Not Martha

links: craft

Candy Blog Photo Studio, nice set up you got there!

Busywork points us to this video tutorial for pockets at Simple Sparrow

How to Knit in the Woods coming soon, oh! I know a knitter who is on the Appalacian Trail right now.

DIY: How to Cut Glass Bottles for Use in Other Projects at Unplugged

Protecting Your Creative Work at The Boss of You blog

How Marimekko fabrics are made, at the Marimekko blog

True Up, new(ish) site, all about fabric

The Lauren Jacket from Weaverknits. I already bought this pattern, love it.

Mannequin Madness, from now until May 25th, is offering 20% off any of their products to Project RunGay readers.

I dig the wave scarf, at Grumperina

The Knitting School has launched. It’s here in Seattle and offers a bunch of machine knitting classes. Little known fact: I have a Brother Chunky machine with ribber and a bunch of accessories.

finding sewing contractors at Sommer Designs

Via Craftzine:

sewing bag tutorial at Mackville Road

hand braided scarf at ah-yi

sewing machine monster tee! by CubistLiterature at Etsy

catnip eyeballs by hannapt at Etsy

cute japanese coin purse at The Purl Bee, I have a few of these frames, must try this

· comments [2] · 05-15-2008 · categories:craft · seattle · sewing ·

some new makeup and how I feel about it

Philosophy The Supernatural poreless, flawless, tinted spf 15

I dig this stuff. It doesn’t hide everything, but it does give your face a soft focus (like it says on the back of the package), while providing some SPF. At first I wasn’t sure how well it worked so I applied it to half my face (don’t worry, I was home all alone) and the difference was pretty big. It’s a bit too dark for my pale skin, so I have to be careful not to apply too much. While it’s not a foundation, it’s a great “just need to leave the house to go to the library” quick product. Despite the $$ and the not-this-not-that nature I’ll be buying this again. Note: Some people react very badly to the silicone, so buy it somewhere you can return it if need be.

Benefit Bad Gal Lash mascara

As a mascara, I like it a whole lot, but there are problems. The big fat brush confounds my early morning self and I always end up with a bit of it smeared around my eyelid. (Afternoon self can manage to apply cleanly.) It’s got the volumizing while still looking natural thing down, but if it’s a day when I apply my (Neutrogena Ultra-sheer) sunblock it runs almost immediately. Will be banished to use only after the sun has gone down.

MAC eyeshadow, in Print

Nicely pigmented, no creasing, no smudging. Might be worth the price, just the way everybody is always saying it is.

· comments [11] · 05-14-2008 · categories:beauty · shopping ·

links: beauty, shopping, misc

Beautiful Dog Crate at Door Sixteen

Is there any earthly way – preferably on the up & up – to get a copy of Raiders of the Losk Ark: The Adaptation? at Ask Metafilter

coffee curls at Mighty Goods

Help me make a costume of Peter Pan’s shadow for a theme party, at Ask Metafilter

inkjet paper tatoo at Swiss Miss

photos of Miette confiserie at Bluelines, so sweet

Want to see Jekyll, at Bookshelves of Doom

How to treat/prevent ingrown hairs at Ask Metafilter

Can you please suggest simple pranks, stunts, and tricks that fall under the category of “physical challenges”? For example: Offer 2 kids a piece of newspaper, and challenge them to find a way for both to stand on the paper at the same time, without ripping it, such that neither kid is able to touch the other. For kids birthday parties, at Ask Metafilter

Hey, remember crazy mannequin shows from the 80’s? at Ask Metafilter. I TOTALLY watched this show as a kid. I didn’t know it was a Canadian import, but there had to be some reason I liked it better than other shows.

Chic Peeks Adhesive Cleavage Covers at Sundry Buzz. I needed one of these for that dress.

Are “fast zombies” really plausible? at Ask Metafilter

Seven new adventures—from the Grand Canyon Skywalk to Zorbing in Tennessee—are sure to deliver a rush, but you might not want to look down. at Budget Travel. Gosh, I remember the Zorb is one of those things I saw on teh internets way way back, like 2001 back. At that point you only find them in Australia.

