Category Archives: Art & Design

Great How-To Links

Here are the tutorials I’ve been skimming of late:


Handmade Detroit give us the Yudu How-To, which is poised to be the successor to Gocco. I need one.

Photojojo‘s 12 awesome photography business card ideas remind me that I have a few new sets of cards to make.

Craftynest‘s bamboo veneer flowers + Ikea Lack tables runs through a simple process yielding snazzy results.  I have other projects where I intend to use a similar application.

Urban Threads showed me how to make do manly embroidery.  The stencil bleaching part of the tutorial is most useful, and I think the little “punk” patch is a mis-matched design element.

My favorite Instructable that I am sure I will never get to:  The Paracord Bracelet.  Will someone please just make one for me?


Piclist is teaching me to be an engineer, because I didn’t listen to my father as much as I should have in my youth.

The Make Blog is giving me ideas for how to make my own photobooth and giving me the rundown on jigs, clamps and helping hands.

DealNews will tell you how to make spare cash online.


Apartment Therapy SF is greening my thumbs with articles on Fun with 4-Inch Succulents and  How to Care for an Orchid.

Food and Drink

The Kitchn has been telling me How (and Why!) to Preseason my Meat and How to Make Pasta, as well as planning ahead with how to make golden chocolate Easter eggs.

Jaime Oliver explains something he calls gingerbread.

The SF Chronicle offers a piece on do-it-yourself cocktail ingredients.

Eddie Ross teaches us how to set the table.

Reclaimed Wood Furniture

I love the aesthetic of wood strips or chunks recomposed into solid furniture.Being made from castoffs bound for the landfill makes them that much more impressive. The style reminds me of the gorgeous cutting boards my father makes from the scraps of hardwood cabinetry projects.


I’ve long been fascinated by transforming a discarded shipping container into a house.  Yeah, I was that daydreaming 8th-grader scribbling container dream home blueprints in my notebooks during class. Living in the Bay Area, the ports provide a surplus of containers, while housing prices rule out all other options, so if I ever want to own, I think this is my only hope.

Anyone have open land in SF they want to give me?

Prefab Friday from Inhabitat

Stylish Modern Homes from Shipping Containers from Re-Nest

2+ Weekend House from Arhitektura JureKotnik

Recycled-Container Chic from the New York Times

Home Sweet Repurposed Shipping Container from Poetic Home

Container House by Leger Wanaselja Architecture from Apartment Therapy

Bob Villa is kind of a d-bag, but he has a decent how-it’s-done overview page

Bacon T-Shirt Variations

Late Edit:  Bacon on one side (as below), and on the other, the Official Bacon Camp San Francisco logo that was just sent to me.

Not everyone can visualize the inner workings of my mind, so here are some variations to peruse.

a. horizontal, white, full back
a. horizontal, white, full back
b. diagonal, white, full
b. diagonal, white, full
c. horizontal , white, full
d. diagonal, white, full
d. diagonal, white, partial
e. silver, horizontal, full... OK, the chrome effect sucks, so just imagine the images above in silver.

1 Week Until BaconCamp (Can You Feel The Excitement?)

I thought I mentioned this in more detail, but apparently not.  BaconCamp San Francisco is next Saturday (3/21/9).

People keep asking me what BaconCamp is and the best I can offer is that it is an afternoon devoted to the celebration of bacon.  There will be bacon-based food, presentations, demonstrations, vendors and even a bacon poetry slam.

My plan was to silkscreen the image above in white ink on a red t-shirt. Having toyed with the idea, my question for y’all is if I should print in white or silver and if the bacon should be horizontal as you see it, or diagonal, like a sash  (vertical looks like a bacon tie).  Opinions?

Recommendations Wanted: Blank Canvases

I just raided Macy’s for a couple dress shirts to use as canvases for new silkscreen projects.

Maybe I will wear them, or maybe I will just sell them on Etsy.

Click any image to enlarge.


The first is a mustard yellow Hilfiger western-style with opalescent snaps . I want to go totally counter-western with the design and solicited suggestions on Twitter.  I was told to go with a ninja, geisha, kiwi, elephants, monkeys, giraffes, lions, aliens, rocket ships, and bacon .  I was also asked to lend someone a hot glue gun, cordless drill and a staple gun.

I like the ninja and the geisha, for taking my anti-western concept to heart, and I am considering something in the style of a Japanese woodblock print.  Looking musically as well as hemispherically, I’m thinking punk.  Maybe the anarchy circle-A in a western font and a gash held together by gold safety pins.  A co-worker reinforced the outer-space concept so I’m considering a Cosmonaut theme as well.

white2The second is a standard white Calvin Klein dress shirt, except for a strip of checkered embroidery that runs the length of the shirt to the right of the buttons.  I haven’t put any thought into this piece other than wanting to incorporate the embroidery.

So, what themes, images or other ideas do you suggest I print onto these two?

Art Curriculum: Text Art Silkscreens

The latest challenge I have given my high school arts students at YBCA is to

“design a dynamic, one-color silkscreen print using only text to create the image.”

This assignment was actually first inspired by this Skull T-Shirt, but the Ork Poster of SF is probably a better example.

I place the roots of text art in the neo-impressionism of Seurat, who’s pointillist paintings could be viewed as the forerunner of ascii art.  If  Sunday Afternoon can be composed of daubs of paint, why not daubs of text?

The assignment serves several purposes:

  1. Revisiting and emphasizing the Elements of Art
  2. Exploring their first significant, individual silkscreen project
  3. Create large, bold images for Orson, one of the top restaurants in San Francisco, who graciously provided the opportunity to have the work of our class projected on the restaurant’s digital wall.

If you want to take a look at the assignment sheet I gave the students, which includes several more examples of text art, click this link for a PDF version of the handout.

My Monday Morning

What I was reading when I should have been getting ready to teach:

Wall St. Journal article on the makers of St-Germain elderflower liqueur and Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur.

7×7 Q&A with SF’s Top Pastry Chefs (but where’s Jane Tseng?)

LA Times article on the Evolution of the Slow-Cooker.

Iannone Design: Eco-Friendly Modern Design has really eye-catching furniture that I was admiring.

Catching up on the NY Times, including this article on meat pies and working on the crossoword puzzle (I actually managed to kill the Sunday Times puzzle by mid-afternoon last week!)

New on my blogroll:

1. My Little Sister on

2. The Secret Life of a Female Gamer is Jaime’s new blog at  I have little to no clue what she is saying, but I helped her set up the site.

3. Suddenly Free,  My friend Christopher’s take on unemployment amid the current economic conditions.

To do this week: San Francisco Pie Fight At The Powell Street Cable Car Turnaround

Bonus: Jamba Juice is offering fruit-topped oatmeal for a buck with this coupon through the end of March.

OK, time to teach.