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    DIY Geometric Wine Stopper

    Since you're probably going to be popping some bottles for the holidays, why not making this geo wine stopper to keep all your spirits fresh and boozy, yes? You can use 'em yourselves, or give as party gifts.

    The Merry Thought has created a great tutorial to make this simple wine stopper. And? Works equally well for a bottle of whiskey, tequila, and the like.

    Just gather the following:

    • Scrap of hardwood
    • Cork stopper
    • Super glue
    • Stain

    They use a stationary belt sander to create the facets, but there are lots of ways to make the cuts. Head over to The Merry Thought for the full tutorial and instructions (lots of great photos included!).

    DIY Modern Geometric Wine Stopper 

     

    For another faceted wood project, check out ManMade's own geometric wall hooks: 


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    created at: 12/11/2013

    Even with all the commercialism, the chaos, and the over-sentimentality, this season really is the most wonderful time of the year. The holidays provide an opportunity to get intentional - to reach out to others, to make gifts and special food, to wish "Season's Greetings" to a stranger that you'd have otherwise ignored.   

    But, though we all might forget when we have to be eight different places on Christmas Day, the best part of the holidays is about gathering together. Even for the extreme introverts (like me), nothing says Christmas like welcoming someone into your home, being warm together, and sharing some food and drink.

    So, in order to make that as easy and headache-less as possible while still keeping things merry and bright, we've teamed up with mike's hard lemonade to offer our man's guide to hassle-free holiday entertaining. All the basics are covered - just add a bit of personalization and whatever feels Christmas-y to you, and we're off. Cheers!

     

    created at: 12/11/2013

    Decor and Festivities

    Color Scheme: Hah. Your party doesn't need a color scheme. What is does need is a general vibe. You can go all Dickensian and bust out the red and green and holly and mistletoe, but our vote is this: skip the green altogether, and keep everything in bold holiday red with natural tones and textures. Forgo fancy table cloths, and cover your tables with brown kraft paper. This'll give everything a cohesive feel, and the natural textures will help bring the outdoors in, as it were. as well as bringing the outdoors in. If you do use paper plates and cups and napkins, snag the unbleached kind. And continue that vibe into the rest of your supplies: unbleached paper, cork, wood tones, pinecones, some galvanized steel and metal tones (like a beverage tub)  and then plenty of red.

    Christmas Smells: They say smell is the strongest sense tied to memory, and by my count, Christmas-y-ness is a good 75% aroma. So - you gotta do it. The easiest way is just to simmer some whole spices and citrus peels on the stovetop, but if you want something pre-packaged, look for some simple scented candles or essential oils. The candles will make for a dimmed, cabin-like ambiance, or you can heat a couple different oils throughout the night, preferably something forrest-y: pine, oak, sandalwood, or even cinnamon. Just don't do both, and avoid anything too overpowering.

     

    created at: 12/11/2013

    Decor: You need but one thing, my friend: string lights. That's it. Don't over think it. Buy a few extra sets when they're 50% off, and keep them around for anytime. Inside, outside, whateverside. Just drape them from everything for some instant comfort and joy. Use blue painter's tape or removable Command hooks to place them on walls and ceilings, and you're home will just feel like Christmas. Promise. 

    Music:  Yes, your Christmas party needs music. Christmas music, even. What sort? Whatever you like...just not the same six songs they play 24 hours a day during those 30 days when your local radio station goes all holiday, all the time. To start, allow me to suggest the ManMade modern rock holiday playlists from the last three years, which are free to stream: 2010,2011, and 2012. That'll get you three and half hours in. From there, hit up Spotify or another streaming service, and take advantage of all the free playlists there. Like this one, or this

     

    Food and Drink

    Eats: When it comes to holiday entertaining, the important thing to remember is: you don't have to serve anyone dinner. Unless you're having a dinner party, which you're not, cause it's Christmas, and you're having a Christmas party. So, the goal here is just to provide some small snacks and bites to accompany drinks and keep people moving about. Simple ingredients put together well to create awesome bites. Think: apples, a few choices of cheese, local mustard and jellies, olives and charcuterie, some toasted rustic bread. Done and done.

