Showing posts with label Home Renovator Contributor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Home Renovator Contributor. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Weapons of Mass DIY Destruction

demonstrating construction tools
Black Ops "Do or Di" - Anything is Possible
There are construction tools and then there are weapons of mass destruction.  We’re not talking nukes here.  Who needs nuclear fire power when one has a reciprocating saw that can pretty much destroy anything in its path? 

Yesterday, when I pulled that DEWALT saw out of its case, nothing seemed ordinary about my DIY mission.  Pulling the trigger on that bad boy transformed a seemingly mundane task into a black ops mission. 

Suddenly, I was able to rip through wood, metal, drywall—you name it—with ease.  The power at my fingertips made me invincible.  When put in a “Do or Di” DIY situation, this is the tool you want in your arsenal.
Check out my new product review, featuring current covert activities, then give Squidoo a try.  What is it that awakens your inner ninja?  Is there a product in your life that transforms you into a force to be reckoned with?  We want to read all about it.  

And now I am being called to duty.  There is a top-secret mission with my name on it. #TrySquidoo

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Writing Down the Bones

room studs
Anatomy of my Future Playshop
There is something powerfully transformative about the act of creation.   I have always known that the opportunity to create is my greatest motivator.

Each day, as I stand within the skeleton of the twelve-by-twelve DIY studio I am building, I feel a sense of awe at what can be built with one’s own hands, mind, and will.

If you are a DIY or HGTV junkie like I am, perhaps you have heard talk of homes that have good bones.  In the world of construction, bones matter.

I find it astonishing that these thin sticks I nail together in the right configuration of joints and ribs are so incredibly strong.  There is elegance in the simplicity… an understated beauty.

When the time came, yesterday, to cover the bones, for the exoskeleton is an important part of the structural integrity, I took a few moments to appreciate that which I would not be able to see moving forward. 

Having thoughtfully selected each individual bone, and cared for it during the process of building an inner sanctum for nurturing creativity, this was a moment to savor and celebrate.

This morning, as I write this post, I think of Natalie Goldberg’s classic book, Writing Down the Bones.   Freeing the writer within is about bones just as building a life is about good bones.  Writing down the bones is about expressing essence.  In writing about the essentials of our lives, we experience the creation of the world over and over again. 

I encourage you to write down your bones.  Free the builder within by becoming an essential part of our Squidoo community.  I can’t wait to see what you create with your own hands.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Penny for Your Thoughts

hammer and nails and pennies
Will Work for Pennies

My DIY reality this week is all about pennies.  Not the kind I used to purchase penny candy when I was a child, or the bright copper ones I put in my penny loafers forty years ago.   My pennies these days are 12d’s, 8d’s, 6d’s, and everything in between.

As I pounded in several hundred nails over the past few days, I had lots of time to think about such things as the medieval system for classifying nails.  This is my brain hot-dipped, galvanized, common, shanked, ringed, sinkered, and bright box nailed.

So why are they called 12-penny nails… those three and a half inch nails that are giving me blisters and hammer elbow?  It goes back to how many pennies were needed to buy 100 nails back in the 1500s.  It turns out that the letter “d” after the number is an abbreviation for the most commonly used Roman coin (the denarius).  The number refers to the length of nail.

If I’m doing the math correctly, which is never a given, twelve pennies bought 100 nails back in the day.  I paid 445 pennies for 96 ring-shanked nails this past weekend.  Kind of made me long for the days of yore.  Can you picture it?  Me in a toga, eating figs, tapping in twelve denarii worth of nails? 

In the process of building a studio addition onto my mountain cabin, I am learning invaluable lessons that go beyond the importance of purchasing and using the right nails.  It seems each stage of the building process needs a different kind of fastener.  Early in the process I was tempted to use screws to make parts of the job easier and faster to complete.  It turns out that would have been a big mistake.  Screws don’t have the sheer strength provided by 12d nails.

Isn’t that true of building a life also?  Finding the strength that matches each phase of the process of becoming?  Just as I used the right kind of anchor hardware in the foundation stage of this do-it-myself project, I seek to live a life anchored in ways that ensure the stability to weather any storm.  

Isn’t it amazing that something we often take for granted, nails and pennies, are essential to building something lasting?  I invite you to join me in creating something worth every single blister.  As Squidoo's Home Renovator Contributor, I'm looking for a few kindred hammer swingers.  Please stop by today.  I'll give you a penny (worth at least $4.45 with inflation) for your thoughts.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


decorative painted mailbox
Photo Credit: ©Renaissance Woman (aka Bird Legs)
What gives a home instant curb appeal?  For me, it’s always the little touches: a willow garden arbor; watching hummingbirds blissing out on red geraniums in window boxes; that classic rocker calling my name on the porch.

When I think first impressions, I always recall a teacher of mine who had the kind of front yard that made you want to stop and linger.  Her brand of curb appeal started less than six inches from the street.  It was always about the mailbox.  People went out of their way to see her latest creation.  I know because I was one of them... her mailbox groupies. 

