moveable type, literally: taking letterpress printing on the road

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I was so excited to read today about a new venture being undertaken by Kyle Durrie of Power and Light Press, a letterhead company she runs in Portland, Oregon. Kyle has a plan to retrofit a bread truck with a portable printing press, then hit to the road to conduct letterpress workshops for kids across the U.S., sharing her love and building enthusisasm for the process. Kyle’s whole plan is outlined at the Moveable Type Kickstarter site, where she explains her quest in a fun and engaging video. You can donate funds (she’s only trying to raise $8,000 — that’s a very economical project) or just learn more about it. (Incidentally, Kickstarter, a site where you can “fund and follow creativity,” is pretty cool, too.) And make sure to visit the Power and Light Etsy shop, as well. — Mary T.

strangely appealing: designgrass

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They sucked me in with the very name “DesignGrass” and they had me at “no watering or maintenance required.” Unfortunately for me, DesignGrass, the brainchild of Curb, the “natural media company,” is not for a lush lawn, but real grass that can be grown in shapes and will last indefinitely fixed to indoor walls or ceilings. So far it’s been used to add some real green to company logos and advertising promotions, though we can imagine the fun interior decorating possibilities. As long as I don’t have to mow it, I’m good. Anyone seen DesignGrass in person? –Mary T.

P.S. Curb has a whole gallery of “clean advertising” from “compost art” to “snow tagging” — check it out.

five things we learned last week

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1) Popcorn is a green way to clean those narrow-necked vases. Rebecca F. shared her simple strategy and you’re thankful for the tip. TexanNewYorker says: “Thank you for this — the last time I moved, I gave away all my skinny-necked vases because they’re such a pain to clean!”

2) Cookie cutters may be the most versatile pieces in our holiday arsenal. Ginny F. shared her inspirations for decorating with them, commenter Andrea shared her idea for giving homemade cookies along with a cutter for garnish and many of you highly recommend Ikea for its holiday selection. Jess says: “I’ve inherited quite an extensive collection of cookie cutters over the years. Make sure to check IKEA around Christmas time. My very favorite cookie cutters have come from there! (from moose to squirrel, they come in boxed sets for under $5!)”

3) Chalkboard ornaments are an easy DIY with mass appeal. While these ornaments aren’t available in the United States, Martha Stewart’s holiday do-it-yourself instructions bring them stateside for cheap. Diane says: “How totally adorable is this? Thanks so MUCH for sharing!!”

4) Taking time to burglarproof your home is important, and renter’s insurance helps. Rebecca F. shared her tips for deterring break-ins while you’re away this holiday season, and was thankful that she invested in insurance before she experienced a break-in herself. We can sympathize. Fanny says: “Yikes! That is so, so scary! Thanks for all the tips, and ditto on the renter’s insurance. I finally got it a couple of years ago, and it gives fantastic peace of mind. It also covers personal property in case of a car break-in or bike theft was well!”

5) Everyone prepares that turkey differently, and some methods are simpler than others. Megan B. shared her mother’s technique involving butter-soaked bed sheets, a new one that prominently features a paper bag, and her personal go-to from Alton Brown. Like everything Thanksgiving-related, we each have our own no-fail strategies. Mike Johnson says: “I brine the bird, but give it 24 hours to dry out in the fridge. I put herb butter under the skin, let it come up just to room temperature, and cook it breast-side up in a roasting pan on the grill. The meat won’t dry out unless it’s overcooked.” How do you brine your bird?

blogwatch: where we’ve been clicking this week

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Inspiring and whimsical posters for girls by Amanda Visell at Notcot: a hip, updated replacement for the “hang in there, baby” posters of our youth. LOVE.

The Peasant Housewife has a cute how-to video for CandyCane JoeJoe Trufffles. Sounds like something we’d like to try…

Our favorite little tart fruit of fall — no, not cranberries — pomegranates, demystified, thanks to this post at Readymade.

This Tokyo apartment in a parking garage re-invents small space living. Via Unclutterer.

Lacking inspiration for Wednesday’s feast? Go no further than Serious Eats, and their omniscient Thanksgiving page.

Curbly’s got the market cornered on DIY turkey day tabletop decor: make your own tree branch napkin rings AND
festive linen napkins. With all that extra free time you’ve got. Yeah.

And while you’re at it, why not make your guests some extra seating, like these stools made from upcycled magazines at CasaSugar?

five things we learned last week

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1) Making donuts at home has some appeal. Forget calories! This donut factory spells Saturday morning fun. Sarah L. says: “That looks like it would be a blast to do with kids on a lazy winter morning, especially after a sleepover. Can’t be any worse than waffles drowned in syrup.”

2) You have opinions when it comes to choosing cranberry sauce varieties. But, if you’re lucky, you don’t have to choose. Mary H. says: “Honestly, I like them both. The jellied kind is delicious and reminds of my childhood. But a few years ago I starting making my own with fresh cranberries and ginger…so good! So for me, Thanksgiving dinner with both is the way to go!” Do you prefer jellied? Or whole berry?

3) Bento box Tupperware is an inspired idea. Sarah C. shared the Box Appetit and you like the concept. Charlene says: “Ahh! I want one!! It’s just too bad that I now work from home and have no excuse to get one… I did buy a cute little “bento” lunch box from a Japanese department store recently and still have not used it. Oops.”

4) Glancely makes Etsy searches easy. Mary T. found the site that allows you to view offerings based on keywords at a glance. Mary-Grace says: “LOVE this! This is going to save me so much time … or maybe I’ll just spend even more time browsing because it’s so simple”.

5) Refinishing doorknob hardware is easier than you think. Cassie D. refinished the doorknobs in her home to better fit with the design aesthetic and we like her alternative to brass. Julie says: “Ugh to shiny shiny brass – the after is sooooo much better. Way to go”. Get her technique in six easy steps.