    Or, if you want something a little more, uh, indulgent, try this trick I learned in Jalisco, Mexico: Simply lay out some thick cut potato chips in a huge pile, and cover the whole thing in Valentina hot sauce (yellow label) and plenty of fresh squeezed lime juice. You've turned a party staple into something truly special, and neither you nor your guests will ever be able to eat regular potato chips again. Happy Christmas, snack spoiler!

     

    created at: 12/11/2013

    Pick Your Poison: The goal here is to pick one thing, and stick to it. For some variety with ease, try the mike's hard lemonade party pack. You get four different varieties in each case, allowing your guests to mix and match with whatever they're currently munching on. The classic hard lemonade works well with earthy, salty items like cheese and olives, and the limeade is an obvious match for the Mexican-style chip preparation above. My personal favorite is the mike's hard cranberry lemonade; it's got an extra boost of acidity from the cranberry that cuts through all these rich holiday foods, and simply tastes like wintertime.  Just snag a few party packs, stick them in a cooler or beverage tub with ice - or snow, if you've got some - and the drinks issue is covered. You concentrate on spending time with your guests.

    If you want to add an extra layer of seasonal flair, try what we did in the photo above: seal some battery-powered LED lights in a double layer of zip-top bag (just in case), and place it inside the ice. At my gatherings, I like to put my drinks outside, where it's a reliable 20-30° in December, to keep everything chilled, and the people moving. The lights help my guests find their way.

     

    Entertaining Tips and Ideas

    created at: 12/11/2013

    Coasters: Anyone who's ever hosted (or been to) a party will tell you there's that one awkward dance: where to put your drinks, and how to tell them apart. Are we using coasters? Is that my bottle or yours? So, solve both problems with this super simple DIY project: just grab a stack of cork tiles from the craft or office supply store. They're always less than a dollar each. Cut them into 1/4ths with a craft knife, then stack them up alongside some red Sharpies. The cork and red combo reinforce your not-color scheme, and allow folks to tell their drinks apart, while protecting your furniture. You can reuse the coasters several times - just black out the names and start again; when they're full, flip 'em over. You've still spent less than those silly wine charms, and these pull double duty. 

    Photos and Merry Memory Making: The last thing you want to do it chase everyone to take photos to remember this nearly perfect holiday moment...cause they won't do it. But in the era of smartphones, your friends can all take part in the fun and collect the memories in one place: just make sure you create your own party's hashtag. 

    Make it easy enough to remember: something straightforward like #ManMadeHolidayBash or something festive like #39andahalffootpole. Write down the tag and place it in little cards around your home - or write it on that brown kraft paper we keep going on about. The next day you can go through the feed on your social media channels and laugh, cry, and regret.

     

    created at: 12/11/2013

    Create Movement: The host's job is to keep things from feeling stale, and keep your guests moving about. Other than putting the food and drinks on opposite sides of a space, think about other ways to get feet a-shuffling. Nobody's going to dance, but how else can you avoid the statics?

    One of my favorite local restaurants/pubs has a huge collection of old VHS tapes that they play on monitors. The volume is always off, but those flickering screens give some serious motion to the spot, and add a sense of time to the meal. So - do the same. Pick your favorite Christmas movies, and let them play, with the volume at 0. Whatever floats your Christmas boat will work, but we vote for the ultimate guy's Christmas movie - Bill Murray in Scrooged. Buster Poindexter as the Ghost of Christmas Past, and a gun-toting Bobcat Goldthwait, plus that version of "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" at the end? Talk about Christmas spirit. 

    Be Polite and Tell Your Neighbors About It: I don't necessarily mean invite them over, but at least let them know you'll be having a "small gathering" (choose your words wisely). It'll only take a few minutes, and allows them to prepare appropriately. It also gets rid of any weird issues, and answers that classic question "What is going on over there?!" Somehow, when you're prepared any excess noise comes off less like rude behavior and more that you're just following through on those preparations you made.  Just say something simple, like "Hey neighbor, I'm having some friends over on Friday. It won't go til late, but if we get a bit noisy, please let me know!" If you want to go the extra mile, wrap a little bundle with goodies from the party and leave them by the door with a note. 

