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    “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination." So says acclaimed auteur Jim Jarmsuch, and I think it's something every design-oriented man ought to take to heart. So here's a little inspiration to fuel your imagination.   

    Jarmusch's full quote is: 

    “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent."

    Check out all 50 images at airows.com,


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    Bike multi tool
    This happened: my brother and I were out for a bike ride (mountain bike; single track) early this spring. It was the first day of open trails, so the place was packed. And it was my brother's first time on a mountain bike, so we were going a little ... um, slow. Dudes in latex gear on fancy bikes were passing us left and right, as if we were going in reverse. We felt a little like rookies, but we were still having fun. 

    Then a guy with tree-trunk-sized quads flies by us on a cross bike (y'know, skinny tires), and 20 seconds later we come across him stalled on the trail with a flat. He was getting ready to walk all the way back out to the trailhead (he had nothing on him), but I always carry a multi tool and patched in my pack, so I offered it up. He was super-grateful, and ten minutes later he went off he went to catch his buddies. 

    Later, when their group lapped us (yeah, I know), there were shout-outs and high fives all around for the rookies with the sense to bring a bike multi-tool and patch kit.

    The moral is: every guy should own a multi-tool, and a few quick patches, and bring them along on every ride. You'll never find a better way to make friends, get girls' numbers, or generally just be a helpful person than having the tools to fix a bike in a pinch.

    multi tool and patch kit

    A good multi-tool (mine is the Park Tool Co. I-Beam Mini Fold-Up with Chain Tool) has a variety of hex wrenches, a screwdriver, a tire lever, and a chain tool. Obviously you can change a tire without a tire lever, but a dedicated lever makes things much easier and faster.

    adhesive tube patches

    Throw in a tube patches kit and pump, and you're golden, like a rolling bicycle repair shop. You may get lapped, but at least a flat tire or broken chain won't stop you.

    Recommended

     

     


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    Have you ever heard of card juggling? You know, it's like in the old timey cowboy movies, where the rowdy grizzled guys are sitting in a salon, and they invite the new young gun to gamble with them, thinking they'll take all his money, but then he sits down and takes the deal and starts flipping cards left and right, thereby showing them and the audience that he's actually really good at poker and is about to school these dudes. Right. Like that.   

    Wired.com recently published a profile on cardistry, the "arcane but growing pastime in which (primarily) young men shuffle, riffle, twist and toss decks of cards through acrobatic arrangements and sequences." Or, as they put later in the piece "Cardistry is like card magic without the tricks, prestidigitation without the abracadabra." 

    I never even figured out how to that bridge thing when coming out of a traditional shuffle...so consider me impressed. Check out a video of these cats in action and read the full piece at Wired.com: Inside the Elegant, Mesmerizing Subculture of Card Juggling

     

     

     


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    Clock MaterialsI've had plenty of clocks on my walls, and while I tried hard to find timepieces that matched up to our style and needs most lacked the character I really wanted.    This piece from Dwelling In Happiness caught my eye and I'm excited to get a chance to try it out soon. The pieces are simple are easy to find, and this first step into a bit of metal working is good.

    Metal Work

    The thing I like about making items myself is the ability to make them exactly like I want. While I like the look of the dark wood, I might go for a patterned back, or a clean quote.

    Finished clock

    Take a look at the full post here for a material list and more pictures of the full build.


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    coffee soda

    Now that the days are warming up the thought of a hot latte with milk and cinnamon sure adds a drop of sweat to my brow. It's usually this time of year, I swap my typical addiction to hot coffee to sweet, syrupy iced coffee. I just can't get enough of the stuff!

    Recently I had a fantastic, refreshing spin on iced coffee when a local shop added a splash of sparkling water and orange peel. If that shop was any closer to me, they'd put me out of a home with this drink! 

    In order to save time and money I tinkered around with my own recipe and thought I'd share it with you!

