Blog Posts by Daily Grommet

  • Unleash your inner viking with a Swedish lawn game

    Kubb Swedish Outdoor Lawn GameKubb Swedish Outdoor Lawn Game Croquet, horseshoes, lawn bowling . When the usual outdoor games seem tired and tame, it's time to pick up a battle ax and start felling soldiers. Now's your chance to unleash your inner Viking - without risking life or limb.

    The V:King lawn game is inspired by a centuries-old Swedish Martine and Sarah Wilde, V:Kinggame known as kubb or koob that outfits players with battle axes (wooden dowels) and challenges them to topple opponents' shields (wooden blocks) and conquer the king. As legend goes, the original players were the Vikings, who, in sensationalized barbaric spirit, played with the bones of dead enemies. This more civilized version is the beautiful handiwork of Martin Wilde, a professional hockey player who brought the love of the game with him from Sweden when he attended the University of Vermont. To make each V:King (pronounced vee-king) set, Martin and his wife Sarah use hardwood that comes from a responsibly managed forest in Quebec and is finished by them in Vermont.

    In true Nordic

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  • A better way to build a fort

    What kid doesn't love making a fort with blankets and chairs? And what pareThe Fortamajig kids play fort The Fortamajig kids play fort nt doesn't cringe a little when the kids grab your best clean sheets to make their fortress? With the Fortamajig, kids can exercise their architectural creativity and keep your special linens out of the game.

    Katherine Huck, FortamajigKatherine Huck, Fortamajig The inventor is Katherine Huck, a mom of three who wanted to create a safe, portable way for kids to build their own play spaces. She designed an 8' x 8' square of polyester fabric with a built-in door and window. Velcro loops make it easy to attach the Fortamajig to whatever structure is handy - a chair, table leg, doorknob, tree branch, fencepost, you name it. So you won't be dealing with duct tape attached to the upholstery either. Kids can use their imagination to build a tent, tunnel, or fort in any spot, indoors or outside. You can tie it to a pair of beach chairs for instant shade at the beach, or extend it from a curtain rod to make a canopy. It's machine washable, which makes cleanup a

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  • Woven doormats give new life to old lobster ropes

    When floating ropes used by lobstermen in Maine turneDavid Bird, Custom CordageDavid Bird, Custom Cordaged out to be dangerous to the local whale population, David Bird found a way to recycle the old ropes and help the lobsterman offset the cost of buying new, whale-friendly ropes. His company, Custom Cordage, recycles old float rope to make these beautiful doormats that are saturated with authentic marine colors. They've got great texture and loads of personality. Plus they're virtually indestructible, since the braided cords have already withstood hardcore exposure to the briny deep.

    Outdoor Doormats Made From Recycled Lobster Float RopeOutdoor Doormats Made From Recycled Lobster Float Rope No two of these doormats are alike, but we were able to select our favorite colors when David Carter (a former lobsterman himself) visited Daily Grommet's offices with a pickup truck full of David Carter, Custom CordageDavid Carter, Custom Cordage reclaimed rope and then invited us up to Northern Maine to check out Custom Cordage. Each doormat is handwoven in Waldoboro, Maine, and you can choose from a traditional rectangular or runner style. These mats are helping to safeguard marine life,

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  • Practice the art of perfectly sliced tomatoes

    Buy Kyocera Ceramic Blade Tomato Knife here.Buy Kyocera Ceramic Blade Tomato Knife here. Nothing's better than the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden or the farmer's market. To us at Daily Grommet, there's nothing better than a tomato picked right off the vine. We use them in salads, sauces, sandwiches and salsa. But we've learned the hard way that having a good sharp knife to cut fresh tomatoes is essential, or you'll wind up with a mutilated, pulpy mess.

    Buy Ceramic Blade Tomato KnifeBuy Ceramic Blade Tomato Knife Kyocera's micro serrated utility knife is perfect for tomatoes. It's lightweight with a razor-sharp ceramic blade (made from zirconium oxide) that lets you make clean, precise cuts. It won't rust, and it's impervious to acids, oils and salts so it doesn't alter the taste, smell or appearance of food. Besides tomatoes, Kyocera's serrated knife is great for slicing any foods with a waxy skin and soft center. For a clean, uniform cut every time, nothing beats it.

    Teresa ScennaTeresa Scenna "You can use it for so many different fruits and vegetables because it doesn't discolor [the food] and it won't give an

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  • How smart: USB drive wristbands

    Memory on Hand USB flash bracelet.Memory on Hand USB flash bracelet.Andrew Kitzenberg knows the drill: Students need easy access to their digital files when they're working away from their desks -- at the library, in a computer lab, or at a friend's place. So why not make access stylish, too?

    Andrew was a student at Babson College when he started developing his idea for a wristband that conceals a 2 gigabyte USB storage drive for easy, anytime access to electronic files. His Memory On Hand bands have a casual look that's geared for kids and young adults -- and functionality that any computer user on the go can appreciate. Andrew tapped the resources of Babson's incubator program to fine-tune his business plan, and he had the first wristbands manufactured in April, just before his graduation. A trial sales run at a Massachusetts school shows he's on to something: The Memory on Hand wristbands sold out in 24 hours.