     

    And? That's it. Some string lights, the right music, a bit to eat and drink, and you and your friends, together because tis the season. Happy Holidays!

     

    created at: 12/12/2013

    This post was sponsored by mike's hard lemonade. All opinions are mine. Learn more about mike's and their mike's hard party kit at their Facebook page.

     


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    This 360 degree panorama of the night sky wasn't shot by a satellite or a high-powered telescope. It was (simply?) stitched together from 37,000 images by amateur photographer, Nick Risinger.   The 28-year-old traveled more than 60,000 miles around the U.S. and parts South Africa to create the largest-ever true-color image of the stars visible from earth. 

    created at: 12/16/2013

    Wired reports, 

    Every night, Risinger and his father set up the cameras on a tripod that rotates with Earth. The cameras automatically took between 20 and 70 exposures each night in three different-color wavelengths. “I wanted to create something that was a true representation of how we could see it, if it were 3,000 times brighter,” he said...Most of the northern half of the sky was shot from deserts in Arizona, Texas and northern California, [and] one clear, frigid night in Colorado...The southern hemisphere was captured in two trips to South Africa, not far from the site of the 11-meter Southern African Large Telescope. While there, Risinger and his father stayed with a sheep farmer who also watched the skies with his own amateur telescope.

    Back in Seattle, Risinger used a combination of standard and customized astrophotography software to subtract noise from the cameras, stack the three colors on top of each other, link each picture to a spot on the sky and stitch the whole thing together. He taught himself most of the techniques using online tutorials.

    Learn more at Wired: Reader Photo: Stunning Interactive Sky Image [via Experiment with Nature

     

     

     


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    It's easier for a camel to pass through an eye of the needle than a rich man to get into heaven...and it's not much simpler to get an actual thread through. Too many easy DIY clothing repairs and fixes have been thwarted from the getgo because it's never not frustrating to thread a needle.   

    The trick, says Sebastian Sandersius of Bison Made, is to snug up as close as possible to the end of the thread, so the slack can't go all crazy on its way into the eye.

    To get a full demonstration of the technique, head to The Art of Manliness - The Easiest Way to Thread a Needle 

     


    For some simple how-tos for fixing and altering your own clothes, check out our DIY Tailor Series: 

     

     

     


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    credit: MMortah [http://www.flickr.com/photos/mmortah/8395365738/]

    Freaking out because you haven't finished everything you need to do on your list? No worries! We have some last minute tips for you.

    Cause...it's okay. It happens to the best of us: we get caught up in the holiday frenzy and, you know, we forget. So, we're sharing some last minute ideas and tips that will help you (and us!!) get through it with minimal damage.

    1. Decor: Either DIY it or wait 'til the very last minute:

    It's kinda late to go on a ornament shopping spree and chances are you'll get stressed out and spend more than you need to so, you have 2 options. DIY IT: Go to the discount store, buy plain ornaments and spray paint them. Done, or WAIT: Stores have HUGE sales close to Christmas Day, so you may leave your tree ready and go hunting for ornaments a few days before...it'll be hectic, but it'll be affordable. 

     

    homemade smores

    2. No time for a feast! Just make one mighty dish.

    Cooking a turkey from scratch? Preparing the gravy? Roasting the veggies? Ain't nobody got time for that! Well, you would have, if you prepared. But you didn't, you're not spending the whole day in the kitchen. So, here's an easy way out of that: make ONE mighty dish that'll drive everyone nuts. The rest you can buy it from the store and dress it all fancy in a plate.

    Try this recipe of homemade s'mores - it's wintery, easy to make, and a crowd pleaser! Make sure you feed your guests that dish right at the end so it's the last thing they remember. Happy memories for all!

     

    DIY mugs

    3. No time for gift shopping! Just dollar-rama-it

    Oh crap, you haven't even started with your list, have you? Ok, don't panic. Just go to the dollar store, pick up a few mugs, grab a stencil and some paint and follow the instructions in this easy DIY mug project. Stuff it with chocolates or tea and you're done! Best of all, you can make a big batch of these mugs so you can be done in one evening, rather than having to drive around the city hunting down for last minute gifts.

    If you want to get extra crafty, you could even make some rustic tote bags for all of your friends (considering that you are good at working with fabric and you know what you're doing). Here's a good tutorial for bags.

     

    Candle DIY

    4. If you're expecting company, make some quick goodie bags to lessen the blow of "I forgot to buy you a real present"

    This idea is for A: people that forgot to get something for their friends and/or B: people that didn't think of bringing a hostess gift.

    Get a few paper bags and fill them up with goodies - include some candles (even better if you can washi tape them to look more custom), chocolates, coffee, and some cookies. You may not excel at getting all the details together, but you are a pro at making people feel awesome.

     

    DIY printed tree

    5. When everything else fails, create a distraction! Like this super cool DIY printed tree

    Dang son, you didn't get a tree, which is quintessential for hosting a holiday party, what were you thinking!? 

    You should be thankful that there are some people in this world like Molly from Almost Makes Perfect that have some great ideas to save the day, like this DIY printed tree! How cool. It costs no more than $20 bucks and it totally brings the holiday cheer into your place. There, done and done - oh and bonus points of this project: no messy clean up!

     

    cocktail recipe

    6. Get everybody really drunk and be responsible about it

    Not that we advocate drinking like a fish, but hey, if that's the thing to save the occasion, then why not do it?! Make sure to stock up your bar REALLY well and ask your friends before hand if they'd like something in specific. A few cocktails make a big difference! Remember though, you have to be responsible about it, after all, you want to enjoy yourself, right?! 

    Here are a few tips to take care of your friends:

    • Reserve a few cabs in advance so your friends don't have to drive
    • Get your inflatable mattress out in case a couple friends need to crash your place
    • Pick a designated driver if someone brought their car
    • Use apps like Uber to schedule any additional transportation
    • Know when to say "that's it for you, buddy"

    Make sure to figure it our BEFORE you get your cocktails on, that way you can all enjoy the holiday buzz in a responsible way. 

    created at: 12/21/2013

    7. Getting bored? Play a game!

    If you notice your party is slowly turning into a snooze fest, then get a game out and bring on the laughs! Obviously we recommend something with a bit of shock factor to it - Cards Against Humanity! Or course.

    And don't forget that you don't NEED to buy a gift for everyone, you can instead give a donation in their name and get good karma points! Check out Scatter Joy for some wonderful E-Cards that will help children get the education they need OR purchase some art to help people affected by the typhoon in the Philippines on Artists Heal PH December pop-up shop

    Games, good karma, food. I think we got you covered! Now go enjoy the holidays and have as much eggnog as you can possibly drink. 

    Happy holidays!

     

     

     

    Happy holidays!

     

     

     


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    created at: 12/18/2013

    It's not that hot chocolate is hard to make...especially if you go for the little packets of powder. But there's definitely something seriously straightforward about making a fresh cup with only two high-quality ingredients that makes it much more likely to enjoy a cup every night between now and the new year.   

    The MerryThought came up with this clever recipe to create some seriously addicting hot cocoa from a bit of Nutella warmed in milk. One, two, done. Christmas cheer. 

    Nutella Hot Chocolate [The Merrythought] 


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    DIY Instagram coasters

    This holiday season, I wanted to give my friends and family a customized gift with some personality. So, using nothing but our own photos and a few crafty tools, I came up with this coaster project which is super fun, super inexpensive, plenty easy, and you can dial it in perfectly for each person on your list - just raid their Instagram or social media accounts!

    Let's get to it!

