Not Martha

giveaway update: Apartment Therapy book, another copy to win

This is just a quick note to let you know that the nice people at Chronicle Books have given me another copy of Apartment Therapy Presents to give away! If you’d like to enter your name to win one please leave a comment in the post from April 28th. Good luck! May the Random Number Generator chose you.

· comments [11] · 04-30-2008 · categories:books · the home ·

links: tech

Google Maps bicycle route petition

“Dear people who learned to type in school; Typographically, you do NOT need a double space after a period.” at onmysleeve. This has been bugging me lately as well.

Milliways: Infocom’s Unreleased Sequel to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This was huge, huge news a few weeks back. Unfortunately what was produced is barely playable, but it’s a fascinating story.

Top 10 science hoaxes of all time, at the Discovery Channel

GREENHOUSE Eneplug USB to AC Outlet Adaptor, straight from plug to USB, no cord, nice. At Unplugged.

Podswollop, Textism recommends podcasts.

Upgrading to a DSLR camera for the first time: how useful will an additional lens be? at Ask Metafilter

Mac Buyer’s Guide: when to buy an iPhone

David Lebovitz’s food photography gear

Wikiquote, found while trying to figure out the whole stopwatch thing from season one of Torchwood (don’t ask).

· comments [25] · 04-30-2008 · categories:technology ·

links: Seattle

Another Earthwork Worth Testifying For at The Stranger. I had no idea this was there.

Savoring the delights of Japantown and the hands-on Kubota Gardens at the PI

Open Season on CSAs, there is one with a pick up location in Mt. Baker.

Shelterrific has pictures from the Matte Stephens event for the first Lab at Velocity

Llama Llove, small portraits of people, with llamas floating near their heads. These are currently on display at the Madrona Cupcake Royale and you must go see them, they are charming. You can also commission a portrait and 20% of the proceeds are contributed to help buy a llama for a South American family through Heifer International.

Where can I buy a less generic flower vase in Seattle? at Ask Metafilter. Somebody has already pointed out that we are living in a town with lots and lots of independently created glass.

· comments [3] · 04-30-2008 · categories:seattle ·

my third sweater: seaming and swearing

the pattern: Central Park Hoodie
the yarn: Dark Horse Fantasy in Charcoal (#13)
the previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

The CPH pattern calls for you to knit the hood before setting in the sleeves but I wanted to get that part over with so that when I get to the point where I’m finally finishing the button band I don’t have any more work to do, because I think that would just about kill me. [Read more →]

· comments [12] · 04-29-2008 · categories:knitting ·

discount for RuMe bags at Delight.com

The winners of the RuMe bags giveaway last week have all claimed thier prizes, so if you didn’t win Delight.com would like to soften the blow by offering a 15% Discount through May 15th (enough time for Mother’s Day!) on your total order when you enter RuMeLove at checkout. You can choose from sets of three or six bags in Spring In New York or Silicon Valley styles.

You can read more about the RuMe bags at my previous entry, over at NOTCOT, and in the Delight store. But to sum up: they fold small enough to store in a purse or backpack, they are large and strong enough to hold a bottle of wine, a large weekly newspaper and lots of groceries, in addition to colorful and graphic prints they have a set of plain black or silver bags that are good for guys or minimalists.

A note on Envirosax, which I have mentioned here before and use myself. A friend from the UK was showing me her Envirosax bag this past weekend and it was a little bit different from the Envirosax bag I have. Her handles were shorter – meaning she couldn’t hike it over a shoulder using only one arm (a feature I’m a bit too fanatical about), and the stitching at the bottom of her bag was coming loose despite it being fairly new. By contrast my Envirosax have held up well through some abuses. So, if you can you might want to inspect your Envirosax before you purchase them, there might have been some changes to them since they came out.

· comments [11] · 04-28-2008 · categories:shopping ·

giveaway: Apartment Therapy Presents

The new Apartment Therapy book is out and I’m happy to say that Chronicle Books would like to give one away to Not Martha readers. See below if you’d like to enter to receive it.

There is an upcoming event for this book at the Brooklyn Designs show, here is the information:

Potluck Picnic at Brooklyn Designs May 10, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. with a signing immediately after in the Tobacco Warehouse, Brooklyn Designs in the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park

Please feel free to invite friends. RSVPs to justine@apartmenttherapy.com by May 6.