    We heard about Memory on Hand from Stephanie Rogers. While Andrew Kitzenberg, Memory on HandAndrew Kitzenberg, Memory on Hand going to college and developing his new business venture, Andrew babysat Read More »from How smart: USB drive wristbands
  • What's for dinner tonight? Chopped salad!

    Wendy Silver, Toss & ChopWendy Silver, Toss & ChopThe weather's been hot and steamy, perfect for a no-mess supper like a Cobb, Nicoise or Chef's salad. But, oh, all that chopping. Luckily, there's a shortcut thanks to Wendy Silver, salad lover extraordinaire. A decade ago, Wendy envisioned a way to make easy work of salad prep, chopping a bunch of ingredients at the same time, right in the serving bowl. The Toss & Chop became her cutting-edge reality.

    Toss & Chop Salad ChopperToss & Chop Salad Chopper Looking like a pair of pumped-up scissors, the Toss & Chop has hefty steel blades with micro-serrated edges that never need sharpening and ergonomic handles that let you chop like a five-star chef. You can use this gadget on all kinds of healthy salad ingredients, including tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and more. You can also kick things up a notch and make salsa, stir fry, tacos, pasta sauce, even toddler food without using knives or a cutting board.

    Wendy's salad scissors were an immediate hit when they debuted on QVC in 2002 and were featured on Oprah. Now we think they

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  • Have wine, will travel

    Ever try packing a special bottle of wine by wrapping it in your clothes, zipping up the suitcase, and crossingWineHug travel wine carrierWineHug travel wine carrier your fingers that the bottle won't break in transit? If so, you'll appreciate the WineHug. This clever gadget inflates to create a protective cushion around a bottle of wine (olive oil and other similarly sized bottles fit, too). It's ideal for travelers of all kinds - bikers, backpackers, sailors, kayakers and anyone else who wants to protect a glass bottle and its contents.

    The WineHug is made of tough Cordura® nylon (in orange) or microfiber (in black), and it has a high-density foam core. It takes up minimal space when it's folded. When you're ready to use it, simply unfold the WineHug, open the valve and watch it self-inflate before your eyes. Wrap your bottle in the inflated material, attach the Velcro straps, and you're good to go.

    Mourad Chaouch and Ricardo Salinas, WineHugMourad Chaouch and Ricardo Salinas, WineHug
    Company founders Mourad Chaouch (top) and Ricardo Salinas came up with the idea for the WineHug Des PieriDes Pieriwhen they and a friend

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  • How plants thrive in the sky

    Heads up…Just when you think you've seen every possible kind of household planter, we've found a The BOSKKE upside down Sky PlanterThe BOSKKE upside down Sky Plantermodern showstopper that seems to defy gravity. Created by Patrick Morris, an industrial designer from New Zealand, the stunning ceramic Sky Planter suspends ferns, ivy, orchids, herbs and vegetables from above, filling the upper reaches of a room with beautiful growth. The Sky Planter has a sleek, contemporary feel that's perfectly balanced by its organic contents.

    The Sky Planter is suited for just about any houseplant, but it does more than turn The BOSKKE upside down Sky PlanterThe BOSKKE upside down Sky Planter a plant on its head. An internal reservoir system feeds water directly to the roots without leaking or evaporating. There's no mess of water overflowing from pots, and the Sky Planter requires up to 80% less water than traditional containers. It locks soil in place so there are no dirt spills, either. Best of all, the system is so efficient that plants only need to be watered once or twice a month (perfect for frequent travelers).

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  • Home Safety: A Portable Security System You Can Install Yourself

    A home security system can give you peace of mind, but installation is costly and permanent. SimpliSafe isn't. Any homeowner or apartment dweller can install this innovative new security system in minutes and relocate it when it's time to move. The system uses a cellular wireless connection to stay in contact with SimpliSafe's monitoring service, so you don't need a dedicated phone line or hardwired components. And there's no lengthy contract, either.

    SimpliSafe is the brainchild of Eleanor and Chad Laurans, who saw the need for a Chad and Eleanor Laurans, SimpliSafeChad and Eleanor Laurans, SimpliSafe home security system that's specifically geared for apartments, urban homes and sites where you wouldn't want to install a permanent security system. Their starter kit includes a base station, wireless keypad, entry sensors for protecting windows and doors, and a keychain remote to turn your alarm on and off. You can expand the system with optional add-ons including motion detectors and a panic button. All the components arrive pre-programmed, and

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  • Oil Drop Artwork Supports Ocean Conservation

    For most of us, it's hard to know how we can contribute to cleanup efforts in the Gulf of Mexico's devastating oil disaster. One outfit that has clear ideas about how to help is OceanaOceana logoOceana logo, a nonprofit organization focused on protecting the world's oceans. If you'd like to help support Oceana and its conservation efforts, the cool designers at The Heads of State have made it easy and rewarding.

    TOceana Magazine 2010Oceana Magazine 2010he Heads of State is a design and illustration studio founded by Jason Kernevich and Dustin Summers. The duo created a poster, titled Oil Drop, that benefits Oceana. The two-color serigraph (18"×24") depicts an oversized drop of oil, dripping below the U.S. The graphics are minimalist, but the message is powerful. The first run of 200 posters is signed and numbered, and Jason and Dustin are donating half of the sale price of each Oil Drop poster to Oceana. At Daily Grommet, we chose to spotlight this art project as a way of giving back to our country (we're not collecting any revenue

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