    Instagram coasters DIY

    DIY Instagram Coasters

    Materials:

    • Wood squares (you can buy them already cut at any craft store or you can cut your own). For this project, I used 4.5" squares.
    • Your favorite Instagram photos, mirrored and printed with a laser printer. If you need some tips on how to prepare your images, check out this other tutorial by Chris. NOTE: For this project I took my photos directly from instagram using the ink361 site, I basically opened the image Photoshop, adjusted the size, and flipped it (mirrored) to print it.
    • Mod Podge
    • Sponge, brushes, and a few rags

     

    Make it:

    1. Start by cutting the photos so they fit the squares. Remember, if you need to adjust the size, simply use a photo  editing tool. If the image stretches too much, then use the original file from your phone.

    Instagram coasters DIY

    2. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the front of the image (printed part) and quickly glue it to the wood square (face down). Try NOT to drag the image or you will tear the paper, rather, just make sure it fits all 4 corners and press down on it from top to bottom. Get rid of any bubbles using a credit card (be gentle!).

     

    Instagram coasters DIY

    Instagram coasters DIY

    3. Let it dry completely. It'll take an hour or so. Then, grab a rag and soak it with water, squeeze it a little, and place it on top of the glued image. Let the image soak a bit of water and then, GENTLY start rubbing away the top layer. Use the rag to make the paper wet, and use your FINGERS to rub away the paper. Don't use your nails!

     

    Instagram Coasters DIY

    4. Ta-da! Your photo will start showing. But wait, we're not done yet. You have to keep rubbing away until all the paper is gone, try to get as much of it as possible without destroying the photo (which is a bit tricky! So be patient).

     

    Instagram coasters DIY

    You will - inevitably - rub off some part of the image, but that's ok, it adds to the whole vintage look.

    6. Once you're done, let it dry again. After it's dry apply one last coast of Mod Podge over the final image (to seal it in) and let it dry. At this point you can either add some cork on the bottom to prevent scrapes and keep things from sliding around, or you can just leave it as is.

    Oh! And here's another idea, you don't necessarily have to use them as coasters, you can also use them as little wall art!

    Instagram coasters DIY

    Instagram coasters DIY

    Either way, this project is a super fun way to keep those awesome memories of 2013 alive.

    PS. It also makes an awesome office gift!... You're welcome.

     

    Project by: Gabriel Cabrera

     


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    sugared cranberries recipe

    My oh my, what to do with all of those cranberries in the fridge left from Christmas dinner? Sugar them!

    The holiday season might be coming to an end, but that doesn't mean you can't extend the snacking. Right?

    This recipe for sugared cranberries from Bakers Royale is soooo easy to make, seriously, you can almost make it with your eyes closed (you shouldn't tho).

    You can these sweet crans to accompany salads or - our favorite - for cocktails for NYE. Since there's quite a lot of sugar in there, they'll last for a while so you can keep them in your fridge even after the holidays are done (while you're depressed in january wishing you were napping in the couch).

    Get the whole recipe and step-by-step over at Bakers Royal.

    Cheers!


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    More than seventy years ago, folk singer and activist Woody Guthrie opened up his notebook to write down a set of "New Years Rulin's" his own self...complete with illustrations.    It's always fascinating to look behind the scenes at creative folk, and it's especially interesting to learn about the principles by which they tried to leave their lives...you know, stuff like "drink very scant if any," "read lots good books," and "don't get lonesome."

    You can see the page from Woody's journal dated January 1st, 1943 at WoodyGuthrie.org, and Business Insider has the full list typed out here: 

    Woody Guthrie Really Knew How To Do New Year's Resolutions 

     

     


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    created at: 12/17/2013

    It is currently -9° where I live. It's wonderfully sunny, and all I want to do is go outside...but the weather says no.

    And that's the trick with winter, right? So, bring the outdoors in, like snagging some seasonal plants and using them as decor in your home to create a cabin-like feel.

     

    Erin Boyle from Gardenista has a good list to get started and you don't need much, just some window space, a wooden box, and some soil. Head over to Gardenista to get your list started! Starting the new year with new life! Plant life, that is.

