Not Martha

DIY wine tote with leather handle

Apothic wine asked me to create a project for their Apothic Handcrafted set of DIYs over on their Facebook page. I made this wine tote with a chunky leather handle after thinking about those two classic hostess gifts, wine and flowers. It’s created from two tall, skinny wine bottle bags that are secured side by side so you can bring along a bottle of wine and a bouquet or a baguette without fear of anything falling over or being crushed. You can give the tote as a gift, or do like I did and keep it all for yourself. I had a lot of fun creating this and it’s a good easy project if you want to learn to work with leather.

To see the step-by-step instructions visit the Apothic Handcrafted project page.

Because this project involves wine please let me just say: Content intended for users of legal drinking age where this page is being accessed.

· comments [13] · 06-27-2013 · categories:craft ·

Google Reader to Feedly made super extra easy

So, Google Reader is shutting down in three days. Have you left choosing a new reader until the last minute? Me too. I have some good news though, Feedly has been hustling and is now browser based and easy as pie to sign up for. Yay for procrastination. Feedly is becoming the hub for a bunch of other services too, you can read all about it right here.


Back up your Google Reader feeds. Go to the Google Reader homepage and click on the gear in the upper right hand corner of the screen and choose “Reader Settings”. You go to a page with tabs, click in Import/Export. At the bottom you’ll see “Expoert your data – Download your data through Takeout”. Click on that, it’ll take you to a new page. Wait for it to load and then click on the red “create archive” button. Download and you’re done, high five.

You won’t need this archive to migrate to Feedly, but you will want to have it. For posterity. Or in case you decide to use a different RSS reader.


Go to Feedly. If you’re like me and you have not signed up for Feedly yet you’ll see a page with the option for “One-click Google Reader Import”. Click on that, sign into your Google account, accept those terms and that’s it. You’re all finished. Sweet.

I don’t use Google Reader to bookmark and save my favorite posts. (I put them here on this site, a habit I started pre-RSS. Gasp this site is old.) But I will note that Feedly also imported the few things I did mark as favorites inside of Google Reader, so you won’t lose those bookmarks.

Digg is also racing to be the Google Reader alternative, see this article at Wired: Inside Digg’s Race to Build the New Google Reader. I’m curious to see how that will work out.

Update: Also see this guide to the best readers by GigaOM, and a tool to help you get all your data out of Reader from somebody who used to work on Reader, the reader_archive tool. Both via Waxy.

Another update: The equally easy to use Digg Reader is available now. Also, Anna at Door Sixteen also likes Bloglovin’.

What Google Reader alternative have you adopted? Do you use a reader? Or do you look for blog updates on Twitter and Facebook instead?

· comments [22] · 06-27-2013 · categories:technology ·

thing I like: Hot Cakes vegan caramel sauce

I accidentally bought this jar of caramel sauce. I mean, I did set out to buy caramel sauce but I accidentally bought the vegan version. (I’m sure I don’t need to tell you but just in case I’ll point out that I am not a vegan.)

It turns out that it was a wonderful mistake because this is made with coconut milk and when poured over vanilla or chocolate ice cream the combination of flavors closely approximates the anticipation/love/scarcity I feel when eating a Girl Scout Samoa cookie. I will need to file this away for the “Girl-Scout-Cookie-!” mental alert that my brain gives me about three months too early each year.

· comments [6] · 06-25-2013 · categories:food ·

links: craft

DIY // Waterproof paper coasters (and other paper pretties). The Dimensional Magic she uses here is a new to me product but looks handy, and easy to use.

DIY Giant Crepe Paper Roses | Studio DIY. These are supersized but don’t lose any of their sweetness.

Gold Leaf iPhone Cases DIY at Oh Happy Day. Love these.

A Round Up of Knitting Tutorials at Juniper Moon Fiber Farm. There is a flat seaming tutorial in there that I’d like to learn, my own seams in handknitting are bulky and they make me sad.

DIY // Upcycle any bag with leather straps. What a simple and impressive touch.

· comments [0] · 06-18-2013 · categories:craft · links ·

4th annual Fall School House Craft Conference for creative entrepreneurs

Today I’m speaking at School House Craft’s Blogger’s Summer Camp and I wanted to let you know about their larger conference that is coming up this fall. It’s the 4th annual Fall School House Craft Conference for creative entrepreneurs and this year it will be Sept. 14th and 15th. It’s for anybody who wants to know how to grow their creative business. The ladies who put this on are behind the biggest craft fair in Seattle and all have long running businesses of their own so they know what they are talking about and how to help you. They are also really great people. If this sounds like it’s for you early bird tickets are already on sale.

· comments [3] · 06-14-2013 · categories:craft · events ·

links: technology

How To Use Feedly | whoorl.

3D-printable food? NASA wants a taste | Ars Technica. When can they print sushi?

