Friday, April 30, 2010

Great Craftswomen - Feature Friday #1

All Thingz Related is just one of many great blogs I had the chance to visit this week. It is written by 2 best friends, Bridgette and Rebekah, who live 700 miles apart. It says in their profile that their energy is fueled by drinking Dr. Pepper. Gotta love it! When I went to visit their site I was really impressed with their Magnetic Calendar and Chore Chart. It is too cute for words. You need to go over there and see it. They have step by step pictures, so you can make your own. They also do a link party on Tuesdays called Anything Related.

Here is their link.... Please let them know that Tools Are For Women Too! sent you.

Wow! Alot Going On At Tools Are For Women Too!

First of all, you can still enter to win the first sterling silver necklace, but you need to hurry. I will be cutting off entries the moment I hit 100 followers. For those of you, who missed it, I am also giving away a second necklace. On the second necklace you can take advantage of 3 different ways to win. Click here for details on both drawings.

Jamee from Homemaker asked a terrific question about what kind of finish to use on outdoor furniture in extreme climates. I wrote a post on it. You can scroll down or click here to read it. After you read it, make sure you go see Jamee and say hello. If you have a question, please ask. I am always looking for interesting things to write posts on.

Next, I have started a Link Party Directory! If you are doing a weekly link party, you need to get on my list, by trading party links with me.

Tools Are For Women Too! will be holding it's first link party on Monday. Be sure you drop by for that.

Yesterday , I wrote about possibly trading guest feature posts with a few wonderful craftswomen. If you are interested, let me know.

I have also added a feature on my sidebar called " Every Girl Needs A Little Extra". Check it out.

And finally, later today, I will be writing a Feature Friday post where I highlight a few pretty great blogs, that I visited this week.

Whew! Makes me tired just thinking about all this stuff.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wanted: Craftswoman

What is your specialty? Is it doll making? quilts? repurposing? scrapbooking? Whatever your specialty is, I would like to know about it, and so would followers here, at Tools Are For Women Too! Being a craftsperson is not all about cordless drills and sawdust. Sometimes it's about Cricut machines and Mod Podge.

So, I am offering a few of you great craftswomen a chance to trade guest feature posts with Tools Are For Women Too! . Let me know if you are interested.

Extreme Weather Finish

A great question was asked by Jamee, who is one of my wondeful Tools Are For Women Too! followers! She wanted to know what kind of finish to use on outdoor furniture in a desert climate. Extreme weather like that really presents a challenge. To be honest, there is nothing that will stand up to desert sun for long periods of time. But, I do have a suggestion or two that will help Jamee. Below is a formula I use for outdoor furniture.

You will need to mix together...

1/2 Part Marine Spar Varnish

1Part Boiled Linseed Oil

1Part Naptha

(Mineral Spirits will do in a pinch but Naptha will speed up the drying time.)

Mix all 3 product together. You can shake it if you want to.

Apply to your clean, sanded surface, with a rag.

Wait 10-15 minutes. Then wipe off the excess finish.

Dry enough to handle in 15 minutes. Cures in about 24 hours.

That's really all there is to it. This is more of a wood preservative than a finish. It will need to be reappled every year or two, but it wont crack or peel.

I want to thank Jamee for her great question. Her teriffic blog is called HOMEMAKER . Please give her a visit and say hello.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Link Party Announcement!

It's official. Tools Are For Women Too! will be having it's first link party this coming Monday. It is called Modern Craftswoman Monday. The rules to the party are pretty simple. Just show off your best craft stuff, whatever it is. Quilters, doll makers, woodworkers, repurposers, jewelery makers, ........whoever you off your latest and greatest.

I will be doing a feature post the following Friday on one or more of the great craftswomen that entered.

Also, if you hold link weekly link parties, please let me know if you want to be included in my Link Party Directory. It is free as long as you link to my party as well.

And don't forget to enter the giveaway for the sterling silver necklaces. There is a lot going on here right now, so stop by and take a look.

New Feature Coming Soon - Link Party Directory

Ok, here is something I know a lot of you have been searching and waiting for. It is called a Link Party Directory. It will be located in the Tools Are For Women Too! navigation bar, directly underneath the blog header. Now you will have a central place where you can easily find parties to link up to. There will be no more searching for who is throwing what and when.
I am just now in the developing stages of this feature, but I wanted to give everyone a heads up on it. If your blog holds a weekly link party, I would love to add yours to my directory. All I ask is that you link up to my link party as well, called Modern Craftswoman Monday.
More details about my link party will be coming soon, so stay tuned. I should also have the Link Party Directory in full swing in a few days, so be sure and periodically check back. If you attend a fantastic weekly link party that you feel should be on the list, be sure to let me know.

Tool Review-Milwaukee 6021-21 Random Orbit Palm Sander

First of all, you need to know that I am an "old school" type of guy who generally cringes at the use of any kind of power sander unless I am coerced by extreme arm twisting. I do nearly all my sanding by hand with no more than patience, sweat and sometimes a sanding block such as this one from 3M.

