My Favourite Things

First and foremost I’d like to say thank you to my sponsors for choosing The Art of Doing Stuff for their advertising needs.

In return I try to choose them for my purchasing needs.

I can’t always afford what I want to buy, but if I could justify it, these are the things I would get for myself.

By the way, I have really good sponsors. Where else can you come to get a chicken coop sign, a Birkin bag and a have a website designed? Probably nowhere would be my guess.


Taylor 1_400x400








The Cement Tile Shop.

I LOVE these modern floor tiles.




Think you’re good with money? So did I until I took money coach, Nancy Zimmerman’s quiz .

nancy zimmerman





I also love a new introduction to Brenda Watts’ Cattails Studio line. These little salt cellars and matching wooden spoons.







Welcome Lab Consignment to my site!
It’s run by Lauren. The daughter of one of my neighbours.
If I can’t have the GENUINE Birkin bag she has for sale,
I’d like either this Black Valentino dress
or these cute Hunter ballet flats.

















It may seem odd that a gal who loves a black Valentino dress would also love a “Farm Fresh Eggs From Happy Chickens” sign, but it’s true. I’m SO excited to welcome Bainbridge Farm Goods as one of my latest sponsors I could scream. Or buckock at the very least. She has a huge variety of hand designed signs, (not just for chicken owners). And THIS is my very favourite in the bunch.


Are you familiar with those sassy Scotsmen decorators Colin & Justin? According to Wikipedia they’ve been credited with introducing laminate flooring to British households. Well, they also have a line of products including VERY luxurious candles, sold at Ellenoire! This pine scented would be my favourite.



As you saw, I’m going to give growing radishes under a cold frame a shot. I just planted them in the last few days. I planted some pink radishes, but if I’d known Laura had PLUM PURPLE radishes I’d have been planting those too. They’re GORGEOUS. Valentino dress gorgeous.



A few years ago I did a post that remains one of my favourites to this day. I made Jam Charms. Since this is canning season, I thought it’d be a good time to mention these again. I just used regular photo charms from Photo Jewelry and hung them off my jam jars. You could make them for preserves you give away to identify what’s inside!




If you click through you’ll see the GREAT thing that Trisha Rose does with her very own Rough Linen tea towels …



I’m constantly stunned by how great Wayne & Selina from WayLay web design are. I have yet to come up with a ridiculous problem that they weren’t able to solve. They were the ONLY ones who could get my Coop Cam up and running (which is now down due to accidentally leaving the camera in the rain). But more importantly, they were one of the first people to email me to see if I was O.K. when the fella ran away from home. If you need web help or a site designed use them. Please.

waylay etsywaylay etsywaylay etsywaylay etsy




And finally … an interesting sponsor for any of you who read the comments section here on this site. You may be familiar with Marti. Well, Marti Smarti has written a book on how to fall asleep. It will get you off the pills and onto the pillow. She dedicated the book to me. No she didn’t.





  1. Another Jenny says:

    Wow. This is the last place I ever expected to see a Birkin reference. Can someone please explain the overall female obsession with Birkin bags? I don’t get it and feel like I should turn in my Girl card.

    • Karen says:

      Really? I’d better start showing more of my closet, LOL. Not that I have a Birkin bag, but I do have a Prada which I love. (present from the fella) I’ve been a reader of Vogue since I was a teenager. Love of chickens and love of fashion don’t have to be mutually exclusive. But I guess you’re right that I don’t make much mention of my love of fashion here. 🙂 ~ karen!

    • Karen says:

      And actually I can explain the obsession a little bit. #1 they really do look good. #2. They’re exclusive and rare. #3 They’re very, VERY expensive. Clearly for the rich and/or famous expensive. But buying something luxurious and expensive gives the people who buy it a sense of self worth. It’s an indulgence that just makes you feel good because you’re validating your self worth. That’s why you feel special when you wear expensive perfume, or shoes or purses or even body lotion. I always feel a little happier and a little more special when I wear my Viktor & Rolf perfume and body lotion for example. There you have it. The explanation. ~ karen!

