The Art of Doing Stuff is 2 Years Old.
And What’s a Birthday Without Presents?

Chair

 

This Sunday, while you were all going about your weekend business … running errands, reading books, cleaning clothes … something very special was going on.  The Art of Doing Stuff turned 2.  2 years old.  Which in blogging years is as old as dirt.  Zsa Zsa Gabor old.  As old as Zsa Zsa Gabor’s dirt.  Old.

About a year ago The Art of Doing Stuff and I  were considering an early retirement but instead decided to stick it out.  Now … at the age of 2 … we’re humming along nicely.

Not only are we humming along nicely, we’re actually thriving.  Partly due to an enormous amount of work, endless encouragement from the fella, bewildered astonishment from my mother and the support of few Internet friends.  That’d be you.

Without people actually reading and doing the stuff I blog about … I’d have quit long ago.    There were many of you who took pity on me and donated to my site when I put up my “donate now” button for a few days.   I appreciated that.  And I didn’t forget it.

So some time ago, around Christmas actually, I started plotting, planning and executing a little gift for some of you. The time to unveil it is now …

 

Introducing

 

Yup.  The Art of Doing Stuff has it’s very own tea towel.  I considered mugs and tee shirts, but settled on the tea towel for a variety of reasons, not the least of which they’re the cheapest item to ship.  ‘Cause I’m cheap.

I put a lot of thought into the design and materials.  I also figured, since this is The Art of Doing Stuff … a site dedicated to doing stuff yourself … I would design and silkscreen the tea towels myself.  I chose to use  flour sack cloth as the tea towel fabric on the recommendation of a friend who owns a kitchen store.  It is without a doubt, the best tea towel material I’ve ever used.  It actually *gasp* dries things.  It’s soft and looks good when it’s wrinkled and I just love it.

Next came the design.  I knew I wanted a cleaver with a little chip out of the blade.  That was easy enough.  I drew it up on Photoshop in no time.  I chose a dark, dark charcoal as the colour.  It’s just shy of black, without having the harshness of black.

Finally, I had to choose the placement of the clever on the towel.  Most tea towels you buy with a design on them, have the design dead center on the towel.  And when you buy the towel and it’s all folded professionally with each side folded in, all pretty and professional like … and that’s fine.  But when I get a tea towel at home I either don’t fold it at all, or I fold it in half and throw it over the stove or dishwasher handle.  Like so …

 

Stove 1

 

Stove 2

 

So that pretty much dictated the placement.  The logo was NOT going in the centre of the towel, but instead off to the side so you could just fold it in half like a normal person and it would still look good.

The only thing left to do was silkscreen them.  Oh.  And teach myself to silkscreen.  Which I did over the Christmas holidays.  (don’t worry … I’ll be teaching you very soon)

I did some of the tea towels solid, some of them I liked the faded effect I got when I didn’t use as much pressure while silk screening and some of them are somewhere in between.  I was worried about them all being different at first.  Then I decided I liked it.  Each one of them is truly unique.

I’ve done test runs on tee shirts and my own tea towels and they wash perfectly.  They’re pre-shrunk and ready to go.

So now … as a thank you to all the readers of The Art of Doing Stuff I have an announcement to make.

To those of you who donated money to me.  I kept every one of your names and email addresses.  Last night I randomly selected 5 of you.  I will be sending each of you an Art of Doing Stuff Tea Towel.

 

I also have a lot of dedicated, supportive readers who are always commenting, reading and forwarding my posts.  Last night I randomly selected 5 of you.  I will be sending each of you an Art of Doing Stuff tea towel.

 

You folks I just mentioned can email me (karen@theartofdoingstuff.com) with your addresses and I’ll ship your tea towels off to you immediately.

 

And finally … for everyone else … I am  giving away 5 Art of Doing Stuff tea towels.  Want one?  Just leave me a comment today telling me what your favourite post of all time was.

Contest open until Sunday, March 11th at midnight.  Winner will be randomly drawn by computer thingamabob, and announced  next Tuesday.

