Not Martha

links: shopping

I’m looking for womens winter hiking shoes | Ask MetaFilter. I had a pair of Salomons ages ago, back when I lived in Cleveland, that I still think of fondly. I miss living in a place that gets real snow, and real snow days.

Cool Tools: Slice Safety Cutter. Magnetic so they can stay on the fridge.

Cool Tools: Bench Cookies. These look handy for a bunch of uses.

Twig & Thistle » Blog Archive » Urban Craft Uprising 2010. She took all the pictures I didn’t (it was crowded!).

Looking for some sort of keychain-sized device that will beep when the user’s cellphone gets too far away. | Ask MetaFilter. Somebody in this house needs one of these.

· comments [5] · 12-30-2010 · categories:links · shopping ·

links: craft

DIY Monogram Mugs at Design Mom. I love this idea, simple and produces a customized useful mug!

How-To Do A Hook Rug – ThreadBanger Forums.

How-To: Make a Potluck Dish Cozy from an Old Sweater blog. Doubles as a trivet, smart!

Eighteenth Century Agrarian Business: French Pleat Curtain.

A Merry Mishap: DIY-painted porcelain.

weaverknits: Button Coil How-To. Very clever, I like this a lot.

Tron Bag with EL Wire blog.

· comments [5] · 12-29-2010 · categories:craft · links ·

links: food

Sausage Mushroom Breakfast Casserole Recipe | Kitchen Explorers. This is Savory Sweet Life’s make ahead Christmas breakfast, brilliant!

Blueberry French Toast Makes Brunch a Treat | Kitchen Explorers. Add this to the list of make ahead breakfasts.

roasted chestnut cookies | smitten kitchen.

Curried Mixed Nuts with Kaffir Lime and Cayenne | Hogwash.

Making omelettes inside of eggshells – Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. I *love* this.

Pork Chops with Creamy Mushrooms and Dill « Pink of Perfection.

garlic butter roasted mushrooms | smitten kitchen.

Make your own freezer burritos! › shutterbean. Smart!

How-To: Smores on a Stick blog.

Good Morning! Kugelhopf Breakfast Rolls | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn.

What’s the secret to good, diner-style pancakes? As in, big, slightly puffy, and buttery and buttermilky tasting? | Ask MetaFilter.

Farro Mushroom Risotto with sage and thyme, at Cookus Interruptus.

· comments [6] · 12-28-2010 · categories:food · links ·

Duchess Potato Christmas Trees

Duchess Potato Christmas Trees

I used Duchess Potatoes as an inspiration for something else this year, go see my Duchess Potato Christmas Trees over at The Kitchn. p.s. I discovered that if you keep baking them they turn a lovelier shade of golden brown. I pulled them out of my oven a bit too early fearing they would burn.

This past Thanksgiving I piped Duchess Potatoes into the shape of bowls to hold a bit of gravy.

· comments [14] · 12-23-2010 · categories:christmas · food ·

links: christmas

Meringue Snowflakes · Edible Crafts |

Seeking Sweetness in Everyday Life – CakeSpy – Bread and Circus: Molded Gingerbread Cookies Recipe.

Design*Sponge » Blog Archive » diy project: balsa wood mini tree. Such a fabulous idea!

Simple Sugar Cookies – Traditional Christmas Cookie Recipes – Christmas Cookies –

Santa’s Hat Cupcakes · Edible Crafts | Wowsers. These are simple and just perfection.

Design*Sponge » david stark at the state department + diy projects!. These decorations are a-ma-zing, and the Christmas Cracker directions are great. Clap clap clap!

How to Make a Surprisingly Simple Paper Wreath – CraftStylish. Via Maggie Mason’s advent tweets. Which I am loving.

· comments [3] · 12-23-2010 · categories:christmas · links ·

Christmas tree ornament mobile, how-to

Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile

Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile

Here is how I made my Christmas tree ornament mobile, it was easier than it looks, promise.

The Supplies

Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile

  • a 17″ steamer rack from a restaurant supply store
  • about 5 feet of lightweight jack chain
  • a small carabiner
  • 100 basic ornament hooks
  • one roll, 500 feet, monofilament jewelry string (not the stretchy sort)
  • 200 jewelry crimp beads or tubes
  • jewelry crimping tool
  • 100 lanyard hooks
  • 100 ornaments

Note: In the photo above I show earring wire instead of ornament hooks. I changed that later as I found ornament hooks made it far easier to move ornaments around after they’d been hung. Also, my supplies are based on a 4 foot tall mobile using almost 100 ornaments, you’ll need to adjust amounts if you make one larger or smaller.

Creating the Mobile Frame

Creating the frame for my ornament tree mobile turned out to be fairly simple. I used a lot of hooks to allow for easy adjustment and additions as the mobile was being assembled. I gathered materials from a restaurant supply store, a hardware store and the jewelry section of a craft store.

Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile
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· comments [295] · 12-21-2010 · categories:christmas · craft ·

Christmas tree ornament mobile

the views of a tree shaped ornament mobile

This year we decided to do something a little different with our tree and I created this Christmas tree mobile consisting of ornaments suspended on clear threads.

When I was shopping for ornaments to use found a lot on sale and went a little crazy. I decided it would be worth it to see how three different options would look. I did a variety of silver ornaments that came as a boxed set, green ornaments with three different textures and three sizes of clear glass ornaments that look a bit like bubbles.

the mobile hanging in our dining room window

Here is the mobile in context of our dining room (please forgive the mid-present wrapping clutter). We have room to put presents below it, and are still able to peek out the windows to see if the neighbor’s cat is visiting our front porch.

rings of green ornaments, as viewed from below

The view from below.

a detail of monofilament lines holding ornaments

The ornaments are hung on regular ornament hooks attached to jewelry monofilament secured with crimp beads. I’ll put up details of how the mobile was created tomorrow. Instructions on how I made it are right over here.

· comments [171] · 12-20-2010 · categories:christmas · craft ·

links: christmas

Cannelle et Vanille: Bonbon Oiseau and my Candy Cane Marshmallow. Both the marshmallows and the jewelry are yummy.

defective yeti — The 2010 Good Gift Games Guide. This man knows his games, trust him.

How to make 5-pointed paper snowflakes | How About Orange.

How to Make Cinnamon Dough Ornaments + Gift Embellishments at Domestifluff. What a great idea as a new use for a traditional craft.

Gift Guide: Forest Floor Ornaments from Flora Grubb Gardens – Home By Sunset.

Delicious Hot Chocolate — Joy the Baker.

Super super inexpensive ($1.00 or less) yet clever Christmas gift ideas needed! | Ask MetaFilter.

15 Cities in Gingerbread  | Mighty Girl. Love! Seattle has an annual gingerbread village display that is worth braving the shopping hordes for a viewing. (p.s. to locals: it’s open until Jan. 1 and the line is super short post-Christmas.)

Cookie Trees: Festive and Impressive! | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn.

CakeSpy – Sweetly Intoxicating: Christmas Cookie Cocktail Recipes.

· comments [5] · 12-20-2010 · categories:christmas · links ·

Gluten-free Christmas cake pop afternoon

Hermey the elf dentist in cake pop form

I got to spend a most delightful afternoon making gluten-free cake pops with Shauna (Gluten-free Girl) and Jessie (Cakespy) from Bakerella‘s Cake Pops book. We chatted and rolled and dipped them in chocolate and Jessie made these amazing characters using marzipan colored with food coloring.

Zombie Santa in cake pop form

I’m in love with Zombie Santa.

Rudolph as a cake pop

Rudolph was a test to see if the marzipan would go over a pop dipped in chocolate, only to find that the chocolate wasn’t quite set yet and it caused a few cracks. Oopsie. Lesson: patience is difficult.

two gluten-free cakes, gorgeous

Here is the gluten-free cake shortly before we ripped it apart. Smooshing cake with your bare hands? So satisfying. Thanks for a fabulous day, ladies! And thank you to Bakerella for such excellent instructions and heaps of inspiration.

· comments [10] · 12-16-2010 · categories:food ·

links: beauty

Tarte Smooth Operator Finishing Powder, at Outblush. Oil soaking, pore minimizing, I must test this out.

Melange Solid Perfume Palettes, at Outblush.

Hemalayaa: Bollywood Booty, out Outblush. I might get into the dance as exercise thing yet.

Product Body | Handmade Artisan Soaps, Scrubs, Bath & Body | Scrub of the Month Subscription. I love the Product Body scrubs (see my review) and must keep in mind this Scrub of the Month club as gifts. All of the ones sent out in the subscription are exclusive versions not available otherwise. Also since I last mentioned Product Body here they’ve added some amazing sounding perfume oils. It’s rare that I really like scented body products but I really trust Joanna’s nose.

Making Things: New & Improved- Fable Natural Lip Care. I want to try this.

· comments [6] · 12-15-2010 · categories:beauty · links ·

Holiday specs

seven types of Holiday specs

We were sent a few pairs of these Holiday Specs and I got a kick out of them. They are paper like old fashioned 3-D glasses but these create a shaped aura of light around concentrated light sources (street lamps, Christmas tree lights). I put them on and looked out a window and there was a giant reindeer face floating around the light in a lamp down the street. They are cheesy looking, yes, but I bet they would distract kids for a while. I think they would be good in a stocking or maybe tucked into a card.

They come in packs of seven shapes and individually. I found the snowflake, Santa’s face, snowman, Christmas lights, and reindeer.

