Monday, January 31, 2011


Romeo and Sammy Cat approve!

Well the studio transformation is continuing. I had to get rid of my old couch- it was falling apart- literally. So I saved the cushions and put them on a foldaway bed I had. Now if I get some type of cover for the bottom part I will have a DIY day bed! Off to the thrift shop~

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Goodbye Ol' Paint

What a week! Most of my free time was spent turning this:

Into this:

The color is called "Straw" from Ace Hardware. I was going to practice what I preach and do the rental thing and rent a paint sprayer but at the last minute decided to bring out the rollers and brushes and do it by hand. And it sure brightened up this once dark space. And it is true that paint truly can perform miracles... it took a once dark space cave and makes it seem like a bigger warmer space. I now have a nice bright studio to work in, and almost everything in it is re-purposed from somewhere in the house.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Viva Terre Shelf Knock Off!

above: My version of the wire shelf $26.99; Below- the Viva Terre Wire Shelf $169

I love this shelf from Viva Terre. But it has a cost of $169.00!!! OMG! There is no way I can justify that kind of money. So whats a fabously stylish guy to do? Hack his own! I went to Ikea and found these Omar baskets for the omar shelving system at $10 a piece, and the Fabian shelf for $6.99 I mounted the Omar baskets onto the fabian shelf, using some 1" wood screws and fender washers. The result is a shelf that not only resembles the Wire shelf from Viva Terre, it does it for less than a quarter of the price at $26.99. Triumph! I also added the hooks below the shelf, something found around the house to finish the knock off

I only party down with the best at:

Hump Day link

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another Vertical Garden

Another vertical garden- this time via Green Roof Growers, this one uses pallets and gallon milk jugs. read more about it here. Presented by Dr. Job Ebenzeer, Ph.d and the Technology for the Poor organization,, He also goes into using wading pools and tires. Very cool for a patio garden or apartment balcony.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What's your Design Style???

I spent my three day weekend painting my studio. Finished the primer coat at 3 am on Saturday. Then I took this quiz i found via "How About Orange" on Stylish, It's a visual quiz that most matches your answers to a bunch of pictures. Here were my results

Results: You most resemble a "Modern Eclectic".
A leaning toward the austere require neatness and order in your home. Home cooked meals from a kitchen full of country. Your personal retreat includes a bed and little clutter. Art that definitely does not match the sofa. Lake Cabin table for your salads and seafood. Your 3rd coffee and just beginning to be productive. Pre-war, upper east side attitude. At the end of the day… you don't take things too seriously..
Suspected "Modern Eclectic"
- Andy Warhol- Scarlett Johannson- Philip Seymour Hoffman

I never would have thought that I had a style related to Warhol, Johannson or Hoffman. Anyway the quiz is short (less than a minute) and something to do while waiting for paint to dry.
What's your Design Style???

Friday, January 21, 2011

Highline Jazz Festival!

Just found out that my favorite Music Group, Pearl Django is going to be playing this year at the 3rd Annual Highline Classic Jazz Festival, at the Highline Performing Arts Center, 401 S. 152nd in Burien. Along with Pearl Django, is Rebecca Kilgore With Dave Frishberg on Piano and Ray Skjelbred to round out the Matinee session. The Evening show will have the Butch Thompson Trio, Holotraband, and Casey MacGill & Blue 4 trio. Tickets are available at Burien Press, Allusia and online at
Pearl Django- Gypsy-attle at Jazz Alley...Enjoy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Hat for Bald Head!

I gots a new hat!!!. My very talented friend, Karin, of Fleecenik Farm fame opened an Etsy shop, called Fleecenik Designs where she sells these very cool yet warm wool hats, along with sweaters, ponchos, and mittens. You should check her shop out. Rumor has it her son Tristan, a budding blacksmith, might sell some metal work on the shop as well!(y'all know how I am about garden art!!!)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Scarf Hack

What do you do with an El Cheapo scarf bought at the Dollar Tree? Give it to your dog, Romeo? or do you try and improve on it?Well I was faced with this dilemma, , and given the fact that I am not great with a needle like Fleecenik Farm (who has just opened an etsy shop!) or have the talent of changing one piece of clothing into another like 4 Bushel Farm (that's the problem I need to move to a Farm!) I really love this scarf with the peace symbols on it, but it was missing something... Like fringe on the ends. So I took some blue yarn and since I don't sew/knit/crochet but do macrame, I made some small holes in the scarf- Since it was a "Micro-Fibre"/flannel didn't see what harm it would do... and threaded the eight inch pieces of yarn through and made a half hitch knot. Took a bit of time but in a couple of hours I was proud of what I had done.
Half Hitch

After- I am happy now!

