Not Martha

links: craft

Gocco printers for sale at Paper Source! at West Coast Crafty.

DIY printable fabric labels at Craft.

Straight sided triangular cosmetic bag tutorial at Craftster.

Neat, furoshiki bag at Swiss Miss.

· comments [1] · 06-29-2007 · categories:craft ·

links: seattle

Hike: Wallace Falls, at Seattlest.

Good hikes around Seattle, at Ask Metafilter.

I love Index, Washington, and it makes me sad to hear that somebody might cut down the view.

The Frock Shop redid it’s website and now they are selling lovely things online! Also, it looks like they are having a sidewalk sale on nice days this week.

· comments [2] · 06-29-2007 · categories:seattle ·

I’m knitting a sweater: being schooled and practicing techniques

In the comments for my first post about the sweater Emily reminded me that I should check the gauge on my swatch after I had washed it. This makes a tremendous amount of sense. She also reminded me that when choosing which size to knit on a sweater pattern you should take your own measurement and add an amount of ease, in this case I’m going with 2 inches, which also makes a tremendous amount of sense. Thank you Emily, your advice saved me from a few embarrassing post-sweater conversations that would probably have included the phrase “you didn’t ___?” spoken in one of those amused/outraged Everybody Knows That tone of voice. If a tone of voice could roll it’s eyes this would be that tone. I hear this tone a lot.

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· comments [20] · 06-28-2007 · categories:knitting ·

links: the home

Blocking out exterior noise and how to soundproof your apartment at AT:LA and AT:Home Tech.

How to light and outdoor party, hassle free, at AT:SF.

Oooh, fire lanterns that lift themselves up by their own heat. At Oh Happy Day.

The saga of reupholstering an ottoman at Home By Sunset. I must remember this, I’m sure some reupholstering is in my future.

In the category of Best Blog I Somehow Never Knew About: Making It Lovley, Nicole kept track of everything she did with her first house. I’m keeping the before and after kitchen pictures in mind because I hate our wood kitchen cabinets yet fear changing them (we’re not going to be in this house forever so the phrase resale value haunts me.)

Decor8 is doing a month of orange and I love this collection of interiors using orange.

· comments [6] · 06-28-2007 · categories:the home ·

island stay recommendations

We’re headed up to Orcas Island next month for a wedding and we’re planning on staying for a few extra days on either Orcas or San Juan Island. I’m looking at the list of places to stay on Orcas Island at Seattle Song, but personal recommendations are always the best.

Do you have recommendations for fabulous places to stay on either Orcas Island or San Juan Island? I’m thinking more relaxing than sightseeing, more getting away from it all than being right in a little town, and while I’m not particularly inclined to get out of bed and make conversation in the morning, I’ll consider bed and breakfasts that are worth it. Views of water or sunset and possibly and in-room fireplace would be fantastic. Also, any tips on what to see or eat while we’re out there?

· comments [37] · 06-27-2007 · categories:seattle ·

links: food

Delicious energy bars at Chow.

This week in frozen crack, Chow on Edy’s/Dreyer’s “Loaded” ice cream.

Easy tiramisu at The Amateur Gourmet.

Homemade cookies and cream pudding pops at Baking Bites.

Chocolate frosted cupcakes with a secret! at Celadon Cupcake.

Am I a supertaster? at Slate.

Garden Party, a cocktail that contains Chartreuse, at Imbibe.

Domicile is seeking a whole wheat bread recipe.

New stainless steel cookware from Le Creuset, at The Kitchen.

More about cookie baking at Splatgirl.

· comments [1] · 06-27-2007 · categories:drink · food ·

I’m knitting a sweater: swatching

I’ve finally gotten around to knitting a whole sweater. When Lion Brand released the new version of Cotton-Ease yarn and I saw the Charcoal color I decided to use that to make ChicKnits fabulously basic Ribby Cardi. I’ll be keeping notes on this site (otherwise I’ll lose them).

The beginning of the notes:

To be safe I bought eight balls of the yarn, which I finally found at a Michael’s craft store. I swatched last night using size 6 needles and came out with 17 sts/ 24 rows over 4″ St st. The gauge is 19 sts/24 rows over 4″. I’ll be making the all-ribbed version of the sweater so I’m slightly less concerned about gauge. I’ll go ahead and make the size sweater I would be making if I did get gauge. Should I do a size smaller instead?

The pattern calls for certain parts of the sweater to be done on smaller needles, so I’ll be using a size 5 for those. Since ribbing often does better on smaller needles, I’m not too concerned about using needles smaller than the size 7 called for in the pattern.

I’m going to do the all ribbed version of the sweater with the stand up collar. I’ll be sewing in a separating zipper. I might make the sleeves slightly long as I like longer sleeves to snuggle into. I’m going to use a tubular cast on for the hem and cuffs, but need to learn a tubular bind off for the top edge of the collar. Also, I have to learn to do finishing seams. This might take me a while.

links to tubular bind offs (thanks Maggi!):
at Savannahchik Knits
at My Fashionable Life
at Crankygrrrrrl
list of techiques at Knit Flix, including a note for the My Fashionable Life bind off

· comments [8] · 06-26-2007 · categories:knitting ·

links: beauty, clothing, shopping

Very expensive but possibly worth it mascara recommendations: Yves Saint Laurent Faux Cils at A Grrls Wrrld, and Shiseido Advanced Volume Mascara at Lip Gloss and Laptops.

