At Dynomighty Design’s recent sneak preview of what’s new and popular, designer Terrence Kelleman shared his theory that the best product ideas are often the simplest. I thought these items all seemed to capitalize on that idea. –Sarah C.
Bottle Cap Tripod, $10
My photos seem to fall into two categories: those that prominently feature people, and those that feature a close-up of the arm of the person taking the picture. While I love the coziness of a self-snapped shot, sometimes it’s nice to have a photo that is not taken at point-blank range. The Bottle Cap Tripod solves this problem in a simple twist of the wrist! A universal thread mount makes it compatible with most digital cameras. Just attach your camera to a standard bottle cap and you’re set to take photos from a distance that reminds you of the good times, not your last visit to the dermatologist.
Lil Sprout Growth Chart, $20
I’m convinced that having kids thrusts your life into warp speed. I’m vacationing soon with good friends and their twin toddlers, and I swear these kids were sonograms ten seconds ago. That’s why I love the Lil Sprout by PA Design. Divided by increments of one inch, this growth chart has spaces for mini pictures of your kids as they grow so you’ll never forget how cute they were in those fleeting first years.
Mighty Wallet, $15
I am always amazed at the state of affairs when it comes to the wallets of my male friends. Every one I see looks like it’s been thrown into a meat grinder with an encore in a washing machine. Which begs the question: Why won’t someone just make a more durable wallet? Enter the Mighty Wallet. Designed by Terrence Kelleman, the Mighty Wallet is made of Tyvek (the same stuff as priority mail envelopes), which makes it tear-resistant, water-resistant and (bonus!) recyclable. Its stitch-less, single fold design protects it from wear and also allows its 5/16â€ profile to expand to hold up to 16 credit cards. It’s available in 15 eclectic prints ranging from comic book art to a map of the New York City Subway System, so youâ€™re guaranteed a sweet treat for your back pocket. And although its hardy construction will keep it with you for years, Dynomighty Design is a receiving center for Tyvek and will recycle your wallet for you when you choose to retire it!
If I have one true love in this world, itâ€™s Pomeranians — black, white, orange, yappy, quiet, skinny, or a tad overstuffed, I coo at all of them. Best of luck trying to walk your pet Pomeranian down the same sidewalk as me! Iâ€™ve been reluctant to commit to adopting my very own for a number of reasons, one of which is the fur issue — their long, lush coats shed and shed often. That’s why I’m so interested in the Fur Fighter Hair Remover. According to manufacturer Scotch, the Fur Fighter removes embedded pet fur that sneaks past the vacuum. There’s a version for upholstery and one for car interiors, both with money-back guarantees. Scotch is so sure theyâ€™ve created a miracle product, they’re offering a starter kit (worth $5.99) for the cost of shipping and handling alone.
So, how about it: Have you shaken paws with the Fur Fighter? Is it heaven-sent for humans or just another pet-related gimmick? –Katie D.
This post is sponsored by Lowe’s.
We firmly believe in being your own handyman. Whether it’s installing our own back splash tile in the kitchen, renovating our backyard deck or giving a staircase a ombre hue, we regularly roll-up our sleeves and tackle little projects all over our homes. Sometimes things go wrong. Paints drip on the floor. Tiles dry crookedly. Equipment gets rusty. We pull our hair out. No one is happy.
Luckily, there’s a little help to be found via Vine and these handy D.I.Y. videos produced by Lowe’s. The wonderful thing about Vine is that the videos are super short — 6 seconds! — and loop over and over. So if you miss something the first time, don’t sweat it, you can catch the second or third time around. Here are six cool tricks we learned from watching these Vines — though if you start playing around on the social network’s app you’ll find many, many more.
Six Handy Tricks We Learned From Lowe’s Vine Videos:
1. Potatoes aren’t just for dinner — or making crafty stamps! The next time you are dealing with a broken lightbulb in lamp, use a potato to unscrew it without risking a finger cut.
2. Rubber bands have many uses (besides being woven into colorful bracelets for grade-schoolers). You can use them to catch paint drips from a can, or twist out a stripped down screw.
3. For your next colorful paint project, don’t mess with a new paint tray for each color. Simply line your old ones in aluminum foil and reuse.
4. Take the guesswork out of picture hanging. A piece of tape can help measure the distance between holes and get things picture perfect.
5. You don’t need luck to make your tiles line up perfectly. Pennies placed in between the rows of tiles will do the trick until they dry nicely.