      • Jacqueline says:

        I think it’s even more than that. Something like a birkin bag is handcrafted with such care and quality, it will last a lifetime and then some. It is a timeless classic, not some trendy accessory but a legacy piece, something you could give your granddaughter. Of course most of us can only dream to own one but hey, a girl’s gotta dream…

  2. JebberJay says:

    Are you kidding me?! I just vowed that for the next 30 days I will focus on improving my sleep patterns. (I am writing this from bed at 37 past midnight.). That book is bought … Tomorrow … Right now it is zzzzzzs

    • Marti says:

      Thanks JebberJay!

      I just re-set the price to $.99 for you and anyone else for the next month.
      Hope it helps.

      Um, a nice review would help, too?

  3. Susan Preston says:

    Congrats to Smartie Marti! After following this blog you can hardly miss one of the first commenters most days. Looking forward to reading her book!!

    • Bre Quantrill says:

      I saw a snappy little video yesterday about how expressing gratitude actually improves feelings of happiness. So I was going to express my gratitude to you for your snappy little blog and let you know that it makes me feel happy and I look forward to reading it. Coincidently, you took the opportunity today to thank your sponsors. I hope you have a happy day today now, too. Birkin bag happy.

  4. PoMoMom says:

    Hunter ballet flats?? Really? I’m still wishing for a pair of great boots! I guess they make sense in Vancouver.

  5. dana says:

    Is that a butter bell?! I have wanted a white one forever. All i ever see are ones with hearts or ducks. I am always buttering my palm when cold butter meets a slice of soft bread. I dont think my hands have ever touched rough linen.

  6. Barbie says:

    Marti wrote a book? Awesome! I am not surprised! Now your turn Karen. 🙂

    • Marti says:

      Thanks much, Barbie! I’ve always thought Karen was more like a movie or an encyclopedia… !?

      We should perhaps start casting who will play the part of Karen herself… and who will play her family members?!!

  7. nancy says:

    Ok, I never thought of being the person that holds a grudge. Mainly cause my attention span is so short. But, while you were in your Time of Troubles, brief as that may have been, I remember the vendors that quit showing up on your site, EveryOne but WayLay Design. Which I don’t need. So far. I can only assume they quit advertising. I am a strong believer of capitalism, I think it ‘s the best. But dang, I am sorry, I believe in sticking by people when they take a gut shot. I”m ertain you can’t say anything, but I wonder if any fellow commenters read this and/or noticed this also?? and feel resentful and angry, or Not

    • Karen says:

      Nancy! No one left me during that time! I wasn’t working at all so I didn’t email anyone about advertising! I didn’t put any up! And Way Lay’s advertising button is booked for the next year. That’s why theirs was up. So don’t hold a grudge! As soon as I was back in business all the regulars came back. 🙂 ~ karen!

  8. Ashley W says:

    Thrilled to see LAB as a new sponsor; their shop is just around the corner from my place. Also, I too love both farm and fashion. A fashion spread is perhaps in order for you next Karen? Your Prada juxtaposed with your chickens!? 🙂

  9. jainegayer says:

    Thank you, Karen for saying it. Splurging on something expensive does validate your self worth. When I’m leaving the barn knowing I’ve got hay in my pony tail and manure on my boots, I don’t give a rat’s ass because I’m wearing Cartier perfume (not that you can smell it over the manure and sweat) and my BIG diamond studs. I just feel happy.

  10. Those jam charms are so unique!! What a great idea. Some pretty nice swag you have here!!

  11. Rebecca says:

    Ugh! Trisha Rose gets me everytime! One of these days, I will have a bed complete with Rough Linens. Also, those candles are pretty.

  12. jackie says:

    Wow, I think your plan worked Karen. I just got great Xmas gift ideas, nevermind a wishlist of my own. The little salt thingy and the tea towels? So bloody cute! It’s about time there was a spoon IN the salt bowl, cuz i’m always putting my dough/batter/oil/halfassedwashed-hands in the salt bowl because i don’t have the spoon ready.

  13. Kim says:

    Karen…sista I love ya, but PLEASE for the love of ALL THAT IS GOOD, make your sponsor links open in a new page????


    • Karen says:

      Well …THEN what do I do when other people ask me to have them open in the same page so they can just use the back button? Then what, LOL?! It’s a conundrum. ~ karen!