    Tiny Trees: Window Boxes to Last All Winter 

     


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  • 01/06/14--10:00: How to: Make Frozen Bubbles
  • created at: 01/06/2014It's cold today. Like, extra special cold. Where I live, it's the coldest it's been in twenty years, and the same records are being broken all over the United States and Canada. 

    Cold enough that most of us could try out this project from Washington-based photographer Andrea Kelly: frozen bubbles. There's not much of trick: just mix up some DIY bubble solution using only dish soap, corn syrup, and water (here's a recipe), then bundle up and head outside. 

    Kelly says,

    [My son and I] blew the bubbles across the top of our frozen patio table and also upon the hood of my car and then we watched in awe as each individual bubble froze with their own unique patterns...We noted how they would freeze completely before the sun rose but that once the sun was in view they would defrost along the tops or cease freezing altogether. We also noted how they would begin to deflate and implode in on themselves making them look like alien shapes or in some cases shatter completely leaving them to look like a cracked egg. 

    She also noted that when it was extra cold, some of the smaller bubbles would freeze in the air and drop to the ground. 

    See more at KomoNews, as well as Kelly Images and their Facebook page

    [All photos: Kelly Images and Photography]


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    Phiske, a leather craftsman and the artist behind Cachicamo Leather Works, details the steps towards making this beautiful, custom leather briefcase that is certain to last a few lifetimes. The best part? The design includes a hidden compartment in the bottom for your extra valuables and/or secret spy documents.   

    Phiske says, "Leather is awesome!  Especially vegetable tanned leather.  It's been in use for centuries, millennia, eons even.  (Are millennia and an eon the same thing?)...I love making bags and briefcases out of leather.  It's such a beautiful, renewable resource.  Granted, large unrestricted tanneries can produce some bad chemicals, vegetable tanned leather, if properly processed, limits these.  Another cool thing about leather is that if you really take care of it, it will last.  And it looks great as it ages.  But it is also biodegradable.  So when you are old and you and your leather bag are all worn out,  you can just toss it and it will decompose.  Can't say that about synthetic leather or any other man made products that you might use to make a briefcase.  You can even recycle the hardware too!" 

    Clearly a passionate guy, and super talented. Check out the full tutorial: 

    Leather Briefcase (Covert Edition) [Instructables.com]


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    created at: 01/07/2014

    A few Christmases ago, when I first got my band saw, I made my [now] wife this wooden cheeseburger for her office desk. The whole thing was made from old wooden flooring and other scraps, and each of the colors comes from the natural wood tones of a variety of species.   I recently stumbled across the photos I'd taken but forgotten to share when re-organizing for the new year, so, um, here it is. At the bottom of the post, I've formatted the images so you can download them and use them as a computer desktop wallpaper, as well as for your iPhone and iPad. 

    created at: 01/07/2014

    This still remains one of my favorite projects, and I love the interplay of the different species. The buns were made from some glued up blocks of sugar maple, the patty is walnut, and the lettuce is a naturally green wood called lignum vitae. The cheese is some very thin balsa which got a coat of golden oak Danish oil, and the tomato layer is a scrap of a padauk, a naturally red wood.  

    created at: 01/07/2014

    This project began as a bunch of hardwood flooring scraps that my uncle Steve, a professional installer, saved from the firewood pile and gave to me to play with. 

     

    created at: 01/07/2014

    I used a variety of paint and stain cans to create the circular shapes of the burger patty and the bun. The tomato layer is a Venn diagram of circles traced using a spray paint can lid. 

     

    created at: 01/07/2014

    This is the top bun blank, glued up to add some height. Once it was dry, I cut out a cylinder, then used a router bit to create the profile.

     

    created at: 01/07/2014

    To keep everything to scale, I used a thin piece of balsa wood for the cheese. This is the only piece that got a boost of color, from a tinted coat of Danish oil in "Golden Oak"

     

    created at: 01/07/2014

    The burger patty and bun got a roundover profile to for a more organic shape. After that, just a little bit of sanding to 220 and some mineral oil to bring out the grain.

