Archive for December, 2007

Shot Glass Candles

December 31st, 2007


A few months ago, I was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania giving a speech to members of the Urban Land Institute.     Since my flight got there rather early (I guess no one realized my flight from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh would take all but 30 minutes), I did what I do best: thrift store shop.

On the outskirts of Philly, I found a small junk/thrift/cafe store that was meant for rummaging.   I found a variety of glass shot glasses and thought they would make lovely tealight candles.   So, for the past few months, they sat stashed away in the craft shed.  Until this holiday break…

Start with clean shot glasses: scour Goodwill, Salvation Army, flea markets, your attic, whatever!  Just don’t go run out and buy brand new ones… defeats the whole point of recycling!


You’ll need some basic supplies: paper or newspaper to cover your work surface, some wicks, an old candle or two, and a large container to melt the wax in.    You can find everything at the craft store.   And look for an old pillar candles at home that–for some reason–you can’t light anymore and could be melted down for the project.


Wicks go into the shot glasses.    They stand upright for now, but once the hot, melted wax is poured in, they’ll fall over to the sides.  So be sure to have something on hand to keep them upright, like leftover Chinese Food takeout chopsticks.  They work really well.


Once the wax is poured into the shot glasses, steady the wicks with chopsticks or twigs.    Allow to cool completely before removing the chopsticks.     Trim the excess wicks.


Finished!   I placed them on an old hotel silver tray in the kitchen.    Light, enjoy, remake!

LED Nest

December 28th, 2007


The holiday are over and I’m slacking on the "time to pack it all back up" department. 

On my front porch, I rolled up a bunch of energy-efficient LED string lights into tightly-wound balls.    Then I placed a power strip on the bench, put a green/mossy wreath on top of the strip, and then started to plug the balls into the strip and stack them on top of each other   It’s like a nest full of soft, glowy LED lights.

I just love the look of this and I love the fact LED lights are very safe to work with.  I also love how these LED lights give off a soft, yellow-y glow; you wold have no idea they are actually totally different from the antiquated incandescent string lights.   I want to keep this out throughout the winter.   

Birch Boxes

December 27th, 2007


Got the holiday blues yet?  Well, don’t!   We still have New Year’s Eve to celebrate!!!

At the Container Store in New York City, I was looking around with absolutely no plan of action. I came across these birch veneer wine holders and though they were really handsome, well-made and a great solution for those of you who aren’t too keen on chopping off a shirt sleeve to wrap a bottle of wine.

The veneer is actually quite flexible and durable and this container can definitely be used over and over.

So, if you have a Container Store near you and you have to bring a bottle of wine to a New Year’s Eve party, this might be your solution. 

Happy New Year!

The New (old) Kitchen

December 26th, 2007


Here are some more "before" photos of the home I recently purchased.   

The kitchen is very typical mid-century modern, isn’t it?   It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the hardwood cabinets are absolutely gorgeous, well-made and—in my opinion—not going anywhere during the renovation.

What I plan on doing is installing all-new Energy Star rated appliances (while finding a local scrap metal dealer to recycle the old appliances), replace the flooring with durable and absorbent cork floor tiles, install some new energy efficient overhead lighting, create a hardworking laundry area and—finally—restore the overhead vent to work as well as it did on Day 1.

The mobile art piece was included in the sale of the house.  I really love it and will probably leave it right there.

In a few weeks, I’ll be blogging weekly on The Huffington Post about the renovation, showing the process, giving you exact names of products and services used and the pros and cons of whatever methods I did on the house.  I have no idea what I’ll be blogging about, but it’ll be honest and to-the-point at least.   Should be interesting….


December 22nd, 2007


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!   

I’m taking this weekend, Christmas Eve and Christmas off from blogging.   

Here’s a photo from my Christmas tree from last year: a live balled tree decorated with a tea party theme.   If you haven’t decorated your tree yet, why not raid your pantry for tea bags, strainers, Chinese food fortune cookies and tea cups?   

Enjoy the time off and relish in every second of this greener, kinder holiday season!   Posts will begin December 26th.

-Danny Seo