Andrew Wagner, soon-to-be former editor in chief of American Craft and a founding editor of Dwell, has been named the editor in chief of ReadyMade. The magazine recently relocated from San Francisco to Des Moines, the headquarters of Meredith Corp., so he'll start fresh there May 4. Wagner expects the magazine's website to pick up major steam thanks to his plans to broaden its online presence with a DIY project archive, some exclusive stories online, blogs, and photo galleries. I'd heard rumors that ReadyMade was ailing (like many of its peer shelter magazines), but it sounds like things are looking up!
Sometimes I am blown away by the utter creativity and DIY know-how of CasaSugar readers. That was the case when I discovered the photos of KateDavis's dining room in the Su Casa group.
She writes, "I wanted a change in my dining room, and after coming across Damien Hirst's 'Valium' online, I knew it would be perfect for my dining room. The only problem . . . the $20,000 price tag for a print." Instead of bemoaning the price tag, KateDavis put her DIY skills to work. She says, "I put a lot of work into recreating the piece and had it printed at Kinkos and framed. It probably ended up being about $80 all in."
KateDavis didn't stop there, though. Her new artwork made her eager to switch out her dining room lighting. To see the incredible DIY chandelier she made, read more
While the fallout from the current economic crisis is absolutely troubling, one friend who was recently laid off told me that her layoff has inspired her to live more simply. As she put it, the financial crunch has helped her to focus on what's truly important, such as spending time with family and friends, and working on her home craft business. Even though she no longer has money for much in the way of movies or extravagant dinners out, she's finding some unexpected pleasures in her new, simpler, frugal lifestyle.
Of course, if my friend were in danger of losing her home, she wouldn't be giving me such a sunny report. Luckily, she has enough savings (and a husband with a stable job) to see her through this rough patch. Can you report any surprising joys in this sea of financial bad news? How have you tried to live a simpler, less costly lifestyle?
If you were intrigued by my DIY upholstery project, but have an easier time learning things by watching them instead of reading them, then I have just the help you need! The fine folks at ReadyMade created a very helpful video showing you a slightly different technique for reupholstering chairs.
To see the video for yourself, read more
If you read Casa regularly, you've probably noticed that people are making vases out of almost anything these days (pipes, plastic bottles, honeycomb, light bulbs). Quite frankly, a makeshift vase (coffee can, glass bottle) is not the hardest DIY. But, when I came across a DIY from ReadyMade for a vase made from floral foam that was cheap, easy, and most importantly, water retaining, I was pretty impressed. You'll probably find most of the supplies needed for this project in your house, too; who can argue with that?
- Floral foam
- Wax pellets or standard white candles
- Baking paper
- Cookie sheet
- Long, sharp knife
- Cookie cutter or jar lid
- Double boiler
- Coffee can, slightly flattened to form a spout
- Aluminum foil
To learn the steps, read more
Yesterday I told you about how I sewed a hammock for my backyard by riffing on instructions from the Getaway issue of ReadyMade magazine. If you want to get the exact instructions from the magazine, head down to your local bookstore and pick up a copy. In fact, I urge you to do so, as there are a ton of other cool Summer projects that will keep you occupied and crafting this month.
Want to get comfy in your own hammock? Then read more
I picked up the latest issue of ReadyMade over the weekend, and was delighted to find it brimming over with fun, easy projects for Summer living. One project I started nearly immediately was making their hammock project, which was explained in the article "Re-Kindle." Basically, all you need for this project is an old sheet, a sewing machine, and some rope. I used a duvet cover I'd made a few years ago, and which had been gathering dust in the linen closet. The project only took about half an hour from start to finish (threading the rope through and remembering my rock-climbing figure eight and water knots took the majority of that time).
If you want to make one for your own yard, pick up a copy of ReadyMade at your local bookstore. You can also check back tomorrow, when I'll share my own version of building this hammock. And yep, that's my hammock in the photo. It's surprisingly comfortable and strong, given that it's just a few layers of cotton. Are you going to make one for yourself?
Peter Rojas showed up in the pages of the June/July issue of ReadyMade to talk about RCRD LBL, his free-music website. This endeavor, combined with his status as the founder of both Engadget and Gizmodo, puts him in a place of deep respect for me, but also — and I'm trying to make sure I say this with great dignity and professionalism — Crush Status. Our geeky Romeo is taken, but at least it's to a worthy match: Green, geeky gal Jill Fehrenbacher.
Getting back to business, Rojas talks about the need for RCRD LBL because "people in the music industry try to pretend that the rules of the Internet don't apply to them," but Rojas saw that he could give away free songs as long as it was subsidized by advertising. RCRD LBL pays the (finely edited) artists directly, so they can offer "great music every day," and. . . Oh, what was I saying? I got lost in those brown eyes again.
We all know that money doesn't grow on trees . . . but furniture does! Well, in the ground, at least. That's right, you can literally grow your own lawn furniture. ReadyMade has instructions on how to grow an outdoor couch, which requires little more than some dirt, sod, and wooden stakes. Forget green sofas and mattresses, this couch will literally produce oxygen! Just don't try to have it recovered in five years, your upholsterer
might get a little freaked out. Oh, and "Note: Couch may require mowing."
ReadyMade’s Green Design Issue is available in a paperless edition. And good news: this first installment of the online edition is absolutely free. Check out all of the cool DIYs, online exclusive pieces, and clickable table of contents. I don't know about you, but I'm a huge ReadyMade fan, and offering readers a tree-free version is super smart for this green design issue. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go read up on organizing my garden gear.