And just before we go … don’t forget to vote for The Art of Doing Stuff.  (link at top of post)  This can be your blog birthday gift to me.  

Thank you!

And don’t forget to enter the contest.  Holy crap.  There’s a lot going on in this post  isn’t there?  Birthdays, Awards, Winners!  Somebody break out the Creme de Menthe and cocktail wieners  … this has turned into a party.

 

p.s.  My ass looks pretty good in this picture.

Cupboard

 

 
This post is still accepting comments, but the contest is now closed.


490 Comments

  1. Gknee says:

    For starters that tea towel is gonna look soooo good with some ketchup on it. As for favourite post of all time….nope can’t pick…I like em all.

  2. bex says:

    O cool 🙂 look I’m the first one here too! I think I should get a honorable mention as the one who commented first on your posts…. The most.
    Happy birthday AoDS 🙂 I love looking to see what you’ve written about each day and enjoy the inspiration you give!

    • bex says:

      o horror horror, gknee sneaked in before me an bumped me from the front of the que by milliseconds..

      Also I forgot to mention my favorite post, its the one thatdrew me to your site Karen, its the outdoors tabletop glass fireplace. An incredibly stunning idea to make.

  3. Marti says:

    Uber-cool. Did you know my kitchen is black with a serial killer motif? The cleaver will do handsomely! (Seriously, thanks! Tragically, this will not slow me down.)

  4. Jamieson says:

    Happy blogoversary! I’d no idea I (almost) shared a birthday with the only blog I read not just every morning, but before I even get out of bed to pee. Even 630am gym days.
    I’m so proud of your success and I foresee much bigger things a-comin’!
    Thanks for the amazing tea towel! It’s a perfect capper to end my birthday. Especially since I have a respiratory flu and could conceivably blow my nose with it. I’ll email you my address and await the booty with bated (and, unfortunately, ragged) breath.

  5. SuzieQ says:

    Favorite blog was the BBQ brush carcass.Damn racoons! Fantastic suspense in the pictures leading up to the big reveal. Your chicken coop posts are very informative too. Happy BD!

  6. monica says:

    Oooh! I’d love a tea towel with a big ol’ knife on it! he he hee! Okay, enough psychotic giggling.

    Favorite post? Gotta be the one where you tried to open the wine bottle by putting it in a shoe and whacking it against a tree. I actually fell out of my chair laughing. Second would be the reveal on your fabulous chicken coop.

    Happy birthday!

    • Jen says:

      I can’t remember which one got me hooked, but the wine-bottle-shoe got my husband taking you seriously! 😉

      Frankly, I love ’em all (especially the “help a poor girl give her family Christmas gifts for under $10 each)!

  7. Erica J. says:

    I liked the mini series on The Fella On: but the video with the band-aid had me in stitches! Congrats on turning two. Though as I write this I am thinking of frozen yogurt tampons, opening a wine bottle with a shoe and a tree, and of the perfectly folded fitted sheets currently in my cabinet. Ahhh…memories.

  8. missnicoleo says:

    The monarch butterfly series was amazing! Will you be selling the tea towels, perhaps signed…? Cause you’re famous and all?

  9. Bea says:

    How can a person choose which post was a favorite? I liked them all! Your blog always makes me smile! Keep on doing what you are doing! And thank you!

  10. Marti says:

    Favorite post? I forgot that. (All the excitement over bring cleavers visually into the open in my kitchen and what-not)

    I love the Halloween wreath because it’s just so darned over-the-top gorgeous. And the frozen yogurt tampon is great for pure audacity.

    But I’m going to say the months and months of the chickens and their coop really sealed the deal. Any one of those about the chickens and their coop and all.

  11. Rose says:

    Gotta love the monarch series. But then the dollarama weeks are my favourite. Oh and the yogurt tampon! Heck, just all of it.

    Keep up the good fight!

    Cheers!