        • Karen says:

          LOL. Sorry. 🙁 ~ k

        • Zoe says:

          You can just right click and open in new tab 🙂

        • Shauna says:

          I think the only logical, common sense, compromise it to make it so they open in a new tab. I hate it when I forget and just click and then I’m clicking through the advertisers site and then have to either (a) click the back button a bajillion times to get back to TAODS, or (b) go back to my email to click the original link. Most of the time though, I just right click, and choose open in new tab. Solves all my problems.

        • Stacy.P says:

          On most (may not mobile/tablets) if you right click a link you can open it in a new window or tab! Or on a MAC hold the “command” key (CRTL key on a PC) when you click the link! 😀

        • Sue From Vermont says:

          On the iPad, all you have to do is tap and hold, and you’ll be able to choose to “open in a new tab”. I do this all the time because I hate the Back button!

    • Susan says:

      In most browsers, you can right click on a link, like one of the ads, and select from the popup menu to open in new tab…

  14. Kathy Hartzell says:

    O.k. I totally get that sponsor thing. I run non-profits, we grovel for our sponsors and emblazon their name on t shirts and totes and thank you newspaper ads (yes, still!!)

    But please, can you tell me why Clorox has totally dominated your page the past week or two? if I have to see the “mommy, mommy, guess what ” video clip one more time, I might just dip the iPad into that clorox!! It pops up, it emerges in the middle of the page, it Doesn’t go away when clicking the X until I swear at the X. Or at Clorox (but not you, you are one of my morning cups of coffee!!)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kathy – Clorox isn’t technically one of my sponsors. It must be an ad from one of my vertical ad networks or Google Adsense. I suspect they’ve bought a certain amount of time on my site. Chances are it’ll be gone soon. Also, I’m working on a new way of monetizing The Art of Doing Stuff on the iPad. Better, less invasive ads, but the format of my site will look a little different. Very user friendly, but it will look different than you’re used to. Coming soon, as they say! ~ karen

      • Shauna says:

        Also Kathy, that ad pops up based on what you’re doing on your computer. The cookies tells the little bots what to advertise to you. So, based on what you read and what you search is what will pop up on these types of ads. For example, I’ve had to book some travel recently for people I work for. Know what banner ad is on top of Karen’s site right now? An ad for the W Hotel. They’re watching. Always watching:)

  15. Karen says:

    I feel that what you wear and accessorize with shows your self worth. A good friend of mine grew up on a dairy farm and her mom (after she retired from nursing) used to wear her beautiful strand of pearls with her barn clothes. She said that the cows needed to enjoy pretty things too. I thought she was crazy at the time. Now, I understand completely!

  16. Leslie says:

    Yep. I want most of that stuff, too!

  17. Zoe says:

    Just bought the sleep book (thanks Marti) and Karen you got a click through to Amazon 🙂

    • Zoe says:

      Also – as I talk to myself – I’m a huge fan of Rough Linen’s lavender bags which are inside of many of my bags/drawers and also were Christmas gifts last year!

    • Karen says:

      Excellent! That’s 99 cents for marti and .. mmm … maybe half a cent for me. Which is better than not getting half a cent! ~ karen

      • Marti says:

        You know I thought about you when I lowered the price, Karen. But I thought, “Karen would WANT HER READERS TO GET IT FOR LESS,” so I did it.

        But I did buy a bunch of vitamins through your portal about a week ago…

  18. Lynn says:

    LOVE the rough linens. Ordered a sample card…. Maybe on my bed next….. I love you sponsors! Not just for your sake, but mine, I find vendors I’ve never run into before and they are always have such fun and interesting stuff! Thanks!

  19. Lynn says:

    PS I never get a clorox commercial…..

  20. Anna says:

    I just got my Lee Valley Gardening Newsletter with an article by Karen Bertelsen.


  21. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Great stuff as always..Love the photo charms on the jam jars..

  22. Shauna says:

    I just love and covet those French Breadboards at Cattails Studio. I have a love for all wood cutting boards and use them almost exclusively to display food at my many parties.

    • Karen says:

      I served my own dinner one one of Brenda’s bread boards the other night! Homemade pizza, right on the board with a salad in a bowl. I loved it! ~ karen

  23. Grammy says:

    Oh my gosh! I never buy things from posts about “go here and buy stuff and I’ll get a little sump’n sump’n”. Not because you shouldn’t do it (you SHOULD) but because I’m old and am always looking for ways to get rid of some of the crap I’ve accumulated already over the years and so rarely have room or need or desire for new crap.

