So, Google Reader is shutting down in three days. Have you left choosing a new reader until the last minute? Me too. I have some good news though, Feedly has been hustling and is now browser based and easy as pie to sign up for. Yay for procrastination. Feedly is becoming the hub for a bunch of other services too, you can read all about it right here.
Back up your Google Reader feeds. Go to the Google Reader homepage and click on the gear in the upper right hand corner of the screen and choose “Reader Settings”. You go to a page with tabs, click in Import/Export. At the bottom you’ll see “Expoert your data – Download your data through Takeout”. Click on that, it’ll take you to a new page. Wait for it to load and then click on the red “create archive” button. Download and you’re done, high five.
You won’t need this archive to migrate to Feedly, but you will want to have it. For posterity. Or in case you decide to use a different RSS reader.
Go to Feedly. If you’re like me and you have not signed up for Feedly yet you’ll see a page with the option for “One-click Google Reader Import”. Click on that, sign into your Google account, accept those terms and that’s it. You’re all finished. Sweet.
I don’t use Google Reader to bookmark and save my favorite posts. (I put them here on this site, a habit I started pre-RSS. Gasp this site is old.) But I will note that Feedly also imported the few things I did mark as favorites inside of Google Reader, so you won’t lose those bookmarks.
Digg is also racing to be the Google Reader alternative, see this article at Wired: Inside Digg’s Race to Build the New Google Reader. I’m curious to see how that will work out.
Update: Also see this guide to the best readers by GigaOM, and a tool to help you get all your data out of Reader from somebody who used to work on Reader, the reader_archive tool. Both via Waxy.
Another update: The equally easy to use Digg Reader is available now. Also, Anna at Door Sixteen also likes Bloglovin’.
What Google Reader alternative have you adopted? Do you use a reader? Or do you look for blog updates on Twitter and Facebook instead?
· comments  · 06-27-2013 · categories:technology ·
I accidentally bought this jar of caramel sauce. I mean, I did set out to buy caramel sauce but I accidentally bought the vegan version. (I’m sure I don’t need to tell you but just in case I’ll point out that I am not a vegan.)
It turns out that it was a wonderful mistake because this is made with coconut milk and when poured over vanilla or chocolate ice cream the combination of flavors closely approximates the anticipation/love/scarcity I feel when eating a Girl Scout Samoa cookie. I will need to file this away for the “Girl-Scout-Cookie-!” mental alert that my brain gives me about three months too early each year.
· comments  · 06-25-2013 · categories:food ·
DIY // Waterproof paper coasters (and other paper pretties). The Dimensional Magic she uses here is a new to me product but looks handy, and easy to use.
DIY Giant Crepe Paper Roses | Studio DIY. These are supersized but don’t lose any of their sweetness.
Gold Leaf iPhone Cases DIY at Oh Happy Day. Love these.
A Round Up of Knitting Tutorials at Juniper Moon Fiber Farm. There is a flat seaming tutorial in there that I’d like to learn, my own seams in handknitting are bulky and they make me sad.
DIY // Upcycle any bag with leather straps. What a simple and impressive touch.
· comments  · 06-18-2013 · categories:craft · links ·
Today I’m speaking at School House Craft’s Blogger’s Summer Camp and I wanted to let you know about their larger conference that is coming up this fall. It’s the 4th annual Fall School House Craft Conference for creative entrepreneurs and this year it will be Sept. 14th and 15th. It’s for anybody who wants to know how to grow their creative business. The ladies who put this on are behind the biggest craft fair in Seattle and all have long running businesses of their own so they know what they are talking about and how to help you. They are also really great people. If this sounds like it’s for you early bird tickets are already on sale.
· comments  · 06-14-2013 · categories:craft · events ·
How To Use Feedly | whoorl.
3D-printable food? NASA wants a taste | Ars Technica. When can they print sushi?
The NewsBlur Redesign – The NewsBlur Blog. This is good news, it seems like NewsBlur was everybody’s choice to replace Google Reader but nobody seemed to be pleased about the way it used to look.
Self-Hosted Alternatives to Google Reader (and how to export your RSS feeds) – DarrenWasHere. A good round up of readers by web, desktop, and even those you install of your own server if you rent hosting space. Via Scott Andrew.
· comments  · 06-13-2013 · categories:links · technology ·
· comments  · 06-11-2013 · categories:food · links ·
The very first time I wore these sandals Scott and I played hookey on a weekday, took a long bike ride, pushed our bicycles three blocks up an impressively steep hill to get barbecue and beer (worth it!) and biked all the way back home. Never once did I notice my sandals, they worked like I’d spent a summer breaking them in. I have fussy old lady feet and annoyingly tender skin so this lack of a breaking in period was amazing.
I bought these to work as a comfortable, functional sandal that doesn’t look too sporty. (At least not here in Seattle where we tend to look like we’re just coming back from a Class 2 hike and/or a shopping spree at REI.) I’ve been surprised at the number of times women stop to ask me where I got them.
The straps on top look decorative but offer distributed support so none of the areas rub or pinch. The sole of these shoes is all business with lightweight and very flexible rubber, you can bend your foot all the way to stand on tippy toe without the shoe giving any trouble. The straps around the ankle aren’t so high that they hit underneath my ankle and they are adjustable with velcro, this is a rare exception to my zero-Velcro tolerance.
There are a few versions of the Kayenta. I have the Kayenta Suede and the Kaytenta Studded. The suede version will probably stand up to getting wet but not soaked. It’s a nice black all over look and the logo is subtle, the sole is lined in suede. The studded version has dark gray rubber soles and the pattern in the straps is actually metallic gold, something that doesn’t come across in the pictures online. The Kayenta and Kaytenta Studded have fabric straps lined with leather. Both the Suede and Studded versions are equally comfortable to me, though I did buy one pair at size 7 and the other at size 7.5 so it’s worth trying a few sizes to be sure. As you can tell I’m really really happy with these and recommend them if you’re looking for an everyday summer sandal that you can walk (and bike) miles in.
· comments  · 06-6-2013 · categories:shopping ·
My superpower is being able to find four-leaf clovers. It’s not very handy but, hey, the luck might rub off. This patch was one I spotted next to a sidewalk last month and it was so full of perfect four and five-leaf clovers I couldn’t bring myself to actually pick any.
Staring at that patch I realized that I still didn’t know if four-leaf clovers are caused by mutation or a recessive gene and looking at the Wikipedia article on four-leaf clovers it appears that the answer is that science doesn’t really know either, that it’s sort of both. Some points about clover that I particularly liked from that entry:
- Each leaf is believed to represent something: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.
- Clovers can have more than four leaves: the most ever recorded is 56, discovered by Shigeo Obara of Morioka, Japan, on May 12, 2009. (Editor’s note: daaamn.) There is a photograph.
- A five-leaf clover is known as a rose clover. That is so lovely.
- There are reports of farms in the US which specialize in four-leaf clovers, producing as many as 10,000 a day by feeding a secret, genetically engineered ingredient to the plants to encourage the aberration. (Are GMO four-leaf clovers still lucky? I think not darling.)
By the way, I find that early Summer and early Autumn are the best times to look for four-leaf clovers. They appear most in clover beds that have been undisturbed for a while (meaning: nobody has cut the grass in a while). My favorite place to look for clovers is in farm fields while walking through a pumpkin patch. The biggest and most perfect four-leaf clovers I’ve ever seen were in a fallow patch of a community garden. Go forth and stare intently at the ground. And good luck.
· comments  · 06-4-2013 · categories:misc ·
I have a ticket to Blogger’s Summer Camp to give away! This is an event put on by Schoolhouse Craft (who are also some of the hardworking people behind the Urban Craft Uprising here in Seattle).
