Crafternoon Hits San Francisco

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Boy do I love San Francisco. I’m not the first one who left another little piece of my heart there, and there’s no way I’m the last.

The first Crafternoon at the San Francisco Public Library was a tremendous success. On Saturday, August 27th at Presidio Branch I kicked off the Crafternoon series, West Coast library style, showing folks how to create collages and decoupage.

An incredible amount of gorgeous craft supplies were generously donated by EK Success Brands. Here are just some of the lovely things they donated to the series, which will be used at all of the future events. EK Success set the library up so that the Crafternoon at the SFPL series is sure to achieve handmade greatness!

The space at the library is perfect for this series – bright, sunny and brand spanking new! And we had a fantastic turnout of family and friends, ready to craft and chat.

People dove right into the decoupaging, creating all kinds of beautiful pieces.

I was absolutely thrilled with every aspect of the event. It took a lot of coordinating and brainstorming, and all of the effort really paid off. I’d like to thank all of the good people at the San Francisco Public Library who made it happen: Christy Estrovitz, Rosie Merlin, and especially Megan Anderson, the Presidio Branch manager pictured below.

Megan brought a diverse selection of craft books to the event, and had a laptop with her so that any attendee with a library card could check books out directly from her. And for those folks who didn’t have a library card, she was able to sign them up on the spot!

The next SFPL Crafternoon event will take place in October. Please check the Presidio Branch site for details closer to the date.

As for me, I’m back in NYC, ready for this Saturday’s Handmade Crafternoon at the NYPL. We’ll be celebrating the release of Design*Sponge at Home, the first book by design*sponge, which is out today! Hope to get crafty with you soon.

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Crafternoon at the San Francisco Public Library

Friday, August 12th, 2011

I can’t believe it’s almost time for my first Crafternoon at the San Francisco Pulic Library! On Saturday, August 27th, from 2-4pm, the whole family is invited to come to our kickoff Crafternoon event at the library’s Presidio Branch. I will be leading the event, and will show crafters how to create collages and how to decoupage. We’ll cut and paste our way to some gorgeous crafty goods.

I’m so happy to say that this event is FREE, just like our Handmade Crafternoon events at the NYPL. Supplies are generously donated by EK Success Brands. If you would like to practice decoupage, please bring a box of any size to decorate.

There will also be a selection of inspiring craft books on hand from the library’s collection. I hope I’ll see you there!

Presidio Branch Library, Meeting Room (3150 Sacramento St., SF) | Saturday, August 27 | 2-4p | FREE

*This event is all ages, but children under 14 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

**If you have magazines lying around your house that you’d be happy to cut up and craft with, please bring them!

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Decoupage Assemblage at Spacecraft: The Recap

Friday, March 27th, 2009

I’m thrilled to report that last night’s first Crafterhours ever was just lovely. Spacecraft was the perfect place to have an evening of decoupage – check out their wall!

Designed and installed by Domestic Construction, it’s decoupage at its mural-tastic finest!

As I’ve said before, Spacecraft is just the coolest. It’s the kind of place that just makes crafters exclaim, “I wish this was MY store!” And Stella and Cristina, the owners, are total dolls. They make every customer feel totally welcome and offer lots of great crafting advice and instruction.

We had a fantastic time, and lots of good quality crafting went down. My friend Molly worked on a collage:

While Elyse decorated a picture frame:

And Rufus painted himself a treasure chest:

The whole gang had a great time.

And Rufus and I now have two newly decoupaged additions to our home:

My finished project is all ready to be filled up with sewing supplies:

I simply cannot wait for the next Crafterhours! An evening spent crafting with friends is an evening well spent, indeed.

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Crafterhours, Book Swap and Martha Stewart Radio!

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Hi there friendlies! I’ve got a busy week ahead of me, starting tonight, March 26th, when I will be hosting my very first Crafterhours! 

From 6:30-8pm at SPACECRAFT,  I will be signing books and demonstrating cool DECOUPAGE projects. (I’d love to show you a photo of such a craft, but my WordPress is not my friend today.)

Bring your own stuff to decoupage (wooden boxes, frames, furniture..) and paper goods to collage with, or buy materials at Spacecraft. And we’ll provide the Mod Podge, brushes and how-to. Let’s get crafty in the evening time!

