Quick Tip for Friday – hanging pictures

When hanging pictures, shelves or other items, use painters tape to mark measurements rather than pencil marks. Painters tape is meant to come off without damaging surfaces so it should remove easily.  You can put tape in the approximate area and mark the exact measurements onto the tape itself. Drill the pilot hole or tap a nail lightly to pierce it before removing.  No leftover pencil marks to hide behind your picture frames or peeking out from the edges of shelves!

Categories: decorating, hanging pictures, hanging shelves, helpful tips, Quick tip friday | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment


Another improperly sealed paint can with nothing left inside but a giant hard puck of what was once paint. Another paint can with a roller left inside submerged in the liquid (someday I will find out why people do that!). Another paint can lid bent and punctured allowing the can to rust and ruin what is left of the paint. Another search through various cans of paint trying, unsuccessfully, to find the right color and correct sheen to touch up the areas on a wall I just did some minor repairs on.
These are leading me to post once again my tips about paint, storage and care:

Now I also have some new information to share that I am really excited about! As a Tomboy Tools Consultant I have been introduced to the paint company YOLO Colorhouse and I am looking forward to getting a chance to work with these paints!

Virginia Young (YO) and Janie Lowe (LO), founded YOLO Colorhouse in 2005.  They offer premium, zero VOC interior paint line with select palettes.

I limit the painting jobs I take to small projects- primarily interior and typically just one room or less (accent wall, trim, touch ups) so this is going to be perfect for my business! Founded by women, they made it so easy to choose the perfect hues with simple palettes and a really cool pick a color tool on their website! This paint can be ordered through a Tomboy Tools Consultant and shipped directly to you (careful, it can freeze, unlike most paints). I got my fan decks a few weeks ago and they are gorgeous!! Oh, and the product is made right here in the United States.

So if you are thinking about updating a room or two (or painting your whole interior) please check them out. If you are local to me and need help with the job or want to see the fan decks let me know!  I’m looking forward to an opportunity to get my paint brush into these beautiful colors of environmentally friendly, U.S. manufactured, women created paints!!

Happy Painting!

Cass – The Fix It Lass

Categories: decorating, DIY tips, helpful tips, home maintenance, Tomboy Tools | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quick Tips for Friday – packing up Christmas


More holiday decoration storage and organization tips

While putting up my decorations for the year I noticed some of my little tricks I’ve developed that might be worth sharing.

To keep the musty attic smell out of soft items like stockings, tree skirts, table runners, garlands, even wreaths I toss some cinnamon sticks or cloves in the box or bag with them. Take care not to let them be in direct contact if oils or colors could affect the seasonal items, it won’t do much good to have things smell better if they are ruined with stains!

Some years ago after buying some new ornaments I wrote on the packages they came in what the they looked like, before hanging them. Now when I am undressing the Christmas tree I can very easily put them back in the same box. I have gotten so used to this handy little trick I didn’t think to share it at the start of the season!


Mark ornament boxes to re-use for storage.

Mark ornament boxes to re-use for storage.

This makes packing Christmas ornaments so much easier!

This makes packing Christmas ornaments so much easier!


I also try to keep certain types of items together in the storage bins I use. Outdoor lights are in different bins than ornaments used for the tree, stockings are stored with tree skirt, etc. With this system I can take a peek into one bin and find a whole category of items quickly; even when I forget to put a label on the bin or can’t remember the genius plan of remembering what color bin is supposed to go with what items.

Happy un-decorating!

Categories: Christmas, cleaning, decorating, helpful tips, holiday decorating, holiday tips, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quick Tip for Friday – taking down holiday lights and decorations

If your decorations were complicated to put up, you did them for the first time or they turned out especially great this year – DO THIS FIRST.
Take photos for reference.
I don’t mean lighted nighttime ‘Look, how pretty!’ shots, but daytime ‘This is how it is done.’ shots. Concentrate on anything that will help you duplicate the positive results next year. Print and store with your decorations, make notes if you thought of better ways to do it or complications you had. Or create a folder on your computer to save it.
It is easier than figuring out how to get the ornaments back in the boxes and will be as useful as having untangled light strands next year.

Oh, speaking of storing ornaments, bonus tip here:

Those plastic containers with apples and other fruit from Costco are great for packing away ornaments safely!

Re use store packages for fruits to store Christmas ornament

Re use store packages for fruits to store Christmas ornament

Feel free to come back and thank me next December. 🙂

Categories: Christmas, Christmas lights, decorating, helpful tips, holiday decorating, holiday tips, organizing, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Re-Post: First time putting up Christmas lights?

Christmas Lights

Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally when many people put up Christmas lights, so I thought this would be a good time to re post this blog. It’s some advice that came to mind while installing my own lights that year.

One thing I would add is to check the weather in advance to pick the best day to work. This year in Southern California we are expecting rain the Friday after Thanksgiving so maybe not the best day to plan on climbing ladders and playing with electricity outdoors!

First time putting up Christmas lights?.

