00061

Feb 10, 2010

How To: Create a Dorodango, a Japanese Mud Sphere



Dorodango - 泥 (どろ doro) "mud" and だんご (dango) "rice dumpling" - is a traditional pasttime for many Japanese school children. Dirt is mixed with water, then slowly shaped into a perfect, shiny or textured sphere.  

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00060

Feb 10, 2010

Craft Fail: Knitted Full Body Suits

tn3 Itchin Knittin

It not only occured to one, but at least sixteen ambitious knitters. I can only picture the internal dialogue..."This sweater, scarf, hat, and gloves simply aren't enough...I must knit myself an entire get-up! Some purled yarn armor to help me face the day."

tn4 Itchin Knittin

The result? A seemingly very hot, VERY itchy cross between Cookie Monster, live action Dr. Seuss films, and that kid from the Christmas movie who can't put his arms down.   

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00059

Feb 09, 2010

Two Options for Quick and Easy Image Transfers

Sometimes, hand painted just isn't the look you're going for, and you long to add some machine printed accuracy to your latest project. Here's two easy ways to add printed images to canvas, plastic, glass, paper, and whatnot.

Materials:

  • Image from a magazine or book, or printed via laser printer or photocopier. (Inkjet printers will not work)
  • Warm water
  • Large bowl or pie plate
  • Credit card or bone folder
  • For Process #1: Clear packing tape
  • For Process #2: Acrylic Gel Medium (or gesso, paint, or anything which states "polymer acrylic medium")
  • Paintbrush (a sponge brush will cut down on brush marks)

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00058

Feb 09, 2010

"The Men of Craft" from NPR.

In November, NPR blogger Jess Ginter posted an illustrated featurette on the men at her local indie craft show, Crafty Bastards.  

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00057

Feb 09, 2010

How To: Snag Stuff with a Whip

"There are few tools that can break the sound barrier while fetching the TV remote. But throw a whip right and its tip can travel 900 mph (producing a sonic boom), then curl back to snare the object of your desire."

Why?

Why not, friends...why not?Illustration by Lab Partners   

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00055

Feb 08, 2010

ManMade Video How-To: Mount Your Laptop to your Exercise Equipment.

created at: 2010/02/07

In the last decade, many folks have stopped subscribing to cable television, magazines, and the newspaper. We've quit writing down recipes on index cards, sending most letters, using the telephone, and going to the local video store. Many no longer work in a traditional office, as they can do everything they need from home. Because now, you can simply send and recieve all of that information on your computer.

Which means, we spend ALOT of time in front of a computer. And that doesn't make us lazy, necessarily. In fact, it actually means we can be more productive - in concentrating our work and communication into a laptop, we can keep ourselves moving while we get our work done simply by connecting our computers to the average home exercise machine.  

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00056

Feb 08, 2010

How To: Sew a Necktie

Don't tell my mom, but I don't actually mind wearing a tie...Granted, with my job and social circles, it's a rare occassion when it's appropriate, so when I find my self needing to rock the half-windsor, it's kinda fun.

Every North American man has plenty of connections to the necktie: As kids, we learn to knot them. As teenagers, we learn to hate them. But as grown-ups...as grown-ups, my friends...

Well, we can learn to sew our own.

fathersdaytie

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00054

Feb 05, 2010

Snowmen Disasters: Calvin and Hobbes Come to Life

I refuse to read email forwards and chain letters. Even if they're actually hilarious, or educational, I simply skip past them on principal...sorry, Dad.

snowmonster

Well, except for one. Each year, around this time of year, someone passes along a collection of the macabre snow art of Calvin and Hobbes, and I'm instantly transported back to the heyday of Bill Watterson's excellent work, and I'm thankful to have been a kid in the eighties and early-nineties.

And I'm also thankful for these clever, cold-weather peers, who've taken some inspiration from young Calvin and made their own real life nightmare-ish snowmen.  

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00053

Feb 05, 2010

How To: Pair Beer with Chocolate for Valentine's Day

20100201dopplebockchocolate.jpgI know what you're saying...Really, Chris? This is just some weird she vs. him deal in which partners try to compromise for Valentine's. But, no, it's not about combining these things because beer and chocolate are [traditionally] masculine and feminine, historically, because, as ManMade often argues, those lines simply don't matter anymore. It's about things that taste good...I mean, think about it. The malt and chocolate combination go way back to the days of the phosphate and the soda shop, and microbrews have been creating chocolate stouts and porters for decades.

Beer can be every bit as complex as wine, and aches to be paired with food.  

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00052

Feb 04, 2010

ManMade Top Ten: Non-Powered Workshop Tools

created at: 2010/01/12

I do indeed love the sights, sounds, and smells of a razor-sharp sawblade ripping through a two-inch block of hard maple, or a router-bit whizzing at 23,000 rpm creating a perfect 1/4" roundover.

But, for as much as I embrace the strength and speed of power tools, I find myself spending even more time with those tools that DON'T require ear plugs. Of course, you need hammers and screwdrivers and wrenches, but here's a list of ten items you can find in your hardware store that'll help you turn out great work, without the need for batteries or electricity.

created at: 2010/02/04

1. All Sorts of Clamps. There's an old saying in the woodworking community..."You

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