Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Apparel: Caftans

Weekend Designer sews a caftan (great images too).

WD's pearls of wisdom:

Measure from the nape of your neck down to the desired length: purchase twice this amount of 45″ [114cm] wide fashion fabric and four and a half times this amount of 2″ [50mm] wide flat braid trim .

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Teacher Appreciation DIY

This year we put in chocolates, cute stationary items like jewel-toned bulldog clips, and a lotto ticket.

A Little Hut's Slide Lock Boxes (pictured) or Gift Boxes - next time use skinnier pencils or make slits longer

Cake Favour Boxes - Template at eWillow

Owl Gift Box template at Nina Makes - for wise teachers!

Quilt: Hoo-Ha (a.k.a. Cathedral Windows) Pouch

Patchwork Notes has a tutorial to make a very pretty small pouch that features Cathedral Windows.
Read the intro to get the joke.

NB: A great deal of hand sewing is involved!

Grub: Espresso

Presso by Patric Hunt - manual but some argue this makes coffee but not espresso (something about a lack of steam)

Handpresso - another hand-powered model that can work with or without pods; not as pretty as Presso but it has good reviews

Ye Ol' Moka Pot - still only for "espresso-like" coffee

But none of these seem able to make true espresso, according to the people who know ... or at least the opinionated people who post comments on the sites that feature these. More research is in order!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gift Ideas

Paint-By-Number of a Photo at Paintapic - Sam

Friday, May 20, 2011

Photography: Straps

Yes. Seeing as I am still in a dither over a camera bag, I need something else to obsess about for the new camera.

I have been using the in-the-box strap with a PhotoJoJo Strap Buddy. It lets the lens hang down at the hip in a slightly less touristy way than the usual belly-forward position. I am always tightening its screwed in connection at the tripod hole. It can work itself loose over time (shudder).

Does it need a less sticky (er, non-slip) strap, like one of these beauties from Capturing Couture?

Or is a wrist strap more in order?

SnapR's RS-7 has neat features but the pad on the strap sets my aesthetic teeth on edge.

This DIY Quick-Draw version, the R-Strap, of the RS-7 might be a workaround.

PhotoJoJo Strap Buddy.
Capturing Couture Boho COllection wrist strap
Capturing Couture Boho strap
SnapR RS-7

Collage: Beth Hoeckel

Mountain Rangers by Beth Hoeckel

Unsettling but beautiful ... does that qualify as subime?

Beth Hoeckel - see her entire portfolio
(Seen at Anthology.)

Yarn Stores

Jimmy Beans Wool - excellent online service; Panda Silk available
5000 Smithridge Drive #A11, Reno NV 89502
Phone (775)827-YARN (9276)
Toll Free (877)JBW-KNIT (529-5648)

Atelier Yarns
1945 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94115-2518
(415) 771-1550

3897 18th St. (at Sanchez)
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 621-6642
Monday-Saturday 11-6:30, Sunday 11-4

137 Sullivan Street
New York, NY 10012
phone: (212)420-8796
(212) 420-8798
Monday through Friday 12-7;
Saturday and Sunday 12-6

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Big Boy: Travel

What to bring for distraction.

Eye Like Sticker Books

Dover Little Activity Books like Little Airport Sticker Activity Book

DIY Magnetic Play Set at Chez Beeper Bebe

DIY Stationary

Great pen prettification tutorial at Chocolate On My Cranium - if only I used ballpoints.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


By way of Fine Little Day, a list of hair-centric posts ...

Photo tutorials at A Cup of Jo - my take on the messy 'do is a braid, which the wind and my toddler then dissemble to varying degrees

Plenty of inspiration at Hair Romance - more narrative than pictorial instruction though

Grub: Oatmeal Cookies

Elizabeth's Oatmeal Cookies at Shelterrific

Shopping List:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 2/1 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup of chocolate chips
3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Big Boy: Second Birthday Ideas

Baked doughnuts instead of cake? (Inspired by Always With Butter's Doughnut-Topped Cupcakes)

bObles Frode the Fish Tumbling Animal at Huset

Sitting Bull Bean Bag Chair

Colour Frames Blocks - Maybe these should be shelved till his third birthday?

Balance Bike - Grandparents bought it!

Big Boy: Steve Jenkins

Eric Carle eat your heart out.
These are some really beautiful collages.

Video by Steve Jenkins.

Actual Size has some lovely illustrations.
I cannot wait to share these with Big Boy!

Steve Jenkins Website

Pin Cushion(s)

Magnetic Pincushions
When Big Boy is older, these might present some pretty options.
Tutorial by Skip to my Lou.

These are just lovely enough and diverse enough to get their own, ever -expanding post.

Pin Pods at Papaver Vert.

