Not Martha

Project Runway HP Designer Matchup Challenge

Last year I had the opportunity to partner with HP and join in the Project Runway Challenge1 and (I can hardly believe this) they’ve asked me to join them again this year which is extra-super-exciting because it’s the 10th anniversary of Project Runway. Deep breaths everybody, we’re going to get to NYC for Fashion Week again!

This year bloggers2 were challenged to pair with designers to use HP TouchSmart computers to collaborate on a final object/product/thing that we will unveil during Fashion Week. But the kicker? We’ll need your input to shape what we’re making. It’s easy, promise, just answer the poll you’ll find below.

I asked graypants, a conceptual design studio here in Seattle, to join me and I am so excited that they said yes. I first learned about graypants a few years back when some friends and I were setting up a group for small business owners to compare notes. Not only were the very charming Seth and John there but their scraplights were lighting the bar at Vermillion where the group met. Since that time graypants has become huuuge, they’ve moved into an amazing space in an industrial section of Seattle and been recognized by all sorts of publications that I’ve barely heard of. If I’d paid closer attention I would have been way too intimidated to even ask. Seriously.

I got the chance to hang out in their studio and take photos:

Voting closed, thanks everyobdy!

1: Which, let’s face it, I wouldn’t have lasted through the first episode even though my fantastical ravings might have imagined otherwise.

2: Who else is involved? Design Milk (Jamie came up with the idea for collaborating with designers, Jamie is greatness like that), Design Crush, and CapreeK from Curbly (all three of whom I’ve had the pleasure of seeing drunk, or at least up really late, at Alt Summit) and AphroChic (whom I will shortly see drunk or up way past her bed time, her choice, it’s gonna happen).

Here is the deal: HP is giving me (Megan) and the designers (graypants) both HP TouchSmart computers and Photoshop CS6 software from Adobe to use to share ideas. They are also sending us to New York during fashion week to report back on what we’ve collaborated on. (And what gossip we might find out during the HP/Project Runway 10th Anniversary Party. We promise to share pictures.)

Thanks everybody! We’ll be back shortly with sketches and another question to help point us on our way. In the mean time let’s chat. Have you been watching Project Runway? What do you think of this season? I have to admit I’m a few episodes behind because I’ve been spending all my tv time with the Olympics. I feel a bit like I’ve been cheating.

· comments [13] · 08-15-2012 · categories:events · misc ·

Urban Craft Uprising next weekend here in Seattle

Urban Craft Uprising

Urban Craft Uprising, the DIY and crafts fair filled with awesome, is having it’s summer show next weekend. It’s July 7th and 8th from 11am to 5pm and it’s held at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. I’ll be shopping and hope to bump into you there!

· comments [2] · 06-29-2012 · categories:events · seattle · shopping ·

Altitude Design Summit wrap up

I’m back from Alt! I had intended to post while I was there but the very first morning my computer got borked (fixed now, yay!). The slideshow for our panel was all ready to go so other than feeling slightly disoriented (but my internets need the looking at!) I was fine. As usual I barely remembered to take photos, here are the ones I managed to get.

A snowstorm hit the morning we were leaving and I got to experience a plane de-icing for the first time. By the end of the trip I was more than used to it.

The second night was a Winter Wonderland Party (Diner en Blanc) where everybody dressed in white. My rommates, Meg from A Practical Wedding and Tabitha from Glitter and Ganache looked hottt. Meg is currently on her book tour (yay!) and crossing the US by Amtrack. Go see her!

Our shoes, but of course.

The last day was busy, in the morning Susan from Freshly Picked, Ez from Creature Comforts and I got to sit down and talk with Anya from Project Runway in the HP suite. We met her briefly at the crowded and busy Project Runway Reunion Party so it was great to sit and chat. Anya was amazing, she had such a great perspective on the whirlwind that is her life at the moment and what she wants to do next. Thanks HP!

HP held a contest similar to our HP Challenge from last September and look! They used the croquis that I had found.

After that was our panel, I forgot to get a photograph showing the scary, scary microphone. I was nervous but not nearly as much as last year. Thanks to everybody who attended, you all had great questions.

This is what I wore. I was unable to get a photo where I was not making a silly face.

That night was the party with Rue La La, I attempted a self portrait in front of their photobooth backdrop. Again with the silly face making, this was the least strange looking of the bunch. When the Rue La La photos are up I’ll link to them all. I had a great time making silly faces on purpose with a bunch of people. Update: The Rue La La photobooth photos are posted here, everybody looks so cute!

