Put a Cork in It

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Well, the holidays are in full swing, and if your holidays have been anything like mine have been, then you’ve opened a bottle of wine or two to celebrate with your loved ones. My favorite place to buy wine in New York City is Dandelion Wine in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.


The owner, Lily, is just about the greatest wine store owner you could hope for. She’s super friendly, very knowledgeable, and she knows how to throw a bumpin’ wine tasting.


And all of the good folks who work there with her just happen to be some of the coolest, friendliest folks you’d ever want to meet. I probably buy too much wine just ’cause I like going in there so much. And the sign in their window is hard to resist.


The shop is open and airy, and they store some of the wine in things like these cool old lockers.


Look at all those purdy bottles…


I dig the old Gallo Wines display case. Lily bought it at Kill Devil Hill, another neighborhood store that is completely awesome.


Do you see that huge jar of corks? I can’t say that I have a stash quite that large at home, but during the holidays my cork collection certainly grows. The first time I did Whole Living on Martha Stewart Radio the producer invited listeners to call in with questions about what to do with any random craft supplies they had around the house. She gave a few examples of odd supplies, including a casual mention of wine corks. Well, she must have hit a nerve because for the next 15 minutes, every caller called in with cork-related questions. One woman even said she had, “a barrel full of wine corks” in her cellar. I wanted to suggest that she might want to reconsider her relationship with wine, but I thought that might be a tad impolite.

A few months later, I had an a-ha moment when faced with another plethora of wine corks at my favorite craft store, Spacecraft. Wine corks are so cool looking,  so why not make them into something that will protect your table from drips from your favorite bottle of wine? A cork wine trivet is a chic, eco-friendly craft that is easy to make and looks great on a table.

wine trivet tools


Wine corks

Cork sheet or cork wall tiles (the thicker the cork, the more protection it will provide to the surface below)

Glue gun (loaded with glue sticks)





1. Using a compass, draw a circle with a six-inch diameter on your cork sheet or wall tile. You can make the circle bigger if you usually buy wines with a wider bottom. And if you don’t have a compass, find an oatmeal container or any other round container with a six inch diameter and use that to trace a circle on the cork roll.


2. Cut your cork circle out of the cork sheet or wall tile.

3. Take approximately sixteen to eighteen corks and arrange them around the edge of the circle. Make sure they will fit snugly. Arrange them in the order you’d like to glue them in.


4. Using a glue gun, adhere the corks to the bottom of the cork circle until it is complete.

wine_glue gun

5. Let the glue dry, and voila, you have a cork trivet!

wine trivet complete

My best wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy new year. May you celebrate surrounded by those you adore, and by all means, save the corks!

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Big Brooklyn Weekend: Saturday Crafternoon/Sunday Book Signing

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Hope you’ll pay a visitation to Spacecraft’s ornamentation decoration station or WORD’s writer-bookstore collaboration in the beautiful Brooklyn nation!



Saturday, December 5th: Holiday Ornament Extravaganza at SpaceCraft in Brooklyn
Time: 1:30 to 3:00
Join me for an afternoon making ornaments for all the things in your life that need festive decorations. We’ll be crafting up some clothespin ornaments and adorable Christmas bagels, too, in the warm and cozy Spacecraft space!
Location: Spacecraft, 355 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Admission: $5
Link: http://spacecraftbrooklyn.com/

Sunday, December 6th: WORD Holiday Open House

3-5 pm:
Lev Grossman (The Magicians)
Maura Madden (Crafternoon)
Michelle Knudsen (Dragon of Trelian and Library Lion)

The word on the event, according to WORD:

“Some of our favorite authors will hang out with us at the store,helping with gift-wrapping, recommending their favorite titles and personalizing signed copies of their books for your gift-giving needs! Get a head start on holiday shopping – join us for this festive two-day open house. Refreshments will be served.

Facebook RSVP here.

Location: Word, 126 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, NY
Link:     http://wordbrooklyn.indiebound.com/event/holiday-open-house-0

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November/December Crafternooniness

Monday, November 9th, 2009

November and December are gearing up to be the Crafternoon-iest months of the year. I’ve got two ‘noons each month in NYC, each with a completely different theme, and all of the delightful details are below.

