Not Martha

Victoria, B.C. is a lovely place

Recently we took a short trip to Victoria, BC. We used a Clipper vacation package — you hop on a boat in Seattle which drops you off in Victoria two and a half hours later with, hopefully, your hotel van waiting just on the other side of customs. Most hotels are mere blocks away.

Victoria BC is a small town with a ton of stuff to do, with Butchart Gardens being the one everybody asks about. We did not visit Butchart Gardens because for this short trip the interest level/entrance fee/travel time (it’s about half an hour north of Victoria) didn’t weigh out with my goal of doing nothing much at all. If you are car-less you can get there via a tour bus or the regular public transportation bus.

Victoria is a very walkable/wanderable town, and the Victorian architecture and Canadian-ness of it all make it charming. I was a little worried about the size while looking at the map, but ten blocks in any direction from the hotel had us where we wanted to go so there was never any desire to rent a car or scooter to get around. [Read more →]

· comments [23] · 07-14-2008 · categories:mumbling · seattle ·

links: the home

this is sweet, tin can wall garden, at Craftzine

keypad deadlock at SundryBuzz. I lost my house and car keys many, many times in the past. So much so that I clutch my keys to make sure they are there any time I come near a lock. Once that healthy fear subsides I think I’ll start putting these on my doors.

using shiny christmas ornaments to protect your tomato plants, at Modern Cottage

outlet for minimalists, love this, at Unplugged

I wanna live in an RV, at Ask Metafilter

natural indoor spider control suggestions? at Ask Metafilter

Best Product: American Pride Paint at Re-Nest. This is what we used to cover every wall and ceiling in our house and it’s doing well so far.

how to make a hop trellis at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. This year I discovered how fascinating climbing plants are. I wonder if we have a place in our to grow hops next year?

recycled umbrella shade at Craftzine

how removing a skirt can transform a chair, at Readymade

little seedling at Product Dose. I love the various plantable containers I’ve been seeing lately, there might be hope for my plant killing self yet.

Plain Frost Window Film by Graham & Brown at AT

· comments [7] · 07-11-2008 · categories:the home ·

giveaway: cards from Eloise R. Designs

Eloise R. Designs, maker of lovely and cheerful cards, just launched their online store and to celebrate would like to offer two collections of cards to Not Martha readers. Thanks Eloise and company! To enter please leave a comment with this post, see below for more details.

It’s worth noting this is my first giveaway done in collaboration somebody who doesn’t live in the US, Eloise is located in Nottingham, England. I feel so worldly. Eloise is happy to ship the prizes to anywhere in the world, so enter no matter where you live.

Eloise’s cards were featured at Print & Pattern the other week, congrats. And I want to also slip in a congratulations to Laura of Busywork on her work to build the site, we so rarely get to know who does the behind the scenes stuff.

On to the giveaway — the first collection has you covered for just about everybody and includes Retro Repeats for Men (blank, these would work for boys as well), Boutique Two for Women (blank) and Dolly Mixture for Girls (birthdays).

First Collection:

The second collection includes a pack of birthday cards and a pack of see-you-through-the-year cards. Colourway Birthdays includes cards for both Men and Women and would also work for boys and girls, and Foursquare would work for anybody and includes cards for weddings, a new baby, sympathy, get well soon, new home, thank you, happy anniversary, good luck, congratulations and birthdays. Which just about covers everything.

Second Collection:

Here are some of the other cards that have caught my eye. (These aren’t up for prizes, but I like them a lot so I’m taking the opportunity to point them out.) The various On The Move series for men (near the bottom of that page) would also work for car obsessed boys, and the cards for boys are a treasure trove of car and truck awesomeness.

The two series of In Bloom cards are simple flower portraits that are blank inside and would work for nearly anything.

The Christmas Cards would ensure that your relatives wouldn’t be receiving the same card, and it’s worth nothing these are nicely inexpensive. Also, I think you’d be very wise indeed to buy your Christmas cards a whole half year in advance, then you can feel good about yourself for being so on top of things.

Thank you to everybody who entered, the contest is closed and the two winners have been contacted! If you’d like to enter to win one of the collections of cards please leave a comment with this entry, you have until noon PST on Thursday, July 17th, one week from today.

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 number 42!” you might not be comment number 42. 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 July 21st another winner will be chosen.

– You can enter no matter where in the world you live.

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

Good luck!

· comments [625] · 07-10-2008 · categories:shopping ·

raffle for all things knitting

Want to win some amazing knitting stuff? Susan from Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm (and the incredibly-good-idea Fiber CSA) that I talked about last year is holding a raffle to raise money for somebody who needs our help. She’s raffling off her entire yarn stash and including skeins from the farm (yarn which I’ve had the pleasure to touch, and it’s ever so nice). Not just that, lots of prizes, some individual, some included in the grand stash prize, have been added. There is loads of scrumptous hand spun and dyed yarn, stitch markers, knitting patterns, roving and knitting kits from people all hoping to help — the list is really something to behold.

In the hopes of helping out as much as I can I’ve donated a prize as well, one of my Portable Knitting Needle Cases for DPNs that I make as The Organized Knitter.

You can purchase as many raffle tickets as you like by donating through Paypal. Each ticket is $10 and well worth it for a chance at all the great stuff.

You can read the story behind why this money is being raised, it’ll break your heart, see the huge list of prizes and buy tickets here at the MVFF blog. It’s a good cause for some people who have given their entire lives to helping others, and I hope you will buy many tickets in the effort to help them as much as they deserve.

