Not Martha

The Lab at Velocity – the notes

The talk about blogging at The Lab last night was a lot of fun. I didn’t feel nearly as deer in the headlights as I thought I would, though I’m afraid my style of blogging meant I didn’t have very helpful answers. (Example: What is your most popular post? My answer: I don’t actually know. (It’s the bacon cups, duh, Megan.)) Also, I got to buy my blog anniversary present, the Gro Bal Baby.

John was a fabulous host for the evening, and I want to thank him for being so generous as to have the events in his store and allowing people to mill around with food and drinks. Thank you John. Velocity is a fantastic store, online and in real life, and I always find myself trying out lots of furniture while I’m there.

Thanks to Paola (MirrorMirror), Elaine (Decorno), and Mary (Shelterrific and Straight from the Container) for being such wonderful girls. I do hope our different styles and goals for blogging gave a varied perspective. An extra huge thank you to Paola for getting this event started and inviting me to be part of this night.

I got to meet Jessie of Cakespy and Tula of Whorange and a bunch of other people. Thanks so much to everybody for coming last night. I ran into Eliza Truitt, who ran a small photography workshop I gratefully attended last month. If she starts starts having regular classes I’ll be sure to let you know, a class focusing on “So, you just bought a DSLR…” would be helpful to so many people I know.

A thanks goes to Dry Soda for providing food and beverages. I’ve begun associating the flavor of Kumquat soda with an evening of learning new things from intersting people.

The next Lab (June) will feature Kristen Rask, owner of Schmancy and creator of the Plush You event and book, Moxie of Made By Moxie and Hansi of hansigurumi. They’ll be talking about the Plush You! show and crafting in general.

The Lab for July will feature Emira Mears and Lauren Bacon talking about their book The Boss of You. If you have or want to run your own business these two have a lot of wisdom to share as they have owned Raised Eyebrow Web Studio for a very long time. I’ve mentioned this before, but I used to read their site The Soapbox Girls way back in 1999, so I’m very excited they’ll be coming through town. (I missed them when they were here on the book tour.)

You can join Velocity’s mailing list to hear about future events.

See Mary’s notes over at Shelterrific.

Here are my notes on what I can recall from what we talked about last night:

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· comments [9] · 05-29-2008 · categories:events · seattle ·

The Lab at Velocity – the morning after

So, after talking blogging platforms last night, this morning I discover my own WordPress won’t allow me to post anything longer than a few hundred characters. Why? I have no idea. But, I have a long wrap up with notes on what I can remember we talked about last night that is ready to be posted as soon as my WordPress stops throwing this hissy fit.

I bought myself the GroBal Baby! Happy Anniversary, my website.

· comments [9] · 05-29-2008 · categories:events · seattle ·

seeking shoe advice

I have a question for those of you with sensitive feet — will these Privo Acacia shoes rub the back of my heels raw? I find the Privo flats to be cute but I’m afraid of spending $80 only to suffer.

· comments [75] · 05-27-2008 · categories:shopping ·

The Lab at Velocity: there will be prizes

The Lab event on Blogging is tomorrow (Wednesday) night at 6 p.m. and I do hope you can make it because we have prizes. During the first Lab event with Matte Stephens three prints were given out to people who attended (names picked from a jar), so of course we had to come up with some free stuff to give away. I had to forget about plans to bake cupcakes due to some pesky health and safety standards (understandable, if sad) so I decided to make some surprise balls to give away:

Surprise balls are crepe streamers wrapped around small gifts which are revealed as you unwrap. What’s inside? You’ll have to win one to find out. I was conscious of keeping the surprises gender neutral, and Scott gave guy approval to everything that went inside. I also hear rumors that a pink hose from Cynthia Rowley’s summer stuff from Target will be one of the prizes.

