Not Martha

Fantasy Project Runway Challenge, episode 4: the one with Nina

So I have something exciting coming up, HP is flying myself and four other bloggers to New York City for Fashion Week where we’ll get to attend the taping of the Project Runway season finale! Me! There! I am freaking out over how fun this will be. And of course I’m freaking out about what to wear. And my hair. And makeup. And shoes. (Oh no I need new shoes! Oh no!!) You better believe I’m going to have my camera and a few backup cameras to capture this whole adventure.

What’s going on here? HP invited me to play along with the current season of Project Runway and sent me a TouchSmart computer to create my own designs. Along with creating designs I decided to write myself into the show. I am not doing well.

And now on to something that is rather late, my design for Project Runway episode 3! This episode’s challenge was to design an outfit for Nina Garcia that could transition from a working day into attending events in the evening. The operative words there were for Nina Garcia. You could almost smell the fear through the television screen.

Here is my design:

Here is how I think this would have gone down:

I stared blankly at the wall during the sketching period, completely without ideas. At the last moment I made a dress and jacket combo, which seems so very obvious, and took it in to talk with Nina. She was bored. (Does anybody else have Tim’s advice from so long ago echoing through your head? “Don’t bore Nina!”) At Mood I couldn’t find the fabric in the colors I wanted, a dark rich eggplant, and instead had to settle on three shades of purple. They color was even worse when I got back to the work room. When Tim and Nina came around I was frantic, I spent so long fretting I barely had any time to get anything together to show. “I don’t,” Nina said, “like it.” I spend my interview to the camera only staring straight ahead and whispering “oh no, oh no, oh no.” I didn’t have enough fabric or time to start over, so I went ahead with what I had. I simplified my jacket in order to get it done, and traded detail for good construction. I grabbed these accessories from the Piper-Lime Accessories wall and sort of threw them at my model as she was headed off to the runway:

Here is Scott’s design:

Scott chose a looser silhouette, which intrigued Nina. He chose a lovely plum silk for the pants, a similarly nice one for the top, and a heavier silk for the jacket. On the walk through the workroom Nina liked the muted colors and loved the way the silks felt, but was a bit afraid the combinations could become a bit pajama-like. Scott worked calmly, gave a balanced interview, and chose accessories well.

After the runway show Scott was in the top three and I was in the bottom three. Again. Scott was praised for the way his fabrics moved, and when came down the runway Nina gave that interested little look over the score cards. Heidi didn’t like my look at all saying “I mean, she sent a purple suit down the runway, who does that?”. Nina was bored again and while Michaels Kors decided the look wasn’t what it could have been he came to my defense to point out that it was well made and well fitted and that the skirt length was decent. (Thanks Michael Kors!) Back on the runway for judging I was told my design looked dated, but it was well made. When I tried to explain I couldn’t find the color fabrics I’d hoped to I was told I could have dyed my fabrics. (But come on, we all know that would have ended horribly! Right?)

Scott was voted the winner! And I was second to last. When the loser came into the waiting room I hugged them in that way that indicates I’m sad to see them go but I’m so, so happy it isn’t me. Yikes people! I need to get back into this game!

Ok, fantasy over. I’m seriously frightened over what the challenge for episode 5, which I’ll post tomorrow later this week in my futile attempt to catch up.

Previously: we took on episode one, the one with the bed sheets, episode two, the one with the dog toys and episode three, the one with stilts.

Just so you know: HP didn’t pay me cash money for this post or for my opinions.

· comments [18] · 08-31-2011 · categories:misc ·

We found the pit!

Last weekend Scott and I rode our bicycles, Wheatley and GLaDOS respectively, along a few trails. We do not recommend the “Green to Cedar River Trail” as it is loose gravel and very difficult to bike on and especially because it’s all uphill on the way back. Whew. But we did pass this sign. Wait, I’ll get it in more detail for you:

Pit park! We found an actual pit being turned into a park! It made the whole ride worth it.

