repurposing

Got a leaning plant? Try this fix

A friend recently mentioned to me one of her chili plants was falling over and I told her one of my favorite tips.

Small plants can get a little support with some chopsticks. Make sure to use something thick enough to tie it so as to not cut into the delicate plant. You can also use the bamboo skewers we all have around this time of year for doing kabobs on the grill, especially for taller plants. Happy gardening!

Chopstick as a plant stake

Chopstick as a plant stake

Categories: gardening, helpful tips, repurposing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quick Tip for Friday – remove a cork

Do you have trouble getting out the Champagne cork unless you use the fun but sometimes not ideal method of sending it flying off with your thumbs. “Hey, you can put an eye out with that thing!” (or break a light fixture, doh! I’ve been there done that.) Besides it’s wasteful.

popping champagne cork

Ever put a cork back in a bottle and find it nearly impossible to get back out? Can’t use a corkscrew again without crumbling the cork back into the bottle, so maybe you resort to pushing the cork in whole since it’s going to end up there anyway?

Well, rummage around in that one kitchen drawer containing the stuff you rarely use. Because hanging on to that nutcracker suddenly paid off! It is perfect for grabbing  hold of a cork you can’t use with a corkscrew.

Picture below I’m opening a bottle of oil that had a very tight cork. I was about to head to my toolbox for some pliers when I remembered my super smart boyfriend has used the nutcracker on champagne corks. Perfect!

How to remove a cork

How to remove a cork

I think this was much more sanitary and would be much better in front of guests than my pliers idea. 🙂

Happy uncorking!!

Categories: cooking, helpful tips, kitchen, Quick tip friday, random, repurposing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

No funnel? No problem.

Need to put oil in the car but don’t have a funnel? I can never do it without getting oil everywhere and making a mess. Yesterday I came up with this solution using ‘trash’ from the passenger seat; an old soda bottle.

Easy and clean. This would work well for other funnel needs, just use any plastic bottle with the right size opening to suit the task!

 

get an empty bottle and utility knife           cut top off bottle           clean the bottle

dry the bottle top           top of bottle as funnel

Categories: helpful tips, random, repurposing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a 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.

https://www.facebook.com/downtowntorrancemarketplace?fref=ts

Here are some of the regular vendors you will find on Thursday nights:
http://www.ourseedsofinspiration.com/
https://www.facebook.com/soapfarmsoap
https://sites.google.com/site/davetheappraiser/home

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

Contractor or Handyman (or handywoman)?

It’s been on my mental ‘to do’ list for a while now to write something to help potential customers understand when to call a contractor or when to call a handyperson such as myself.
I thought this was a decent write-up published on Angie’s List that explains most of it.
There has been feedback from some people in my line of work did not care for this article, mostly in other states. Personally I found it to be a decent overview, especially as it applies to me as handyperson in California who must adhere to the rules of not being a contractor.

Angie’s LIST Guide to Hiring a handyman

Not all home repair jobs require the help of a general contractor or specialized service provider. A handyman can be hired for a variety of small home improvement projects. The following guide explains how a handyman can fix your to-do list while saving time and money along the way.

Contents

  • What is a handyman?
  • Benefits of hiring a handyman
  • Handyman-ready jobs
  • Handyman hiring tips

What is a handyman?

A handyman or handywoman is a skilled “jack of all trades” who can be hired by the hour to complete a wide range of small home improvement work and repair.

A handyman, or handyman company, typically charges the client by the hour plus material costs, regardless of the task at hand. Many homeowners will compile a list of repairs and hire a handyman to complete the list in a single visit.

The term “handyman” is loosely defined. Some are self-trained, while others have more formal training in various aspects of construction and home repair. Some specialize in a few types of home maintenance, such as painting and carpentry, while others specialize in several areas of home repair.

There is no national standard or regulation for handymen. Licensing and regulation vary by state. New Jersey, for example, requires handymen who work for a profit to register with the state and carry insurance. California requires handymen to carry a license from the State Contractors License Board to work on any project that exceeds $500 in labor and material costs.

