RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: February 2013

Magazine Reload


Are your DIY magazines (or fashion, beauty and parenting magazines) taking over your life, but you can’t seem to throw them away? HA, well I am right there with you! I can’t seem to part with my DIY mags because they were my Pinterest before the website was around…


It’s too expensive and time consuming to buy laminated sleeves and rip out every page that I love (primarily because it ends up being the whole dang magazine.)

So let’s just skip the rigamarole, cut out the middle man and clean up our offices (and floors and desks and tables and every other surface that is covered by inspirational fodder.)

Necessary Supplies:

1. Drill with 1/4 inch bit

2. Binder

3. Pen

4. Loose leaf paper or laminated sleeve (optional)

Step 1: Draw your holes.

You can take a laminated sleeve or loose leaf paper to trace holes onto your magazine cover. If you don’t have a sleeve you can just close the magazine in the binder rings and squeeze the rings hard to make little impressions, then put dots on the impressions.



NOTE: It’s a good idea to start with a magazine that isn’t near and dear to your heart because there is a bit of a learning curve.


As you can see…my holes are a bit messy on this one.

Step 2: Drill your holes.It's junk now

Place your magazine on a surface that you’re not partial to, because it ends up looking like this ….



Drilly drill drill

Drill your holes into the circles you have stenciled. Then flip over the magazine and drill into the holes from the other side.

A little guy.

Step 4: Stencil new holes.

Place your magazine with your newly drilled holes on top of the next magazine and use it as a stencil to plot your next drill points. Then create the holes just like you did the first set.


Step 5: Install your magazines!

InstallationYou CAN place waxy sticker reinforcers on the front and back covers of the magazines to keep them from tearing, but the thickness of the whole item should prevent any page damage from the rings.  Just slide your magazines into your binder and clip them shut. Depending on your binder size (I used both 1 inch and 2 inch binders), you can fit 2-4 magazines per binder, depending on the magazine thickness.

See?Because I am not a huge fan of labeling everything (I know, I know, that is practically sacrilege in the realm of DIY home organization. Sometimes they are useful, but is it REALLY easier to find a towel on a shelf because the shelf is marked towels? Um, no. Sometimes all it takes is common sense.) I just organized my binders by magazine (Storage with Storage, House Beautiful with House Beautiful, you get it, right?) and of course grouping the randoms in a binder by themselves.

Storage Mag Binder


Step 5: Put it all away.


Neat and Clean One huge factor in my favor is that I have matching binders. This wouldn’t look as streamlined if I used two blue, one lime and one goldenrod, but if you’re not going for the streamlined look (or if you don’t care to go out and buy new binders) then the rainbow is your oyster!

My logic? I’m a color junkie, but I need muted accessories in order for the showcase items to take center stage.


Business 101

Starting a business is kind of a big deal, and there is no such thing as too prepared (especially when your family’s livelihood is at stake and there is no back-up plan.) I decided I can read online until I am blue in the face, but at the end of the day I need to learn REAL BUSINESS STUFF in a REAL CLASSROOM from a REAL TEACHER who has REAL EXPERIENCE. So off to school I went.

To preface, I am a nerd. I graduated with my Bachelor’s in 2008 and have been going back to school ever since for whatever interests me; Computer programming, advanced algebra, drafting–the list goes on. I love knowledge (because I am a pain-in-the-ass know-it-all) so the more I know the more I can help myself and others around me (whether they like it or not!!!:) Going back to school wasn’t a huge deal for me, I do it all the time. But now I’m going back for something more than an interest– THIS WILL AFFECT MY LIFE IN A BIG WAY (so much so that I felt all caps were very necessary for that statement.) I plan to take more than just Business 101 after this semester, but I just needed to get my feet wet. Eventually I will lead into different levels of Accounting, Business Law and side classes that are necessary to get licensed by the state.

I already knew some of what has been covered in class because I work with small businesses at my “real job,” and I also research online. However it was really nice to get concrete information from a man that has owned small business, traded stocks successfully and has headed whole sectors of VERY LARGE corporations. I was able to stop inferring from bits and pieces of information from the internet, which is not nearly enough to start a business.

It’s only the middle of the semester, but here are some tidbits that I would like to share…

The Basics

1. Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships have tax benefits that you will not get with a regular corporation. Even Small Corporations (S-Corp) have some tax benefits that regular corporations (C-Corp) do not. Choose your strategy wisely.