    I've used my bandsaw so many time since this project, it's strange to remember what a big project this was for three years ago me: coming up with the idea, learning about the different wood species, keeping everything to scale, solving the problems of how to fit everything together. It's still a big hit at my wife's office, and folks always notice and comment on it, and she says it's still one of her favorite gifts. 

     

    created at: 01/07/2014

    Since a new year deserves a new desktop wallpaper, I thought I'd offer it as a free download, formatted for several common monitor and device sizes. 

     

    Enjoy!

     

     


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    Each Wednesday, I post some of my favorite can't-miss links, images, and otherwise mindblowing goodies from across the web.


    Steve Vistaunet's Pinterest page is full of collections dedicated to the art of the mixtape... not the craft of creating a great mix, but, you know, the actual handmade artwork that accompanies a custom tape.   

    At some point, Steve got a computer: 

    See them all at Steve's Pinterest page: 12345 [via BoingBoing]

     

     

    Hooray, animation! It's "Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 2" 

    Junkculture features the work of "UK-based artist Ben Greener creates heavily detailed anatomically accurate representations of the human form made from wood, glue and canvas which has been dyed with tea and coffee."

     

    created at: 01/08/2014

    LOLMyThesis is a new Tumblr in which graduate students sum up years of their work in research in a single sentence... and as hilariously as possible.

     

    They now sell Mountain Dew-flavored corn chips in Japan, and Rocket24 has a review.


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    Look, on another day, I'd try to come up with some clever intro, talking about classic flavor combinations and different textures, or some other such goodness. But today, I'm just gonna dive in: this is a recipe for whiskey sriracha caramel popcorn. It's got smoky scotch whiskey, and a balance of heat and sweet, and I can't wait to make some at home this weekend.   

    This recipe comes from Olives for Dinner, who say, "I made my first batch with all of the ingredients...except the whisky and sriracha, and it tasted amazing: rich and buttery, without being sticky or too sweet. But I wanted to introduce these two things into my second batch just to see what would happen. The whisky delivered a subtle kiss of smoke on contact, while the sriracha rounded everything out with a gentle slap of spice at the end. The flavor was addictive without being too aggressive, making this a unique snack that's perfect to gift to another or keep for yourself."

    The original recipe is vegan, which is cool, but if you don't have any of the vegan butter substitute lying around, you can just use the real thing. 

    Get the full recipe at Olives for Dinner: Whisky-Sriracha Caramel Corn

     

     


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    H&M vintage collection

    Lots of rustic bedroom goodness here to get you inspired...

    H&M has a new collection of home goods, and among them are these vintage-styled pieces, and we're totally digging the industrial look. 

    Or, if you want to get crafty with something like this, you could print the sheets yourself. It's not that hard and there are tons of screen printing tutorials online. You could create your own design and adds a layer of meaning, perhaps you could print the street where you lived as a child, or your wedding anniversary? (also works as a reminder? Sweet!)

    Mix and match textures and you'll be set. We recommend using natural fabrics and and avoiding all things satin. Cotton is the way to go, and don't worry about the whole Egyptian thread count, nowadays you can buy good quality linens anywhere.

     

     


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    Kitchen knives, pocket knives, craft knives....a creative guy simply has to cut stuff up on the regular. Here's the ManMade list of the nine knives every man should own, but if you're interested in crafting your own from raw materials, it's actual relatively straightforward and requires fewer tools than you might think.    created at: 01/10/2014

    Phil Reilly walks you through the steps towards creating an entire knife from scratch. The blade is cut from a sheet of steel with a hacksaw, the handle formed from a block of walnut...everything but the brass bolster and hardware is DIYed. 

    Phil says, 

    I love to design and make things – it’s my passion! One day at work by boss showed me a picture of a kitchen knife he made completely from scratch and after that, I knew I had to make one. He said it was “one of the most rewarding things you can make!” – He was most definitely correct!