Saturday, November 14th – Handmade : Crafternoon at the New York Public Library
Time:  2:00 to 4:00pm
November’s Handmade: Crafternoon will be all about basic book making (both sewn bindings and not). Along with my co-host, Jessica Pigza,  our special guest will be the amazing, prolific artist Mike Perry. He will share his book arts expertise, and we’ll have lots of supplies on hand to share so that you can make your own handmade book!
Location: Stephen A. Schwarzman Building , 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, Margaret Liebman Berger Forum (Room #227, located in the northeast corner of the second floor)
Admission: FREE
Links:  http://handmadelibrarian.com/
Sunday, November 22nd: Second Annual Charitable Crafternoon at WORD
Time: 2-4pm
Join me for an afternoon of crafting for a good cause. Crafters of all ages are welcome to help us make Thanksgiving cards and decorations for the food pantry at the Greenpoint Reformed Church.
Want to do some crafty homework? Donate a handknit or crocheted hat, scarf, or pair of mittens. And we’ll have some yarn and knitting needles on hand if you need to add a few rows to a scarf or a pompom to a hat.
Location: Word, 126 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, NY
Admission: Please bring two cans of food or a handmade winter accessory to the event. And feel free to bring other snacks and beverages to share with your fellow crafters.
Links:  http://greenpointchurch.org/ministries/emergency-needs
Saturday, December 5th: Holiday Ornament Extravaganza at SpaceCraft in Brooklyn
Time: 1:30 to 3:30
Join me for an afternoon making ornaments for all the things in your life that need festive decorations. We’ll be crafting up some clothespin ornaments and adorable Christmas bagels, too, in the warm and cozy Spacecraft space.
Location: Spacecraft, 355 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Admission: $5
Link: http://spacecraftbrooklyn.com/
Saturday, December 12th – Handmade: Crafternoon at the New York Public Library
Time: 2:00 to 4:00pm
Join us as we welcome Heather Ross, author of Weekend Sewing and two other textile mavens: Denyse Schmidt, author of Denyse Schmidt Quilts; and Liesl Gibson of Oliver + S, will all be on hand to talk about their creative work. And as usual, we’ll have lots of Library books to look at, as well as a spread of materials on hand so you can get started stitching if you wish.
2:00 to 4:00pm
Location:Stephen A. Schwarzman Building , 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, Margaret Liebman Berger Forum (Room #227, located in the northeast corner of the second floor)
Admission: Free
Links: http://www.nypl.org/blogs/2009/09/18/december-12ths-handmade-crafternoon

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This Week in Pictures (and a few words)

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Delicious cheese from Dancing Ewe Farm

Greenpoint flowers…

Lunch made from a farmer’s market bounty…

A dress I made (with my mom’s help) for my friend’s daughter…

Handrolled paper beads…

Me and the lovely ladies of Spacecraft

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Oh, I’m a Travelin’ Crafter

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

I love a craft-filled week! From the Crafternoon in Providence to the Mother’s Day Crafterhours in Brooklyn, last week was stuffed with crafting. And I must say, craft is my favorite sort of stuffing.

I arrived in Providence in the afternoon of the 25th and my friend picked me up and took me out for a tasty iced cappucino at The Coffee Exchange, which was just what I needed after napping off and on during the three and a half hour bus ride north. After the caffeine fuel-up, I met up with some other friends at La Laiterie for a delight-filled dinner. From the cheese plate to the sustainable catch-of-the-day, all of the dishes were fresh and flavorful. (I love a nice piece of fish, especially if it can sustain itself). And it was great to catch up with far-away friendlies.

Sunday we got to Kreatelier with plenty of time to set up all the supplies for our recyclobots. The store is so bright and cheery – it’s the perfect place for a Crafternoon.

The owners, Line and Pernilla, were gracious hosts. And my friend Greer, who suggested I do the event in the first place and gave me a place to sleep, was an amazing co-pilot for the event. They had all been collecting tons of amazing recycling bin supplies for the day. We had a fantastic turnout, and the kids made such creative robots out of all of the recyclables. Here are just two of them:

Then on Thursday, I was back at Spacecraft, my favorite craft store in Brooklyn, for another fun Crafterhours. I’m hoping that’s going to turn into a regular event – the first two have been a blast. I was a bad photog there, but I did manage to get a nice shot of me and my mom, who journeyed out to Williamsburg to join the good times:

And it turns out that my mom and I are lucky enough to be featured in a sweet article on Craftzine by Rachel Hobson, so click on that link to read some more of our mother-daughter crafting history!

And if you haven’t done it already, craft something nice for your momma for Mother’s Day. You know she’ll treasure it if you made it with your very own hands!

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Eco-Friendly Crafternoon and Crafterhours!

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Spring is here, and man, is she pretty! The trees are totally flaunting their petal power. This city is full of some braggadocious plant life. Hasn’t someone told them that we’re supposed to be a little bit more reserved in this economy? 

Oh, right – Nature doesn’t care about the economy! That’s what makes it the coolest. Let’s celebrate the awesome power of Mother Nature with two recycle-tastic events this week. Deets below. Hope to see you at one of those fine spots so we can craft together and swoon about Spring!

Crafternoon Earth Day Workshop at Kreatelier in Providence

When: Sunday, 4/26, from 12-3pm

Where: Kreatelier, 804 Hope Street, Providence, RI


Come to Providence for an “Earth Day” workshop event at Kreatelier! I’ll be guiding crafters of all ages as they transform bins and bins of trash and recyclables into Recyclobots and Green Doll Houses. Come see how and make your own trash a total treasure.


Crafterhours at Spacecraft: Recycled Mother’s Day

When: Thursday, 4/30, from 6:30-8:30pm

Where: Spacecraft, 355 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY


Join me for an evening of crafting earth-friendly gifties for the mommas in your life. Bring your boring t-shirts and cloth tote bags and turn them into something mommalicious with fabric paint, sequins, buttons and more. Got a mom who loves to read? We’ll have lots of paper from our recycling bins to turn into cute collaged bookmarks and one-of-a-kind cards. Prefer to work on a mom-free project? Then just sit at the big table and enjoy the crafty good company. We promise we won’t tell your mom.

Feel free to bring your own materials to share with your fellow crafters. And if you think you might get thirsty, we’ll share some libations with you if you’ll bring some, too. Crafters of all ages are welcome. Moms and fans of moms are encouraged to attend. ‘Cause putting a recycled twist on your Mother’s Day shouldn’t mean regifting your birthday present.



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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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