2. When seriously starting a business, enlist the help of two important people: a CPA with experience in your type of business, and an attorney with business law experience. Make sure both of these people are a) people you can work with, b) will return your calls no matter when or where, c) fairly priced, d) trustworthy.

3. When deciding where to open your business, consider the state’s position on Unions (and whether or not it corresponds with your position on Unions) and what kind of business taxes you’d be expected to pay in that state/city.

4. 44% of small business fail due to incompetent management. By this I mean, INCOMPETENT (really day-one stuff.) Not paying suppliers, not having enough insurance, not paying taxes. Just do the right thing and listen to your CPA and attorney.

5. Hire honest, talented people and pay them well. You’ll win their loyalty and they’ll work harder to help you succeed.

6. Advertise in peak seasons when people are likely to buy. Honestly, would you get off the couch to buy a bathing suit in December just because you saw a jazzy commercial? Yeah, me neither.

7. A successful entrepreneur makes good plans, they don’t simply react to problems. When there is a plan in place, you carry it out despite the problems. You can’t create a plan to cater to the problems at hand.

8. Create a record storage policy. Garbage over seven years old can go. Most things over 3 years are unnecessary. Keeping EVERYTHING can create a liability.– Philip-Morris had to pay out millions due to a memo written 30 years ago stating “Well, we all know smoking is bad for you.” Don’t go out of business paying for lawsuits from old emails.

9. Get enough insurance. Seriously. Cover yourself, your employees, your customers, your property, your equipment, your dog, your mother, your mother’s dog and every other known aspect of your life that could be at risk by someone making a dumb decision and blaming it on you.

10. Make people think of your business first when they are in need of services that you offer. Hire college kids for the day to survey random pedestrians to see who knows about your business and what you offer.

11. Make it easy for people to do business with you. If you sell large items, deliver. If you offer a service, make sure your time frames are accurate. Always under promise and over deliver– but don’t lose money in doing so.

If you couldn’t handle all of that, let me simplify….

1. Surround yourself with hardworking, trustworthy, talented people.

2. Choose knowledgeable partners and experienced business “planners.”

3. Plan comprehensively and in great detail.

4. Treat your employees well.

5. Treat your customers well.

6. Spend money to make money with advertising, talent, products, renting a suitable building in a good location (if customers will be visiting) and insurance.

7. Be fair, work hard and do the right thing.

Wallpaper Removal


Business Action

I figured it’s time to get real with you. Not that I’ve been hiding anything, but there have been plans going on in my noggin (and some even on paper) regarding opening a business. What kind of business? Well, that part hasn’t been ironed out yet. Yes, I know that’s a pretty big detail to gloss over, but I’m not opening tomorrow. All I know is I’m smart, love to design, get dirty and work hard. Boom! The world is my oyster.

I decided to include this in my blog because, well, doesn’t it make you mad when you’re blissfully reading a blog and all of the sudden see that there is a store opening or a book coming out? And you sit there thinking, “where the F did this come from?” and “why is this the first I’m hearing of this?” or even “how do I do that too?”  If you love to design and play with furniture, then of course my blog is useful. But what if you want to step it up? What if YOU want to open a legit business– not an Etsy business (I am totally not bashing the validity of Etsy, but it varies greatly from a brick-and-morter, make-my-living, do-or-die business.)

This is by no means a step-by-step guide, this is just what I’ve done and am currently doing to transition from hobby to career. Wish me luck!

(Heat) Gunslinger

I finally busted out my heat gun for the first time after waiting waaaay too long. The snow has really put a damper on my furniture plans, but this little buddy is a great way to keep things trucking (at least a little bit) inside, without making a monster mess. My heat gun has two settings, 700 degrees (-ish) and 1,000 degrees (-ish.) My contractor-friend told me that I would burn my first piece of wood without a doubt, but HA! No burns here… but I’m not finished yet.

I didn’t know how it would pan out, so I grabbed one of these juuuuust in case.

Fire-Be-GoneAs far as my desk goes, it started something like this…

DeskThis thing blisters paint in less time than any chemical stripper I have ever used. Granted, if I burn myself with this I get more than just a couple little blisters (like the chemical stripper) but I will just have to be extra careful because so far it has been totally worth the risk.

Progress?It really is an “aim-and-fire” process. I was a little nervous at first, but this tool as really grown on me.

Point-n-shootWant to know how to use it? Check out this VIDEO!

%d bloggers like this: