Thursday, December 30, 2010

off the grid

Not quite back from our trip to the mountains. Hoping to somehow keep the quiet and serenity of the falling snow in my mind for awhile.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I promise to post new and interesting things soon, but for now well frankly, I'm exhausted. Even my acupuncturist told me my kidneys say I've been burning the midnight oil and drinking too much coffee and booze. Seriously. A big gigantic thank you to the many many people who came out and bought from us at Renegade Craft Fair. It was a huge success for us and we're entirely grateful.

Friday, December 17, 2010

it's a wrap

We have some new readers today sent over from Design Sponge. Welcome, nice to have you!

light coming in

Yesterday at lunch, the sun was streaming in the window making the ornaments reflect sparkles all over the wall. And Em was being adorable.

girls night out

One of the many jobs I have is working for Natalie Bowens Designs, a florist here in San Francisco. We became friends years ago at Rose and Radish, so working for her is more like hanging out with a friend. This week she took all of us assistants out for dinner at Coco500. We were treated like royalty and I waaay overdid it with glass after glass of amazing wine. But 4 hours of chatting with the ladies is like that. You lose track.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

this weekend

Renegade Craft Fair is this weekend. It's by far the biggest fair we've done, and this year we have some new products for sale. this humble abode will be selling neckties, pocket squares, toddler aprons, reusable ribbons and loveys (security blankets). The Heated will have white and natural flour sack dishtowels and...wait for it...drum canvas tote bags! They are made here in San Francisco and are gorgeous quality. We chose big enough ones to take to the grocery store and actually be useful 'cause we're like that. Bags are printed on both sides and will be $20.
Please come see us if you live in the Bay Area! Booth #116, center aisle about halfway down.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

infused syrup

Infusing simple syrup with fun flavors is easy peasy. I've been experimenting with it for the last few weeks as part of preparing for the workshop at Prairie Collective, which was a total success by the way. Usually simple syrup is made by heating 1 part sugar to 1 part water until the sugar has dissolved. What I found though is that getting a strong enough infusion for cocktails but not making it overly sweet required a proportion of 2 parts water to 1 part sugar. Here are the three "recipes" I used on Saturday.

Kaffir Lime Lemongrass Gin Tonic
Mix 4 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar in a pot. Add 6-8 kaffir lime leaves and 2 stalks of lemongrass sliced. Bring just to a boil over medium low heat. Turn off the heat and allow to cool fully. Using a sieve or slotted spoon, take out the lemongrass and leaves.
To make the drink, fill a cocktail glass (double old fashioned) with ice. Add 1/4 c infused syrup, 1/4 c gin (tanqueray was just right) and top with tonic and a slice of lime.

Star Anise Ginger Whiskey and Ginger Ale
Mix 4 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar in a pot. Add 2 whole Star Anise and thumb sized piece of grated fresh ginger. Bring to almost a boil over medium low heat. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Using a sieve or slotted spoon, take out the ginger and anise.
To make the drink, fill a cocktail glass (double old fashioned) with ice. Add 1/4 c infused syrup, 1/4 c whiskey (we though Crown Royal was good) and top off with ginger beer.

Tarragon Grapefruit Drop
Mix 4 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar in a pot. Add the peel of 1 grapefruit (no pith!) and 2-3 stalks of fresh tarragon. Bring to almost a boil over medium low heat. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Using a sieve or slotted spoon, take out the peel and herb.
To make the drink, fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in 1/2 c infused syrup,  1/2 c vodka (absolut citron was perfect) and juice from 1 whole grapefruit. How about using the same one that you just peeled? Shake it up good and pour into 2 martini glasses. A sugar rim is excellent here!
Drink and be Merry!

Monday, December 13, 2010

making things

It's been nuts the last two weeks. Like a whole new kind of busy that I maybe have never experienced before. Thankfully most of it has been activities and projects that I like doing, but I'm noticing myself having trouble finding words. So, how about some pictures instead?! Yesterday the ladies from Studio Choo came over and we worked on a piece for Design Sponge. It was great fun, and the photographer was a total joy to work with. His will be better, but here are a few sneak peak shots at what we were doing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

get your drink on

We've been "practicing" for Saturday's workshop at Prairie Collective for the last few weeks. By that I mean I've been playing around with flavor combinations which of course must be tried and tweaked. The Grapefruit Drop was a keeper. I highly recommend you try it!

Grapefruit Drop
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in 1/3 c vodka (we liked Absolut Citron), 1/4 c simple syrup (mine just happened to be grapefruit tarragon infused) and 1/2 c fresh grapefruit juice. Shake profusely and pour into 2 sugar rimmed martini glasses.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


My friends over at Prairie Collective asked me to lead a workshop this month, and I decided a little diy cocktail mixers seems like fun. So I hope you'll come join us this Saturday. We provide all the ingredients, plus cute bottles, labels and instructions. You put it together and give as a gift, or use to host your own party. It'll be easy, and tasting is suggested!


it's officially crazy in our house. orders are coming in, and total mayhem has hit the dining room. but i'm grateful for sales so i'll just zip it. i am trying to list some new items in the etsy store, like the reusable ribbon shown below. i also have been working on a stack of pocket squares/hankies. if you're interested, email me and i'll get some images to you. ribbon is $7, hankies are $12.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

it's market day

If you're ready to do some Christmas shopping, and you're in the Mission area, come to The Blue Macaw for Market SF. I even have some new products today (under $10!). We'll be there 12-6, Mission between 21st and 22nd.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I'm not really a breakfast person. Okay, that's not true, but I'm not someone who wakes up hungry. It takes me a cup of coffee and likely a few hours of work until I feel hungry. On the days when I get to start out working in the studio I've been eating breakfast around 10:30. Then I hop in the shower, and head out to pick-up the little ones from school. Lately plain yogurt with a little maple syrup and a pile of homemade granola has been really hitting the spot. I've made my own granola for years, but this is a new combination, dried raspberries and big flakes of coconut. Yum.

By the way, I tried one of the olives from "The Great Experiment" last night. Still gross.

the chron

I had a nice little bit of press today in The Chronicle. One of my ties was included in the Gift Guide.

Monday, November 29, 2010

from the air

I've always been the kind of person who suffers greatly from motion sickness. We lived 17 winding miles outside out of town and I missed out on many gymnastic and ballet classes because I arrived feeling too sick. Most public transportation makes me sick and every time I've ever flown there's been at least a moment where I was pretty sure I was going to throw up. Magically on our flight home yesterday, I was fine throughout the entire descent. So fine in fact that I was able to photograph the incredible sunset.

Friday, November 26, 2010

black friday

I hope you'll join me in buying handmade this holiday season.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

olives day 1

Last week a friend dropped off almost 20 pounds of fresh olives. Apparently I have the reputation for a willingness to deal with free food that is labor intensive. This is the same friend who brought me pounds upon pounds of quince. So my knowledge of curing olives is about zero, which meant I headed straight to the internet and luckily found some suggestions that seems valid enough. The only trouble is that you don't know if the experiment is going to work until you are at least a month in, probably even longer. With so many olives, I decided to try 2 methods.
Method 1: Slice each (and every) olive and dump in a bucket filled with cold water. Alternately you can gently bash them with a mallet or rolling pin, I did some of each as an experiment, Make sure they are all fully submerged and put the container into the fridge. Once a day for about a month, dump out the water and fill with fresh water. When the olives are palatable, fill bucket with brine and season with herbs and spices as you please.

Method 2: Place all un-rinsed olives into a bucket, fill with vinegar salt solution and put into a cool dark place. Every month or so, dump out solution, don't rinse olives(!) and re-fill with fresh brine. In about 6 months they should be tasty.

Since this is is such a long term project with variable outcomes, I'm not giving you the exact recipes until I know they work. But I will give you the link to the methods I'm following. I'll update you as we get further along.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I am very lucky to have a short commute to and from work. I'm even luckier that it takes me past one of the best views in the whole city. Lately I've been admiring the lights on the bay bridge made from all the poor people stuck in traffic. By the way, there are more shots from this series on Flickr.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

weather update

Oh my god, summer in November! Last night we were seriously tormented by a mosquito in the bedroom. After 4 attempts to find the little stinker, we finally gave up. He certainly had the last laugh having bitten my honey on the eyelid. Really mosquito? There's very little blood there for drinking but does it ever swell up! I'm taking advantage of the sunshine spending every possible moment with the kids outside. It's inevitable that we'll be stuck inside from rain soon enough. For now it's clear blue skies, lovely grass and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Monday, November 15, 2010

cookie on your face

I can't believe I dared to complain about the sun setting too early. We have had the most gorgeous weather. It's mid November and 75 degrees. Better to just be thankful for what I got. Like for instance that I can take the kids to eat lunch with my wife at least once a week. It's special for all of us, doubly so when I bring cookies.


Saturday, November 13, 2010


I do not love the fact that the time change has made it dark by the time I get home. I took this yesterday as I left work.

Friday, November 12, 2010

meet and greet

Want to come meet me in person? I'll be stitching and listening to music at this event:

Thursday, November 11, 2010