Lucky New York dwellers, etc, etc…

Apartment Therapy Presents: Real Homes, Real People, Hundreds of Design Solutions is a collection of 40 fabulous apartments, many of which you might recognize from the Apartment Therapy site, information on how the owners designed and furnished the space and resources for where they found furniture and accessories.

The pictures are lovely, yes, but these are not uber-expensive spaces of perfection and as such provide a lot more inspiration for what I might be trying to do with my own home. Each profile has a survey including things like Biggest Challenge, Proudest DIY and Biggest Embarrassment that are equal parts helpful and reassuring.

Each profile also includes a floor plan and the spaces range from normal house sized to the very small 325 square feet, including AT founders Sara Kate and Maxwell’s Gourmet Shoe Box at 265 square feet.

Each picture gives me a glimpse of a good idea or way of displaying something that I know I’ll want to refer to as I continue to settle more deeply into my own home.

The winners have been contacted, thanks for entering! If you’d like to win the book please leave a comment with this entry before 8 a.m. PST on May 1st. On the morning of Thursday, May 1st I’ll let the Random Number Generator choose the winner. I’ll then contact you to get a mailing address.

update: The kind people at Chronicle Books have decided to give away TWO copies in stead of one. Everybody’s chances of winning just doubled, yay!

fine print:

– You don’t need to leave your real name, but do leave a valid email address. I’ll be the only one who can see your email address (just don’t put it in the actual comment box as well). I’ll write to get a shipping address when you’ve won.

– If you have never left a comment here before I’ll need to approve it before it publishes so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. That said, you might not end up being the comment number you see so know that if you want to say “lucky number 351!” you might not be comment number 351. I don’t know why it works that way, and I’m sorry, there is very little certainty left in this world and this isn’t helping any.

– If I have not heard from an initial winner by May 7th I will choose another winner.

– The winner will be picked by the cold, unfeeling random number generator.

· comments [516] · 04-28-2008 · categories:books · the home ·

my third sweater: finding the right hole

the pattern: Central Park Hoodie
the yarn: Dark Horse Fantasy in Charcoal (#13)
the previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4

Thank yous go out to Maria and KarWar who left comments on my last sweater post, they both suggested a buttonhole that I’m smitten with. KarWar pointed me to a page at Lanna Grossa with a few buttonholes for ribbed button bands, suggestions are for both 1×1 and 2×2 ribbing. I’m using the one from the second to last picture, it’s the same technique Maria suggested. [Read more →]

· comments [3] · 04-23-2008 · categories:knitting ·

giveaway: RuMe reusble shopping bags from Delight.com

Delight.com is debuting some new reusable, foldable shopping bags. They are called RuMe (ReUseMe) bags and come in sets of three in four different styles. They are giving away ten sets of bags! See the end of this post for details.

I was lucky enough to get ahold of some RuMe bags a little early and really like them. They have the nitpicky feature I like in a reusable shopping bag – you can hike it up over your shoulder using only one arm (leaving the other free to clutch keys/accept change/hold on to an energetic toddler).

The bags come in four styles, Spring In New York are colorful bags which come in a set of three plain, or three patterned. Silicon Valley are gray and black bags that come in a set of three plain (two black, one silver), or three patterned. I have verified with Scott that the plain Silicon Valley set is in no way threatening to masculinity.

The bags are well sized, a bottle of wine can lay down in the bottom of the bag and you can fit a free weekly newspaper without folding it. The handles are long enough to sling over a shoulder (again, using one arm, good feature), but not so long that the bottom of the bag drags on the ground when my 5′ 1″ self holds it like a tote. The handles are wide enough to be comfortable on your shoulder when you have a bottle of wine and several books inside. It folds up to the size of a cell phone and is secured by a velcro strap which is located at the top of the bag (it won’t dangle and possibly drag on the ground). The bags are made of water resistant polyester and are very lightweight.

Overall, these bags are ideal for hiking your groceries home, not just carrying them out to the parking lot and putting them in your car. I have a sweet little market about ten blocks away from my house and the trip carrying groceries back is made far easier with bags like these. RuMe bags are manufactured in a Fair Trade Factory, and RuMe dedicates the portion of its proceeds to a social or environmental cause.

RuMe bags are exclusive to Delight.com and they carry them in the shop, however the Spring in New York designs are for sale for a special price today (Monday, April 21st). The Silicon Valley style bags, I hear, will be up on Delight for a special price tomorrow.

To celebrate the debut of RuMe bags Delight.com is happy to give away 5 sets of each style (each set has six bags, a $55 value) to ten lucky people! Hooray!

If you’d like to win a bag set please leave a comment with this entry before 8 a.m. on April 25th. On the morning of Friday, April 25th I’ll let the Random Number Generator choose ten numbers. I’ll then contact you to get a mailing address. When I contact you I’ll ask if you have a preference in style but please know I cannot say which style you’ll receive. The Random Number generator has chosen, thanks for playing!

fine print:

– You don’t need to leave your real name, but do leave a valid email address. I’ll be the only one who can see your email address (just don’t put it in the actual comment box as well). I’ll write to get a shipping address when you’ve won.

– If you have never left a comment here before I’ll need to approve it before it publishes so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. That said, you might not end up being the comment number you see so know that if you want to say “lucky number 351!” you might not be comment number 351. I don’t know why it works that way, and I’m sorry, there is very little certainty left in this world and this isn’t helping any.

– If I have not heard from an initial winner by May 1st I will choose another winner.

– The winners will be picked by the cold, unfeeling random number generator.

added: A few people have wondered how these compare to Envirosax so I’ll give my best comparison. The Envirosax are slightly lighter weight and fold up smaller, and as such I’m more likely to keep them in my purse. The Envirosax have a snap closure that hangs from the bottom of the bag when you hold it, the RuMe closure is velcro and located at the top of the bag. Both bags are about the same size, but it feels like the Rume bags might be a little stronger, though I’ve hauled some heavy stuff in the Envirosax and had no trouble. The RuMe Bags have a more defined box shape, see this picture, whereas the Envirosax have squared off corners like a typical tote bag. Both kinds you can hike onto your shoulder using one arm, both have nice wide, reinforced handles. An advantage of the RuMe bags is that the plain Silicon Valley (black or silver) are not girly at all and as such Scott is far more likely to reach for them and keep them around in his car or gig bag. Envirosax don’t have any plain bags and even the most basic of graphic prints still have an air of decoration that might discourage some guys. Let me know if you have specific questions, I’ll try to answer them.

update the second: Also take a look at this review of RuMe bags over at NOTCOT for a different comparison to the Envirosax as well as a side by side photo of a Whole Foods reusable bag, a paper grocery bag and a RuMe bag.

third update: The people at Delight have had a look at the number of people who have signed up for this giveaway and would like to offer a discount in case you aren’t picked by the Random Number Generator: use the code RuMeLove (case sensitive) and you’ll receive 15% off your total order through April 30th, thanks Delight!

· comments [1,789] · 04-21-2008 · categories:shopping ·

my third sweater: abusing a test swatch and my first buttonholes

the pattern: Central Park Hoodie
the yarn: Dark Horse Fantasy in Charcoal (#13)
the previous entries: 1, 2, 3

I put a test swatch through some trials to see if it would make a difference after being blocked. I made the swatch like one of the center fronts with the idea that I could use it to test the button banding as well.

Here is my swatch before:

[Read more →]

· comments [7] · 04-21-2008 · categories:knitting ·

links: the home

Rebecca Blood points us to Dave’s Garden and the huge database Plantfiles.

Fantastic guest bedroom makeover at Happy Mundane. I’m normally not a fan of dark paint, but this works really well.

My husband’s dogs have done vile things to our furniture. What dog-proof materials should we look for in replacement furniture? at Ask Metafilter

Help me find this shelf! at Ask Metafilter

pot lid storage at The Kitchen. I have to break down an buy one of these, fishing for my lids on the bottom shelf isn’t working out.

Ferm Living sells acryic coated tablecloths which are just asking to be turned into bags. At Charles & Marie.

Flat Flowers, flower window decals, brilliant. At Swiss Miss.

Wired Wiki: How To Soundproof A Room

Note to self: ESP Lighting sells those wide spiral daylight CFL bulb you are looking to replace.

· comments [4] · 04-21-2008 · categories:the home ·

free Readers’ Choice Interweave knitting patterns

The Readers’ Choice Award Winners have been announced and five Interweave Knits patterns are available to download for free (free!). Get it now because it’s only available for a little while. The patterns included are the Cable-Down Raglan by Stefanie Japel, Nantucket Jacket by Norah Gaughan, Sunrise Circle Jacket by Kate Gilbert, Tweedy Aran Cardigan by Norah Gaughan, and the Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark.

