Artsie Fartsie

shou sugi ban bed frame!

I’ve been considering posting more detailed instructables when I do something handy but I think in some ways people rely too much on steps and recipes. Too many people spend all their time on pinterest and instructables rather than just……..doing stuff….GET OUT THERE PEOPLE! CREATE ! we are all artists.

I’ve been playing with shou sugi ban all summer and got to say it’s pretty damn fun…. Shou Sugi Ban translates from Japanese to “Kick Ass flame thrower some wood and make it look pretty!!”. I made some cedar raised garden beds earlier this summer and gave them a nice flame touch towards the end of the season after I packed in my garden.

So after living years with just a mattress and box spring (the box spring was actually a recent improvement) I decided to go and get a bedframe…but found that they were all really really ugly and very expensive. So I decided that I could whip something up….and for less than $200 behold…..the….bed-of-awesomeness.

It took me a weekend to put together…most of it was pretty straightforward but I’d also suggest before trying to make your bed you make sure you get the correct hardware. I used lee valley for some great hardware so I can disassemble the bed when I need. Otherwise than that…it’s just some mineral oil…some boards…a bit of blue stain….and a 500,000btu flame thrower.

I made myself a magnetic knife board thingy

Kinda neat eh? I had some old wood laying around I picked up a few years ago so decided to add some magnets and BAM cutting board…and then had another small piece BAM hooks to hang jackets or whatever else. I was going to do some instructable type stuff but honestly it’s pretty straightforward….but pics cause I think they are pretty awesome….


I made a desk!

Check it out…I’ve been feeling a bit more manly lately and when Janelle asked me for a desk so she could do some stainglass and crafts on I thought “well I could go out and buy some ikea junk that will fall apart or….KA BAM”

Building stuff gives you such a sense of accomplishment sometimes that I really think I should have been in the trades (or still might). Last week I decided to get something together so I started asking if anyone knew of any doors that were in a back alley waiting for me to go *yoink* and low an behold one of my friends mentioned she had a lovely door in her basement she had no use for anymore.

Now this doesn’t happen to be just any door…it was actually removed from an old farm house circa built around 1920 before it was being torn down. The legs were acquired from the bargain discount bin at Rona..and I even managed to bargain them way down to $10 a piece because one of them was missing some parts! Remember…don’t be afraid to ask!

Some good old varnish and I have a pretty stellar unique desk with a bit of a story all for less than $25! Beat that Ikea!

Now…Janelle and I did also discuss whether we should put a big couch or sofa in our small living area but we decided to go with a desk…because a desk is active while a couch is passive. Couches are used for when you don’t want to interact and just want to sit and have media beam things into your skull…a desk is used for creating…working…accomplishing…it’s by far the better choice..

We’ve been without a couch since we moved at the beginning of summer and I’m not sure if we are going to be in any rush to get one.



I commute an average of 25.4 minutes to work according to google tracks, one way, each and every day that I work. My job could easily be done remotely without me having to get in the car…but I do because that is the way it is supposed to be done…

With only a bit or irony the average amount that an average Canadian commutes…according to statscan is..

 In 2011, commuters spent an average of 25.4 minutes travelling to work. This was almost the same as the average in the United States for the same year (25.5 minutes).Note3


Scott Adams once said (and I paraphrase) that you can live in a nice house in a nice neighbourhood…or you can have a good job…but the two could never be close together…..and for that reason we move from our cubed houses to our cubed cars…driving them down straight roads to other cubed building to sit in a small grey cube and type on a cube into a viewing cube…cubes..

Anyways…for reasons I can’t quite pin point I’ve decided to walk from my home in Allendale Edmonton to my job…which is in the far North East…pretty much in St. Albert….I estimate it will take me about 4 hours to get there….nonstop….each way….

Getting in a car and transporting yourself great distances with relative ease is easy…so easy we don’t even think about it…at my work it’s totally normal for 15 cars…weighing an combined total of close to 100,000 pounds….drive an average of 2.2km at lunch… buy about 10 pounds of shitty food…and then drive back…..and we think nothing of it.

That’s the equivalent of 100 blue whale testicles rolling down the highway!!!


So I’m decided that I am going to walk across the city to my work….the average distance an average Canadian commutes on September 18th…it’s a long walk…I figure it will take me about 4 hours each way…but I really think it’s going to give me a perspective just on how much we rely on the old fossil fuels…so yes…doing it.

Along the way I plan to post a few pictures to my twitter account (@justindechaine) unless it’s suspended…which it often is….because I seem to post some pretty pro ISIS type content on there….even though I don’t recall doing it…

I’m hoping to stop at a few places so if you are anywhere on the route (or close to it) feel free to offer me a muffin or a cup of coffee along my travels.

approx route


My new raised gardens!

I had originally intended to post a video of me making these…but ultimately got excited and completed them before I could really get my camera lady involved….at the end of the day it’s a handful of fence boards, a 4×4 cedar post and a dozen screws…cost is probably $35 for each one and I’m super excited with how well they turned out, lots of salad this year! yay!


While I had some powertools out I noticed a neighbor was tearing down their fence so I decided to whip up a quick platform for the garbage cans….it’s truly amazing what you can find when just going up and down back alleys….best of all I even re-used all the nails for this project so total cost was nothing!



(the wife is admiring the handiwork….)