Archive for May 2015

12 Awesome Decor Pieces Inspired by The Avengers

The Avengers have always been awesome and with Age of Ultron out right now, they've never been more popular. If you're a die-hard fan who would love to bring a touch of Marvel into your home, here are a few awesome home accessories featuring the Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Movie Prop Desk

This desk by Tom Spina Designs (previously featured in both our Geek Home Theater and Star Wars furniture articles) doesn't just look incredible, it's also loaded with all kinds of hidden compartments to make it totally functional while still efficiently displaying a huge selection of replica props from the films.

Record Wall Clock

Recycled vinyl clocks are always cool to look at and this one featuring the full team of Avengers in incredible detail is a testament to the skills of Etsy seller ASecondLifeForVinyl.

Towel Set

These cool Captain America towels from Think Geek are a great way to add a little geek touch to your bathroom decor. The company even sells a matching rug and terrycloth robe so you can get out of the shower feeling like a true American hero.

Curtains

Even if they are listed in the kid's decor section, you don't have to be a youngster to appreciate these fun Avengers drapes sold at Wal-Mart.

Table Lamp

Nothing sets the mood quite like a lamp featuring the newest villain in the Avenger's movie series and this official Marvel product is ideal for offices, living rooms and bedrooms. You can even customize it to match your other decor.

LEGO Desk Lamp

If you like the Ultron lamp shade, but wish the lamp itself was a little more imaginative, don't miss this fantastic LEGO playset lamp by Etsy seller brickablocks. It even optionally comes with an Ironman and Thor minifigs.

Dresser

Does it take a team of heroes to help you get dressed in the morning? Then perhaps you could use this cool dresser from Etsy seller CalderonCustoms.

Drawer Pulls

Etsy seller ThemeMyRoom has a great selection of superhero-inspired drawer pulls. While some come in sets, like the adorable growing Hulk fists, many are also sold individually, so you can assemble your own team of Avengers.

Cutting Board

At long last, Earth's Mightiest Heroes are here and ready to help you make dinner. Etsy seller HeartwarmingGift will even customize the design for you in case you want to give one of these to a superhero-loving friend of yours.

Light Switch Covers

For only five dollars, Yakamaniac can customize your light switch or outlet cover to feature a real page from an Avengers comic book (or a page from one of the related character's comic stories). If you want to use a specific page or just want to DIY it for fun, this Instructable shows that the process is relatively simple.

Birdfeeder

Your resident avian population may not understand what's so great about The Avengers, but they'll grow to love the heroic team when they start regularly dining from this birdfeeder by Etsy seller BirdFeederGuy.

A Whole Apartment

If you really want your space to show your love for The Avengers though, then you may want to contact Singapore’s Absolook Interior Design, the company that put together this gorgeous apartment dedicated to Marvel's legendary team of heroes.

If you're looking for more great geek furniture and accessories, don't miss our round ups of video game decor, dorky doormats, nerdy bedspreads and gorgeous gaming tables.


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16 Mason Jar Hacks for Your Home

Few things offer quite as many uses as a mason jar and practically nothing offers that same level of quaint country charm. Whether you're looking for an excuse to buy more jars or have a collection lying around from your canning experiments phase, mason jar lovers everywhere will love these great household uses for their favorite containers.

Chalkboard Spice Jars

It's hard to keep a good spice collection organized and accessible, but if you have a spare drawer and some small mason jars, you may want to consider this brilliant idea from Raising Up Rubies that puts all of your spices and measuring tools front and center.

Salt and Pepper Shakers

If you have a mason jar, a lid, a hammer and a nail then you can easily make the simple salt and pepper shakers featured on The 36th Avenue. Alternatively, if you like to pour your spices rather than shake them, you won't want to miss the tutorial from Put It In A Jar that shows how to add a pour spout to your lid.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

A hammer, nail and mason jar are also all you need to prep up a simple toilet bowl cleaner that just requires a little vinegar. Just pop some holes in the lid, fill the jar with vinegar and set the jar upside down in your toilet tank. A little vinegar will escape every time you flush, keeping your bowl sparkling clean.

