Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’


April 11, 2009
full tilt towards alcatraz

full tilt towards alcatraz

I’m congratulating my honey today on this week’s launch of The Eleanor– the 5th wooden boat he has made as an instructor at the San Francisco Maritime Museum in conjunction with the GetOutAndLearn (GOAL) program of San Francisco’s Downtown High School. img_1591The GetOutAndLearn program uses experiential and adventure-based learning to engage under-served, minority students who are at-risk of dropping out of school. GetOutAndLearn prepares, encourages and motivates students to graduate from high school, make positive choices and pursue post-secondary education and/or meaningful work.

GetOutAndLearn partners with the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park Association to teach its students traditional wooden boat building techniques from start to finish – carrying out the measuring, cutting, assembly, and shaping of the boat and sail. It’s a unique and inspiring program which seeks to reach challenging students in a unique way. I also think it’s something special in that students are learning a craft and how to work with their hands.

student designed goat decal

student designed goat decal

The boat– a design called the “Goat Island Skiff”– was christened “The Eleanor” after one of the student’s grandmother’s who passed away during the making of the boat. The launch was dramatic with high winds, but we won’t go into those details now. Instead, congratulations to my sweetness, Ed, Josia (his incredible teaching partners), and all the rest of the crew who made this happen!

christening of "The Elanore"

christening of "The Eleanor"




February 12, 2009

I have fabric-envy this afternoon. Let me explain. One of the many ways I support myself is by freelancing as a personal assistant. I worked this morning with a lovely pregnant client, 2 weeks shy of her due date. In an effort to prepare for the baby ‘s arrival I am helping to organize her home by sifting through boxes of creative projects and years of teaching. Today, I sorted (by color) 13 boxes of fabric she accumulated in the hopes of one day making/selling homemade baby toys. Vintage fabrics, used clothes, upholstery fabric, sweaters, etc. I don’t think she quite realized what an ideal task this was for me. Sorting pretty fabric by color!? I’m such a dork…but I remember throwing temper tantrums when I was a kid if my pajama’s didn’t color co-ordinate. And I don’t believe I was an unruly or snob of a kid– I was a bit of a tom boy, in fact. (Siblings, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong). But COLOR…well, everything is color to me. I can’t quite explain it, but my emotions are far too heavily swayed by color.

I’m very glad my closets aren’t swelling with too many boxes of fabric, but I do have a wee case of fabric envy. I often run to the thrift store down the street to find fabric for some hair-brained project. Often I try to make the project too quickly without taking the proper steps or thinking it through. I can spend months without sewing inspiration and then wammo, I get an idea and I want to produce it INSTANTLY. So, I’m trying to learn to be a less impatient sewer and project maker.

iBook quilted pouch, handmade by frutz

Here is a project I made a while back. It’s a quilted pouch for my Apple iBook and it is invaluable to me. I found the quilted blue fabric in the Mission district of San Francisco and the striped blue fabric (for the lining) at a nearby Goodwill store. The pocket on the outside is just the right size to fit a CD/DVD + computer cord. If I ever make another one I’d perfect the design with an additional pocket or two and perhaps a unique button on the flap. But my little white laptop slides into this pouch “just so” and can then travel in any bag or suitcase without a care.

quilted iBook pouch (closed view)

quilted iBook pouch, handmade by frutz

Another recent project involves 2 kitchen chairs my fiance found on the street a while ago. The streets of San Francisco are the Giving Tree of found objects. Rents may be high, but I swear, if you have a little patience and creativity, you never have to purchase a single item of furniture. Between (God bless you, Craig), thrift stores, and the generousity/laziness of residents who leave things out on the street, you are all set. You’d be hard-pressed to find a piece of furniture in my home which I bought. Some people might find this horrific, but if you’re a bit flexible in your expectations and needs, you can have a pretty chic home for very little. It’s by no means high lux, but my home is colorful, cozy, funky, and inviting. Our home is like a rotating gallery– we have some things which I will admit I hate, but they serve a purpose and when we find something of better quality/style, the old item goes out onto the streets and the new piece comes inside.  Many things I’d like to refinish or paint or change in some way and I slowly get around to those projects. Which leads me back to the kitchen chairs– I recently recovered these found objects with a beautiful, but un-loved sweater. I’m not a huge fan of the wood finish on the chairs, but hey, I may one day get around to changing that. But for now, I’m pretty happy with the chairs’ new outfit.