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March 2008

March 28, 2008

Silk - The secret to a good night's sleep

Off the Sleep End!
Need relief from snoring and/or night sweats?

P1040590 hi res
This is a mid-life quiz.  Check all that apply. If you score higher than 5, you’ve hit mid-life.  If you score higher than 10, you’ve hit it hard.  

  • You sleep with someone who snores, has sleep apnea or sinus congestion
  • His or her congested breathing causes them to emit short, sharp snorts
  • You wake up every time he or she snorts louder than 70 decibels
  • Which is often.  And deafening.
  • Mid-life hormones wake you up at least once per night, drenched
  • You get up, stand on the icy bathroom tiles and blow-dry your body 
  • You go back to bed and thrash around trying to find a dry spot
  • The snorter awakes, somewhat irritated
  • The only dry spot left in the bed is right next to the snorter, so you make your move
  • The closer you get, the more irritated and restless the snorter becomes
  • It’s too darn hot snuggling and the perspiration starts to flow again
  • You back off to your original spot, organize the pillows around your ears to reduce snorting volume and thrust out a bare leg to moderate body temperature; Sometimes both of you go back to sleep.  Not often.     

Up until one month ago, I had not slept well in years for ALL of the above reasons.

Continue reading "Silk - The secret to a good night's sleep" »

March 25, 2008

The promise of Spring over snowy fields

P1010791_2 Soon.  Soon.  Soon.  Soon.  Soon.

How to make chair seats from old neck ties

Reupholstering with neckties

138f Once our Christmas house guests finally left (after I asked them to rip up the laundry room floor and find the radon leak) I drove to Boston, where I’m now tormenting relatives with the fine art of being a house guest. So far I’ve overslept, overeaten and over expressed myself as often as possible.

Are they enjoying my company? So much so that they gave me some stuff to do, like finding the freon leak in the freezer. And then they all went out. It’s a pacing thing. They can’t have too much fun all at once.

And speaking of fun, ever wondered what to do with all of those old neckties that your male relatives never wear anymore? My sister had an idea. She turned them into sittable art. Weaving ties into chair seats is way easier than, say, finding the freon leak in a freezer, plus there are no painful accidents with your tongue.

Continue reading "How to make chair seats from old neck ties" »

March 23, 2008

Tie Basket Photos

These additional photos from Gillian may help you tie basket..... Tie_pinned_together_prior_to_sewi_2

             Tie pinned together prior to sewing                  


Tie sewn together to form a tube

March 12, 2008

How to Make Baskets and Hats from Recycled Neck Ties

91_tie_crafts To Tie For!
Silk ties make gorgeous art

They say that talent is hitting a target that no one else can hit, whereas genius is hitting a target that no one else can see.  My sister Gillian Danner falls into the latter category. 

  She has a habit of coming up with designs that nobody else would think of, plus they actually look good.  I’ve been trying to figure out how she succeeds in creating art, where I produce stuff that the church auxiliary ladies quietly omit from rummage sales.

Tie_bowls_3 One of Gill’s techniques is that she repurposes objects to serve functions they were never intended for.  For example, she’ll turn magazine photos into tiny hand-rolled lacquered beads, or convert antique farm implements into toilet paper dispensers or sculpt gentleman’s ties into silk baskets.

Continue reading "How to Make Baskets and Hats from Recycled Neck Ties" »

March 09, 2008

How to Engrave Designs on Glass

P1010679(this is a glass that my friend Sue made using a Dremel for the first time!)

A Blast from the Glass

DIY Engraving

My coordination has been a bit off since, oh, puberty. Even now that I've entered my supposedly mature years I’m still a spiller and a breaker. When I go to friends’ places for dinner, I request plastic drinking vessels. People resisted this at first, thinking I was exaggerating. But they’ve learned. I have UASS. (Upper Adulthood Spiller Syndrome).


My own glassware is a ragged collection of mismatched pieces; the type of assortment one usually reserves for the cottage. Only I don’t have a cottage. (We spillers live the cottage lifestyle with or without beachfront real estate, because we never have full sets of anything.) 

But I’ve discovered a great method of bringing uniformity to my snifters, goblets and highballs: Glass engraving, a totally enjoyable pastime. You don’t need to be particularly artistic, because if you’re not confident with freehand drawing, you can just trace paper patterns, photos, quotations, leaves, flowers, fabric or wallpaper through the glass.

Continue reading "How to Engrave Designs on Glass" »

March 05, 2008

How to Setup and use a Delta Lathe.

Keith Potts gives me a primer on my new lathe....

March 04, 2008

Livio Di Marchi

Dave Scarberry sent these photos of the incredible woodworking skills of Italian sculptor Livio Di Marchi.  Thanks Dave!









March 02, 2008

Workshop Show - Saturday

P1010760_2 This is the show from my perspective on stage.  Nice crowd don't you think?

March 01, 2008

Canadian Home Workshop Show 2008

P1030658 Testing the answer to the, "What is your favourite saw?" question.  A Japanese style pull saw of course!

P1030574 Friday at the workshop show with my favourite crowd; mostly high school kids and hobbyists.

P1030619 I love meeting people one on one.

Two more days at the show!  Hope to see you there.


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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