The Gnome Chomsky Effect

I'm looking at silk-screening supplies. I was hoping Joann's would have some so I could use my 50% off coupon, but they don't. I've been wanting to add silk-screening to my craft stash for a while, but the budget hasn't allowed it. Where's a Pat Catan's when you need one? In the past I've used a cheap method involving an embroidery hoop, glue, sheer curtain material and a rubber spatula. Here's a tutorial. It's time consuming, but you can't beat the cost savings. This is the method I used for my dog pillows.

Lately I've been wanting to try to print my own fabric. You can print custom fabrics at Spoonflower, which is wonderful! But it's still beyond my price i'd like to do it myself. Mostly because I want some garden gnome fabric. I love garden gnomes. I've been looking for a pocket sized one that I can take on my travels, but I haven't found one yet. If anyone finds some please let me know! I'm inspired by my pajamas. I also lurv those garden gnome plates. Want!

Pike Place at Night

Pike Place at Night

I took the bus downtown for my class last night. I left an hour and a half early so I could have some time to use the computer lab to work on my assignments. But the office was locked when I arrived. WTF! So with no place to sit and wait, I went back outside and wandered a few blocks toward Pike Place. It was a lovely little night scene. Half an hour later, I was able to get in to my classroom.

Weekender Bag #2

Happy Birthday Carrie! I made another Amy Butler bag for my friend Carrie in Arizona for her birthday. It's the same pattern as the bag I made for Becky, but with different fabric, also from IKEA. This was the fabric I bought last month after dropping my mom off at the airport early in the morning and the waiting four hours for IKEA to open. See My Silly Sunday post. The interior fabric is standard home decor fabric from the fabric store.

The bag has a removable false bottom piece that sits inside the bag to give it more support. The pattern instructions say to use quilter's template plastic, but I found these halloween placemates in clearance for $.60. They were the perfect length and thickness. And they cost a quarter of the price for the template plastic. For the previous bag, I had used one of those flexible chopping boards. I'm a bargain shopper.

Feeling Blue

My food reflects my mood today. I was feeling sooo angry, frustrated, and sad the whole day. Very blue. Please save us from these depressing times, Mr. Obama and Co.! Yesterday I went to the farmers market. It's potato season! I usually buy Yukon Gold potatoes at the supermarket (I don't like russet potatoes), but they have such great potatoes at the farmers market, so many kinds. I got a mix of yellow and blue potatoes to try. I wanted to try some mashed blue potatoes. I peeled them because the skin was pretty thick. The mashed potatoes turned out a lovely lavender color. Next time I might try blue potato salad.

I only learned recently that you should not store potatoes in the fridge because it causes the starch to turn to sugar. So unless you want sweet potatoes, just keep them in a dark place away from heat.


I made two wallets yesterday! They came out pretty well, although the flowered one is a bit crooked. I had some sewing machine issues and a few mishaps with the snaps, but they turned out well. My machine has trouble sewing straight through all the layers of fabric. I hope I can amend this. You can definitely tell they are handmade. I don't know if this is a good thing. I'm thinking of selling these for $20-$25 until I get better at making them. Then maybe I can push it up to $30 :-) Any thoughts? So, who wants one? haha! No seriously, let me know if you do...

I've taken a liking to the polka dot fabric, so I may make more of those. It's a home dec weight fabric, and it feels a bit sturdier. But my sewing machine doesn't like it much. The red fabric is actually left over bed sheet pieces from my tomato ottoman. Actually, I think I may switch out my apples and pear wallet and start using this polka dot one. I likey! Funny, I was never the girl with lots of purses and wallets. I used the same trusty ugly velcro wallet for five years until not too long ago. I have to study for my class tonight, so I don't think I'll be making any more until the weekend. Thanks for looking!

My First Cold in Seattle

I've got a bit of a cold, so I whipped out the cold meds. But I don't have a runny nose so I'm laying off the alka-selzer for now. Just a sore throat and headache. You might remember the pills I bought in Japan. I still don't know what they are for, what's in them, or how much to take. But the picture on the box looks like it's for headaches and throat aches. They took care of my aches when I had the flu in Japan, and they don't knock me out or get me high like American drugs. Maybe it's just aspirin, I don't know. But they were expensive so I hope there's something special in those pills.

I made myself some chicken noodle soup. Ingredients: Water, chicken, carrots, celery, onion, bouillon, noodles, salt. The chicken is local, and vegetables and bouillon are organic. Feed that cold. Better than Campbell's.

Joanna makes green smoothies. Ingredients: Apple, banana, carrots, broccoli, spinach, protein powder, ice.

We got out the juicer and made more fruit cream. I wish I had a better picture of the fruit coming out of the machine. It looked like poop. We call it fruit poop, in pineapple and berries. We didn't used bananas this time. It would have been funny to say "This shit is bananas!"

Consider the Afterlife of Garbage

I saw this on 60 minutes last night. It's about how so much of our e-waste gets shipped to asia for poor peasants to "recycle". Even if you drop off your outdated electronics for recycling, they still may end up in places like this. I knew this was happening, but I'd only seen pictures. This area of China really has become a wasteland, and it's very sad to see. The video is about 13 minutes.

Watch CBS Videos Online

And while I'm on the comes my periodic greenie post. I want to make everyone aware of the giant island of garbage that is out floating out in the Pacific Ocean. Quite literally, there's a place in the Pacific where currents have collected floating trash to create a massive patch of garbage roughly twice the size of Texas. Read about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch on Wikipedia. Here's something from NPR or just google "garbage island" for more info. has some good videos about it.

one more thing, and this is probably not as interesting. But it involves two of my favorite smart people, so I thought I'd mention it. I became a fan of Michael Pollan's after reading Omnivore's Dilemma two years ago. It changed the way I thought about food and the food industry. Barack Obama cited in a recent interview an article Michael Pollan had written about US agriculture policies.