    It starts with a batch of homemade cold brew coffee. I made mine in a growler, you can use a mason jar or a cold brewing system if you have one.

    cold brew coffee

    Here's what you'll need

    • 6 ounces of coffee
    • 5 Cups of filtered water
    • a growler or large glass container
    • paper coffee filter
    • filter holder
    • funnel

    The process couldn't be easier. Set your coffee grinder to coarse and grind all 5 ounces of coffee. 

    plate of ground coffee with spoonwith a funnel spoon all the grounds into the growler.

    spooning coffee into a growler

     

    Next, add filtered water.

    pouring filtered water into a funnelOnce you've added all the ingredients to your growler, put the lid on, give it a light shake and let sit out for at least 12 hours.

    filtering coffee into a carafe

     

    Once your coffee has been brewing for at least 12 hours, you need to filter out the grounds. I used my Chemex system to pour the water and separate out the grounds. You can certainly use any other clever method to separate the grounds and coffee.

    At this point, you can use this concentrated brew to mix up several glasses of iced coffee and milk, add it to ice cream, mixed drinks and more. 

    But for now we're going to make a tasty cold brew soda with a hint of orange zest!

    What you'll need

    • A bottle of sparkling water
    • Your fresh batch of cold brew concentrate 
    • an orange
    • a veggie peeler
    • a tumbler glass
    • Ice

    sparkling water and coffee

    Now it's time to make the soda! Pour yourself a serving of concentrated cold brew coffee, about half a cup, into a short glass. Your ratios here will be determined on your preference.

    pouring soda into coffee

    I added about 1/4 a cup of sparkling water. Mountain Valley is my absolute favorite—if it's possible to have a favorite water—I find this brand is less bitter. 

    peeling an orange with an orange peeler

    Using a vegetable peeler, peel a nice long piece of orange zest. You'll be adding it to the soda.

    squeezing an orange peel

    For the final touch, squeeze the peel above your drink, rub the rim and drop it into the mix, like you're making an old fashioned. That's it! The tastiest summer drink this side of lemonade!

     

     

     


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    This is a commerce post in partnership with Frank & Oak

    ManMadeDIY Spring Style Guide
    I'm the sort of guy who holds on to super-comfortable, super-threadbare, moth-hole-ridden t-shirts for far too long, much to my wife's great chagrin. And while there is a place in your life for that favorite, falling-apart shirt, let's make sure it's just one. Recently, I cut down and donated a good portion of my wardrobe, editing out anything I hadn't put on in the last six months. Doing so allowed me to replace staples and add a few new pieces to my closet. 

    I'm long-limbed and lanky, so I often have trouble time finding clothing that fits. Pants are too baggy, and shirts are too wide through the trunk and short in the sleeves. For the last few years I've been buying a good portion of my clothing from Frank & Oak (and yep, we are partnering with them, but that statement is 100% true, even before Frank & Oak reached out to work with us).

    Not only do their clothes fit my 6' frame well, but they're affordable and classic. It's a good combination for me.

    (Above: Jasper Oxford shirt in Deep SeaLawrence Oxford pants in AlloyLow-Top Sneakers in White)

     

    So, with the help of my fashion-conscious wife,  I've put together some looks ManMade readers can consider adding to their closet this season:

    For the Workday

    Although I work mostly from home, I still rely on the routine of getting set for the day. Most days, this includes a shower and shave, followed by a comfortable, but meeting-ready outfit. 

    workday outfit

    Shirt: Cotton Plaid Shirt in Aquifer
    Pants:  Newport Chinos in Shiitake
    Belt:  Nubuck Leather Belt in Navy
    Shoes:  Cotton Denim Lace-Up Sneakers in French Blue
    Messenger Bag: Genuine Italian Leather Messenger in Tan

     

     

    For Your Workout

    workout outfit

    The workout wardrobe is the hardest look for me to pull off, style-wise. When I'm sweating, lifting, and running, comfort takes precedence. Although I make it to the gym on a weekly basis, in the spring and summer months I tend to favor mountain biking and running outdoors. For both of these activities, layers are key to keeping comfortable in the variable weather. 

    Shirt: State Training Crewneck Tee in Navy 
    Shorts:  State All Function Shorts in Black
    Hoodie:  State Full Zip Training Hoodie in Heather
    Gym Bag: State Sports Duffle in Black

     

     

    Your Weekend Look

    weekend outfit

    In my book, the ideal spring and summer weekend is spent outside chasing my kids around, or hanging out with friends. And as evening approaches, the grill is warm and at the ready. 

