Have you ever seen the movie The Secret Life of Pets? The plot is pretty much spelled out in the title, but the premise is this: Pets, when left to their own devices, lead very different lives than their owners think. They have different identities, different interests, and get into all sorts of dramatic situations. The movie is basically Toy Story, but with cats and dogs instead of toys. Like any pet owner does, I too have pondered on what sort of secret life my own pets have. Do they go ballistic the moment I turn the lock? Do they secretly cuddle all day, only to shun each other the moment I step foot through the front door? I had no idea what they did all day while I'm gone at work, but I was nosy enough to want to figure it out.
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 for their favorite glass bottle cutter, 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...
Sure, your glue gun melts glue sticks, but does it drip glue all over the place when sitting on its "kickstand"? Does it seem to spontaneously tip over when sitting on said kickstand? Does it take forever to reach maximum heat?
If your glue gun does any or all of these things, it might be time to break up with it and find a new model. After hours and hours of testing 6 models—4 corded and 2 cordless—of wildly varying prices, we've pinned down our favorites. Let's introduce our contenders (and our recommendations):
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, maybe...
It's not often that I'm delightfully surprised by a new take on an old staple, but Mimish Design's new beanbag chair produced such a reaction. Available in a whopping 14 luscious colors, the beanbag is actually a very clever
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.
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
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.
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 fulfilled
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 supplies...
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 reciprocating saw...
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.
Enter the Work Sharp 3000.
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.
I never thought I could get excited by a trashcan. It is, by definition, full of garbage.
But, believe me, friends, the Fingerprint Proof Rectangular Recycler from SimpleHuman is a brilliant example of great design.
The folks at Craftsman sent over a sweet surprise: A 19.2 C3 Cordless Impact Driver Kit. (Insert caveman grunt here.) Now, your first thought might be, "Looks like a regular drill to me," followed up by the question, "What's the dif?" Think of it like this, if the guts of an impact driver were to be animated in a Pixar kind of way, there'd be a hundred little humanoids inside with hammers beating away at the chuck. Comparatively, this makes your job--the real humanoid--much easier. Although the spectrum
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 at...
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.
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.
However, just because we finally decided what kinds of chairs we want, doesn't mean...
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.