This is The Bust DIY Guide to Life and I desperately wish I had this book when I was around high school age. They’ve collected things from the magazine and included a whole bunch of new stuff on everything from decorating to beauty to savings and lay it all out in clear way that makes me feel like I could take on the world. The book is thick, over 360 pages, and is like a nice heavy textbook. I appreciate that the projects include real life needs like how to lower the front of a waistband of an a-line skirt and how to cut your bangs so that you won’t regret it. There is information on sewing, cooking, gardening, financing a small business and even a nude paint-by-numbers. Debbie and Laurie, I love the book!
· comments  · 12-15-2011 · categories:books ·
Marie of the fabulous site Make and Takes recently came out with her first book (yay Marie!) called Make and Takes for Kids. It covers 50 weeks of seasonal projects easy enough for kids, and you too, to take on. Each is clearly explained and photographed and they all have a bit of cleverness that makes me want to make them myself. This would make a great gift for any crafty family and would give them a year full of activities while reflecting on holidays and seasons. If you’d like to read more about it go visit the Make and Takes for Kids book page.
· comments  · 12-12-2011 · categories:books ·
Are you near Portland (the one in Oregon) next weekend? I highly recommend heading to The Portland Bazaar. It’s filled with excellent handmade goods from makers curated by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge. The sneak peaks are enough to make me weak in the knees. And I hear that West Elm is serving breakfast to the first 100 people in the doors, nice. There are also DIY classes, book signings and demos including chocolate tasting and terrarium making. If I didn’t have something to be at up here in Seattle I’d be making my way to Portland to join you lucky things.
· comments  · 12-8-2011 · categories:shopping ·
I got a copy of The Colette Sewing Handbook by Sarai Mitnick and I think I swooned a little. I’ve been a fan of Colette Patterns and her tutorials for a long time. The book contains five principles (a thoughtful plan, a precise pattern, a fantastic fit, a beautiful fabric, and a fine finish) and five patterns (a scalloped-hem skirt, flutter-sleeve blouse, sweetheart neck sheath dress, asymmetrical flounce dress, and a lined dress with gathered sleeves). Each section of the book takes you through creating each garment, teaching you techniques as you work.
The book has my favorite spiral binding so it will stay open while you work, as well as a set of patterns in the back.
The book takes you through the basics, showing tools and techniques very clearly explaining the benefits and uses for each kind.
Each section of the book uses one of the patterns in the back and acts as a complete lesson in sewing a garment from start to finish. This is how I learn, I need a real project to work all the way through, so I adored how this book was arranged. You build your knowledge with each project.
She gives very basic and practical tips so you don’t have to struggle. Every step is clearly displayed and explained.
And of course all the items in the book are things you definitely want to wear. Easy enough to take on, with just enough clean detail to be super cool. Just look at this top, gorgeous. If you want to learn to sew your own clothes and need a set of lessons to start you off this book is perfect.
· comments  · 11-28-2011 · categories:books · sewing ·
update: Well that was fast. I’m all sold out of Dahlia pins for the moment. Thanks so much to everybody who is helping me raise money!
In less than two weeks I’m headed to Camp Mighty and part of what we’re doing is raising money for Charity:Water. I’ve decided to stick with something I know and sell a few of the Dahlia pins which I wrote a tutorial for a few years ago.
These were originally created to be a Mother’s Day gift but I think they’d work equally well as a Christmas gift or perhaps as a hostess gift for Thanksgiving.
Want one? I do hope so! Please visit my Etsy shop called clove+clover for Dahlia Pins in many colors. I have red, dark red, plum, pink, bright pink, yellow, lavender, light gray and dark gray. These are made from my favorite all-wool felt which is lovely, thick and does not have any of the shine that most craft felts display. I have a limited supply of felt, but I’ll be re-listing colors that I still have in stock.
Each pin will also have the secret pocket in the back where you can store a small photograph or message. I’ll be adding more specific photographs to the Etsy listings as they are created. Go visit clove+clover if you’d like one, and thanks.
Here is what some of our other members are doing to raise money for Charity:Water:
I’ll update with more as our team continues to roll out awesome fundraising ideas. If you’d like to read more about Charity:Water and what we’re all up to please see the excellent post at Just a Titch. Thanks to you all!