Image via Dplanet:: [Flickr]

Soap Dispenser

Instructables ser ctx1985 managed to make a delightful soap dispenser with little more than a mason jar, an old soap dispenser, a drill and a hot glue gun. Of course, if that sounds like too much effort to you, there are plenty of places to buy one on Etsy -like this one from NemaSoap.

Bathroom Organizer

Skinny Meg found a $2 pallet-style wood shelf at Ikea. With a little ingenuity and elbow grease, she turned it into this beautiful, rustic bathroom organizer. If you like the look but aren't quite that handy, you can buy a similar one from Etsy seller RichAccents.

Shelf Organizer

Under-shelf space often goes unutilized, but with this handy hack from Poofy Cheeks, you can keep your stuff organized and out of the way by simply sticking it in mason jars under a shelf.

Hanging Lights

Even without ample electrical knowledge, it's pretty easy to put together this great mason jar light set featured on Design Sponge with a hanging lamp kit -though you will need an electrician to hook it up for you. If you'd like a premade one though BootsnGus has a beautiful alternative as well as a charming chandelier-style mason jar light.

Tiki Torches

Looking for some unique lighting for your next outdoor gathering? Then invest in some tiki torch fuel, tiki torch wicks and mason jars. A small hole through the lid for the wick is all it takes to convert your jars into torches and The Frugal Homemaker can show you how.

Bird Feeder

Mason jars are mighty sturdy, so it only make sense that they would also make great bird feeders. You can make your own wood-covered one with this tutorial from Instructables user Rustic Wood or you can buy the copper-wrapped design from Jarring Creations.

Moss Terrarium

There are a lot of ways to turn your mason jar into a centerpiece, but if you like the idea of making one that will last for years to come, try this cool moss terrarium by Parent Pretty. Best of all, it's a great project to do with your kids.

Branch Vase

A mason jar doesn't have to look like a mason jar to be functional. Garden Mama proves that a few branches and hot glue can turn a basic mason jar vase into something surprising.

Wine Glasses

These novelty wine glasses have become widely available at stores across the nation, but why buy one when you can make your own with little more than glass glue, a mason jar and a candlestick holder? Modern Day Moms shows how simple it is.

Blender Jar

If you ever break your blender jar or want a smaller container, Real Simple points out that most blender blades will attach to a small-mouth mason jar. It's also a great option if you want to blend something and store it for later.

Twine and Ribbon Holders

Have a pile of crafting supplies that seem to be taking over your space? Then check out this handy tutorial on A Cassarella for making a twine holder with a long bolt and a mason jar. While the writer only suggests using this for twine, it's easy to see that it would also be a great way to organize ribbons -just make sure the mouth of the jar is large enough to fit your spools.

Sewing Kit

Speaking of crafts, here's a simple storage solution for your sewing kit that's even a copy of a $48 Anthropologie product. It All Started With Paint can show you how to make your own (or one as a gift) for practically nothing.

Speaker Kit

Want to learn some basic electronics and have a cool-looking speaker at home? Then check out this cool mason jar speaker kit from Trash Amps. If you love the look but don't want to put in the time and effort, they also have a premade design available.

And, of course, don't forget that mason jars are also great for canning, baking and storing food!

Mason jar image in the header via Dwight Burdette [Wikipedia]

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mason_Jar_with_Screw_Top.JPG

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16 Surprising Cleaning Hacks

We've already featured some great tricks for deep spring cleaning and simple ways to spruce up your home, but there are some chores you need to do all year round. Fortunately, cleaning your bathroom, kitchen and bedroom doesn't need to be a nightmare. These great tricks can make your regular cleaning routine go by in no time.

Clean your showerhead overnight. 

As Real-Life Housewife demonstrates simply pour vinegar into a plastic bag, secure the bag over your showerhead with a rubber band and leave it overnight. When you remove the bag in the morning, you'll be able to wipe off the hard water deposits and soap scum with little to no effort.