Four types of wrinkles and how to get rid of them at The Beauty Brains.

Favorite cheap beauty tricks at Faking Good Breeding. Lots in the comments too.

What to do about too-low cleavage? at Sundry Buzz.

Sorta sad story about the I’m Not A Plastic Bag bags, at Making Things.

Capsule Letters, small pill shaped plastic cases for secret messages, at Cool Hunting.

Voting is open for Fred Flare’s Next Big Thing contest.

The Germinatrix recommends Le Labo’s Rose 31 perfume, it sounds wonderful.

· comments [8] · 06-26-2007 · categories:beauty · shopping ·

another crock pot

Less than a week after buying my thrift store crock pot I found a another one. This new one has a removable interior which is so much easier to wash. It was more expensive but I happened to find it on 50% off day, and it has pictures of herbs on the outside. I’m smitten. I made a batch of eight hour oatmeal in it and it didn’t scorch the oatmeal* or burn down the house.

* In the previous crock pot entry Quackyduck mentioned that newer slow cookers cook at higher temperatures (to prevent food-borne illness or some silliness) so they might not work for some recipes. As the comments on Alton Brown’s recipe for Overnight Oatmeal reveal, the newer cookers might just be the cause of burnt oatmeal… or it might be a glitch on some recalled Rival cookers over heating control problems.

· comments [14] · 06-25-2007 · categories:food ·

up to

Dancing Deer Backing Company Molasses Clove Cookies
Ok, so it’s not quite a summery flavor, but the store didn’t have any strawberry pies.

Dr. Who
We’re hooked after two episodes.

Crystal Palace Circular Knitting Needles
I like the little rotating bit.

Cook’s Illustrated magazine
They like the onion goggles!

Oh boy. Filing. My folders aren’t as fun as these from See Jane Work.

· comments [8] · 06-25-2007 · categories:up to ·

help me foil those damn cats

Above is one of three new wax leaf privet bushes we’ve planted in front of our house. We’ve had the planting bed covered in a black biodegradable fabric for the most of this year because last summer the many neighborhood cats decided it was the perfect spot to do their kitty business. Nice. Now, I have never seen a rodent of any sort in our yard (just a pretty freaked out squirrel) so I’m not complaining about the presence of the many cats.

We’ve sprinkled some pet discouraging granules in the past but I’d really like to get a garden going that will allow us to not have to think about kitty deterrence once it’s set. Our plan so far is to to put down rocks between the bushes and other landscaping plants and plant ground cover succulents between the rocks to fill in any loose dirt spots. But as we uncover the planting beds and actually plant in them, we’d like to discourage the cats from thinking they’d be the perfect spot to consider a new litter box. I’ve read all sorts of advice on how to discourage the cats – lemon peels, growing things up through chicken wire or spiky cat mats, motion sensor water sprayers, spreading cayenne pepper, reflective surfaces or pans of water. Lots of advice is given in gardening forums but I have not come across many reports back on what worked.

So, do you have experience with this? Have you found any cat deterrents that work? Please tell me you’ve found cat deterrents that work.

update: July 12th, 2007. There were a few comments below addressing whether cocoa shell mulch is dangerous to dogs if ingested. I got this information in an email from Cherie and felt it was worth putting here:

I am a Master Gardener and had a chance to visit a conference, where I
learned from one of the cocoa mulch suppliers that they are doing studies on
the theobromine. So far, they’ve found that it evaporates in about three
weeks, so after that is no threat. If the company says it is washed, I bet
that does about the same thing.

One could put it in a large tub like those plastic things from WalMart and
just turn it every couple of days for a couple weeks, and that would do it
without getting it somewhere dogs might roam.

Just a bit of a note – I really like cocoa mulch as it breaks down in about
2 years or so, adding organic material to the soil and is eco-friendly in
that way. I think it looks nice and it does not blow around either,
interestingly. Rains go right through it, though. I’d pay the bucks and go
for it! One could even put it in a shallower layer over that chicken wire.

· comments [70] · 06-22-2007 · categories:the home ·

links: the home

I love the underside of this porch that has been painted blue. I think this is common in the South – ? I want to do this to the underside of our front porch as you can see it through the windows in the front door as you come up the stairs, it might make a nice illusion of blue skies when we’re having cloudy days. At AT:NY.

Slimline Keysafe, holds a house key but you need a code to open it. I have a knack for forgetting or misplacing keys, I need one of these before I lock myself out of my own house. Via AT:NY.

Drainbo Natural Drain Cleaner, at AT:LA.

Ooh Le Beanock Hammock, big enough for two, at Modern Roost.