· comments [11] · 08-30-2011 · categories:seattle ·

links: travel

Derinkuyu Underground City, Cappadocia. In Turkey. I have a fondness for caves and I bet underground cities would fascinate me. Via this question on Ask Metafilter.

Eat, Pray, Tube: Adrift on the Delaware River | The Awl. This writer’s experience mostly makes me shudder, but then I found myself charting a experience in my own state (Washington) so I could either bitch or praise the experience.

Things to do in New Mexico when you’re working? | Ask MetaFilter.

Design*Sponge guides to Harlem, Queens, and Brooklyn.

· comments [4] · 08-29-2011 · categories:links · travel ·

links: shopping

suspect and fugitive: Inigo Montoya Now Availble as a Shirt, Etc, Etc. It’s funny, you love it, now you can buy the shirt!

WHolman Design by wholman on Etsy. Bowls made from old road sights. I want to display my fruit in one of the blue arrow bowls.

Cool Tools: Kryptonite Evolution U-Lock. What to use to keep your bicycle safe.

Shopping for Men: The Stores (NOTCOT). Where do men find all those good clothes? These places.

Back to School Supplies (for Adults!) | Family Style. Great sources here.

Fallen Princess: Costco. No go. While I myself have a fondness for Costco because it’s local (Cotco #1 Kirkland holla!) I have to admit there hasn’t been many memorable Costco purchases other than my many flats of canned foods for our emergency kit.

· comments [4] · 08-25-2011 · categories:links · shopping ·

links: misc

A Simple, Recycled Textbook Cover! – The Crafts Dept. This is exactly how all of my textbooks were covered, and then I doodled all over the covers.

Nice Package: Awesome Free Printable Patterned Tag Set at Creature Comforts. These will come in very handy, and they are so sweet.

Does a strong kick-butt non-scantily clad female superhero exist? | Ask MetaFilter.

Wonderputt, a free online game on Kongregate. This is a gorgeous little Flash putt putt game. Via Waxy.

Introducing: Tales from High Mountain « Tea & Cookies. Tara’s memoirs about her years living in Japan, she is selling it as a fundraiser for the people in Japan who are still affected. It’s a PDF right now, Kindle version coming soon. A simple way you can help contribute! Thank you Tara.

· comments [3] · 08-24-2011 · categories:links · misc ·

The Commission Project

Jordan Ferney (Oh Happy Day!) has a very talented husband, Paul, who creates amazing oil paintings. Last year they took a bunch of orders for paintings at half price and this year they are doing it again! It’s called The Commission Project. It’s simple, you send a photo that you’d like as a painting by September 1st and you’ll get it back as an oil painting by Christmas. It’s the perfect present. And just think how relaxed you’ll be knowing you’ve gotten that awesome gift thing checked off your list way in advance. Go see the gallery. I love how he can pull emotions out of a photograph and amplify them in the painting.

This year Jordan asked me to contribute a photograph that could be used as an example. I sent in the photo above, and yes I know that it’s horribly blurry. Let me explain, I took this photograph using my very first digital camera while sitting in a cafe at a moment I didn’t really mean to take a photo. It was shortly after Scott and I moved all the way across the country to San Francisco and we were exploring our new city. I was holding up the camera but wasn’t expecting to take a picture when I saw this moment where the colors behind Scott seemed to compose themselves so I hit the shutter button. For me it represents that time in our lives, shaky and a little impulsive but everything worked out. I’m so glad to be able to take that moment from a decade ago off of my hard drive and give it a home on our wall. Yay!

· comments [6] · 08-23-2011 · categories:shopping ·

one picnic, three good ideas, two weird cookies

We spent a happy sunshiny day at a birthday celebration picnic on the edge of the sound this weekend. Mary and Dave Sheely are smart picnic planners. (I think it’s because they are from Ohio and Ohio people know how to picnic.) I took note of a few things.

three good ideas:

Instead of paper plates we used these smaller fast food containers, which I loved because I always manage to flip a regular sized plate over at picnics. These fit in one hand so there was no dramatic flinging of foods. At least not accidentally.

