Not Martha

links: craft

Folksy is a new online shop of handmade goods, like Etsy for the UK.

bicycle frame lunch bag at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Porom hat by Brooklyntweed

filzfelt, a new shop selling beautiful felt and felt objects, is up on Etsy and Supermarket

DIY vinyl shade decorations at How About Orange

candy cane sugar scrub at Craftzine

Shelterrific gets a whole lot of suggestions on where to buy upholstery fabric online.

· comments [4] · 09-30-2008 · categories:craft · eco friendly sponges and cleansers

I recently got the set of Clean & Green Twist Clean-Up biodegradeable sponges from and I’m really happy with them. The scrubby side of the scrubby sponges is a layer of loofah. The Bamboo dusting cloths work well and might get me to kick my shameful Swiffer Duster habit. The Euro sponges are nice and big but I’m really in love with the European Sponge Cloth because it acts like a paper towel and I finally have something that can get into that narrow area behind the faucet in my bathroom sink.

Also, this is adorable, there are birdhouse and birdfeeder templates printed on the insides of the cardboard packaging bands:

Also take a look at the Better Life eco friendly and plant based cleansers that smell only very faintly of soap and work really nicely.

· comments [11] · 09-29-2008 · categories:shopping · the home ·

Oreo vs. Hydrox vs. Newman O’s

The other week Scott and I had an Oreo/Hydrox/Newman O’s taste off for no reason at all other than to celebrate having Hydrox around again, at least for a while. We broke the tasting into Overall Cookie, Just the Biscuit Part, and The Creme, with a side consideration for dunking in milk.

For Overall I liked Oreos while Scott preferred the less sweet Hydrox. I preferred the extra crunch that the Oreos had and found that the flavors were the most balanced. The Newman O’s had the crunchiest cookie and I found it had the most pronounced cocoa flavor, but I thought the cookies tasted slightly off, something which came through most when we compared the creme fillings.

Oreo had the sweetest and grittiest filling. I though the Hydrox filling had too many hints of powdered sugar/cornstarch, though Scott liked that it tasted like cake frosting from a can. I really disliked the Newman O’s filling, it had a strong taste of raw grain to me, but it was Scott’s favorite for being not too sweet.

When dunked in milk for two seconds the Newman O’s held their crunch the best of all, with Hydrox showing signs of getting soggy fast, and Oreo’s going “straight to mush!”. A friend of mine uses Newman O’s to mix into her homemade cookies and cream ice cream because they hold up against getting too soggy.

· comments [59] · 09-26-2008 · categories:food ·

thing I like: Teva Kena shoes

I have gone on and on before about the fact that I cannot (no matter how often I try) wear shoes with straps that go between my toes. This leads to some serious summer flip flop envy. But I’m saved! Teva makes a flip flop like shoe called the Kena that is the answer to all my whining.

The Kena shoe is like a flip flop in all the ways it counts, the soles are light weight foam, the straps are able to get wet or sandy and you can just step into them and kick them off. The straps form two Xs that go across the tops of your feet and they really just look like a flip flop rather than a strange alternashoe. I wore these new for a significant amount of walking and they were just comfortable from the start, there was no rubbing at all. They also never feel like they will fall off, which is a common problem with me and my narrow feet. There is a little bit of arch support, but these are not sport sandals by any means. Here is one positive thing about my broken camera: you’ve been spared a picture of my feet with their freakishly long toes.

The Kena shoes are perfection. Now I just have to buy as many as I can sanely get away with before they discontinue them. You can find them on the Teva site as well as at Endless. Thanks go out to Mandy who pointed me towards these!

· comments [21] · 09-25-2008 · categories:shopping ·

Baggu reusable shopping bags

I had a chance to try out Baggu reusable shopping bags and I like them a lot. They are made strong, lightweight ripstop nylon and come in lots of fantastic colors. Each bag folds into a small square and goes into it’s own tidy pouch so they are good for throwing into your bag or keeping in a glove compartment or desk drawer. Though, I do worry that I will misplace the pouch. The handles are nice and wide and are comfortable on your shoulder if you are bringing home a lot of produce, or beer.