Who to read besides Coupland, Stephenson, Gibson, and Sterling? at Ask Metafilter

Does anyone know if they make a Tupperware or Tupperware-like food storage container system that has one interchangeable lid size for all the different bins? at Ask Metafilter

I’m looking for dialog-heavy scenes (in books, movies, TV shows, etc) where a group of people solve a problem or make a plan in the course of one long conversation. at Ask Metafilter

Is Curves International (i.e. the company behind Curves gyms) really that bad? If it is, are there any other gyms that are similar to this chain in terms of target clientele and training plan? at Ask Metafilter

Fun facts about your favorite writers at Pop Candy. Woah, JD, I had no idea. Via The Park Bench.

· comments [8] · 05-13-2008 · categories:beauty · shopping ·

The Lab at Velocity #2

Velocity has announced the next event for The Lab, and I’ll be speaking, or at least answering questions. The next Lab event will focus on blogs and will have four speakers for the night, Paola from MirrorMirror, Elaine from Decorno, Mary from Shelterrific (whom I only met last month and was so pleased to find one of the authors from a favorite site lived here in Seattle), and myself. I’m terrified, and excited. Honestly, I don’t have much to say so you’d be doing me a huge favor if you come armed with questions.

Here are the details:

Please join us Wednesday, May 28th from 6-8 to meet prominent voices in the rapidly growing, ever-evolving world of blogs. Blogs purport transparency and openness, but there are less-apparent elements behind blogs, like relationships between bloggers and importance of search-engine optimization, which will make this such a fascinating topic to discuss.

Dry Soda will be offering refreshments (so there will be plenty to eat if you’re coming straight from work) and last time there was wine. Thanks, Dry Soda.

Now, at the last event Velocity raffled off a few Matte Stephens prints so of course I feel like we should have something to give away, but what? Maybe I should make everybody some jello orange slices? Or teeny tiny cupcakes?

The first event was a lot of fun and the stories Matte Stephens had to tell were fascinating. Future speakers include Lauren and Emira from Raised Eyebrow Web Studios (and the authors of The Boss of You), and there was a hint at some local wine and cheese makers. So please, come join us.

· comments [2] · 05-12-2008 · categories:events · seattle ·

links: tech

More on why we don’t need two spaces after a period anymore. At Word Wise. Also see, style guides at Grammar Girl.

Flip Video Ultra Accessories at NOTCOT

Garmin Nuviphone looks to Take On the iPhone at 37 Signals

HTC Touch Diamond

· comments [5] · 05-12-2008 · categories:technology ·

seeking some travel advice

We’re taking a trip to Cleveland soonish and I have some questions.

General travel advice:

I’m taking my first red eye flight. What is the best travel pillow for sleep? The inflatable u-shaped pillow? The strange triangular cartoon bone shaped pillow? Or the compressible pillow shaped pillow (which a clerk at the travel store pointed out could also be used for lumbar support, thereby throwing me into a state of not-buying-anything confusion)? Any advice for snagging one of those blankets as we get on the plane?

Cleveland travel advice:

I have a list of things I definitely want to do: West Side Market, drink as much 50/50 soda as I possibly can, eat a Mr. Hero cheeseburger, see the ruins of my middle school, have dinner at Stino da Napoli, stalk Ruhlman, have a latte at the Caribou Coffee where I not-once-but-twice locked my keys into my car in an early morning precaffeinated state, scowl towards my high school, eat at the Polish restaurant from the Anthony Bourdain episode, buy a jar of Stadium Mustard, gawk at how big Lola’s has gotten, visit the Arabica where Scott and I first met.

Anything else? Has anything new appeared in Cleveland that I absolutely must see? New grocery stores or libraries or malls or special cocktails to seek out? Keep in mind, I grew up here so the touristy stuff (Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame never again) doesn’t interest me as much as the everyday stuff that’s different than it was.


· comments [74] · 05-9-2008 · categories:mumbling ·

book: The Boss of You, Everything a Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run, and Maintain Her Own Business

I’ve talked about this before but it’s worth mentioning again, Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears’s site The Soapbox was one of the very first websites I read on a regular basis. I remember reading with keen interest that they ran their own web design firm, Raised Eyebrow Web Studios, which they started after realizing that they could be their own bosses. Lauren and Emira’s book, The Boss of You, is officially out and the back of the book says something I love: “This is the business book they wish they’d had.”

The book goes through all the aspects of starting a business, the things you know and the things you don’t know that you don’t know, working through them in a conversational tone. Each section has examples from real life experiences, either from Lauran and Emira or a bunch of people they interviewed while writing the book. Full disclosure: I was one of those people and I’m am phsyched to see my name in the back of the book.

They cover both aspects of business for those who will be making an actual thing, and those who will provide a service. They talk about what you should do when your business grows to large for you (raise your prices!). And they work you through all the processes of setting up pricing, billing, and the dreaded business plan. It’s a great resource for anybody setting out to start a business, whether you plan to grow it large or keep it small. Laruen and Emira are Canadian, the resources they list include both US and Canadian sources, and I know a lot of people who will be thrilled to know this.

The Boss of You is on a blog book tour this week, and you can find all the details of what Lauren and Emira are up to on their website, which includes lots and lots of helpful business information. You can also read a sample chapter. They’ll be on a book tour starting in Vancouver, uh, yesterday but they’ll be here in Seattle on Saturday, May 17th at 4:30 p.m. at the Elliott Bay Book Company.

Congratulations Lauren and Emira! (And thanks for introducing me to Smoking Lily many years ago.)

· comments [11] · 05-8-2008 · categories:books ·

my third sweater: planning the button band

the pattern: Central Park Hoodie
the yarn: Dark Horse Fantasy in Charcoal (#13)
the previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

I have knit the hood. I decided to go ahead and bind off the stitches along the back of the neck (the pattern calls for them to be left live) for more stability. After weaving in the ends there is a stable line of bound off stitches that goes from one shoulder, across the back of the neck and to the other shoulder.

After toying with the idea of learning to graft to make the hood seam I decided, screw it, and did a three needle bind off. [Read more →]

· comments [15] · 05-7-2008 · categories:knitting ·

giveaway: Envirosax new Greengrocer bags

Last week I talked about the differences between Rume reusable shopping bags and Envirosax bags. One of the positive things about RuMe bags was that they have a set that comes plain and unpatterned which would appeal to guys and minimalists. Mere days after I posted that the kind people at Envirosax wrote to tell me they had just launched their Greengrocer line – Envirosax bags in plain colors made out of extra strong ripstop nylon, including very manly colors. The colors are named for food – Apple, Avacado, Blueberry, Chocolate, Duck Egg, Guava, Liquorice, Oyster, Summerpea and Watermelon.

I was lucky to get my hands on a sample bag to check out. It shares these features with my patterned Envirosax bags:

  • The bag rolls up to the size of small cell phone and stays closed via attached snaps. Once you unsnap you can unroll the bag with the flick of a wrist. The closed bags are small and lightweight and are easily kept in a purse or glove compartment of a car.
  • The open bag is large enough to hold a free weekly-sized newspaper flat and lay a bottle of wine down in the bottom. It’s roomy and strong enough to hold two paper bags worth of groceries.
  • The handles are wide and comfortable on my shoulder, they don’t cut or pinch.
  • The bag does not drag on the ground when I hold it as a tote, I’m 5′ 2″ in tennis shoes.

And here are the ways the Envirosax Greengrocer bags are a little bit different than the regular Envirosax bags:

  • The bag is the same size and overall length but the Greengrocer bags have slightly longer handles. One of my favorite things about the Envirosax bags is that you can hike it up over your shoulder using one arm, leaving the other free to accept change, dig out your keys or grab onto a wandering toddler. The longer handles on the Greengrocer bags would probably accommodate the longer arms of people taller than myself.
  • The Greengrocer bags have a waterproof backing to the fabric, which is extra appealing to my Seattle-located self. I ran my regular Envirosax and the Greengrocer bag under the tap and where the regular bag held it’s own to the water, only letting a tiny amount soak in after a good while, the Greengrocer bag beaded and repelled and stayed dry inside.