How do I know if I need a handyman or contractor?

The scope of the job and level of skill required to complete it should determine whether you hire a handyman or contractor.

“When trying to determine who you should hire for a particular job, consider the task,” says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. If it’s a specialized trade, be sure you hire that tradesperson like a plumber or electrician, for example. If it’s little things that you can do yourself, a handyman is probably the right way to go.”

A handyman is not the best option for a large or complicated project that could take a long time to complete and require the help of multiple workers. A contractor or specialist should be utilized for remodeling work, room additions, projects that require heavy-duty equipment or licensed professionals like electricians.

Benefits of hiring a handyman

You’ve got an ever-increasing to-do list of home improvements like changing out a bathroom faucet, replacing missing shingles on the roof and painting a kitchen wall. You could hire a plumber, roofer and painter who all would have conflicting schedules of availability and their own service charges, or you could hire a handyman to complete all three projects in one day for a single hourly rate.

A homeowner can save money on home improvement projects by hiring a handyman because it eliminates the need for multiple service providers and contractors. Many handymen charge by the hour so a homeowner only pays for one worker who can complete a wide range of projects. A service charge from a plumber or roofer to come to your home could equal or even surpass the price to hire a handyman for a few hours.

Hiring a handyman also prevents waste and overcharging, as the handyman will only charge you for hours worked. A contractor or specialist is more likely to price a job based on the estimated amount of time it will take to complete it. Handymen are able to keep their rates low because they don’t have to pay additional workers and have lower overhead costs than contractors or large companies.

Many homeowners turn to handymen when they have a job but don’t know who to call. Handymen have been known to do all types of work from setting up playground equipment and gas grills to hanging holiday lights and decorations.

Handyman-ready jobs

Handymen are best utilized for small, “honey-do” types of home repair work. The following projects are ideal for most handymen.

  • Minor plumbing work

Many handymen are capable of completing minor plumbing work like installing new fixtures or repairing a leaky faucet. However, complex projects or jobs that require plumbing to be moved within the home should be left to a licensed plumber.

  • Caulking

Adding a fresh application of caulk to gaps between windows, doors and siding is a great way to improve energy efficiency and lower utility costs.

  • Decks and porches

Over time, weather can take its toll on wooden decks and porches. A handyman can replace broken boards, apply a finish or sealant and make general improvements or repairs to upgrade your deck or porch’s safety and appearance.

  • Gutter cleaning and maintenance

Although it’s a simple enough task, cleaning gutters is messy and involves climbing on the roof. Avoid the risk of injury by hiring a professional handyman with the right equipment and experience for the task. A handyman can also install gutter guards to prevent seasonal clogging.

  • Home exterior repairs

If you have minor damage to your home’s exterior, such as a loose piece of siding or a missing shingle, hiring a handyman to repair those items may prove to be more cost-effective than hiring a specialist.

  • Painting and touch-ups

A handyman can be hired to repaint a wall or garage door, touch up trim and scoff marks and repair small holes with spackle. Remember, a handyman typically charges by the hour, so larger jobs are better suited for a professional painting crew.

  • Hanging window treatments, pictures and mirrors and installing light fixtures

These small tasks can be easily accomplished by a homeowner, but a hiring a handyman with the right tools and experience can help ensure these wall-mounted items are hung correctly without damage.

Handyman hiring tips

Homeowners should take the time to interview several candidates before making a hiring decision. A handyman will be working closely with you in your home so you want to pick one that you feel comfortable around. The following handyman hiring tips can help ensure you pick the right candidate.

1. Define the project. Start by compiling a list of the home repairs you would like completed. Remember, a handyman is best utilized for small jobs such as installing light fixtures, patching drywall and interior painting. If the job requires pulling a permit, or moving plumbing or electrical wiring, you should consider hiring a contractor.

2. Shop around. Check Angie’s List reviews and interview a minimum of three handymen. Ask about years of experience and areas of specialization, and request references from homeowners who worked with the handyman in the past. Make sure the potential handyman has the skills and experience to complete your project.