Tiny grilled cheese and soup was served, love!

Drunken 2 a.m. infinity mirror pick!

And guess what? It snowed as I was leaving, more de-icing and more delays but I got home without too much trouble. Which was good because in addition to tons of great swag I also brought home a cold. Urg.

I had a wonderful few days and I only wish I’d had more time to talk to everybody instead of the brief hellos in passing. Next year lovelies!

· comments [16] · 01-23-2012 · categories:events ·

I’m headed to Alt Summit to talk about how-tos and party with Rue La La

Altitude Design Summit

I’m headed to the Altitude Design Summit tomorrow and I’m so excited. I’ll be speaking again this year (yay!) on a panel called Step by Step: How to Create Great DIY Tutorials with Ez from Creature Comforts (who I also had the pleasure of going to Fashion Week with!), Marie from Make and Takes (she also happens to live in Seattle) and Timothy from Charles & Hudson. I think it’s going to be a great session and I’m going to have to talk fast because I sent in way more photos for my sections than I was supposed to. Oops.

Rue La La

I’m also so very pleased to tell you that I’ll be co-hosting one of the Mini Parties on Friday night with Rue La La and Shelley of The House of Smiths. The party theme will be a ski chalet and we’ll be offering comforting little bites and a custom cocktail amongst sparkly wintery decor. There will also be some sweet giveaways throughout the night. If you’re going to be at Alt Summit I’d love it if you came by and said hello. If you don’t already stalk Rue La La’s daily offers I will be happy to get you two acquainted. You should also come by to see me attempt to wear actual heels for the first time, I would happily bet you money that I’ll tip over at least once.

· comments [2] · 01-17-2012 · categories:events ·

Camp Mighty!

Last weekend I had the very distinct pleasure of attending Camp Mighty. Maggie Mason (Mighty Girl) and Laura Mayes (The Queso) are seriously awesome. I spent the weekend meeting new friends, chatting with old friends, discovering refreshing things and spending a lot of time in a bathing suit. I even danced. And got a massage. It was entirely unlike me.

There were boozy slushy things that changed every day.

The camp was set up so that we had plenty of time to find each other and chat and I was delighted that most everybody could be found hanging out by the pool. Even when it was raining cold, cold rain the place to be was in the steaming hot tub. It reminded me of the summer in college that I spent in a small town in Italy, there were no phones so if you needed to find people you just went to the piazza and either found them or somebody who knew what they were up to. Our weekend at the Ace was like that, but with a hot tub.

Early in the days we attended talks that made me feel like humanity was going to be OK after all.

Brian Piotrowicz who had an amazing resume and came to tell us about working on Oprah’s show and how intention drives what she and all of the people who work for the company do. I wonder what I could do if I manage to keep that in mind. I wonder what we all could do if we kept that in mind.

Evany Thomas gave a funny and engaging talk about what happens when you face things that you’re a little afraid of and embrace things that might have gone wrong and let yourself turn in a different direction when you need to. I kept this in mind when I very narrowly missed a connecting flight. It took a few hours hanging out in the airport but I learned that if you stop pouting and get to know your fellow standby passengers you might just witness game show like applause as your names get called to get on board at the last second.

Buster Benson (who also lives in Seattle!) talked about brain chemistry and habit and how to use technology to share and shape who we are. I have a few not-so-productive habits I need to be shaken out of so I was listening closely. (For the record, campers, I managed to resist the peanut butter cup and even left it behind. Meaning I’ll be enjoying that anticipation forever.)

Kenna told us the touching details about how Summit on the Summit got started and invited Maggie to climb Mount Kilimanjaro while onstage. Stay tuned, lovelies, it’s going to be fun.

Lisa Congdon talked about how she transitioned from leading a non-profit to becoming a very prolific and talented artist in the last few years. Guess what? It involves a lot of hard work and a lot of pressing forward through fear and results in a lot of reward.

Palm trees, mountains, shade, an outdoor bar and nearby pool. There was nothing missing.

The afternoons were filled with a refreshingly non-imperative collection of skill building events that included learning to saber open a bottle of champagne, throw a punch, make champagne punch, make a mix tape, meditate, make a balloon animal, have personal swim instruction, or learn to use one of those heavy duty fire extinguishers. Sadly a freak rainy day (apparently it broke a 13 year old record) meant that the champagne sabering was canceled but we still got to make punch (and later raid the champagne reserves). The non-imperativeness of everything made me motivated to attend everything I could. Oh Camp Mighty, how well you know me.

