Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sci-Fi Time Traveler Golden Era Superhero Helmut

The Mercury Helmet by Jasmin Zorlu.

This. This, I want.

I tried it on and it was amazing. It is made from fish skin suede and lined in organza. Placing this on my head made me feel like I had magical powers. I could summon Godzilla from the depths. I could cut through any dust storm. Light would shine upon me in a flattering diffused vignette. I could communicate telepathically with the whales.

I am saving up.

Mars Lander is Twittering

Photo from NASA.

I've been following NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Mission unfold via Twitter. This is really really cool on so many levels.

First, I'm getting news as it literally happens first hand from the source.

Second, these twitters give the Phoenix Probe a personality and a voice like it's ALIVE. I really care about that thing up there so far away. I hope he'll be ok, really. I found out that he has to survive the Mars winter in total ice and then try to thaw out later. He says things like "I'm going to sleep now, more tomorrow" or "I'm going to try to move my arm today, it's been in storage for 10 months" or "More pictures! Check them out".

Third, this twitter account has not really be publicized all that much, yet it already has over 9,000 followers. This continues to grow each day. One mention worth noting: Phoenix Space Probe More Popular Than Punk Rock.

Fourth, I'm frakking learning something about space in a way that really engages me. This is big.

: MarsPhoenix
Location: North polar region of MARS!
Bio: I dig Mars!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Possum O' Possum

I love it when friends send me things in the mail. It's like being stranded on an island and finding a message in a bottle. Today was especially exciting. The mailman kerplunked our mail through the slot and it had an extra bang-plop to it. So I immediately went over to see what had been delivered. This package was on the floor with this hint on the back, "A registered possum is a better possum and that is a fact!" and "...and if you can accept that then you can accept just about anything... - Basil Clark". A few weeks back our friend Greg had given us a DVD of a film he made and the disc was scratched so we weren't able to watch the entire movie. I sent him a Facebook message asking if he had another. And a week later, presto! Hello, Possum O' Possum.

And as an extra bonus, also included in the package was one sterile adhesive bandage and one eraser. Things that just might come in handy. Thanks Greg.

Ultimate Memetastic

Weezer's latest video, "Pork and Beans", showing a lovely array of Internet Memes has over 3.8 million YouTube views since Friday. The director says "...this is like a web CliffsNotes to getting into internet culture." (Via Wired)

Maker Faire Poster

Poster by eboy.

I'm a little tardy for a Maker Fair mention but, I came across this poster today and it's worth mentioning just for the visual graphics alone (one in a long series). And so, my quick review of the faire will be better late than never. Bliz and I went for the second time. We took CalTrain and the faire shuttle bus which worked out 200% better than driving, and we reviewed the schedule in advance to make sure we saw the stuff we wanted but, it was still totally overwhelming. This poster captures it well. The faire seems to have huge momentum and I imagine it'll be even bigger next year. It's really amazing to see a little bit of Burning Man in San Mateo. (As an aside, I grew up in San Mateo County. My parents were both born and raised there. My sisters and I were in 4H and they showed their lambs at the same fair grounds. I spent many summer nights running around the carnival eating sticky sugary foods and trying to win stuffed animals and gold fish. It was so the 1970's.)

A couple highlights:

- My friend Emi works for TCHO, who had chocolate samples you could vote on. It's yummy chocolate from scratch. Always a crowd pleaser. We had them at EG2007.

- My friend Marnia was there with Swarm. It's great to see this Burning Man project still going and now starting to tour year round.

- Mike with BlinkM, of course.

- David with Making Things, of course.

- Steampunk Squid, Robot Girafe, Tesla Coil, Cupcake cars, Never Was House and The Treehouse.

- The Mento-Coke guys did a show. Was fun to see in person.

For a more thorough review, Wired has a great blog write up complete with photos and videos.

How It Works

Came across a great series of How It Works videos. Super clever and super cute. Budcozy needs one of these. The video below explains the difference between regular incandescent light bulbs and CFLs.

More videos about things like Social Networks, Wikis, RSS and Zombies here at Common Craft.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Carnival Zona Verde

Hopped off the bus and started on the parade route at 24th street, then walked over to Harrison for the vendors and food. Huge crowds lined the parade route to watch skimpy sequined girls, traditional costume, fire engines, cable cars, vintage cars, dragons, stilt walkers, candy throwers and all. The food was a big component with everything possible being grilled. We got a grilled corn. Yum.

