If you've ever walked down the greeting card isle during February, you know it can be a sensory overload of 100's of pink and red frou-frou Valentine cards. Somewhere between the cheesy one-liners and floral designs maybe a descent card awaits for $5, but by the time you settle for it, loved ones have already filed a missing persons report and you've contemplated arson because they're out of the correct envelope size. Avoid the hastle, skip the corporate-generated professions of love and print one of these simple Valentine's Day cards at home...
Okay... Christmas music. It has the simultaneous ability to both 1) make you feel all present and warm inside and 2) repel you as far away from any valuing of tradition and seasonal good will as possible. The good songs are good because they're classics, or because some clever band you'd already like in non-December contexts decided to take their turn at a holiday record.
But the bad songs are bad in so. many. ways. At one extreme, they're aggressive mall music that only ever appealed the most simplest of you-can-buy-happiness consumerists. At the other, they're treacly, brusk and brash melodies whose only chance of working at all is being sung by large groups of squirmy children, and you've contributed DNA to at least one of them.
But, just for the fun of it, let's see if we reclaim some of those unbearable, seasonal drudges. Are there tolerable, even enjoyable, recordings of even the most noxious of holiday tunes? Challenge accepted.
Free Download: The First Ever English Language Book on Woodworking - Joseph Moxon's 'Mechanick Exercises'
One of my favorite truths about woodworking is: it really hasn't changed much in the last few centuries. Sure, there are table saws that won't cut hotdogs now, but if you look at the hand tool design, they're nearly identical. (In fact, most modern high end tool makers are doing their best to emulate historic tools from the 19th century, albeit with newer materials). All of this is to say - this is a good thing, people who make stuff! It's good for your wallet, cause you can easily find these old tools and bring them back to life. And it's also good for your wallet (see what I did there?), because it means you can find loads of old books, magazines, and other instructional materials, all of which will be valid.
Fine Woodworking magazine is celebrating its 40th anniversary this fall, and is sharing all kinds of cool stuff from its archives. Like... re-sharing its first issue ever, from Winter 1975, when it looked much, much different than it does today.
How about some free stuff to start off your week?
Outside Open is offering a free poster featuring the NATO phonetic alphabet chart (you know, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) for use on all your International Radiotelephony needs. It'll certainly come in handy on your next call with tech support and all future covert military operations, and also features semaphore delineation (pre-electronic flag letter signals for naval communication represented in a circle), Morse Code,
Our remix culture is in this unique place where many of us feel comfortable finding great images online and then retouching/repurposing them to our liking, but our laws aren't quite as forgiving - especially when it comes to using images for commercial purposes. Worry no more...
At this point, five weeks into the new year, your resolutions are set. You either embraced that new food or exercise plan, or you didn't. You've kept up with your promise to save more or drink less or go to bed earlier, or you haven't. And, to be fair, that's okay. You know yourself best.
Had as much "Last Christmas" as you can take? Us too.
But we still want you to enjoy some of the sounds of the seasons, without all the glitz and overproduction and reminders of shopping days that come along with that radio station in town that converts to 24/7 holidays starting the day after Halloween.
I just stumbled across a link to the British Library's Flickr page, which has over a million (seemingly) copyright free images and illustrations available for browsing and download.
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.
Around a year and a half ago, ManMade featured a behind-the-scenes look at how artist Horst Kiechle created this anatomically correct paper torso with removable organs to teach children biology lessons in the Fiji Islands.
Now, a cool update: Horst has provided a full how-to so you can make your own, complete with free downloadable templates.
When designer Fiona Richards needed to expand her studio space to include a dedicated table to pack and ship her work, she and her husband Doug hit the hardware store to scope out parts. They decided to build one from plumbing parts and a solid wood top, and hopped online to find plans... and found nothing.
So, they did what most DIYers would do and designed their own, and are happily sharing their original plans with all of us for free.
My buddy Andrew was recently searching a site selling vintage, "masculine" art, when he stumbled across this captivating photo of all-around man Ernest Hemingway, shirtless and holding a shotgun. With a bit of clever searching, Andrew discovered the picture is actually