Macrame: That ’70s home decor trend is groovy again

Disco may have died, but another quintessential part of the ’70s is making a comeback in today’s homes: the art of macrame. Macrame is a type of textile using decorative knotting techniques. The primary knots are square knots and different combinations of half hitches, or simple overhand knots. It originated in 13th century Arabia, eventually […]

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Make a pop-up card for your valentine at the Friday Night Craft Party

Friday Night Craft Party: Pop-Up Valentines Home Ec – Friday, Feb. 5, 6-8 p.m. Join paper-crafters for a pop-up card-making party at Home Ec in Iowa City on Friday night. Instructor Emily Martin, who also teaches at the University of Iowa Center for the Book, will show crafty students simple ways to cut paper to […]

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Crafty: Knot your average plant holder

Macramé is a knotting art that dates to the 13th century, and while it has been popular for a while, it is definitely having a moment. Hanging planters made from knotted rope can be found in the home decor departments of big box stores and hipster retailers alike. But macramé hanging planters are cheap and easy to make on your own; they’re also a great way step up your balcony, patio garden or living room.

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Crafty: Spice up your invites with homemade envelopes

Photos by Frankie Schneckloth The summer party prep series concludes with instructions for making your very own lined envelopes. Even if you never plan to host a dinner party, you’ve probably been invited to someone’s barbecue or pool party. I won’t go all Emily Post on you, but handwritten thank-you’s are always correct and appreciated. […]

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Crafty: Crown your guest of honor with a ring of blooms

It's time to make some floral crowns, yo!

Supplies floral wire (22 gauge) heavy wire floral tape assorted flowers and greenery (I used a variety of blooms in differing textures and sizes and selected one statement flower to be the focus. Alternatively, you could fill the whole crown with big, bold blooms for a very dramatic look.) sharp scissors small vase with water […]

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Crafty: Eins, zwei, drei, apfelwein time!


On a trip to Germany a few springs ago, I fell in love with apfelwein—a traditional German apple cider. My travelling companions and I spent two weeks drinking delicious bottles of super dry apfelwein that the mother of our host made by hand. She had spent the previous fall pressing apples harvested from her family orchard and making apfelwein that fermented in her cellar over the winter. By the time the weather was warm, the apfelwein was ready to enjoy. […]

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An interview with local jewelry maker Lindsay Chastain

Goat eye rings?

Lindsay Chastain, 25, works hard managing the Bluebird Diner in Iowa City, and in her off-hours, she’s involved with jewelry design (not to mention fashion, a two-piece band dubbed “We Shave,” movies and an extensive taxidermy collection). Lindsay hand makes her jewelry — sold at White Rabbit and available online at Sauvaged Jewelry. Her pieces […]

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Crafty: DIY Notebooks for the new school year

Photos by Frankie Schneckloth When it came time to shop for school supplies, I never chose the super splashy Lisa Frank folders and notebooks. Ever the organizer, I always went for plain colored folders and notebooks that color coordinated to make changing subjects a breeze. I knew if they ripped or I needed a replacement […]

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Crafty: Pickling 101

Every year, I dream up elaborate plans for my summer vegetable garden. And each year, at about this time, I start to lose steam. The constant weeding and watering are too much for me and I can never seem to battle the bugs and pests in an effective way. I tried to keep it in check this year and scale back a bit on planting. I selected things that we truly like and actually eat, and that also are relatively easy to care for. I planted, among numerous other vegetables, three tiny cucumber plants. […]

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