Photo Credit: Getty ImagesThe last Monday of May provides many things-an opportunity to think nice thoughts about all the veterans who've fought for our country, a day off work (hallelujah!), and the motivation to clean up those barbecue tongs and hone our summer entertaining skills for the season to come. Think of it as training day for the next 3 months' weekends: nail your strategy this time, and you're golden.
We've already been planning our outdoor entertaining gear purchases for weeks (okay, months); check out the following links for a little shopping inspiration.
Jan from Poppytalk's subtly patriotic hand-woven table runner
Domino's recycled blue-glass-bottle parfaits-perfect for serving ice cream or fizzy drinks
Dwell's roundup of compact, portable grills for balcony barbecues
Callie's triple shot of pitchers for serving big batches of lemonade, spiked or straight up
Three themed picnic kits to pick and choose from.
Then go to Maggie's recipe roundup for menu ideas from casual to fancy.
Blog Posts by Valerie Rains, Shine staff
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesThe last Monday of May provides many things-an opportunity to think nice thoughts about all the veterans who've fought for our country, a day off work (hallelujah!), and the motivation to clean up those barbecue tongs and hone our summer entertaining skills for the season to come. Think of it as training day for the next 3 months' weekends: nail your strategy this time, and you're golden.Read More »from Memorial Day=training day for summer parties
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Thu, May 22, 2008 2:06 AM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesNo, I'm not talking about spring cleaning or energy efficiency, although those are great things to work on, too. This post is purely about the cosmetic (or even psychological) changes we make in our homes as the seasons change. My first summer-izing tasks: I bought a tiny cactus to sit on my desk, and I'm changing up all my window treatments. Normally I'd also switch to my summer bedspread, but due to some overactive radiator issues in my apartment I was never actually able to use the winter blanket this year, so that's already covered. What are you doing to get ready for summer? Tell us in the comments!Read More »from What are you doing to freshen up your home for summer?
More summer prep posts on Shine:
Tips for a bump-free bikini line
On-the-go protection against sun damage
How to get summer-ready legs
Tales from bad summer internships to prep you for the worst-case-scenario
Photo Credit: Counter EvolutionIf you were intrigued, as I was, by the recycled bowling-alley tables, benches, and counter tops we spotted at Counter Evolution NYC's flea market booth, but are not in the market (or in the money) for any of those items, may I direct you to a significantly more portable, affordable product that's new to their line: the bowling alley cutting board. Yes, you have to get past the idea of the thousands of rental shoes and pizza-grease-wiped bowling balls that crossed its path in a past life, but the boards have been fully cleaned and sealed and treated with mineral oil. "The Chop," complete with dots, could be right up your, yes, alley.Read More »from Bowling alley wood furniture strikes again
$120 each, or $85 for a version without dots. Visit the Counter Evolution NYC web site for order info.
More reclaimed wood home goods on Shine:
New Obsession: Nightwood furniture
Counter Evolution's salvaged-bowling-lane furniture strikes gold
Gorgeous, gift-worthy fallen-wood bowls
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Sat, May 17, 2008 9:58 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Tiny LivingIf you've ever lived in a small home/apartment, you have to appreciate a store devoted entirely to the scaled-down, the collapsible, and the compact, like New York City's Tiny Living. The newest addition to their arsenal of space-saving devices is a combination step ladder/ironing board that I happen to think is pretty genius. It's not especially cheap-$99-but not exorbitantly priced, either, and would definitely beat the 'standing on chairs to reach high things'/'ironing clothes on a towel spread on the floor' system I have going now. (I know, for shame!)Read More »from Problem Solver of the Day: step ladder ironing board
Go to tinyliving.com to buy it.
In ironing board mode (left), and folded flat for storage (right).
Photo Credit: Tiny LivingPhoto Credit: Tiny Living
More space-saving solutions on Shine:
A floating bookshelf that doesn't eat up real estate
Vertical storage with a small footprint
Easy organization tip: stash everything in baskets
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Tue, May 13, 2008 8:45 PM EDT
There are some things we just put up with for the sake of comfort-unflattering shoes, unflattering gym clothes, and Polarfleece among them. Ugly radiators need not be on this list, but often are. And as the weather warms up (and we forget just how much we once loved and needed those dear heat sources), their unsightly space-eating quality becomes even more vexing. Here are a few ideas pulled from around the web for making those metallic-painted heaters less noticeable-or at the very least, more fun.Read More »from 5 creative ways to disguise (or improve) a radiatorâ€”and really put winter behind you
Photo Credit: Ellen Lupton and Abbott Miller/Design SpongeOption 1: Paint it to make it stand out.
The late, great Blueprint magazine (full disclosure: my former workplace) once did a fantastic story about decorating with paint, which featured a shot of a vibrant, chartreusey-yellow-painted radiator and heat pole (or whatever those things are called) against a grayish-teal wall, and it felt so modern and fresh. Design Sponge's house tour of Ellen Lupton and Abbott Miller's Baltimore home shows another example of bright radiator-as-focal piece.