  12. Pati says:

    I wish I could PICK a favorite !!! How does one pick a favorite when every one of them is worthy of favoritism ???? I love them all..<3

  13. KEL says:

    Do I seriously have to choose ONE favorite post?!?! That’s really not possible, Karen. There are so many good ones… I do especially remember the log side-table though 🙂

    Now, gimme a tea towel!

  14. Jeanette Smith says:

    favourite post? I can’t think of *one* right now, there have been a couple on outdoor projects that I will have to go back and have another look at. Can’t do it now, my head might start spinning again 🙂

  15. Meg says:

    OK SO. My favorite post ever remains “how to fix a slamming screen door”

    I needed a break from renovating my late mother’s house. I was having a hell of a time, we had some water damage and well, a hell of a time. I needed a laugh. My friend Amie suggested your blog because of the home renovation + laughing.

    So I’m like sure, right. Read a blog, as IF I have time for this. But since I nearly died laughing while reading that first post, I kept reading. Mind you, I didn’t have internet access at my house, and had to steal some neighbor’s wifi (when it worked) to read your posts. I would open a bunch of posts, and let the photos download slowly, so I could read them later.

    So thanks for all your posts and happy birthday to your blog!

  16. Claudine says:

    I love the tea towels, and hope that you do decide to sell them on your page.
    Favorite blog posts? There are very few that didn’t intrigue me and cause outbursts of laughter, so it’s hard to say.
    The true pies and true cookies pages are great. And the removing oil from concrete was incredibly timely. I enjoy each of the weekly menu posts, as they’re great for ideas. The chicken coop series was fun, and I get excited for every post that lets me check in on the ladies.
    There was one about The Fella driving with a speed detector, and about the wonderful things he does for you.
    Oh, and the vertical garden/planter.
    The very first one I read/saw was the correct way to open a spaghetti package, and it cracked me up.
    I guess this is my way of saying that it’s too hard to pick just one. And that’s your fault. But I forgive you.
    And your ass does look good in that picture.

  17. Nicole2 says:

    Darn, I missed the deadline. Posting anyway. My favourite post of all times is the yeast infection cure. The frozen yogurt thingie. That killed me.

    Congrats on 2 years of blogging!

    • Karen says:

      Nicole2 – ?? You didn’t miss the deadline. I only posted this post an hour ago. You have dayssss left. 🙂 ~ karen

      • Nicole2 says:

        It was late last night when I wrote this. Sooo confused. I thought the post was a couple of days old and you meant last Sunday night. Soooo, sooo confused.

        Oh and I loved the Princess and the Band-Aid post, boy that made me chuckle!

  18. Lynne says:

    Probably Earth Hour and the march of the centipedes – that still sends chills up my spine and I wasn’t even there !!

    Oh and the one where before you call it a night you use our TV remote and mess with your neighbours TV – that’s hysterical.
    Is it OK to have two favourites ??

    Oh and any cat posts as well. That’s all. (for now).

  19. Leena says:

    Congrats to your blog and you!
    My favorite posts are the ones that have video on them. I especially thought the spaghetti opening video was hilarious. I think that is the best, but the post I remember the best is the one where you fix the holes in your fish.

  20. amy walters, aDESIGNdock says:

    Happy 2nd Blog Birthday Karen 😉
    Love this little tea towel…a butcher’s knife?! LOL.
    My fave post would have to be “The Stuff Your Didn’t Get To Hear About in the Magazine”. I loved your behind the scenes commentary from the Style At Home mag shoot. Hilarious and informative!
    Best of luck in the Homies 2012 competition. xo

  21. Tanya Stewart says:

    Happy “two”… how to fix holes in your fish. Was like a bad accident scene… i couldn’t stop looking

  22. Julie L. says:

    Congrats! and Happy Anniversary!!! Wow, I love all of your post…I can spend hours on your site just reading past post, but I guess I would have to say my favorite post that I use the most is your pizza dough recipe, but the post that got me hooked was when you got your chickens and you were building the chicken coop, couldn’t wait to see your progress and the finished product was amazing! I’m hooked! -Julie

  23. Elise says:

    Looooooove the Tea Towel, and absolutely ADORE YOU AND THIS BLOG!!!! My favorite posts are the frozen yogurt tampon and opening the wine bottle with the tree and the shoe! I love all of them, but your videos are so funny, and the Fella talks to you in the same sarcastic tone as my own fella talks to me. You are the best! Happy Blog Birthday!

