Top 5 Picks for the Week, July 20, 2012

Project Tutorials, Interior Design, Living Fully, Manly Materials, and Surreal Sculptures

1. Cut Out and Keep

Photo Credit: CutOutandKeep.net

Photo Credit: CutOutandKeep.net

I love coming across a great stash of unique craft ideas along with their step-by-step instructions.  Even if I don’t get around to re-creating the projects myself, I still enjoy seeing the process and what others have come up with.  With that said, Cut Out and Keep is becoming one of my new favorite places on the web.  The site is multifaceted allowing members to view and upload tutorials, as well as participate in crafting contests, peruse the library of suggested educational books, keep up with the daily blog, and read Snippets, their online magazine. The latest issue even has an article about Ted and Wally’s, the same ice cream parlor featured in my Top 5 Picks for Beautiful Nebraska.  More than just another standard craft site, Cut Out and Keep showcases real activities from real people for today’s new wave of crafters.

2. Apartment Therapy

Photo Credit: ApartmentTherapy.com

Photo Credit: ApartmentTherapy.com

Minimal square footage and lease agreements can leave renters feeling trapped and uninspired in their own homes.  Despite what one may think, however, small spaces and rules for wall colors don’t have to mean forfeiting your design aesthetic.  In fact, Apartment Therapy is a website that strives to help us take back our homes, make them our own, and optimize every inch to its fullest capacity.  Browsing through the site, you will be amazed at what people have achieved though organization, ingenuity, and a little elbow grease.  You can take virtual tours of beautiful living spaces, explore what’s for sale in their classifieds, and get tips on renovating, shopping, and homekeeping.  Even if you live in a large multi-bedroom house, the universal ideas, information, and style of Apartment Therapy will help you reclaim your space and make you happy to walk in the door at the end of the day to an area that’s all your own.

3. One Thousand Gifts

Photo Credit: OneThousandGifts.com

Photo Credit: OneThousandGifts.com

We have looked at the power of a grateful heart before (The Easiest Way to Improve Your Life Today and It Feels Good to be Thankful).  Thankfulness can drastically change a person’s life and help us truly enjoy each and every day.  Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Giftshas written about and vastly expounded on this truth, finding ways to live deep and meaningful lives in the midst of daily trials and demands.  The website has a gorgeous design and is a great place to start when pursuing this new life of grace and gratitude.  Through onethousandgifts.com you can see excerpts and purchase her book, download free gifts, and follow Ann’s blog, A Holy Experience.  To help us keep our focus on all of the gifts around us and start keeping track of all we have been given, there is also a free mobile app.  Start living fully today and see how recognizing your One Thousand Gifts can change your life.

4. Cool Material

Photo Credit: CoolMaterial.com

Photo Credit: CoolMaterial.com

Ever wonder where Bruce Wayne would shop and what websites he’d browse during his downtime from saving Gotham City?  Check out the edgy and modern site Cool Material.  From the latest in tech to manly, yet stylish, home decor, this site covers the gamut of all the new products for today’s man.  It’s also a great site to visit for those needing a gift for the awesome guy in their life.  Sporting an entire shop, whether he needs a rugged metal lunchbox to take to the construction site or The Godfather edition of Monopoly is more up his alley, you are sure to be entertained and find the perfect present.  Also a great source for articles to help keep you well-rounded, such as what you need to pack for the perfect trunk kitCool Material will keep your attention while keeping you informed and up-to-date.

5. Nancy Fouts

Photo Credit: NancyFouts.com

Photo Credit: NancyFouts.com

A true artist at work, Nancy Fouts has found her calling in creating surreal and humorous sculptures.  When I first viewed her pieces, I thought they were simply manipulated photographs.  However, upon further research I have come to find out that they are indeed hand-made sculptures.  You can view her body of work through her personal website, and if you have loads of extra cash just lying around and you are looking to purchase one of her masterpieces for your collection, head on over to her London Gallery, Pertwee, Anderson, and Gold.  Her juxtaposition of items displays her intellectual wit, yet the meticulous attention to detail truly displays her talents as an artist.

 

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