Help get Mr. Dog's Christmas back in print!

Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn is a classic in our friend Betsy Cordes' family, but it's currently out of print, and hard to find. Not for much longer though!

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The family have enlisted award-winning artist Adam McCauley to revive Albert Bigelow Paine's timeless tale with new illustrations, and in color no less. They've already invested a lot of love and money into the project, and are looking for a little help from their pals - and Kickstarter - to raise the remaining funds.

Watch the below to hear Betsy and her dad explain how this great Christmas tale came to be so important to their family, and how you can be involved in bringing it back into circulation.

Visit the Kickstarter project page to support the return of Mr. Dog!

 

Feel like making coasters?

Take your best photos yet with these fun tools

As smartphone technology improves the job of the amateur photographer becomes easier and easier - and more fun. These are our top five camera accessories for smartphones, from our buddies at Photojojo. They'll help you take the best photos possible, so that your Coastermatic coasters look even better too!

The Photojojo Lens Set includes a pro-quality Fisheye, Super Fisheye, Telephoto, Wide Angle, Macro and Polarizing cellphone lens, all of which are compatible with iPhone and Android.

The Phone-o-Chrome full-spectrum color filter. This cutie fits in your wallet, and allows you to throw a filter on your photo before you take it. 

The Macro Cell Lens Band, a sturdy band with a built-in macro lens for incredibly detailed images. It works with any any mobile phone!

The Une Bobine, a super-bendy phone cable and tripod in one.

Of course, you could always cut straight to the chase and purchase Photojojo's awesome Phoneography Starter Kit. The kit includes a Wide/Macro lens, a Phone-o-chrome Phone filter, a full scholarship to Photojojo University and a pouch to hold it all.

 

Now you have your tools in order, get Instagramming so you have plenty of great shots to use for your next set of coasters!

Our top five beer cocktails

All this sunshine's been making us thirsty! And when we're thirsty we research refreshing beverages to help with that, which is how we ended up discovering these five delicious spins on an old classic. Beer.

*You may have tried a Michelada, but you haven't tried THIS Michelada.

*The Weissen Sour, basically a whisky sour made with beer. Seriously.

*The Black Velvet: who would've thought sparkling wine and Guinness would complement each other so magnificently. (Make it with cider and you have the Poor Man's Black Velvet).

*Um, Beergaritas… possibly beating out the Weissen Sour for best liquor + beer combination.

*Last but not least, it turns out subbing blood orange juice for lemonade makes for a pretty great version of a shandy.

Pro-tip: Make that beer cocktail even more satisfying by serving it on a custom-made Coastermatic coaster.

One To Watch: Street Artist JR

Instagram has made it possible for artists to share their work.. instantly. We love it when it allows us to find incredible work like this pic from Paris / NYC based street artist JR (@jr).

JR is actually the man behind Inside Out, the People's Art Project, which invites participants to gather five or more people around a single statement and to submit their portraits (as inspired by the statement). Inside Out print them as posters and return them to the group to exhibit by pasting them in their community.

The project started in 2011, after JR won the TED Prize. Since, it has inspired group actions on varied themes such as hope, diversity, gender-based violence and climate change. Nearly 200,000 people from more than 112 countries & territories have participated to date.

JR's personal work (e.g. above) is similarly powerful. By exhibiting in the streets of the world he hopes to catch the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors. His work is incredible and he documents it on Instagram.

For more on Inside Out visit www.insideoutproject.net. For more on JR go to www.jr-art.net.

 

Use your Instagram photos to create a set of Coastermatic custom coasters.

Pro-tips for taking great Coastermatic pics

Coastermatic coasters are a great way to seal existing memories in stone, but why not set out to create the kinds of coasters you'd like in your home - or as unique, personalized gifts?

Here are a few questions that'll help you plan the perfect coasters:

*Who are they for?

*What role would you like the coasters to play (conversation starter /  memory sparker / homeware)?

*What space are they likely to sit in?

A great set includes coasters that complement each other in some way, whether that be through color, theme or subject (etc.) For technical tips on taking great photos via Instagram, check out this post by our buds at Photojojo.

For inspiration from fellow Coastermatic users, check out these great sets by Phillip Hess, Chris Cannon and Taylor Allen.

Good to go? Why not start a set!