Vines are six second videos. That’s it. But within that six seconds, you’d be amazed at the stories that can be told. Making an amazing Vine is an art form and there are a select few “Vine Directors” who have made a name for themselves by filming six second videos.
For a brand to find an audience with Vines is a much trickier thing, but Lowe’s has pulled it off in spades. The Lowe’s Vine channel and #LowesFixinSix campaign is one of the most popular on the platform and their Vines have won numerous accolades and awards, including the prestigious Cannes Cyber Lion award. It seems six seconds is the ideal amount of time to create and share a fun, quirky, informative DIY tip.
Check out the DIY tip from Old Town Home. I stole their prop leg for a selfie (above).
I’ve only made a couple Vines, but always marveled at what Lowe’s has achieved with their stop-motion animation Vines. So when Lowe’s asked me if I wanted to spend a couple of days in New York learning and observing how they make their Vines, I jumped at the opportunity. They even asked me to share my own tip that I’d want to see turned into a Vine. AWESOME.
My tip was using sawdust as a desiccant. They turned it into this brilliant Vine.
Lowe’s in collaboration with BBDO, setup a blogger event, and over the course of two days we watched our Vines come to life. It just so happens a good friend of mine, Jason Haymond, was the producer on the set. A full team to include creative directors, producers, director, PA’s, editors and stop-motion experts, were all assembled to create and film four Vines over two days. A tall order for any team, but with Lowe’s and a group of bloggers watching their every move, it must have been a bit more chaotic.
In addition to observing the Vine production, Lowe’s invited members of the creative team from BBDO to share their concepts and process. So much thought and planning goes behind these six seconds that you wouldn’t believe. We also chatted with a team from Buzzfeed which works with Lowe’s to promote these Vines via native advertising, something which Buzzfeed has become known for and has raised to an art form of their own.
Here’s a link to the rest of the blogger Vines on Buzzfeed.
It was an amazing trip and I appreciate Lowe’s pulling back the curtains on this process, which is absolutely fascinating. Whether you’re into DIY or not, the Lowe’s Vines are so addicting, I guarantee you’ll watch more than one.
The cutthroat trout used in my Vine.
Pumpkin carving can be less of a chore by tackling it with your power tools. Nothing can replace the finesse needed to carve pumpkins but for some of the tougher jobs or larger pumpkins, a little 12 or 18 volt power can make the job go much faster.
Here are five power tools that can help you with your pumpkin carving.
The jigsaw (shown above) is the perfect tool for cutting the tops off a pumpkin. Just plunge the blade straight into the pumpkin and go for it. We found that turning the pumpkin around the saw instead of moving the saw, works much better.
2. Oscillating Tool
There is a reason this is the fastest growing power tool category. Oscillating tools can do everything and that’s no exception when it comes to pumpkin carving. Place a cutting blade on it and you can trim a stem or cut out eyes. Use a circular blade and cut tops out or carve eyebrows. The scraper is perfect for removing the pumpkin guts from the top giving you a smooth surface. You could even use the sander attachment and create some interesting textures on the pumpkin surface. You’re only limited by your imagination with this tool.
3. Mini-recip Saw
Our Milwaukee Hackzall is a down-sized version of the popular Sawzall recip-saw which makes it ideal for slicing up a pumpkin. It’s grip and size will dice up a pumpkin like butter.
4. Dremel tool
For carving details the Dremel tool can’t be beat. You can use a variety of attachments for a desired effect and the pencil-hold hand position can give you precise control of how deep and straight you make a cut.
5. Drill with Hole Saw and Spade Bits
The hole saw is the perfect attachment for cutting jack-o-lantern eyes. You’ll never get as perfect a circle and as quickly. You can also create interesting patterns by using various diameter spade bits.
6. Reciprocating Saw
When it’s time to cut into the big boys, only a recip saw will do. No pumpkin is safe from this corded recip saw from DeWALT.
What’s your favorite tool to carve pumpkins with?
Staples continues to remind us that they are much more than an office supply store. Their depth of product and innovative services offered are always welcome to small business and we love that they aren’t afraid to take risks and dive into categories that aren’t fully mature, like 3D printing and now home automation with their new Staples Connect system.