You can’t tell by this photo but The Tontons all have great hair going on.

The evenings were filled with cocktail events. Night one had us sampling wine and listening to The Tontons which Laura Mayes insisted were the band that would be discovered at SXSW next year and we would all get to say that we heard them way back. She wasn’t wrong, they are amazing.

Night two included a space themed costume party. Tang cocktails, freeze dried ice cream and a rocket created by the Ace Hotel were included. The DJ was dressed as Spock. There was a dance off. It was huge fun.

My room at the Ace had a lot of the usual things you could buy, like robes and booze. But it also had this walking stick. And some 3D glasses that were cheap. Neat.

And of course a huge part of the camp weekend was focusing on our Life Lists, 100 things we want to do in our lifetime. I’m a little wary of the woo woo factor of things like this but it somehow manages to be all around good stuff that all my trepidation was easy to shed. We shared the five things we want to focus on this upcoming year with our groups (about 25 people each) and a lot of emotion ran through the room. I kinda wanted to go around the room again. Part of sharing our things was including one thing we wanted to get help with and I swear every person in our group had an answer or a connection to get started on before we were done. It was pretty darn inspiring. And it reminded me that I need to get over my shyness and just talk to people no matter where I am. Once you get past that awkward phase there is often so much you have in common.

The tent where the talks were held had this enormous light which I wanted to bring home with me.

Know what? Camp Mighty was raising money for Charity Water and with the help of all of you (you!) that helped us (thank you!) we surpassed our goal of $20K before the camp started and made so much more while we were there that Laura managed to figure out that we helped 1,111 people on 11/11/11 before 11:11 a.m. Which is super awesome. Yay for focusing on helping others. I learned a lesson there.

The windows of the ladies locker room at the hotel included this application of window film? contact paper? that made it private and cool looking at the same time. I have a thing about window film so I snapped a picture hoping that nobody would walk in right at that moment. Which, standing in a locker room, might have been awkward.

Huge shout out to the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs and all the sponsors of Camp Mighty for creating an awesome weekend. Wow.

· comments [10] · 11-15-2011 · categories:events ·

book tour for Weekend Handmade is coming through Seattle

Weekend Handmade book party at Dry Soda in Seattle

Yay! The book tour for Kelly Wilkinson’s book Weekend Handmade is coming to Seattle on Thursday, November 17th. The party will be at Dry Soda and it’s free. I’ll be there, you should come too!

· comments [2] · 11-8-2011 · categories:events · seattle ·

Design*Sponge book tour in Seattle

Last night Grace was here in Seattle on the Design*Sponge at Home book tour and I was lucky enough to get to attend the crafting class that she’s holding as part of book tour.

Here is Grace demonstrating stamping our designs into wax. Hi Grace!

Know what we did? We wood burned our own wax seals. And then we got to practice stamping them into the hot wax.

In retrospect it seems incredibly dangerous. I mean, we were sitting in a store with wood floors that was filled with clothing and hanging paper decorations. Our tables were cluttered with exacto knives, hot pokers, matches and flammable wax. It was incredibly fun.

I managed to not accidentally set fire to myself or Melanie, whose hands you see here demonstrating how to do some wood burning. I’m very clumsy so reporting I didn’t burn Seattle to the ground comes as a great relief as well as a point of pride.

If you’re headed to one of the book tour events all I can advise is that you get there early, the line for her book signing wound through the store, down the stairs, out the front door and down the block. Congratulations Grace!

Also in the store that night was this installation by Matthew Parker. These were all hand folded geometric paper shapes and it was, there is no better way to say this, really cool. His business card says “stay rad” on it. Awesome.

· comments [9] · 09-30-2011 · categories:books · events ·

School House Craft is this weekend!

School House Craft

The School House Craft conference is this weekend! I’m lucky to be on a panel with Molly from Orangette and Blair from Wise Craft. We’re speaking on Friday on Blogging 101. Will I see you at the conference?

· comments [6] · 09-20-2011 · categories:events ·

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 ·

Urban Craft Uprising this weekend!