    Shirt: Striped Crewneck Tee in Heather Grey
    Shorts:  9" Valence Chino Short in Olive Night
    Belt:  Braided Leather and Waxed Cotton Belt in Black
    Shoes:  Cotton Denim Slip-On Sneakers in Off White
    Sunglasses:  Costalots the 83's Sunglasses in Green Sanded
    Book:  Good Meat

     

    Nights Out

    Night out outfit

    In the midwest, where I live, spring and summer evenings are a delicacy. Usually characterized by cooler temperatures after sunset (which, in June, is around 9pm), the summer nights are, basically, a reason to live through the cruel, bitter, persistent darkness of winter. Not that I'm being dramatic or anything. 

    Layers are key to enjoying the weather, and a light blazer is a great way to dress up dark washed denim jeans and a crisp white shirt.

    Blazer: Laurier Patch Pocket Basketweave Blazer in Grey
    Jeans:  Cooper Selvedge Denim in Dark Blue
    Shirt:  Jasper Oxford in White
    Belt:  Feathered Edge Leather Belt in Dark Brown
    Flask:  Woven Leather Flask in Dak Brown
    Aftershave:  Groom
    Pocket Square: Printed Linen Pocket Square in China Blue 
    Shoes:  Woven Leather Chukka Sneaker in Dark Brown

     

    Spring Formal 

    There are times in your life when you'll need a nice suit, and having one that fits well is a must. While a classic wool suit is a staple in your closet, a lighter, summer-weight one will keep you comfortable in the warm sunshine.

    formal attire outfit

     

    Suit Jacket: Laurier Glen Check Cotton-Linen Suit Jacket in Indigo
    Trousers:  Laurier Glen Check Cotton-Linen Trousers in Indigo
    Shirt:  Vertical Stripe Shirt in Blue
    Tie:  Solid Linen Tie in Wheat
    Tie Bar: Classic Tie Bar in Brushed Silver
    Phone Sleeve: Genuine Leather iPhone 6 Sleeve in Tan
    Belt:  Bi-Colored Italian Leather Belt in Warm Nude  
    Shoes:  Italian Leather Brogues in Tan

     

    This post is published in partnership with Frank & Oak. 


    0 0

    coffee soda

    Now that the days are warming up the thought of a hot latte with milk and cinnamon sure adds a drop of sweat to my brow. It's usually this time of year, I swap my typical addiction to hot coffee to sweet, syrupy iced coffee. I just can't get enough of the stuff!

    Recently I had a fantastic, refreshing spin on iced coffee when a local shop added a splash of sparkling water and orange peel. If that shop was any closer to me, they'd put me out of a home with this drink! 

    In order to save time and money I tinkered around with my own recipe and thought I'd share it with you!

    It starts with a batch of homemade cold brew coffee. I made mine in a growler, you can use a mason jar or a cold brewing system if you have one.

    cold brew coffee

    Here's what you'll need

    • 6 ounces of coffee
    • 5 Cups of filtered water
    • a growler or large glass container
    • paper coffee filter
    • filter holder
    • funnel

    The process couldn't be easier. Set your coffee grinder to coarse and grind all 5 ounces of coffee. 

    plate of ground coffee with spoonwith a funnel spoon all the grounds into the growler.

    spooning coffee into a growler

     

    Next, add filtered water.

    pouring filtered water into a funnelOnce you've added all the ingredients to your growler, put the lid on, give it a light shake and let sit out for at least 12 hours.

    filtering coffee into a carafe

     

    Once your coffee has been brewing for at least 12 hours, you need to filter out the grounds. I used my Chemex system to pour the water and separate out the grounds. You can certainly use any other clever method to separate the grounds and coffee.

    At this point, you can use this concentrated brew to mix up several glasses of iced coffee and milk, add it to ice cream, mixed drinks and more. 

    But for now we're going to make a tasty cold brew soda with a hint of orange zest!

    What you'll need

    • A bottle of sparkling water
    • Your fresh batch of cold brew concentrate 
    • an orange
    • a veggie peeler
    • a tumbler glass
    • Ice

    sparkling water and coffee

    Now it's time to make the soda! Pour yourself a serving of concentrated cold brew coffee, about half a cup, into a short glass. Your ratios here will be determined on your preference.

    pouring soda into coffee

    I added about 1/4 a cup of sparkling water. Mountain Valley is my absolute favorite—if it's possible to have a favorite water—I find this brand is less bitter. 

    peeling an orange with an orange peeler

    Using a vegetable peeler, peel a nice long piece of orange zest. You'll be adding it to the soda.

    squeezing an orange peel

    For the final touch, squeeze the peel above your drink, rub the rim and drop it into the mix, like you're making an old fashioned. That's it! The tastiest summer drink this side of lemonade!

