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December 2007

December 31, 2007

For the Knife of Me - New utility knife from Irwin

Irwin_knife Irwin Snap Blade

Why a Snap Blade?
The Irwin Bi-Metal Snap blade actually contains 8 mini-blades.  When you notice that your blade is starting to lose its edge (i.e. it's as dull as a fish's abdomen) you simply extend the blade, snap off the old segment along a scored line and voila - fresh new cutting surface. 

The Irwin snap knife is ergonomically designed and easy to control.  It has a handy storage hatch for up to 3 replacement blade, and the blades themselves are composed of two different kinds of metal to maximize efficiency and durability. 

The body of the blade is spring steel, so you can exert a lot of pressure without breaking the blade and launching bits of shrapnel into soft body parts.  Tough, hIgh-speed steel forms the blade edge, keeping the edge sharp much longer.  You'll get 3 times the number of cuts you'd get with a regular carbon steel blade.

Irwin also makes a Pro model that has a slightly stickier grip, contains free refills, and comes in two sizes to fit your very own hand.  Available at most hardware retailers.

A visit from the coyotes

P1010490The tracks were there at dawn. 

Darn.  The excitement you miss when you're sleeping.

December 30, 2007

The Best Week for Sunsets

P1010420The best week of the year is the seven days between Christmas and the New Year.  No business calls.  No checking e-mail 20 times a day.  You can spend whole afternoons just reading and thinking. Or stretched out beside the window, watching the shadows lengthen.

The best.

P1010428 P1010444


December 28, 2007

How to crochet with fishing line (nylon monofilament)

P1010451 What's My Line?  Forty-Pound Test!

In this week's newspaper column (REPRINTED with lots of extra photos BELOW) I covered crocheting cool stuff with fishing line, an idea that came to me when I was stringing Christmas garlands with 40-pound-test monofilament ($3.99 a spool at Canadian Tire).  I'm not a fisherperson, but I think the numbered ranking of the line refers to the size of fish that the line can handle. For example, 40-pound-test is strong enough to reel in a 40-pound fish.  If you can explain that more accurately, please feel free to add a comment below. 

I'll be putting up photos over the next few days to give you step-by-step instructions and ways to embellish your monofilament creations with epoxy, wire, etc.  (They're up - see below)

P1010450 P1020983_hi_rez Meanwhile, the birds are all OVER the monofilament birdfeeders outside my window.

If bird-feeding isn't your thing, here's a groovy bottle hassock to try: Easy, easy, easy.

Continue reading "How to crochet with fishing line (nylon monofilament)" »

December 24, 2007

Have a Great Christmas

Wintry_dusk Here at ToolGirl.com we've embraced The Season.   We're lying around in front of the fatted yule log and eating shards of meringues sent all the way from California by my sister Gillian.  And we're disobeying any promptings from our work ethic. 

We'll be posting again after the final thrusts of Christmas indulgence, and we'll also be going to the post office with parcels for all of our Uni-ball 207 winners whose names were entered in our ongoing Daily Tool Giveaway because they subscribe to the free ToolGirl Newsletter

We've got big plans after all the sleeping and eating is over. 

Till then, have a truly great holiday.
Mag and the ToolGirl Team

December 19, 2007


P1020944We've had a bit of snow.  We called Bob.  Bob has a tractor.   We love Bob.P1020945

December 16, 2007

What is Red Green doing now?

Steve_with_an_axeThe_fabulous_miromars Red Green creator Steve Smith is having the time of his life with a new project.  Check out the story of The Fabulous Miromars and their inspiring message - "Getting older allows you to do what you love."

Avonlea Christmas Tonight

462_avonlea_xmas CTV is rebroadcasting the Avonlea Christmas reunion movie tonight at 7:00 p.m. (Eastern).  More info on CTV's web site.

Insider tip:  It was July when we shot this movie, so our cheeks are only pink because we were hot!

December 15, 2007

New Video! How to prevent glue and caulk from drying out

In this week's entertaining video, toolgeeks Andy and Mag launch a bi-lateral attack on dried out caulk!  (3 minutes viewing time) 

TIP:  You can get your own caulk preservers from Lee Valley Tools.  Talk about the perfect stocking stuffer.

December 13, 2007

New Home Depot concept store - DIY HEAVEN, BABY!

P1020921Home Depot's new Project Store opens today in Richmond Hill and yesterday I got an official press tour from Regional VP Jeff Kinnaird and Frank Turco, the Home Depot's Decor and Colour Trends expert. 

P1010320 The store is pretty hot.  Also, the donuts were good.  It's important for journalists to carbohydrate load prior to a store tour.


By the way, the photo above is the huge new workshop area in the store.  Plus there are electronic kiosks all over the place where you can print instructions for over 400 DIY projects, and there are even call boxes if you hit a spousal impasse when trying to choose carpet or siding, or if you're baffled about plumbing and need to summon a sales associate.  Decor_central

Vast open spaces abound, especially in the design and decor areas.  Parts of the store are hardly recognizable as the Home Depot, although the orange decorating theme helps to keep you oriented.

And the tool corral is no stuffy, closed off area for burly types; it's wide open and airy and every tool is lovingly displayed so you can get your hands on it and palpate its features. 


TIP:  This store even carries the hot new Ryobi Lithium Ion kit ($349), which is harder and harder to find as people scarf 'em up for Christmas. 

The Home Depot Project Store, the first of its kind in North America, is located in Richmond Hill, Ontario at the corner of Elgin Mills and Leslie.   


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Mag's Books

  • : We're All In This Together

    We're All In This Together
    Based on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag's unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.

  • : How Hard Can It Be?

    How Hard Can It Be?
    Mag's quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.

Nota Bene

  • It’s never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot (1819-1880)
  • Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought. - My fortune cookie