Not Martha

urban craft uprising

The Urban Craft Uprising is this Saturday and Sunday in Seattle, see here for more details. If you’re headed to it here are some things to look out for:

At 2:30 pm on Saturday there will be a fashion show.

Look for the sparkly goods of Glamscience, I especially like the new glitter dot pendants and rings. Also, the cards and knitting and crochet related gift enclosures are a good thing to stock up on. Also, she might have some hand spun yarn.

Not to miss is the culinary and dental goodness of Sew Dorky, maker of felt donuts and teeth. If you’d rather have something which will fit nicely on your wall, consider a donut portrait.

All the way from Portland is Monsieur T., maker of too cool t-shirts and the PDX Super Craft girls, makers of many fine things.

Also, be sure to stop by the Craft magazine table and meet the swoony Natalie Zee and Bre Pettis.

· comments [3] · 11-30-2006 · categories:craft · events · seattle · shopping ·


Grog’s Animated Guide to Knots, in college I was tested on the bowline and clove hitch. via Dethroner.

· comments [0] · 11-30-2006 · categories:links ·


It’s very cold here so Oatmeal Dinner (at Posie Gets Cozy) looks incredibly appealing. I love steel cut oats and usually eat them plain with a few dried cranberries, so the idea of toasting the grains in butter before simmering them seems very decadent.

Megnut’s post Thanksgiving pie report and she declares this recipe by Karen Barker the best pie crust recipe ever, I must try it. I’m glad Meg reported that she didn’t use a food processor to make the dough, I don’t have one and will be making it by hand as well.

· comments [1] · 11-30-2006 · categories:food · recipes ·

coffee vs. no coffee

First new rule in my house: When doing the dishes one shall not hide the coffee making implement on the drying rack underneath heavy breakable dishes. One shall perch the coffee making implement on top of the pile of drying dishes so as to smooth the morning path from no coffee to coffee.

Second new rule in my house: One shall never let the coffee filters run out.

It has been a frustrating morning.

· comments [1] · 11-29-2006 · categories:mumbling ·

modern etiquette, like regular etiquette, eludes me

Yesterday Kottke linked to this article on the NYTimes which talks about how people sign off emails, with “best” being generally regarded as a brush off. I’m horrified, I use it all the time and certainly not as a brush off. I find “sincerely” too formal, and “warmest regards” seems awkward for me so, maybe I’ll use “best wishes” for a while? Or “regards”?

· comments [9] · 11-29-2006 · categories:misc ·

collision report

NPR is running a craft contest and they are having people show of thier work on Flickr? These are my separate worlds colliding:

“My name is Melody Kramer and I am a web producer at National Public Radio. This month, we are producing a ‘do-it-yourself’ holiday feature and asking our readers to send in pictures of their homemade menorahs and Christmas ornaments. We will feature the best on our Web site, The winner in each category will receive a prize from the NPR gift shop. We are especially looking for quirky, funny and/or offbeat designs, and/or designs that mention news items from 2006.

For example:
*A Mel Gibson menorah
*A global warming Christmas ornament
*A red state /blue state ornament

We’d like to ask our readers to post the pictures on with the tag word: NPRHOLIDAYCONTEST. We will feature the best designs in the coming weeks, and also link to individual websites, if the designs are selected.”

· comments [0] · 11-29-2006 · categories:craft ·

thing I want

This restaurant spring clip memo holder to hold recipes in my kitchen. Also, these display clips. At The Museum of Useful Things, via Mighty Goods.

· comments [0] · 11-28-2006 · categories:shopping · the home ·

November, Christmas and new blogging software

November passed by quickly, but I have to say I’m so grateful to everybody who took part in NaBloPoMo. It was so nice to hear from people who tend to space posts further apart, it was a welcome distraction from the gathering cold and darkness and I adore the smaller mostly unplanned posts as they tend to share a slightly more intimate glimpse into life.

I’m in the midst of installing a new blogging system, I’ve only ever used the same Blogger account since 1999(!), and the job is a doozy. I would have given up long ago if it weren’t for the very patient superhero I so conveniently cohabitate with. I’m nearly ready to switch over, and when that time comes I will have comments, hopefully to the joy of those who remember when I had them in the distant past.

Leslie is planning on doing an advent calendar again this year (yay!) but she needs some help as is asking for personal stories: “What’s the weirdest/ silliest/ most unusual / funniest Christmas (or whatever religion specific or non religious holiday – Channukuh, Solstice, Kwaanza, winter break, etc. All are welcome…) tradition at your house? At ours, it’s an unusual comic taco making ceremony we refer to as “the Nativity Taco”. Do you have a funny Christmas story your family can’t stop telling (or you hope they never figure out?) If you’d be so kind to tell me your stories with as much detail as you can muster, I’d love to include them in this year’s calendar.” If you’ve got something here is how to get in touch.

And this weekend I couldn’t help but procrastinate from the blogging software install to make my very own store at Amazon. Ok, so it’s really more of a list, but it was fun choosing the things I really like or really want. If you’ve used up all your gift picking mojo take a look, hopefully it will give you some ideas. On thing I know for sure, everybody you know who cooks deserves a Baker’s Edge Pan for the holidays:

Read more about it here, and you can find recipes, including lasagna that doesn’t get dried corners and doesn’t slide all over the place when you are serving it. I really admire the amount of thought that went into the design of this pan, the handles are placed so that they are not flush with the counter when you flip the pan over, making it much easier to lift back up. I first saw this pan at Brownie Points and Chocolate and Zucchini.

Also, it snowed here last night!

· comments [0] · 11-27-2006 · categories:food · mumbling · shopping ·

more no-knead bread

round or


Another post about the no-knead bread. First a question – it seems the collective opinion is that the 6 to 8 quart covered pot called for in the recipe is too large, it allows the bread to spread out too far creating a flat loaf. I used a 4-quart casserole dish because it’s what I had, and the loaf was a good size. However, for the sake of my holiday wish list I’m wondering if the 3 1/2 Quart Oval Le Creuset French Oven would be a good size and shape. Has anybody used this particular pot, or even the similarly sized 3 1/2 Quart Round Le Creuset French Oven to make the bread? Was it large enough? My thanks, you lucky pot owner you.

And now, the recipe for posterity with the collective changes found on many message boards in general and in this post at Chow and this post at The Kitchen in particular. I’ve made three loaves total and I like the changes, which appear in [brackets]. And here is a printable version.

No-Knead Bread

Appeared in the article The Secret of Great Bread: Let Time Do the Work by Mark Bittman in the November 8th, 2006 New York Times

Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery

Time: About 1 1/2 hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

– 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting [I used bread, also suggested is substituting 1 cup whole wheat flour*.]

– 1/4 teaspoon instant [aka Rapid Rise, QuickRise, Instant Active Dry, Perfect Rise, or Bread Machine Yeast] yeast

– 1 1/4 [1 3/4] teaspoons salt

– Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 [1 1/2] cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees. [I put it on top of my fridge.]

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal [rice flour was suggested as it won’t get gummy**]; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart [about a 4-quart pot is preferred] heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 [10 or 15] minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1 1/2-pound loaf.

* I tried substituting 1 cup whole wheat white flour and did not prefer the flavor, I have not tried regular whole wheat flour yet.

** I’ve tried flour, cornmeal and wheat bran and prefer the wheat bran so far. Also, seriously overdo the generous coating of the towel, otherwise you risk the dough sticking to the towel during the next step.

update July 12th, 2007, Sharon (thanks Sharon!) emailed a tip that I thought was worth noting here: So it sticks to the towel, to parchment
paper, to my silicon mat, everything. But, I finally found something
that it doesn’t stick to – Reynolds wrap Release non stick foil. I
still have to basically pour the dough off the foil, but it rolls off
instead of glopping and stretching off.

· comments [108] · 11-24-2006 · categories:food · recipes ·

ready, set, turkey action

I’ve put up a list of How To Carve a Turkey videos over here at Readymade so you can be prepared when you’re handed the carving knife.

