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July 2009

July 24, 2009

My Secret Collection of Stuff

I'm going to start sharing some of the stuff I find interesting on the web.  My interests are scatty and unpredictable so this collection of posts is not about tools, but rather about productivity, design, focus and desire.

Have fun in there...

ToolGirl's Posterous

July 23, 2009

A Very Nice Letter

After I offered personal visits to new homeowners last week, I received this very kind letter from a ToolGirl subscriber.  So just in case you ever feel alone in the journey with your house, here's some love from a ToolGirl who made it.  Let's all hope we can return the favour one day!

Dear Mag,

The homeowner visit by ToolGirl is a great idea!  I don't meet the requirements for a visit -- I've been in my home for 17 years now as a single person.  But I've honestly learned a lot from your online videos and book.  You take the "fear factor" out of attempting projects.
I remember all too well my first couple years as a homeowner -- a single woman trying to make it on her own.  My Mom and Dad were great support, though, and their advice was extremely helpful.  Not everyone has that kind of support, so the idea of ToolGirl visiting new homeowners is wonderful and will be very much appreciated.  I hope some young lady who is starting out like I did, that doesn't have a solid support network behind her, gets a visit from ToolGirl.  God bless you!

Thanks Mary for your words of encouragement.  I'll be sending you a ToolGirl baseball cap to wear in all of your DIY endeavors.   

Visit with a New Homeowner

I have a confession.  A couple of months ago I met a lovely young woman named Jennifer Speedy.  She had just bought her first home.  She was anxious, yet suffused with anticipation.  Maybe you've felt that way too.

I got excited meeting Jen because I love first-time homeowners.  They're full of hope, ambition and terror.  So I talked Jennifer into enduring a visit from ToolGirl.  She didn't ask.  She may not even have wanted my advice.  But she acquiesced to having me drop by her home to proffer my ToolGirl wisdom.  (Plus I brought a camera crew.)  A very gracious soul is Jennifer Speedy.

You can meet Jennifer and her house below.  You can also see the impromptu home improvement lesson I foisted on her.  Just know that if I visit YOUR house, it may not go this well.


July 22, 2009

Your First Toolkit

045 - Power tools plus accessories  

Tools take us back to our hominid origins, when we roamed the plains looking for grubs and a good pounding rock. 

If you’re new to the home ownership game, or if you’ve had to use your teeth to open a can of paint, here are the components of a basic toolkit for your DIY enjoyment.

Continue reading "Your First Toolkit" »

Oh You Boys

For some reason I've been paid compliments this week by two monstrously huge magazine editors who I adore. 

The first one came from Christopher Schwarz at Woodworking Magazine. 

And the other one came from Justin Fink  at Fine Homebuilding. 

Truthfully, I followed these guys long before they knew I existed, and I still love 'em.  It's not stalking if you really really really love them.


July 17, 2009

For the Toolies - Stiletto Titanium Hammers and Pry Bars

If you do a lot of construction framing, or if you only do occasional framing but you're a bit of a suck about it, or if you suffer from repetitive strain injuries, you will LOVE the Stiletto hammer. 

The head of the Stiletto hammer is titanium so the hammer is easy to swing and it doesn't transfer as much shock into your forearm.  And the look of these babies?  HAWT.

Here's one of mine:
Toolbelt - extra bulky - Daniel Hunter

If you're skeptical about the benefits of titanium there's a great article on the Fine HomeBuilding blog re: switching from a regular hammer to titanium. 

And now there's a brand new entry in the Stiletto line-up - titanium pry bars that drip with gorgeousity. 
It seems they REALLY want you to try one because they're offering you a 'free' Stiletto hammer ($US119 value) if you buy a 15-inch flatbar for $US169 (details here). 

I'll get my hands on a sample of the new pry bar and review it here.  The titanium bar is 5 times stronger than steel and yet weighs in at 45% of the weight of a normal old steel pry bar (i.e. Sweetness. And light). 

Wallpaper on the Ceiling - Why Not?

A Friday Poem

You'll need some crown moulding to make all this work,
and rather high ceilings or you'll go berserk
So have fun and paper your parlour of love
To gain a new view when you're staring above

If you plan to add crown moulding heed my advice
The angles are compound, rehearse each one twice
If not you'll need 8 times the lumber you bought
I learned that the hard way, I'm kidding you not

Picture 2

clipped from www.yourhome.ca
Read an interesting article about these two designers

July 10, 2009

Lathe Bloomer: How to Become a Woodturner

I love my lathe.  There.  I've said it.  It's an actual love relationship.  I pat it every time I walk past it in the workshop.  I bring it gifts (new chucks).  And I think about it when I'm cutting the lawn.

We recently finished a video that shows my very first woodturning project, which was making the voluptuous legs for my new desk.  Sure, I could have started small with a candlestick or a wine-stopper, but I really needed legs for my new desk and the idea of turning raw, angular blocks into silky-smooth curves made me feel like the Goddess of Undulations, if there was such a goddess. 

If you search YouTube you won't find very many woodturning videos with girls in them and I think we should change that.  Here's my entry:

July 04, 2009

Your Daily Tool: What to do about lawnmower cheese

AudioBoo / Your Daily Tool: What to do about lawnmower cheese


Shared via AddThis

July 03, 2009

My girls (and one guy - can you spot him?)

Sorry about the fuzzy focus on the left side!  (photo stitched with AutoStitch for iPhone)photo.jpg


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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