Foam Slime Font Friday – Late Valentine’s Day Edition

Yes, today is oops, six days ago was Valentine’s Day, the American holiday compelling those with partners to give expensive pink and red gifts to their sweetheart(s). Also in the offing: chocolates, flowers, lavish diamond jewelry, marriage proposals. Obligatory! Compulsory! And of course if one does not have a partner(s), one is a failure as a human being, a disappointment, a loser. Hang your head in shame!

Here’s something fun to do that might take your mind off the madness:

Valentine’s Day Foam Slime Recipe

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Looove cards for my husband – Feb. 2, 2017

Yes, I know, it’s disgusting, the sappy. But he’s great, and I’m a designer, so it was inevitable.


Below is a selection of the holiday, Valentine’s Day, anniversary and other cards and gifts I’ve given him over the years.


Red handmade paper wrapper, 5.5″ x 5.5″, containing folded origami paper—silver- and gold-speckled cream outside, red inside—which opens to reveal white card with demon skeleton cat with red heart in thought bubble. Tiny text reads, “meow! happy valentine’s day 2020 to richard from nicola.”

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Laser-etched glass with hand coloring

Red heart with black wingsI made this artwork by laser-etching glass and then applying color by hand.

I used a laser cutter at TechShop, a phenomenal resource for artists, builders and craftspeople of all kinds. They have workshops in several US locations with tools and space for woodwork, metalwork, industrial sewing, electronics, arduino, and more.

[Note: Since I wrote this, TechShop filed for bankruptcy and has been reborn as TheShop.build. Same space, same apparatus. I haven’t been there yet but I plan to.]

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Looove cards to my husband – update July 10, 2020

Bound Valentine’s Day booklet, 3″ x 2″. Design, text, illustration, production. “Everything the bunnies say is true | in all the world the one I choose is you | You’re the star I’ve hitched my wagon to | And all my kittens are belong to you. | Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweetie!”

Yes, I know, it’s disgusting, the sappy. But he’s great, and I’m a designer, so it was inevitable.


Below is a selection of the Valentine’s Day, anniversary, holiday and other cards and gifts I’ve given him over the years. I should note that neither cats nor rabbits know how to spell “anniversary.”


“Happy Anniverserary” flip book card with kissing cats.


Red handmade paper wrapper, 5.5″ x 5.5″, containing folded origami paper—silver- and gold-speckled cream outside, red inside—which opens to reveal white card with demon skeleton cat with red heart in thought bubble. Tiny text reads, “meow! happy valentine’s day 2020 to richard from nicola.”

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“Aqua Regia, Hell’s Beverage of Choice”: New Merchandise from Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim books

Aqua Regia logo
Now available!

New merchandise featuring Aqua Regia, Hell’s Beverage of Choice according to Richard Kadrey‘s Sandman Slim series of books.

Stick the labels to your favorite containers to instantly transform the contents into Hell’s beverage of choice. Mugs perform the same magical change, and t-shirts proclaim your love—scroll down to the bottom to see pictures. 190 proof, 6.66% angel’s blood. What’s that you say? The percentages don’t add up? That’s Hellion math.

Aqua Regia label sticker

All Sandman Slim Merchandise at the Online Store

Official t-shirts and mugs from James Stark’s favorite video store, bar and donut shop: Max Overdrive Video, the Bamboo House of Dolls and Donut Universe, plus coasters from the bar. Aqua Regia merchandise here. Stark had to steal his T’s, but now you can get yours without going to Hell and back. Guaranteed NOT bullet or Hellion-proof. The mug and coasters are perfect for weapons-grade coffee, Jack Daniel’s, or of course, Aqua Regia.

T-shirts are available in black or white 100% cotton (also red for Aqua Regia), in Men’s Small to 6X and Women’s Small to 2X. Mugs are sturdy white ceramic. Coasters come in high-gloss plastic with non-skid cork backing. 3.75″ x 3.75″, set of 6. Labels are high-gloss paper stickers, 4.5″ x 2.7″, sheet of 4.

Get your loot here.

Max Overdrive Video logo

Bamboo House of Dolls logo  

Donut Universe logo

 Aqua Regia mug left view Aqua Regia mug right view Aqua Regia black T-shirt  Aqua Regia red T-shirt Aqua Regia white T-shirt

Make Your Own Red Pepper Sculpture

Red pepper sculpture

Make this beautiful sculptural piece with only a red pepper and a sharp knife. Put the pepper on its side on the cutting board and cut off the sides one by one, turning a quarter-turn between each cut. Seriously, that’s it! Remember to eat the parts you cut off.

Red pepper sculpture

How to Make a Tea Cozy with Hedgehog-in-a-Teacup Fabric

Teapot, tea cozy and teacup

A fun project for the tea-lovers among us. Also a great gift. This pattern fits a 4-6 cup teapot but you can scale it up or down as desired.