    I had such an enjoyable time making this knife that I felt I should share it with you guys and hopefully persuade some of you to have a go yourself! Be warned, that this process is time consuming (took me about a month of on and off work)! However if you put the time in, you will most definitely see the reward!

    Rewarding, indeed. Get the entire how-to at Instructables - How to make a knife


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    Look - there's nothing acceptable about a dirty kitchen...or a bare one, for that matter. This rustic, organic dish towel project is super simple basic sewing project that'll give your kitchen some serious texture.   

    The key to pulling off this project is selecting this loose-weaved, almost chambray fabric, which turns these basic cotton square into something you'll be proud to hang. A few edge-finishing seams, and you're go. A great simple sewing project for a rustic or masculine kitchen.

    Get the full how-to from The Purl Bee: Super Simple Dishtowels 

     

     


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    created at: 01/13/2014

    Of course Ernest Hemingway had a favorite burger recipe. Guy was pretty opinated, enjoyed the simple things, and certainly celebrated a "hands on" lifestyle. What's interesting here, is that unlike Dean Martin's go-to recipe - which is an entire pound of ground beef served with chilled bourbon - Hemingway's recipe is rather complex, full of wine, capers, and special spice mixes.

    Open Culture snagged the recipe from Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, who found the recipe in an article about the preservation of documents from Hemingway's home in Cuba at the JFK Memorial Library. It goes like this: 

    • 1 lb. ground lean beef
    • 2 cloves, minced garlic
    • 2 little green onions, finely chopped
    • 1 heaping teaspoon, India relish
    • 2 tablespoons, capers
    • 1 heaping teaspoon, Spice Islands sage
    • Spice Islands Beau Monde Seasoning — 1/2 teaspoon
    • Spice Islands Mei Yen Powder — 1/2 teaspoon
    • 1 egg, beaten in a cup with a fork
    • About 1/3 cup dry red or white wine
    • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

    These almost read like little meatloafs (meat loaves?), or at least what my wife and I like to call "ground beef sandwiches" when comparing to an actual burger. Spice Islands no longer makes the Mei Yen powder, but Tan suggests recreating it  "by mixing nine parts salt, nine parts sugar and two parts MSG. If a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of Mei Yen Powder,” she writes, “use 2/3 tsp of the dry recipe (above) mixed with 1/8 tsp of soy sauce. Hemingway’s widow, Mary, published the same basic recipe in 1966 in the sixth volume of the Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery. The one-pound of beef was intended for only two servings."

    Check out the piece at Open Culture, then read Tan's original article at the Paris Review: Hemingway's Hamburger 

     

     

     


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    Simon had a sewing machine. A well-built, vintage Brother - built, as he says, "to survive an atomic attack. Everything is shiny stainless steel or molded aluminum."

    created at: 01/14/2014

    But Simon didn't really need a sewing machine. He needed a scroll saw. Guess where this is going...   The process - basically - involved removing unnecessary components (namely, variety stitches), creating a means to mount the blade on the arm, then building a (tilting!) table, then reinforcing and rebalancing the arm in hardwood. The results look something like this: 

    You can see that Simon ended up mounting the blade to the top of the needle arm, so that the whole table and new scroll saw arm actually sit on top of the sewing machine motor, which moves the blade from below.

    Simon, a maker from Germany, says,

    For months I had an old sewing machine standing in the corner of my workshop, not really knowing what to do with it. It had been thrown out by the previous owner because it didn't really work anymore. The most important components, however, still functioned. I hoped I would be able to fix it.
    But, whilst taking a closer look at it the other day, I figured out two issues about it:
    - I couldn't find the sources of its many problems.
    - I actually don't need a sewing machine.
    A scrollsaw, on the other hand, was something I could find use in.
    All materials used in this project are extracted from the sewing machine or is scrap wood.
    I don't suppose you do have the exact same sewing machine, so I'll be a bit more general with the instructions: no measurements or dimensions. Not that there ever were any..

    This project takes about a weekend.

    See the full process with some how-to tips at Instructables: The Sewing Machine Scrollsaw


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