Home & Garden

Embracing the ‘new feminine’

A year ago, menswear-inspired decorating was wildly popular. Interior designers hung sharply tailored draperies alongside furniture covered in pinstripes. Sophisticated shades of gray were everywhere, as was navy blue.


Local companies, stars share ideas at Old House New House Home Show

Scott Skiermanski of Stoneridge Builders in Prairie Grove wants to help you beautify your bathroom.


Gadget show debuts a few gems for home

LAS VEGAS – Technology forecasters are calling 2015 the year of the Internet of Things – that idea that everyday objects will use sensors and Internet connectivity to start thinking and acting for themselves. At the International CES gadget show this week, I explored many of the elements that could lead to a smarter home. Some were intriguing; others disappointing. Are the capabilities on offer worth the expense and hassle? I’m not entirely convinced.


Improve kitchen in small ways

Another holiday season has passed, and with it the marathon cooking and baking sessions. The hours spent using every kitchen appliance and inch of counter space had a potential benefit more lasting than a good meal: When we really use our kitchens, we discover what does and doesn’t work in this very important room.


Lessons from the past: McHenry County was WWII home of German POWs, Japanese-Americans

At a time when some in this country feel a sense of antipathy toward Arab-Americans living among us, it is worth remembering that during World War II a number of Japanese-Americans – as well as German prisoners of war – were working and living in McHenry County.


Resolved to start gardening in 2015? How to start

The arrival of a new year is always a good time for fresh starts, and there are few things as enjoyable to start – or that provide fresher returns – than gardening.


Feathers soar as a decor trend

When you think of a feather, what comes to mind? Peacock plumage in flamboyant, iridescent blues? Or maybe a leafy glade full of forest creatures and woodsy hues?


Toys can be turned into ornaments

From tractors and trains to cats and knights, my son’s evolving obsessions all find a place on our Christmas tree.


Photo-transfer projects make personalized handmade gifts

Busy lives may require sacrifices, but forgoing handmade gifts for the holidays doesn’t have to be one of them. We only need to plan well to have our crafts and give them away too.


Not crafty? Monthly gift boxes have you covered

Christmas is less than a week away, and once again you find yourself exercising your brain to the max to think of perfect gifts for the ones you love. What do they want? What won’t break the bank? If they’re in from out of town how do they get it home?

Saving Santa: Volunteers repair decoration on display in McHenry for 52 years

McHENRY – “The Santa House” has looked a little empty this year.


'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' turns 50

Just like the song, he's gone down in history. But that's not why the reindeer with his nose so bright was created.


Historian shares story of beloved TV special

UNION – Rick Goldschmidt isn’t one for mincing words. He became the historian and archivist for Rankin/Bass Productions Inc. out of appreciation for the integrity and skill the New York production company exemplified when creating iconic holiday specials such as “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty The Snowman,” “Little Drummer Boy” and “The Year Without a Santa Claus.”


Novice crafter? There’s a project for that

NEW YORK – Inspired by that colorful homemade gingerbread on Instagram or the hand-painted coasters on Pinterest, but worried about your skills?


Post office pays homage to famous reindeer

RUDOLPH, Wis. – Thousands of Christmas cards are pouring into a small Wisconsin village that shares its name with the most famous reindeer.


Tiny critics stoke new sales for toy makers

NEW YORK – A snaggletooth 8-year-old. A middle schooler with a punk rocker bob cut and big earrings. Tween siblings with a penchant for playing.


Social media changes holiday card landscape

For many people, the rules for posting personal news on Facebook, Pinterest and other social media are clear: Put a Good Face on Everything.


Woodstock Wedding Network to provide free wedding for winners of giveaway

WOODSTOCK – Children may dream about their wedding day – the dress, the flowers, the ring – a fairytale event. Then as life twists and turns, those wishes can seem more unobtainable.


Designers offer tips for trees

For generations, the choice was simple:


Cut your own tree at McHenry County Christmas tree farms

The following is a listing of Christmas tree farms in McHenry County.



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