I’m pushing thirty years old. I know that my favorite type of people are the salt of the Earth, my favorite character in Willy Wonka is Veruca Salt, my favorite hip-hop group is Salt-N-Pepa, my favorite ancient instrument is the psaltery, my favorite town is Basalt, Colorado, and both my favorite taffy and crocodile, are salt water; yet I haven’t the slightest idea what region my favorite salt hails from. One day at the UncommonGoods campus, I voiced this issue over fresh fruit and went back to my desk to find our Salts of the World Test Tube Set. Thanks to the support of my UncommonGoods’ Team, I’m determined to determine the whereabouts of a favorite salt.
Product: Personalized Coloring Book
Coloring books are all the rage! A recent article from NYMag.com revealed that five of Amazon’s top 15 best-selling books right now are coloring books. I guess we adults didn’t appreciate our childhoods enough and what were likely our “best years.” How many of us avoided nap time in preschool only to beg our bosses as adults to purchase nap pods for the office? How many of you saw through my not-so-subtle attempt to get my co-workers reading this to inquire about getting nap pods here at UncommonGoods? Anways, back to coloring books. I didn’t spend a lot of time with coloring books as a kid because I much preferred to write my own stories and draw my own scenes, but I figure trying out this personalized coloring book and contemplating ways to get more sleep will help me right the wrongs of my past. Or, at the very least, it will give me something relaxing to do as I binge-watch, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown on Netflix.
Based on my previous experience with coloring books, I may color outside of the lines. Hey, such is life.
The great thing about this kind of experiment is that the directions are straight-forward: you pick a page and then you color it. Before I opened the coloring book I just assumed that the “personalized” part meant that you can order the book personalized with your name on the cover, but turns out most of the pages feature drawings with your name hidden in them.
Product: Wine Aging Tool
When I first read about the Wine Aging tool, I reacted with skepticism, as I imagine most folks would. Replicating the effect of cellaring a wine for a year in ONE SECOND? How can this be? It’s tempting to be dismissive, but like many 30-something women, I love my wine, and if there’s a way to enhance my wine-drinking experience, I want to know about it.
Product: Kabob Maker
When we saw the Kabob Maker, we were interested in testing it out, because you can make meat and vegetable skewers IN THE MICROWAVE! We wanted to see how true this was and if they would be fully cooked and taste good.
The kit comes with the Kabob Maker, 40 wooden skewers, and an instruction booklet. We first read through the booklet (English directions start on page 10 and recipes start on page 38). Before reading the recipes, we had an idea of what foods we wanted to try. We wanted to test poultry, something dense/firm, along with something soft. With this in mind, we purchased chicken, mushrooms, potatoes, eggplant, and green peppers.
Product: Keyboard Waffle Iron
I used to love waffles, but forced myself into pancakes. I didn’t want to be bothered with finding a place to store a waffle maker once I purchased it or the hassle of having a bunch of cords in the kitchen. The Keyboard Waffle Iron, without explanation, is pretty cool, but the fact that I could (possibly) make a good looking waffle and be able to store it is what especially caught my interest.
Product: Easy Weaving Loom
I already know how to knit and crochet, so I’m ready for a new textile challenge. The Easy Weaving Loom caught my eye the minute I saw it in This Just In. After watching this video I was sure I was up for the challenge. It seems simple enough, and once I get the hang of it I can begin to explore different materials and textures. There are endless possibilities!
I completed my experiment in June, and I wanted to make something that would be useful right away. The product story claims that when using this item, “In no time you’ll have a professional looking woven masterpiece than can become a stylish scarf, or cellphone or sunglasses case.” A stylish scarf, while fun to make, would not have be seasonally appropriate. And while the projects that are possible are not limited to these three, I decided a sunglasses case was a good place to start. It’s basic and small enough to finish quickly, so I figured it was good practice and I’d be making something to accompany me to the beach in no time!
As a Graphic Designer who studied painting and drawing in undergrad, my entire life has revolved around different craft projects. Lately, I’ve gotten too far into the computer and am looking to take a step away from pixels to explore some analog creativity. I’ve decided to pair these two items together because they both deal with positive/negative space relationships, one additive and one subtractive. Both kits also use the color blue and involve fabric. I remember doing tie-dye and photo imprint in high school, but haven’t experimented with it since then. I’m excited to jump in!
I’d like to speak about something really important to me and millions of other Americans like me: my personal relationship with the dill pickle. Consider this a Pickle Monologue.
The first batch of pickles I ever made was bittersweet –and I’m not talking bread & butter: those are nasty. No, I’m talking about a metaphorical kind of flavor, one that you can’t actually taste over the vinegary brine, fresh dill, or zesty peppercorns, but is nonetheless real. It was the summer before I would be moving to Brooklyn for my last year of high school, and I made pickles late into the night for a pickle-party where I would be parting with several friends. The secret ingredient that made the brine so good? Tears.
No – I really decided to make pickles as a selfish and misinformed act of appropriation. I had this idea that Brooklyn was full of bearded men making sun tea (see below), and I wanted to make sure I would fit into place.