We interviewed Peter Gerstburger, who is the Director of Technology Merchandise and New Business Development at Staples. We want to know more about Staples commitment to the smart home market and what trends they’ve identified that consumers should be aware of.
Home Vroom: What prompted Staples to enter the home automation market?
Peter: At Staples, we’re always keeping our finger on the pulse of what our customers need, and investing in new products, services, and even entire new categories to fit those needs. Where we succeed is listening to our core customers and creating products for the everyday user. We knew that connected home technology was finally ripe for our mainstream audience and we had a great partner, Zonoff, ready to power the software within Staples Connect. Together we created a user-friendly, price-efficient option for our customers to build their own smart home or business. We’re proud to be one of the first retailers to drive adoption and education of this new market segment.
Home Vroom: Why would a consumer choose Staples Connect over the myriad of other connected home systems available?
Peter: Staples Connect has made home and small office automation “easy.” Plus we’ve partnered with well known brand names to deliver the widest and most reliable selection of devices. At the moment, Staples Connect boasts 38 unique partners and supports a total of 148 devices.
The hub itself is highly intuitive and has very stable device management. You can even control it through a variety of channels, including your web browser, native apps for iPhone and iPad, Android, Microsoft 8, and Jawbone UP. The major differentiator for Staples Connect is the ease of use for the system. You don’t need to be a hacker to figure out how to use it in your home or office and we have a “device assistant” feature to help you set everything up.
Historically, price has been the biggest obstacle towards achieving mainstream adoption of the connected home. While there is still somewhat of a connotation of luxury that surrounds the idea of a “smart home”, we’ve worked with Zonoff to create a solution that enables consumers to get started for under $100. For the smart home to enter the mass market and our target audience, it needs to be accessible at a mainstream price and that’s what we are offering. Right now, the Linksys Staples Connect hub is retailing at $49.99, and our new D-link hub will retail at $79.99 when it becomes available this fall.
Home Vroom: Staples was one of the first big box retailers to sell a 3D Printer (the Cube), which is very progressive. How does Staples decide which technologies to get behind.
Peter: We’re very much in touch with the latest innovations in consumer devices and technology, but we’re also in touch with what our customers want and what would best serve them. We are very cognizant of our audience, so we want to make sure that we’re earning the trust our consumers have in our brand and in our name. Our customers want to make their lives easier and we want to provide products that do just that. When it comes to technology, we only want to work with products and features which are intuitive and user-friendly, and which stay true to our overall goals to make life easier.
Home Vroom: What smart home trends should consumers be aware of and what features are important to help “future-proof” our homes?
Peter: There are going to be a host of new devices, features, and services coming into play over the next few months and years. We think one of the most popular will be wearables, which is why we’ve included wearable integration in our Staples Connect platform. It is an exciting way to connect the disparate parts of your life into one, well-designed and easy to use control panel, and we think there is a lot of opportunity for experimentation here.
One of the best ways to future-proof your home is to invest in a system which is committed to staying flexible and evolves in what devices it supports. With home automation, it’s all about which devices work on which protocol. The Staples Connect hub, for instance, runs with Z-Wave, Lutron Clear Connect, Wi-Fi, Zigbee and Bluetooth LE, ensuring that any device on those networks can work within our system. It gives us one of the most diverse selections of devices and features on the market. Popular product categories include smart door locks and doorbell systems; door, motion and water sensors; IP cameras; thermostats; plug modules; voice activation systems; lighting products and dimmers; and motorized blinds and shades.
This article was originally published on Home Vroom and re-posted here with their permission.]]>
We recently gave our outdoor patio a facelift by restoring it with Olympic Rescue It!
Now is your chance to do the same!!!
We’re offering a Prep Kit Giveaway that includes everything you need to rescue your deck or patio.
One coupon, redeemable for up to three gallons of Rescue It! and up to 2.5 gallons of Olympic Deck Cleaner as well as a Lowe’s gift card valued at $25 suggested for use to purchase the following items: Wooster Paint brush/roller/tray kit; one DAP Clear outdoor caulk; and 3M brand sandpaper.
HOW TO ENTER
You can enter once-per-day by leaving a comment below.
