The host with the most

The other older gentleman besides Jacques Pépin that is keeping me cool and calm during this global case of the sniffles that has wiped out over three-quarters of a million people on the planet (so far) is someone Benny found while looking for some YouTube crafting videos. Like Monsieur Pépin, this fellow has a smooth voice, he’s very open to letting you experiment with the techniques he demonstrates, and he seems to like young children. Folks, if you haven’t met him already, I’d like to introduce you to The CrafsMan.

He may have other things in common with our friendly chef from Lyon, but it’s hard to tell for sure because The CrafsMan is a man of mystery. I believe he lives somewhere in Louisiana, and he is married to a lovely woman, and he may or may not still have a regular day job of some sort. Other than that, he’s an enigma. A smooth, yet fuzzy, enigma.

There also seems to be no end to his interests and expertise. Do you want to learn how to:

? The CrafsMan has got you covered. If for some reason watching someone make cool crafts makes you feel pressured and inadequate, you can just listen to The CrafsMan talk about some of his favorite things. If all you really need is some ASMR to calm down and The CrafsMan’s normal videos make you laugh too much, heck, he’ll read you some Frog And Toad Together by Arnold Lobel. Eventually, you’re probably going to find yourself imitating The CrafsMan. It’s okay. Lots of other people do it too, and he doesn’t seem to mind.

I don’t know how we’d ever get to meet him in real life, but that would be such a neat thing. I imagine him coming over to Benny’s workshop and examining all of the boxes and drawers and things, and they could talk about different kinds of tape and rubber hams and maybe the baby skunks would come out to meet him, and … oh mercy. I need to calm down. CrafsMan, if you ever read this, know that you have a place to stay in LA when things get safe again. In the meantime, keep on steady craftin’.

Crown Town City Limits

A bunch of friends and I made crowns this weekend, and Benny took photos of Benny Jr. and me in some of them:

I’m not sure what we’re going to do with all these crowns now. I guess I need to fill my calendar with more important functions.

Published in: on August 15, 2011 at 9:45 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , ,


My friend Ross had a holiday party last night, and the featured decor was sparkleballs. For some reason I thought Ross had invented this sparkleball thing, but apparently it’s a phenomenon.

In my book, if it has its own website and youtube videos posted by someone other than the website owner, it’s a phenomenon.

Published in: on December 7, 2009 at 1:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Back from the portal

Sorry for the late posting today, but I spent yesterday building a City of The Future with some friends and I just got back. Sometimes it takes a while to get back from the future.


For a while, it seemed like the city was going to be a crowded and violent dystopia

ruled by a giant silver head named Zubox,


but then this other guy came along


and everything was good again.futurecity2


Hooray for our monkey overlord of the future!

First and last photos by Benny, photos of Zubox and Smart Chimpgod by Michael R. Perry; other photos by me

Published in: on August 10, 2009 at 8:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,


Very infrequently I wish I knew how to knit. I say “very infrequently” because it seems like a very time-intensive hobby, and I already have plenty of time-intensive hobbies that I do in a mediocre manner, but sometimes I see a really great piece of knitting that I wish I could make. Knit overalls for Benny, for instance. Tree cozies. Gloves for hamsters. And today I wish I could knit so I could make myself one of these:


That is one fierce hat. According to the designer, 3RaysOfSunshine on,:

“I made this hat for my son – he wanted a mean shark. I saw the dead fish hat pattern and loved the idea – I just varied the pattern quite a lot to make different looking species. And felted it so it looks like it jumped out of the water and landed on his head…”

She saw the dead fish pattern and loved the idea. I need to know more people like this in the real world, and get them to knit me hats.

Published in: on May 14, 2009 at 8:08 pm  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Fancy notions #11


Surely I can’t be giving away this wonderful do-it-yourself angel kit as today’s fancy notions offering, can I?


Surely I am. You’ll have to provide wings, and halo, and, uh, the harp, but everything else you need to make a lovely angel is here. You might also need some glue. What you’re getting from me is: two Shirley dolls imported from China, a packet of multicolored glitter, and a jar of iridescent white glitter. No, that’s not a vial of meth to keep you focused on your do-it-yourself angel project, it’s glitter. See?



If you want this fabulous do-it-yourself angel kit, just write to me at herndonofsunnyvale(at) The first or most sincere person to write in gets the kit. Good luck!

Published in: on November 24, 2008 at 10:28 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

This little piggy had shrimp on toast

I had a plan some time ago to turn this dollhouse miniature baked ham platter I had from when I was a kid into a fashionable ring. When I started the project, the little platter had corroded a bit and the Fimo pineapple garnish had disintegrated with age. So I pried the ham and greens off the platter, sanded and repainted the platter, and set to work making replacement pineapple rings.

It took me a while to do this, because it takes me a while to do anything, but I was finally ready to assemble all the parts to make my new ham ring. And then, I lost the ham. It’s possible that it was eaten by a rat thinking it was a real miniature ham rather than one made of polymer clay, or maybe I put it away for safekeeping and hid it too well. Whatever the case, I no longer have the ham for my baked ham ring, and my Fimo skills are not up to making my own.

But this lovely new accessory from Fred & Friends is making me think I don’t need the ham.

An empty plate is not only more adaptable to more outfits than baked ham, but it’s functional as well.  It’s probably not good for bossy schoolmarms who wag their fingers a lot, though.

Ham haberdashery

Today’s fashion feature is courtesy of the ladies at The AntiCraft website, who have previously given us instructions for making a bomb cozy and knitted hat tributes to Vlad The Impaler. Continuing their exploration of a beloved medium, Zabet and Raellyn have created a bacon tiara.

This is a do it yourself project rather than an item you can pick up at your local carniceria jewelry store or fashion boutique, reinforcing my opinion that a proper tiara is earned, not bought. Hopefully the phrase “prepare to create the meat roses” will motivate you as much as it does me.

Published in: on September 30, 2008 at 11:58 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Go bananas

“Hey, I like your scraper bike.”
“My scraper bike?”
“Your scraper bike.”
“Yeah, I like my scraper bike.”
Zagnut bike. That’s sweet.”
“You got a scraper bike?”
“Nah. I don’t have any arms or legs. I can’t ride a bike.”
“I’ll tell you what I do have, though.”
Scraper chandelier. Pure Chiquita.”


Published in: on September 24, 2008 at 9:55 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

The rug maker

Some of you may have been wondering what my cat Joaquin has been up to since he was deposed retired as Minister of Fancy Notions Weights & Measures. Has he been resting? Has he been glowering in his soup and yelling at random passers-by? Well yes, he has been doing all of those things, but he has also taken up a new hobby: rug making. He has been practicing his felting skills for some time now, but this weekend he finally completed his first full piece:

As you can see, it is a tribute to Australia:

For those curious about the piece, yes, it is one piece and not merely a clump of random hair. Joaquin fashioned it on his back, as a sort of shell or plate of armor. When he was finished, he gave a signal to Benny to remove it, and voila:

A luxurious new rug. Well done, Joaquin! I’m excited to see what you will make in the days to come.

Published in: on June 17, 2008 at 9:28 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , ,
%d bloggers like this: