Bears, BEADS, Battlestar Galactica

I've been itching to try my hand at beadwork since discovering the Oakland based jewelry designer, Tania Skevos.  Her work weaves together vibrant colors and intricate patterns that left me me staring at and dissecting the bracelet I purchased from her for hours on end.

A "quick" trip to a local yarn shop during my recent vacation to Alaska led me to stand, awestruck in the middle of an entire room filled wall-to-wall with beads. Forty-five minutes, some grueling decisions, a swipe of the magical money card and I was on my way with nine different colorways. 

I've done some experimenting, untied more knots than I can count, and taught many a passer-by at local coffee shops.  Nothing makes me happier than a stranger's curiosity turning into a 20 minute tutorial and a new-found sense of creative-confidence!  

Teaching my roommate while drying off after a dip in the Pacific Ocean (hence the crazy hair)

Posted on July 30, 2015 .

A Wedding + Claro Walnut

Tracy O'Brien, my best friend/womb sister, married an incredible human a few weeks ago.  

Tracy is the feistiest, strongest, most hilarious, considerate, generous, and loving human that I have the privilege of calling my friend. Ryan balances her so completely with a radiating sense of calm, responsibility, groundedness, and a dry, subtle sense of humor.  

Their wedding was a testament to the ease they bring to their relationship and the fierce support of their family and friends. I've been waiting for them to return from their Honeymoon so that I could post these photos of their wedding present and not ruin any surprises!

Three cheers to the O'Baudoins! 

Posted on July 21, 2015 .

HCSS: Spoon Carving with Windy Chien

Windy Chien, an absolutely fabulous SF artist, hosted a Spoon Carving workshop at Handcraft Studio School this afternoon.  A lucky group of ladies designed, sawed, rasped, gouged, sanded, and oiled their very own, unique walnut spoons. Each left a little sweatier, dustier, and happier than when they entered the studio.  And that, my friends, is what I call a successful Sunday. 

Check out the HCSS website to find information about upcoming classes and future opportunities to take a class from Windy.

Posted on July 19, 2015 .

ACS Birthday Benefit

The American Cancer Society is hosting their annual Birthday Ball today. Hosted by Kathy Bates and featuring a live performance by Katharine McPhee, this benefit raises money for cancer research through direct donation and a swanky silent auction.

I'm incredibly honored to be auctioning off a set of serving spoons in order to find a cure for this horrendous disease.  Cross your fingers that some billionaires decide to drop a hefty wad of cash on a set of hand-carved maple utensils!  It all goes to charity! 

UPDATE: My dear friend and past co-worker, Corina Monzon, placed a very competitive bid on these serving spoons, and WON!  I'm so happy to know that they ended up in a beautiful home, with beautiful people, and that her generous donation is going to such a good cause! 


Posted on June 6, 2015 .

Open Studio @ JRFS

My old boss and fine furniture designer, Jared Rusten, is opening up his live/work space for cocktails and mingling this Wednesday (January 10th) from 6-9pm. He is an impeccable designer, woodworker, musician, and entertainer.  It may be the last event of it's kind in this space, so head on over for great conversation, furniture ogling, and some neighborhood mingling. 

Hope to see you there! 


2815 23rd Street  /  Wed. June 10, 6-9pm

For the last 5 years, our work studio/gallery on 23rd Street in the Mission District has been the home to all of our creative activity. Here we launched the California Series of tables, the Modern Rocking Chair, and dozens of other designs and custom commissions. Change is in the air though, and it's likely that this is the last year we will be in this beautiful location. We'd love to have you visit, get your feedback on new pieces, and show off prototypes, products, and the process behind all of this hard work. To make sure we know to look out for you, please follow this Eventbrite.com link to RSVP.

Visitors will be entered into a drawing to win a small decorative piece and adult refreshments will be on hand.  Thank you for all the support and friendship. We hope to see you next Wednesday evening!

Cheers, Jared.

 

Posted on June 5, 2015 .

Class: Knitting 101

Get ready to hone those zombie apocalypse skills, impress family and friends, make some rad presents, and spend a few hours with yours truly.

For all of you who've been toying with the idea, I'll be offering Knitting 101 at Nine Rubies in San Mateo.
Saturdays from 10am-12pm: July 18, 25, August 1, and 8
$85 + materials

Click HERE for more information!

Posted on May 26, 2015 .

Brit + Co: Copper Menorah

Hanukkah is right around the corner, and for those of you who aren't at home to celebrate this year, your Menorah probably consists of a random assortment of half-burned candles on your kitchen table.  

Gather your supplies, enlist some mensches, and build yourself a classy menorah you can eat your latkes around with pride.  

Don't be intimidated by the number of steps!  It took me about 30 minutes to make (including drying time)!!

This tutorial can be found under 8 Nights of DIY on the Brit + Co website, or by clicking HERE!

Posted on December 15, 2014 .

Brit + Co

It's been a few weeks since I've had the chance to post anything and, to the 5 of you who read this blog (hi dad!), I apologize.

I have a good excuse though!  Exciting things have been in the works.

I'm now a contributing DIYer for Brit + Co

If you haven't had the pleasure of browsing through their site, do it!  They have excellent tutorials, on everything from baking to tech, and a well curated shop of things you didn't even know you needed.  

Keep your eyes peeled for some fun projects in the near future! Until then, check out these sweet Dia de los Muertos Skull Planters.



Posted on November 11, 2014 .

Candied Ginger

I may have a teeeeeny tiny obsession with ginger.... but it turns out my two year-old nephew does too. 

This little munchkin has my number.  And he totally knows it.  I love his slobbery kisses and pudgy-armed hugs like nothing else, and he keeps them under tighter lock and key than the Queen's jewels. So, obviously, I bribe him.

I recently gave Jackson a tiny piece of candied ginger in exchange for a kiss.  Upon practically swallowing it whole, he asked for more.  I told him that it was all gone and he promptly disappeared.  I figured he had gone back to destroying something or another when I heard the pattering of little feet and the rattle of a partially full mason jar coming swiftly down the hall.

The little stinker had run back to the kitchen, crawled onto a chair, climbed onto a counter, and miraculously made it back down off the counter and chair while grasping a pint-sized glass jar full of candied ginger in his tiny little hands.  

He gleefully presented me with the jar and puckered his lips.  

CANDIED GINGER

  • 1 pound Ginger
  • 5 cups Water
  • 1-2 cups Sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
  • Cooling Rack
  • Parchment Paper or Silpat
  • Mandolin (optional)
ingredients

1. Peel ginger and slice into 1/8 inch pieces (thicker = spicier!)

peeledandchopped

2. Fill a pot with water and ginger and bring to a medium boil. Stir occasionally until ginger is soft and translucent (about 30 minutes)

translucent

3. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup of water

4. Return ginger, 1/4 cup of water, and 1.5 cups of sugar to the pot over medium heat. Stir constantly until water and sugar reduce to a thick syrup, coating ginger

You may be tempted to add extra water at this point, don't do it!

simplesyrup

5. Transfer to your cooling rack (toss with extra sugar for added texture and sweetness, if desired)

tossandcool

6. Allow to cool completely, transfer to an airtight container, and bribe your loved-ones!

 

Posted on October 18, 2014 .

Knotted Knitted Necklace

It's officially Fall.  It's also officially 83 degrees fahrenheit today.

I'm itching for some cold weather comfort and because it's not quite appropriate to don a wool beanie and cashmere scarf in this heat, I give you:

 The Knotted Knitted Necklace

  • Yarn
  • 2 double pointed knitting needles OR a knitting spool
  • Fiber Soak or Mild Detergent
  • Internet Access AND/OR awesome knot tying skills!
  • Optional: Fabric to hide the knot at the back of the necklace (if it bothers you)
Icord1

1. Knit approximately 3 feet of I-cord, leaving a few inches of yarn on each end.  

I used 5 stitches for this necklace (more stitches will yield a more substantial I-cord while fewer will appear more delicate)

The Purl Bee has a wonderful step-by-step tutorial which can be found HERE!

Icord2

2. Find a knot that calls to you and use your length of I-cord to tie it. 

The TyingItAllTogether youtube channel has some great tutorials.

Icord4

3. One you've impressed yourself (and let's be honest, all of your friends) with your sailor skills, find the length you want your necklace to be and tie or graft your ends together.

You can wrap and sew a piece of fabric round this knot if it bothers you, I'm imagining leather...

Icord6

4. To make sure your necklace hangs nicely, soak it in a basin of lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes with a fiber-specific soak or mild detergent.  

Roll your necklace in a towel to remove excess water (don't wring it out!)