I only party down with the best at:

Hump Day link

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Empty Bowls 2011

Almost time again for one of my favorite events in Burien. The Empty Bowls. Great oppurtunity to eat some great soup, break bread with others and get a unique hand made bowl!!!

From the City of Burien Website:

"Moshier potters have teamed up with Discover Burien and Burien Parks and Recreation to host Empty Bowls 2011! Empty Bowls events can be found around the country raising money to combat hunger in our communities. Potters have donated bowls to be filled with soup at this fun event…all are invited!

Your donation will get you the opportunity to pick out a beautiful handmade bowl, as well as a simple but wonderful meal of soup, bread, drink and dessert donated by area businesses. Proceeds will go to the Highline Food Bank and White Center Food Bank."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Homemade Nutella and PeaNutella

I love the idea of making my own nutella. I already occasionally make my own peanut butter. So when I found a recipe for making homemade nutella without all the processed sugar in the store bought stuff I had to try it and make a variation.
I found the recipe for Homemade Nutella on Elana's Pantry blog. So easy to do. Luckily, we here in the NW have some great resources for Hazelnuts. I got mine from my mom who bought them, at the Des Moines (WA) Farmers Market then she froze them. I think they are also available through the Eat Local store.
My own variation on this was to substitute peanuts and peanut oil for the hazel nuts and hazel nut oil and follow the rest of the recipe.It turned out alright tasting, just a bit more texture than I would have preferred.But that is easy to solve- a bit more moisture, a bit more grinding in the food processor! And home made Nutella is just the thing for Sunny Anderson's Fake Crepes!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011


Spring is coming a bit early this year!!! At least the Northwest Flower and Garden show is. Scheduled for February 23-27 at the Washington State Convention Center, it is one of the largest shows of it’s type in the nation.Besides the many great gardens that will be there, I will get to see some of my favorite Vendors like Beez Neez Apairy-who trade in Mason bee housing, materials and cocoons; Natures Fresh Start-(Garden stake trellis for garden and containers); Lee Valley Tools-(Garden hand tools and accessories); and By the Yard Oregon- that sells Maintenance Free outdoor furniture from recycled milk jugs And also get to see some great lecturers and attend some good seminars. I even have my question ready for Ciscoe Morris! So escape winter, even for an afternoon and come frolic in the gardens at the NW Flower and Garden Show. PS There is an online Discount if you buy your tickets early!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Remember to "Tune your Bike"

On this blog I frequently talk about car maintenance and why it is important to do to save money, lessen your carbon foot print, yada yada yada. But I forget about the bikes! Maintenance is just as important for your 2 wheel, human driven ride as your gas driven one. Here is a great video from the folks at Mind The Gap on simple things we (or rather I) tend to forget.

MIND THE GAP - URBAN BIKING: Optimizing Your Urban Ride from Laura J. Lukitsch on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Martha Stewart Knock Off Pegboard Organizer

I have been waiting to say this for years... and now the day has come....

I found this on Martha Stewart's website (I was there to see what's fashionable for felons). I kid the Martha--- I really love her. Anyhow, I found this Pegboard organizer article there, I knew I had a Ribba frame from Ikea that I had bought and not returned yet ( for the penguins on vespa print) so I decided what the hell- I am always looking for my scissors and such when I am in the studio creating- why not? I got a 2' X 4' sheet of pegboard at Lowe's and took the frame apart, I kept the wood piece in the frame as a template, marked the pegboard and cut. I decided not to paint the pegboard and now, Thanks to Martha Stewart, I am the most organized Male crafter on my street.

I only party down with the best at:

Hump Day link

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Making do and Mending...

In November/December of 2008 I had a Make Do and mend challenge- the idea was to show folks how much moola we spend buying crap. I guess it was my non-consumerist attempt of sticking it to the man.
I was bored the other day so I did some "Make Do and Mend" action- I added up the costs of replacements for the Items I repaired and it came to at least $67. Not bad for an hours worth of work! Well this is what happens when I get bored:

I repaired my paper cutter- I lost the straight edge out of it, so I took a piece of 1/8" X1/8" square stock since it would fit and made a new one- all I had to do was cut off about an inch of the square stock. Some new washers and screws and my paper cutter is good as new- Savings-$20-$30. Cost to repair- $1.47 for the square stock and two new washers.

That rusty old shower curtain pole- I painted it with about the same color spray paint (that I happened to have on hand- Saves my from going to hardware to buy a new clothes rail- Savings $7-$15- Cost to repair- FREE!! (I already had the paint, was bought for another project)

Mom's Reading lamp- made it so the odd 4-prong fluorescent lamp bulb that costs more than than the entire lamp it's self(not really but at $12 a bulb, I should have let her toss it!) Anyway, it wouldn't fit in- Savings $40-(cost of lamp) Cost FREE- just took some verbal coaxing and a screwdriver.

