Saturday, January 19, 2019

How to: sew a bento bag

Every year I like to make something quick and fun for friends. Last year, it was bento bags—little furoshiki tie bags that can carry a bento box, a sandwich, or a tupperware or pyrex container with your lunch. They also make good produce bags.

Friday, December 18, 2015

How to wrap

Last year’s wrapping went so well, I wanted to share.

Maybe you enjoy wrapping. Maybe you enjoy a little bit of wrapping? Great. But if it becomes a chore, here is a foolproof method that, for me, makes even a large amount of wrapping sort of enjoyable. The key is to automate the process,

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Reheating without the microwave

One of my favorite uses of the microwave is to reheat food. Since it works by heating up the water molecules, it doesn't seem to dry out the food. Also, you can heat it up right in your bowl/plate. And, since your plate/bowl can then go right in the dishwasher, it is one less plate/bowl to wash. And it is fast.

Heating leftovers up on the stove usually requires washing a pot and eating out of a different dish.  Which, lets face it, is a pain.

Until now.

While I don't know that microwaves are an unmitigated evil, I have been reading about how

Monday, January 12, 2015

The omnipresent (yet ellusive) Silver Fern of New Zealand

The silver fern has become the iconic symbol of New Zealand. Here are a variety of representations I found at the Aukland airport alone:

I love it's graphic black-and-white abstraction, the use of positive and negative space, and how the design melds well with

Sunday, July 20, 2014


We are not planners so that is one reason we got the van. No need for reservations or tickets. We did block out a week for a family vacation (I had “go somewhere” in the calendar) and we looked to Yellowstone as a destination. It’s about a 9-hour drive from Boulder. You might want to plan your trip, but your itinerary could go something like this:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How to: DIY disposable cloth napkins

Have to share this idea.

The other day I went to my happy place, Anthropologie, and in the sale section they had a sort of cloth napkin that was disposable and that you could tear off a roll. Not with snaps or anything, just a roll of cheap cotton fabric in cute gingham prints that you could tear. Kind of like an upscale picnic item. I was intrigued but I didn't bite. But at home, I did have, waiting for me to do something with them, two worn out pillow cases.

You know when sheets or pillow cases get so thin there is no point in mending them? A sheet might become a tarp for spray painting or a pillow case might become rags for cleaning. Once I made waxing strips out of an old sheet and and old pillow case. But we currently have enough rags and tarps and waxing strips so these pillow cases were just waiting. I couldn't throw them away, but I didn't have much time to deal with them either.

Soooo...idea! I quickly tore each pillow case


Kadin was working on a math problem for his homework and asked for my help. He actually didn't bring the problem home but said he remembered it. He tried to explain it to me and it was something like this:
A jail has 100 cells. The guard comes in the first day and unlocks all the cells. On the second day he locks all the cells that are multiples of two. On the third day he unlocks all the cells that are multiples of 3 (or something like that, Kadin wasn't exactly sure) and so on. The question was, on the 100th day, which cells would be unlocked?

So we agreed there must be a pattern. Kadin had gone through and figured out

Friday, December 24, 2010

Final grand theory (France’s gift to me)

What did I learn in France? The big take-away for me was the relative lack of shame. And I am surprised by how revolutionary this is to me. All the functionality and sense of entitlement shown by the French could very well come from what I see as a lack of desire to make people feel bad. Or, put another way, a great desire to shore people up, let them feel good, appreciate them for who they are, and protect them from humiliation.

And it could all be in my head—is probably a theory that says more about me than anything about “the French”—but I am enjoying the fantasy and finding it really helpful. (I chose not to watch French daytime TV just to keep it alive.)

In the US, and even more so in England (and perhaps in other northern European countries like Germany and Scandinavia), I find there is a