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May 11, 2010

How To: Make Fresh Artisan Bread in Only Five Minutes a Day

In the post-wonder bread era, most North Americans don't know quite how to think about bread. We want the chewy texture and rich crumbs and whole grains of artisinal bread, but have been spoiled by the long shelf life that the preservatives in national brands offer.

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What if there were some way to always have fresh AND healthful, tasty artisan bread on hand?

Turns out, there is. "ARTISAN BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY taught busy people how to make great bread at home, with only five minutes of active preparation time. Now, HEALTHY BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY whips up fabulous breads made with more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. The secret? Mix up a lightning-fast batch of moist no-knead dough, save it in your refrigerator, tear off portions over the next week or more, shape, and bake."

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May 04, 2010

How To: Two Ways for Making Super Easy Simple Syrup

created at: 05/03/2010

created at: 05/04/2010If you've ever made any sorta of beverage - a cocktail, iced tea or coffee, lemonade, etc - you've learned some basic science - sugar does NOT dissolve in cold liquid with a simple stir. It takes either 1) LOTS of agitation or 2) a warmer liquid. Sometimes, this is a good thing, as granular sugar is often a key ingredient to a drink that involves crushing or muddling, like a mint julep or a mojito. And sometimes, it's really annoying and inconvenient.

So, the beverage-world has long used a liquid sweetener known as "simple syrup" to incorporate sugar into drinks. It uses a basic "simple" ratio of 1 part sugar to 1 part water. Some approaches call for as much as 2:1 sugar to water, which increases efficiency, but I'd keep it 1:1, or at most 1.5:1. See, simple syrup provides not only sweetness to a drink, but also volume. AND, most cocktail recipes will presume a sugar level of 1:1, so it's best to stick with what the pros use.  

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May 04, 2010

Five Ways to Open a Wine Bottle WITHOUT a Corkscrew

created at: 05/03/2010

Cocktail parties are often just as much about flair as they are about gatherings, but most of us aren't skilled enough (or willing) to start flipping shakers and bottles and catching limes in our teeth.

Image:Corkscrew3.jpg

So, instead, try one of these five options for opening a corked wine bottle WITHOUT using a corkscrew. Some are pratical, some are just for show, and none are really classy, but all will certainly show off your mad hostin' skills.

1. Use a screw. The Wired How-To Wiki offers this technique using a screw and a claw hammer. (pictured above)

2. A drill bit and pliers. Simply drill in a 1/4"-or-so drill bit, then grab with a pair of pliers,

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May 03, 2010

Welcome to Cocktail Party Month: How to Make a Perfect Mint Julep

created at: 05/03/2010

Hello, and greetings from the ManMade Space Age Bachelor Pad! With a clink of our martini glasses, we're officially declaring May 2010 "Cocktail Party Month." Throughout May, we'll be  featuring classy cocktail recipes, tips to stock your home bar, techniques, and all the food, fun, and ambience that goes into creating a classic cocktail party.

And we want YOU to throw your own cocktail party, so we're gonna help out. The week of May 24-29, we'll be hosting a ManMade Giveaway and supplies all the goodies you need to start becoming a master mixologist. So, stay tuned.

created at: 05/03/2010

To start things off, let's pretend it's still two days ago, and make a

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May 03, 2010

How To: Desktop Skeeball

Desktop Skeeball

Sometimes, in the midst of the workday, you just need a minute. Not a two-hour lunch, not an off-site appointment, just five minutes to take your eyes off your computer and projects and do something that accesses a different part of your brain.

Then, might I suggest building a mini-skeeball game to keep off to the side for occassions such as these? Assembled from a bit of corrugated cardboard, a recycled coffee cup, and hot glue, it's built to use 1/3" ball bearings, making the project around 1/9th scale. Instructable-r Fungus Amungus even provides a pattern so you can easily make your own over your lunch break.

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Apr 29, 2010

How To: Make a Tiny Tie from a Full-Sized One

This one's fun, whether making a tie for a tyke, or turning your own into a clip-on cause you can't quite master that double windsor.

Marigold from Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! has created an ace tutorial for recycling a full-sized tie into one that'll work on a tinier snazzy dresser. "Now we's simple folk and we don't really go for them fancy clothes, and I don't like spending big money on clothes I know will only be worn once or twice. So I hit up some consignment shops and overstock stores like Ross and Marshall's and managed to throw together two formal outfits for my kids for under $30. The one thing I couldn't find was a cute tie for Milo to match his hand-me-down navy pinstripe trousers. So I did what any crafty momma would do--found a $3 tie on clearance in the men's section and made a few cuts and and stitches and managed to make a very cute boy's tie." 

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Apr 29, 2010

23 Pinhole Cameras to Build at Home

Pinhole Cameras That You Can Build At Home

Several weeks ago (eight, to be exact), I posted up my favorite pinhole camera design - the Dirkon. This morning, I offer you twenty-two more designs. Start small, and end big, I guess.

Pinhole Cameras That You Can Build At Home

This week celebrated Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, so DIYPhotography.net has assembled this collection featuring cameras made from soup cans, single sheets of paper, Altoids tins, and a peanut.  

