Wednesday, September 26, 2007

how to travel with gadgets

I don't know about you, but every time I go on a trip I cram all the different chargers I need into random pockets in my suitcase and purse and inevitably, I return home missing one or two. I took a trip this past week, and as I was packing my cords into different pockets as usual, I stopped myself and decided this time would be different. I was determined to return home with all of my gadget's life supports!

I had four chargers to bring: usb cord for my camera, usb for my ipod, cell phone charger, and laptop cord.

At first I thought I could just store them all in the same pocket or a smaller bag, but then that left a chance that I'd still forget to put one back in there, considering I'm bad about spreading my things all over the place, even on a short trip.

Solution? As pictured above, I took a hint from how people store embroidery thread and cut out a piece of a cardboard box I had laying around to essentially make a large spool. It worked better than I expected because not only did it keep everything in one place, it ensured that I would easily recognize that something was missing if all of the notches were not full.

Simple solution, but my gadget's batteries are full after my return home and my wallet's fatter for not having to replace anything!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

the motel project: bridge motel

Tonight I went to the so-called "wake" of the iconic-but-not-in-a-good-way Bridge Motel near the Aurora Bridge. A seedy motel, ripe with tales of murder, needles in mattresses, prostitutes, and drug deals among other niceties, to some people stands for "hip Seattle culture." To protest the hotel's upcoming demolition so it can be replaced with condos (boo), the motel became a canvas for a one-night installation by several local artists.

It was crowded, but it was...awesome. It's one of those "you had to be there" events, but I will do my best to describe it using some pictures I snapped (all other photos I took are now posted on my flickr).

The motel was packed, and I'm not sure the last time I had to rub against so many random people. The line formed on the stairs to see the upstairs rooms, and though only a few people at a time were permitted, people were hanging out so there was just no movement. I'm not really complaining, though, because it was good--no I mean good--people watching.

The guy you see crouched on the roof with the umbrella, well he was nude and creeping around and peering over the edge to make scary faces. Random.

By looking at the picture above, I doubt you could guess it was in the motel's parking lot. I'm not sure how it was arranged or who got to have dinner here, but I read snippets online about it that it was supposed to be a "one pot" and "weird" dinner. It looked and smelled good, though.

Also in the parking lot--the lounge. Personally I wouldn't dream about even sitting on the edge of any of the motels' mattresses, but by the time we left I saw several people laying across them and I spied a little bit of cuddling--eew.

One of my top two favorite rooms, the campfire room. They had cut out the roof (I wonder if umbrella guy was leaning over--he had to be cold!) and installed some logs around the fire pit. Some guys dressed as urban cowboys (or maybe it was their regular clothes) were simply hanging out and didn't seem to pay attention to the hordes of people ogling them and snapping pictures.

Room #7. My favorite--the salt room. I thought it was sand until I spied the emptied bags of food grade table salt. We had to take our shoes off, and once in you got to pad around and filter through the miscellaneous letters, pictures, and notes buried in the salt.

This guy was hilarious. I was stuck in a people jam outside one room's window but was fortunately entertained by this guy dancing on the bed. I'm not sure if he was part of the room's art installation or just having a good time.

The project was so much fun to walk through, it's too bad it was for one night only. I did find out however, that it is the first of 3 events in the motel project. Overall, though I'm weary of another new-condo-building-with-street-level-retail-! going up, I can't say that its demise is symbolic of Seattle's art culture being stifled. The night's event was testament that it is just as strong as ever.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

saturday sewing

A little more serious today, I made the clutch from Amy Butler's In Stitches. Her instructions are the easiest to understand that I've found (sorry, Lotta), and there are a number of things in the book that I wouldn't mind making.

This was my first time using batting, interfacing, and a magnetic snap...and I got it all to work!

Since I'm still a sewing rookie, I followed the pattern rather closely. I'm finding that it's best to do that first to see how it "works," and then next time I can draw my own pattern to make it my own design.

I'm happy with the way it turned out, except that I wouldn't mind it having a tad more stability. I didn't want the bag to be too quilted, so I used only one layer of batting as opposed to the two the pattern instructed. I'm not sure if that would really make much of a difference in the durability of the bag, but regardless, I think next time I would skip the batting all together and use a stiff interfacing instead (or both, if I want the quilted feel).

I eschewed the velcro the pattern recommended and opted for the magnetic snap. A little nicer looking, I think, and so easy to do!

All in all, so happy I got to fit in a project this weekend!

my friday night

No excuses, except that I was bored, had some scrap fabric, and was listening to the beach boys.

(by the way, it's a cat!

Friday, September 14, 2007


Lame excuse, but two of my favorite performers since I saw them live this summer--Bret and Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords'--are using it, and so must I

From their website:
"Members of the band (Jemaine and Bret) have noticed that whenever they are doing things that could be reported on the website, they are too busy to update the website. In addition, whenever the band members have some spare time in which they could update the website, there is usually, as one member put it 'nothing going on'."

I really do have a plan to make this blog so much better, but despite my best intentions it has been pushed aside by priorities like work trips, getting ready for a trip home to Texas (next week!), lots of time with friends, and some face time with a few books.

I hope by the time I get back from Katy, I will be settled and refreshed to write more and really getting started on all the projects I've been thinking and talking about. Don't give up on me yet!

Note: Curious where the word/phrase "cop-out" comes from? Me too.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Mister Tibbets

I spent the long holiday at Bumbershoot with T. In short, it was a blast. The weather was gorgeous, the music toe-tapping and head-bobbing good, the spiked lemonade giggle-inducing, and my company, so much fun. T wrote about it here.

The above poster is a hand-screened print by Aesthetic Apparatus I bought at the festival. I particularly love their art prints, and I am on the edge of my seat hoping they bring the Happy/Sad Submarines back in stock!!

In lieu of writing about the shows I've seen this summer (so many!!), in the next week I will be creating a playlist of my favorites and will post here. Watch for it!