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Cranking Widgets Blog

By Brett Kelly

Candle dish birdbath

Materials: Ikea Bigarra Candle Dish, 3, 4' wood dowels Description: I bought the Bigarra Candle Dish to use as a - GASP - candle dish. A few days later I began thinking about making a birdbath from scratch because most of them are either too expensive or too ugly. Oftentimes, they are both.

High Interest: How to Choose Between Checking, Savings, and CDs

In a rocky economy, high interest rates are the holy grail of conservative investors, especially those who don’t want to to invest in bonds. But in this rocky economy, “high interest” hasn’t really meant much: High-interest savings accounts are returning below two percent! Get Rich Slowly readers are just like everybody else.

Money Myths That Keep You From Making Big Money: Myth 5

“It Takes Money To Make Money!” No. It doesn’t. Again, with this statement we believe that we are dependent on those who are sitting on a mountain of money. It takes an investment to make money or create wealth.

Financing Your Dream: What’s the Right Path?

In my 15 years as an entrepreneur and, now, venture capitalist, I have seen great entrepreneurs stumble on the path to funding. They’re super-confident and passionate about their big idea and how it will change the world, but ill-prepared to finance it.

So You Want My Job: Air Traffic Controller

Once again we return to our So You Want My Job series, in which we interview men who are employed in desirable jobs and ask them about the reality of their work and for advice on how men can live their dream. Last time we heard from the guy who flies the planes. This week we talk to the man who lands them.

10 Tips for Parents Who Want to Help Their Children Handle Social Struggles.

Every Wednesday is Tip Day. This Wednesday: 10 tips for parents who want to help their children navigate social struggles. A few days ago, in a post about teasing, I quoted from Michael Thompson's excellent book, Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children.

Eighteen “Best Money Tips” from the Facebook Fans (and My Comments)

Recently, I asked the fans of The Simple Dollar on Facebook what their favorite single money tip was. I got all kinds of responses from all kinds of angles. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I went through the list and started just pulling out ones that made me smile and before I knew it, I had eighteen.

Tupplur blinds used to display vintage destination blind

Materials: 2x Tupplur blinds Description: My husband and I own a vintage destination blind from Brisbane Australia which is over 3m in length. I had nowhere that high to hang it in my house but I didn't want to cut it up. My husband purchased two Ikea Tupplur blinds and used the mechanisms from them (top and bottom) so that we could display the tram scroll in one piece.

EXPEDITion Guatemala

Materials: Expedit shelves, MDF, upcycled burlap coffee sacks Description: After lining our office walls with EXPEDIT shelves, we realized we could never afford enough of the baskets that IKEA sells to fill all of the holes. To cover unsightly stored items, we fashioned "screens" out of MDF and covered them with burlap coffee sacks, scored from a local roaster.

Interview with Blanca

"If it weren’t for the Internet I would probably still be working on more corporate type projects."

The Future of Work (via Healthcare)

"It made us believe that discovery was the only hard part. Execution would be easy." An inspiring commencement speech from doctor/writer Atul Gawande.

Focus on Results, Not Time

Why more hours spent at the office doesn't necessarily mean more things accomplished...

Client Research: How Do You Do Your Homework?

When making contact with a client, do you know what they do? What they represent? Who they want to reach? In short, do you know who they are and what they do?

Four Simple Steps to Getting Fit

When you reach a certain age, you start to resemble what you eat—and that’s bad news for people like me, who crave chocolate, beer, and croissants. A few years ago my back gave out when both my kids jumped on me at the same time.

Unitasker Wednesday: The can grip

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy! Some weeks, I need to write a great amount of exposition about our featured unitasker because some folks might not be aware of how a product lacks utility. This is not one of those weeks.