If you are looking for the best possible result, zero sanding marks, and don't mind spending countless hours sanding, a sanding block is the way to go. This one is available in our online store and it is very inexpensive. I consider a sanding block to be a staple item and is something that no respectable woodworker should be without. Click Here for details on this 3M Sanding Block.

Now, for those of you who hate sanding by hand, don't have the patience of a patron saint, and will settle for great quality, instead of pristine and flawless, you are going to need a power sander. One of the companies making power sanders that I like a lot is Milwaukee. The Milwaukee name has always had a great deal of respect within the woodworking industry, with a reputation for tough power tools. This Milwaukee 6021-21 Orbit Palm Sander is no exception to the rule. It is lightweight, easy to use, and is a tough little guy. Orbital sanders like this one are mainly designed for smaller projects and finish sanding and this model does that job very well. It has variable speed and comes with a case and dust collector. Sandpaper changes are a breeze with the hook and loop style pad. For those of you who want a lightweight, easy to use sander, for small to medium projects, I recommend the Milwaukee 6021-21.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Safely Finishing Wooden Bowls and Spoons

I often get asked this question..." What should I use to finish wooden bowls, cutting board and utensils? Before I tell you what to use, let me tell you what you shouldn't.

1.) Varnish, Polyurethane, and Lacquer. Stay away from all of these. These types of finishes often contain solvents that just plain are not good for you. They will also scratch easily when using knives and forks on them. The finish that gets scratched off has to go somewhere and you are probably better off if it doesn't end up in your salad, or as seasoning for your steak.

2.) Tung Oils. Tung Oil is used fairly often for bowls and spoons, but I recommend staying away from Tung Oils as well. Here's why...Although true tung oil is considered a natural product, it is actually derived from a nut bearing tree. Some people are very allergic to nuts, especially children. So, why risk it?

3.) Shellac. I am a huge fan of shellac, but not for finishing wooden food related items because shellac is very soft and does not hold up very well. I don't like having to get out my shellac brush after every meal. The good news about shellac is that is is pretty safe if ingested. Shellac is sometimes even used to coat candy with in order to make it shiny.

4.) Mayonnaise, Cooking Oils. Here is the thing about using food products. Food can spoil and cooking oil can turn rancid. Don't use food products.

Here is what I use for putting a finish on a cutting board, wooden spoon, or wooden bowl. It's called "mineral oil". It is non toxic enough that it is often sold in drug stores as a laxative. I do not know of anyone who has had an allergic reaction to it. It wipes on easily, and can be reapplied whenever you feel the need. It will also not darken the wood like other oils will. A little goes a long way. I can generally finish 20 spoons with a pint of it. Mineral oil also has one more thing going for it too. It's really cheap. The bottle shown is under $3.00 in my online store.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sterling Silver Necklace Giveaway

Sorry, This Contest is now over. We have a winner!

Some lucky woman out there is going to win a sterling silver necklace! It could not be easier to enter. Just become a follower of Tools Are For Women Too! and you are automatically entered into the drawing. That's all there is to it. As soon as the 100th follower joins, I will put all 100 names in a hat and draw the lucky winner.

To my blog writing friends I am also going to give away a second sterling silver chain to make it even more fun. Here are the rules for the second necklace:

1.) Put Tools Are For Women Too! on your sidebar and I will throw your name in the hat.

2.) Announce my giveaway on your blog and link to it and I will throw you name in the hat again.

3.) Do a feature post about my new blog and I will give you a 3rd entry, a big hug, and my undying gratitude.

Then all you have to do is leave a comment about what you did, so I know how many times to enter you into the drawing. As soon as I have a total of 100 entries I will draw the lucky winner.

Have fun and good luck!

DIY Kids Toolbox

Here is a fun little project that you can make for yourself or get one of the kids involved. It is a toolbox for the beginner crafts person. With this one you can teach some aspiring young crafter how to use a few basic hand tools. The wood comes precut, so it is pretty easy. Recommended for ages 8 and up. It comes with the hardware, and features a lift out tray. You will need to provide a hammer, drill, clamps, and glue. Since it is made out of solid pine, you can stain or paint it however you want. I love the idea of teaching kids how to work with their hands. I think this little toolbox is a great place to start. It is available in my online store.

Tools Are For Women Too!

It seems every time I go into a home improvement store these days I see more and more women attempting DIY projects, and succeeding! I find it pretty refreshing that craftsmanship is now evolving into craftspersonship. And besides, I think the term craftswoman has a nice ring to it, don't you?

Occasionally when I am in one of those big home improvement stores a woman will come up to me and ask for advice, even though I don't work there. Maybe it's because there are generally no employees to be found, or maybe it's just because the employees know less than they do. I guess I get picked out because I usually have more sawdust on my pants than anyone else in the store. Whatever the reason, I am glad to help.

This blog is all about helping the craftswoman. I will be doing tutorials, product features, DIY projects, and tool reviews.

I would also like to invite you into my online store. In it you will find brand names like Cricut, Dewalt, Gingher, Dremel, Milwaukee, and Xacto, just to name a few. New inventory is being added daily and pleeeease let me know if you need a particular item I am not presently carrying. I value your comments and input.

Please browse as long as you want and enjoy yourself while you are here.