Designer Anthony Herrera has released a brand new set of Star Wars snowflake templates, free for downloading and making en masse as you settle into the holiday season.
We all know the story. Most of us could recite the narrative from memory, and probably not miss any key points. But, this holiday season, I decided to snuggle up to the original, and read the whole of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
And? It's good. It's really good. Dickens is a good writer...duh. It's festive and seasonal, and the template for what many of us think of as an old fashioned Christmas...also duh. But something else happened to me, and I think you should read it, too. Not in the "let's gather 'round the fire while dad recites " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas..." sorta way, but because this is a book about men.
If you can't manage to make a gift for everyone on your holiday shopping list, you can always add a little personal touch by DIYing your own custom gift wrap. Not only do each of these relatively easy projects convey a handmade look and appeal, most of them can be specifically customized to the recipient, so you can be sure they'll know you took the extra step. There are roughly a gajillion DIY gift wrap projects about online, so I picked five that could particularly work from a masculine perspective, whether you're giving as or to a guy.
And, don't worry, there's no animal hides or power tools required. Unless you want there to be...
Just So You Know, Roasted Chestnuts are Totally Delicious, and You Should Make Some this Holiday Season
I've never had a sugarplum, and I'm still not totally sure what figgy pudding actually is, but of one traditional holiday treat I'm convinced: roasted chestnuts are amazing. And not like in that quaint, old timey "I could see why people thought these were tasty before we figured out how to make more delicious things" (like hard candy or [in my case] jelly beans), but in a "this things are awesome no matter what century it is."
Got an open fire? Go for it. But since most of us aren't quite used to heat control with a giant blazing inferno, roasting chestnuts in the oven is more than an okay way to go. If you've never had one, the trick to
Happy Holidays, ManMakers! Each year, I make this confession: I'm a total obsessive geek about collecting "modern rock" holiday songs: seasonal tunes by alternative, indie, and otherwise not-Bing Crosby or Nat King Cole artists. This year, my collection broke 500, making for thirty-two hours of non-cheesy holiday goodness.
No, they're not all completely amazing, but most are solid, and they serve as the soundtrack to my season, and, coupled with a candy cane, the most immediate way to inject the holiday spirit into my home and...uh, self. So, each year, I pick a few of my favorite tunes to share with ye merry gentlemen and women.
Along with egg nog and fruitcake, cranberries are amoung the most divisive holiday foodstuffs. Those who like 'em like 'em, and those who don't will likely not change their mind.
But nobody not nobody won't dig on this mesmerizing video of professional wakeboarders Ben Horan and Brian Grubb being pulled through the flooded bogs of Wisconsin, filmed in all its high-speed, colorful wavemaking, undulating goodness.
A crew from RedBull visited "[traveled] to Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, for one of the most aesthetically pleasing wakeskating sessions you will ever see. Watch what happens when some of the world's best wakeskaters take
As far as hot chocolate fans go, I'm among the biggest. Especially during December. I like it all kinds of ways - thick Mexican drinking chocolates with a churro, the powdered milk-cocoa mix from the stand at the holiday light show at the zoo, and the fancy versions from my local coffee shop. And marshmallows? I'm for 'em.
Especially if they're homemade. Like lots of food crafts, the difference between a who-knows-how-old factory made 'shmallow and the pillowy complexity of a homemade version are simply incomparable. And while I like storebought marshmallows just fine, I love a homemade one. Especially when it's infused with holiday
If you love the idea of the Whiskey Advent Calendar, but can't quite justify the (fair but not inexpensive) $240 price tag, why not try a DIY version with something you can easily procure single samples of: beer. Cause there are few things better than candy, and winter ale is definitely one of them.
This season, I was excited to team up with DIY Network to create a series of original how-to projects with the theme of "Christmas at The Jetsons." The rest of the
There are two of us here at ManMade. There's me, Chris, and I handle the content of the site, publishing the daily posts and projects. The other half is my compadre Bruno, who works behind-the-scenes keeping everything running smoothly. It's a great team, and we compliment each other well. I'm a dedicated Christmas fan, and Bruno...well, his last name is Bornsztein. Guess which winter holiday he grew up celebrating...
Shanghai-based multidisciplinary design studio Super Nature created this (very merry) art installation called Weaving Forest for the Detour 2011 festival in Hong Kong. The installation consists of two giant wooden reindeer sculptures and a series of smaller structures connected by long strings of yarn.
Last March, while visiting friends in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, my friend casually remarked, under his breath, with a bit of scorn, "Oh, and there's the A Christmas Story house."
"Excuse me? Did you say the Christmas Story house?"
"Yeah," he replied, "people actually line up to go there."
"You mean, you can actually line up to go there? And see it?"
People have different priorities, I guess. But I knew my gift to myself (well, to my relationship) come December was determined, and last weekend I went. And it was incredible.
Couple that with some very freshly fallen snow, and a very, very good meal at a Michael Symon restaurant, and a Christmas day in Cleveland is about as festive as it gets.
Wanna see what it looks like? Good deal. Take a peak:
CGP Grey, the clever guy who brought us "What Are Continents and How Many Are There?" and "What is Daylight Savings Time and Why Do We Observe It?' sets his sights on St. Nick, exploring a brief history of Santa Claus, or rather Father Christmas and St. Nicholas, and the amalgamation they begat.
Click play to watch this fascinating video. It's three minutes very well spent:
I love a seasonal beer. My first question upon sitting down at any pub or restaurant is always, "What are your current seasonals on tap." Often, it's the only way to try something new in all but the most beer-centric of establishments.
Well, except for the winter. I'll try nearly anything in the fall, do my best to get in all the summer seasonals I can, but until a few years ago, I tended to stick with the year-round standards. Perhaps its just cause it's twenty degrees out, but I tend to find most Christmas-y beers a bit too...Christmas-y. First, nearly all winter seasonals are ales (as that's when those yeasts could traditionally ferment), and most American microbrews really, really pile on the hops, which I find to be unbalanced. And secondly, "Christmas ales" are seriously spiced, like a cookie, and I tend to appreciate a beer that tastes like beer, not gingerbread.
The stockings are hung, the plums are sugared, and you're well on your way to getting all those gifts wrapped. Now it's time for the real fun to begin, and by "real fun," I mean...cookies.
Of course, "Cookie recipes are just about infinite, because almost anything can be shaped into a circle and baked... But the basic cookie contains three key ingredients: butter, flour and sugar. That combination has not been bettered, and it can be varied in so many ways that, really, it’s the only recipe you need."
Okay, jingle bell-ers, you've got a week left. The tree is up, the presents purchased, and the fire aglow. Now, its on the really good stuff - cookie baking, gift wrapping, and watching the good Christmas movies.
And, of course, putting the final touches on the decorations. For this week is the week of adding just that extra bit of festiveness to your space. So, while you're munching candy canes, cracking up at Cousin Eddie's dickie, grab a pair of scissors, and add some comfort and joy to your spot with these easy paper craft Christmas projects.