Get rid of nasty water stains around your sink.

Since you can't wrap your whole sink with a bag filled with vinegar, do what The Thrifty Home recomends and clean your faucets and sink with paper towels soaked in vinegar. Just wrap them around the affected area and spray with a little more vinegar every 10 minutes to keep them moist. After an hour or so, you should be able to easily scrub away the nasty deposits that caused the stains.

(Note: do not use vinegar on marble or stone as it can corrode these materials.)

Leave bleach-soaked cotton balls to remove mold from caulking.

This one's pretty basic -just soak cotton balls in bleach and then stick them along corners and crevasses where mold has started growing in your caulking.

Image Via The Craft Patch

Scrub your tub with less elbow grease.

Mix a combination of 50% vinegar and 50% dish soap. Put the mixture in a dish scrubber that holds soap and spread the concoction around your tub using minimal elbow grease. This alone should get rid of most of your grime, but for anything left over, try putting kosher salt on half of a lemon and scrubbing the tub with it. The citrus should clear off any of the other cleanser's residue, provide an extra level of cleanser and make your tub smell good, while the salt will scrub any stubborn grime.

Disinfect wood and bamboo cutting boards with lemon.

Just like the tub trick, use salt and lemon to scrub your cutting board, only this time, put the salt over the entire surface of a wet cutting board before scrubbing away residue with the lemon. All Kinds of Yumm has the full details.

Ammonia the filth out of our cooking space.

Two of the hardest to clean surfaces in a kitchen are the stove burners and the inside of the oven. Amazingly, ammonia can make both of these chores much less tedious. For the burners, do what The V Spot suggests and fill a plastic bag with 1/4 cup ammonia and seal a burner inside. A Real-Life Housewife says for the oven, put a glass bowl with 1/2 ammonia on a rack in the oven and seal the door closed. Leave both overnight, then open up all your windows and doors. Open your oven to release the fumes and leave the room for 10 minutes. Then remove your burners from the bag and wipe the burners and your oven with a wet sponge -they should both wipe clean with little to no effort.

Pre-treat your microwave.

Spraying chemicals all over your microwave and scrubbing your fingers to the bone is the worst possible way to clean this appliance. Instead, fill a glass with water and a few lemon halves or with vinegar -which is what The Craft Patch used in the image. Zap things for two minutes (the liquid should start boiling), let cool for a minute and then open and wipe away the filth with a sponge. You'll be amazed how quick the cleaning process is once you try it.

Clean your refrigerator in a jiff.

Don't sit and scrub your fridge. Just move things around so you can wash one shelf at a time in your dishwasher (along with other dishes). A few cycles and re-organizations later and things are clean without wasting power leaving the fridge door open and without scrubbing nasty, mysterious food spills.

Image Via Seven Twenty Five

Instantly wash your blender.

Blenders are just one of those appliances that are a pain to clean. While you still might want to run it in the dishwasher here and there, skip the majority of scrubbing by throwing dish soap and water in the pitcher right after you use it. Run the motor for a few seconds, then rinse the pitcher and dry it -it's ready to go again.

Images Via The Kitchn

De-grime your coffee grinder.

You can't really wash your coffee grinder with water, but you can still clean it. Just throw some uncooked rice or some white bread into the device and run it for a minute. Dump out the chopped food, then grind a tablespoon baking soda and use a wet rag or sponge until clean.

Image Via Faruk Ates

Clean your light covers in the dishwasher.

Dirt, insects and dust can leave light fixtures looking nasty. A quick trip through the dishwasher will leave them looking like new though. You can also remove light switch and outlet covers the same way.

Image Via Michelle Jones

Throw toys in the washing machine.

And not just stuffed animals. Many plastic toys, including action figures, Legos and bath toys can be thrown in the washing machine. Just tie them up inside a pillow case, run a short cold cycle and voila -your kid's toys are clean in a jiffy. Plastic and metal toys can also go in the dishwasher on a low temperature as long as you can secure them in the utensil box or a mesh laundry bag.