     

     

     


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    I don't know about you, but I've never given a second thought to the process or reasoning behind one of the most ubiquitous product designs: the aluminum beverage can. We're constantly surrounded by them in the modern world, and the decision making process behind how the aluminum can began as a storage container and how its efficient shape has evolved over time turns out to be a fascinating one.   

    created at: 04/20/2015

    One little fact I learned is that the lids of aluminum cans used to be welded shut, which as you might imagine often led to the product's contamination. Current cans are made by employing an origami-like double-seam. The host explains the physics behind the can's design as well as how each can is manufactured. 

    The video is so much more engrossing than you'd imagine. 


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    Good books and where I read them
    Every book you read leaves two stories with you; the story told in the book, and the story of its reading. Here are some of my favorites:

    The Caine Mutiny, by Herman Wouk – sprawled atop luggage in train walkways on overcrowded passenger cars, traveling through Europe with my dad the summer I was seventeen. Pulitzer Prize-winning World War II classic about a sane man trapped in an insane system. ( Buy on Amazon, $12.89 )

    Reading on trains through Europe.

    It, by Stephen King – by flashlight, tent-bound, terrified, on rainy afternoons during my first trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, when I was thirteen. An evil creature assumes the form of a clown and goes on a once-every-twenty-seven-years killing spree. Chilling genius. (Buy on Amazon, $7.91)

     

    reading by firelight.

    On Walden Pond, by Henry David Thoreau– mostly just skimming, beneath Sather Gate, at the University of California, Berkeley, to get closer to a girl I liked, who sang in the a capella group there most afternoons, when I was 19. I don't remember her name, or anything about this book, but she had very long, blond hair and light blue eyes. (Don't buy it. When you find it waiting for you on a dusty shelf somewhere, you'll know it's time to read it.)

     

    The Mysterious Island, by Jules Verne– in the back of our 1991 Dodge Caravan, lying on suitcases and rolled up sleeping bags, watching cars go by in the fog, on our family road trip around the Great Lakes. Five Union soldiers escape a Confederate prison in a hot-air balloon, then crash-land on a weird (mysterious, even) island in the South Pacific. (Buy on Amazon, $4.86)

     

    Clan of The Cave Bear, by Jean Auel– on the sun-warmed, time-worn cobblestone beaches of Hollow Rock, Lake Superior, waiting for the horseflies to blow away in the breeze, so I could make a little rock pillow for my head, and take a nap, age 25. It's Neanderthals vs. Cro-Magnons, in this thrilling tale of love, family, and adventure. No seriously, kidding aside, it's a great book.  (Buy on Amazon, $8.99)

     

    Beachside reading

     

    What  are your favorite books that are inexorably linked with a particular moment in your life?

     

     


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    They say a fine wine only gets better as it ages. Guess what? So do you. Being a young adult is awesome. It's all about setting yourself up for success, and forming yourself into the kind of man you want to be. 

    created at: 04/21/2015

    But, at some point, you actually get to live out those commitments and really embrace the kind of grown-up you want to be. Whoever said "never trust anybody over thirty" must have never gotten there, cause being in your thirties, if you do it right, is freaking awesome.

    No one knows this better than Murphy-Goode Winery, who are enjoying their 30th anniversary this year. To celebrate, we're sharing all kinds of good thirty-related content, such as our list of thirty essential things every guy should own by the time he's thirty. And today, we're proud to show our age with these thirty reasons your thirties are better than your twenties. For you youngsters, there's lot to look forward to. And, for those already past your thirties, we can't wait to hear what life has taught you.   

    So, we're sharing the first twenty reasons below, and the final ten will appear on the Murphy-Goode blog. Check them out here!

    1. Goodbye, overdraft fees. It's not you, it's me.

    created at: 04/21/2015 Long past are the days of crossed fingers, doing the balance-low, deposit-held, checks-barely-didn't-bounce dance. All your financial goals might not be met, but at least you have a buffer large enough to avoid taking out high-interest, fee-heavy micro-loans when the first of the month rolls around. 

    2. No more red Solo cups.

    You might come across one at a summer barbecue, but by this age, you realize real drinks are served in glass glasses. And glasses that are designed to make the experience of said drink as enjoyable as possible. Hopefully this also means the environments in which you enjoy those beverages have matured a bit as well.

    Oh, and bottles are okay, too. Beer bottles, we mean. Don't drink out of whiskey bottles. 

    3. The snooze button wins no wars.

    The Snooze Button Wins No Wars

    Mornings aren't improved by the fitful, worry-filled sleep "gained" by staying in bed for ten more minutes. Snoozing isn't sleeping, anyway. It just makes you more tired, and your morning is worse off because of it. Know what time you need to be up, set your alarm, and commit to it. 

    4. You're feeling comfortable in your career.

    Maturity is all about understanding timing and picking battles. Know when to ask for a raise, and when to keep your head down and work.Promotions are nice, but it's really about finding work you love that improves the lives of others, and helps you and your family accomplish your dreams. Instead of focusing on your title, concern yourself with living out your vocation. That sort of confidence and commitment can't be missed by those who pay you, and you'll get the compensation you deserve.

    And if your boss doesn't get it, her competitor will. 

    Oh, and no one is impressed by not taking every day of your paid vacation. Real mentors who will help you grow in your career are not impressed by your sacrifice. They're impressed by your ability to integrate your job into who you are, and to have a rich life outside of work. Take time off so you have something to talk about during coffee breaks; your boss already knows what you do during the workday.

     

    5. Your furniture and your taste are finally lining up.

    In your early 20s, simply having a place to sit and eat and store your T-shirts can feel like an accomplishment. As you age, nixing the mismatched hand-me-downs and the busted IKEA furniture means investing in quality pieces, and filling your home with the things you love. Things that are actually worth moving from home to home.

     

    6. White tube socks improve the appearance of no man.

    Grey, blue, black, or brown will do just fine. Even with sneakers.

    created at: 04/21/2015

     

    7. You get to pick which rules to follow, and which to bend.

    Having a code to live by is a great resource in times of stress. But you know what's a greater source of strength? Your relationships with others. Never pick principles over people. 

     

    8. You have a retirement plan (with money in it!). 

    When you can barely pay your bills, the idea of dumping another 10% into an account you can't touch for forty years seems impossible. But for some reason, around age thirty, you finally understand that the person who'll be making those withdrawals is you, and you gotta set your future self up for success.

    Plus, starting with a little as early as possible is better than saving boatloads later in life. Use the power of time, and the magic of compounding interest, to your advantage. 

     

    9. Grey hairs are okay; ear hair is not.

    There is no shame in aging. But you do own a mirror, and it's 2015, and they make things like trimmers and scissors and tweezers. You may twinge a little when you discover them, but it hurts more when someone else does. Take care of that stuff.

     

    created at: 04/16/2015

    10. Giving time and resources to issues you believe in shouldn't only come from what you have left over, but be an integral part of who you are. 

    In your early twenties, it can be easy to say, "Oh, I'll donate to that once I'm not living paycheck to paycheck," or "I can volunteer when I get my career established and have more time." Guess what? That time is now. Incorporate charitable giving into your family's budget, and donate to the folks who entertain you for free (looking at you, podcast listeners). 

    Our partner, Murphy-Goode Winery, lives out this commitment with their Operation Homefront non-profit and their Goode Deed efforts on their web site. Cheers to that.  

     

    11. You understand that forgoing sunscreen isn’t "being tough," it’s “being stupid”. 

    Look, no one wants to delay heading outside to cover themselves with oily, coconut-smelling goop. But your skin is your biggest organ, and your most visible one. Find a solution that works for you, especially if you regularly work or exercise outside. And stick to it (and avoid the coconut-scented ones).

     

    12. Three words: no more roommates.

    Except that cute one that sleeps next to you.  

     

    13. You’ve learned your DVD collection is for watching, not for living room decor.

    Books are beautiful, and if you've got LPs, by all means, show them off. But a bunch of little plastic cases lined up around your TV is not a "design feature." I'm as big a film buff as anyone, but DVDs crammed into discount store shelves just screams dorm room. Put them behind doors, or file neatly into organizers. 

     

    14. You believe travel is not a luxury; it’s a pathway to personal growth. 

    Travel is not a luxury; it's a pathway to personal growth.

    It's expensive, but exposing yourself to new sights, cultures, and people is integral to becoming a better man. Relaxing vacations are one thing, but exploration is the stuff maturity is made of. You don't need to make six figures to see the world; even one trip every five years is better than no trips at all. Make travel a priority, and it will reward you immeasurably. 

     

    15. You drink for pleasure, not for excess.

    Murphy Goode Winery

    Human beings haven't been fermenting and distilling beverages for thousands of years just because they 'getcha messed up; it's because they actually taste good. Drinking is an act of celebration, not one of escape. Find something you enjoy and embrace it. Drink because you have something you want to toast to, not something to avoid. Your friends aren't impressed by how much you can put down. And, if they are, you might want to reconsider who you spend your time with.

     

    16. Appearances matter, except when they don't.

    Confidence, not vanity. The word here is confidence, not vanity. Leave the house every day feeling like a better version of yourself, not because people will be looking at you. True style comes from the way you interact with the world, not what's actually on your body. And sometimes, you just gotta go to the grocery store in pajama pants. Treat it like an exception, and try to wear something with belt loops next time. 

     

    17. Strength is more than a six pack. 

    Strength is more than a six pack If you've got the time to devote to serious lifting and body fat measuring and toning, take full advantage. But do it for your health, not because you want to impress others. For the rest of us, embrace full body exercises that focus on fitness and strength, so that you have the ability to do what muscles were designed for: climbing mountains, picking up your children, moving heavy objects around, and helping others. Take care of your core, and concern yourself with being healthy and strong, not looking like a reality show competitor. 

     

    18. Hair product is a privilege, not a right.

    created at: 04/21/2015

    Start with half as much as you think you need. You can always add more later.

    If you haven't learned how to simply add a bit of hold and style by the time you're thirty, we will take that hair gel away from you. 

     

    19. You know how to have sex, and so does the person you’re having it with.

    You know how you just seem to get better at finances, and freaking out less, and picking your battles in your thirties? That's true for getting busy, too. And thankfully, it's also true for your partner. 

     

    20. You embrace the pure enjoyment of every day good food and wine. 

    Murphy Goode Winery - wine as part of everyday living

    Wine is not how classy people get drunk. It's how classy people make any given evening an awesome experience. Ernest Hemingway once said:

    "In Europe then we thought of wine as something as healthy and normal as food and also as a great giver of happiness and well-being and delight. Drinking wine was not a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication nor a cult; it was as natural as eating and to me as necessary."

    Who could disagree with that? Seriously, enjoy a chilled bottle of The Fume Sauvignon Blanc or a spicy Liar's Dice Zinfandel on any given Tuesday evening. That's what being an adult is all about. 

     

    There's more!

    For reason the last 10 reasons, head over to the Murphy-Goode blog (including reflections on weekends, tweezers, and changing your bed sheets.)

     

    This post was sponsored by Murphy-Goode Winery. Thanks for supporting the sponsors who support ManMade! 

     


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    DIY industrial basketI never seem to have enough containers around for my clutter. It spreads on my desk, dresser and counters. Tame the chaos with a few handmade wire baskets.   I've got a few extra pieces of metal mesh around from an old project, and this DIY wire basket project is exactly what I needed to turn my junk something useful. While the design is simple, there are still a few ways to step it up like fabric lining, wooden handles, or other touches to make it a bit more personal.

    Wire Basket

    Take a look at the tutorial for step-by-step directions and a few finished pics of the baskets in use.


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    Cutting a SpoolOne of the best Industrial tables I've seen comes from an old recycled wire spool. Here's a great DIY on making one yourself.   We've all seen the large wooden spools loaded with wire next to an open trench. These large cable holders are built tough for industrial work and last for a long time in the field. But once their duty is done, new life as a table (or stools for the smaller ones) really give the weathered wood an excellent purpose.Cut Legs

    Finding one these spools is no small feat, but if you know where to look they're out there. Look around for industrial yards that deal with large cables or wires and there may be a few battered spools in the corner. Here is the full tutorial on how they made theirs into a great industrial table.Finished Table


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    As a high-schooler I always had the dream of creating one of these homemade mobile RV units for me and my buddies like this 1959 Chevrolet Viking Short Bus Retro. Of course it turns out that lots of other DIY-ers share this enthusiasm and are out there everyday building awesome rides or restoring old ones.   

    Winkelman Architecture recently restored this 1959 Chevrolet Viking short bus into a rustic and comfy adventure mobile. The bus can hold up to 12 people and features two single beds, or the ability to combine them in the center into a single queen bed. 

    They opted for a retro hippy vibe with tassels on the lampshades and an oriental pattern on the couches. The pine floor (and frankly the forest that they photographed the bus in) make for a cozy, woodsy vibe that's augmented by the warm lighting and decor. 


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    I stumbled upon Mind of a Chef on PBS one saturday after my usual ritual of This Old House and Woodrights shop and completely fell in love. If you haven't yet, I highly recommend you add the first and second season to your Netflix list and binge watch the heck out of it.

    Instead of the usual Food Network style cooking show where a chef presents the items he/she will cook that day, Mind of a Chef (MOAC) picks a topic and allows the chef to expound on it however they please. 

    Whether it's Sean Brock (of Husk and McCrady's) making traditional southern chicken and dumplins with his mom:

    or Chef David Chang turning Instant Ramen into gnocci, MOAC lets the chefs explore whatever they want.

    As a full-time creative designer I absolutely love this show. It's a look into another side of a creative industry. Instead of photoshop and photography, there's food, pots, pans and a lot of bacon. It also teaches you to experience food as a creative experience, like a live concert or dance recital. This show has moved me from complaining on Yelp about a restaurant's tiny entrees to understanding that it's a dance, choreographed by an artist in an apron with an eye for delicious detail.

    Here's a break down (with some highlight videos) from the last three seasons:

    Season 1: Chef David Chang of Momofuku

    Season 2 Part 1: Sean Brock (Husk Nashville, Husk Charleston, McCradys and Mineros)

    Season 2 Part 2: Chef April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig)

    Currently playing on PBS
    Season 3 part 1: Chef Edward Lee (610 Magnolia)

    Season 3 Part 2: Magnus Nilsson (Faviken)

    I hope these videos wet your appetite enough to want to watch them all! I guarantee you'll love them.


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    If it hasn't happened yet, it will. You set a drink on the arm of the sofa, perhaps a hot cup of coffee, perhaps an icy cold highball, and even though you know that's not where drinks should go, you go for it anyway, and it spills. It spills on you, on your laptop, on your upholstery, and it's bad. And I suspect, even though you've done it once, you'll likely do it all over again, because, well, it's really nice to be able to rest a tasty beverage on the arm of your sofa.    

    With this simple woodworking project, you can have both. A handy place to set your drink, and security that it'll stay in its place. The table-style design also makes for a great place to set the remote, or a good book. 

    Check out the simple tutorial from Mandi: Wooden Sofa Sleeve with Cup Holder[ABeautifulMess.com]


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    To be honest, we don't really have the stale tortilla chip problem at my house. Our conundrum is more along the lines of how-many-crumbles-are-at-the-bottom-of-the-bag-and-does-Chris-have-any-shame-about-eating-them-dowsed-in-hot-sauce-with-a-spoon-like-a-bowl-of-cereal-in-milk kinda problem. 

    Nevertheless, in Mexican cuisine, the tortilla chip (a tostadita or totopos) isn't a think that scoops up melted cheese sauce, but an ingredient in all kinds of tasty dishes. So, if you've a stale bag lying around and don't expect me to come by anytime soon, there's plenty of useful and flavorful ways to use them up.    

    Epicurious offers six ways to freshen up stale chips, from recipes like chilaquiles or migas, which are designed to use up last nights tortillas for today's breakfast to techniques to recrisp and get 'em ready for guac season. 

    Check out all the tortilla chips makeovers at Epicurious: How to Give Stale Tortilla Chips New Life

     


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    When I was in graduate school, I taught guitar lessons to several neighborhood kids for some extra income. Inevitably, after a few months of convert's zeal, their practicing would slow down, and a parent would always ask me, "how can I get ______ to practice more at home?" I had some musical tips, sure, but my first answer was always: buy a guitar stand, and leave it out. No one is going to pick up an instrument that's locked in a case and placed under the bed or leaned against a wall in a closet. But, have it out and within a grasp in just a few seconds, and one can't help but just pick it up and rock out.     