I’m a little late to hear this news, so buy raffle tickets quickly as the drawing is taking place on Sunday, July 13th, just four days away.

· comments [6] · 07-9-2008 · categories:events · knitting ·

links: beauty and shopping

power plant mini from Perpara. It’s a windowsill herb growing pot. Downside: it needs to be plugged in. Upside: you probably won’t kill the plants. Via The Kitchen.

Schmancy here in Seattle has some small things I’ve been wanting to use for zipper pulls: Ninjatown Micro Plush and Kat Leuzinger Zipits

What’s your favorite Sonoma winery? at Ask Metafilter

Bigelow Mentha Lip Shine, I must try this

· comments [11] · 07-9-2008 · categories:beauty · shopping ·

links: seattle

Can anyone recommend a couple of wineries in the Wilamette Valley region by Portland? at Ask Metafilter

ISO suggestions for Columbia River Gorge trip at Ask Metafilter

Newest state park: beach, cabins, conflict, about the Cama Beach State Park.

You won’t miss the meat at Lola’s — it’s vegetarian but not snooty about it. Yay! My local bakery gets a good review!

Little Coney, I had no idea this was there.

Filling a day in fairly bustling Fairhaven.

Bike a trail, listen to chamber music in the Methow

A Soup-er Stay at Alderbrook Resort & Spa at Seattlest.

Please share your favorite lodgings in/near Olympic National Park. at Ask Metafilter.

· comments [0] · 07-9-2008 · categories:seattle ·

a plea to the musicial set

Do you happen to have a copy of the current Disc Makers catalog (shown above) taking up valuable space on your dining room table? I’d like to persuade you to trade it to me for, uh, something of equal value. You see, that is Scott’s current CD* shown on the cover and we’d really like to have a copy for posterity. Funnily enough, we don’t get the Disc Makers catalog anymore. Do you have one you’re willing to part with? Let me know and we’ll make a deal, notmartha AT gmail DOT com, thanks. Ok, I have secured one, thanks to everybody who wrote in. I somehow suspected Disc Makers sent out an awful lot of these.

* His CD Release Show is Friday, July 18th at Egan’s in Ballard, you should come!

· comments [11] · 07-8-2008 · categories:mumbling ·

my fourth sweater: the B.O.B.

Look, I knit a big, wooly sweater in the middle of the summer. This is the B.O.B., Button On Blanket. (Also at Ravelry.) It’s a large and cuddly sweater created with the sole purpose of keeping the wearer warm. The pattern was written by Jackie of Yarnish, and it’s a free PDF download from this page, you can also find the pattern here at Ravelry (if you have already joined). I really like this pattern, it simple yet interesting, and so fast that it might be a good one to keep around for the next time a family member begs you to knit them a sweater.

Here are the various links:

the pattern at Yarnish

the B.O.B. page with pattern download at Ravelry

Jackie’s project page at Ravelry

my project page at Ravelry

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· comments [8] · 07-8-2008 · categories:knitting ·

links: craft

Congratulations to Alicia! She (and we) finally get to see the cover of her book!

Spoonflower, in beta, allows you to upload your designs and have them printed on fabric. This is very, very exciting. You can sign up to get an invitation. Via Readymade.

cardiganizing the raglan pullover at Flint Knits. This is for the Wicked sweater from Zephyr Style. I think I want to make one of these.

sewing room ergonomics at Lemon Tree Tales, via

looking for a good scarf pattern at Ask Metafilter. I think that if you choose the yarn carefully the one drop scarf that is suggested in that thread is fabulous.

the Lars hat at Streets and YOs. As she mentions, I wish the Panda yarn didn’t look worn so quickly.

· comments [4] · 07-8-2008 · categories:craft · sewing · discount, and new mini RuMe bags is now carrying miniature RuMe shopping bags. These are just like the original size but shrunk down to a size just large enough to hold a magazine. The picture above shows the mini RuMe next to the full sized RuMe. They come in the same patterns and colors as the originals, including the solid basic black and gray in the Silicon Valley series that is guy-approved, at least by the one I live with. He likes the black and gray patterns as well. The Spring in New York series has the colorful pink, blue and green, including the pink-and-orange 5th Avenue pattern I find so cheerful.

I have a mini Rume bag and like it a lot, it was perfect to pull out during a trip to a yarn shop, a good size for the library and when I went to the store to get just some yogurt and strawberries.

To celebrate these new bags the nice people at Delight are giving Not Martha readers 20% off when you use the code RuMeMiniLove (case sensitive) through July 31st on your order. Thanks Delight!

· comments [7] · 07-7-2008 · categories:shopping ·

my move to new hosting, thrillingly easy

Hi, hello. I’ve moved this site to new hosting, and except for that bit where my Technical Advisor was too busy practicing with his band* to help me out a few days earlier, it was nicely painless. I’m very happy in my new home at Media Temple, and a huge thanks to Susie at Boygirlparty for the emphatic recommendation.

A few things are looking wonky around here as a result of upgrading to the latest version of WordPress during the move, and I have plans to makes some small changes while we’re at it. But mostly we can all carry on.

* Scott’s having a “Damn, I Should’ve Had A CD Release Party” party at Egan’s in Ballard (here in Seattle) on Friday, July 18th. You should come!

While I was away I made popsicles and cut some lavender:

· comments [20] · 07-3-2008 · categories:mumbling ·