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Get invited back next summer with a DIY gift for your July 4th host

Posted by Melissa Massello June 29, 2013 10:04 AM

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Photo: Melissa Massello/Shoestring Magazine

A July 4th holiday invitation to a friend or colleague's vacation home is probably one of the best — and most coveted — of all weekend getaways in New England, and it's important to be a good houseguest so you get invited back. (And don't lose a friendship).

Show your hosts your gratitude with this thoughtfully prepared basket of handmade items, including some homemade cranberry cordial (perfect for the Cape) and red, white & blue "Scandinavian Love Spoons," pulled together in an inexpensive nautical themed basket — along with a handwritten thank-you note.

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An ooey, gooey good cause: Cupcake Camp Boston

Posted by Melissa Massello June 28, 2013 08:50 AM

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Photo: Cupcake Camp Boston/Party Favors

Summer is for camp, and this Sunday in Somerville kids and grownups alike get to participate in the most decadent day camp of all: Cupcake Camp.

Now in its fourth year, Cupcake Camp Boston is part of a worldwide movement to create open community events where people can share their love for cupcakes. Founded in 2008 by San Franciscan Ariel Waldman and brought to Boston by Anita Patel, this year's event is expected to have more than 1,000 cupcake fans in attendance while raising funds for the Somerville Winter Farmer's Market.

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How to start an urban garden with Niche Urban Garden Supply

Posted by Melissa Massello June 27, 2013 10:00 AM
niche-garden1.jpg A new local business has sprouted on Tremont Street in the South End. Lindsey Swett opened Niche Urban Garden Supply a few months ago, and it is quickly becoming the go-to resource for horiculturists in the 'hood. A landscape architect by trade, Lindsey offered up 5 steps for starting an urban garden, whether you're naturally green-thumbed or not. FULL ENTRY

5 minute DIYs: Upcycling with Leslie Gaydos of NECN

Posted by Melissa Massello June 26, 2013 10:00 AM

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Holiday weekends are a fabulous time to try out a new simple crafting or DIY project and a great way to get kids and adults spending quality time together. With July 4th fast approaching, and most people taking the entire week off, I thought I'd share this wonderful segment about the "upcycling" trend within the DIY movement that I taped with Leslie Gaydos of NECN just before Memorial Day.

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Totally awesome upcycled 80s party decorations

Posted by Melissa Massello June 20, 2013 01:09 PM

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Just as children of the 1980s we were making poodle skirts from felt and throwing 1950s "sock hop" themed parties, everything Gen X is all the rage right now with hipsters and event hosts. This week, we had the honor of helping to decorate (and create upcycled decor for) the window display at Goodwill in Davis Square, promoting tonight's "In the Air Tonight" 80s prom-themed fundraiser for Somerville Local First.

If you're hosting your own 80s-themed party this summer, here are three simple 5-minute DIY decor projects you can make to set the mood and make any space totally radical.

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Show your Bruins pride with jewelry made from sand (and hockey pucks) in Hyde Park

Posted by Melissa Massello June 19, 2013 11:01 AM

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Photo: Dune Jewelry Design

It's hard to think about anything today other than Game 4 in the Stanley Cup playoffs tonight — and for one local jewelry designer based in Hyde Park, our collective hockey obsession has inspired a new "Black & Gold" collection that's selling like hotcakes.


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Rainy day fun: Host a crafternoon

Posted by Melissa Massello June 13, 2013 05:00 PM
crafternoon-mess.jpg This weather, am I right? If your weekend plans get rained out and you've exhausted your Netflix queue, gather friends and kids for a fun crafternoon. On a recent gray Saturday, I met some pals at the Porter Square Michaels where we picked up some extra supplies, then walked to a friend's apartment, and got crafty! FULL ENTRY

10 local gifts for do-it-yourself dads

Posted by Melissa Massello June 12, 2013 09:27 PM

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Photo: North Bennet St. School


Man made takes on a whole new meaning these days, with even dapper city-dwelling dudes now excited to learn everything from urban beekeeping and making their own honey to building a tiny house from reclaimed materials for under $20K.

If your dad (or husband) is among that throng of postmodern men dominating the DIY movement, the traditional "weekend warrior" type of guy who likes to spend his free time tackling new skills and projects, then these Father's Day gifts are for you — er, him.

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Kitchen LARPing: Food-based fun for your favorite shows

Posted by Melissa Massello June 11, 2013 10:00 AM

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Rosewater "Loras" Lemonade and Tyroshi Honeyfingers.

Sunday was the season finale of HBO's fantasy hit, Game of Thrones. For the few hours beforehand, I was in my friend Rebecca's kitchen, frying up Roman-style fried dough balls as she mixed rosewater lemonade. We may not have dressed in Lannister golds or Stark greys, but we had our own sort of role playing going on — through the menu. Kitchen LARPing (live action role playing) doesn't take place on a field with wooden swords or with a 12-sided die, but reimagines your favorite shows onto the plate.

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Tumbleweed Tiny Home workshop in Boston this weekend

Posted by Melissa Massello June 3, 2013 05:00 PM
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Tumbleweed Tiny Houses

Have you ever dreamt building your own tiny home from the ground up, but have no idea where to begin? Take a page from Jay Shafer's book, and learn how to build a small space all your own for under $20,000! Presented by actual Tumbleweed Tiny House owner/builders, the 2-day workshop comes to Boston this weekend. FULL ENTRY

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