A new addition to this years Carnival was the Zona Verde. It was contained in a parking lot separate from the other vendors and included solar companies, organic food, eco-travel, clothing, art and gifty stuff. It was a small but strong turn out and hopefully it will grow larger next year. Seems like this is a good trend in general for street fairs because it really allows for the public to see and talk to the people involved in eco-friendly businesses. Some highlights:

• Free Adina organic Iced Mayan Mochas.
• We talked to a solar guy about the interesting practices of PG&E's solar installations regarding panel angle optimization.
• Learned about an eco-preserve just outside of Mexico City that is under threat of development.
• Talked to Urban Edibles, a local gardener who specializes in edible gardens (my basil is so sad)
• Got the Nature in the City Map, A Guide to SF's Natural Heritage. It's a huge map that shows 49 square miles of natural areas in the city: view, hiking, picnic area, bird watching, wildflowers, etc. And it's printed on New Leaf Sakura 100% Recycled Paper. We had to promise we'd make use of it before they'd give it to us.
• Bags and wallets made from recycled bike tires and signage, Green Guru.

A few more photos on Flickr.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Giving a damn

This is to remind me to go spend some time at Good Magazine. I found it via this chart, "Who Owns The Organic Food Companies?", on Cool Infographics.

"Welcome to GOOD, media for people who give a damn.

We see a growing number of people tied together not by age, career, background, or circumstance, but by a shared interest. This revolves around a passion for potential mixed with fierce pragmatism and creative engagement. We sum all this up as the sensibility of giving a damn. But to shorten it, let's call it GOOD. We're here to push this movement and cover its realization.

While so much of today's media is taking up our space, dumbing us down, and impeding our productivity, GOOD exists to add value. Through a print magazine, feature and documentary films, original multimedia content and local events, GOOD is providing a platform for the ideas, people, and businesses that are driving change in the world."

"B" is for Budcozy

Photo by Urbanwide.

Who knew. Wiki has entries for (I think, but I didn't check) each letter. Entries cover topics such as: History, Typography, Usage, Codes for computing, and References.

Crazy Wisdom: Final Show Tonight

We saw Wes Scoop last weekend. Good stuff. Tonight is the last night at the Marsh. You should go.

"The Marsh presents Wes "Scoop" Nisker's "Crazy Wisdom Saves The World Again!" Celebrating the publication of his new book, "Friends!Earthlings! Humans! Who are we, why are we here and how did we get into the mess we're in?" Nisker explores the foolish human condition and the joys and sorrows of living in the modern age. He will reveal the secrets of the Big Bang and anti-matter, explore the issues of war, species extinction and global warming, and expose the true heart of the New Age spiritual movement."

Making Stuff From Junk

Worth a trip over to the SF Dump, the artist in residence show is open today. We've been meaning to go to one of these for a long time now and finally got a chance to last night. The show is recycled pedal powered mechanical noise and circus gone wrong contraptions, by Paul Cesewski. It was a great turn out and all the kids were running around going bonkers. Hot dogs and booze too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Things I'm Searching For. Any Advice?

Professional Snapper
Little did I know that most small sewing shops refuse to install snaps. I tried a local button and pleating company for my recent batch of budcozys but this experience was not ideal. After a series of attempts, they ended up doing an acceptable job but it was too painful to work with them.

Organic Cotton Clothing Tags
Do these even exist? Or possibly in some other sustainable fiber? I'm pretty much out of my tags, and before ordering more I'd like to try to get them in an eco-friendly form. UPDATE: A great idea came in via comments. Wanted to explain a bit about the tag. It's an integral and functional element to help pull budcozy up/down, so while there are other great solutions to branding the budcozy I definitely want to keep the tag. But overall something to figure out ...

New Things

Now that I've expanded into the sewing and eco-business world, there is a whole slew of online resources I've been collecting.

Greener Printer, in Berkeley
Once I'm ready to move on from my ink jet printer I'll be looking for a professional resource. This company is 100% wind powered, certfied green, and use soy and vegetable based inks.

JHB Buttons
Tons and tons of buttons you can order online.

The Button Drawer
More buttons.

1% For the Planet
Another item for my to-do list.

Trademark Information
If you are suffering from insomnia and need a good trick to help yourself fall asleep, then this is the place for you.

Clothing Labels 4 U
Affordable fabric tags in smaller units if you're just starting out.

On Auto-Pilot

For a majority of designers this is a really obvious list of links to mention but, I find myself utilizing most of these (and more I haven't listed) on nearly every one of my projects. They're great design resources that are so basic to me that I probably take them for granted. It got me thinking, what other online resources do other designers rely on? What might I be missing that might help me break out of old habits?