We will select one random winner at 12 midnight EST on Sunday, November 3rd, 2014.
+ Make sure you provide a working email in the comment form so we can contact the winner who will have 24 hours to respond to an announcement to claim the prize.
+ We take no responsibility for the service or use of the this product.
+ Only residents age 18+ of the U.S. are eligible to win.
+ All rules are subject to change without notice.
+ Please review our Giveaway policy.
Decks and patios get hit hard during the summer. It’s when they are usually under the heaviest foot traffic and receive the most amount of damaging UV light.
This week we used the Olympic Rescue It! Wood and Concrete Resurfacer on our back patio. We’ve lived with a stained and cracked rear patio for awhile now, but we’re not in a position to tear up the concrete or do something drastic, but we want to give our patio a facelift. The Rescue It product is a 100% acrylic resurfacer that locks down splinters on wood decks but also fills in cracks up to 1/4″ deep. Most importantly it provides a waterproofing protection which will prolong the life of our patio.
UPDATE: Olympic is sponsoring a Rescue It! Giveaway – click here for more details
We also love that it’s barefoot friendly but also slip-resistant. Our son runs around barefoot all the time in our backyard and when our concrete patio gets wet, it can be very dangerous.
Rescue It requires two coats which will cover about 50 square feet. But before you start painting you’ll need to thoroughly clean your deck or patio using the Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner as well as a power washer if you have one.
The tough part is waiting for it to dry but you can’t start painting until it’s completely dry.
Our stained concrete.
Make sure you thoroughly mix it as we noticed some sediment had settled on the bottom of the can which took about 5 minutes of good stirring to mix in.
Rescue It goes on with a basic 1/2″ nap roller and to make life easier we used a painting pole as well.
The paint goes on smoothly and doesn’t splatter and drying times are different based on your temperature and humidity, but we were walking on it within 24 hours.
Olympic did this great how-to video which we followed to the tee.
I have been sponsored by PPG to create this video but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
We live an indoor/outdoor lifestyle, here in Southern California. We consider the backyard an extension of our living space and treat it as such with our furnishings, cooking and entertaining areas as well as our son’s play area.
Because we spend so much time outdoors, we’ve taken the time to design our space and a big element of that is considering the color of our walls.
We have lived with a white wall that our son has turned into her personal outdoor chalkboard and it’s neutral and OK, but we’ve got the itch to add some color to give some depth and richness to our space.
We found a great Hunter Green from the Olympic ICON exterior line. It’s a satin sheen and what we love about it is it’s mildew resistant properties as well as self-primer and low-VOC features.
We made a quick video highlighting this paint as well as the application process. Because the wall gets a lot of afternoon sun we needed it to also be UV resistant and not fade, which is another benefit of going with Olympic.
An unintended but still beneficial use is the new paint color makes a great canvas for our son who absolutely loves his outdoor chalkboard. The white wall we previously had up just didn’t have enough contrast but this darker color makes his drawings really pop and he loves it. The chalk just rinses off with a spray of water and it doesn’t harm the paint whatsoever.
I have been sponsored by PPG to create this video but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.]]>
Wagner is one of the top names when it comes to paint sprayers and they continue to innovate with products that feature more power, performance and utility for the homeowner.
They recently introduced the Wagner FLEXiO 890 indoor/outdoor hand-held sprayer kit. It’s suitable for all projects around the house and combines their iSpray nozzle, detail finish nozzle and X-Boost Turbine, that brings pro level performance to y our home projects.
We’ve done a quick walkthrough of the product as well as a real world test as we painted an exterior wall. We found the case which contains the compressor, hose and two sprayers to be very convenient and easy to use. Setup of the unit was very straightforward and the dreaded cleanup was a cinch.
We like that it comes with two nozzle sizes. One for broad surfaces and the other for small projects and fine finishing. During our test we were impressed with how quiet the unit was. It’s really just a low hum and the weight of the sprayer isn’t too bad. The wall we painted was small but we can imagine how fatigue could set in for larger projects, so shaving any weight would help reduce that, which it seems like they did.
The Wagner FLEXIO 890 is available for $189 at your local home center.]]>
Let’s face it, soap dishes are gross. Because water settles, the soap always remains slimy, plus when it dries it can stick to the dish and make it tough to dislodge.