6. What could be more dull than a rusty knife? Dip your cutters in some lemon juice for 15 minutes and see how they shine.
Have you discovered any great DIY Vine videos? Let us know and we’ll feature them on Shelterrific!
This is a sponsored post.
Even though our team is no longer in the running, it’s still fun to keep up with what’s going on in the Re-Energized By Design competition. This week, the remaining three teams made over their laundry rooms.
In addition to $500 and energy efficient lighting from GE, the homeowners each received an brand new set of Frigidaire Affinity laundry equipment. These are not your average high-efficiency washers & dryers — this is serious technology in action here. The Affinity dryer will dry a full load in less than 30 minutes, and the washer features allergen reduction and sanitizing features along with having the highest energy star rating. And aesthetically they please, too (though I have to wonder why no one picked the red option).
Love what those scrappy Sayers did in their space with that upcycled laundry drum light fixture. Their creative approach is always surprising, and will be tough to beat in the final round. In the end, the Mendes family’s pastel laundry room didn’t make the cut — that leaves the Sayers and the Reillys to duke it out in the kitchen challenge! who do you think will win?!
This is a sponsored post.
What is Re-Energized by Design, you ask? Well, it is an awesome web series that Shelterrific is excited to be participating in — produced by Puget Sound Energy, it’s all about incorporating energy efficiency into home design. The challenge is this: six teams of homeowners are paired with design coaches and together they compete to re-design 5 rooms with a focus on saving energy with a small budget. Cameras are documenting each leg of the challenge, and with every room one team gets the boot! The prizes are great: a home full of new LED and CFL lightbulbs from GE, a full suite of kitchen and laundry appliances from Frigidaire, and $5000.
I was fortunate to be paired with the Bedford family, who are just delightful. Kristen and her husband Slade have a great contemporary house, fun design aesthetic, and are really willing to completely put themselves into every challenge. This experience for me has literally been re-energizing to me as well, ending a year-long creative rut and getting me back into blogging and crafting and having fun again. I can’t wait to share what we’ve created together.
But as of today, I won’t have to wait much longer, as the first webisode is available at 6am PST at the Re-Energized By Design site — this week’s is an introduction to all the contestants. And stay tuned each week as we reveal another webisode. Also be sure to go to the Re-Energized page on Facebook, where you can enter to win a new Frigidaire appliance like those featured in the challenge!
Sarah K. O’Brien designed an amazing bowl that not only looks nifty, it helps keep fruit fresh. We’ll let the New York Times tell the story:
“Her Elizabowl is more honeycomb than basin, its shape-shifting white plastic folds resembling an Elizabethan ruff. The bowlâ€™s petals expand to yield more than a dozen flexible, fist-sized compartments. Each holds one round fruit, keeping it visible and away from the other fruitsâ€™ discharge of ethylene gas, which speeds spoilage. When folded, the collar design can cradle one or two grapefruits.”
O’Brien has a patent for the Elizabowl, which won the 2008 International Home Housewares Student Design Competition. Now she’s competing for a James Dyson Award, and you can vote in the competition here. Here’s to seeing the Elizabowl in stores sooner rather than later!
I’m a huge fan of the magical powers of microfiber cloths when it comes to cleaning: I use them as dish scrubbies, floor cleaners, stainless steel polishers, etc. So when I recently spotted these sweet microfiber slippers designed for cleaning floors, I just about lost it. Cleaning my hardwood floors while I scuff about the house in slippers? Imagine how easy it would be to tackle the pet hair tumbleweeds if you had these — immediately swished away with a flick of the toe! The chenille microfiber soles are removable and machine washable so you can get rid of the nasty stuff that you just picked up (thank goodness). Find them at Bed Bath & Beyond for $9.99. –Megan B.
My mission this summer has been to transform my tiny breadth of a patio into a backyard retreat by any means possible. The most successful element that Iâ€™ve added to my urban terrace has been these hanging jar chandeliers. It was an easy project that only took a little bit of time and less than $30.
I collected a handful of jars (some purchased for a dollar or two at thrift stores and some from chips-and-salsa marathons) and wrapped 20 gauge wires snugly around the lip of each jar with needle nose pliers. Then I attached a U-shaped hanging wire around the top of the jar. I straightened out a few paper clips to use to hang the jars. I bought a length of chain from a hardware store and attached it between two posts to hang the jars from. Drop a votive candle inside each jar and, as the sun sets in your backyard, enjoy the romantic glow. â€“Katie D.