Give in to your inner Techie

If you thought Wired’s How-To Wiki section had it all, you might as well brace yourself now. The authority on all things tech launched a new design site on Wednesday that targets DIYers looking for more than just instructionals to spruce up their space.

The site already features more than 15 original posts, giving a glimpse into the world of being a successful microblogger, NASA and starving art students, and Etsy’s strangest shaped desk. Three staff writers and 14 columnists–including Wired’s art directors themselves–round out the team of dedicated posters. And to top it all off, the gurus behind the new endeavor offer up what they’ve been reading to supplement the ideas conjured up by Wired’s team. Want to know what editor Shoshana Berger is reading? Seven hours ago, it was about how high-speed cameras are catching stupidity in action. And staff writer Joseph Flaherty? An article on odd 3D printing materials.

Columnist Allison Arieff's husband, Bryan, sands a homemade pot after setting clay with their daughter, Emilia. Credit: Brian L. Frank/Wired

If this doesn’t sound DIY-enough for you, Wired won’t disappoint with it’s first hands-on post detailing how to slip-cast ceramics. A project meant for a garage, writer Allison Arieff breaks down the process into steps so simple a six year old could do it–and one does, her name’s Emilia. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself here (in case you missed the link before).

If you think this is all Wired’s got to wow you, they’re just getting starting. Stick around, unleash the beast inside you, and geek out with Wired’s new DIY site.

(via Wired)

A craft defined: Etsy editors give a glimpse into their shop owners’ unique skills

The editorial experts at Etsy know a good story when they see one, and with a skilled video team at their disposal, storytelling and film combine beautifully. Etsy has an arsenal of talented crafters at their disposal: metal-smiths, knitters, painters, woodworkers–all with a unique story behind their shop and craft. As the self-proclaimed handmade marketplace of the world, it’s the personality of each shop that draws in buyers and makes Etsy thrive. So why not showcase what skill makes each shop owner…well…that shop’s owner?

Sometimes it’s nice to sit back and watch others excel at their craft–appreciation is just as important as imitation. Check out some of Etsy’s most masterful shop owners and let their quality work and dedication soak in. Just this once, you can save crafting for another day.

Woodgrain Bike Frames

Rob Pollock transitions from custom painting car interiors to creating one of a kind bike frames, cementing his craft for over 40 years. Check out his shop here.

Sweet Peas with Kim Westad

New York ceramic designer Kim Westad has a knack for throwing pottery. Watch this formally-trained graphic designer make one of her signature pieces–a Sweet Pea porcelain vessel. Her shop can be found here.

Bone Flutes with Catherine Thompson

Semi-nomadic Catherine Thompson takes from the land to create beautiful instruments, often foraging for discarded natural matter like bones and integrating them into her products. Watch her strum to the tune of her unique narrative, and after, head over to her shop here.


Dr. Christoph von Horst is a plastination expert–he preserves dead animals and turns shaved down layers of their remains into art. Say what you will, but his prints are magnificent, and anatomically correct. Get a glimpse at his patented work here.

Dream big with HGTV’s Green Home 2012

With the HGTV Dream Home 2012 in Park City, Utah recently handed over to a woman from Pennsylvania, it’s on to the next round of the home-giving competition with the Green Home 2012 Giveaway. HGTV’s Green Home is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and is a modern farmhouse decked out in sustainable and eco-friendly  design. Features of the prize include a new 2012 GMC Terrain and $100,000, along with the house. Participants can enter twice daily starting April 12, 2012, for a chance to win HGTV’s Green Home 2012 package.

But Serenbe, Georgia isn’t the best of locations HGTV has picked for its Green Home locale. Check out the houses from past years and see what makes the cut.

Denver, CO; 2011 – Located in Stapleton, a sustainable community just a short drive from downtown Denver, is built in a modern prairie-style design. It has three bedrooms and includes a business center on the second floor. Among the eco design elements are exterior solar lights and up-cycled pillows.

Plymouth, MA; 2010 -The two-story “green” cottage located on Martha’s Vineyard boasts 2,100 square feet of living space, including a third-level view tower. Rain water seeps back into the ground through the permeable walkways, and solar panels line the roof of this eco-friendly home.


Port St. Lucie, FL; 2009 – To fit in with its surrounding community, the HGTV Green Home 2009 was erected with modern Spanish architecture in mind. Terra cotta shades complimented the surrounding buildings, yet features like double-pane energy-saving windows and weather-wicker outdoor chairs give it a green home glow.
Hilton Head, SC; 2008 – The first house to be erected for the HGTV Green Home competition,  this traditional home relies on its southern sunlight to brighten the 2,000-square-foot home. Features include various heating and cooling systems, along with solar collectors, to keep the house running.

(via HGTV)

It’s play time with Dwell

Dwell is chaneling its inner child with the 2012 Lego Modern Home Design Competition. The competition consists of 135 Lego houses, inspired by Californian mid-century modern architecture. Though submissions have already been logged, it’s up to viewers now to decide who should win. Once the top five are picked, the houses will be on display at Dwell’s design conference, Dwell on Design, where judges will chose a winner live at the show. Check out some of competition’s top-notch contenders, and read up on the inspiration for each.

Cedar Forest Home – “My home was inspired by mid-century California modern architecture. I decided to use wood and stone because they blended really well together, and created a very warm and cozy design. The numerous dark green windows around the building give natural lighting to the forest home. I put a pool right into the L-shaped landscape of the home to add a very unique touch. Although a small plot plan, I was able to squeeze in a small recreation area in the back for fires, and family gatherings.”

Water’s Edge Live/Work Dwelling – “21st Century, Case Study House-inspired dwelling. Two stories. Filled with Southern California sunlight from every aspect throughout the day. Open deck for sun worshipping. Double-height entrance hall with clear glass cactus atrium. Half-moon infinity water feature on sun deck provides 24/7 wave sounds.”

Ocean Side – “I wanted a lot of light to be able to come in so you could enjoy the California sun shine. I floor plan is very open and you have a great view from every room. I just picture it right along the beach.”

Suburban House – “My entry is a representative Mid-Century Modern suburban house with flagstone walls, large windows, fireplace, car port and a mix of flat and angled roofs. In some ways it feels descended from the style of Frank Lloyd Wright. The bulk of the model is made from numerous tan, dark tan and light gray 1×2 plates.”

Towers of Glass – “Our home features four stories of glass and cascading terraces. The home is finished in a striking contrast of black and white. The home was designed by myself, Ryan Warnick. My four daughters; Morgan (8), Macy (7), Ainsley (4) and Nora (2) participated in the construction.”

(via Dwell)