Today, as I finished revitalizing a seriously sorry looking mailbox at the end of my country lane, I realized I was paying homage to that most extraordinary individual who taught me the true meaning of painting on a whole different kind of canvas.  I only wish it hadn’t taken me so many years to do something about the forlorn sight that greeted every visitor to my home. 

When does a mailbox become more than a mailbox?  It ceases to be a standard 6-inch x 18-inch receptacle when it becomes a means of celebrating life, personal expression, and the essence of home.  Thank you, my friend, for teaching me to see the potential in everything.  If there were such a thing as human curb appeal, its name and definition would be Carolyn.

Though my first mailbox renovation isn’t on a par with her works of art, I think she would be pleased that I went all out to create something whimsical.  Carolyn, more than anyone, understood that whimsy is good for the soul.  I hope my new mailbox makes someone, maybe you, smile on the inside. 

What kind of whimsy might you express today? 

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tile in a Snap

tiled home entry
SnapStone Floating Tile
Seven years ago I bought a new home that was about 70 percent complete.  Part of the 30 percent that remained to be finished included flooring in two bedrooms, the upstairs loft, a half bath, pantry, laundry room, and stairwell.  To make the house immediately livable, I put in some flooring that was trendy at the time.  I figured if a product passed the Divine Design test of my HGTV guru, Candice Olson, it was certainly more than worthy of installation in my home.

I’m still happy with most of the flooring I installed, but I have since rescued a dog.  Anyone who has cared for larger dogs knows they can be hard on flooring.  The area that has taken a beating is the stairwell landing where Toby likes to hang out by a picture window that gives him a place to keep an eye on what’s happening in our world.  I need to install a tougher material that can take heavy traffic.

Having decided on tile, since my animals love to soak up the sun in front of that window, I have been researching DIY options.  How I love to come across web pages that show an innovative home improvement product in action.  There are many websites pushing products, but few that are exceptional when it comes to demonstrating an actual installation.  I appreciate a how-to presentation that is honest in sharing what went right as well as lessons learned.

Here’s one of the best Squidoo lenses I found.  KateHon demos a fabulous floating tile flooring option while sharing before and after photos of a bathroom renovation.  I can see myself installing this tile floor in my home.  How about you?

Have you published a home improvement product review?  If so, stop by and let me know.  I hope to feature your work.  You can find me at Home Renovation Central and "Do or Di DIY."

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Uniquely Brilliant

ostrich egg carvings
Photo Credit: Ostrich Egg Carvings
This morning I have several things on the brain that might seem unrelated at first glance:  Seth Godin, orchids, Dremel tools, dentures, "peticures," and egg carvings.  You just never know what you’re going to find here when I start writing at 2:30 a.m.  I enjoy being surprised by the things percolating in my brain at this hour.

So what is the connection?  The interwoven thread is that of being indispensable and uniquely brilliant.  I am, of course, thinking about Seth Godin’s book about linchpins.  One of the things Seth asks us is if we are indispensable.  I had always hoped to be seen in that way but in reality, when I first read his book, I had not yet experienced an organization that didn’t constantly remind my colleagues and I that we could be easily dispensed of and replaced. 

What makes you or I indispensable, or, in the definition of a human linchpin, essential?  We learn by reading Seth’s book that it is our unique brilliance.  And, our unique brilliance has to do with the artistry of our hearts and souls.  We become indispensable when we turn each day into a work of art. 

That explains where the title of this post and Seth Godin come into play.  You may still be wondering how I’m going to work in the orchid, false teeth, peticure, carving, and Dremel angles.  This has to do with the artistry, unique brilliance, and essence of those who make Squidoo such an incredibly creative unworkplace.

Unworkplace?  That’s right.  Squidoo is not typical in any way.  In this creative community, each writer is constantly encouraged to pour his or her indispensability into each interaction (with others and with stories).  So what is the work in an unworkplace?  It’s emotion, and passion, and delight.  It is being the work of art that we already are in essence.

That brings us to the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say.  A while back, I issued a challenge for creative souls to share reviews of their favorite Dremel tools.  In my “Do or Di” DIY world, the Dremel is indispensable.  It is uniquely brilliant.  It’s the one tool I would never want to be without.  I haven’t found anything that my Dremel cannot do.  It is a linchpin.

While visiting Dremel reviews on Squidoo, I have been continually amazed and delighted by the ingenious ways in which my fellow writers use their Dremel tools and accessories.  Please take a few moments to celebrate with me the unique brilliance of those who have demonstrated there are no limits to what two linchpins (human and Dremel) can accomplish in concert with one another.  

Denise McGill saves the day with her Dremel dentistry brilliance.  While Nathanville upcycles a plastic tumbler into an orchid pot using his Dremel.  Then there are the amazing egg carvings presented by Craft-E-Mom.