I do hope you can make it. There will be food and drink (so you won’t starve if you’re coming straight from work), and a bunch of fabulous people to mingle with. Here is Google Maps link to the Velocity store (across the street from the gigantic REI, parking is easy) and here are the details:

Please join us Wednesday, May 28th from 6-8 to meet prominent voices in the rapidly growing, ever-evolving world of blogs. Blogs purport transparency and openness, but there are less-apparent elements behind blogs, like relationships between bloggers and importance of search-engine optimization, which will make this such a fascinating topic to discuss. We welcome Northwest design bloggers Elaine from Decorno, Mary from Shelterrific, Megan from notmartha, and Paola from MirrorMirrorto meet and greet and answer your questions about this fascinating topic. Please join us to learn how to start and promote your own blog, whether for business or fun, from our delightful and knowledgeable panel of experts.

· comments [5] · 05-27-2008 · categories:events · seattle ·

up to

canary bird vine
We planted one of these, along with a bunch of other stuff, in planters on our deck a few weeks back and it’s grown like crazy. It’s been a lot of fun to watch.

GroBal Baby
I’m getting one as a seven-year blog anniversary present. Also because I’d like to try to keep a Maidenhair Fern alive and it’s got a much better chance without depending entirely on me.

Martha Stewart Crafts glue pens
I bought two, a ball tip and a felt tip. Both go on blue and dry clear. I’m constantly trying to find things that need to be glued around here.

big sunglasses
I, sniff, lost my fabulous, large, comfortable and functional Sarah Jessica Parker BITTEN sunglasses last weekend. I’ve found similar pairs but the new ones just aren’t, you know, the same.

The straightforward game is amusing, but there is more to be done so pay attention.

· comments [2] · 05-27-2008 · categories:up to ·

thing I’m knitting: Lace Ribbon Scarf begins

the pattern: Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitty
the yarn: Rowan 4 Ply Cotton in Shale (145)
the previous entries: 1

I’ve finally started working on the Lace Ribbon Scarf. I switched from bamboo needles to some thrifted plastic dpns of unknown material which I’ve looped elastic bands around the ends of to create short straight needles for the time being. They are bendy and far, far more comfortable to work with than the bamboo. This is important because this yarn is terrible to work with. It’s like knitting with cord. Which is, of course, what I was asking for when I bought fingering weight cotton yarn. Happily, the pattern is enough fun that I’m not going to abandon the scarf yet, I’m curious to see if the yarn-as-a-scarf is soft enough to wear. The project is easy enough to memorize, hard enough to stay interesting, small enough to travel with, and doesn’t require any gadgets. Perfect for coffee shops and airplanes. [Read more →]

· comments [13] · 05-24-2008 · categories:knitting ·

Gap Essential Jeans

I have a hard time finding jeans that fit me well and don’t accentuate all the wrong things about my figure (hello, nipped in at the knees so as to show my thighs in the least attractive manner) so I was pleased to find the Essential Jeans that the Gap is currently carrying. The jeans are straight legged, but not skinny straight legged. The cuff is wide enough to cover the amount of shoe I like to hide, but it’s not flared. The legs aren’t so wide, at least on me, that they swish when I walk, but they are wide enough to be weekend-comfortable. These are coffee shop/pub/grocery store jeans. And they come in a length short enough that I don’t step on the cuffs.

· comments [52] · 05-23-2008 · categories:shopping ·

The Lab at Velocity – come see me make a fool of myself in public!

This is a reminder that I’ll be speaking at The Lab alongside Paola from MirrorMirror, Elaine from Decorno, and Mary from Shelterrific. It’ll be Wednesday, May 28th from 6-8 at Velocity Art and Design in South Lake Union, across the street from the gigantic REI store. We’d love to see everybody there! We’ll have food and wine and promise to have you home by 8:30. Come with questions because, as I mentioned before, I don’t think I can fill my slice of time just talking about blogging. If you haven’t been in that area for a while it’s worth a visit. There is a fantastic store for kids stuff, Tottini, as well as the Vivace with pretty latte mosaics in the floors.