"I was just reading an article in the New York Times by Michael Pollen about food and the fact that our entire agricultural system is built on cheap oil. As a consequence, our agriculture sector actually is contributing more greenhouse gases than our transportation sector. And in the mean time, it's creating monocultures that are vulnerable to national security threats, are now vulnerable to sky-high food prices or crashes in food prices, huge swings in commodity prices, and are partly responsible for the explosion in our healthcare costs because they're contributing to type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease, obesity, all the things that are driving our huge explosion in healthcare costs. That's just one sector of the economy. You think about the same thing is true on transportation. The same thing is true on how we construct our buildings. The same is true across the board.
For us to say we are just going to completely revamp how we use energy in a way that deals with climate change, deals with national security and drives our economy, that's going to be my number one priority when I get into office, assuming, obviously, that we have done enough to just stabilize the immediate economic situation."

I made some more stuff

Pumpkin cheesecake! I used this Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe. Except I used a store-bought crust because it's easy, and we don't have a proper springform pan anyway. Very easy and very delicious! Just mix all the stuff and pour it in the crust. It would be even better with some whipped cream. I think I'll make this again.

Neue Tasche 2

I also made another bag. The one I'm using now is far too large, and I can never find anything in it. I had this Alexander Henry fabric that I wanted to use, but hadn't decided on what to make with it. This is the same pattern as the one I made for Joanna, Burda 8235. I had to add another layer of interfacing to make the bag a bit sturdier. For Joanna's bag I had used home dec fabric which is much stronger. I was too lazy to add interfacing for the strap, so the strap feels flimsy compared to the rest of the bag. Oh well. The lining and strap are navy blue, don't really match, but I didn't want to buy additional fabric. So I used this navy blue bed sheet that I had in my stash.

John Hodgman and Friends

When I woke up yesterday morning, I had no idea that by evening I would be going to see John Hodgman and meeting the man himself at the end of the night. And that he would offer me a sandwich and cheesecake. My friend Rachel had heard on NPR yesterday that John Hodgman would be speaking at Town Hall that night. She gave me a call, and we both purchased the $5.00 tickets, soon to be sold out. For those you who do not watch the Daily Show or listen to NPR, you will know John Hodgman as the PC guy from the Apple commercials. Indeed, he is "a famous minor television personality" and general expert of all things.

It was a very entertaining and funny night. I haven't laughed so much in a while.

As a bonus, we were treated to informal performances by Harvey Danger/The Long Winters members, Sean Nelson (on the left) and John Roderick (on the right). The guy in the middle is a singer from New York, Jonathan Coulton. I remember going to see Harvey Danger in Cleveland about ten years ago. I can't believe it's been ten years. This is John Roderick about to play a musical solo on a piece of paper.

We waited about an hour (I think) afterwards to get our books signed. We were at the very end of the line, hungry and tired. They had brought out some food right as we got to the table. John was very cordial, shook our hands, sat for pictures and offered us some cheesecake, pho or sandwiches. We were so hungry, rachel and I both snatched a sandwich and left pretty happy.

Weekender Bag

First off, let me just say...YAY FOR BARACK OBAMA!!!! I had class until 9pm, so I had to settle for web updates. I heard the end of Barack Obama's speech on the way home. What an exciting time for this country! It will be nice to have a president I can respect and admire again. Yay!!! Okay, back to the blog. Becky just got her birthday gift from me, so now I can post it. It's Amy Butler's Weekender Bag! I'd been pining for the pattern for several months before I broke down and purchased it from etsy. This bag was a challenge because so much of sewing is new to me. But I enjoyed making it, and I'll be making more. I really want one for myself!

The toughest part was the cording. I broke about eight needles trying to sew through all the layers. No joke. The other challenge was deciding on fabric. I couldn't afford the fabric I really wanted. Amy Butler fabric runs about $15 a yard, which is fine for a wallet. But this bag uses rougly 3-4 yards of fabric. Plus two yards of interfacing. so I went with IKEA fabric, which turned out well, I think. It's a very large bag and holds a lot of stuff.

This is from the Amy Butler site. check it out, there's lots of good stuff. And she's in ohio!

Election Day Distractions

I'm seriously distracted today. I spent about two hours looking for jobs this morning. But now I can't concentrate. I'm so excited because it's election day! I went and got my free starbucks coffee today and now I'm wired. I have my Flash class tonight, so I need to go study. It's also distracting having my piano so close to my computer. I really like the piano song in the starbucks commercial, even though they clearly got their "inspiration" from Girl Effect. So I was trying to find out who wrote it because it sounds like Yann Tiersen, the guy who wrote the Amelie soundtrack. Turns out it's a guy named michael montes, who also has a song in a camera commercial you may have seen. It's a very easy song to learn, this took me about five minutes to figure out, thanks to youtube. I don't know if it's supposed to be this fast. This was right after I had my coffee.

Piano Test from craft berry on Vimeo.

Tofu Excursion

Sorry for the lack of exciting posts. It's really been non-eventful. I've been glued to my laptop and getting carpal tunnel pains. Nemo has decided that the middle of my bed is his favorite spot. I love that he finds my bed more comfortable than I do. This morning, I went up to to my room and found Ava sleeping in Nemo's spot. And Nemo curled up in a different spot. I guess Ava wanted to see what the big deal was.

On Saturday we went the 99 Ranch chinese market. Saturday afternoon is definitely the wrong time to go. Waiting to checkout...

produce and tofu

Stocking up on tofu and an oroblanco.