Font ID, search by sight

Free Vector World Maps, just in case you ever need one

Lorem Ipsum, for when you're waiting on content

Silk Icons, free family of 700 tiny icons

Silkscreen, free tiny font

Best Brands of the World, EPS files of most corporate logos

A List Apart, for people who make websites, a great resource for affordable graphics and icons

Frilly Things, a collection by Cameron Moll

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

budcozy <3 u

A couple people out on the internets have seen the light, and believe in a world of tangle-free earbuds. And I heart them.

The Next Hottest Model
Budcozy is the newest accessory that is truly functional, it slides over your ipod cords and keeps them from getting tangled. And what makes Budcozy different is that it is made from natural materials like hemp, bamboo and organic cotton. Retails at 15. You don't have to be the world's top model to know the comfort and convenience that Budcozy offers can actually change and enhance your entire Ipod experience.

Eco Smart Style
Budcozy is a hand crafted accessory that slides over your iPod and iPhone earbud cords to keep them from getting tangled up. Made from all natural fibers like hemp, bamboo and organic cotton when possible, budcozys are manufactured in San Francisco. Cute, stylish and affordable at $15 each, it's a great gift for yourself or that iPod user in your family.

This Next, by hanahula
Every time I go out for a run I somehow manage to dislodge my earbuds from my iPod. Just one of life's little annoyances . . . but one that now has a cute solution: the budcozy. I like the Samantha (made in hemp with pink trim) but you can choose from denim, bamboo and cotton designs too.

Fernanda Zaffari
Rough translation: The Budcozys was an excellent invention to finish with rolled up wires them earphones them MP3, besides being a perfect accessory to load the device. It is alone to place the phones in the Budcozys and to incase wires separating one of the other. Beyond that the Budcozys is fashionable and is seeming an accidental super necktie. Still more with the neutral tones that do not ruin the disguise. The Budcozy is manufactured from organic staple fibers and renewed.

Love these!! So I just bought two of these (Pow! and Slate) and I think they are the coolest thing ever. Why didn't I think of it!


"Sen. Barack Obama was greeted by the largest crowd of his 15-month campaign in Portland Sunday, an estimated 75,000 people, according to Portland Police. "

When Obama Wins (wow)... We'll all find the map to candy mountain.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Weekend Butterfly: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

I believe I've identified the butterfly that kept appearing this weekend. First on our walk to Twin Peaks, and then later that night on a mural. It's an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

Update: I added this sighting to the North American Butterfly Association website, Butterflies I've Seen archive. I had to enter Twin Peaks as a location (didn't come up as a known location on their site) and I had to search for this butterfly with the State Filter turned off. Good deed done for today.

Urban Goats & Toolboxes

After a recent excursion to Building Resources, we drove out into the desolate wasteland and discovered goats grazing on radio active weeds. And boy, did it stink.

Found a cute recycling idea at BR, toolbox succulents:

Monday, May 19, 2008

To outer space and back to the couch

It was one of those busy-fast weekends and we were excited to get everything accomplished. D has been swamped at work so this was a necessary break to get recharged by seeing some great stuff other people are up to. We started the day off with a hike up to Twin Peaks with Lucy. We are really lucky to be able to walk right out the front door and just keep going up until we've reached the top like the surface of another planet. Spring is so here with butterflies, birds, alien weeds and flowers. It was so windy up there that Lucy's ears flew back like she was riding a motorcycle.

Once we got back down to earth, we bused into town to load up with a super taco and horchada and head to the historic Armory building. It was open to the public for the Mission Bazaar, an exhibition of art, design, music and performance. We drive by that place often and someone usually makes a comment about what sordid things go on in there. In 2006 it was purchased for $14.5 million by an adult production internet company, giving the ominous Moorish Castle style building on a edgy intersection an even grittier presence. So we have been really curious to see the inside. It was like walking back in time into an old airplane hanger, lots of brick and steel and huge windows with bright sunlight streaming into the dark space. Most of the vendors were clothing and accessories, with a burningman-steampunk-hippie aesthetic. I got a super cute red and cream striped wrist band made from a vintage tie, with a single silver snap. D tried on a tiny victorian top hat, which made him look like something out of Alice in Wonderland. I think I should get him one. We bumped into a friend who makes films. A favorite local clothing designer of mine was there, Miranda Caroligne. I'd really love to get to the point where budcozy could be part of an event like this. I was inspired to get back to work on some new limited editions themes. American Cupcake sent me a link to the Union Street Faire in a couple weeks, which happens to be an eco theme, but it's hard to swallow the $650 booth fare. Being creatures of habit and feeling a bit overloaded by the bazaar, we walked over to La Copa Loca for waffle cones of hazelnut sorbet and sat on the sidewalk to charge up for evening plans.