3. Watch out for scams. You want to avoid handymen who contact you with unsolicited phone calls or visits to your home. You should also avoid any handyman who refuses to guarantee the price of the job or asks for payment upfront. Reputable handymen don’t expect to get paid before the project is completed.

4. Get it in writing. Insist on a written agreement laying out the job details, costs and a payment schedule. Be clear about the times you expect the work to be started and completed. It’s extremely important to get all guarantees in writing.

5. Ask for a guarantee. Many handymen will guarantee their work for up to one year. Ask about guarantees before you make a hiring decision, and of course, make sure the guarantee is in writing.

6. Inspect the work. Inspect the completed work before making payment. Make sure that everything has been done to your satisfaction and at the agreed upon price. Most handymen will be happy to explain the finished work because they want you to be satisfied.

Categories: Checklist, custom work, hanging pictures, hanging shelves, helpful tips, home maintenance, lights, organizing, painting, plumbing, repurposing, safety, work I do | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

tricks for your leftover treats

If you have leftover candy like we do and need to get it out of your sight to stop eating it (like I do), here’s a few suggestions.

Project Gratitude partners with locals dentists for Halloween Candy Buyback. You bring your candy to the dentist office and they send it to the troops. Most of them have offers in return for the candy too. What a sweet way to support our military!

http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/

http://www.operationgratitude.com/

Operation Shoebox also collects items to send to our military troops all year round, keep them in mind this upcoming holiday season too!

http://operationshoebox.com/

If you do want to keep some around freezing will help keep longer. There are plenty of recipe idea all over the internet, of course. I am conscientiously avoiding those myself!!

Categories: helpful tips, holiday tips, repurposing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

sometimes….

I get to turn an old neglected fish pond into a planter.

filled w/ potting soil

filled w/ potting soil

Now with plants

Now with plants

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Categories: gardening, outdoors, repurposing, work I do | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Handy way to reuse corks

I was finding it very hard to get the patio table clean under the glass and around the rim, and it was bothering me. Since there is an umbrella in the middle it’s not convenient to take the glass off, so I came up with a great trick last week to make it easier.

It’s best if you can use 2 people to lift one side at a time, but it can be done with just one person also. Simply raise the edge of the glass top and place wine corks in between to keep it raised.
Now you have easy access to hose, wipe, brush, blow….whatever your preferred method of cleaning!
If you hose it off like I do the corks are great to leave in place while everything dries. Simple.
Happy patio dining! 🙂

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Categories: DIY tips, helpful tips, home maintenance, outdoors, repurposing | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Helpful tips

Every few months or so take the drain stoppers from the kitchen sink and toss them in the dishwasher when you run it. Does a great job cleaning the buildup especially from the bottom where it can get pretty gross!

Saw this on Pinterest – use coffee filters to cover drain holes in planters! Wish I had seen that tip before I already finished all my spring re potting! Such a great idea!

Picnic-BBQ idea: place persihable foods like dips, condiments, cheese and meat trays, sandwich trays etc on top of ice in shallow pans or plastic bins to keep fresh and safe during a party.  Don’t open and pour the ice, lay whole bag into a large shallow bins, like the ones used to store items under the bed.. Cover the ice with a dish towel then set trays of food on top! Keep covered from bugs and you will have a stress free picnic buffet!!

Categories: cleaning, DIY tips, gardening, helpful tips, home maintenance, kitchen sink, organizing, outdoors, repurposing, storage, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

50 All-Time Favorite New Uses for Old Things | Real Simple

This is a fun list. I don’t agree with all of them, but enough of them to be worth sharing.

Personally, I would use caution using real popcorn for shipping protection unless it is a fast trip and the contents protected, it has a big risk of attracting pests, rot etc.

I LOVE the colander for ice serving, and the life savers tip is awesome!

50 All-Time Favorite New Uses for Old Things | Real Simple.

Categories: cleaning, decorating, DIY tips, helpful tips, organizing, repurposing, storage | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: