Archive for October, 2006

Last Minute Halloween Ideas

October 31st, 2006


Okay, so it’s Halloween.    Your home looks, well, like your home.   The kids are gonna go trick-or-treating. Or, you feel you should do something spook-tacular for your home.  What to do?

You can watch my recent KTLA clip right now.     Just click on the link.

Hope you make some boooo-tiful stuff!

Tasty Travel Tips

October 30th, 2006


Over the last few years, I’ve become (unwillingly) quite the frequent flier.    Checked bag?  Never.   Middle seat?  No way.    Always upgraded to first class?   Er, haven’t quite figured that one out yet.

But what I do know is that ever since airlines gave up serving food to passengers,  more and more people are bringing on smellier, greasier and overpackaged food onto the planes.    It can, to say the least, be rather disgusting.

But trying to be a healthier flier and still travel light, I find myself always bringing the same things on the plane with me each time.     Here’s my Top 4 picks:

1. Soy Jerky.    I’m a vegetarian, but sometimes a bag of nuts just won’t do.    This stuff is great…high protein, low carbs, a little savory/sweet….perfect for the plane.   Comes in many different flavors and the stuff is vacuum packed, so it stays fresh forever.   

2.  Emergen-C Packets.   Comes in many different fruity flavors; just add to a bottle of water and shake.   I swear, whenever I feel a cold coming on, I just chug a bottle of this stuff and I feel better.  It’s loaded with B vitamins too, which gives you an added boost of real energy.     I buy this stuff by the box and just carry the little packets with me wherever I go.

3.  Nile dried soups.   Okay, I don’t bring this everytime, but during the winter months, it’s perfect.  Just ask the flight attendant to fill it with hot water and stir (you need a spoon).     A few minutes later, you have hot soup.  Lentil, minestrone, black bean are all great… and it’s a real meal instead of some in-flight snack box full of cookies, chips and who knows what.

4.  Lara Bars.  Love these.   These are raw food bars with an ingredients list that is usually no more than 3 ingredients long.    Cherry Pie bar is just cashews, dried cherries and figs (I think).    They are sweet, but sweetened naturally…  We all know the raw food diet is good for you… here’s a simpler and easier way to embrace it. 

So, what am I missing?    What do you always travel with?   I’ll try it the next time I fly!

Spooky: USA Today

October 29th, 2006


In case ya missed it, the folks from USA Today recently paid a visit to my home in Pennsylvania and wrote a peculiar and spooky description of my home in Bucks County.   

I GUESS becausde it’s Halloween the writer wanted to go for a spooky, creepy feeling in the story, but I swear, my home is not this scary cabin in the woods.     Yes, there are spide webs all over the outdoor candlestand.    But it’s Fall, it’s outdoors and it’s just a spideweb on it.   I didn’t realize I’d have the white glove treatment from the paper!   

But I’m not complaining.  I think it’s a charming piece and I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

Basket Case

October 28th, 2006


I was on the hunt for a laundry basket about a year ago.    You know what’s out there: PVC plastic baskets that do a great job, but are awful for the environment.   Then there’s the canvas duffel bag perfect for hauling laundry to the laundromat, but doesn’t make sense for home.

My solution?   This wood bushel basket from the garden supply department.

What I love about this basket is that it holds lots of clothes, it’s strong and durable, it’s made from a natural material, the handles make it easy to grip and best of all?   It’s cheap.    It also looks good just sitting on the floor, even when dirty clothes are overflowing out of it.

Belted Bag

October 27th, 2006


It seems to happen like clockwork.    When I’m in NYC, about once a month, someone will stop me and ask "where did you get that briefcase?"     And when I tell them that I made it, it has inevitably turned to them either A: asking if I would make and sell them one or B: sell the bag right on the spot to them.   

A while ago, I had this idea that you could make an entire briefcase out of just belts, a hole punch and hemp twine.     I bought tons of old leather belts from Goodwill and used an existing bag I had as a template; I just cut strips of leather to the exact size, punched some holes along the edge and stitched the pieces of leather together.

Once the front and back pieces were complete, I stitched one very, very long belt along the edge to the two pieces to make the strap to carry the whole thing…and, well, VOILA!    A belted bag…

The reason I don’t make more of these is quite simple, really…    It took me a week to make.    Not to mention my hands were cramped and sore from all the punching and stitching.    So, if I were to start making these for sale at a retail store, I would need to charge $5000 for a bag.     There is an easier variation on this project in Simply Green Parties, where I show you to make leather coasters for a party.

But, if you want one, why not try to make it?    (PS-There HAS TO BE an easier way tto make this bag.  If you can think of it, lemme know!)