Summer Camp is on Friday, June 14th and it’s held here in Seattle at the Mount Baker Community center. I’m really happy to be speaking on one of the panels. Go read more about it. If you’d like to win simply leave a comment on this post. If you’re already attending or buy a ticket between now and when the winner is announced your ticket price will be refunded. I’ll be closing comments and picking a winner at noon on Tuesday, June 4th. The fine print applies. Good luck!
· comments  · 05-30-2013 · categories:events · seattle ·
Cool Tools – New Complete Guide to Sewing. Cool Tools mentions that this is the book Tim Gunn recommends, and I’ll add that when I entered college to study costume design this was the book I was required to bring with me. I have the version with the 1970s patterns in the back though!
I’m trying to come up with some quirky actions that a survivalist or adventurer might do in the wilderness, actions which might seem odd or random to the uninformed but are actually useful, clever or at least have a specific function which is not immediately obvious. Once you know WHY someone is doing it, you realize it isn’t nutty at all. What are some other examples? | Ask MetaFilter. I feel like I need to read some of these recommendations.
The Fake Townhouses hiding Mystery Underground Portals | Messy Nessy Chic. Fascinating! Via Making It Lovely.
Your Favorite Interview-Format Podcasts? | Ask MetaFilter.
Legends Never Die by Caroline Rothstein. “Two decades after a low-budget film turned Washington Square skaters into international celebrities, the kids from “Kids” struggle with lost lives, distant friendships, and the fine art of growing up.”
GeoGuessr, at Kottke. You’re given five random locations from Google Street View and you have two guess. My best score so far is 10K. Really fun.
Peter Murphy at Webster Hall + concert-going tips. | Door Sixteen. Anna knows how to prepare and engage with the artist at a concert, take note.
Hit me with some joyful, hopey songs that are less “everything is going to be all right” than “the bad shit is over — everything is all right!” | Ask MetaFilter.
· comments  · 05-28-2013 · categories:links · misc ·
I’d had a crush on Scarfshop scarves for a while. They are on blogs a lot but it wasn’t until I got to see Ugly Green Chair‘s growing collection that I ordered my first one. Very shortly followed by two more. They are a crinkly cotton that manages to be soft and lofty and warm all at the same time. They are hand dyed in small batches and in addition to the 20 regular colors there is monthly special color. I have Fog, Eggplant and Teal in the Giant size which is long enough to wrap around my neck twice, or once if I want it to drape dramatically. I love them more than seems entirely reasonable.
· comments  · 05-22-2013 · categories:shopping ·
Disney World for foodies: 11 must-try dishes | Mamifesto. Sushi while bowling!
Where to Take a Date for Cocktails in Portland, OR | Serious Eats: Drinks.
San Francisco Treats « bakerella.com. A great tour of where to go and what to eat in SF. Once again, I’m heartbroken that the Ferry Building was under renovation when I was working only a few blocks away.
The Lost Valley of London | London as You’ve Never Seen Before… A site dedicated to finding the delightful and lesser known things in London. Via The Everywhereist.
· comments  · 05-21-2013 · categories:links · travel ·
I Fell for a Shameless Hussy | Serious Eats: Drinks. I normally stay away from wines with labels that shout like this, but these tasting notes will make me seek this one out.
Bake the Book: Raspberry Doughnuts with Vanilla Dipping Sauce | Serious Eats: Sweets. “It took her dozens of attempts to develop a method that, according to her, works every time.” This is something I’ll be learning very soon.
Lately I crave very tasty vegetable and grain salads from very pricey cafes. Can any cookbooks or blogs teach me to cook something similar? | Ask MetaFilter. I love the number of times 101 Cookbooks and Orangette are recommended here.
Spicy Black Bean Dip Recipe | Savory Sweet Life – Easy Recipes from an Everyday Home Cook.
How to Decipher the Beer List at Your Local Craft Beer Bar | Serious Eats: Drinks.
