I discovered L’eTablisienne a month ago thanks to my favourite Paris website – www.Paris.fr.  If you are ever spending a week or more in Paris, check out the city run site as it always has great ideas for places to go and see in the city of lights.


So what is l’eTablisienne? It’s a place where you can go and do woodwork and crafting.  They supply the space, as well as a starter tool kit, and there’s often a knowledgeable staff member around to bounce ideas off of.  But that’s not all, they also offer courses and have a small consignment shop where you can sell the things you make.  Sounds like a dream come true?  Well it is a great idea for a place like Paris where most people have very tiny apartments and aren’t likely to own lots of tools.  While I’m game to try woodworking in my living room (which is also my kitchen and dining area), some other people’s significant others may not be quite as understanding as mine…

Is it perfect? No. I was disappointed to see that the workshop area is about the size of my old garage at home, but I used that one on my own, this one is set up for 10 people.  The starter tools are pretty basic tools that you could buy yourself (ie. hand saw, screwdriver, chisel, etc.).  I had expected there to be larger power tools, however all they had was a small scroll saw in the corner.  They don’t have any lumber on site, but apparently they can order it in for you.


I checked out the consignment area, looks like most items were not made on site, some are likely refinishes.  All in all it’s a great idea, just not all I had expected.

Blair Sligar

Over on The New Gentleman’s Journal, they have a great piece on Blair Sligar.  He’s a fine craftsman with some great values and an awesome beard.  Tons of great pictures and a video of him at work, head on over and check it out…

Bespoke Prosthetics

Having worked with amputees in a previous career, I was blown away by Bespoke Prosthetics.  Prosthetics are generally purely functional.  Designed to be light, and serve their purpose (ie. help regain mobility).  It is rare for a prosthetic to be what we would call “beautiful”.  And when we think of this, the loss of a limb to someone is so much more than just their mobility.  People can be very self conscious of how the prosthetic looks, often wanting to cover it up and hide it from society.  So seeing the incredible designs by Bespoke really gets you thinking of what is possible in this field.

There’s a great interview on core77 (where I found out about this company)

Rhino for Mac OS X

While I have yet to start buiding my DIY CNC machine, I have started to learn some design software so that I can use the machine once it gets built.  While there are numerous programs out there, I’ve switched almost completely over to Apple right now, so I needed something that would work on my computers.


Rhino is a very well respected design software that is just getting ported over to OS X.  Because they are still in the process, they need feedback, and your feedback is worth free trial copies of the software.  There are bugs of course, but the price is right, and since I haven’t really picked a software yet, this lets me “try before I buy”.  So far I’m still in the tutorials, which although good, are written for the PC version so the menus don’t always seem to match up, but on the whole it is fairly intuitive.


The other cool thing is that they have an App for the iPad that allows you to show your projects on it, even letting you rotate and zoom.  I think that could be key in dealing with clients, being always able to show your product to them.


Zinio – iPad App review


I know I know… I said an iPad review was forthcoming, but I’ve been spending so much time on the iPad, that I haven’t really had time, so instead, another awesome app that I am absolutely loving.  Let me say first that my wife and I love magazines more than just about anything in the world.  That being said, we hate the waste of paper, and the fact that you end up with stacks upon stacks of them all over the house.  You don’t want to throw them away as they’re full of all sorts of great stuff, but the reality is with a million issues of the same magazine, you’re not likely to find what you’re looking for, or to know where to look for that matter.


Enter Zinio.  It’s a company that sells digital magazines.  Once you register for an account you can read them on your iPad or even on your pc.  They have a wide selection of magazines from around the world (which is growing all the time) and you can buy single issues or yearly subscriptions.  The prices are generally close to newstands/actual subscriptions, so it’s more of an environmental/clutter benefit than monetary.


I did find it really nice that you can zoom, and most pages have a “text” button which gives you the text in black and white which was quite nice when my issue of Dwell had turquoise text on a light blue background (kind of dumb for a design magazine, n’est-ce pas?).  The other great feature is that you can click on all web links listed in the magazines.  They aren’t exactly interactive, so the magazines aren’t really taking advantage of all of the iPad’s possibilities, but it’s a nice start.


As an added bonus, you do pay the subscription price as if you are ordering the magazine in the country it is written, this is a real benefit for international magazines as you save on the shipping costs.  For instance, while the US and Canadian dollar are at par, Dwell is double the price to subscribe in Canada, while on Zinio it is the same price.

Cool Hunting

Great new app for the iPad…. Cool Hunting.  Hold on a second, when did I get an iPad? Well as they used to say in “Tales of the Riverbank“… that’s another story (to be told soon of course).

Cool hunting does exactly as it says, it goes round the web and hunts for cool stuff.  It’s all categorized and put in their app, or you can go to their website for those deprived iPadless souls.  Categories include: design, tech, style, travel, culture, food & drink.  New stuff updated all the time.