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February 2008

February 11, 2008

How to make easy sterling silver earrings

Hearts and Crafts

Do-It-Yourself Bling
One day, I lost an earring to the sucking vortex of the toilet.  After the shrieking stopped, I vowed to cheat the toilet gods forevermore.  I’d make my own earrings, so whenever I lost one I could replace it.  No more orphaned bijoux, no more toilet-centric anguish.   

Ann_wylietoalI was further inspired by Ann Wylie-Toal, a designer and artist living in Flesherton Ontario (www.awtdesigns.com).  I visited her studio and in 7 minutes flat, she whipped up an amazingly complex pair of gold wire earrings for me. Ann has a 3-D aptitude to rival Leonardo da Vinci’s, but I didn’t realize this until I decided to make earrings for Christmas presents.

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February 08, 2008

Green, Sustainable and Eco Friendly Flooring


Dsc00075_copy Guilt-free flooring

Modern flooring is veering away from synthetic carpets and vinyl.  This is largely because people keep hearing about all of the potentially harmful compounds resulting from the manufacturing process.  Who wants floors that will be off-gassing dioxins, lead, cadmium and phthalate plasticizers for the foreseeable future? 

And while most of us aren’t rabid about using exclusively green products, few people enjoy hearing that 5 billion pounds of worn-out carpet are discarded in North American landfills every year.  And that stuff doesn’t break down, ever. So ten thousand years from now, future humans will be able to mine ancient landfills for synthetic carpet fibers to use as home-heating fuel in their ultra-low-emission furnaces.  Oh wait, according to global warming experts, no one will need a furnace by then.

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February 07, 2008

El Dumpo Grande

P1010630 It snowed two feet overnight.  Hundreds of songbirds came up from the valley to feed at the ever-overflowing birdfeeders. (I had to wear snowshoes to make it to the feeders this morning!)  The birds love the bowl-shaped feeders (made from hard-shelled gourds) on top of the fence.  P1010644

An excellent entertainment center for furry goofballs.

February 06, 2008

Find Furniture Plans Online

Wood That I Could!

It’s that time of year when meteorological anguish compels many Canadians to attempt woodworking projects.  Maybe you got some new tools for Christmas, or perhaps you’re just seized with the nesting urge, but I’m betting that in the past week you’ve thought of at least one home improvement project you’d like to accomplish.  And now your only question is, “Is there some relative I can foist it on?”

If you come up empty on that one, your next question is usually, “Well, how hard can it be?”


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February 05, 2008

ReStore Salvage Building Materials


A heap o’ cheapo building supplies
Not_craw_claw_2Canadians are starting to feel the pinch of winter.  I know, because I’m getting letters from every province, from every age group.  People are starting to plan their spring renovations now. 

And just like old-timers can predict weather patterns by the foraging habits of rodents, I can predict that 2008 is going to be a big year for being handy. 

My correspondents seek sisterly advice about cottage renovations, basement remodels, kitchen upgrades and exterior touch-ups.  The home improvement bug is clearly out of the larvae stage and starting to think about reproducing.

For example: 

Dear Mag, 

I own an old park model trailer that I will be painting this year.  I want to replace the existing decorative shutters with wooden ones. Something very simple structurally but with a cut-out design (ie: trillium, bird etc.) in the centre of the shutter. Do you have any suggestions?       

Continue reading "ReStore Salvage Building Materials" »


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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