Photo Credit: Cathie FilianThere's something really charming about a doormat that the owner has put a little thought into. Yeah, I know you're just going to be rubbing your feet on it, but it is kind of like a little flag outside your house/apartment letting people know what to expect on the inside-rather like a Facebook status for the home. Cathie Filian from Creative Juice has a great project for turning a plain coir doormat into signature stoop decor. It's pretty simple: you make a stencil out of a manila folder, tape it down to the mat, and, covering the other portions of the mat with newspaper, spray paint your design. Voila. Plus you can switch out the fonts and the borders (and colors, of course) to make your mat as one-of-a-kind as it could possibly be.
For more detailed step-by-steps, check out her full post here. [via Craftzine]
And for more d.i.y. projects on Shine, check out:
Tricks for removing old candle wax from jars-and repurposing them in about a million different ways
A surprising take on
Blog Posts by Valerie Rains, Shine staff
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Tue, Jul 29, 2008 12:30 AM EDT
Photo Credit: Cathie FilianThere's something really charming about a doormat that the owner has put a little thought into. Yeah, I know you're just going to be rubbing your feet on it, but it is kind of like a little flag outside your house/apartment letting people know what to expect on the inside-rather like a Facebook status for the home. Cathie Filian from Creative Juice has a great project for turning a plain coir doormat into signature stoop decor. It's pretty simple: you make a stencil out of a manila folder, tape it down to the mat, and, covering the other portions of the mat with newspaper, spray paint your design. Voila. Plus you can switch out the fonts and the borders (and colors, of course) to make your mat as one-of-a-kind as it could possibly be.Read More »from Raw materials: Upgrade a plain doormat with a stencil and paint
There are many adjustments one must make when one branches out on her own as a self-employed or freelance worker: when the copy machine jams, you have to fix it yourself; no one takes your trash out at the end of the day; and there's also no one to automatically design and order your business cards-but that's not actually such a bad thing, since corporate business cards are usually pretty boring. To help you get inspired to find cards that send just the right message-whether it's that you've got great taste or are a no-b.s. kind of person-we've rounded up 8 distinctive options for your consideration. All you've got to do now is pick a style (or design your own), brush up on your networking skills, and, ahem, learn to operate your copy machine like a pro.
Find these online:
1. S. Jane
4. Moo Cards
Read More »from Business card bonanza for the newly self-employed
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesKate Murphy reported in The New York Times Home & Garden section today that fears are on the rise about a possible link between granite countertops and lung cancer, thanks to the presence of radiation and radon (in varying quantities) in the increasingly-popular countertop material. While experts have been aware of the radiation issue for years, typically the levels present in consumer materials have been so low as to not be considered a serious threat. Now, radon inspectors are finding higher and higher levels in what is, admittedly, a tiny minority of the granite on the market, but it's still enough to spark concern.
Here's what you need to know, according to the article:
- Most granites give off less radiation than we are regularly exposed to from what scientists call "background radiation," the cumulative radiation coming from substances as wide-ranging as smoke detectors and the earth's crust (can't exactly do anything about that one).
- According to the Environmental
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Thu, Jul 24, 2008 7:25 PM EDT
Does having an entire room in your home just for books and chairs in which to read them mean you've finally made it? I kinda think it does. (In my fantasy, it has to have one of those rolling ladders, too.) Here, Robin Mayer, Country Living's Senior Decorating Editor walks us through the decorating details in 2008's House of the Year library, which is distinctly devoid of dark leather and the rolling ladder (and probably the dusty, musty old-book smells)-but I like it anyway. It actually seems to be a pretty achievable room to pull off-it looks like they've just converted a small pass-through area into a cozy reading nook, which is a great idea for an awkward, not-quite-big-enough-to-be-a-full-room space in your home. The key lies in the space-saving floor-to-ceiling bookcases and the cool, light-reflecting paint color for the walls (which is the same shade as the bookcases, for continuity); an antique-looking metal caged pendant light brings in a little of the Ye Olde Library feelRead More »from Build a library in the hallway: More lessons from the House of the Year
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Wed, Jul 23, 2008 6:01 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesLike it or not (and believe me, I don't), we live in the age of the $60 candle. It's as if one day, all the fancy candle people got together and decided that, while for years, candles had been topping out at around twelve bucks (for a really big one), suddenly the market could-and should-support candles priced at 5 times that amount. And so it was. (Sort of like when jeans became a $200 expense? What? And we are all just going along with this? Is it any wonder our collective pockets are empty these days?) I digress. The point is, whether you've paid $5 or $500 for a candle, it probably came in some kind of glass container that just might be pretty enough to serve as a bud vase, piggy bank, matchbook collector or some other such useful thing if only you could get all the leftover wax and burned-out wick out of the bottom of the jar. Thank goodness for Jessica over at How About Orange, who says that the secret is just to place the old glass candle holder into the freezer; the wax willRead More »from Simple/genius home tip: How to remove wax and reuse old candle holders
