In the realm of things I might actually have time to accomplish - this lovely trivet is made just by winding some rope into a beautiful knot pattern, called the Carrick Bend. I think it would make for lovely coasters for my folks out on the East Coast - nautical in nature without beign cheezy. You could probably also use much larger rope and make a cool doormat!
The entire project is beautifully outlined on Design*Sponge. Let me know if you make it!