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Video: HOWTO make waterproof sand at home

YouTuber IncredibleScience has a great at-home science project that's kid-friendly: making waterproof sand.

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WATCH: 8 great DIY smartphone photography tips

Cooperative of Photography released a great video with 8 DIY tips to improve your smartphone shots, ranging from super-simple and cheap to fairly simple and maybe cheap.

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DIY Underlit LED Skirt

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Imgur user SexyCyborg makes lots of cool fashion using open source hardware, like this underlit LED skirt. She published a very detailed HOWTO create your own based on her trial and error.

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Video: HOWTO put a Rubik's Cube in a bottle

YouTuber Mathologer shares his technique for reassembling a Rubik's Cube inside a glass container. The secret? Magnets!

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Buy a basket and keep a girl in school

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The Kalebo village in North Eastern Ghana isn't fertile enough for extensive agriculture. Instead, the Kalbeo Women's Trading Group create traditional cloth, pottery and other handicrafts such as this beautifully handwoven Bolga basket.

The Bolga baskets are made using local grasses and help supplement their incomes. This money, along with micro loans from CENSUDI, help send young women to school. Purchasing a Bolga basket can help get a young woman an education and out of a lifetime of poverty.

Check out their Facebook page.

Hand-craft your own beautiful sweet potato dolls

sweet-potato-dolls25 easy-to-staple projects!

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Excellent mini faux-deer head from Perler Beads

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I know what my kids will be making me after school today.

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Show off your painted miniatures!

miniature My nephew, Joshua Smith, is graduating high school this week and will soon be off to the U.S. Coast Guard. In his free time, he's learning to painstakingly paint miniatures, and is starting to get pretty good! Here's a current WIP. Show us your own best work, for great justice.

Pokemon ghosts are still fashionable, still spooky

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If you have a fond memory for Pokemon games, you'll remember that Lavender Town tends to be where all the ghost stories can be found. Somewhat famously, Lavender Town is also the source of a great work of creepypasta—now it is the inspiration for a great handmade outfit.

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Horrifying knit goods


Brooklyn's Knitrocious creates nightmarish knit goods, such as the goat balaclava and the horror clown balaclava.

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I like big books and I cannot lie embroidery


NiamhyStitches sells a variety of decorative embroidery, including this I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie hoop, which sells for $23.48. (via Geeky Merch)

WATCH: time-lapse origami turns a dollar bill into a koi fish

YouTuber TheOrigamiVoyueur filmed himself as he transformed a dollar bill into a koi, based on a instructions by expert Won Park.

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WATCH: Glassmaster Paul Stankard on glassblowing artistry

Paul Stankard's impossibly beautiful handblown glass pieces look impossible to create. In Beauty Beyond Nature, he discusses the craft while working in his studio.

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Plush undersea creatures


Parisian crafter Big Stuffed makes beautiful, cuddly, handmade undersea creatures -- the big ones are huge, like the 90 cm whale made from fun-fur and jersey. (via Crazy Abalone)

Almost 150 quilts you won’t find on Pinterest

A micro-review, in bullet points:

1. Almost 150 quilts you won’t find on Pinterest.

2. The essays are good.

3. When seeking visual pleasure and inspiration, a curated and finite set (like a book) can be more useful than an infinite set (like the internet).

Slightly more detail, if you’re still on the fence:

This book is not about formal, precision-pieced quilts but rather represents the growing interest in the improvisational and often surprising “everyday” quilts. Those depicted here are of the vintage (rather than antique) era. Most are by unknown makers. Collector Roderick Kiracofe has commissioned ten essays to offer context for the anonymous textiles.

Quilt historian Janneken Smucker smacks down the “myth of the scrap bag quilt.” Natalie Chanin (of Alabama Chanin) describes the class messaging of whole cloth vs. patchwork quilts when she grew up in the South. Texas quiltmaker Sherry Ann Bryrd explains the distinction between “precision”, “M-provisational” and “throw together” as quilting “languages” with different functions. Textile curator Amelia Peck writes about the challenge of curating anonymous work for an institutional collection. All worth reading. But mostly it’s about the pictures.

Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000, by Roderick Kiracofe

Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

Book of supercute crochet patterns for Sanrio Friends

A couple of days after I received a review copy of Hello Kitty Crochet I read an article in the LA Times about the 40th anniversary of Sanrio’s iconic character. The most surprising fact I learned is that Hello Kitty is not a kitty. She is a British girl named Kitty White who “lives in London with her mama (Mary White), papa (George White), and her twin sister Mimmy.” Also, she has a pet cat named Charmmy Kitty, which is kind of like Goofy having Pluto for a pet, I guess. Many Hello Kitty fans were outraged by the revelation, but I loved it. Hello Kitty is more charming and mysterious than I thought!

Hello Kitty Crochet, by Malaysia-based blogger Mei Li Lee (her name is so adorable that Sanrio should create a character called Mei Li Lee), has complete instructions for making 18 Sanrio characters, from Kitty White herself to the devilishly mischievous tomboy Kuromi (who reminds me of DC comics’ Harley Quinn). Mei Li Lee does a great job of retaining the cuteness of the characters in their transubstantiation into yarn, which is an impressive feat. I just might have to learn to crochet and try my hand at making these.

Hello Kitty Crochet ($9)
by Mei Li Lee
Quirk Books
2014, 96 pages, 7.3 x 7.3 x 0.5 inches, Hardcover

Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

Improbable, beautiful ceramic teapots


Spotted at the Contemporary Craft Fair, the amazing teapots of Rylatt of Wales: improbably shaped ceramics with metallic, dark glazes. I wheedled my wife into getting me one for my upcoming birthday, and it is destined to be a favorite and a source of joy around my office.

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