It's always very obvious when it's December in my house. I simply can't help but add a little bit of holiday cheer to each room.
But, there's not an inch of greenery, nor Santa Clauses, reindeer, or snowman. My home is really pretty modern, and the traditional Christmas vibe just doesn't match my stuff. So, I have an aluminum Christmas tree and metallic stockings, and to balance all that synthetic industrial-ness, I like to add plenty of handmade elements.
This year, in additional to my infamous paper snowflakes, I wanted more paper decorations that brought in a bit of color. So, I came with two easy how-tos: some mid-century inspiration paper ornaments, and a mod paper garland.
Only during the holiday season do we allow ourselves to consume things we never would otherwise: namely, too many calories and terribly cheesy television and movies.
But when its Christmas, that's okay. Normally, most of us wouldn't watch the same programs, intended for children, year after year, but buddy, when the Grinch is on, I'm watching.
And in 2010, no one needs to spend hours in front of the television, waiting for that magic moment when Home Alone comes on (Kevin, you're such a disease). Take a minute to look at these great schedules, then set your DVRs or other recorders, and have them available for whenever you get around to wrapping those gifts!
Admit it: if you live in a snow-receiving climate, you make at least one snowball a season. Sometimes the closest tree is your target, sometimes its your significant other (which, if you can get away with it, means that individual is a total keeper), and sometimes its just to see how far you can throw it. But if you have gloves, and there's snow, you're gonna make one
But then there are those icy orbs that never seem to form...they fall apart in your hands, or stay in a weird rectangle the whole time, or disintegrate not two feet in front of you. "It's the snow, it's the snow!" you shout. Which, sometimes it is, but that doesn't mean its not something a little technique can't fix.
Take this one to the bank: never give a guy a tie for Christmas. Ever.
Unless, of course, it's a handmade tie, that you not only sewed, but did so from a handmade pattern on fabric that you designed and printed yourself, that is.
Says author Michele Beschen, "When I was asked to share a project that was geared towards geeks and dudes, I immediately started contemplating the many interesting ways I could incorporate code into something. I don’t even know what much of that tech jargon means, but I sure like how it looks — the text, the symbols and the layout. I played around with different ideas and just kept seeing it on a tie: not a stuffy, business-like tie, but a tie that looks great worn loose and casual with a vintage short-sleeve button down. Keep your dude in stylish duds this holiday season, and add a little personality with this "power of code" tie that you can create in an afternoon."
Sliceforms are "are geometric models constructed from interlocking sets of planar pieces," basically a 3D model made of flat pieces, creating a grid. Mathematically-minded folks, of course, can create super complex structures with the technique, but it can be scaled down to make simpler structures, like this 3D Christmas tree.
This year, Chanukah starts on December 1st, this Wednesday night. As for most holidays, we wanted to find appropriate decor to match the ManMade goals - guy-friendly, contemporary, and handmade.
We found it in this industrial menorah, or chanukkiah, which was assembled entirely from pipe fittings easily found at the hardware store.
Here's how its done:
Christmas card update: Nativity scenes or snow covered farms have been outdated for decades, and even thoughtful phrases like "peace on earth" or "comfort and joy" have grown a little tired over the last few years. But now? Now, non-plant producing Christmas cards are so 2009.
The "Seasons Greetings" PostCarden: "Once opened and unfolded into its log cabin, pop-out the skaters and simply sow the enclosed seeds and add water. In a few days your card will start to grow into a festive forest and will keep for 2 - 3 weeks."
Check out the video of it in action:
Somewhere between age eight and wherever you are now, classic gingerbread shapes no longer satisfied. Sure, they still taste delicious, but a human shaped cookie with a head, two arms, and two legs, and no pyrotechnics? Well, that's just boring.
From architecturally satisfying houses to human rights campaigns to Nazi re-creations (what?!), we love some gingerbread inventiveness.
Every year, I'm officially ready for the holiday season when three things happen: 1) I stop being surprised by all the Christmas commercials; 2) I begin to toy with the idea that maybe, just maybe, this will be the year I learn to like egg nog; and 3) Simon Doonan's Christmas windows at Barney's are unveiled.
Last year, I actually got to see the SNL-themed displays, sporting a Conehead Christmas and an extra-large Mango, Gilly, and Mary Catherine Gallagher. This year, Doonan and co. have hit the kitchen for inspiration.
Illustrator, author, and artist Robert Sabuda provides these free, downloadable pop-up card templates and how-tos that'd be great for the upcoming holiday season. We especially like the new pirate ship design and all sorts of Star Wars models, including R2-D2 and a totally excellent Millennium Falcon.
We also love the "Pop-Up Basics" that show you how to create your own, custom designs.