If you haven’t already stopped by Spacecraft, you will love it. They stock great craft supplies in the front of the store, and in the back there’s a massive table where folks can sit and get their craft on. The walls are covered in cheerful collage murals and there is plenty of space to craft in. Spacecraft is just dreamy:

355 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211

Then on MONDAY, MARCH 30th, I’ll be chatting up a storm at the READERS & WRITERS MINGLE AND BOOK SWAP  from 7-10pm at PACIFIC STAND in Park Slope.This event is the creation of THE DESK SET - a group of NYC area librarians and bibliophiles who do all sorts of cool stuff. Here’s what they have to say about the evening:
The writers and readers of this great city are invited to bring their old books, swap ‘em for other people’s books, and have a drink and/or a chat with like-minded folks. All writers and readers are invited.
Pacific Standard
82 Fourth Avenue
Park Slope, Brooklyn

But I can’t party too hard on Monday night, as I’ll be chatting up a crafty storm on Tuesday morning at 10am on Martha Stewart Radio’s Whole Living with Terri Trespicio!


This is my third time on the show, and I am so thrilled that they keep asking me back. Terri is a great host and it’s a totally fun and informative show. I’ll be sharing some easy Easter and Passover craft ideas with the listeners. If you’re not already a subcscriber to Sirius, you can try it out forfree a few days right here:


I hope to see you in person or hear your happy call-in voice sometime this week!


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A Weekend of Cooking and Craft

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Oh, how I love a full weekend! A weekend of good food, good friends, and good crafting. And along the way, a little extra dose of rest.

We kicked this one off with a small dinner party for old friends, which is the perfect way to start any weekend. I made not one but two stews for our eating pleasure: a rich, beefy stew that simmered for 24 hours before serving, and a light and fresh butternut squash stew that I finished moments after our first guests arrived. The beef bad boy was based on a recipe from Alice Waters’ cookbook The Art of Simple Food, a book that was a gift from a friend and is a joyful addition to my cookbook collection. I modified the recipe to serve more guests and to accommodate some missing ingredients and some added bonuses. And man oh man, was it delicious. So here it is for your cooking pleasure. If you make it, tell me what you think!

Beefy Good 24 Hour Beef Stew

5 pounds stew beef

sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1/4 pound of bacon

olive oil

2 onions, peeled and quartered

2 big carrots, peeled and cut into thick slices

1 big parsnip, peeled and cut into thick slice

nearly two cups of red wine

1/4 dried porcini mushrooms and 1/2 hot cup water

6 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped

4 or five cups of water and two chicken boullioun cubes

about two teaspoons of tomato paste

For starters, you’ll want to season your beef with the sea salt and the pepper and set it aside. Then in a heavy pan ( preferably cast iron or something equally sturdy), heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil, enough to coat the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, being careful not to get zapped by the hot oil when you add it to the pan. Cook the bacon ’til it is cooked through but is not crispy, then remove the bacon and set it aside for a BLT (or something just as tasty and bacony).

Then begin adding in the beef in batches, cooking until it is completely browned on all sides. As each batch is browned, add it to a heavy pot without heat. This browning process takes a while! (I was watching Ace of Cakes and then The Chef Jeff Project while I browned the meat, and I watched full episodes of both shows before I was done browning the tasty chunklets.)

While the last batch of meat is browning, add your porcini mushrooms to your 1/2 cup hot water. Let it soak for about ten minute and then pour some of the ‘shroom water into your browned-beef pot, take out the mushrooms and chop them coarsely and set them aside.

When all of your meat is done browning, lower the heat on the pan and add the onions, carrots and parsnips. Cook until the onions are soft and browning on the edges, but not caramelized. Then add the veggies to your big pot of beef.

Next, add your red wine to the pan. Let it cook until a third of it has cooked off, and add it to the pot of beef, along with the porcini mushrooms, garlic, water and boullioun cubes and tomato paste. The liquid should cover the beef almost completely, so add more liquid as necessary. Cover and cook the stew at a simmer for an hour, and then reduce to the lowest possible heat and let it simmer for as many hours as possible. I was able to let it simmer for 24 hours because it simmered while we slept and then simmered while Rufus was at home editing on Friday. Some people don’t like to leave something simmering while they sleep, and I understand that. But please let it simmer as long as possible – the longer it simmers, the more like butter the beef becomes. Serve warm over noodles and enjoy!

Saturday was spent sleeping and cleaning up and walking the dog. We also watched a documentary about monkeys. I love a lazy Saturday.

Then today my mom hosted a Crafternoon for her friends and invited me to join them. They were more into the art of chatting than they were into hardcore crafting, but we had a lovely time. A couple of her friends made Christmas ornaments like this one:

And my mom made this one:

I did manage to dabble in a little decoupage, and the resulting box with its pretty 50s ladies pleases me:

Then I hustled back home to watch our wonderful President-Elect and his awesome wife on 60 Minutes.

The end to a perfect weekend.

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