Two La Petite Ecole dark chocolate cookies used for a s’more. Delicious!

A layer of sour cream is used as an oxygen barrier for the guacamole. Brilliant. Also, sour cream!

two strange cookies:

The Triple Double Oreo. Three layers of cookie, two double-stuffed layers of white and chocolate filling. I came to the same conclusion as Serious Eats, that it tastes pretty much like an Oreo.

Keebler’s Coconut Dreams caught my eye because, hello, Samoas anybody? They definitely tasted a bit different because of the milk chocolate, but if you are really craving Girl Scout cookies in the off season these might be satisfying.

and a dog on a paddle board:

and a sunset:

· comments [18] · 08-22-2011 · categories:mumbling ·

links: food

Easy Little Bread Recipe – 101 Cookbooks. This bread looks utterly delicious, and I hope to find that book to purchase someday soon.

Imbibe Unfiltered: Drink of the Week: Boulevard Brewing White IPA. “A collaborative brew between Kansas City, Missouri’s Boulevard Brewing and Bend, Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery, this White IPA combines the former’s expertise with Belgian-style brews with the latter’s mastery of hop-assertive ales into one really tasty beer.” I’m a fan of both types of beer so I’d really really like to try this.

Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It | Food in Jars. This book looks amazing, just peeking at the table of contents I see stuff I’d love to make.

CakeSpy – Haute Chocolate: Historically Accurate Chocolate Elixirs by Kakawa Chocolate House, New Mexico.

How to Brew Coffee in a Clever Dripper | Serious Eats: Drinks.

Herb Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs Recipe – 101 Cookbooks.

· comments [4] · 08-19-2011 · categories:food · links ·

Fantasy Project Runway Challenge, episode 3: the one with stilts

a tall menswear style suit

What’s going on here? HP invited me to play along with the current season of Project Runway and sent me a TouchSmart computer to create my own designs. Along with creating designs I decided to write myself into the show. I am not doing well.

This week the challenge was to create a dramatic look to be worn while on stilts. Stilts! It was also a group challenge, so Scott and I worked together. In the fantasy Project Runway thing I have going on here he has immunity since winning last week, so I was feeling some real pressure. We came up with the look above, a dramatic suit. Or something. It was inspired by Mary Poppins:

(Image above from Disney.)

Instead of creating the orange suit you see above (which I was all for) we chose a warm gray with a touch of orange in the shirt. We were judged to be in the middle which was good enough for us. Our look was boring but well made. Our model could simply be a very, very tall girl heading to work anticipating a high pressure meeting.

We might or might not have had huge married couple screaming fights during this challenge but the audience will never know since the cameras were all over the Bert and Viktor pairing. Our model looked a little bit like Jack Skellington coming down the runway but luckily she didn’t get the pumpkin hair, whew!

Here, in pen and paper sketches, is how we actually came around to Mary Poppins:

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· comments [5] · 08-18-2011 · categories:misc ·

links: beauty

The Eyebrow Tutorial: Window Frames to the Soul | The Hairpin. (Video.)

Feather extensions leave fly fishing shops on the hook – My hairdresser was telling me abut this the other day, people who wan them for their hair will pay way more for those feathers than fishermen will. (I was not getting feather extensions, I just cannot rock that look.)

Help me, Internet: I need a new fragrance | The Working Closet. I bunch of great recommendations for light, citrusy scents. (I’m grasping my bottle of Gap Grass until it’s very last vapor disappears.)

Beauty Q&A: What to Wear, What to Wear, What to Wear, and Blackheads | The Hairpin. As I have mentioned before, I want Jane to be my sister.