I like my Envirosax bags and get a lot of use out of them. It is so nice to come home, unpack groceries and not have a bunch of plastic bags to store until they can be recycled or reused. I even keep one near the laundry hamper and use it to haul laundry up or down stairs when the basket isn’t conveniently located on the same floor I am. They are great for carrying all those extra books I find when I’m at the library or the rare unexpected package I get when checking my PO box.

update: I’ve heard back from all the lucky chosen ones. Thanks to everybody for entering! The people at Envirosax would like to give away a set of five Greengrocer bags to four lucky Not Martha readers! If you’d like to win please leave a comment with this post. You have until 12 noon PST on Thursday, May 8th to enter.

the 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 “pick 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 15th I will choose another winner.

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

Good luck!

· comments [1,407] · 05-6-2008 · categories:shopping ·

two flip flop alternatives

The story so far: I cannot wear shoes that go between the toes and therefore suffer from extreme flip flop envy. I’m always looking for flip flop-like slides, and here are two I’ve found recently.

Land’s End Wedge Beach Slides

My first though upon trying these on is that they aren’t sexy. But, as you might expect from Land’s End, at least they are comfortable. The soles are true flip flop foam and the slight wedge heel is a comfortable angle. The uppers are suede and after wearing them around the house for a few days have not even hinted at uncomfortable rubbing or the creation of a blister. No arch support. Though I was afraid the non-adjustable straps wouldn’t hold onto my freakishly thin feet they’ve been just fine, but offer enough space that I think they would do well for any foot type. The sandals come in a bunch of colors, including solids and striped grosgrain uppers. I like the solid black and the Coral Strips (brown soles, pink and white striped ribbon) and might buy a few extra pairs just in case they stop carrying them. Available at Lands End. (Thanks again to Rebecca for pointing me towards them.)

Nike Celso Slide

I found these in a sporting goods store in Port Townsend and once we’d driven away immediately wished I’d checked to see if they had another pair in my size. The bottom layer of the soles is lightweight tennis shoe rubber, the footdbed is made of flip flop foam. The uppers are made from a stretchy foam material and are tight enough to hang on while walking at rocky beaches. No arch support. The shoes have a nice feminine/sporty balance and I am planning on buying a back up pair, or two. As far as I can tell it only comes in black and white. Availabe at and Sports Authority.

· comments [33] · 05-5-2008 · categories:shopping ·

links: food

Fill in the blank: “The secret of great meatloaf is ___________.” at Ask Metafilter

make your own creme fraiche at Glueten-Free Girl, oh mama

Not So Keen On Quinoa at Splatgirl Creates. I agree, I really like quinoa on it’s own but have not found a way to mix other ingredients in with it that I like.

Surfas restaurant supply at Chow.

How can I simulate this tikka masala sauce? at Ask Metafilter

Cocoa Nib Pavlovas at Orangette. I have cocoa nibs, and I have the desire to make pavlovas, perfect.

I have always wanted a Clack Egg Cracker but loose track of where to buy it every few years. So, self, Mocha carries it.

mini smores grill! via Craftzine

What’s the best format for an extremely lightweight drinker to buy & store wine, to enable very gradual consumption without the wine going sour? at Ask Metafilter

giant ice cream cone cupcake pan at Baking Bites

How to Make Limoncello

How to Make Limoncello with Vodka

at The Kitchen:

pickle popsicles, at The Kitchen

Dinner Quick: Anelletti Pasta with Sausage and Greens, the round O pasta from Trader Joes is cute.

Recipe: Chocolate Toffee Matzo Candy

Is a box mix really faster?

cheddar olives

pirate ship cake pan

· comments [22] · 05-1-2008 · categories:food · recipes ·