I was thinking about what I could bring when I realized that today (May 22nd) is the seven year anniversary for my site. So, of course I have to bring cupcakes to celebrate. Maybe a redo of these little guys, or perhaps a batch of the really tiny ones. And I’ve decided to buy myself a present while I’m at Velocity – a GroBal Baby to house the replacement for my sadly departed fern. (Sorry, fern.)

· comments [12] · 05-22-2008 · categories:events · seattle ·

giveaway: The Boss of You

To celebrate the release of their book the awesome girls at Raised Eyebrow Web Studios would like to give away two copies of The Boss of You! I missed Lauren and Emira when they were here in Seattle last weekend because I was in Ohio (figures). So, thanks to them both for being so generous, and best wishes for the remainder of the book tour. You can see my earlier entry about the book here.

If you’d like to enter to win a copy simply leave a comment with this post. I’m going to steal a good idea straight from Loobylu, who took it from the book itself, and request that you, if you want, leave a comment describing the type of food or meal your business (or so-far-theoretical business) would be. You’ve got until noon, PST on May 25th. (Claire, I hope you don’t mind that I’m stealing the idea outright. I tried to think of another thing to use — shoes, perfume, bicycles — but in the end I was more interested in reading about food!)

the fine print:

– You don’t need to leave your real name, but do leave a valid email address. I’ll be the only one who can see your email address (just don’t put it in the actual comment box as well). I’ll write to get a shipping address when you’ve won.

– If you have never left a comment here before I’ll need to approve it before it publishes so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. That said, you might not end up being the comment number you see so know that if you want to say “pick 35!” you might not be comment number 35. I don’t know why it works that way, and I’m sorry, there is very little certainty left in this world and this isn’t helping any.

– If I have not heard from an initial winner by May 25th I will choose another winner.

– The winners will be picked by the cold, unfeeling random number generator.

Good luck!

· comments [288] · 05-21-2008 · categories:books ·

links: the home

my $6 kitchen makerover at Browning Points

We’re in the middle of a big kitchen remodel and have been stymied by (of all things!) the kitchen faucet decision. We’ve been looking at models with integrated sprayer heads that pull out from the faucet but just received a warning about that style of faucet. at Ask Metafilter. We have this style of faucet and I loathe it. Or at least I loathe mine since you cannot turn the sprayer off, you have to make sure it gets back into the faucet so that it doesn’t spray all over the kitchen. But of course, I use the sprayer when I’m holding something large and awkward so having to fuss with getting it back into place right at that moment is frustrating.

What’s the best home-repair / fixit manual for someone with little-to-no experience in such matters? at Ask Metafilter

Our place in sunny Los Angeles at Design*Sponge — note for Scott to check out the padded walls in the music room

Instant Kitchen at Uncrate

Paint Everything By the Numbers! at Shelter

Green Idea: A Moss Yard at Re-Nest. If only our back yard wasn’t sloped, I would love to do this (damn grass).

Caulk Singles! (Scroll down a bit.) Before you tell me how not-Green this is let me tell you how many half used tubes of caulking I’ve thrown away when I’ve moved.

· comments [8] · 05-20-2008 · categories:the home ·

thing I like

This Method Home Le Scrub bathroom cleaner is pretty darn good. It smells nice, is non-toxic, and the little scrubby sponge is a good size for my wimp hands. The notch in the top of the bottle is for storing the sponge (and perching it to allow it to dry), perfection.

· comments [4] · 05-20-2008 · categories:the home ·

links: beauty, shopping, misc

Instant Blossom at Product Dose

an entire wax dipped chandelier, cool, at NOTCOT

Bottle Shock: Better than Sideways? at Chow

If Nerds Ruled the World at The Park Bench

Purse contents for the perpetually prepared person at Ask Metafilter

Clue Premier Edition at Uncrate

The Pen Addict writes entries with the pen he is reviewing, via Doane Paper Blog

Cynthia Rowley pink garden hose! at Shelterrific. I’ve seen these in the store, instantly wantable.