· comments [9] · 08-17-2011 · categories:beauty · links ·

links: craft

Magic Braided Leather Tutorial » ISLY | I Still Love You. So that’s how it’s done.

DIY Sun Printing on Fabric. I used to make tiny sun prints when I was a kid, this larger scale is quite pretty.

Hanging succulent garden | Skinny laMinx. With a tutorial for basic macrame. Via Prudent Baby.

say YES! to hoboken: DIY: Mason Jar Sewing Kit. So cute.

· comments [4] · 08-16-2011 · categories:craft · links ·

School House Craft Conference

School House Craft

In September I’ll be speaking at School House Craft and I couldn’t be more excited. School House Craft will be three days, September 23rd, 24th and 25th, filled with classes on how to run and grow your creative business. It grew from a conference, CCE, held here in Seattle last year and that conference left me feeling very energized and inspired. If you are thinking of starting a small creative business or hoping to expand your current one I highly recommend this conference. You can find more about it, read about the teachers, classes, and join them on Facebook. Topics will span from marketing, branding, book publishing, photography. You can also have your shop reviewed to get some useful feedback.

I’ll be talking about Blogging 101 with Blair Peters, Wisecraft, and Molly Wizenberg, Orangette and I’m so flattered to be in such fantastic company. This is gonna be good. Come join us!

· comments [0] · 08-15-2011 · categories:events · seattle ·

links: misc

Red Carpet Rundown: Comic-Con, Part 1 and Part 2 | Tom & Lorenzo. Comic-Con has a red carpet?

Fair relationship fighting. What are your rules to keep relationship fights fair and above-the-belt? | Ask MetaFilter. These are good to keep in mind.


Cool Tools: ResQMe. A keychain tool made to slice seatbelt webbing and break a car window in case you need to escape a car. No more jokes about not being able to reach you glass breaking tool in the glove compartment.

Black*Eiffel: Speaking Digitally : Personal Finance + YNAB. This personal finance software might work for me, I’m no good keeping track of things.

Urban Bee Store at GirlHacker’s Random Log. About the only retail bee keepers store, in SF. And in Seattle: “Ballard Bee Company will install active beehives on your property for the spring through summer seasons… The company also keeps bees for commercial clients such as the Fairmont Olympic Hotel where the hives sit on the roof and the honey goes into the restaurant’s menu.” The Fairmont might win me back to visit for high tea after all.

· comments [5] · 08-12-2011 · categories:links · misc ·

Mastica gelato at Fainting Goat

The other week I tried Mastica gelato at Fainting Goat here in Seattle. Mastica is, according to the menu, a tree resin from the Greek Aisle Kronos, and according to the Greek friend I happened to be there with it’s a traditional flavor. I expected it to taste like juniper or pine, or maybe to taste the way that pad of resin smells when a violinist resins their bow. But it wasn’t like any of those things. It was delicate and herbal and not too sweet. Sort of refreshing, very interesting. I’m so glad I didn’t go with the chocolate I had been thinking about on the way in.

· comments [21] · 08-11-2011 · categories:food · seattle ·

links: shopping

Giant Washi Tape at Design Mom. So many possibilities!

Unique Geological Papercuts by Crafterall | Paper Crave. These are gorgeous.

There is a relatively new fancy technology in eyeglass lenses: free form lenses for single vision, which some manufacturers are calling “like HDTV” for glasses. Really? Will I notice that much difference with MY prescription? | Ask MetaFilter. I had no idea these existed. I don’t wear glasses much any more, but I might if I felt like I could see more clearly out of them.

swissmiss | Desk-It. A paper to-do list that is as simple as Swiss Miss’s TeuxDeux. I need this, I still only remember things if I’ve written them down on paper.

Keep Our Secrets is a children’s book printed by McSweeneys that uses heat sensitive ink that will reveal secrets as you touch it. I love this! Their children’s imprint is called McSweeney’s McMullens.

· comments [8] · 08-9-2011 · categories:links · shopping ·