Blog Posts by Daily Grommet

  • Can your water bottle do this? ALEX unscrews in the middle

    ALEX, where have you been all our lives? Where were you when we tried to pour smoothies into our old narrow-necked water bottles? Or when we wanted to add ice cubes to our on-the-go H2O? And let's not forget cleanup. Do you know how hard it is to scrub yesterday's orange juice from the bottom of a reusable bottle?

    Gretchen BleilerGretchen Bleiler But that's all in the past now. ALEX is here, thanks to Chris Hotell, who came up with the idea of a water bottle that unscrewed in the middle. Chris turned his idea into reality with the help of his mom, Marta Hotell, and his wife Gretchen Bleiler, a professional snowboarder (and Olympic medalist) who drives the team's design and sustainability efforts. The name stands for "Always Live EXtraordinarily", and it represents the trio's commitment to sustainable living - without sacrificing simplicity, convenience or style.

    ALEX TeamALEX TeamIndeed, ALEX lives up to its extraordinary moniker. The body is built from 50% recycled stainless steel, and the carrying strap is made from

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  • This winter, keep the cars and snowplows on your driveway and off your yard.

    If you live in a northern climate (like Minnesota where I live), then you probably know the frustration of someone driving over your lawn because it was hidden under the snow. Or maybe you've watched with horror as a snowplow clearing your driveway took out some adjacent landscaping. Well, these clever driveway markers can help keep drivers on the right path. And they're not like the old-style markers that are rusty, rigid and usually break before the season ends.Rebound reflective driveway markersRebound reflective driveway markers Instead, Rebound Driveway Markers are spring-mounted and can bend 90 degrees without breaking. The reflective tape at the top makes them easy to see, but if a plow or car drives over them, they'll bounce right back up. Even if someone opens a car door into one of these fiberglass markers, it will bend back and won't scratch the car. Plus they're easy to install with an 8-inch metal spike that can penetrate frozen ground.

    Arra David, Mike Collins, Rebound Driveway MarkersArra David, Mike Collins, Rebound Driveway MarkersThe inventor

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  • It's HOT!

    Buy Tru Eco induction here.Buy Tru Eco induction here. How would you like a kitchen helper that's fast, powerful and economical? Why not invite the Tru Eco induction cooker right in. This compact cooktop from Select Brands works by inducing, or transferring, heat through magnetic fields (you'll need an induction-compatible metal pan or pot to sustain the magnetic field). It can go from 125 degrees to 425 degrees in an instant, and it cools down just as quickly. Plus it's incredibly energy-efficient compared to traditional gas burners and electric ranges, which can experience heat energy loss approaching 50%. This little powerhouse packs a serious punch.

    Buy Tru Eco induction here.Buy Tru Eco induction here.Having an extra burner around holiday time is a real bonus. If space is limited in your apartment or condo, the Tru Eco takes up precious little room. Tailgating? Camping? Set up is a snap, and the ceramic finish cleans up in a jiffy. It's a great gift for the person who has everything. Save time, money and energy while you give your kitchen an easy upgrade that won't put a dent in

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  • From hive to home: sculptural beeswax candles are nontoxic and naturally aromatic

    Brent Roose, Big DipperBrent Roose, Big DipperBrent Roose was stargazing after a hike along the Olympic Peninsula when the Big Dipper constellation got him thinking about light and nature. Fast forward to today, and Brent says that night in 1993 was the inspiration for his artisanal candle venture, called Big Dipper Wax Works.

    Buy Big Dipper candles here.Buy Big Dipper candles here.Big Dipper candles are made from 100% beeswax, which is superior to paraffin (a petroleum byproduct) on so many levels. Beeswax is all natural, nontoxic and non-allergenic. It burns for an exceptionally long time, and it's naturally aromatic, infused with the sweet scent of honey. Plus it's a renewable resource that helps clean the air when it's burned, releasing negative ions that can reduce allergens and pollutants.

    We're featuring Brent's superb spherical candles, which are hand-poured and cast from pure domestic beeswax (the wicks are cotton). You can choose the nature-inspired Artichoke sphere, the intricately detailed Tuscan design, or a set of three holiday ornament candles. Each

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  • Looking for toxin-free nail polish for your kid's piggies?

    Scrumptious nail polish for kids is safe and toxin-free, with fun names that sound good enough to eat. Cotton Candy or Raspberry Sorbet, anyone?

    Katy Scheffler and Natalie Bauss, KeekiKaty Scheffler and Natalie Bauss, KeekiThe creators of Keeki Pure and Simple polishes, Katy Scheffler and Natalie Bauss, hired a chemist to help them make all-natural nail polish for kids when they couldn't find any available. Their creation isn't like other polishes. It's hypoallergenic, gluten-free, biodegradable and never tested on animals. You won't find any paraben, toluene or formaldehyde, either. (Keeki's polish remover is nontoxic, too.)