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Apr 28, 2010

How To: Make Your Own Suspenders

Friends, the Twenty First Century is here, and belts are simply not the only option for keeping your pants up. We've re-embraced the bowtie, and goshdarnit, we gotta get the suspenders back in style. There was, of course. the brief suspender revival of the late eighties/early nineties that accompanied the horrid braided leather belt/Patrick Batemen trend (I'm looking at you, Tim Allen), but let's move forward.

The always excellent Running with Scissors offers a great step-by-step for making a pair of suspenders from scratch, including the y-shaped braces and adding the appropriately spaced buttons to your pants.

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Apr 28, 2010

How To: Combine Fonts with Helvetica

GlyphaHelvetica, the world's most popular typeface, will always do what it promises - convey written information that seemlessly blends into its environment. Think about it - in the American Apparel logo, it looks engaging and sexy, and on the Wal-Mart facade, it's soulless and trashy.

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As Indra Kupferschmid, co-author of Helvetica Forever puts it "Helvetica is often described as the tasteless white rice among typefaces: satisfies easily, cheap and fast. But the good thing is, you can take the design into different directions with the sauce and side dishes (the typefaces you pair with Helvetica).”

Kupferschmid has written this excellent how-to for FontShop, which shares how to use Helvetica (or another neo-Grotesque) in contrast to transitional or slab-serifs.

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Apr 27, 2010

How To: Construct a Crossbow from Office Supplies

What do four pencils, tape, ball point pen, rubber bands, and a bamboo skewer equal? An obligatory safety warning, that's what.

Actually, it equals a mini-crossbow built from office supplies that COMES with an obligatory safety warning, which is simply this: don't be an idiot. Now to the fun part.

Straight from John Austin's Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction: Build Implements of Spitball Warfare, this office supply crossbow seriously looks like something that can actually stand up to some repeated (safe!) firings.

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Apr 22, 2010

How To: Quick and Easy LED-Lit Sea Urchins

urchin - 28I know what you're saying: to make this work, you have to have access to dried sea urchins and know abit about LEDs.

Or, maybe its an excuse to GET some sea urchins (.95 a piece here) and learn that all you need to make an LED "Throwie"  is a two-pin diode and a battery.

urchin - 07

"Last week we came across these tiny sea urchin shells at a beach shop, thin and light as eggshells. What to do with them? Light them up with LEDs, of course! We've seen sea urchin lamps before, but they've always been made with large (i.e., sturdy) and colorful ones. In contrast, these tiny ones might be better to hang around christmas lights like little paper lanterns. Just a throwie sans magnet (Urchie?), tucked into the shell. Each one has a hole in the bottom large enough to fit a pretty good size LED, although not necessarily the battery as well."

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Apr 20, 2010

Off the Shelf: Knits Men Want

created at: 04/19/2010

Knits Men Want is a knitting pattern book, written by a fellow, but subtitled "The Ten Rules Every Woman Should Know Before Knitting for a Man."

created at: 04/19/2010

ManMades appreciates that it recognizes that guys are interested in handmade goodies, but aren't terribly excited about its presumed audience.

Though, politics aside, this is a good one. Really. I spent almost an hour with it today, and it's got the goods. The patterns are awesome, easy to follow, and account for different sizes and gauges. The photos are great, and it contains lots of sharp tips for creating things for men's bodies.

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Apr 20, 2010

ManMade Video How-To: Make a Faux-Wood Deer Head Silhouette

created at: 04/19/2010

Inspired by a conversation with a close friend, who maintains that no masculine decor is complete without a) wood, and b) taxidermy, I decided I did indeed want a mounted deer head in my space. But I like making stuff, and to be honest, I'm not really keen on all the steps that go into actually making my own mounted ten-point bust...namely, killing a deer and stuffing it.

So, I improvised.

 

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Apr 19, 2010

ManMade Giveaway: Win One of Five FREE Copies of Make It! Secondhand Chic

created at: 04/19/2010Hello, ManMade land! Last week, I mentioned I'd participated in a new publication,Make It! Secondhand Chic. I also mentioned that this week, we'd be doing the first of what I hope to be many ManMade giveaways, in which we'd give away five FREE PDF-versions, and so here we are!created at: 04/06/2010

To be entered, all you have to do is say hi in the comments below, making sure you enter a valid email address, so we can let you know if you win! And you can increase your chances by sharing the goodness on Facebook or Twitter. Just use the easy buttons below!

Below are the intro pages to two of the five projects I wrote and and photo'd. It's all about repurposing and reviving thrift-store and flea market pieces to make 'em fresh again, and I must admit, it's pretty cool.

  

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Apr 16, 2010

How To: Make a Top Hat from Scrap Paper

created at: 04/16/2010

"When Zenith Interiors celebrated the opening of its Melbourne showroom with a top-hat-themed party this month, the staff of architectural firm ClarkeHopkinsClarke made an entrance with pleated toppers they cleverly assembled from their invitations with zero excess scrap."

Thankfully, the fine folks at Ecouterre have posted their very step-by-steps and shared it so we can recyclo-party down too. This design is extra cool in its pleated approach, which allow it to expand and contract to fit the donner's head exactly.

created at: 04/16/2010

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