The whole point is not only did I save some cash, but buy getting out my tools and fixing things, I saved some trash! And if you are anti-consumer like I am getting to be- that is cool too (I should qualify that last statement- I am not necessarily anti-consumerist, but I feel that your money should be saved to go to things that matter or that you cannot live without)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Plumber's Seat

Just the thing for a busy plumber who needs to take a break every now and then!

Ok I admit to having a funny side. When I saw this instructable for a seat, I know I gotta make one! Don’t know that I would ever be seen in public with it though. Just attracts my sick sense of humor with my profession. Might be a great idea though when you stop to think about it!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Odd Jobs

Doing some little jobs around the house the last couple of days...
I needed a new clothes hanging rail in this closet... didn't want to go to the hardware store... so I re-used a shower curtain rod that I took down and replaced a couple of months ago. Maybe needs a coat of paint.
And I have the first major job of 2011-
I need to repaint this room from the ugly deep purple to something nice- first i needed to patch the walls. This room is going to become my new studio to do projects in. So we will see what I come up with for a crafting table, day bed, etc. etc.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Photo Courtesy Global

Those two great guys, Grant and Max, Whom I like to call the "Bucket Brothers" have come up with another great idea. You have read here about there SIP's (Self Irrigating Planters) a pattern I generously steal and teach, but now they are taking those reusable shopping bags and using them as grow bags. These two come up with some of the best ideas. If they had a facebook page, I would definetly be a "fan". Anyway take a trip over to the Global Buckets website and read more about their cheap "Grow Bags" solution.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Industrial Kleenex Cozy

Ok I know it doesn't look cozy- but it goes with the industrial look in my master bath, (remember the soap holder?) Anyway, I got ruthlessly stole the idea from the Feb/Mar 2008 issue of Ready Made magazine- Just cut a 2" hole in the bottom of a paint can (or a coffee can) with a hole saw, file the edges and shove a square box of tissue in through the bottom it. Not that I am a big user or fan of Kleenex, but occasionally I need it.
I only party down with the best at:

Hump Day link

Monday, January 3, 2011

Rent a tool

I was just reading on yahoo green, about tool libraries. A tool library is a place were people join to borrow tools. Tools you wouldn't necessarily buy, because of cost, size or storage issues. There is one in this area, The West Seattle Tool Library. They have a membership cost of $40 suggested donation annually ($20 for students/seniors) You get to borrow the tool for a week, then return or request more time. This isn't just a Seattle thing either- there are tool libraries in Portland, Oakland, Berkley, CA and many other cities across the nation.
Of course there is Home Depot rental tools and other businesses that rent tools, but they get kinda pricey. So unless you know how to use the tool efficiently enough to not need for a week, these tool libraries may be the way to go.
A tool lending library was started in Columbus, OH in 1976. Originally run by the City, the Tool Library is now operated by Rebuilding Together Central Ohio, a non-profit organization that works to preserve and revitalize homes and communities in Central Ohio. The RTCO Tool Library makes available over 4,500 tools free of charge to both individuals and non-profit organizations.

Here is a list from Wikipedia on tool libraries.

The advantage is little or no cost to you. The green side is it is better to rent or borrow tools than buy. I mean why buy a tool you may only use once?

Very green idea this. And 1 big like from me.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Social Network Gardening

First post of 2011 finds me sitting here wishing I could be outside in the garden- but seeing is the ground is a frozen mass and hard like rock, other than turn the compost I am settling down the plethora of seed catalogs and reading and planning, but that too is boring me to tears. Seeing as I garden small, I have decided this year to forego the usual seed starting (now don't get me wrong- I am still starting seeds) thanks to the popularity of heirloom varieties now found in the nurseries, certain plants are going to come from their stock. This allows me to avoid the dissapointment and tears from the past years failures. I will probably still start some varieties I have trouble finding at the nursery like robin and tumbler tomatoes. I can plant those from seed and let them go in the green house. Anyway, I digress from the topic.

I have found over the years, a few "Social Network" resources to get help and ask questions about the garden. Among these are Kitchen Gardeners International and Freedom Gardens. The latter is operated by the DeVraes family out of Pasedena. Both have Special Interest groups to join. And I found another, Gardeners Index, that I just joined that also has a large list of Spwcail Intrest Groups as well.

From my early days of the Interwebs, There are always the old Yahoo Groups like The Square Foot Gardening club group (one I helped launch) and Edible Container Garden group . These yahoo groups are a wealth of information and tricks the gardeners share with each other.

So let it snow and freeze.. I know the weather will warm up and I will get to go outside and fell the soil under my nails once again!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011