Hang from a door handle to dry!

IMG_4562.jpg

5. Enjoy your tiny woolen-comfort until the weather changes and you can bust out the cabled sweaters and mittens!

Posted on October 9, 2014 .

A Sock for Giants: a Class!

I will be teaching a Holiday Stocking Class (alternatively titled: A Sock for Giants) at Nine Rubies in San Mateo this coming November! 

 You can find more information HERE and read the class description below:

The Holiday Stocking class does double duty for your knitting...you will be making a great holiday stocking to hang on your mantel or bookcase, and you will learn the techniques to make a basic, wearable sock! You will learn the benefits of a ribbed cuff, choose between a wrapped or standard heel, work an i-cord, and brush up on joining contrasting colored yarn. This stocking is highly customizable, based on your color choices, heel shape and embellishments. Whether you are a veteran or novice knitter, you can apply the skills learned in this class to fingering-weight sock projects in the future.

Materials: size 7 or 8 DPNs or circular needles to work the 2-circular method or Magic Loop, Cascade 220 Superwash yarn in at least 2 different colors 

Someone told me there might be cookies...

Posted on October 7, 2014 .

Fire Cider: For What Ails You

The first wave of back-to-school-sickness has hit.

Students are dropping like flies and teachers are sanitizing like their lives depend on it.

So far I've avoided remained unscathed, but I'm not taking any chances this year.  

FIRE CIDER

Fire Cider is a beverage that will knock germs on their tuckus with a one-two punch of intensity and...MORE INTENSITY! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 part ginger
  • 1 part garlic
  • 1 part fresh horse radish (I found mine in the produce section at Whole Foods)
  • 1 part onion (I'm allergic to raw onions so I skipped this step)
  • 2 spicy peppers
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Quart-sized Jar
Firecider

1. Wash and chop all ingredients, except peppers (the smaller you chop, the better!)

rawingredients
chopped

2. Add all ingredients to your quart-sized jar

filldajar

3. Fill to the brim with Apple Cider Vinegar

FillwithACV

4. Stick in the back of your fridge and resist opening it for 4-8 weeks! (make sure to label your jar so you know when to open it!)

labelit

5. Strain all solids and enjoy the spicy fruits of your patience! 

I like to dilute it with some water and honey to make a soothing tea, sip it by the spoonful for some serious sinus-cleansing (read: tears), or throw a dash into stir fries for some extra pep. 

 

Bonus photo: my "helper" and nephew, Jackson.

jackson

(I am by no means a doctor, nor recommending Fire Cider as substitute for medical advice)

 

Posted on October 6, 2014 .

Lauren makes a Circle Scarf

My sister, Lauren, is not a particularly crafty human.  We say that she got all the math and science genes, while I got all the liberal-arts and crafty ones. We are perfect opposites.

That being said, Lauren crafted last night. 

Lauren successfully turned a piece of fabric into a functional clothing item. 

And it was awesome.

SIMPLE CIRCLE SCARF

Materials:

  • 1 yard heavenly, soft material
  • Thread (matching or contrasting, whatever your heart desires)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Pins
  • Sewing Machine

A trip to the fabric store yielded a yard of some of the softest knit jersey I've laid my hands on.  Unfortunately, it was a remnant piece so I can't tell you much more than that. 

  1. Locate the right side of your fabric and fold it lengthwise (with the outside facing in). 
  2. Pin and sew along the long side of the fabric (creating a tube)

3. Flip right side out

4. Line up the ends of your tube, pinning so that the outside is facing in (there will be a section that you will be unable to pin as you'll have to turn the tube right-side out)

5. Once you've sewn all that you can: right the tube, pin the gap, and whip stitch the hole closed (with matching thread or something contrasting for some pizzaz!)

6. Enjoy that soft, delicious coziness

Posted on October 3, 2014 .

HELLO WORLD!

The idea for this blog has been bouncing around for years.  Recipients of hand-made presents have emphatically claimed: "I could never make (insert craft here)!" Which is just plain bollocks. Everyone can make things.

Making is absolutely a skill, and any skill can be learned. Any skill can be honed. Any skill can be mastered.

This will be an online repository for projects, tutorials,  and professions of my deepest crafting desires. This is a space for everyone who "isn't artistic" to try their hand at something new.  

I won't judge you. 

Posted on October 1, 2014 .