What’s Up with that Handy Girl?

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What’s going on with that Handy Girl? She didn’t post anything on Friday or Monday? Has she succumbed to jet lag after her trip abroad? (nope) Did she cut her thumb off on a saw and can’t type? (nope) Was she abducted by aliens?

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(maybe)

Want to know why I’ve been slacking on posting?

This is why:

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I’ve been feverishly working on tiling the backsplash in our kitchen. It’s been a lot of sweat equity (and some child labor) but the results are stunning.

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I chose these beautiful carrara mable subway tiles from TheBuilderDepot.com.

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They arrived on a huge pallet and have been sitting in the garage for months. Once we got back from our trip I was having major DIY withdrawal. What better way to get back into the DIY game than tiling 80 sq. feet of backsplash! Heeheehee.

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I’ve rarely had a free moment, in fact when I actually did take a minute to sit down, Handy Dog took advantage of an open lap. (Ummm, someone needs to tell him he’s too big to be a lap dog.)

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What’s the rush Handy Girl?

The rush is self imposed, but I did want to finish before I left for Haven. I’m happy to say that I have a few more lines of caulk to run and the backsplash will be…stick a fork in it…DONE!

And then tomorrow morning I can hop in this swanky new 2014 GMC Acadia Denali and head to Haven!

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(Totally love the hologram on the dashboard that displays speed, temperature, current song playing and more!)

Whoa, what’s with the new wheels?

Well, GMC is loaning the vehicle to me for the week. I’ll be working with GMC at Haven and theeennnnnn….

…on Sunday I’ll be working with some other bloggers to furnish and makeover another Habitat House in the Atlanta area. (Do you remember the big reveal last year?) It’s sure to be a lot of fun and a totally rewarding experience when the homeowner opens the door to her new home and is surprised to find it furnished for her!

I’ll be bringing a whole box of tissues this time.

Want to keep up with the action? Here’s how!

Follow these bloggers as they shop the World’s Longest Yard Sale this week:

You can follow the hashtag #GMCHTA (GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure) on Twitter and Instagram for live photos from the sale. And I’ll try to keep you in the loop through social media (mostly Instagram and Facebook) from the#HavenConf conference hashtag and beyond.

Want to read more about my adventures along the World’s Longest Yardsale last year?

Start reading here.

One more thing before I rush out. If you are going to Haven, you MUST…I repeat…you MUST hop in on one of the two classes Sandra, Traci and I are teaching. It’s called, “Let’s Case This Joint” and it’s going to be a total interactive hands on experience in molding, casing and trim installation. And there will be power tools! You might just have to put up with me and my “Dirty Handy” impersonation though.  ”Go Ahead… Make My Day.”

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 Put a Ryobi cordless finish nailer in my hand and I start acting like a tough guy.

I’ll be back later with some more DIY tutorials. I promise. I haven’t been abducted by aliens, I’ve just been a little up to my elbows in grout.

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Disclosure: GMC is sponsoring my trip to Haven this year. I was provided with a loaner GMC Acadia Denali to drive to the conference and back. I was not told what to write or say. All words, ideas and photos are my own.

Helping Oklahoma Tornado Victims

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Being a part of the DIY blogging community is like being part of an extended family. Most of the DIY bloggers I know spend their time building or creating and then spending an equal amount of time creating a tutorial to help others make the same thing.

This sharing and giving spirit often extends beyond building and creating.  It extends to helping others in need.

My friend, Colleen, is one of those bloggers who has been driven to help the tornado victims in Oklahoma. She was moved to create the painting of the Two Cows above and is raffling it off to raise money for Oklahoma.

You might remember Colleen:

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I introduced her to you last year when she herself was in need after losing her husband. The blogging community and their readers rallied together to help her. Now Colleen is ‘paying it forward’ by raising money for the Red Cross to help in the Oklahoma relief efforts. You can read the full details about the fundraiser on Colleen’s blog, along with the story behind her painting above (it’s a moving tale.)