    Co-founder Natalie (above right) is a certified esthetician with more than 20 years experience in the cosmetics industry. She lives with her husband and two kids on an organic farm, where they grow fruits and vegetables and raise free-range chickens and alpacas. Katy, a mom of three daughters, is also committed to organics, in part because her family has a wide range of food allergies including lactose, gluten, wheat and

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  • A Light for Night

    Ellen McHalerEllen McHaler Artist Ellen McHale has elevated the lowly nightlight to pure art form with her handcrafted glass tile fixtures. Her Nelley Kelley nightlights are great for the bathroom, bedroom, living room, hallway - anywhere you need a little extra light. But you won't want to put them away once the sun comes up. They're works of art, meant to be treasured all day, not just at night.

    Nelley Kelley Unique Night LightsNelley Kelley Unique Night Lights The images on the nightlights are adapted from Ellen's original paste-paper collages. Paste paper is a centuries-old technique that involves mixing paste and pigment, layering it, and then using tools such as brushes, rollers and scrapers to carve designs and patterns into the painted paper layers. We're featuring five of Ellen's designs: Bunny, Owl, Eggs in Nest, Angel and Sunflower.

    Valerie ThayerValerie Thayer There's a warmth and whimsy to Ellen's work, brought to light on reconstituted glass tiles. We heard about Ellen from Valerie Thayer, who hosted a home show for Nelley Kelley that was a huge hit (especially with Valerie's

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  • Need a lift? Make your wish and watch it fly

    Flying Wish Paper Wishing Kits. Flying Wish Paper Wishing Kits.
    Remember wishing on a star? Julia Lambie has created a unique way to make a special wish - and it doesn't require a clear night sky. Her Flying Wish Paper lets you celebrate every wish with fun, whimsy and a little bit of firepower.

    When a child has a bad day and needs some help getting over it, you can try ousting the blues with a happy wish. Bad breakup? New resolution? You can start fresh with a ceremonial wish. Flying Wish Paper is also great for celebrating birthdays and remembering special anniversaries. (If you choose the pink ribbon design, Julia and Daily Grommet will each donate 10% of the proceeds to breast cancer awareness and education.)

    Here's how it works. First, you write your wish on the special Flying Wish Paper. Next, crumple the paper, smooth it into shape and set it on the wish platform card. Then you light the top edge of the paper and watch it burn down. At the last moment, your wish lifts off the platform card and flies lightly into the sky.

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  • Take the Lug out of Luggage

    A great bag can mean the difference between a relaxing trip and one spent dragging a too-heavy suitcase, painfully navigating the narrow aisle of an airplane, and straining to lift your suitcase into the overhead compartment. If you're ready to ditch your rigid, heavy suitcase for a sleek, lightweight alternative, we've found the perfect upgrade. Hideo WakamatsuHideo Wakamatsu

    The Feather collection comes from Hideo Wakamatsu, a designer who grew up in Tokyo where his family is the leading maker of traditional Japanese schoolbags, called randoseru. Before founding his own company, Hideo spent 10 years working with bag makers in Paris. You can see the influence of his artistic upbringing and European culture in his thoughtfully executed designs.

    Hideo's Feather bags are made from a lightweight, water-repellent nylon, reinforced by heavy Hideo Design Lightweight Carry On Luggage.Hideo Design Lightweight Carry On Luggage.nylon bands. They have plenty of storage pockets, strategically placed to make packing easier and to maximize every inch of space. Speaking of space, you won't miss

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  • This Is Not Your Grandmother's Pewter

    Deborah and Jim Chapman had a background in woodworking and romance languages, and, as it turns out, a deep love (and talent) for the artful and ancient craft of pewter smithing. When their closest friends decided to shut down their small studio in Eugene, Oregon, Deborah and Jim purchased the equipment and tools and started their own business. Twenty-five years later, Crosby & Taylor is creating original, handcrafted pieces that are beautiful, quirky and usable.

    Handcrafted Pewter WareHandcrafted Pewter WareToday we're featuring a number of our favorite Crosby & Taylor's pieces: an intricately detailed bird rack for holding keys, a coffee scoop with a refined geometric pattern and its own hook, and amazing Celtic-inspired measuring spoons and cups (you'll treasure these for generations). There's also a Santa key (left), which a heartwarming way to reassure kids that Santa will have no trouble visiting, even if there;s no chimney.

    All of the items are made from pewter, which is a blend of tin and copper that's bound with

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  • Industrial magnetism

    Cat IvinsCat IvinsIt's easy to get stuck on Cat Ivins' locket necklaces - and not just because they're magnetic. They're handcrafted from recycled steel auto parts and personalized with quirky graphics created by Cat and other indie artist collaborators. The look is clean and simple, with an easy industrial vibe.

    Cat creates the Polarity lockets at her Olive Bites Studio in New Jersey (it's named after her dog Olive - although Olive no longer bites). Each locket measures about 1 inch in diameter and has room inside for a picture or tiny memento. The magnetic lids are interchangeable, so you can get a new look in an instant. Interchangeable Magnetic Locket NecklaceInterchangeable Magnetic Locket NecklaceEach set has a story behind it. Artist Dilyara Nassyrova (aka Dilkabear) created the doll-like illustrations for Cat's Whimsical set, and the Wish series features the photography of HouseofSixCats. You'll find martinis and retro office chairs in the set inspired by Mad Men (left). Packaged in a lightweight tin and cotton drawstring bag, each set comes with a 30-inch ball

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