· comments  · 11-1-2011 · categories:shopping ·
Guess what? I get to interview Jack Bishop tomorrow! You know, from Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen:
He’s in town talking about the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook, 2,000 Recipes from 20 Years of America’s most Trusted Food Magazine. I’m totally geeking out over this. So, do you have any you’ve always wanted to know? I’m your girl. Post questions here and I’ll bring back answers.
· comments  · 10-25-2011 · categories:books · food ·
I’m petite and struggle to find jeans I like. It seemed like I had a stretch of (long) years there where I just couldn’t find any that fit correctly. (Does everybody in the world have skinny thighs except for me?) But! I’ve recently found two kinds that make me very happy, it’s a high/low situation here:
The first are Joe’s Provocateur in a bootcut fit, I believe the pair I bought were petite. (Updated to add: I’ve just learned Provocateur are always petite. Thanks SR!) I found them at Nordstrom, $172. Now, I don’t normally spend that much on a single piece of clothing but these have been so very perfect to dress up or down that I find it was very worth it. These are bootcut with a high enough rise to eliminate the worst of the muffin top effect without making them feel like Mom Jeans. They are a nice dark blue without any fading or whiskering and a tidy fold ironed into the center front and back of the leg (which will fall out after a few washes if you’d rather not have it).
The second are Old Navy jeans in Sweetheart petite fit, again bootleg. I bought these on sale ($17.50!) but it looks like they are regularly closer to $30. The rise is similarly high but-not-too-high and the darkest wash isn’t too faded or treated looking. I think I might need backup pairs of both styles.
· comments  · 10-21-2011 · categories:shopping ·
Today I’m happy to be a stop on the blog book tour for CakeSpy‘s new book: CakeSpyPresents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life. Yay Jessie! I live in Seattle and feel very lucky to know Jessie and see how she has grown her business into a real life shop how she manages to spread bits of joy wherever she goes. The book is filled with her sometimes silly and always awesome baked goods reflect her certain style. Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict? S’moreos? Cupcake stuffed cupcakes? Deep-fried cupcakes on a stick? All these wonders can be found inside along with her illustrations. It’s more awesome in one place than you could hope for.
· comments  · 10-17-2011 · categories:books · food ·
I’m so happy to let you know that my friend Kelly Wilkinson, Make Grow Gather has a new book out! Congratulations! It’s called Weekend Handmade it’s it’s full of useful and fun projects. Congratulations Kelly! And with her book tour stop here today she is sharing some thoughts on Saturday afternoons, enjoy:
Hi everyone! I’m so thrilled to be here at with Not Martha as part of the
blog tour for Weekend Handmade. Over the course of the tour, I¹m breaking my
ideal weekend into its different parts, and posting about each part on a
favorite blog of mine. I’ve been lucky enough to spend a leisurely weekend
afternoon with Megan so it only feels natural to be here for the tour
An ideal Saturday afternoon for me is equal parts action and leisure. And
nothing embodies that more than being in the garden. There are plenty of
weekends that require errands or full days of work, but if I can being
completely indulgent and moving at my own pace, you¹ll find me in our little
vegetable patch in the fresh air, with dirt under my fingernails, planting
or weeding or harvesting.
I created a whole chapter of projects inspired by the outdoors, including
decorated planters and a tea towel apron that¹s equally at home in the
backyard as the kitchen. If I feel particularly ambitious, I¹ll even set up
some sunprint cloth to ³print² while I¹m out back. But inevitably, I get
thirsty. Megan and I both love a good shandy and I happen to think they
taste best sipped out of a big Mason jar. This requires some planning ahead
for me, because I live in a San Francisco apartment. Our garden access is
out the kitchen door, down two flights of stairs, and through a little
alley. My husband and I like to mix half ginger ale (or lemonade), half
beer, and a lot of freshly-squeezed lime while we¹re up in the kitchen, and
bring it downstairs. But if you like me don¹t regularly keep lemonade or
ginger ale, here¹s a quick little trick so you¹re never without shandy
Squeeze 1-2 lemons or limes into a Mason jar
Add a couple tablespoons of sugar, fill halfway with water, screw the lid
closed and shake to dissolve the sugar. Open back up, fill the rest of the
way with beer and you have yourself a homemade shady!
Photo credit: Photos by Thayer Allyson Gowdy.