· comments [17] · 12-14-2010 · categories:christmas ·

Cozy Mug Wraps, created for Real Simple

felt mug wraps decorated with red/white/green circles

I want to thank Real Simple for including me in this bunch of 14 Creative Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas. I made this easy Warm and Fuzzy Felt Mug Wraps for a little holiday cheer, instructions are over here and below are a few extra photos from the making of. Check out all the ideas, they are fantastic.

supplies - scissors, thread, felt

felt circles being cut out

layered cocoa in jars that fit into the mugs, with candy canes

· comments [31] · 12-13-2010 · categories:christmas · craft ·

giveaway: Crafting A Meaningful Home

cover of Crafting A Meaningful Home

I’m so pleased to be holding a book giveaway for Crafting A Meaningful Home by Meg Mateo Ilasco as part of the virtual book tour today. The book is full of projects for your home (created by people whose names I am familiar with!) and each craft has a story about family behind it.

I’m squeezed for time and didn’t get a chance to do my usual photos of a few pages, but there are plenty of page previews over at Amazon. I’m glad they included pictures of the oversized crocheted area rug, the Doily Rug, as I think it’s amazing. You can also read more about the book and view the video made to celebrate the launch of the book right over here at Design*Sponge.

If you’d like to enter to win a copy please leave a comment with this post, the fine print applies, I’ll have the Random Number Generator choose a winner on Friday at 4pm PST. Updated: Yikes, I didn’t realize that would leave less than two days to enter, so I’m moving the deadline to Tuesday Dec. 14th at noon PST. Time is up! Thank you so very much to everybody who left comments, the stories have been heaps of fun to read!

To give you something to actually say in your comment I’ll ask you this: Do you have an item, handmade or not, in your home that has a family story behind it? I’ll go first, though I don’t have one here in my house (but intend to get one when I next visit my parents) my favorite thing growing up were the pot holders I or my cousins made on that little square loom while on the long road trip to Oklahoma. I remember giving one to an aunt when we arrived and having her pull out older and well used ones to show me. She said they were always better than any other pot holders and she was happy to have more to add to her collection. I think those pot holders were one of the first times I was aware of being able to design something to my liking within the constraints of what I had available, that being my choice of six colored loops. I remember figuring out how to make a gingham-like pattern and being so excited at discovering how it was done.

Your turn, good luck!

· comments [480] · 12-9-2010 · categories:books · craft ·

St. Dames, new (vegetarian) restaurant in Seattle

St Dames logo

First thing you should know is that this restaurant is owned by my awesome neighbors so I admit to being biased. St. Dames is new restaurant in Rainier Valley, to be more specific it’s half a block north of the Columbia City light rail stop. They’re open for dinner and brunch on weekends. They have big booths, a full bar and really delicious food. A confession: I didn’t realize it was a vegetarian place until we were half finished with our meal. Many of the menu offerings were vegan.

biscuits and mushroom gravy, so good

We stopped for a Sunday brunch and I had biscuits and mushroom gravy, a hangover worthy breakfast, and Scott had a breakfast burrito which I had to stop myself from stealing too much of. Most of the food, from chorizo to breads, is made in house and that mimosa you see there had fresh squeezed juice and it was like being on a little vacation. I’ve seen the restaurant described as cozy and I’d like to add that it’s not cozy in a cute way, but cozy in that it is a welcoming place to spend a rainy evening.

· comments [13] · 12-8-2010 · categories:food · seattle ·

links: food

Penzeys Spices Retail Stores, now open in Seattle. Yay!

Saffron Picking in Washington State | Leite’s Culinaria. Fascinating!

Easy ways to improve my cooking and baking? | Ask MetaFilter. Lots of great tips for the kitchen.

How to Remove Pomegranate Seeds – CHOW Tip – CHOW. Quick video on removing pomegranate seeds, and it’s not the under water method.

Nut-Stuffed Delicata Squash › shutterbean. Yum.

Cakespy: Pie Fries | Serious Eats. Cute! And delicious. And a great way to use leftover pie dough.

Roast Pumpkin with Cheese Fondue : Juniper Moon Farm. Oh my, that looks like a huge amount of fun.

Tea & Cookies: Stuffed Pumpkin with Panade: Had to Share. I’m pretty sure I just bookmarked a recipe similar to this one but let’s face it, this deserves extra attention. Yum.

Thanksgiving Amuse-Bouche: Savory Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Canned Cranberry Jelly Cut-Outs | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn.

How To: Caramel Lollipops The nuts in the center are really great.

Jordan Ferney | Oh Happy Day!: Edible Gold Stars. Did you read that? Edible gold stars!

KILLER Garlic Bread › shutterbean.

Help me unlock the Mysteries of the Sacred Shortbread! | Ask MetaFilter. A very detailed and helpful discussion on recreating nuances in shortbread.

Green Olive Gnocchi Recipe – 101 Cookbooks.

· comments [15] · 12-8-2010 · categories:food · links ·