The NewsBlur Redesign – The NewsBlur Blog. This is good news, it seems like NewsBlur was everybody’s choice to replace Google Reader but nobody seemed to be pleased about the way it used to look.

Self-Hosted Alternatives to Google Reader (and how to export your RSS feeds) – DarrenWasHere. A good round up of readers by web, desktop, and even those you install of your own server if you rent hosting space. Via Scott Andrew.

· comments [1] · 06-13-2013 · categories:links · technology ·

links: food

Sparkling Ginger Margarita – Rick Bayless | Frontera. Via Serious Eats, who had him in their kitchens to give a demonstration.

Recipe Quest: Shear-Thickening Starch Noodles. Wow, how to make your own noodles by dripping sweet potato starch into boiling water.

The Ultimate Cold Cure: Remodelista. Via 101 Cookbooks. I’ve been sick too many times this year, should it strike again I’m going to have a giant pot of this going.

Kalyn’s Kitchen: Cafe Rio Style Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing. Via Whoorl.

The Best Budget Rosé Wines at Trader Joe’s | Serious Eats: Drinks.

Recipes for Three-Ingredient Summer Cocktails –

Use A French Press to Add Flavor to Your Beer | Serious Eats: Drinks. With a primer on the Randall, what it is and where it came from.

My Take on Cronuts | Edd Kimber | The Boy Who Bakes. A recipe to create your own cronuts, via Kottke.

· comments [6] · 06-11-2013 · categories:food · links ·

thing I like: Teva Kayenta sandals

The very first time I wore these sandals Scott and I played hookey on a weekday, took a long bike ride, pushed our bicycles three blocks up an impressively steep hill to get barbecue and beer (worth it!) and biked all the way back home. Never once did I notice my sandals, they worked like I’d spent a summer breaking them in. I have fussy old lady feet and annoyingly tender skin so this lack of a breaking in period was amazing.

I bought these to work as a comfortable, functional sandal that doesn’t look too sporty. (At least not here in Seattle where we tend to look like we’re just coming back from a Class 2 hike and/or a shopping spree at REI.) I’ve been surprised at the number of times women stop to ask me where I got them.

The straps on top look decorative but offer distributed support so none of the areas rub or pinch. The sole of these shoes is all business with lightweight and very flexible rubber, you can bend your foot all the way to stand on tippy toe without the shoe giving any trouble. The straps around the ankle aren’t so high that they hit underneath my ankle and they are adjustable with velcro, this is a rare exception to my zero-Velcro tolerance.

There are a few versions of the Kayenta. I have the Kayenta Suede and the Kaytenta Studded. The suede version will probably stand up to getting wet but not soaked. It’s a nice black all over look and the logo is subtle, the sole is lined in suede. The studded version has dark gray rubber soles and the pattern in the straps is actually metallic gold, something that doesn’t come across in the pictures online. The Kayenta and Kaytenta Studded have fabric straps lined with leather. Both the Suede and Studded versions are equally comfortable to me, though I did buy one pair at size 7 and the other at size 7.5 so it’s worth trying a few sizes to be sure. As you can tell I’m really really happy with these and recommend them if you’re looking for an everyday summer sandal that you can walk (and bike) miles in.

· comments [12] · 06-6-2013 · categories:shopping ·

Four-leaf clovers

My superpower is being able to find four-leaf clovers. It’s not very handy but, hey, the luck might rub off. This patch was one I spotted next to a sidewalk last month and it was so full of perfect four and five-leaf clovers I couldn’t bring myself to actually pick any.

Staring at that patch I realized that I still didn’t know if four-leaf clovers are caused by mutation or a recessive gene and looking at the Wikipedia article on four-leaf clovers it appears that the answer is that science doesn’t really know either, that it’s sort of both. Some points about clover that I particularly liked from that entry:

  • Each leaf is believed to represent something: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.
  • Clovers can have more than four leaves: the most ever recorded is 56, discovered by Shigeo Obara of Morioka, Japan, on May 12, 2009. (Editor’s note: daaamn.) There is a photograph.
  • A five-leaf clover is known as a rose clover. That is so lovely.
  • There are reports of farms in the US which specialize in four-leaf clovers, producing as many as 10,000 a day by feeding a secret, genetically engineered ingredient to the plants to encourage the aberration. (Are GMO four-leaf clovers still lucky? I think not darling.)

By the way, I find that early Summer and early Autumn are the best times to look for four-leaf clovers. They appear most in clover beds that have been undisturbed for a while (meaning: nobody has cut the grass in a while). My favorite place to look for clovers is in farm fields while walking through a pumpkin patch. The biggest and most perfect four-leaf clovers I’ve ever seen were in a fallow patch of a community garden. Go forth and stare intently at the ground. And good luck.

· comments [30] · 06-4-2013 · categories:misc ·