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February 2011

February 24, 2011

Women Building 4 Townhomes in Toronto this May for @HabitatToronto

via www.torontohabitat.on.ca

We've got hammers, steel-toed boots and great lunches - consider joining us for a day or two in May! You'll make forever friendships and learn how to use tools (no experience required - we'll teach you!). Hope to see you there.

We had our kick-off party last night and there are already more than 100 women signed up (you must be at least 16 years old - sorry Georgia!)

Jennifer Valentyne, Georgia (Jenn's daughter), me and supermodel Monika Schnarre (who is a kickass carpenter by the way!)

Postmodernist Igloo Made of 250 Recycled Water Jugs

via www.stumbleupon.com

I love seeing arty abodes like this upcycled from surprising materials. I know the artist is making a statement about the environment, but the sheer practicality of this structure is brilliant.


February 22, 2011

Want to learn new skills? Help us build a house this summer for @HabitatToronto!

Screen shot 2011-02-22 at 11.48.09 AM

Tomorrow night is our kick-off party for the Habitat for Humanity 2011 WomenBuild!  Please join me, Jennifer Valentyne and Monika Schnarre Wednesday February 23rd at 5:00 if you're available and want to help create a hand-built house for a family in need.

Quick factoids:

  • The Women Build will be held for 4 days, May 5th to 8th ending on Mother’s Day
  • This is the 2nd Women Build event in Toronto
  • Women Builds are held in over 30 countries around the world
  • We expect over 400 women to build with us during the 4-day build
  • The build site is at 4572 Kingston Road, a 29 townhome development
  • We hope to dedicate 2 blocks of homes (12 townhomes) on May 8th immediately after the build (key presenting ceremony to the families)
  • No build experience is necessary to build with us!  Volunteers will be led by experienced crew leaders who will provide instruction and guidance.  Hard hats, boots, tools etc will be provided on-site.
  • Women must be 16 years of age or older to participate in the build
  • The Women Build is a fundraising event where each participant is asked to raise a minimum of $500 pp to build during the Women Build.  Fundraising goal including sponsorships = $400,000

Really hope to see you at the kick-off party and on the build!

InkShuffle - Design your own non-damaging wallpaper

172 628 Watercolour


via www.inkshuffle.com

This is so cool; wallpaper that won't damage your walls, and it's available in thousands of quirky/custom designs. You can even upload and sell your own art (and then order a giant mural of it for your own place!) A fine effort from a young Canadian entrepreneur. Customizable sizes up to 13' wide and 10' high.

February 18, 2011

Drop-dead-easy way to finish bare wood [Video]

February 17, 2011

Hackology - Repair a Rusted Dishwasher Rack with SUGRU

Rust on dishwasher rack
The rack in our 8-year-old Maytag dishwasher is developing varicosities know as rustbolisms.  I got out my fresh supply of WHITE Sugru (the new silicone moulding compound from England that cures to a tough, freeze-proof, dishwasher-safe robustness) and mixed it with a tiny blob of blue Sugru to get a more-or-less matching repair. 

Mixing blue and white Sugru

Cost of repair - about $4 worth of Sugru.  New rack would have cost $85.

Sugru dishwasher rack repair

 Fie on you, rust gods!

February 05, 2011

Going Solar: A Green Future with a Quaint Past

A Guest Post from Michael Ring at Around the Shop


Now more than ever, it's important to manage your water and waste. You can now accomplish both and in comfort with The Solar Outhouse.


The Solar Outhouse brings the latest advances in green technologies to an age-old necessity. Now using solar energy, The Solar Outhouse continually recirculates the air for a nature-fresh scent anytime you go. And with the upgrade package, you get the latest in LED lighting and passive infrared heating. It heats you, not the air. Be the first to go where no one else has with The Solar Outhouse.

Coming soon. The Rain Harvest Bidet.

Note from Mag:  You CAN actually make your own solar heating panels out of aluminum cans!

February 03, 2011

Build a DIY Wide, Adjustable Height IKEA Standing Desk on the Cheap

via lifehacker.com


Since standing is the new sitting, a nice high desk seems like a good way to combat sedentary-ness. 


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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