My name is Karen and I’m a television host.   In Canada.  Which means in terms of notoriety and wealth, I’m somewhere on par with the manager of a Sunset Tan in Wisconsin.

In my spare time I figure things out:  how to install drywall, how to fix my computer, what’s the best way to cook a pizza.  I’ve always been this way and I imagine I always will be.  I suspect it’s a mild case of obsessive compulsive disorder I suffer from, but I actually find it quite useful. In addition to the self-diagnosed lunacy, I’m also wildly curious, cheap and a bit of a control freak.  Kind of like a frugal alpha monkey.

I must come by it honestly, because my whole family is this way. My parents were bona fide 50’s parents.  Norm and Betty.  My mother had a job but also cooked, cleaned, knit, sewed, quilted, made hats and ironed everything to within an inch of it’s life.  And my dad was a machinist who did things like make his own screws.  From scratch.  For fun.  My sister Lisa is an interior decorator who makes her own furniture.  From scratch.  For fun.  My other sister Pam works for the government.  So she doesn’t need to be cheap or handy.  She just needs to keep track of all of her days off.

Now I should let you know that I am far from a professional.  I’m just a dork with some spare time on my hands who had an epiphany at a young age.  That epiphany came one day when my VCR didn’t work.  I had just got home from school and was eager to continue my memorization of the dance moves from Thriller.  Thanks to the newly invented “VCR” I had Thriller on video.  So I shoved my compilation tape into the VCR and all it did was groan, as did I.  I couldn’t memorize Michael’s dance moves (thus greatly decreasing my chances of impressing him when we met).  I needed to watch this tape.  So I took the entire VCR apart, blew on the guts and put it back together.  It worked.

You’d be surprised at how many things you can fix this way.


I do it because I simply cannot stop my brain from trying to figure things out; everything from what I’m going to get for Christmas to what that stink in my fridge is.  The latter resulted in taking my Frigidaire apart piece by piece until I found a tablespoon of chicken juice that dripped deep into the fridge’s mechanical interior.  I’m not sure what a normal person would have done in these circumstances — buy a new fridge I guess.  I would never do that.   Did I mention I’m cheap?  I mean cheap as in I’m good with money, not cheap like I buy my bathing suits second hand.  I’m cheap like someone who was raised by people who made their own hats and screws.

I have installed my own central vac, done my own wiring, plumbing, drywalling, landscaping, toilet trained my cats and raised monarch butterflies which I then bronze and fashion into one of a kind wrist corsages.  Okay that’s not true, I don’t bronze them.

My Philosophy:

So I guess what I’m saying is, it’s not as hard as you think — none of it. You can do it yourself, cheaper, faster and it will make your life simpler. Trust me,  I’m no genius, but  if I can do it you can do it.  Hell, if the last guy who showed up to fix your dryer can do it, you can do it.

OR – you can ASK ME.

This Site:

I created the Art of Doing Stuff  because let’s face it, I’m going to do all this stuff anyway so I might as use my self diagnosed OCD to make the world a better, cleaner and more organized place. Because currently, my know-how only benefits my ungrateful friends and family members who make fun of my somewhat fanatical approach to figuring stuff out, and yet, call ME when they want to know how to rip the membrane off a rack of ribs. They can suck it.

This is where you come in.  Since I have some time on my hands and an Internet connection I’d like your questions.  So I can help show you how you can do stuff. Wanna know what to do if you burn your hand on the stove?  Ask me.  Wanna know how to tame a chipmunk?  Ask me.  Wanna know how to iron a shirt, make a bed, butcher a hunk of meat?  Ask me.   If I don’t already know, I’ll figure it out.  Just don’t ask me how to machine my own screw.

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