I love this – hanging copper gutter planters to create privacy on a deck. Picture put up by Stef, I think she grabbed it from a Martha Stewart Living.

How to use milk mixed with water as a tomato disease preventative, by Gayla at You Grown Girl. Via AT: Chicago.

Green by Omission, Apartment Therapy interviews the creators of YOLO Colorhouse (which I spoke about a bit when I painted my doors).

Using fabric markers to color black and white Ikea textiles, at Ikea Hacker.

Herman Miller’s C2, a tiny personal heating and air filtering device for your cube at work.

I like the branch sculpture (scroll down a bit) that Happy Mundane created for a relative’s living room. They glued wooden leaf shapes onto a found branch and spray painted the whole thing. This gives me ideas.

· comments [12] · 06-22-2007 · categories:the home ·

links: food

Top-ten real-food workout foods at The Hedonista.

Tomberries, teeny tiny tomatoes, at Smallist.

How lovely – nasturtium shots. Droplet sized shots of vodka served on a spicy nasturtium leaf. At Culiblog.

Spicy shrink-yer-butt salad recipe, this sounds good for summer, at SundryBuzz. See also: fast healthy meal ideas.

Build your own grill at The Kitchen.

How to make ice straws, at Instructables. Also see this Hello Kitty ice cube tray spotted on Flickr.

After taunting us with pictures of beautiful chocolate chip cookies, then denying us the recipe, Splatgirl offers Cookie Baking 101: So You Think You Know How To Bake Cookies?. A delightfully thorough discussion of how to make excellent cookies, but still no recipe. Don’t fret, if you absolutely need a cookie recipe go see the T(hin)W(rinkly)C(chewy) Chocolate Chip Cookies at Bake and Shake.

· comments [4] · 06-21-2007 · categories:food · recipes ·

links: craft

Angry Chicken FAQ, including what machines she uses, even a serger.

Sac a faire includes ten different bag patterns, at Swiss Miss.

Among all the slightly pointless cozies out there I think this one for apples is the cutest. At Shelterrific.

How to make a cake or cupcake stand, via Craft.

Credit card sized magnetic flower box, via Craft.

The care and feeding of your sewing machine, via Action Hero.

Working with white fabric at Poise.

Henry Road fabric remnants (!) at Ahn-minh.

About knitting charts, via Craft.

How to make a duct tape dress form, via Craft.

How cool! Knitgrrl (Shannon Okey) has opened (with partners) a store called Stitch Cleveland! very close to where I grew up. I would have have loved having a shop like that nearby. Also, check out her live call in radio show for knitters called The Knitgrrl Show. Via Craft.

· comments [3] · 06-20-2007 · categories:craft · sewing ·

bend-the-rules sewing

Amy Karol‘s book Bend-The-Rules Sewing comes out today, congratulations Amy! I was lucky enough to get a copy a little early, and I’m very glad I did. This book is for those who are completely new to sewing as well as those who know how to sew but could do with being a little bit more relaxed about it all. Amy really wants you to love sewing, and to come to have a fun and relaxed time sewing.

The first chapters start with the basics and tell you all about what you can expect and what supplies you might need (and what they are for) in a friendly and chatty tone, it’s really like a friend is telling you how it’s done. I appreciate all the care given to explaining things in a way that gives you the norm – what size sewing machine needle to use if you have no idea what you might need, how to find and understand the markings on the end of a bolt of fabric, what kind of thread to choose, what fabric widths are normal, what exactly “right sides together” means, how to sew a seam.

She takes time to talk about sewing machines, what you want to look for, where to buy them. (You can read about what machines she uses in the FAQ on her site.) She covers some things that made me cheer – why she doesn’t like interfacing and what to use instead, very detailed instructions on inserting a zipper, making your own bias tape (which will look way better than what you can buy in an average fabric store) and that it’s ok to stitch two things together without pinning them first. Amy covers everything else you might need as well, hand stitching including closures and tidy decorative stitches. She also talks about fabric paints and creating patterns using freezer paper. Instructions are accompanied by clear hand drawn illustrations.

The projects are are small and charming, all things you want for yourself and would make fantastic gifts. There are a bunch of bags – a zip pouch, basic tote (with interior pocket), wallet and three handbags. Dog collars and a kitty bed for the pets. Projects for the home include coasters, napkins, placemats, a tea cozy, table runner and two kinds of curtains. There is a lap quilt that looks like a lot more work than it is, and a pillow three ways. Amy is big on aprons, and appropriately there is a section on aprons including basic (from a tea towel), vintage and a section on making apron pockets.

The book includes a bunch of adorable things to make for children, my favorite being a puppet theater with a matching case. A smock, bib, woodland elf hat, simple jacket and soft turtle are all cute but not cutesy. All the patterns have hand illustrated instructions and include color photography of finished products. Those projects that need a pattern have easy to photocopy pages in the back with increase percentages included.

As someone who has studied sewing I love the relaxed nature of the projects. And I have to say, I’d give this book to someone new to sewing well before I’d give them a sewing reference book.

· comments [23] · 06-19-2007 · categories:books · craft · sewing ·