Recommended Reading List Updated for Winter 2011

By: Bruno Feb 03, 2011

Guess how many new books are released every day? Yeah, I have no clue either, but it's a lot. Too many to keep track of, though we do try. Today we've updated our Recommended Reading page with a bunch of new titles for Winter 2011. These are books we've reviewed on the site, or just books we came across and thought looked cool. Here are some that I liked (make sure to click through to see them all):

 Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends

I watch Rick's show on publicContinue Reading

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The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes

By: Diy maven Feb 02, 2011

created at: 02/02/2011

According to Sasha Duerr, the author of The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes, if we can cook, we can dye. One of the chapters contained within is even entitled, "Kitchen Couture". And couture it is. Dozens of recipes tell us how to use such things as lavender, turmeric and red cabbage to dye plant and protein-based fibers the most luscious colors imaginable, all of which harmonize in ways 'only botanical colors can.'

created at: 02/02/2011

Sasha begins at the beginning, outlining supplies we'll need, explaining in easy to understand terms the benefit Continue Reading

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How to Take the Mystery Out of Electricity with Amprobe

By: Diy maven Jan 05, 2011

created at: 01/05/2011

Awhile back, the folks at Amprobe offered to set me up with a selection of their residential electrical testing tools. Immediately, I came down with a case of the yips as electricity scares the bejesus out of me. BUT, after taking a few calming breaths, I came to the conclusion that if the Amprobe tools could take some of the mystery out of electricity, then they might help ease my electrophobia. Plus, I know pros. I live with an engineerContinue Reading

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The Dremel Multi-Max is All Kinds of Cool

By: Chrisjob Dec 07, 2010

created at: 12/07/2010

This week, Curbly is giving away a Dremel Multimax oscillating tool kit, so we thought we'd try one out and share our thoughts. I've had a Dremel rotary tool for years, and even though I have a whole basement full of big, fancy power tools, I still reach for my Dremel for all sorts of tasks. So, I was excited to try out Dremel's new offering, the Multi-Max. Whereas the original Dremel is a high-speed rotary tool, meaning it spins around atContinue Reading

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Amy Sedaris: Crafting for the Poor and Pissing People Off

By: Diy maven Nov 30, 2010

created at: 11/30/2010

Amy Sedaris has been out promoting her new book, Simple Times: Crafting for Poor People, and one of her stops was on NPR's Marketplace. The book, of course, is a parody of the DIY and crafting culture, however, her recent comments in the NPR interview are pissing people least people who don't appreciate satire. One inflammatory Continue Reading

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Illuminating Switch Plates--A DIY Attempt Gone Bad and the Power of Blogger Karma

By: Diy maven Nov 23, 2010

Find a Light Glow in the Dark WallPlate Insert

Last winter, I spotted the above pic on the internets and thought, "I can DIY that!" I stashed the idea in my 'make some day' idea bin, and few weeks back, I decided to finally give it a go. A bit of plastic rescued from the recycle bin, a drop or two of glow-in-the-dark paint and I would be golden. Or so I thought. The outcome was tragic. The paint was gloopy; the plastic too...plastic-y. I trashed the whole thing and forgot about it. 

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New: Curbly's Recommended Reading Page

By: Bruno Nov 16, 2010

I know it's 'not cool' to talk about reading 'books' these days, but we at Curbly still love 'em, and every self-respecting DIYer has their prized collection. Our copy of Budget Living's Home Cheap Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to Great Decorating is dog-eared and damaged from all the use it has gotten (check out this cool book-art project we did more than three years ago!). Our other favorite book is our irreplaceable copy of the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (seriously the most useful cookbook I've even seen):

America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

So, to keep track of our favorite analog volumes, we create the Curbly Recommended Reading page. It's a quarterly-updated list of our current reading recommendations for crafty-doers like yourselves, and it looks like this:

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Upholstered Dining Chairs in the Living Room: A review

By: Diy maven Nov 11, 2010

For the last several months MWT and I have been looking for one+ new chairs for our living room. After more consideration than the situation demands, we decided to get two upholstered dining armchairs. Why? Well, they take up less room, and we haven't found any 'accent' living room chairs that measure up to the tailored styling of an upholstered dining chair.

Grayson Chair

However, just because we finally decided what kinds of chairs we want,Continue Reading

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Common Sense Storage

By: Diy maven Oct 26, 2010

created at: 10/26/2010

The title of the new print from Creative Publishing may have the word 'common' in it, but there is nothing common about the contents of Common Sense Storage. Filled with images of luscious interiors, the book is a cornucopia of inspiration, that just happens to solve all of our storage problems as well.

created at: 10/26/2010

Continue Reading

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Make a No-Slip Bookmark

By: Diy maven Oct 07, 2010

Just yesterday, I was searching for the bookmark that had fallen out of my current book group read. How delighted I was today then to see this no-slip bookmark idea. The maker claims she has seen them around all over the place. I must admit, I haven't. To make one, here's Continue Reading

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Product Review: Nextec 12-Volt Right Angle Impact Driver

By: Diy maven Sep 29, 2010

created at: 09/29/2010

Recently, I had the opportunity to take Craftsman's new Nextec 12 volt lithium-ion right angle impact driver, for a test drive. I had seen television adverts for the Nextec Hammerhead Auto Hammer and it had piqued my interest, so when the impact driver showed up on my doorstep, I wasted no time in giving it the Maven once-over.Continue Reading

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Curbly Bookworm - Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer

By: Chrisjob Sep 27, 2010

I was accidentally introduced to Novella Carpenter's Farm City. I was at the library, and managed to knock off an audiobook version whilst putting back another, and it fell to the floor, a CD rolled out, and wheeled itself across the aisle. I'm not a mystic, and certainly don't believe I was destined to check it out, but I did, and it's totally worth your time.

created at: translation missing: en, 2010-09-27 14:30:51 -0500


Novella's an urbanite, dedicated to the diversity of a metropolitan landscape. Novella's also a farmer, and keep pigs, chickens, rabbits, and huge garden on a squatted piece of land next to her apartment. She feeds her livestock from the waste stream - dumpsters behind high-end restaurants, and houses her chickens in sawdust from a local cabinet shop.Continue Reading

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Ripley's Real Estate--Believe it or Not!

By: Diy maven Aug 31, 2010

The Shark

The new book by Ripley's Believe It or Not!, Enter If You Dare!, includes some interesting real estate stories. Here's just a few examples you can find within its pages, if you dare to open them.

The Shark House, pictured above, is located in Headington, Oxford. The 25 foot long, fiberglass shark, commissioned by Bill Heine and created by sculptor Continue Reading

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How To Buy An Office Chair for Your Budget and Body

By: Modhomeecteacher Aug 12, 2010


Mr. Mod measures in at 6 feet and 5 inches tall. He often works from home. No matter where he's sitting, he complains about his lower back. He needs a good executive ergonomic office chair. I did some research. Continue Reading

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Zen and the Art of Renovating Your Home...and Life

By: Diy maven Aug 04, 2010

created at: 08/04/2010

We talk a lot about home renovation around here, but what if you want to renovate your life? One way to take on this monumental task is by following the Chinese Proverb that says, If you want to change your life, move 27 things in your home. It is the connection between ourselves and our living spaces and the energy we share that is Continue Reading

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