    So imagine my surprise, and I hope your delight, to find that I was scrolling down, reading about your favorite things, just because you’re interesting, and there is a SIGN for a chicken coop.

    My next-door-neighbor has chickens, and she regularly brings me the best eggs on the planet whenever The Girls have produced more than she can use and she won’t ever let me pay anything. Since we both grow organic veggies, there’s not anything really equal to the gift of eggs that I can routinely give to express my undying gratitude.

    Last year I found a terrific egg basket online, and gave it to her for Christmas. Guess what I just did? Yep. Bainbridge Farm Goods just got my order. Thank you again and again and again for a great blog and for raising chickens. You rock.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Well I’m glad you found something worthwhile. Which sign did you get? She has about a million of them! ~ karen p.s. Your neighbour is going to LOVE it. It’s the perfect thank you present!

      • Grammy says:

        I got your favorite — I liked it best, too. I hope she does love it, because she takes such good care of her chickens and I love waking up some days to The Girls cluck-cluck-clucking outside my bedroom window. It’s a pleasure to hear. The eggs are just a delightful bonus.

    • Karen says:

      Oh! I should point out that I get exactly nothin’, nothin’ from these sponsor posts. I do it as a favour to everyone who advertises with me. 🙂 ~ karen! (Marti’s book is an exception. Because it’s purchased from Amazon, I do make apx. 0.00002 cents per book sold. ~ karen!

      • Grammy says:

        Egg on my face! I got the “thanks for your order” email and THEN I thought I’d clicked in the wrong place or something and you wouldn’t get “credit” for steering me there, so I wrote them an e-mail and asked if they could make sure you got credit for the referral.

        This is for you other folks out there: I got an immediate reply, very nice, from a real person at Bainbridge Farm Goods, explaining that Karen doesn’t actually get a reward for my purchase (and, yes, he said “Karen” when I had only referred to “The Art of Doing Stuff”) but they were still grateful for the order.

        So, here I bothered them with nonsense and they were very courteous and prompt in their reply. And personal. I am now trying to think of someplace I can put another of their beautiful signs up in my own garden. Because they’re good people, and I love their signs.

        Thank you, Karen, for having such nice advertisers. It matters.

        • Karen says:

          LOL. That’s funny. And yes. I try to screen all my advertisers to make sure I like working with them and they like working with me and they have nice things that I genuinely like, etc. etc. ~ karen!

        • Karen says:

          But hold off on buying another sign! Just in case there happens to be a giveaway coming up. Just in case. Next week. In case. ~ karen

        • Grammy says:

          Ooooh. Goody! I’ll keep an eye out, just in case…

        • Karen says:

          And thank you Grammy for taking the time to email Bainbridge Farm Goods. That was extraordinarily thoughtful of you. ~ karen!

  24. Reading this at 3am, definitely buying Marti’s book!

  25. Laura Bee` says:

    Lovely things. I have a lot of candles. I have promised hubby (and myself)to not buy anymore until I have burned through them all. But the way you speak about indulging makes me think I should put a dollar a day away & buy myself the Cedarwood & Rosemary Candle for Christmas.

  26. Kari says:

    Lol you never cease to amuse me. I’ve never seen Hunter flats! They’re so cute and mud proof unlike the Tom’s I ruined forever. :/ I neeeed them.

  27. Kari says:

    I’m going to order from your link to Cubits organic seeds for my “garden”, lol. It’s a pile of dirt.

  28. Steven says:

    Go ahead and plant the purple ones. Their growing cycle is so fast, you have time. I planted my radishes this year in window boxes and hey did great. The only thing I did to help them was after a week or two, I would top dress with a bit of soil to cover the pinkish part of the immature radish. I found I got bigger and healthier plants and radishes. Since I enjoy the greens too, this was great. My wife got me to follow you. She told me that you were the female version of me…..she’s right! I really enjoy your blob. Thanks.

  29. NikiDee says:

    Very timely! I’ve told my daughter about Marti’s book (she’s been having trouble sleeping…my daughter – not Marti). Also, want to purchase some of the jam charms – do you recall if you used the 27mm o.d. for your jars?

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