KRAWCZUK INDUSTRIES                                                    WHAT A WEEK!                                           Mon Feb 26, 2018  #9_


Are you flirting with me @shadow_traffic? Because it is working! I’m swooning over here!

Being Wild is Patriotic

Or, why creatively breaking rules is the only way new ideas get life.

I skim/read a lot of stuff every day and this article in the  San Francisco Chronicle that caught my eye: "In wake of Wine Country fires, a burning desire to help goes up in smoke." My summary: after the recent fires in the North Bay, a group with portable shipping containers built into housing for Burning Man set those containers up for those displaced by the fire to live in. By all accounts, they did a great job, quickly. But the system didn’t know how to handle it. So they were never able to offer their help.

It was a shame, but both sides had good intentions: the rules are in place to keep people safe, in normal conditions. The people with the temporary housing were able to respond when conditions were no longer normal, and offer new solutions.

My trip to Minneapolis turned up another situation where civic good intentions and new opportunities rubbed up against each other, although a lot less tragic issue (thank goodness): It seems that, despite having a large Nordic influence, public saunas are really strictly regulated. Seems that historically they have been associated with “ill repute”, rather than the health and social benefits they have throughout much of the world. So, when Little Box Sauna (the sauna in the back of a trailer) shows up, they have to do a lot of work to get temporary permits to open.

And I’ve been known to do a thing or two in the name of art that pushes boundaries of “are we allowed to do that”? (And for my events, the answer is usually, “actually, yes”.)  

But, I think these sorts of challenges are essential for us as a country. The United States has always been a place for risk takers, and just sitting back and blindly going with the status quo seems to not live up to those ideals. So, I  think being wild is patriotic: it starts conversations about why certain boundaries are set up, what new ideas deserve a good airing, and what old ideas deserve to get retired. It gives rise to opportunities and prosperity. And maybe some hope and joy as well.

Look at how Apple started. Or Cisco. Or Nascar. Or Uber and Airbnb. (All problematic examples, I know.) They all started off breaking the rules, found an equilibrium, and then became institutions. But, if they didn’t break the rules, the creative ideas they started with and inspired others to follow would have never come to life.

So, the next time you have that wild idea that breaks the rules, maybe give it a minute, and think about the risk of doing it, and not doing it. Think about who you may be hurting or getting in trouble with, and who benefits. And then maybe choose to to do the right thing, which sometimes may mean breaking the rules. You may just find yourself leading a parade down a sidewalk, too.

Mostly I don’t eat sugar anymore, but I had an occasion to eat cake, so I had one of these from Craftsman and Wolves. I’m still not a fan of sugar, but I loved eating something so beautiful. Photo by someone else.

And, I am totally serious: I’ll mail you the newsletter if you want! Here is last weeks batch!

Sign-up for updates:   |  See the Archive:



- Mar 1-3 - Gorins sample sale

- Mar 11 - Start of Daylight Savings - Spring Forward!


Shadow Traffic are members of the crew that produced the New York side of Everyhere Logistics.

Their new venture produces free, accessible-to-all events and and curates immersive installations that celebrate and enhance DIY community, within interstitial areas of the urban landscape.

Which means: they do cool shit, and you’re invited.

They just did the 2018 version of Competitive Winter Picnic, and I heard it was a great success.

Wanna find out more or send them some financial support:


I started working on a new stuffed animal project, and I wanted to make the sewing pattern be a bit bigger when printed out. So, I do what I always do, I go to Rasterbator: It takes any image, and then blows it up acros a number of pages. It generally works great, but I find it curious other apps don’t t do this. Got any alternatives?

Dritz Sweater Comb

For most of my life, I thought the only way to remove the little pills that accumulate on sweaters and other woolens is to use an electric sweater shaver, which I have always found to be poorly designed. They often don’t clean off pills or just put holes in the sweaters, and the build quality always seems bad: breaking easily and with batteries easily fall out.

It seem that all of the fabric stores that I go to carry Dritz brand sewing notions, so it’s a brand who’s quality I think is consistently good. When I saw they made a sweater comb, I figured it had to actually work. I wasn’t disappointed.

The business end of this thing is a little metallic mesh, not unlike chicken wire. It seems to pull and cut off the pills. It’s already revived several garments that I thought were moving out of circulation. If you buy it from Amazon, you seem to be able to buy multiples for cheap. I say get a 3 pack: one for home, one for work, and one to gift to someone who will love it!

Dritz Magnetic Seam Guide

When I showed this to TT, who sews professionally, she was surprised, so thinking it may be novel for others! Doing metal or wood working, I usually have jigs set up to run things through the machines. I’m bad at eybaling seam allowances, so I found this “jig for sewing”. You magnetically attach this to the plate on your machines thread plate, and it helps guide seam allowance!  I can now go back to just running it through the machine and let the jig do the work. My seams are surprisingly straight!


3041 Mission St, #116

San Francisco, CA 94100


Friends of M.K.