After checking out their artistry, might you join us as the newest member of our Squidoo Linchpin Collective?  We’d love to have the opportunity to appreciate the indispensable artistry and unique brilliance of you.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Do or Di DIY

hammer head
My Third Eye
When I was taking a high school Probability and Statistics class, believe me, an improbability in itself, my good friend and I sat in the back row repeating our mantra over and over again: “Ours is not to question why, ours is but to do or die.”  Then we would laugh.  Crisis averted. 

Sometimes DIYers get in a situation that begins to feel a little do-or-die.  I know I felt that way at least a couple of times during my recent kitchen renovation project.  That’s when you begin to ask: Whose idea was this?  What was I thinking?  How do I get myself out of this mess?

Home renovation, like grief, can offer up many stages: denial, anger, acceptance, and, finally, thank goodness, relief.  Geesh.  All I wanted was to reface my cabinets.  I didn’t know I was signing on for any heavy-duty emotional stuff.  I must admit, it was pretty cathartic.

I’ve decided there really should be home renovation support groups.  It is not unusual to need some therapy while in the midst of living in a home that is torn to smithereens.  DIY adventures are rarely neat and tidy.  We can all use a little encouragement to stay the course and push through to the other side.  It really is worth it.

Because I didn’t have a support group cheering me on during my kitchen facelift, I have decided to start one for all of you DIY brave hearts out there.  Our group meetings will take place on Facebook and Squidoo.  Therapy and cookies will be provided free of charge.  Just bring your renovation issues.  Of course, you are entirely welcome even if you have never experienced one single moment of DIY angst.  You can be our well-adjusted home renovation poster child. 

We have a new Facebook hangout.  I call it “Do or Di DIY” (the “Di” is me, Squidoo’s Home Renovator Contributor).  Please stop by and use your greatest DIY tool, your thumb, if you feel moved to do so.  A little love goes a long way.  And now, please pass the cookies... greatest therapy known to womankind.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Ask Yourself Out on a Date

lowes storefront
Photo Credit: Renaissance Woman

The next time you are looking for writing inspiration, or a creative boost, take yourself on a date.  I first got this idea from Julia Cameron’s bestselling book entitled The Artist’s Way.  Cameron encourages us to schedule time for a weekly artist’s date.

The kind of date you choose will depend on your particular writing niche.  My most recent date, because I contribute to the home renovation niche, took me to Home Depot and Lowe’s.  I wanted to experience the hottest new home improvement products and gather firsthand information regarding trending do-it-yourself projects.

In addition to sparking ideas for my next home renaissance project, which involves natural ledgestone tile and cable lighting, the date made it possible for me to snap some photos, obtain product samples, and take home everything I needed to immediately get to work on both my renovation projects and related product reviews. 

stone tiles
One of the Hottest New Natural Stone Tile Products
Photo Credit: Renaissance Woman
You may not be a DIY artist, but the same concept applies to any niche.  Your date might take you to a bookstore, party store, craft supply store, electronics emporium, theater, museum, cooking class, local festival, or even an organic foods cooperative.  The point is to go somewhere stimulating.

After last week’s artist date, I was inspired to write about the Dremel Saw-Max, my newest home renovation tool.  To my delight, that review was featured as a Review of the Day.  Had I not gone on my artist date, I might never have written that review. 

Best of all, I now have two new love interests in my life – Max and Ledge Stone.  I’ll be writing more about Ledge, as he is featured in an upcoming product review.  I just know you are going to love his rock solid presence and craggy good looks.  Who knew DIY dates could be so romantic?  Stay tuned to discover who ends up being my Valentine’s Day date.

What kind of creative date might you choose for your writing niche?

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I’m the Home Renovator Contributor

Renaissance Woman

I am Diana, better known as Renaissance Woman in my online communities.  I am so pleased that we have this opportunity to connect here.  Though my new title as a contributor speaks of home renovation, I’ll let you in on a little secret: What we are really doing is renaissancing our spaces and the way we live in them.

As a woman who is passionate about renewing herself every day, by learning and growing, I love to join with others who appreciate vibrant living, and being in spaces that feed into that positive energy.

My home improvement life began very early.  When I was 21, I helped construct a room addition for my duplex.  That first taste of expanding my life by expanding my space was all it took to hook me on the do-it-yourself lifestyle.

Though I have been improving living spaces ever since, I only recently returned to my writing (in 2010).  I didn’t realize how much my life would change when I joined the writing and publishing community.  Not only have I found beautiful people who are now the best friends I could ever hope to have, but I have also discovered that in writing about my passions I get to enjoy them over and over again.

I invite you to join our creative community.  First there was HGTV and the DIY Network, now there is our DIH Network (Do It Herself or, if you’re a guy, Do It Himself).  We can be the Design Stars of the show we call life and living well.  I’ll even go so far as to say we can be divine designers just like Candice Olson (my hero).

We can make our network anything we want it to be.  Just like my HGTV mentors, each of us can present before and after features, share “how to” tutorials, write reviews of our favorite products, and share tips.  Best of all, we can celebrate our successes together.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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