Posey by Kris Knits

Anna Marie Horner at Craftzine

Anna Marie Horner at Better Homes & Gardens

Star Quilt Pin Cushion at Abyquilt

Martha Stewart's Strawberries Pin Cushions

Classic Round Pin Cushion at Whip Up

Better Homes & Gardens Patchwork Pin Cushion

Martha Stewart Magnetic Dish

Bird Brain Designs

Pointer Finger Pin Cushion at Don't Look Now!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Bell'Occhio is a tiny little store in San Francisco that, I swear I may have visited a few years ago and, amazingly, left without purchasing anything. Reading Jordan Ferney's Oh Happy Day blog recently reminded me of it. But what drove me to visit was the realization that they carry these: Ciseaux Petits Monstres!

Bell'Occhio takes care to provide beautiful packaging ...

Even of their cleaning brushes.

I have oodles of safety pins but these are especially nice for knitting/crochet because they do not have the customary loop that, in knitting/crochet, can sometimes get caught. They are a bit big for small-scale knitting and crochet but will be fine for larger work. And they look nicer than this alternative. I may go looking for a smaller version.

So, now, how did I miss these and these and these?

(within a block of Zuni!)
10 Brady Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 864-4048

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Big Boy: Stash Bag

Fjällräven Kånken Mini (of course) - I might need one of these, actually.

Punkin Pattern's really great looking Messenger Bag with grommets!

Sew Grown's Scavenger Bag Tutorial


Mateo's Dad has built, possibly, the best one ever.

The Blue Box Project - blueprints and more

The TARDIS Library

The Doctor Who Technical Manual

A Google Sketch Up model

the RPF - a rambling roundup of helpful links

TARDIS Builders discussion board - for further questions.

Big Boy: Marble Runs

These are probably "too old" for Big Boy now (i.e., too many small parts). But here is what is available.

A nice roundup at HubPages

Cuboro - Swiss, modular, beautiful, and expensive (but there is even a trampoline add-on!).

Old Fashioned Toys - check out the Archimedes model!

Haba has a ball run

Just Think Toys makes a tub version called Waterblocks

DIY Run at MOMMade

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sewing: Sajou

Anything from Maison Sajou - some available locally at Bell'Occhio (uh-oh)

Grub: Baked Goods

Image from Kerekes.

Beautiful poplar, bake-worthy Panibois from Kerekes (seen at Oh Happy Day).
I have seen these at Boulettes Larder and always hoard them. If you do not give them away, they are also great for organizing drawers and shelves.

Big Boy: Naef Bauhaus Bauspiel Blocks

Image from Fawn & Forest.

In the configuration pictured, even DH might covet these lovely blocks designed by Alma Siedhoff-Buscher (1924).
Available from Fawn & Forest.

Big Boy Room: Strategy

Lisa Mahar (Kid O) lays down the law - she seems to have some space and resources unavailable to me but I like what she has to say.

Jordan Ferney's (Oh Happy Day) closer to home SF Toy Area

Jordan Ferney also has a helpful and resonant post about toys.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Crochet: Raffia

Where it all started.

Fayme Harper's video tutorial - she also covers shaping and dyeing

Crochet Asylum's raffia

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Soft Sheets

Recipe for soft sheets from Macy's sales associate by way of Posie Gets Cosy.
She gets it:
"I think sleeping on really comfortable sheets is one of the great joys in life."
1 1/2 cups cheap white vinegar
1 tablespoon detergent
Warm wash
Warm rinse
Extra rinse
Perma-press dry

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Travel: New Orleans

What to eat there according to Mighty Girl!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Seasonal: Mother's Day

Cool (and possibly creepy) baby masks at Oh Happy Day

Pretty Pennant Food Toppers, also at Oh Happy Day

Best card ever at Twig & Thistle - door handle required

Travel: Stockholm

How About Orange's trip

Grub: For Big Boy

Smitten Kitten's Baked Spinach - BB loves sautéed spinach, always has.

101 Cookbook's Quesadilla, Unda Style

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sewing: Smocking

The Art of Smocking at Tipnut - clear directions and diagrams.

Marie Grace Designs foregoes pleating with a pleater and shows how to pleat by hand using a trick from sashiko - this is a great photo tutorial!

Some great photos of smocking by hand at Marie Grace Designs

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sewing: Mending

We have a well-loved, much-used quilt we bought a few years ago form West Elm. One side is velvet, the other is a thin satin-y material. The satin side has been tearing away at the quilted seams and is really starting to lose its structural integrity. I need to find a way to mend it. Here is what I have thought of or found so far:

Use it as a sampler and work my way through The Stitches of Creative Embroidery, by Jacqueline Enthoven.

Susan Beale, at Craft, mends a bed sheet.

Becky Stern's Quilt Mending Tutorial at Craft

Diane Gilleland's reverse appliqué technique, also at Craft, is very pretty and might be needed if the tears have grown too big

World's Longest Marble Run

AT Kickstarter - get funding for your great idea(s)