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DIY Halloween: Creepy crafts to haunt your halls
Creepy and clever Halloween decorations don't have to come from a store. Rather than snagging more decor from the big-box store shelves this year (and dealing with all the wasteful plastic packaging), I decided to try to work with what I had on hand instead.

I took a peek around the house and recycle bin for materials, and racked my brain for ideas. Then, I scoured Pinterest and a handful of DIY blogs for a little help to execute them, and came up with a few projects that require just a handful of supplies.

If you're looking to up the creep factor of your house for the holiday, roll up your sleeves and give one of these projects a try. More »

The butterfly bus: Inspiring envionmental stewardship one stop at a time
In the Galesburg schools, Rhonda Brady is known as the "butterfly lady." The label seems appropriate for a woman whose knowledge of the monarch butterfly fills a bus. Literally.

Since 1997, Brady has spoken about monarchs to about 1,500 school children each year. She also talks to garden clubs, church groups and other organizations that are interested in pollinators.

Last year, she and her husband Larry bought a bus she calls... More »

'Merchants': The selling of doubt
Based on the book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, the new film "Merchants of Doubt" sheds light on the sleight of hand used by climate-change deniers, using a magician demonstrating card tricks to illustrate the metaphor.

The sowing of doubt about the validity of scientific data didn't start with global warming. "Merchants" by Robert Kenner, who directed "Food, Inc." cites the debate over the safety of cigarettes, when the tobacco... More »

Amazing grains: A cool-weather salad with some whole-grain goodness
I'm a gal who loves a salad. It wasn't always that way. When I was a kid, putting a bowl full of lettuce in front of me was akin to setting a centerpiece on the table: When the meal was over, it would still be there, untouched.
Of course, the salads of my youth only vaguely resemble salads as I eat them today. Back then, they were largely comprised of a few torn, wan leaves of iceberg lettuce. Perhaps there would be some shredded carrot, perhaps... More »

From the editor
Many of my favorite childhood memories involve making things with my hands. Sewing with my mom, and all of the strange projects I created, including a patchwork, too-tiny-to-use stocking. Drawing with my dad — or, more accurately, begging my dad to draw the pictures for my school projects. Building various Playdough creations with my brother.

Several summer and early-autumn days were spent helping my mom here and there in the giant... More »

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