Urban Craft Uprising July 9th and 10th at Seattle Center

Urban Craft Uprising is this weekend here in Seattle! They are stuffed full of my favorite vendors, here are just a few:

There are so many vendors this time around that I have not heard of, and lots of them are foods (ice cream! cake pops! preserves! gluten-free treats!).

update: See which businesses I found and loved at the show.

· comments [4] · 07-8-2011 · categories:events · seattle · shopping ·

a few things

Earlier this month Product Body offered a discount code and a few people had some trouble, so she’s fixed it up and extended the deadline through the end of June. Enter NOTMARTHA15 for 15% off when you’re checking out. Valid for everything on the site except the Scrub of the Month club, use as often as you’d like.

I’ll also mention that School House Craft is still offering 20% off for any ticket combination to the conference. Enter notmartha when you buy your tickets. This will be good up until the event (in September!).

And finally there is a pretty neat thing happening here in Seattle this Thursdsay, June 16th:

Moveable Type coming to Seattle’s Central District!
June 16th, 5-8pm
at Miss Cline Press shop
2370 East Cherry (cherry & 23rd ave)

Join us for a printing party to welcome the Moveable Type national tour on its first stop in Seattle.

Moveable Type is a mobile print shop built into the back of an old delivery truck. The truck is owned by Kyle Durrie, the proprietor of Power and Light Press in Portland, Oregon. Kyle is starting a 9+ month tour across North America. The idea is to combine her two passions of traveling and printing. Now, the truck is ready and the adventure is just beginning. Her first stop in Seattle will be in the heart of Central District at Miss Cline Press shop.

During her trip, Kyle will be visiting schools, art spaces, city parks, music and arts festivals, craft shows, parties, and anywhere else that has an interest in learning about printing the old fashioned way.

Moveable Type will be setting up its mobile print shop outside Miss Cline Press on Thursday, June 16th for an evening of printing demos, studio/truck tours, and tall tales about life on the road. This event is free and open to the public, and participants can expect to get their hands dirty and make a few prints to take home with them.

A priceless opportunity! Hope to see you there.

More info and tour dates:

· comments [4] · 06-15-2011 · categories:events · mumbling · seattle · shopping ·

Bakesale for Japan tomorrow

Bakesale for Japan

It’s 11 p.m. and I’m just finishing my baked goods for the Bakesale for Japan tomorrow. I’m fond of what I made and might have to buy one for myself since I didn’t have any left over. I made Jars of Stars, lots of little star shaped cookies. (Pictures later.) It took a bit longer than I anticipated, but I think it was worth it. Here in Seattle it will be at the Cakespy shop (more details). See the Bakesale for Japan page to find if there is one being held near you.

I’ve got a few days worth of photos to put up but I’m tired and need to pack for a few days of travel, so I’ll be back on Monday and catch up then. Hope your weekend is wonderful.

· comments [4] · 04-1-2011 · categories:events ·

Bakesale for Japan

Bakesale for Japan

A nationwide Bakesale for Japan is being held and here in Seattle it will be at the Cakespy Shop. They are currently looking for “bakers, artists, volunteers, and lots and lots of customers”, if you think you can help see more details and get in touch here. See you there!

· comments [2] · 03-23-2011 · categories:events · seattle ·

daily photo: Mar. 7th

ECCC crowd

Ok, so this photo is from yesterday when we were at the Emerald City Comicon, but today didn’t have much going on and I wanted to take a moment to say how I enjoyed wandering around ECCC, and to give a shoutout to the organizers for taking the time to give me a visitors badge (my husband Scott plays bass for the awesome nerd rock band Kirby Krackle, and one half of the songwriters for Kirby Krackle is Jim Demonakos, who founded ECCC and does an awesome job of making it better each year, thus the badge). I mostly wanted to note something that The Stranger also noticed: there were a lot of girls there. I saw women of all ages, some with their daughters, all there because they love comic books. Yay!

· comments [9] · 03-7-2011 · categories:dailyphoto · events · seattle ·

daily photo: Mar. 6th

R2D2, coming over to say hi

Today we went to the Emerald City Comicon and R2D2 came over to say hi. This robot was very impressive, it chirped and whistled at us and even appeared to have Tatooine dust on it. The guy controlling it was sitting very nonchalantly off to one side and hid the controller behind a newspaper. It was really fun to watch the kids who came through go a little crazy with joy.

· comments [5] · 03-6-2011 · categories:dailyphoto · events · seattle ·