Design*Sponge on The Regional Assembly of Text in Vancouver

My dog loves dried sweet potato chews. They go for $20 a bag in the pet store even though the only ingredients are potatoes. It must be that I can make them at home for the cost of a potato. at Ask Metafilter

Poppies! at Chez Shoes

spoon scale at Product Dose. La la la, for bakers not just for drug dealers, la la la.

I made the mistake of going into a Macys where I instantly fell for the (very delicate) Hadley drinking glasses from the Martha Stewart Collection.

Sniff Rare Device in Brooklyn is closing down.

A list of responses to “The Question” asked of all kilt-wearing gentlement: What’s under your kilt? at Kottke

I need to look at every online women’s clothing store in the world. at Ask Metafilter. This is how I shop too.

What do we absolutely have to see/do in Vancouver, Canada while we are there? at Ask Metafilter

decorated cups at How About Orange

Oil of Olay Warming Hydrating Cleanser at Sundry Buzz

Surprise! Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” ads actually kind of fake. I knew it!

Happy happy joy joy: Teva Women’s Kena. Reasonably price, flip flop foam, no between the toe stuff. Thanks again Mandy!

Transparent Post-Its, oooh, for notes in books without ruing the books. At Cool Hunting.

· comments [7] · 05-19-2008 · categories:beauty · shopping ·

my third sweater: done!

the pattern: Central Park Hoodie
the yarn: Dark Horse Fantasy in Charcoal (#13)
the previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

I sprinted to the finish line and it’s done! It’s not perfect but I’m very happy with it. The pattern was great, the yarn was great, the final sweater is soft and fuzzy and pleasingly warm. [Read more →]

· comments [10] · 05-19-2008 · categories:knitting ·

links: food

limoncello at Pink of Perfection

arepas at Gluten-Free Girl

So, is anyone else out there a frustrated wannabe Croissant Chef? at Ask Metafilter

Cupcake Pops and Cupcake Bites at Bakerella. I’m so very far behind on this — Congrats to Bakerella on being on the Martha Stewart Show!

Squeeze Cookies (A Roasted Flour Experiment) at Chocolate & Zucchini

Triple Coconut Cream Pie
at Cakespy

What digital cooking thermometer do professionals use? at Ask Metafilter

jim lahey’s pizza bianca at Smitten Kitchen

put the crack in cracker: chocolate-covered caramel crunch at Everybody Likes Sandwiches

Cookthink – enter what you’re craving and see what turns up. Nice interface once I figured out how to use it.

Bourbon and Peach Smash at Imbibe

Evany, genius, freezes her leftover lemon wedges

Does anybody know of someplace online I can purchase hot chocolate with extra caffeine in it? at Ask Metafilter

Roasted chèvre, please at Ask Metafilter

all about candied flowers at Baking Bites

Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa Recipe at 101 Cookbooks

Knife Skills Illustrated at Cool Hunting

I like the ginger grater halfway down this page at The Food Section

How to Boil Corn on the Cob Perfectly – Too Easy for a Recipe! at Joyful Abode

Tomato Pie in Flaky Pastry Crust – Take 2 at Joyful Abode

· comments [9] · 05-16-2008 · categories:food ·

books I wish I had more time for

Lotta Prints, I heart the Jansdotter you know.

Sew U Home Stretch, stretch sewing is something I know very little about. Read a review over at Angry Chicken for more about it.

Waiter Rant, I’ve been reading the Waiter Rant site forever, I’m so thrilled to see his book appear.

The Beauty Brains, another book from a site I’ve been a reading for a long time. I love the straight talk about products and real recommendations vs. hype.

Things I Learned About My Dad (In Therapy), put together by Dooce and including chapters by Defective Yeti and Mighty Girl? Yes, please.

· comments [5] · 05-15-2008 · categories:books · craft · sewing ·