The bags are just slightly shallower than Envirosax (also) and RuMe bags, but the bottoms have gussets so they hold a whole lot. The handles are a bit shorter than the other bags, making it harder to sling a bag up on your shoulder using only one arm. (This is a detail I am, admittedly, overly fixated on.) But, the overall shorter bag means it definitely won’t drag on the ground when you hold it like a tote, something that is a problem for shorter people with the Envirosax and Rume sized bags.

· comments [35] · 09-24-2008 · categories:shopping ·

The Lab at Velocity Art and Design

This month’s Lab at Velocity Art and Design is tonight at 6 p.m. This time they are talking with Richard Corff, the founder of 360ºModern. I feel my modern design envy kicking in. I might not make it this time due to some car troubles but I encourage you to go, have fun and enjoy the food from Spot On Culinary Craft.

· comments [2] · 09-24-2008 · categories:events · seattle ·

thing I like: really small hair straightening iron

I needed a straightening iron, but just for my bangs. I didn’t want to spend a lot because the only circumstances under which I see myself straightening all of my hair are those of being really bored and stuck at home. The inexpensive straightening irons you can find at drugstores were monstrously large, and the smaller Chi models were just more than I wanted to pay for something I’m only going to use on days when I’m too lazy to blow dry my hair. And then I found the perfect thing, the 1/2 inch BaByliss mini iron. The plates are only 1/2 inch wide, and the whole iron is about 6 inches long. The description mentions that it would be good for travel, and that the smaller sized plates allow you to get close to the scalp but let’s face it, this baby is made to do bangs.

This review video on YouTube is very helpful and shows the scale of the iron, though I swear it looks large in her hands. The iron is about 6 inches long, like a very skinny stapler. Amazon gave me a delivery estimate of a few weeks but it arrived in just two days. I’d take a picture of to give you a better idea of scale but my camera, TRAGEDY!!, is broken. Here is the Babyliss on top of a dollar bill:

Related note, I was looking around the house for something that would help me keep the iron perched on the corner of my porcelain vanity and found that a square silicone pot holder like this one (which honestly isn’t much good as a pot holder) works great as a grippy and heat proof surface.

· comments [14] · 09-23-2008 · categories:beauty ·

OurStage music competition, asking for a little favor

Do you listen to a lot of music while you’re working at your desk? Feeling a little bored today? Like to listen to new music that you might not otherwise find? This might interest you.

Scott has entered a song into a competition over at OurStage and if his song wins there is a chance that he might get to open for Matt Nathanson at an upcoming show here in Seattle. And if that happens there is a chance that I might get to come along and be backstage as the, um, person who carries the guitar strap or something. This chance is enough to get me to beg suggest that, hey, if you’re not doing anything else you might get to listen to some new music and help vote Scott up in the rankings while you’re at it.

Here’s how it works, you go to this page (Male Singer/Songwriter) over at OurStage where you’ll find two random songs squared off against each other. Listen to a little bit (or all, if you’d like) of each song and rank them. Repeat. If you come across Scott’s song and you like it I’d be thrilled if you could vote for it and maybe move him up a little bit, thus getting me a little closer to being within touching distance of Matt Nathanson Scott and his excellent band members a little closer to a really exciting gig.

Scott goes by “Scott Andrew”, the title of the song is “Holding Back” and the cover art looks like this:

Take my thanks and go forth. If we win Scott wins I promise I’ll post pictures of me and Matt Nathanson the show.

