post (and in Stories, too!) and TAG @poetandthebench AND with 3 HASHTAGS: #poetandthebench #madewithlovemural and #pinkbearmural
    5. SUBMIT at least 48 hours prior to the deadline below
    6. WINNERS: We’ll pick a coloring page to feature in each category and the person who posted it will receive a gift certificate to Poet and/the Bench for $100

    We will direct message the 🏅WINNERS🏅 on December 15, 2021. This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by Instagram/Facebook. Give away begins at 7:00 PM PST on Oct 7 2021 and ends at 11:59 PM PST December 15 2021.

    Terms of Use
    By using the hashtags #poetandthebench #madewithlovemural and #pinkbearmural you agree to allow Poet and/the Bench to use your photo and/or drawing for marketing initiatives including, but not limited to, social media posts, video, or other digital media without payment or other consideration. You also irrevocably agree to authorize Poet and/the Bench to edit, alter, copy, exhibit, publish, or distribute these photos and/or drawings for any lawful purpose. In addition, you waive any right to inspect or approve the finished product wherein your likeness appears. Additionally, you waive any right to royalties or other compensation arising or related to the use of the photo and/or drawing. For questions, please contact us at