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Next Up: Bathroom Storage

bath1 This, my friends, is a bathroom.
Not MY bathroom, actually. But a bathroom.

This is the downstairs half-bath in my son’s house. This house, built in the late 19th century, has extremely tall ceilings and the person who did all the original rehab work on the house basically threw up his hands in the bathroom, put in a toilet and a sink and walked away. (more…)

2014 – a year in review

Yoohoo, everybody!! Since today appears to be ‘International Gotta Review 2014 Day” for bloggers, I guess I have to woman up and work my way through the good, the bad and the did..not…work for 2014. Organization, I realize, is everything here, so we will go by topic sub-group so that for those readers who are only interested in one topic, just scroll down until you hit that. (more…)

Thoughts on Bunkbeds

cut pieces The DH and I took on a project this fall to built bunkbeds for the grandkiddos to use when they spend the night with us. The youngest is now out of a crib, so it was, we felt, a good time to rearrange things in the guest room (cough, deal with the fabric stash, cough), recapture some space and do something that the little ones would enjoy. So, I went to the internet and found a set of plans for modular bunks.

The big difference between these and other plans is this: Instead of building two twin beds that get hitched together at the headboard and footboard and if you take them apart, are still two twin beds, these plans make four giant ‘ladders’ which are then either screwed together or bolted together to make the bunks. Then you put in the mattress supports and the mattresses and voila. If you no longer want bunks, or you are only using them on a temporary basis, then you can unscrew the corners and store the four ‘ladders’ and so on. (more…)

How to get the most out of taking workshops

tabledone It’s not a secret to anyone, I think, that I love taking workshops. Learning new stuff is something that I dearly love to do. But over the years, I’ve come to realize that there are really several different sorts of workshops and of course people have all different sorts of reasons why they are taking them. Here are a few important things to remember when researching workshops to learn something specific. My most recent workshop was in woodworking but I think these are worthwhile when you are looking for any sort of workshop.

1. Be honest with yourself. (more…)

Thoughts on a Sunday night

Summertime is very busy for everyone, but here are a few thoughts.
1. This is a sawhorse. One of the things on my ‘to do’ list (which is becoming more urgent as time goes on, as I get older) is getting more involved in woodworking. On an odd chance, I searched on ‘wood working classes’ in my area and found a terrific place which frankly caters to women. Hammerstone School of Carpentry for Women They have lots of courses, but the basic carpentry one attracted me the most. I can tell you that after two full days of swinging hammers and using everything from power saws to hand saws in the company of women just like me (well, not JUST like me; I was the granny of us all), (more…)

DIY Train Table for our Little Guy

Our grandson is getting some trains for his gift this year, and there was a request put in for a train table. Now, the item suggested is made out of MDF, which I’m not really fond of, in terms of the whole ‘off-gassing’ problem, considering that he’ll be on his knees with his nose literally on top of this, so I offered to make him something and found a very nifty plan here. low activity table Everything works quite well except for one item in the cut list:
4 – 1×3 @ 28 1/2″ (Top and Bottom of the Leg and Sides of Trim for Table Top) (more…)

Inspiration: How to Project

Courtesy of my new friend Mike Arnold, from the UK, educational and inspirational posters (I love posters) for how to do things. How can you go wrong with something so graphically brilliant that tells you what to do? Come to think of it, the Brits were the ones who came up with “Keep Calm and Carry On”, which is about as direct as it gets.

As readers know, Aunt Toby does not do a lot of product flogging here — but these are actually limited edition posters, signed as well. So, you get your directive AND your art at the same time.

How to Project

Close – But No Cigar: New Credit Card Legislation Does Not Go Nearly Far Enough

Aunt Toby has written before about credit cards, their use, abuse, and the almost preternatural ability of people to create large weights of debt with which they can NOT continue to conduct their financial lives. Atkins for Plastic Thank Shopping

One thing I have not written about is how I feel about credit card companies targeting people who not only are not in a position either psychologically or financially to take on debt, but the effects of people such as these groups who end up with huge amounts of debt at times in their lives when they can least afford to have it.

These people are college students. (more…)

Time: It’s All We’ve Got

I was reading a blog the other day (Aunt Toby reads far, far too many blogs) and the writer was discussing the fact that her hours at work had been cut back to 4 days a week. She did not discuss what that was going to mean to her family in terms of the change in income, but what else she might do with the time.

And it reminded me that there are certain truths to life and one of them is the old saw about ‘Time is the currency of our lives’. All we have is time. All we sell, no matter what our skills are, is time. We only have 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week. And we only have a certain amount of that during which we not only want to work, but can physically work. So, therefore, time IS money. (more…)

Cheap and Good: No Excuses Weightlifting

Today, Aunt Toby wants you to think of our little meeting place here as Kitchen Counter Gymnasium. We’re going to talk today about getting more strength into our lives … at home.

So, you say you don’t have the money for a gym membership. Okay – Aunt Toby is good with that.
And you say you have never lifted weights and are just a little bit scared of hurting yourself. Yep – I’m with you there too. And you say that it’s not something you worry about really.

Just hold it right there, bucko. (more…)

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