Categories: Christmas, Christmas lights, decorating, helpful tips, holiday decorating, holiday tips, outdoor lights, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Change faucets for easy update

This was meant to be my quick tip for Friday, but there were some technical problems with my email I had to fix before I dashed out of town for a mini vacation. So it’s my quick tip for Monday instead! 🙂

A very effective update for bathrooms or kitchens is to install new faucets. You can get maximum impact for what is usually a pretty simple job.

This sink had easy access and good foundation pipes, so it didn’t take me long to change this faucet and it made the whole bathroom feel updated!

outdated and not working so great

outdated and not working so greatquick change made big impact on this bathroom sink!

quick change made big impact on this bathroom sink!

If you plan to do this project, one way to save money is to take your time and keep an eye out for sales, close outs and clearance shelves at the hardware stores, or shop online for the style you want at the best price.

** Important tip: Make sure you understand what you need to know about buying the right replacement. There are different hole configurations on sinks and you need to make sure your new hardware matches the number of holes and the pattern in your particular sink. Kitchen sinks tend to have far more options than bathroom sinks, but if you have any doubt or confusion at all please ask for help before you buy!

*** BEST TIP *** Take a photo with you of your current fixtures to compare.

Categories: decorating, DIY tips, helpful tips, Home Improvement, home maintenance, home repairs, kitchen, kitchen sink, plumbing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Window dressing updates a room

Replacing old or broken blinds can make a world of difference!

This is a room at Bridal Elegance Salon in Torrance that is sometimes a hair and make up room and sometimes a dressing room.

I forgot to take more pictures, but to avoid this happening again the customer also had me put some hooks in this room to hold hangers.


opps! Don't use blinds to hold up hangers!

opps! Don’t use blinds to hold up hangers!

It's hard to take a picture of blinds with the light coming in from behind!

It’s hard to take a picture of blinds

with the light coming in from behind!

Replacing the broken blinds was a good time to add a valance also.

Replacing the broken blinds was a good time to add a valance also.

I painted this room last year too. 🙂

Categories: decorating, Home Improvement, home maintenance, home repairs, Uncategorized, work I do | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Picture hanging, made easier

I recently had the pleasure of adding a new tool to my arsenal thanks to and I am excited to tell everyone about it!

It’s called the Picture Perfect Level from Tomboy Tools and it is amazing how much it can simplify hanging pictures and other things.

Being very light weight as well as sturdy makes it so easy to use and allows one person to do things that normally would be best done by two.

The Fix-It Lass using Picture Perfect Level

The level is built in and can be slid along the entire length of the measuring ‘stick’ or removed completely.

Double sided measuring units allow for both metric and standard.

The BEST part of all are the sliding markers with points on the back to make dimples in the wall marking your location perfectly every time!

I was able to hang 8 different framed posters throughout a room in a customers house in about 2 hours (sorry forgot to take pictures of that job). My usual methods would have taken at least twice that time but with the Picture Perfect Level I was able to easily space each item perfectly by measuring from the center and of course every single one of them was leveled perfectly the very first time.

Hanging these four individual pieces that need to go together with perfect spacing and perfect leveling was much easier with this tool.

My real challenge on this job was that I should have brought a taller ladder.

Since I’ve had this lovely new device I was able to hang a new roman shade for a customer in record time also. Thanks Cathy for introducing me, I think I see more Tomboy Tools in my future!

Categories: decorating, DIY tips, hanging pictures, hanging shelves, helpful tips, home maintenance, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Check it out!

I got my certificate in the mail and I am listed on the site!    See!

It is official, Cass The Fix-It Lass is now a Penofin Pro!
Want to know what that means?
It means I successfully completed Penofin Pro Training and am now a certified Penofin Pro. I am excited to be associated with a company that produces such a high quality product, has been family owned for 30 years and provides support, education and promotional partnering to professionals using their products!

If you want to know more about Penofin products or have any projects needing wood to be refinished, or properly stained the first time give me shout!

Call me at 310-947-6131 or send me a contact request on my website

Here is a picture of my Certificate:

And in case you missed my earlier post here are a couple of before and after pictures of some teak patio furniture I revived with Penofin Verde. I am very proud of how this project turned out!
bench and large tables - before

bench and large tables after Penofin Verde

Small tables before

small tables after Penofin Verde

chair and small table before

chair and small table after Penofin Verde

Categories: custom work, decorating, furniture refinishing, home maintenance, home repairs, painting, Penofin projects, Uncategorized, work I do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Local shopping at the Downtown Torrance Market Place

Last Thursday I participated in the weekly Downtown Torrance Market Place and had a great time! There were great booths with handcrafted items like soap and sachets, a reiki practitioner, antiques, collectibles even a booth full of tupperware items. We had a great time dancing to the local DJ to keep from getting chilly and meeting lots people in the neighborhood!
Come on down this Thursday and say hello! There is a Raffle every hour too!
Anyone who knows me, knows how passionately I believe in shopping small whenever possible and supporting local businesses so it really meant a lot to me to be invited to join this event. I won’t be able to attend every week, but I hope go as often as possible and continue making new friends.

Here are some of the regular vendors you will find on Thursday nights:

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Categories: decorating, DIY tips, furniture refinishing, gardening, helpful tips, home maintenance, home repairs, marketing, repurposing, work I do | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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