SOAPSEAT has solved this problem with their innovative soap dish, currently up on Kickstarter. They’ve hit their goal but are looking to stretch and go bigger.
The concept is simple. Provide an elegant looking soap dish that will look good and fit any type of sink or tub design. Your soap bar sits on a trio of raised bars which allows water to flow underneath and keeps your soap from getting slimy. It also encourages a faster dry.
These photos and gifs tell the story best.
Yay for inventors and dry soap!!!
How many times do you wish you knew a handyman or designer who was willing to ask any and all of your questions about your home? How many trips to the hardware store or showroom would this save?
Fountain promises to be the literal answer to your dreams.
To use Fountain you simply open the app, ask your question and within 5 minutes or less you’ll have an expert available to video chat with about your question. You can also text and speak to them over the phone if video chat isn’t your thing. Fountain has made it easy to take photos during your conversation, mark them up and send them to the expert for better clarification.
“My faucet is leaking” Boom, you’re on with a Plumber.
“What color scheme would look good in this room?” You’re just a few minutes away from an Interior Designer who you can show around the room with live video.
“Is $3,000 too much to tile my bathroom?” You’ll get a flooring expert who’s not trying to get your business to give you an objective assessment of costs.
I tested Fountain with the founder, Aaron Patzer (who also founded Mint), who walked me through the video chat and image messaging system. I’m still on an iPhone 4s but the system worked really well. Aaron’s face was clear and the sound, images and videos streamed seamlessly.
Fountain is opening up to beta testers on Saturday morning at 9am EST. It will be available free of charge to the first 300 visitors from Charles & Hudson. Click here to download the app and ask a question.
After this week’s beta test, Fountain will cost $5 a question. Five bucks- the cost of a latte – will buy you a block of time: about 15 minutes for Gardening and Plumbing advice, 12 minutes for Appliance repair, and 10 minutes for Interior Design. Check in the app as these may change. If you need more time, it goes in $5 increments to make things simple.
This isn’t the first app to tap into the promise of natural language processing and artificial intelligence, but it’s got serious talent and money behind it, so we’ll be following their progress closely.
Home improvement is the perfect space for Fountain to launch, but they’ve got their eyes set on the entire Q&A universe, and if this initial launch works out then look for them to expand into other areas such as law, medicine, etc.
Fountain is currently only available as an iOS app.
The Dyson Humidifier is the only humidifier with patented ultraviolet cleanse technology, killing 99.% of bacteria and projecting clean mist into the room, evenly and powerfully.
Why a humidifier?
The average person spends 90% of their time indoors. They breathe in and out 20,000 times each day, and draw over 3,000 gallons of air into their lungs. Dry air can lead to dry skin, itchiness, scratchy throats, nosebleeds and more, so people turn to humidifiers to cope. But existing humidifiers can be unhygienic – some don’t properly treat the water in the tank, allowing contaminated water to be spread about the room. Others don’t distribute mist evenly, leaving pockets of dry air. The Dyson humidifier uses patented ultraviolet cleanse technology that exposes every drop of water to an ultraviolet light – twice, killing 99.9% of bacteria before any mist is projected into the room. This, coupled with Air Multiplier™ technology, allows the machine to distribute the mist around the whole room evenly and efficiently.
James Dyson says: “Humidifiers are sometimes seen as a way to combat allergies and the symptoms of colds and the flu – but in reality many can do quite the opposite. The majority are a breeding ground for nasty germs, which are then distributed around your home. Using patented UV light technology, the Dyson humidifier kills 99.9% of bacteria in the water before the machine is set to work.”
A piezoelectric transducer in the base of the machine, vibrating up to 1.7 million times a second, breaks the water down into microscopic particles, which are drawn up through the loop amplifier and projected through the air using Air Multiplier™ technology.
Using an Intelligent Climate Control, the Dyson humidifier is able to measure both the temperature and the moisture in the air. One press of the remote, and the machine will create a comfortable, hygienic environment. The machine runs for up to 18 hours on a single tank of water.
Availability: Fall 2015 (Pricing not yet available.)]]>