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Tue, May 13, 2008 3:06 AM EDT
Photo Credit: Remodelista(It could really solve some of my small-space living dilemmas.)Read More »from Is it wrong that I want this? Vintage yellow bunk bed
Remodelista posted this just plain amazing yellow bed/desk/cubby number on Friday and I only saw it now. It is simply so many layers of wonderfulness (not a word, I know, but I am overcome). It took me straight back-yes, this is one of those completely self-indulgent and pointless posts we bloggers are noted for-to the waiting area of the Sears Portrait Studio in Oklahoma City where I used to have my annual portraits made as a child. This waiting area contained a similarly shaped cartoon-viewing cubby, which seemed like maybe the most awesome thing in the world at that time. I can't explain why watching old Merrie Melodies cartoons in that photo booth-shaped nook was so much more fun than watching them on TV at home, but it was. Anyway, on a practical note, isn't this sucker well-designed? Bed on top, ladder integrated into the desk, full-on work station inside with a chalkboard wall on the outside, and I think there's
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Mon, May 12, 2008 4:36 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Jessica Jones/How About OrangeYou may have already gotten excited by all the 'extracurricular' uses for binder clips, like hanging art and serving as a ipod dock stand-ins, but that doesn't mean they have to be boring on the desk, doing what they were actually designed to do. Jessica Jones over at How About Orange posted a great, easy d.i.y. project last week for making binder clips (and other office supplies) a lot more interesting and I couldn't resist posting about it here. After attempting three strategies-using fabric with interfacing ironed to it, fabric with Heat 'n' Bond applied to it, and plain old fabric-she found the Heat 'n' Bond to give the best texture and usability for this particular craft. Then she removed the metal handles, stuck the fabric to the black plastic with spray adhesive, and sealed it in place with thinned gel medium before reattaching the handles. For a better, step-by-step explanation, go see her instructions.Read More »from Inspirational Office Moment: binder clips can be exciting
Jessica has a whole archive chock full of original crafty projects that
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Sat, May 10, 2008 12:48 AM EDT
There's something wonderfully Tramp Art-y about using wine crates as decor elements, and really, what other throwaway material can look so good in so many ways? We've already covered the $220 designer version of the plain wooden box, so now let's see what creative folks all over the web are doing with the free version (you know, the kind that you sweetly convince your local liquor store owner to give you).Read More »from 8 ways to turn (free) wooden wine crates into functional design elements
1. Make a pet bed. Lola Serrano of Dolamakes stuffed a cute plaid pillow into a wine crate and Little Lo just can't get enough.
Photo Credit: Lola Serrano via Flickr
2. Make a pet feeder. (I don't know why the best wine crate projects are for pets!)
Last week, Grace over at Design Sponge posted Julia Custer Norris's d.i.y. feeder, designed to make mealtime more comfortable for her big pup. (This might not be an actual wine crate, but the principle applies.) Read the full instructions at designspongeonline.com.
Photo Credit: Julia Custer Norris via DesignSponge
3. Make a garden, like the gals at You Grow Girl.
Photo Credit: You Grow Girl/Flickr
For even more wine crate inspiration, check out these
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Fri, May 9, 2008 9:43 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesWe love hearing from all of the readers here at Shine, and if you're not already putting up posts of your own, click over here and give it a shot!
If you are blogging and want to see your posts featured in Editor's Picks or the top stories module, here are a few tips for making that more likely:
I feature user posts that:
- Have great photos (but not copyrighted ones-like photos from magazines)
- Tell not just about a new product the author loves, but why she loves it or how she would use it and make it her own
- Share the invaluable wisdom of your experience with decorating, gardening, organizing, cleaning, d.i.y. projects, entertaining, furniture hacks, and saving money and energy in your home
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I don't pick user posts that:
- Are advertisements or spam
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We love the Craftzine blog for its steady stream of inspiration and instruction, its eclectic mix of all things handmade, and the sense of collaboration and community it engenders. Here are some of our favorite Craftzine picks from this week:Read More »from Blog Crush of the Week: Craftzine
Photo Credit: Cindy Moore via CraftzineKnitter/designer Cindy Moore's ongoing effort to transcode lace patterns (which is basically "translating" them) from an 1897 book, for the benefit of today's knitters.
Photo Credit: Handmade by Calista via CraftzineI know it is not a home project, but I'm kind of in love with this crochet coin purse, anyway. It's like a fluffy little sheep. From Handmade by Calista.
Photo Credit: Write, Mama, Write via CraftzineBeth of Write, Mama, Write's tutorial on making Sculpey prints of objects found in nature. They look like something you'd buy in a fossil shop. Lovely. (And gift-worthy.)
Photo Credit: Marissa Bogg via CraftzineThe "Best Elephant Tribute" winner of the Second Annual Softies Awards, by Marissa Bogg. Her Etsy shop is full of more adorable creatures.
Photo Credit: water-fall via Flickr via CraftzineA traditional Japanese sashiko embroidery how-to pulled from the Purl Bee, with a photo by Flickr user water-fall. Wouldn't