Image Via Jim Bauer

Wash your vents in minutes.

Washing air vents is often a pain in the butt, it doesn't have to be though. Either try wrapping a clean towel around a butter knife and using regular cleanser to slice away grime between the slots, or simply remove the vents, put them in your dishwasher and replace when dry.

Image Via Jasleen Kaur

Use a sock to wash your blinds.

Put your hand in a sock, put it in a mixture of white vinegar and water. Use the sock like a sock puppet to run down the length of your blinds in one quick motion. Keep Home Simple shows how easy it is.

Disinfect your mattress.

You may clean your sheets regularly, but what about the bed itself? Do what WikiHow demonstrates and fill a spray bottle with vodka and spray a little across your whole mattress. Let the vodka air dry and you'll have a smell-free, sanitized mattress in no time.

Rub dirty paintings with bread.

Admittedly, this sounds a little crazy, but even professional painting specialists will use white bread to remove dust and grime from old paintings. Just rub the painting with bread until clean, then use a soft-bristle brush to sweep away any crumbs. The Brick House does it with bagels, but you can also use white bread.

We'd like to offer a special thank you to Jennifer of The Craft Patch Blog, who has gone above and beyond when it comes to testing many of the cleaning tricks floating around on Pinterest. Remember, don't believe everything you read (unless you see it here).

http://www.thecraftpatchblog.com


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10 Cool Home Design Illusions

If great art makes you think then these wonderful optical illusion designs are examples of art at its finest. From wall paper that looks like your walls are alive and moving to flooring that looks like you're walking on water, these amazing illusions will make you think a little more about the possibilities of your ordinary home decor.

Bias of Thoughts Bookshelf

This neat bookshelf by Clarke Hopkins Clarke is based on the classic impossible fork illusion where the eyes accept each end of the piece as looking normal, but when you observe the object as a whole, you realize those forms cannot actually exist simultaneously.

Cafe Wall Illusion Table

Based on the famous Cafe Wall illusion, this fantastic table by Etsy seller Exotic Tiles doesn't show a spiral, but simply a set of circles adorned with black and white tiles. While the tiles look to be of different, flocculating sizes, they are all actually the same.

Vis Decoptology

Imeüble 

Bjørn Jørund Blikstad's Imeüble challenges our spatial perception, turning each wall of what looks like a set of 3D blocks into usable storage space.

3D Epoxy Floors

You may not be able to install a waterfall in your bedroom, an aquarium in your entry way, a beach in your bathroom or a dolphin tank in your living room, but with these amazing 3D epoxy artworks by Imperial Interiors, you can at least get the next best thing. Just don't be surprised when drunk guests refuse to step foot in your living room swimming pool.

Extend Bookshelf

Small and inconspicuous, Yoy Idea's Extend bookshelf is designed to clamp on to the edge of a desk or counter and then be extended outward so your books look like they are floating in midair.

Psychedelic Illusion Pattern Wallpaper

Some people want their rooms to seem bigger, which is often easy to do with a few extra mirrors. But if you don't want your room to seem bigger so much as immeasurable, you might prefer this fantastic psychedelic wallpaper by Etsy seller Livettes.

Apartment House

The entire interior of this home by Kazuyasu Kochi is a living optical illusion. The structure started as an apartment building with eight units, but in the process of renovating it into one single family home, Kazuyasu Kochi also transformed the space into a mind-bending illusion that looks more at home in a psychedelic cartoon than in the real world.

Via Psfk

Bulbing Lights

These odd 3D-looking lights by Tel Aviv's Studio Cheha are actually flat acrylic sheets placed above a light box. The creations were initially funded on Kickstarter, where they made close to 1000% of their original goal. The designs are interchangeable and energy efficient, so they're even cool beyond the illusion aspect.

Sima Pashtun

Designers from Eos México made history when the introduced the first hand-knotted illusion rug in history. The piece was made with 3000 year-old hand-made Tibetan knot methods and, when viewed from the right angle, gives the illusion that the middle of the rug is sinking into the ground.

