Memorial Day is in sight and, here in the Midwest, that means the start of gardening season. To turn your brown thumb green – or your greener thumb greener – we've assembled 4 popular garden/landscape planners and put them through their paces. The victims today are Small Blue Printer, Plan Garden, Mother Earth News Garden Planner, and Better Homes and Gardens Garden Planner. Are the free versions as good as the paid-for route? Maybe, maybeContinue Reading
Four years ago, I threw out the question: "What is the best bottle cutter on the market?" A lot of readers weighed in. Some gave recommendations, others just wanted a definitive answer, which is what I wanted. Finally, FINALLY, we decided to get to the bottom of the bottle cutter question and have a product shoot out between four popular models. Our competition has not been without a little drama, as one of the bottle cutter makers has, apparently, gone out of business since the inception of this review. That being the Bindu Studio's Bottle Cutter. We've decided to leave the Bindu in the review just in case some of you stumble upon one secondhand. That being said, it's time to introduce each of our competitorsContinue Reading
A few years ago, designer/maker Christopher Stuart hit the ground running with his book DIY Furniture: A Step-by-Step Guide. I reviewed it for Curbly, giving it a glowing shout-out. When Christopher's followup book appeared in my mailbox last week, my first thought was, "more of the same?" The answer to thatContinue Reading
To be honest, when the prospect of reviewing Lauren Elise Donaldson's new book MASON JAR CRAFTS from Ulysses Press was presented to me, my first thought was, "What could possibly be in the book that I haven't seen before on the Internet?" Turns out the answer to that question is a lot. More than 30 projects in fact.
Lauren breaks down the book intoContinue Reading
These days, it seems like the large majority of us spend a good chunk of time on the computer, and I am no exception. In fact, I probably spend more time on my computer than the average person, usually clocking in at least 12 to 14 hours a day, between work and recreation.
So when HP asked me, recently, if I wanted to try an HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart AiO, I jumped at the chance. I was super excited to give the touchscreen a whirl, but also a little nervous, since this was my first time back on a PC in years. Continue Reading
A few weeks ago, I visited a local unpainted furniture store and was immediately drawn to their DIY stains, varnishes and paint. While examining the stock, one of the shop's finishers happened by and asked if I had any questions. I immediately went in to 'quiz the expert' mode. I felt so guilty at accosting the poor guy, I bought one of the paints Continue Reading
When John Murphy wrote his first book Stupid Sock Creatures, little did he know he would start a sock creature revolution. People everywhere were so inspired by the eight creatures contained within, they began making sock creatures of their own. John then invited these loyal readers to become guest designers for his latest work, Return of the Stupid Sock Creatures (Lark Crafts, October 2012, 132 pages).
The book is divided into two parts. The first breaks downContinue Reading
The new title from Better Homes and Gardens, DIY Ideas, Projects and Tips for Every Room (Wiley, 264 pages) is so jam-packed with amazing photos, tips and projects, I’m not sure where to begin. Seriously. When I first opened the book I immediately suffered from inspiration overload. My problem was trying to take it all in at once. Not good. Better would have been to approach this incredible wealth of information
From blankets to bowls to wallpaper to teepees (yes, teepees), Rebecca Proctor's new book single-handily revises "make do and mend" to "make do and recycle." Entitled, RECYCLED HOME, Transforming Your Home Using Salvaged Materials, the book has something for every skill level who has a penchant for re-use. Divided into seven sections (Living, Sleeping, Bathing Dining Utility, Kids and Outdoors), the 50 featured projects are complete with concise directions and full-color pictures. Here's a project that caught my, an Upcycled Chair Seat, as Continue Reading
As soon as I spotting this bird feeder in Fern Richardson's beautiful, new book Small-Space Container Gardens, I immediately had to ask her publisher, Timber Press, if I could share it with my fellow Curbliers. Okay, yeah, it's a bird feeder and Fern's book is about small space gardening, but she does devote an entire chapter on attracting birds, bees and butterflies to tiny gardens. So there. Now, on to the tutorial!Continue Reading
No garden? No problem. Fern Richardson of Life of the Balcony fame shows us how to have an enviable garden without the acreage in her title Small-Space Container Gardens from Timber Press. Organized into 9 tidy sections, we cover everything from flowers to herbs, from shady patios to sunny decks and everything in between.Continue Reading
Don't let the title of Marie Iannotti's new title from Timber Press fool you. Her guide for growing all that is heirloom is perfect for the beginner and the experienced gardener alike. However, if you are a beginner to this variety of vegetables, you might wonder just what an heirloom vegetable is. According to Ms. Iannotti, there are three requirements that must be fulfilledContinue Reading
Lorene Edwards Forkner’s book Handmade Garden Projects is filled with step-by-step instructions for over two dozen projects that will keep you busy for this growing season and beyond. Featherweight planters (made of peat and cement), vinyl wall flowers (made of LPs), a vintage-y outdoor chandelier (made of wire edging), a pergola (made of plumbing pipes) and much more, there’s something for every garden and every DIYer. You can snag it right now at Amazon for about $14.
With the permission of Ms. Forkner’s publisher, Timber Press, we’re pleased as punch to share two original projects from Handmade Garden Projects. The first is this Gabion-Style Cocktail Table. Continue Reading