Posted in design and architecture, electronic imaging and displays, engineering, food

Traveling Around the Crafty Bay Area blog

Crafting in Public, in the SOMA neighborhood
One of the recommended crafty spots: Crafting in Public, in the SOMA neighborhood, S.F., Calif.

This year’s San Francisco Maker Faire is this weekend (wow!, where did my Spring go?). For those of you who don’t know, Maker Faire is an annual gathering (although I suppose technically it’s semi-annual since there are a few held throughout the U.S. every year, but I digress) that features a variety of designs, projects, and concepts form artists, engineers, scientists, and a mix of all of them combined. It’s one of the few places in the world you’ll see fairy wings that electronically flutter, or beautifully programed light shows. So, if you’re in the area you should definitely check it out, and as long as you’re there,

“it’s the perfect opportunity to share with you some of our favorite crafty spots around the Bay!”

At least the cool craft stores according to Craftzine.They recommend a variety of places I’ve only read about but am dying to go explore. For example:

Address: 3897 18th St., San Francisco, Calif., 94114
Phone: 415-621-6642
Hours: Mon-Sat, 11am to 6:30pm; Sun, 11am to 4pm

From floor to ceiling everywhere you look, you’ll find yarn, yarn, and more yarn.
Allison and the friendly staff at ImagiKnit are fantastic at helping you find the right yarn you’ll need for any kind of project. I’ve been coming to this store for years since it first opened years ago and always find inspiration just ogling and touching all the variety of yarns they carry.

You can also just sit in their craft book area and search for your next project through their extensive pattern binders, books, and magazines or sit on their cozy couches and chairs and cast on your new project. Hone your craft skills by taking any one of their classes from knitting and crochet 101 to spinning. You’ll definitely find lots of fiber love at ImagiKnit.

Food Match: Find more inner peace stroll across the street at Samovar Tea Lounge for a pot of green tea and their tea-infused cookie plate. Then sit back and knit or crochet in serenity.


Crafting In Public
Address: 690 Mission St., San Francisco, Calif., 94105
Phone: 415-957-0558
Hours: Mon-Fri, 7am to 11pm; Sat-Sun, 8am to 11pm
Neighborhood: SOMA (Ravelry link; requires sign-in)

About a year ago, I started a monthly gathering for crafters of all types named Crafting in Public. We meet on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at The Grove Cafe (on 3rd at Mission) from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. It’s just a couple blocks from Montgomery Station and is convenient for anyone working downtown. This cafe is one of my favorites in the city. The atmosphere is warm and inviting. The food and drinks are great. And the nicest part is that the staff seems to love having us hang out making things.

We usually score the large seating area near the fireplace, which is perfect as our group grows and shrinks throughout the night. We’ve had makers bring all kinds of projects: crocheting, knitting, embroidery, origami, and even circuit board blinky-light jewelry. And if you need help with your project, there will probably be someone there who can assist you. Everyone is welcome to show up with something to work on and hang out.

Read some more of their craft & food pairings, and more tips via Travel Crafty Bay Area blog.

Posted in biology, design and architecture

Anatomy Dresses blog

The body is beautiful! Apparently the organs make especially good fashion statements; observe:

Rachel Wright of Mobile, AL creates some interesting repurposed clothing. (Her Etsy shop is called Toolgrrl Designs.) The dresses above are examples of designs she created for her series, The Dream Anatomy.

She writes about her series:

The Dream Anatomy series explore these imagined realms inside the body. Because these garments are meant to be worn, the boundary between the internal and the external is blurred. The invisible is made visible: wear your inside on the outside. By using women’s slips and nighties, articles that were not originally intended for public life, I am playiing with the line between the public and the private arenas.

more via Anatomy Dresses blog.

Posted in biology, design and architecture, medical imaging

Knit a cuddly uterus

We have stuffed germs, why not knit organs? And the uterus is designed to be soft and squishy anyway!
From Inhabitots:

Tis the season for knitting warm scarves, mittens … and a uterus? You might not see human anatomy as inspiration for getting out your knitting needles, but this “cute, cuddly uterus doll” as Knitty describes it, could make a surprising DIY baby shower gift. After all, the womb is a pretty amazing organ, so why not celebrate it? Visit Knitty to find a pattern and learn how to create one yourself — fallopian tubes and all! We, of course, suggest you start by selecting an eco-friendly wool, not synthetic, pink yarn. And finish by stuffing your knitted uterus with leftover yarn or fabric scraps.

Aww, so cute! Wow, never thought I’d say that about an organ.

Posted in design and architecture, electronic imaging and displays, food, Optics

Pinhole pumpkin Camera

Three jack-o'-lanterns illuminated from within...
Smiling Jack-o-lanterns pose for the camera. Image via Wikipedia

Happy Halloween everybody! A little trick-and-treat to make for yourself this fine fall festival.

From NPR‘s Picture Show Blog:

Every year, this time of year, normal people nationwide gather ’round spreads of newspaper to carve glowing, ghoulish jack-o’-lanterns. And for about a month’s-worth of sporadic lunch breaks, we, too, have been carving a pumpkin … into a camera! Much to our amazement, it actually worked.

See the how-to video on NPR.

Their only advice: “The image from our first camera came out completely black because the camera was not sufficiently lightproof. we highly recommend this project if you can find a darkroom. Although it’s time-intensive, meticulous and, at times, a total pain, it’s worth it to watch the image emerge in the darkroom.”

Check out these other cool pumpkin cams they came across: one using photo paper and one using film.

Have other cool combinations of photography and pumpkins or other veggies? Share them here!

Posted in design and architecture, education, electronic imaging and displays, literature

Jigsaw Renaissance – Build your own book scanner

My friend Willow Bloo is an organizer of the Jigsaw Renaissance, a hacker group based in Seattle, and they have a cool project happening this weekend…building a DYI Book scanner.

A bookscanner quickly scans books at high quality to your computer without damaging the book and outputs a pdf, djvu, jpgs, whatever. Then you can read them on your ebook reader or computer, share them with friends or the internets, etc.

more at Jigsaw Renaissance.