Raffle tickets for her painting are only $5. The winner will be chosen on June 30.You can also purchase prints and notecards of Two Cows (a portion of the proceeds also goes to the Red Cross.)

I love our blogging family and how they pull together, help others and give back. I hope you’ll join Colleen and either purchase a ticket or reprint or share the raffle with your friends.

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A Gift for a Donor and a Google+ Hangout Reminder

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Happy Wednesday! A while ago I told you about my friend Colleen who lost her husband and was trying to make ends meet. I really appreciate your outpouring of support for her. As promised, I have a thank you gift for one lucky donor! I’ve been collecting these fantastic DIY and craft items for that one special person. Colleen will be picking one lucky donor at random after midnight EST, Saturday, November 10th. And that person will get these amazing gifts you see here.

Let’s get a closer look, shall we?

A Box filled with:

  • Plaid Martha Stewart Crafts flower stencils
  • Autographed copy of the Woman’s Day magazine I was featured in
  • Pur Mineral Clear Water Filter
  • Purdy Paint Brush
  • KILZ Paint Brush
  • Pink Watering Can
  • Pink Tomboy Tools Tool Box
  • Pink Hammer
  • Ear Plugs
  • Mini-Level
  • Tape Measure
  • Mike Holmes Safety Glasses
  • Pick Your Plum goodies
  • Craft-a-Day for a full year book
  • Comet Stainless Steel cleaners
  • Scented Hand Lotions
  • Head Lamp and flashlight
  • Glade air freshener
  • Rustoleum comfort grip spray paint handle
  • Painter’s Markers
  • Illy Coffee and….
  • a Kreg Jig!!!

Please consider making a donation to help Colleen. She’s currently living with her mother and her mother’s house is about to go into foreclosure ;-(. Every dollar helps. Click on the button below to be taken to the fundraising page:

Just a little reminder that I’ll be giving a LIVE demonstration on making the fall flag you see above with my friend Sandra of Sawdust & Paper Scraps tomorrow, Thursday, November 8th at 10am PST (1pm EST.) The video will stream live here on the blog. Just go to the home page and you should be able to click the play button on the video screen. I hope you’ll join us for the fun!

If you miss the LIVE stream, the video will be available at your convenience anytime after the Hangout has ended. The video player should still be visible on the blog, so join me anytime. As Tom Bodett says, “We’ll leave the light on for you.”

 

Pouring My Heart Out and Giving Back

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This is going to be a pour my heart out post, so be prepared. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of Pretty Handy Girl that you don’t get to see. I’ve been blogging for over two years now and I feel the need to share with you what makes me tick and why I blog.

Pretty Handsome Guy (my husband) and I were out to dinner the other night and he asked me what truly makes me happy. I thought about it and the usual answers came up: doing fun things with the kids, being outdoors, crafting, woodworking and creating things. But, what really fuels my “joy tank” is helping others and giving back. This is so core to my personality that it eats away at me when I can’t help.

When I started this blog, it was truly to be able to give back to people. To help all my friends and family and acquaintances that wanted my time and my help to show them how to complete their own DIY project. I was originally going to hold classes in my garage (per my good friend Renee’s suggestion.) But, you can thank Pretty Handsome Guy for suggesting that I start a blog to empower others. And believe me, every time I see how many people are reading my tutorials, I am blown away and realize that the blog was a good decision.

Last week I had one of the most emotionally draining weeks since the birth of my first son. I was tasked with choosing 4 finalists from over 250 entries into the Boost Your Roost contest. The stories and pictures that were sent to me left me in tears and frustrated that I could only choose four. The night that I finally submitted the finalists (after agonizing over how to whittle down all the people who I felt truly “NEEDED” the prize) I didn’t sleep very well. I was up for several hours trying to figure out how to make it happen for those who had a need and I knew wouldn’t receive. (It is still so hard for me to write this because I want to jump in my car and go help each and everyone of them. But, I can’t. I have a duty to my children as a mother and as a wife to my husband.)

