I have talented friends

I'm feeling cranky today and am trying to think of happy (and cool) things, so I thought I'd brag about some of my real-life friends.

My friend Kiri runs Kirstinflo Designs and makes happy, one-of-a-kind handbags out of vintage tablecloths. She gave me one for my birthday and it makes me smile every time I look at because it just reminds me of that Donna Reed-esque time when women wore dresses and pearls and served "luncheon" to their friends on card tables set with a printed tablecloth. It's also huge enough to carry all of the crap I routinely lug around with me, plus I get compliments on it all the time. Check out her Etsy store to see what her bags look like.

My friend Harris writes The Japanese Food Report, a website in which he chronicles his explorations into the world of Japanese food that goes waaaay beyond sushi and tempura. He spends a lot of time in Japan getting people to tell him how they cook things, as well as shadowing chefs at Japanese restaurants here in NYC. The post up now is about steaming sea bass Japanese style, something I never would have thought about doing, but his description and instructions (and photo!) made me think, "I can totally do that." Another recent post I loved was about buying a Japanese knife.

And my friend "Mintyfresh" writes the blog Pepperknit, in which she writes about her astronomical number of knitting projects and all the delicious foods she cooks and consumes. She's an excellent writer, but it's her photos that bring her blog to life. She's in Singapore right now visiting her parents, and I've been loving her latest posts about food in Singapore: the first real meal is the most important, the gluttony continues, going on a roti hunt.

Who do you know who does cool things?