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Boston maker movement innovator headlines Brit + Co Re:Make in October

Posted by Melissa Massello July 31, 2013 02:47 PM
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Brit + Co

Wanna spend two action-packed days learning DIY from the best in the maker biz — in the epicenter of the maker movement? Pack your bags for the Bay Area, because Brit + Co founder Brit Morin is hosting Re:Make, an event for makers and creators, this October 4 & 5 — and one of the headlining speakers is a shining star from Boston's custom made movement.

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7 Easy ways to save summer herbs

Posted by Melissa Massello July 31, 2013 08:22 AM

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Photo: Melissa Massello/Shoestring

Whether we want to believe it or not, summer is nearing its end soon enough, and, as the homesteaders say, the time is now to "put up" nature's bounty for the lean months of winter.

Canning, pickling, and making jam are all great ways to preserve your garden surplus, but no sane New Englander wants to spend August over a hot stove when there are beach days to be had. Stretch your CSA dollars and the life of your fresh herbs well into the holiday season with these seven simple ideas, each of which take just a few minutes!

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Before & After: The pantry staples that solved my hair problems

Posted by Melissa Massello July 30, 2013 01:30 PM
nopoohair-day1reg.jpg I had a problem. A hair problem. My naturally curly hair has become less so over the past decade, my old routine no longer worked, and I had very little idea on how to make it look presentable. I wasted tons of money on salon, drugstore, and natural products that promised to fix my greasy roots and parched ends. I switched to sulfate-free shampoos, washed less, washed more, treated, trimmed, and tousled, hoping for winning results. I had all but resigned to wear my hair piled in a top knot for the rest of eternity, when a friend with gorgeous, perfect, shiny hair told me she hadn't shampooed in six months. Skeptical, but armed with two ingredients from my kitchen, I went from greasy to glam in just a few short weeks. FULL ENTRY

Before & After: Tempaper makes temporary digs feel like home

Posted by Melissa Massello July 29, 2013 06:08 PM

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Photos: Courtesy, Jennifer Cooley

The Recession might be over, but according to Bloomberg the rental housing market shows no sign of slowing down — and that may be by choice for many Gen X and Gen Y-ers who find security in the flexibility of being able to move for better quality of life or employment and other opportunities. If you prize interior design and home decor, however; rental properties can be challenging to customize without costing your security deposit.

When Jennifer Cooley moved from Boston to Ireland earlier this year to help open the Dublin office of Cambridge-based Hubspot, where she works as a partner account manager, she found her new furnished apartment felt cold and institutional — far less cozy than the Somerville apartment she left behind. (Local realtors would have sold it on its "character & charm" — I know, because we were neighbors.) Thanks to small temporary changes, including removable wallpaper from Tempaper, Cooley was able to create a home away from home in just a few hours with just a few simple DIYs and a little under $200. Here's how.

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5 minute DIY: How to turn shoulder pads into stylish coin purses

Posted by Melissa Massello July 29, 2013 12:35 PM

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Photo: Melissa Massello/Shoestring

Now in its second year, The Davis Flea is a mecca for across-the-river urbanites who are in the market for reclaimed, repurposed, vintage, antique, salvaged, and otherwise secondhand goods.

Yesterday, we shared a booth space at the Flea for the very first time with Somerville stylist and vintage maven Amanda Dugay Forrester of Red Bird Vintage, who was selling her handmade hats and head pieces fashioned from vintage notions, flowers, and fabrics. We also had an array of handmade and upcycled projects for sale from these pages — Sriracha salt, T-shirt necklaces, jute-wrapped vases, envelopes from vintage maps, just to name a few — plus vintage crafting books and Goodwill finds ready for upcycling inspiration.

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DIY remedies: Breakfast staples that soothe your bug bites & poison ivy

Posted by Melissa Massello July 19, 2013 12:00 PM
diy-itch-remedies-breakfast.jpg Summers are meant for escapes to the pool, the beach, or somewhere in nature. The downside is no matter how much bug spray you use, a couple of those critters will still manage to leave little, itchy reminders behind. If you wake up with a few bug bites, forego the pink-spotted calamine treatment for some natural, DIY remedies — right from your breakfast plate. FULL ENTRY

5 minute DIY: Painted stick art

Posted by Melissa Massello July 12, 2013 12:00 PM
5-minute-diy-stick-art2.jpg Look in your cabinets. You probably have some empty vases. That's a missed opportunity: your home could be brighter and more colorful if you kept those glass vessels out and full. While flowers are ideal, maybe bringing home blooms weekly isn't your preference. You can add a fun touch of whimsy to your space, and it all starts by stepping outside and grabbing some sticks. FULL ENTRY

Make your own Cornhole set in just 3 hours & under $100

Posted by Melissa Massello July 2, 2013 08:56 AM

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Photo: Melissa Massello/Shoestring

Though it sounds more like an insult tossed between Beavis and Butthead than a classic lawn game, "cornhole" (or tailgate toss) has become a requisite part of any summer party or BBQ — even modern weddings.

My first introduction to the game was probably a late spring day on campus at the University of New Hampshire back in the late 1990s (yes, I'm that old), tossing bean bags against a board on a frat house lawn — but nowadays it's startup cafeterias and urban driveways where I find most people playing cornhole. (I even saw local blogger Holly Darling create a chic, custom set for her recent DIY wedding.)

In fact, the New York Times says that the traditional Midwestern game has lately found a haven with hipsters in cities all across the county for its "charming, passive, social" nature. Here in Massachusetts, former Patriots player Matt Light hosted the first annual cornhole tournament fundraiser in May, and there's even a Boston Cornhole association that hosts regular leagues and tournaments around Boston and beyond.

Thanks to my friend Matt Ayers, co-owner of AEDI Construction in Waltham, we pulled together this custom cornhole set in just three hours last Sunday morning — including the trip to Home Depot in Watertown — and just $78 in materials. After a trip to Modell's at Fresh Pond for a box of regulation (6" square) bean bags, we were playing cornhole at our BBQ in Somerville that night. You can, too! Just grab a willing friend to help, and you'll find your July 4th shenanigans just got infinitely more fun.

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