The Black Door

Design studio UXUS wanted their workplace to reflect the sense of wonderment a well-designed space can inspire. To that end, their entire headquarters looks fantastic enough to enamor any hesitant clients, but we're particularly impressed with the mysterious black door that seems to be free standing in the middle of a large, white room thanks to the use of a mirrored wall.

Via My Modern Met

Don't miss other great examples of illusion design included in our roundup of amazing lights, unbelievable sinks and beautiful bookcases.


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16 Wonderful Vases Perfect for Mother's Day Floral Arrangements

If you're looking to get your mom a little something beyond the standard bouquet this Mother's Day, you may consider a beautiful vase that she can hold onto long after her flowers have wilted away. No matter what kind of mom you are lucky enough to have, there is certain to be one piece in this list that will fit right in with her home decor.

Loop

Simple and elegant, this Loop Vase is graceful and eye-catching. It's a perfect statement piece for any mother into minimalism.

Serpentine Wood

This unique vase looks different from every angle. With sweeping wood shapes flowing around a standard glass form, nature-lovers are sure to love this creation by TheRusticNature.

St. Germain

This elderflower liquor might still only be a few years old, but it already has a legion of fans. If your mother has joined the cult of St. Germain, she'll love this stunning vase made from one of the brand's iconic and crystal-like bottles.

Iris

With blown glass colors and shapes resembling an iris, this vase by Trish Dalto is almost like a flower in itself.

Photos

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this personalized vase that can be filled of images that show Mom what she means to you is absolutely priceless. Etsy seller Jenny Gaynor will also leave a note and a special date on the base of the vase to add even more significance to the piece.

Test Tubes

This striking test tub vase set by Etsy seller AnSquared is perfect for those who simply love science, as well as those who want to display their blooms in an all new way.

Customized Birch

Etsy seller Braggingbags customizes her lovely wood vases so you can engrave them with your mother's initials, you and your siblings initials or a message that reads "ILU."

Anatomical Heart

Is your mom more of a Morticia Addams than a Martha Stewart? Then rather than going with something pretty, make her go batty over one of these fascinating anatomical heart vases by Etsy seller Dellamorteco. Available in red, blackpewter or transparent with veins, they're the perfect way to say "I love you even just the bloody way you are."

8-Bit

Was your mom a retro gamer before it was cool? Then she'll probably love ThinkGeek's great 8-bit vase that even comes with matching flowers. It might not hold water, but it will keep these smiling flowers alive for years to come.

2D

If your mother is more of a 2D fan than an 8-bit lover then she just might prefer this great illusionary vase from the MOMA store that looks like a drawing made real.

3D Puzzle

A perfect fit for any puzzle-fanatics, this cool 3D Puzzle Vase can be completely taken apart and reassembled, but it is fitted with an interior water cup so it can still be used as a functional vase.

Caterpillar

Why settle for one bouquet when you can share many? The Caterpillar Bud Vase displays four or six different bundles of blooms at a time in a fun, bubbly line.

Flute

Sometimes a big, messy bouquet says it all, but sometimes it's better to go with something a little more understated. For those occasions, this simple, yet refined 8 Hole Flute Bud Vase is a perfect way to share the elegant beauty of a single variety of blooms.

Deer Head

Ideal for an animal-loving mother, this clever design lets you replace antlers with beautiful floral displays.

Whale

Sure, you can't squeeze many buds in this blowhole, but this brilliant vase by Alessandro Beda and Hello Beda is utterly charming no matter how many blooms it holds.

Efeet

Perhaps not the most beautiful of vases, the Efeet is still charming in its own strange and adorable way. It's a great gift for mothers with a sense of humor and a longing to be reminded of the wonderful pitter patter of little feet.

We've also featured two unique vase designs in the past -the Invisible Vase and the Living Light, both of which would make any mother feel special and surprised, so be sure to check those two out.

Whatever you get your mom this holiday, Happy Mother's Day.


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