· comments  · 10-6-2011 · categories:books · craft ·
I bought the Clarisonic Mia last spring after reading about it on a few sites of people I trust. I read the hype from the company (your pores will be smaller! your wrinkles will be fewer! you will glow from within!) but I didn’t really believe it. I’ve been using it all summer and last week I realized that despite faithfully applying SPF 30 I’ve had way fewer breakouts than I normally would. In fact I’ve stopped worrying that I’m going to get an inconvenient pimple (is there any other kind?) before an event where I need to look halfway decent. Which is so, so nice.
I have noticed that my pores seem less horrible than they used to. I think this is the result of a consistent cleaning routine rather than the Mia working magic. But that consistency turns out to be what I needed. I never skip thoroughly washing my face because it’s convenient and quick and right within reach (no more running out of fresh wash cloths). It did seem like a lot of money to plunk down for an oversized toothbrush but I’m hereby declaring it worth it.
I briefly looked at the larger model, the Clarisonic Plus, because it can also be used as a body brush (it holds larger body brushes as well as the smaller face brushes). But I read reviews that the larger one is bulky enough that it is awkward to use on your face. I also considered the Clarisonic Classic, which is as small as the Mia but has two speeds. For the added cost I didn’t think I’d miss that feature. You can easily compare the models over at the Clarisonic site.
One thing I don’t like? The Mia is all smooth rounded lines, which actually makes it difficult to store in or near the shower. I could use a flat end so it could stand up, or at least a little loop so I could hang it. As it is you put it down and it sort of rocks or slides one way or the other.
It comes in a bunch of colors. Most of the colors are in the pastel range, and there are a few patterns that might be exclusive to specific retailers but I bought the basic white one. Since I bought mine they came out with a poppy red model and a fetching Kelly green color that would have been my choice. My other pick is the charcoal gray. You can also buy replacement brush heads, sensitive brush heads or deep pore cleaning brush heads (which I’m going to try next). I’ve seen the Mia at Sephora, Nordstrom and Ulta stores, which all have great return policies. As I type this the basic white one is being sold on Amazon for only $105.
· comments  · 10-4-2011 · categories:beauty · shopping ·
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  · 09-30-2011 · categories:books · events ·
I want to invest in good quality lady’s undies that are not too frilly but also well made and will be comfortable. Do these exist? | Ask MetaFilter. Target stopped making my very favorite undies so I’m also searching for a new brand.
Cheap, Cheerful Flowers For Your Next Party | The Awl. How to juj grocery store flowers.
swissmiss | BuckyCubes. Cubes! I think I have just found my go-to Christmas gift.
Splurge vs steal! « Door Sixteen. The iHurst DIY kit for a make your own diamond encrusted replica human skull.
The Crazy Target Experience :: Missing Missoni. – Modern Kiddo. The Missoni stuff was so gone from my Target as well. I got there so late that they’d even taken down the displays indicating where the stuff used to be.
Cool Tools: Coby CV198 Noise Cancelling Headphones. Noise cancelling headphones are an absolute must have for air travel. Must.
The Cat Ball. I don’t have cats (allergic) but I suspect they’d get a big obsessed over this. It’s made by a local Seattlite! I’m thinking presents for your feline pets, yes?
Cool Tools: Fels-Naptha.
· comments  · 09-29-2011 · categories:links · shopping ·
As you might know the Missoni for Target stuff was briefly in stores earlier this week. I say briefly most reports it was all gone about an hour after the stores opened. Modern Kiddo has a great report from the scene, complete with a spy picture from Shutterbean showing some shopper taking four whole carts of stuff.
When I saw the Missoni line I saw something familiar. The picture above shows a skirt I bought from Erin MacLeod. I think the skirt was made from a vintage fabric and is similar enough that when I put a picture on Twitter last Thursday Natalie asked if I was sitting in the Missoni for Target pop-up shop that was going on that evening. Sadly, no, I didn’t make it to the pop-up shop.
By the time I made it to a Target the day it was released the shelves that formerly help Missoni items were bare. I encountered one other Missoni hopeful and by the time I left she’d only found one child’s sweater. So, do you think Target will do another run of the Missoni stuff? Should we all brace ourselves for round two?
· comments  · 09-15-2011 · categories: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  · 08-25-2011 · categories:links · shopping ·
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  · 08-23-2011 · categories:shopping ·