· comments [4] · 09-18-2008 · categories:mumbling ·

links: misc

bills in context (that would be US dollar bills) at The Girl In the Green Dress

What will be the signature, stereotypical fashion or clothing item of this decade? at Ask Metafilter

Light Bot, fun little game! via Casual Gameplay

Teach me or help me find fun tricks to entertain my friends. at Ask Metafilter

The Long Now foundation’s interview with Neal Stephenson about Anathem

Eoin Colfer to write sixth Hitchhiker’s Guide book. Oh man. I have a long time love affair with Hitchhiker’s, and I like Eoin Colfer a whole lot, but I think I’m going to take io9’s stance on this one and ignore it as much as possible.

Elleore, A Kingdom 12 Minutes Ahead of Copenhagen, at Strange Maps.

· comments [5] · 09-18-2008 · categories:misc ·

links: food

Is there an easy solution to getting jasmine flavor into baked goods? at Ask Metafilter

Foodzie “an online marketplace where you can discover and buy food from small artisan producers and growers.” Not quite open yet. Via 37 Signals.

The History of Gummi Candy and Pomegranate Jewels. All found while I was looking up something I cannot recall now.

Food for an emergency at Eating Well Anywhere.

Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins at Joy The Baker

spinach quiche, revisited at Smitten Kitchen. I am that one person out there that hasn’t made it yet, but intend to change that.

· comments [7] · 09-17-2008 · categories:food · recipes ·

links: craft

Faythe Levine in the New York Times, yay

I like the thread catch pouch that Grumperina has. I still just toss threads to the floor and vacuum up (almost) every night.

According to Angry Chicken Diamond glaze is sort of a cheater’s resin. New info, thanks!

Paper tape dress form at Jejune. Very detailed and informative.

Knitmap, at Craftzine

Sewing Kit Essentials – Fabric Markers at The Purl Bee

Cappuccio, hood/scarf thing that looks quite nice. At Swiss Miss.

· comments [3] · 09-16-2008 · categories:uncategorized ·

my very stuck zipper

This is my very stuck zipper. I’m not sure how I managed to get this garment zipped up in the first place but now I cannot unzip it. Does anybody have tips on working free a zipper that is this crooked?

update: Thanks to everybody for the recommendations! I started with pencil lead and that did the trick nicely. After only a few back and forths I freed the zipper and didn’t have any damaged teeth. Yay!

· comments [59] · 09-15-2008 · categories:misc · mumbling ·

links: shopping

Candela review at NOTCOT

glow rings, glow in the dark bands for the water glass you keep on the nightstand, or a dark bar, at Product Dose

Powerbank Torch at Cool Tools

duct tape bandages at Uncrate

Ladies – Which Sephora products are really worth it? at Ask Metafilter

The Entertainer, a heart rate monitor that controls your television volume, if your heart rate slows because you stop exercising the volume drops. At Product Dose.

· comments [3] · 09-15-2008 · categories:shopping ·

links: tech

the only way the iPhone can live up to the hype, hee hee, at Unplugged

Pattern Tap at Swiss Miss

What are some good online games for my 84 year old grandmother? at Ask Metafilter

Taking the Plunge: Learning CSS at Swiss Miss

The Classic Tales podcast. at Bookshelves of Doom

BatRest iPhone stand at Swiss Miss

Finding Your Signature Font at The Boss of You

Introducing Ubiquity at Mozilla Labs

DIY light tents at Ikea Hacker

Cupcakes and Cameras at Bakerella

· comments [1] · 09-12-2008 · categories:iphone · technology ·

quest to find the Hydrox

Ok, now that Hydrox cookies are apparently back on the shelves for a while I’d like to try some. Has anybody in Seattle actually found these in a store? I take a look when I’m out grocery shopping but so far I haven’t come across them.

update: Well that was easy. Thanks to tips from Mouse and Regan in the comments I found these at a Safeway (my local Bad Times store which I usually avoid). They were not in the cookie aisle, they were not in the cookie aisle endcap, nope, these were in a single display hanging out by the flavored milks. So far I like them, but of course I was raised on Oreos.

· comments [34] · 09-11-2008 · categories:food ·