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Tue, Jul 22, 2008 7:07 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Container StoreLike many of you out there (I'm guessing), it's sometimes hard for me to reconcile the idea of buying stuff to help with getting organized. I mean, being organized is definitely really great, and sometimes you kind of have no choice but to call in some aids-after all, off-season clothes need storage bins, pens littering the desk rather than standing in a cup are just annoying, and no one wants to use a cotton ball that's been nuzzling with dust in the corners of the bathroom drawer. But sometimes you can just improvise and repurpose things you already have lying around (or, heck, get rid of some things you don't really need). On top of that, a lot of this stuff you can buy is pretty expensive, or comes in a massive "system" that requires you to surrender a huge amount of your house to a series of racks, shelves, hooks, etc. that don't even end up looking all that pretty. This kind of space, I do not have-but what I do have is a soft spot in my heart for these tweed storage boxes fromRead More »from The only closet-organizing products I've ever actually considered buying
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Tue, Jul 22, 2008 6:29 PM EDT
Domino blogged last week about the great bargains you can find in furnishings retailers' kids and teens lines-like the totally-mature-for-its-age Swiss-dot ceramic lamp from PB Teen-but I thought I'd go ahead and supplement that pick with a few more just-plain-cheap table lamps that you don't have to be into (or even have heard of) the Jonas Brothers to appreciate. Each of these styles is under $50 (and yeah, $49.99 counts, in my book-so car salesman-y!) and comes with the pictured shade-which can be a sneaky added expense at a lot of shops. And if it's all looking a little metallic/white/brown/black, just consider these the go-to neutrals that can play nice with all the stuff you already have. Brilliant, right?Read More »from Table lamps for every room, all under $50 (because those pricey CFL bulbs add up)
1. This simple, but almost architectural, style from Bed, Bath and Beyond is very man-friendly. $49.99, bedbathandbeyond.com
2. Wal-Mart, make no bones about it, is definitely specializing in some knock-off lamps, but the bottom line is that so are a lot of way more expensive
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Mon, Jul 21, 2008 6:06 PM EDT
Country Living is back with another instructional decorating video from their House of the Year 2008. This time, the camera turns on the home's bedroom, and you can expect to see brilliant uses of burlap, unexpected mirror frames (including a paint job Domino's Deal Hunter would approve of), dramatic no-sew fabric projects, and expert ideas for mixing and balancing patterns. Watch it here.Read More »from House of the Year Video Room Tours: Bedroom edition
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Author Blog Posts – Wed, Jul 16, 2008 7:55 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesAs much as I love and adore Netflix, I have to admit, about 50% of the time, by the time a movie arrives in my mailbox I've forgotten why I wanted to see it in the first place and sometimes have to kind of force myself to watch it. Sometimes a particular movie can become a virtual entertainment albatross-and the longer you hold on to it, the more of a waste it seems to be to send it back without watching it. Your pride gets involved. It becomes a battle between you and the movie, and you're not going to let the movie win, dammit! (Wait, is that just me?)Read More »from How long do you keep an unwatched Netflix DVD before you just give up and send it back, already?
I've been sitting on the 6th disc of Season 1 of HBO's Carnivale for almost a month now, and Battle of Algiers since May 13 (gulp). Yes, I suppose that would have been a lot of late fees from a normal rental place, but I have to wonder if my typical Netflix usage is, in fact, that much more cost-efficient. However, since I am the kind of person who has year-old magazines piled up next to my couch that I refuse to recycle until I've
There is, in some cases, something to be said for doing things halfway. Example: I'm much more motivated to buy some big, shapeless, unflattering garment at the thrift store and alter it into something cool than I am to undertake a possibly daunting sewing project completely from scratch. The same goes for artwork-I'm way too self-conscious about "not being an artist" to think seriously about, say, painting something to hang on my walls, but I can definitely get behind tweaking some junk art and making it a little more special. Not that I fancy myself a Tony Shafrazi for the '00s, but it can be kinda fun to "deface" a traditional piece. Glue, glitter, beads, paint-all are fair game for making over flea market art. Here's what I did with a recently acquired deer portrait (and I'm pretty sure it is not an original, as there is some kind of typed-on copyright thing in the bottom left corner) and some other animal art that had been stacked away on shelves waiting to be put to use. InRead More »from Weekend Project: Flea market art makeover