· comments [6] · 04-16-2008 · categories:knitting ·

my third sweater: four of six

the pattern: Central Park Hoodie
the yarn: Dark Horse Fantasy in Charcoal (#13)
the previous entries: 1, 2

The CPH is moving right along. [Read more →]

· comments [9] · 04-16-2008 · categories:knitting ·

things I like: Bumble & Bumble styling products

I have terrible luck with hair products. I have fine, limp hair that is only very temporarily affected by heat and, much to the dismay of my high school friends who tried to 80s-ify my bangs, is left unaffected by hairspray. My hair is sort of straight and sort of wavy, with frizzy little curls near the temples. Barrettes slide right out of my hair under their own weight and elastic ponytail holders are likely to fall out if I jump up and down a little bit. It’s a sad, sad affair overall.

Over the years I’ve tried many styling products but they inevitably left my hair limp-and-sticky or limp-and-stiff. There is one day in college I still recall as The What Happened To Your Hair Incident. So imagine my surprise when, out of desperation, I shelled out the cash for some Bumble and Bumble styling products that had been recommended and they actually worked. At last, yay. I use two products in my hair, blow dry, and I’m pretty happy.

I spritz the Surf Spray at the roots around the crown of my hair, then hold my hair up with one hand and blowdry the roots. The Surf Spray adds bulk and hold and works better than any type of root lifer I’ve previously tried.

I use the Thickening Spray all over, but especially on my bangs. A friend had warned me that the Thickening Spray doesn’t actually thicken so much as create a flexible hold. I can say the Thickening Spray does add a noticeable amount of volume in my hair, while leaving it so that I can run my fingers through. It is not sticky at all, it just creates a sort of bite where my hair would just slide around without it. The spray makes sure my bangs don’t curl up halfway through the day, and it somewhat de-frizzes the rest of my hair. (I should mention, though, that I far prefer frizzy hair to despicably flat hair.) This is one of those products I’ll make sure to bring with me when I travel, buying a bottle at my destination if needed.

Both sprays also work well when put on my dry hair in an “oh no I have to leave the house” moment. Over my weak protests my hairstylist has used, at different times, the Styling Creme and Brillantine, both of which gave me the familiar oily and limp look. But, I should add, make other people very happy.

I’ve also got a sample shampoo/conditioner/creme size set of the Curl Conscious for fine to medium hair. On the day I tried it left my not-quite-wavy hair very wavy and textured. Not ringlet-curly, but something I will use on summer days when blowdrying my hair is out of the question.

The Curl Conscious also comes in a medium to thick variety, which I plan to try out. Does anybody know, is it more likely to give me curls? What makes it different exactly?

I have high hopes for, but have not yet tried, the Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner. And my stylist recommended I try the Hair Powder, which comes in a number of shades and reportedly adds volume to your hair while absorbing oil — it’s meant to extend the time between blowouts.

Bumble and Bumble is pricey, but it works well enough that I’m not going to complain about the cost. I estimate I go through a 6 or 8 ounce bottle in three months, so it’s not a huge expense over the course of a year.

B&B is available on Amazon:

You can also look up B&B href="http://www.bumbleandbumble.com/">stockists at their website, they have a note saying they would prefer you buy the products from salons.

So, if you have trouble finding hair products I can recommend spending a little money to try out Bumble & Bumble products. I promise nothing, but can say I am very happy with them.

· comments [44] · 04-15-2008 · categories:beauty · shopping ·

The Lab: An Evening with Matte Stephens

This is a reminder that this Wednesday, April 16th is the very first event for The Lab here in Seattle at Velocity Art and Design from 6 to 8 p.m. The featured artist is Matte Stephens, who very recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest. There will be refreshments by Dry Soda and I hear there will be a drawing for limited prints from Matte. It looks like it will be fantastic. Read more about it at Velocity and at MirrorMirror.

· comments [0] · 04-14-2008 · categories:events · seattle ·

games I’ve been needing to find the time to play

Here are the games I need to make time to check out. Most of these are links to the JIG Casual Gameplay site since they often posts hints, and because I’ve allowed them to become my sole game news source, they are good like that.

Games I’m still playing/still like:

Knytt and Knytt Stories, you need to download these, it’s worth it if you like to explore.

Magic Pen, I’ve gotten through all the levels but, gah, I cannot complete level 24 again. How did I do it the first time?

· comments [12] · 04-11-2008 · categories:links · mumbling ·