Monday, June 13, 2011

A few Father's Day ideas for outdoorsy, nature loving dads

Tick tock, Sunday is Father's Day!  If you're looking for a few off-the-grid gift ideas for your indie-minded rugged papa, here are some things you might consider.  

Does your outdoor-type have an office by day?  Maybe he would like some photos to remind him of what he's planning for the weekend.  I love the pop of color in this retro-ish photo of canoes in birchy woods by Pretty Petal Studios (above).  
Looking for ways to make your outdoor space or perma-camp more homey?  Try hanging mason jar solar lamps from Treasure Again on your favorite tree, or use a shepard's hook to hang them right outside the tent for a little bid of mood lighting.
Bring that outdoors feeling indoors to your favorite dad's office or workshop with this Vintage Blue Grass camping lantern from Lisa B. on Etsy. I love this baby blue beauty, it reminds me of the old lanterns by grandpa had hanging from the beams in his shed.  I'm not sure I'd recommend using the lantern in it's intended purpose considering the age, but surely you might if you could find the fuel and lamps to fit.

No cabin, summer retreat, or campsite is complete without some sort of marking.  This rustic wood-burned campsite marker from The Snowshoe Loft reminds me of home in Maine, where all the "summer towns" had houses with names like "Camp Heartside" or, simply, "Bob."  Snowshoe makes all sorts of signs with different shapes and they're customizable. 

Another suggestion for the professional papa who'd rather be outside (and loves to ride) is this Bike Tie Tack in sterling silver by Rachel Pfeffer from luckyduct on Etsy.  I like how it is small/delicate enough for the boardroom but still bold enough to illustrate some personality.

I just love the wooden phone cases from Thealin Bade on Etsy. Walnut wood Iphone 4 case

No family should be without some knowledge of their genealogy.   We face an odd paradox in this digital age, it is easy to do the research (or easier than it used to be), but often the history is left in digital form, with the danger of being lost or forgotten all over again.  Time to write it down!  I stumbled across this Family tree chart from Art and Artisan. They even sell in bulk, so you could collect the info and record it in multiples and gift them at your next family reunion.

I'm keen on this Vintage external frame hiking pack (probably best for dry climate hiking or camping) from D's Vintage Emporium.  I lived out of one of these for a summer between college and joining the "working world."  It was surprisingly light, dried easily, and let's face it - much more stylish than many of the modern styles.

Here are some things to your nature-loving dad or hubby might read while on the trail (or on the commute):

Pathfinder: Blazing a New Wilderness Trail in Modern America

Walden: Introduction and Annotations by Bill McKibben (Concord Library)

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

Babes in the Woods: Hiking, Camping & Boating with Babies and Young Children

Becoming Odyssa: Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail

Friday, June 10, 2011

Prep for International Yarn Bombing Day 2011

Bombs away!  Tomorrow is International Yarn Bombing Day!  In the effort to inspire and inform, here are some resources for those bombers-to-be out there (note: my knitting skills are in the novice category - I might tag a few things tomorrow and post, but I'm choosing some of the most glorious, skilled bombs and bombers to highlight here).

What is a yarn bomb?  Simply put: graffiti.  Art for the public.  The tag of a crafter.  A knitter, specifically.  Per Wikipedia, a yarn bomb (or "knit bomb") is "Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, yarnstorming, guerrilla knitting, or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted cloth rather than paint or chalk."

Perhaps the most infamous of bombings was The Gas Station Project by artist Jennifer Marsh.  You can read more about the project on the International Fiber Collective website.  Just look at this piece - hundreds of granny squares sewn together to cloak a rundown old building, and even the pumps!  Gorgeous.

Want to be a part of this arts and crafts nouveau movement?  The best advice: start simple.  Twilight Taggers has posted excellent, amazingly detailed instructions on how to get yourself going here on their blog.

Now for the eye candy...

Covered bollards by Magda Sayeg, founder of Knitta Please
knit hearts on a fence

yarn bound trees
More photos!  Read more about yarn bombing, and the lovely folks who do it, on these other blogs and sites:
And there are so many more out there!  If you know of someone who bombs or photographs them, link us to them in comments.

To tomorrow!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Handmade things for the musician in your life

Father's Day is coming. Of course, nothing beats a handmade gift created by the gifter.  If your strapped for time (as I am) here are a few ideas:
  • Set up a Bandcamp site for them - it's free and they can actually make money selling their stuff!
  • Mixtape!  Like, an actual Memorex 90 minute mixtape (assuming your giftee has a tapedeck).  I have found that blank audio tapes made in the two thousand tens have a tinny sound and don't last very long - I recommend buying the good stuff of of Ebay or similar.  A mix CD or playlist will do in a pinch and is super fast to make.
  • Set up a Sound Cloud site for them.  A great place for them to post/share their sonic creations.
If you'd rather buy, here are a few things I've found that your indie-minded musician might love:

Vintage headphones with yarn-wrapped cord (above) by cordinated, based in Chicago.  "Each earpiece has an individual volume control so you can listen to your tunes through one ear or both!"  Super sweet.  Alright these technically aren't handmade, but they are vintage/repurposed and lovingly personalized with a crafty touch.
An option for the electronic musician, synth lover, or gadget geek: The R - Drone Drone Station by rarebeasts.  See it in action on Youtube.

This handmade leather guitar strap from mataradesign looks like it would last a lifetime.  Sure to remind your giftee of your love for years and years.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Yarn Bombing Rodin

    June 11th is International Yarn Bombing Day!  Yesterday I discovered the Burghers of Calais at Stanford had been bombed.  It was quite chilly and grey so I imagine they appreciated the fuzzies.

    I particularly liked the legwarmers.  Inspiring.  Now, I find myself conspiring for June 11th.  Hmmm....