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… 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… Continue 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… Continue Reading
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,… 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… 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… 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… Continue 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… Continue Reading
Wall murals have come a long way since the 1970s. Back then they were basically flimsy sheets of wall paper applied with glue. Flash forward to the 20 double digits. Now we can find them made of heavy-duty vinyl with peel & stick repostionable backings like those from Murals Your Way.
Don't let the unassuming title or cover of industrial designer and artist Christopher Stuart's new book, DIY Furniture: A Step-by-Step Guide fool you. The work is filled with some of the most interesting DIY furniture I've ever seen--and I've seen a lot. Chris collected 30 projects from the best designer-makers out there and put them into the collection that includes projects for every room in your home, and they're all constructed of… Continue Reading
Ok, so I know I'm late to the game getting a reciprocating saw, and if you already own one or know everything about them, mosey along. But Alicia's been getting after me to get rid of these ugly metal pipe laundry line posts in our back yard, and today I finally decided to do it.
Now, for any job there are lots of tools that will work, and usually one or two that are perfect for the task. In this case, I decided on getting a… Continue Reading
After hanging out in the DIY scene for a few years, I've realized something: a lot of creative projects are simply involve cutting or shaping raw materials and then putting them back together again. Of course, there are "from the ground up" projects, like painting or crochet, but sewing, cooking, woodworking, paper crafting, and many more require means to break down materials like wood, fabric, or vegetables into specific shapes before putting them back together in the way you want.
And that, friends, requires sharp tools. Any time you use a blade, you break down the edge, twisting the metal out, dulling it and making it less useful. Even cutting regular paper with scissors. But here's the thing - not only are sharp blades more effective, they're actually safer. So, having sharp tools, like scissors, kitchen knives, carving tools, saw blades, chisels, and paper cutters allows you to work faster, and cut yourself less.
Enter the Work… Continue Reading
Imagine this: On the eve of your 29th birthday you lose your job. What do you do? Well, if you're Molly Bakes you stay up until one in the morning baking and frosting 30 cupcakes for your friends. That evening proved pivotal for Molly, as it was the beginning of a love affair for baking and a new career.
Soon thereafter, she began selling cupcakes in Brick Lane Market in London's East side. It was then she came to another turning point. She… Continue Reading
A couple of weeks ago, the people at Wagner (they're based in nearby Plymouth, MN) sent me one of their new EZ Tilt Spray Painters (if you're looking for one, you can buy it here on Amaazon) to try out. We had been planning on re-painting our porch floor, so we decided to put it to the test and get a minor project out of the way at the same time. Read on to see how it went. … Continue Reading