This sleepless night had me thinking about how I could give back and how I could help others. What I realized is that I can’t do it alone. I also need help to complete my goals.

Mimi Collins, one of my fans on Facebook, helped me more than she realizes when she replied to one of my posts: ‎

“Never worry about numbers.
Help one person at a time,
and always start with the person nearest you.”

- Mother Teresa

I kept coming back to this quote and I found some peace realizing that if I could help one person at a time, that help may spread. And then I could move on to the next person.

What I’m trying to say is that occasionally I will be deviating from DIY tutorials in an effort to give back where there is a need.

Will you stick with me?

Can I count on your help?

I’m not asking for your help every time, but just to take a few minutes to read about someone who has touched my heart and whose story might touch you as well.

With this in mind, you may know my friend and fellow blogger Colleen. She’s known as Mural Maker to the blog world.

Colleen with Centsational Girl (Kate)

Colleen is a caring person and is truly a giver by nature. She and her husband each took care of their aging mothers on a 24/7 basis. They were forced to live separately while they cared for the women who raised them. They did spend as much time together as their lives allowed, especially while caring for their 4 year old grandson.

She and her husband Marlon were struggling to make ends meet after the thoughtless and fraudulent actions of one person turned their lives upside down. Just when they thought they had hit rock bottom, a glimmer of hope arose and it looked like there might be a way to erase (if that’s even possible) 20 years of literally paying for an erroneous paper filed with a goverment agency. While in the process of filling out mountains of paperwork to undo this “wrong”, Marlon began to make the first steps out of an extremely fragile financial situation.

Three weeks after he was starting to get his life back, Marlon developed an aortic tear (if you remember John Ritter’s sudden death, he was struck by the same medical condition.) Most people die instantly from an aortic tear, but not Marlon. He fought for his life and so did the surgeons. After several surgeries, he was in recovery but the damage was done and he slipped away peacefully.

Colleen was devastated, her husband was her rock and her best friend to lean on. He was her ever positive outlook guy . As she dealt with the blow of his death, she didn’t realize that the worst was yet to come. Soon after the funeral, the bills started to flood in. Medical bills from the surgeries and all the emergency room and ICU fees. Bills for the funeral. And their normal bills.

Amidst all the hands outreached for money, Colleen has one that presents a more pressing need. She suffered a debilitating back injury years ago, which still requires medical treatments so she can endure the pain. At this point, I think you understand that her need for  funds to pay the bills and just simply survive (until she can get back on her feet) are unimaginable.

Colleen would never ask for money for herself, but she has agreed to let me post these details of her life and help her set up a fund raiser.

A Friends of Colleen Jorgensen Fundraising Page has been set up with Rally.org (a unique site for helping people fund raise for their causes.) All the money raised will go directly to Colleen. Payments can be made with credit card or eCheck. And all your information and the amount you donated is kept private.

Update: Rally.org doesn’t have a Paypal payment option, but payments can be made by sending money to Colleen’s paypal account email: MM14biz (at) gmail.com (remove the spaces and use “@” instead of “at”.

As a special thank you (this is NOT a raffle or traditional giveaway), I have decided to chose one donor at random to receive a Pretty Handy Girl Basket. I’ve been collecting tools and all things Pretty Handy Girl for this basket. Because your donations mean so much (no matter how big or small), this is just a little incentive and a way to say thank you.

So, who’s with me? Can you help give back with a small donation?

Or can you help spread the word? Simply paste this code onto your sidebar (or in a post) to help spread the word:

Friends of Colleen Jorgensen Fundraiser

Note: If the above code doesn’t work in your blogging software, try removing the <div align…> and </div> tags from the code.

Your kindness will be rewarded in good karma. I definitely believe in karma, do you?