Brain Dump

It seems I can’t quite keep a good schedule for writing this stuff down (but I am still working on that) and I just checked and it’s been almost exactly a month since I last posted. A lot happens in a month, so here’s a laundry list:

IMG_1121I went to LA again! (Thanks, Mom & Dad!). Went to celebrate April birthday celebrants this time (Happy Birthday Dad!). Ate lots of great food, spent time with family, ate Korean Tofu AND favorite Ramen in the same day! (pic of Motoi and Satomi at Daikokuya).

IMG_1223Joined and completed my first Craftster swap. Craftster is a fantastic online craft community resource – great for trolling for inspiration and, if you are not as shy, also excellent for giving and receiving feedback. For those of you who don’t know, a swap is exactly what it sounds like: You exchanging things with another one of you (except you get to keep what you swapped, unlike the TV Show, Wife Swap). I participated in my first swap earlier this year with some ThingADay participants – we each got a name of someone to send something we made during the ThingADay sprint and that was the only rule.

This time, I joined the “Magic Yarn Ball” Swap. I filled out a questionnaire with questions about my preferred themes and colors; my skill level and preference between knitting and crocheting. The questionnaire responses were then sent to the swap partner and the rules were to send your swap partner a knitting or crochet pattern and the yarn to make that pattern out of along with goods (crafted or purchased) in the themes fitting your swap partner’s “personality” (based on the questionnaire and whatever other resources you have to “stalk” them). Then, you wrap the extra goods with the yarn you intend to send your swap partner and the idea is that these goods unravel as extra surprises as they are using up the yarn to make what you sent them the pattern for. IMG_1242It was surprisingly inspirational to learn what you know about someone solely through their web presence and try to make and find things for them that you think would appeal to them, based on what you’ve discovered. It certainly inspired me to craft some new items shown in the pic: modular headbands (embellishments are on their own clips so you can wear them on the headband or as individual clips) with flower and animal embellishments; spats; an owl eye mask; and a union jack cup cozy.

In return I, too, received a stash of goodies. (my swap partner gave me a knitting pattern for some bike panniers, which I’ve mostly finished making, but I’m still undecided about how much I like how they came out, so I might have to have a do-over on that one). I’ve already joined my next one in which I will need to make a purse for someone and fill it up with a couple of other items (again, based on what I think they’d like) and they will do the same. Maybe I’ll have pics by my next post.

IMG_1261 Then, last week, I went to the Disposable Film Festival by way of wanting to attend ForageSF‘s Underground Market. It was my first time riding my bike downtown (and really probably only my 4th time taking the bike out since I moved here) and it was surprisingly easy to get downtown without any major hills. (Going back home, I rode the bus with my neighbor, who i met up with at the festival, so it was a convenient excuse to avoid the late night bike walk up my street.)IMG_1259
The market had a lot of ready-made food you could buy and eat while waiting for the movies to start. I tried some home made cheeses; learned that I could ferment my kimchi faster if I leave it at room temperature until it sours; ate and oogled a whole bunch of other yummy dishes; and met found some new friends (that’s a pic of my “instant BFF” – for the fest, at least- Celeste and Clive with the camera behind us).
The festival itself was off to a late start, since the sun was still peeking through until nearly 9PM (I know, awesome, right?!), but was a blast to watch once we got started. Most everyone came prepared with their blankets and folding chairs and the show conveniently ended just before my limbs got too stiff from the cold. And BONUS: there was free bike parking, so even my bike got a bit of socializing at the sitter’s.

IMG_1275 Inspired to really go for it by the film festival (and recently urged by my recent general need to get some of these ideas formalized and working), I solicited some friends (new and not as new) to help me put together a cooking show. We shot our first trial run to get familiarized with the set, aka my kitchen, and give us some ideas about what we need to think about to really make a decent show, with our low-fi resources. Of course it didn’t hurt to then have a good serving of spaghetti after. I don’t even really have my ideas on this organized and collected yet, but thought I’d include it here as a teaser. So, more on this one later.

If all of that weren’t enough to get my mind really going, I also went to my first experience of Maker Faire today. I was thoroughly overstimulated in a good way with robots, musical instruments, crafty items, and all the people oozing of crafty- and geekiness. I knew the sugar-chocolate-whipped cream-topped funnel cake followed by a greasy serving of chicken strips and fries (life is short, so we ate dessert first) downed with a can of Coke would hurt later, but, hey – I’ve been running about 3 times a week for the last couple of weeks and I feel motivated to keep going, so it was worth it!

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