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Grow and Make Do It Yourself Blog

Crafting Kits for Every Occassion

  • In the great green room

    I loved this article on What Writers Can Learn from Goodnight Moon, the childrens book. It's a wonderful essay on what makes this book such a classic. Read Now.

     

    Here's a video  on how to make a great veggie burger. After watching this video, if you don't think the burgers look delicious, you must be full. Watch Now.

     

    It's time to start canning. We just got back from berry picking and have a busy day ahead.

    Check out our canning kits.

  • Stop washing your jeans

    If you haven' heard, the CEO of Levi recently told an audience that he has not washed his jeans in over a year and does not see the need. This is a call out to all of those customers who wash their levis regularly, to save the water and skip the wash. It's great to hear a business leader with as much prominence and exposure as this one, set the example for the rest of us.

     

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    I'm a big fan of Maria Bamford's comedy. It's quirky and unique, but fun. The NYTimes Magazine has a feature on her this week. Read Now.

     

    Nick Kristof has a great piece on the Israel / Gaza conflict. There is no right or wrong, when everyone is losing. Read Now.

  • The true cost of food

    Mark Bittman has this thought provoking article on 'The True Cost of a Burger' in the New York Times, which is a must read for anyone who cares about sustainable living. Read Now.

     

     

    This NPR video has fun and creative ideas for how people combat stress in their life. I'm writing this blog post from the beach, so I guess I'm doing my part to combat stress.

     

     

    One way to dial back the stress is with a massage. Our body lotion kits are a great aid to receiving or giving a relaxing back rub.

  • Wine making around the world and at home

     

    In an effort at criminal rehabilitation in Italy, inmates are encouraged to help in the process of making a fine wine. Listen to the NPR story.

     

    The Wall Street Journal reports on how to make your own bordeaux blend of wine. Read the article.

     

    Check out our wine making kits. You don't have to be in prison to get started.

     

  • A 21st Century Portland?

    "We could pickle that!". That was a great segment from Portlandia. We want to help you 'pickle that' with our pickling kits.

     


    This Winter and Spring in Portland were unlike any that I've experienced in my 11 years living here in terms of weather. It was much drier and warmer, which is great for those of us living in PDX. This Summer looks like it's going to break some heat records in Stumptown. We're probably one of the few places where climate change produces a net positive effect. Unfortunaly it's at the expense of considerable consequence for much of the planet.

  • Can't stand meetings? Stand at meetings

    I love the idea presented in this NPR story. Standing meetings. Listen Now.

     

     

    A fascinating TED talk on which countries do the most good in the world. Some surprises and some disappointments.
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    Watching Brazil play Germany in the World Cup today, reminds me of Seattle playing Denver in the last Super Bowl. Sorry to see you go Brazil.

  • Life before air conditioning

    It's close to 90 degrees here in PDX and while we don't have air conditioning, there are times that it would be nice. Philip Roth wrote this wonderful piece on life before air conditioning in the New Yorker. Read Now

     

     

     

    Google is hosting Maker Camp. Learn more

     

    Robert Kucinich has this NPR segment on Richard Feynman contemplating the physics of waves, in this fascinating and thought provoking story. Listen Now

     

    My favorite movie of all time is probably Spike Lee's masterpiece Do The Right Thing. It turns 25 this week. It's probably time to revisit his greatest contribution to cinema. Read the New Yorker Post and 'fight the power that be'.

     

    With the summer sun, you'll need a little re-hydration for your skin. Our body lotion kits will allow you to make your own signature blend.

  • Making your own music

    Recently my daughter asked me to show her how to play a favorite song on the guitar. Now she's playing almost every day. The tools for teaching yourself to play and learn a musical instrument have never been better. From youtube videos, to skype based instruction. You can grow and make your own music at home by finding a used instrument on craigslist and diving in.

     

     

    Did you know you can harvest and store seeds from your garden? Our article on 'Seed Saving' will tell you how and get you started. Read Now.

     

    A fascinating NYTimes article on how the Brazilian soccer team was not playing the 'jogo bonito' during their game against Columbia yesterday, and how it lead their star player to the hospital. Read Now.

     

    I'm a big fan of the sezarac and the key to it's distinctive flavor is absinthe. This article tells the history and geographical origins of this wonderful liquer. Read Now.

  • Happy 4th! Make it something special

    Here are two recent articles on how to make the perfect ice cream and how to architect the perfect ice cream sandwich. A great idea for a hot fourth of July.

     

     

    Here's an NPR feature on Strawberry Jam and summer days.Listen Now

     

    Our free shipping promotion ends this weekend. Use coupon code FREEFOURTH to receive free shipping for two more days.

  • A true American Hero

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    The hero of Lauren Hillenbrand's Unbroken died this morning at 97 years of age. If you haven't read Unbroken, the true account of Louis Zamperini's story of a path from Olympic runner to WWII POW, you can treat yourself to a great Summer read. They just don't make m' like Louis any more.

     

    I was a fan of Malcolm Gladwell after reading his first big hit The Tipping Point. However, in more recent writing I have to say I became more skeptical of his claims and the pop science and psychology which he promoted. Apparently his claim that you can gain mastery in 10,000 hours of practice is meeting with skepticism. Read More.

     

    While we all love the road trip, most of us know that environmentally it's not all the sustainable to load up and hit the high road. Fortunately there are some ways to minimize your impact. Slate gives us 13 to consider before heading out.

     

     

    Our bath salt kits are a great way to get started making your bath a spa treatment. Check out the Deluxe Bath Salt kit and Complete Bath Salt kit to learn more.

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