The rest of the weekend went like this:

Wes Scoop at the Marsh
Hard to cover the 90 min show, I kept wanting to write things down but didn't want to miss anything. One thing I remember him saying is the answer to our nations problems is to acknowledge our predicament and engage in an intentional decline with a Reverse Peace Corps, to learn how to siesta and make tasty dishes from rice and beans. Remember to breathe. Unlearn our overachieving.

An honest attempt to icanhazcheezburgers but gravitational pull of the couch won. Instead we went to witness with our own eyes a really big crossover moment between the internets and reality.


That butterfly
More collisions between worlds with the butterfly from the hike now firmly embeded in a mural. It stopped me in my tracks.

Free samples
In between giant boxes of cereal, a moment of bliss at Costco: toasted ham-n-cheese croissant sammie samples.

A new iPhone case that goes real cute with the Pow budcozy. But I find myself looking at my iPhone wanting to take a picture of my phone with my phone. Need to track down the camera.

Series of amazing events
D got 2 pairs of jeans and 1 pair sneaks, without even trying. Do you know how amazing that is? We were so tired and hungry but you just can't stop when shopping karma strikes. Nutella-banana crepe post spree prepared us for MUNI home. And then the most amazing series of events happened. The J arrived immediately. Only one crazy person on board talking into a cellphone with no one at the other end. It did not break down. I do not kid. Then as we sat waiting for our transfer on the 48 to take us home (estimated 17 min), Hoshi appeared out of nowhere in a skid and waved us aboard to deliver us to our door.

More couch.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Buttons and Smoothies

Fabric Outlet on Mission Street is my favorite fabric store. First of all, the staff is so incredibly friendly. They never rush you and always have helpful advice. I don't go on the weekends so that might help. Second, they have great sales and always a huge bin of discount and discontinued buttons for super cheap. One of the staff helped me dig through the bin and I got a bunch of red vintage style buttons for a denim limited edition budcozy I'm working on. The store is a bit worn around the edges but that gives it some old school character. I like how you enter on street level down a wide and open staircase which gives you a birds eye view of the store. Today, I stopped in to pick up my order of Samantha budcozy heart buttons and more pipe cleaners. MJ came with me and petted bolts of fabric in their vast furry section while sipping her berry bliss smoothie.

We got smoothies from a small window on a street I will not name. I hope this place stays quiet because even in today's heatwave there wasn't much of a wait. They seem to have steady business but it would really suck if it became as bad a wait like Sushi Zone (which I miss dearly). I had my usual fave, banana and acai. Yum.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hemp Factoid

Wiki says: "Hemp requires little to no pesticides, replenishes soil with nutrients and nitrogen, controls erosion of the topsoil, and produces lots of oxygen, considering how fast it grows. Furthermore, Hemp could be used to replace many potentially harmful products, such as tree paper (the process of which uses bleaches and other toxic chemicals, apart from contributing to deforestation), cosmetics (which often contain synthetic oils that can clog pores and provide little nutritional content for the skin), plastics (which are petroleum based and cannot decompose), and more."

While hemp is still illegal to grow in the US, I get my hemp fabric (and bamboo and organic cotton) from a local SF importer Pickering International.

Friends of Budcozy

Budcozy is my pet project that I'm having a lot of fun with. I've been inspired by people who have taken a chance on their own ideas and are making a go of it. I have some friends that are up to some pretty cool things themselves that I'd love to tell you about:

American Cupcake
"Not your mother's cupcake"

Make crazy LED things.

Love Spirals
Ryan and Anji Bee are uber chilltastic.

Sister goes to Uganda
Yes, my sister. She is rad.

Solar Death Ray 3000
"Do not look into beam with remaining eye."

El Grande, Lumia Grande and Thomas Wilfred
Makers of visual music.

It was really awesome

As a long time fan of DailyCandy it was so incredibly awesome to have them cover budcozy. You can read their great review here:

Yay! Yelp.

Do you love your budcozy?

Budcozy has a Facebook page

Add yourself as a budcozy fan and help spread the word.

Budcozy in the news

NBC10 Spring's Must-haves: Budcozy
Budcozy is featured as one of this Spring's Must-haves, on Philidelphia's NBC the 10! Show.

View the video on NBC10:

There is a brief commercial and then budcozy is shown around timing 06:48, just after the elephant lamp.

CBS2, LA: Tangle Free Ear Buds
Tech Check reporter Rich DeMuro showcases budcozy on his show. Super awesome spotlight on the limited edition 'Candy', made by recycling a bridesmaid dress.

Link to video: