The BEST thing about cooking shrimp (and other crustaceans) is they tell YOU when they're done. They'll curl and turn an opaque pink/orange throughout, like Mother Nature's own little temperature gauge, or God's built-in egg timer.
The WORST thing about cooking shrimp, especially on a high-heat surface like your backyard grill, is that you've got to pay attention to get them just right, as they can char and overcook VERY… read more
I just can't help it - unless it's one of the few snail-mail-only bills I still pay (God bless you, online bill pay option), I can't just push a plain white envelope through the mail. It just seems like such a wasted opportunity to not adorn that thank you note or whenSometimes, its just a little extra time spent on the lettering, others a quick doodle or a full on four-pane comic, or, if I'm feeling particularly glam-ish, I rock the inside-out security pattern option.
But these (Beta-only) Google Maps emails, printable directly from the Gmail interface, include an illustration all in their own.
"Designers Rahul Mahtani & Yofred Moik from the Industrial Design program at Syracuse University came up with this concept called Google Envelopes. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to map the course of mail and how it can tell a story? They came up with Google Envelopes, which can be sent through G-Mail itself. It’s only a concept, but totally viable and something people can immediately… read more
Modern technology can often make us crazy, but lends itself to some pretty increased productivity if you can get it figured out.
And beyond keeping track of your calendar, contacts, and best score on some Tetris rip-off, your smartphone can actually help you improve your craft, art, and all around DIYness.
DIYLife has assembled a collection of iPhone apps - both free and low-cost (the most is $4.99). "Whether you're painting a wall or building a piece of furniture, it always helps to have an assistant. But an assistant who fits in your pocket and can go anywhere? Now that's a DIYer's dream.With that desire in mind, we scoured Apple's iTunes App Store for the handiest and most innovative iPhone applications. Below are our eight favorite apps, each under $5. Think of each one as your very own pocket-sized… read more
So, over the last few months, I've been co-authoring the second publication in the Make it! series from the Curbly Library (I was also a part of the first, Make It! Mid-Century Modern).
It's called Make It! Secondhand Chic, and it's all about repurposing and reviving thrift-store and flea market pieces and make 'em fresh again. I authored five of the fourteen how-to projects, which are organized by rooms, so you'll find budget-friendly makeover projects for every space in your home.
It's available as of this morning, in both download-able PDF form and in print. Next week, we'll do a ManMade Giveaway, offering five free… read more
Diem Chau is quite an accomplished artist, working in media such as ceramic and silk thread, porcelin bowls and toothpicks, and... crayons. But rather than scraping them waxily across construction paper, she carves them into the likeness of people and animals.
Most recently, she's tackled the signs of the Chinese Zodiac, a twelve-year cycle that relates each year to an animal and its reputed attributes.
From Diem's "About" page: "Chau combines common mediums and common means to create delicate vignettes of fleeting memory, gesture and form, resulting in works that combine egalitarian sensibility and minimalist restraint. Her work touches on the value of Storytelling, Myths and its ability to connect us to each other through cultural and humanistic similarities. Chau's current work drifts into new territory by exploring the periphery of the narrative, moments forgotten and faded, or too brief to… read more
As I always say, a ManMade man is a well-behaved man. More or less. And, I've probably never actually said it, but it sounds like something I would.
Regardless, ManMade is for people that pay attention, and people that pay attention know how to behave at meal times and in social situations. "Whether dining with a 4 star general, toasting with a Medal of Honor recipient, or sitting with friends and family on Christmas Eve, an understanding of dining protocol makes time spent with others around a table more enjoyable. When you know the rules there is no awkwardness or questions about how things should be done; instead there is only opportunity to spend quality time with the company… read more
"Have you ever wondered what Dark Side of the Moon would sound like if Pink Floyd had written it for [Nintendo] instead of for a rock band?" Of course you haven't, but Brad Smith did.
So, he created "Moon8," which is the entire album sequenced, arranged, and then played on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. I've never been much into Dark Side of the Moon, and don't know much about chiptune music, but I've got heaps of respect for this one.
But props aside, I have no idea what I'm talking about, so I'll leave the proper critique to G4's Rick Damigella. "Not only does MOON8 sound good, it transcends sounding like music done for a video game. Sure, the tones are undeniably old-school NES, but nothing has been done to tweak the music to sound like it actually came from a game. This is a chiptunes recreation in its… read more
Jason Grube is a designer and illustrator from Tacoma, Washington, whose work finds great balance between clean digital logos and fun, handdrawn textures. His sketches have a healthy dose of precision, and his computer-based work have a wonderful sense of playfullness and… read more
Sometimes, there are those works that just capture everything you love, and for me, "Couch Surfing" by Tim MacPherson gets it right. Its playfulness is supported by its mundane surrounding, its cleverness is a strong as any, and it (presumably) existed just long enough to get the perfect shot. And I don't care if I sound mushy and nostalgic - on a warm spring day, its just… read more
Hubblesite.org is offering three awesome, free how-tos to recreate model Hubble telescopes. There's excellent instructions and lots of free printable parts and decals "These models aren’t working telescopes – you can’t peer at the sky with them. But they can give you an up-close look at the telescope’s structure and a challenging project to engage your model-making skills."
The first is the easiest to make, and uses a short length PVC pipe to support the main structure. The other two save you a trip to the hardware store, and are pure paper, created without special materials (though you'll need a few supplies from your… read more
The cupcake craze may be oh-so-2007, but still, those little guys are delicious.
And according to David Arrick, they no longer only belong in the realm of princess birthday parties, feminine tastemaking blogs, and episodes of Sex in the City. " 'One day I was walking in the West Village by a cupcake place. There was a dad sitting with his little girl at this princess table, all girly and pink. The dad looked at me through the window and just rolled his eyes,' he says. 'That was my 'ah-ha' moment. Who says cupcakes have to be feminine?' "
They seem pretty intense, too - many are soaked in spirits, and each come topped with a masculine pattern. And they're sold in "rounds" of four, six,… read more
With all of the eggs located (and re-hid and found again) and the baskets torn apart, the pinnacle of the Easter season passed us sometime yesterday in the early afternoon. But we still have the warm thoughts of new birth and spring time in our hearts, and tables and baskets and countertops full of seasonal candy.
And you could slowly pick away at it, one jelly bean at a time: or, you could improve on the simple pickout, unwrap, munch, regret formula that usually comes with post-holiday sugar bombs. Here's a few ideas:
Pardon the blunt title, but there's really no getting around this one, is there?
Created from 72” x 18” worth of "leather-hard" clay and copper paint, the Penis Envy lamp stands atop a wooden base, with a quartz sphere at its capital. And sure, it costs $8,000, but this is a decor piece that'll keep on giving - no more worries about small talk with that couple who just moved in across the street, or how to keep your bosses' children entertained. Even your best of friends will never tire of discussing… read more
NOTHING fills up a blank wall like a large scale art piece. And nothing can cost more than... a large scale art piece.
Unless you're hip to this sweet sweet idea by Nerissa and Pete from the New Domestic. With the help of a bit of extra thin painter's tape, they were able to translate a digital design into an abstract painting with a huge… read more
Marshmallow peeps - those eternal reminders of the Resurrection (and by eternal, we mean standing alongside Jesus, cockroaches, and Twinkies in their outlasting the Armaggedon) - happen to be sized just right to be sugary-squeezed into dollhouse furniture.
Which makes them perfect fodder for endless entertaining dioramas featuring bold yellow bunnies and cruchy cyan chicks. For the last four years, the Washington Post has been hosting a contest, calling for all sorts of creative scenarios to place these neon sugar-coated 'shmallows.
"Our annual Peeps diorama contest is a cultural barometer -- a three-dimensional essay on the state of the nation's collective consciousness, a sticky finger on the pulse of what's popular. This year's 1,100-plus entries told us what's on your minds once again, and we sifted through that flood of submissions, painstakingly narrowing the contenders in our fourth annual contest down to 50, then down to five, and finally down to one"
That "one" this year is "Eep," a homage to "Up" which recreates Carl's house from popsicle sticks and the thousands of… read more
When is an iPad not just a giant iPhone? When it's a giant iPhone inside a sweet vintage-looking arcade game wooden casement and includes a joystick-and-two-button-combo controls. "To use the iCade, gently slide the iPad into the docking cradle. The docking cradle uses a standard 30 pin connector to link the iPad to the professional-grade arcade controls. Once the iPad is in place, launch the iCade App (available free in the App Store April 3rd) and it's game on! We didn't want to take any chances you'd run out of juice during your favorite game, so we included a 10w USB power adapter so you can charge the iPad through any electrical outlet. Now you're all set to make an uninterrupted run on the Dig Dug World… read more
Nylanan is currently building a full scale R2D2 from scratch, and thus has lots of R2 on the brain. So, when he noticed the $8.99 TERTIAL work lamp while walking through IKEA, he couldn't help notice the similarities. So, with a bit of blue vinyl, he took a break on his robo-build and created this great, inexpensive R2D2 lamp.
As he notes, "The great thing about R2 is that he has such a an iconic look that you really only have to capture a few bits and pieces to make him look right: the main eye, the stripes and the top… read more