Teapot, tea cozy and teacup

What you’ll need:

  • Fabric (Note: ordering this particular fabric takes up to two weeks, so plan ahead!)
  • Downloadable pattern
  • Light yellow thread (or light blue if you’re using the fabric with the blue background)
  • 1 package of light yellow or blue Double-Fold binding. Make sure it’s Double-Fold as opposed to Single-Fold; otherwise it won’t cover the bottom edge correctly. You can use a contrasting color instead if you like.
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine — it’s much easier if you have one, but you can do it by hand too.

Don’t be scared by all the steps! There are really just four:

  1. Buy the material
  2. Cut out the pieces
  3. Sew the main part together
  4. Sew on the seam binding (the edging piece that goes around the bottom)

1

  • Buy your hedgehog fabric:
  • Buy your quilted insulating fabric:

2

  • Download the three parts of the pattern:  Left   Middle   Right
    Print them out on 8-1/2 x 11 paper and tape them together.
    Left, middle and right patterns for 4-6 cup teapot
  • Fold the hedgehog fabric in half lengthwise, making sure that the hedgehogs are matched up. (This may mean that you’re not folding down the exact middle of the fabric.)
  • Pin the pattern on the fabric so that the hedgehogs line up as in the pattern. Make sure your hedgehogs are lined up straight at the bottom. Straight as in not-crooked; no-one cares if your hedgehogs are gay.
  • Cut out two pieces carefully.
  • Cut out two pieces of the quilted fabric, making sure that the quilting lines are vertical and matched up.

3

  • Assemble the cozy: put one piece of quilted fabric silver side down, then one piece of hedgehog fabric facing up, then the other hedgehog fabric facing down, then the other quilted fabric silver side up. Pin through all layers. Sew only around the more-curved top edge (not across the less-curved bottom) through all layers with about a 3/8″ margin.
    Curved seam of tea cozy from inside
      Curved seam showing inside
  • Turn right side out. It already looks like a tea cozy!

4

  • Measure all the way around the open end of the tea cozy and add 1/2″. Cut the binding to this length.
  • Open out one side of the binding and line up the OUTSIDE of the edge of the fold with the OUTSIDE of the unfinished edge of the open end of the tea cozy, matching up the raw edges. Pin in place, leaving the extra 1/2″ free.
  • Sew with about a 3/8″ margin from the edge, all the way around except for the extra 1/2″.
    Sew banding to edge

  • Fold the binding to the inside with the edge folded in. Pin in place. Don’t sew yet!
  • Fold in the end of the binding 1/4″ and overlap it over the other end. Pin in place, THEN sew.
    Fold over the end of the binding

  • Here’s the last step! From the OUTSIDE, sew carefully RIGHT IN THE “DITCH” OF THE SEAM so the stitching catches the folded-over binding on the INSIDE.
    Sew right in the seam

That’s it! Because of the insulating properties of the lining, this tea cozy will keep your teapot warm for several hours, for realz.

Note: If you use the quilted fabric, hand-wash the tea cozy only; if you machine-wash it, the reflective coating will come off and it will be less effective. I think the Thinsulate would be OK, but the hedgehog fabric might shrink or get twisted. So just hand-wash and let air-dry!

A Photo Album for My Cousin Arthur

Arthur in 1957 - 1 year old

My beloved aunt Anna Grace passed away several years ago, but before she died I promised I’d look out for her son Arthur, who has some trouble making his way in the world. He lives in Menlo Park, CA, just an hour away from San Francisco, so my husband Richard and I visit him, help him with errands and usually take him out to lunch at his favorite restaurant. When my sister Terri was going through some family photographs she found a number of Anna and Arthur, so I made him a little photo book. Here are some of the photos, which I scanned before I sent.

Anna in the 1940s?
Anna Ginzler – 1940s?

 

Anna, Freddy and Arthur as a baby
Anna Trachtenberg, Freddy Trachtenberg (Arthur’s father) and Arthur as a baby

 

Anna and Arthur as a baby (1)
Anna and Arthur as a baby (1)

 

Anna and Arthur as a baby (2)
Anna and Arthur as a baby (2)

 

Anna and Arthur as a baby (3)
Anna and Arthur as a baby (3)

 

Arthur in 1957 - 1 year old
Arthur at 1 year old – 1957

 

Arthur  - school portrait? - 1966
Arthur – school portrait? – 1966

 

Arthur at the beach - 1966
Arthur at the beach – 1966

 

Anna - 1971
Anna – 1971

 

Anna worked at Marine World in Vallejo, CA in the 1970s (now Six Flags Discovery Kingdom) and Arthur was part of a staged event there: he volunteered to feed a dolphin, “fell in,” and was given a life jacket and towed to shore by the dolphin.

Arthur at Marine World (1)
Arthur at Marine World (1)

 

Arthur at Marine World (2)
Arthur at Marine World (2)

 

Arthur at Marine World (3)
Arthur at Marine World (3)

 

Arthur's high school ID card
Sequoia High School ID card in San Mateo, CA – 1970-71

 

Anna in front of Rodin sculptures in Paris
Anna in front of Rodin sculptures in Paris – 1997?

 

Anna in her garden
Anna in her garden in San Mateo, CA – 1999

 

A portrait
A portrait of Anna – 2001?

 

Anna was a great lady, and Arthur and I miss her a lot!