· comments [0] · 11-22-2006 · categories:links ·

pre-holiday bookmark clearance

related to the home

Ooh, nice cheery gift tags by Superfantastico, at Domicile.

Coat rack as shoe rack at Apartment Therapy. I don’t like the way it looks, but the space saving is an idea to hold on to. See also: revised shoe rack.

DIY magnetic flower vase at Craft.

Easy photo hanging idea I see things like this in coffee shops around here.

Wow, potholder rug at Apartment Therapy.

What’s the cutest $50 thing in the world? at Ask Metafilter.

Door-sized map of world history, I want one for my office.

How to make an interlocking quadrilaterals lampshade at Apartment Therapy.

Review of the Dirt Devil Cone.

Collapsible wall mounted laundry drying rack, Martha Stewart showed of something like this I think, it would be perfect for the space near our washer/dryer.

Corkboard alternative? at Ask Metafilter.

Reading aid pillow, I could use this.

Little Birds Soft Tree pattern! See the Flickr pool.

related to technology

Pillow for your laptop.

iPod screen shields and a favorite keyboard at Popgadget.

Lifehacker on Firefox 2: consolidating the chrome and config tweaks.

related to feeding yourself

Urban Outfitters ice: ice mice and DIY ice sculpture.

Cocktail bitters at The Spirit World.

Options for non-alcoholic drinks at fine restaurants. A lot of my friends don’t drink and I’ve been meaning to collect grown up non-alcoholic drink recipes.

Celebrate Repeal Day Dec. 5th, good idea, at Brownie Points.

related to clothing yourself

I do like the Crocs ballerina slipper. See them on a human at Super Eggplant, also they look like Barbie shoes, no?

Sewing zippers at Craft.

Winter Woods Skirt via Evany.

· comments [0] · 11-22-2006 · categories:links ·

Food for Faulkner

I recently came across two instances of people planning to create Faulkner-themed meals, how unexpected and awesome. First this question at Ask Metafilter about Faulkner themed picnic foods, answers include fried chicken, various Southern dishes and sassparilla soda (apparently Target carries some). The second is a question about a Faulkner themed retirement party during the November 11th show Cradle of Flavor (starts at 39:10). Suggestions include fried chicken, pimento cheese, coconut cake, biscuits with ham and a list of great Southern cookbook authors.

· comments [0] · 11-21-2006 · categories:food ·


Pumpkin Bread of Heaven at Modern Cottage

Apple roll at Food Chronicles

Shortbread with cornmeal for crunch, mmm, at Chocolate & Zucchini

Cider pie (cider pie!) via Chow

· comments [0] · 11-20-2006 · categories:food · recipes ·

Sew Subversive

Sew Subversive Down & Dirty DIY for the Fabulous Fashionista. I love this book, adore it. I nearly squealed with glee when they started with how to thread a needle, went through basic mending and then through everything you need to know about sewing machines, including how to load different bobbins and talk about tension, all without being boring. I really wish I this book had been around when I was in eighth grade. The book covers tools, how to care for fabric. The projects all cover easy fashion transformations using existing garments or materials, from pillowcase dresses to pin tucking an oversized shirt or skirt. They cover making skirts out of jeans, and how to (joy!) de-taperfy your pants. Each project is clearly explained with photographs and good diagrams. Here is another thing I love – not all the clothing in the photographs is perfect, there are some loose threads showing, a few slightly ragged edges. But it looks great, an expression of pride in the work it takes to create something cool. The authors really love what they are doing and it comes across really well. I recommend this for anybody who is starting out sewing, and anybody who is interested in refashioning clothing. You can see more of the book, including the introduction and table of contents, here.

· comments [1] · 11-17-2006 · categories:books · sewing ·

on lighting

Gathering links in preparation to change the dining room lighting.

At Apartment Therapy:

Caviar Chandeliers
Best product: crown bulbs.

Hanging lighting using crown bulbs

How to change a light fixture

Hanging a chandelier at This Old House.

And last, a bit from the very first issue of Budget Living which I’ve been intending to imitate for years now:

· comments [0] · 11-16-2006 · categories:the home ·