App Release: Unique Eats of the Northwest | The GastroGnome. The person who created this app just happens to be a friends of mine so I can say that this lady knows her restaurants. It covers Oregon, Washington and British Columbia and is perfect for food loving road trippers.
· comments  · 05-15-2013 · categories:food · links ·
Last year when I was attending Camp Mighty I won a grant from Go Mighty and Bing for one item on my Life List. They chose my goal of “throwing a dinner party for eight people”. I was excited to win but there was a problem. It was actually a big record scratch moment. You see, the dinner party on my list was more of an aspirational thing. My house isn’t large enough to hold that many people in the same room. My goal was really something more like: “move to a larger house and then hold a big dinner party for all the people I love”. Obviously Go Mighty wasn’t going to be giving me a bigger house, so I had to improvise.
I was making plans in the depths of winter here in the Pacific Northwest where it’s drizzly and cold for weeks on end so an outdoor party wasn’t an option. (Though I wish it had been, I really admire the outdoor dinner parties that Jordan Ferney throws.)
I rented the back room of a restaurant, Via Tribunali, here in Seattle. I was familiar with that room since I’d attended a party there before. I was all nervous about renting it, it seemed like a big deal to me. But the restaurant was responsive and even asked if there was anything they could do to make the occasion more special. Which in fact there was! More on this later.
Next was the guest list. I was sitting down with a friend talking this over when we ran into somebody we both know from different places so I took it as an auspicious sign and grew the guest list out from there. I gathered people I know who know somebody else at the party but for a different reason. (I was trying to overlap some circles and in the end it appeared to work out really well.) I checked some dates and chose the one everybody was free, which was April 1st.
So I had a location, a guest list and a date. But how to make this something more than just meeting at a restaurant? I needed a theme. Since it was going to be April Fool’s Day I took a distant memory of Miracle Fruit parties which were happening here in Seattle about five years ago. Miracle fruit, in case you’re not already acquainted with it, makes your tongue perceive sour flavors as sweet for a short period of time. It’s a kind of trick and it involves food. Perfect for April Fool’s Day. And it turned out that nobody else at the party had tried it before so it was a new experience for all of us. I decided dessert would be a spread of various sour foods to sample. (I ordered the mberry tablets right from Amazon, they came with a list of foods they suggest you try which was really helpful.)
I took some advice that Maggie Mason gave way back and put some time into the invitations. (I was a delighted recipient of the ones shown here and it was very memorable.) Good invitations set a tone, get people excited and make everybody feel especially welcome. At least I hoped.
When I was a kid I remember getting Transformers toys packaged in a box that had a squiggly red square on the side. Inside the box was a piece of transparent red gel paper that you held over the squiggles to reveal a code. It was nearly more exciting than the toy itself. I mean, it revealed a secret code. It was awesome. I decided to use this as part of the invitation.
I’m not the only one that feels this way and I found on the Martha Stewart website a printable squiggly line overlay for you to use, along with instructions, here. I was too late to order the red premade cellophane decoders so I had to create my own. I used a red gel meant for lighting which I found at a party supply store. I found some premade cardstock labels, cut windows out of the center and sandwiched my red decoder gel in the middle. Simple. After that all I had to do was find a font I liked. The only word that needed to be revealed was “sweet”, because I didn’t want to make the invite too mysterious. Everybody liked the invitations, and everybody was thrilled to get a piece of real mail. This made me awfully happy. (A similar idea that I’m also smitten with is shown here, instructions are half way down that page. By the way, the decoder I made works when you view the image on that site. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Secret decoder website messages!)
Meanwhile the restaurant asked if there was anything they could do to make the dinner party extra special, and mentioned creating a custom cocktail in particular. I explained about the miracle berries, made sure it would be ok for me to bring a variety of sour foods that we’d sample during the dessert portion of the evening and asked if they would make an extra sour cocktail for us. And they made us three. One was a take on the Jasmine and involved fresh lemon juice and Aperol, one was lime juice and tequila based, and the last was the restaurant’s own coffee cocktail. I was incredibly pleased that they put so much thought into making our evening special. Thanks!
The evening of the dinner party arrived quickly and I didn’t have time to stress over it nearly as much as I thought I would. The room was dark in a delightful way, but it was horrible for photographs so please forgive my lack of them.
We chatted over dinner and ordered a huge bottle of wine, which was great fun to pass around, I’m afraid I completely failed to capture the scale in the picture above. Jameson picked out the wine, if at all possible I recommend you have a wine writer at your dinner party. He was awesome and gave me this tidbit about the wine:
Nothing says “dinner party” like a large bottle of wine on the table. Why settle for a puny, standard 750ml bottle when you can impress your guests with a big 1.5L bottle? And the 2009 Vietti Perbacco was a pizza-pleasing Italian gem. Hailing from Northern Italy’s Piedmont region, it’s made from the Nebbiolo grape. This is the same grape that makes the area’s most famous wine: Barolo. And the Perbacco is pretty much a Barolo in everything but name. But while Barolos need to spend a bit of time in the cellar before they can strut their stuff, the Perbacco has more of a “drink now” style that’s perfect for a dinner party with friends and lots of pizza.
Bonus: In the local dialect of Piedmont, “Perbacco” roughly translates to “Oh my God!” Luca Currado of Vietti explained that what his mother said the first time she tried this wine. (Thanks to Carrie at Dalla Terra for this bit of information.) We had a similar reaction at our table: “Oh my God, this wine is fantastic with pizza!”
After dinner was cleared we started in on the Miracle Berry experience. I had bought the tablets, which you allow to dissolve in your mouth for a few minutes. Then we sampled lemon and lime slices, vinegar potato chips, tiny lime tarts, cornichons and balsamic vinegar. All while the restaurant brought us three courses of the sour cocktails. Consensus was that lime slices were amazing, the vinegary things were interesting but not pleasant, the drinks were great. But it was the lime slices everybody went back for.
This is what I learned: Friends are amazing and want to celebrate with you, and if you don’t have room to fit them inside your house they won’t mind a bit. An invitation sent through the mail will make everybody feel welcome and excited. I’m not going to hesitate for a second to hold another party, renting space in a restaurant is far less expensive than a new mortgage and is entirely worth it.
It was a really fun evening and it made me eager to be able to hold more gatherings in the future. Thank you Go Mighty and thank you Bing for helping me to find that entertaining a large group outside of one’s home isn’t complicated or scary. I also want to offer a huge thanks to my guests, a girl couldn’t ask for better friends. Here are what they are up to: Kyle is the man behind the nerd rock band Kirby Krackle and the future (soon!) Charging Hippo Brewing. Maggi and Jeff are currently selling their very excellent house. Jameson has a wine blog and podcast called Wine Without Worry. Lucia works hard at our local PBS station (and is our in on when Downton Abbey is coming back) and wants you to know you can now get PBS on your Roku. And Scott is my husband and haver of many projects including the band Kin to Stars, now with drums, who are getting ready for a show at Folk Life this summer.
Disclosure bits: The Life List grant gifted by Bing covered the cost of the meal. I was not paid to put up this post. All opinions are my own. Pinky swear.
· comments  · 05-14-2013 · categories:misc ·
100 Websites You Should Know and Use | TED Blog. Via The Morning News.
TIGSource » Preview: Hiversaires. A very pretty looking game that I’m looking forward to, for iOS.
What I’m Using Instead of Google Reader | Slog. He lands on a paid option called NewsBlur, I’ll have to check this out.
Podcast recommendations | Ask MetaFilter. Lots of great long, conversational podcast recommendations here.
swissmiss | iFontMaker. “iFontMaker is an iPad font editor allowing you to create typefaces with the iPad touch interface in a matter of minutes.” Neato.
15 DIY Gadgets You Can Make with Raspberry Pi | Brit + Co..
· comments  · 05-7-2013 · categories:links · technology ·