Dumpster Diving

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 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.


Donairs are great

Yet a donor might even be a bit greater….even without the sweet sauce.

I was recently down at the local registry renewing my license and while I had a great time (oh so good when I said I wanted to wear my colander) I did something I am pretty proud of and that I would encourage you all to seriously consider.

I’ve become a fully registered donor, frankly I think this is almost something you should have to opt out of rather than opt in…because I think there are so many great people that would be willing to do this….but just never quite get around to it. Being able to help someone with a gift that in many cases exceed anything you could have done for them in your current life just totally kicks ass on a mega bonus level.

I also strongly suggest that anyone considering doing this actually speak to their significant others including parents or children…I’ve heard horror stories of people’s organ donations being delayed past the point of benefit because of delays caused by their own loved ones. If you think your *whomever* is going to have an issue…sit down with them and discuss why you want this to happen..

So…do it ….now or next time you get your license renewed…tell me about it next time we bump into each other and I’ll buy you a beer or a pot o tea. (whatever your taste is)


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….)

Dumpster Diving and local

Why hello my non-existing internet friends. Weekend was pretty fun, Jnel and a handful of errands this weekend. Even got up really early Sunday morning for a nice brisk jog. So much snow!

On Sunday we saw a presentation at the library by a very good presenter named Jessie from http://www.live-local.ca/, Janelle and I are pretty much stereotype farmers market/local people but it was still quite good. I’ve always had trouble reconciling “what is local” more than anything.

I went and did some dumpster diving on the way home…found a few thousand dollars of brand new clothes ripped/cut up….I wish I could say that this was unusual but this particular dumpster (behind a Canadian owned store if not local) makes a habit of doing this. I’ve decided to start salvaging everything in there and repairing it and hopefully being able to distribute it to those in need…why this company couldn’t do something similar instead of having a minimum wage worker take a pair of scissors to them and toss them out is beyond me….:( But it did get me thinking that you wouldn’t see a local or small business owner do that…it’s only a huge national company who could see a benefit to tossing thousands of dollars of clothes on a near weekly basis (for the last several years)

It’s a shame….people we tell about this don’t even believe it and just assue it must have been accidentally torn and THEN thrown out….irony going through the front door these coveralls would cost over $200