    I recommend a similar approach to storing tools for creative projects. If you want to use them, keep them handy. This "hold everything" tool rack is a simple wall-mounted solution that allows you to keep any hand tool accessible, even those that won't fit on traditional pegboard. The slat system, constructed from simple and affordable poplar stock, allows for special shelves and units to keep each tool safe and organized, protecting blade edges and keeping squares square, etc.

    Get the full how-to at Popular WoodworkingHold-Everything Tool Rack

     


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    created at: 04/29/2015

    Prepare yourself for this exhaustive exploration of the breath of diversity in the American sandwich market. The guide begins defining the parameters of the sandwich according to the United States Department of Agriculture and the famous 2006 court case, Panera v. Qdoba. In other words, the "product must contain at least 35% cooked meat and no more than 50% bread" and cannot be open-faced. Also excluded from this complete list are hamburgers, hot dogs, gyros, shawarmas, tacos, and burritos.  

    The guide is broken into five categories: sandwiches made on Kaiser ("hard") rolls, those made on soft buns, long hero or sub rolls, sliced bread, and "singulars" or those whose existence falls outside of regular categories. 

    From the accompanying introduction piece by Sam Sifton,

    The sandwich is “the perfect American food,” said Bee Wilson, a food historian and author of “Sandwich: A Global History.” It is a worker’s meal, easily consumed on a job site or near the factory floor. Also, Ms. Wilson said, “It’s the food of workaholics: something you can eat, with a single hand, without ever quitting your desk.” What follows is a celebration of the sandwich’s diversity in the United States, and an attempt to bring order to the wild multiplicity of its forms. It is a field guide, an effort to group the nation’s sandwiches in ways that rejoice in their differences and introduce readers to their flavors.

    Check the whole thing out in full at A Field Guide to the American Sandwich and The American Sandwich: An Introduction

     


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    created at: 04/29/2015The internet is full of great content. Inspiration for DIYers doesn't get much better than these five excellent woodworking makers.   Marc1. The Wood Whisperer

    I first saw Marc Spagnuolo a few years ago as he was exiting what sounded like a great career to pursue his dream of making wood into beautiful things. I'm still equal parts jazzed and jealous of his success, and he's a great resource for a huge variety of woodworking projects. His endless supply of snazzy t-shirts are sometimes informative but always entertaining. Check out his video on Rabbet Joints here.Diresta Logo

    2. Jimmy Diresta

    This talented maker can create absolutely anything and the style of his videos are as close to meditative as a maker can get. I often turn them on with no sound in the background because it's just fun to see the creations materialize. He is a master on the bandsaw and the variety of materials under his control is amazing (check out his bandsaw tips here). I've never seen anyone as obsessed with branding every surface with his name as this guy, and that also becomes a big source of fun as I try to count how many places he's strategically placed it. As Jimmy says though: "these are not how-to videos, they are entertainment" and the lack of safe practices in his shop drive that home repeatedly.Wooden Cutting Board

    3. I Like To Make Stuff

    This guy is a tinkerer at heart and I love to see the massive variety of cool things he comes up with. From Arduino-controlled dust collection to secret-door bookcases, this guy has a blast in his shop and it's fun to watch it all happen. Drunken Woodworker

    4. Drunken Woodworker

    This guy has some very high quality standards, loves to teach, and also enjoys good beer. Sounds like I'm looking in a mirror so obviously I love to watch his videos. His focus on woodworking comes across as approachable and easy to understand, and the final products are worth bragging about. Check out his curved inlays for a start.Making a Wooden Mallet

    5. Woodworking for Mere Mortals

    Steve Ramsey has a huge library of videos gears toward guys like us who love to make but don't have the best tools to work with. His entire approach comes with the attitude that anyone can do it with the right information and he's there to help. Fun projects like the Marshmallow Crossbow and the Router Wood Chain are balanced out by Easy Bookcases and Adirondack Chairs. There is truly something for everyone on his channel.Now you'll have something to do when you can't be in the shop. But with all those great videos, don't forget to get out and make a few things with all that new inspiration.

     

     


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    Like most adult Americans, we're big fans of coffee (and coffee made well). Personally, I make a lot of pourover cups of coffee and I love the statement of having a routine in a specialized preparation space. And here's an easy DIY solution from Homemade Modern that looks both elegant and masculine.    

    The entire project can be made without a single power tool and all for under $35. It'd make a great gift especially for a new buddy's bachelor pad. 

    Handmade Modern: EP53 Copper Coffee Maker

     

     

     


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