  24. Angela says:

    Anything with the coop cam. And how to fix holes in your fish. And the yogurt tampon. And the gift wrap posts. And the entire Dollarama series. Basically, I curl up into a ball and cry on days when I don’t get to read a new post.

  25. Selina says:

    What a cute tea towel! My favorite post is also the post that introduced me to “TAODS”blog – the DIY tabletop firepit. I have since found dollar store frames now uses plastic rather than glass so I’m still gathering the supplies to make my own someday.

  26. Janelle says:

    Happy Birthday and may I say that was very, very sweet of you? It makes me feel like clapping like an idiot but I can’t because my husband is right over there and he’ll demand an explanation and then afterwards give me a look that says ‘that’s not clapworthy’. But it IS!

  27. Heather says:

    No question, my all time favourite post is “The Fella on: The English Language”. Everytime I read it, it just lifts my spirits.

  28. Jo says:

    The chickens are my favorite posts – I’m toying with the idea of someday having city chickens. Which is ironic, since I don’t really like eggs.

  29. Julie Carroll says:

    HAPPY B-DAY!!!! Gosh, you don’t look your age! How ’bout selling your fans a towel!!??!!

    Favorite(s)… the gate latch (I did it!), folding fitted sheets (did it, but I’d be embarrassed to admit to how many times I had to watch it!), outdoor LED lights out of baskets (I did it!)… getting the idea?!? My REAL favorite (haven’t done YET) are the white glodes stuffed with mini-lights… LOVE ‘UM and you! Thanks for the info & the LAUGHS… P.S. I voted this morning – you go girl!

  30. Bethany Hicks says:

    I’ve never commented, because I am lazy like that (not just your blog… all blogs). But I felt the need to tell you my favorite post – the one with the video that folded the napkin into the dead chicken. KILLED ME! I cried for days just thinking about it. So thank you for that. And happy blog b-day!

  31. Emily says:

    It took me a while to figure out you meant cleaver, not clever. I kept wondering… a clever WHAT??

    Although correcting your spelling probably disqualifies me to win a tea towel, I will list my favorite post anyway – Glowing Outdoor Orbs.

    • Karen says:

      Emily – LOL. I *do* know how to spell cleaver. I won a spelling bee in grade 4. See? I’m very clever. ~ karen

  32. Laura says:

    Favorite post has to be your amazing backyard makeover. That photo of you standing in your pond! Closely followed by the chickens. Closely followed by garbage bag table runner. No! Favorite post is the one second chair makeover!

  33. Alison says:

    My favourite post ever was the one on teaching your cats to use the “people” toilet. I laughed so hard I choked. At work.

    Also, I love that you love Australian Masterchef. We’ll have to invite you to our finale party … In Australia. Obviously.

  34. Laura says:

    Favorite post has to be your amazing backyard makeover. That photo of you standing in your pond! Followed closely by the chickens. Followed closely by the garbage bag table runner. No! The one second chair makeover!!

  35. Karen (Granny Nanny) says:

    I just recently started following your hilarious escapades with chickens… old chicken farmer here… and I loved the recent comments and pix about sugaring them various maples. Now just gotta go out and find me one! Thanks for some great posts, you are hilarious to this old Gramma.

  36. Laura says:

    Potty training the cat!!

  37. Petra says:

    Well, what can I say, mine is the Frozen yogurt tampon:)

  38. Mary says:

    Happy Birthday Stuff! I look forward to your posts daily. Love all your writing & ideas, appreciate you introducing me to wonderful artisans and how to’s, but my favoUrite post of all time has got to be
    Dear Earth Hour, You can Suck it.
    I still laugh out loud thinking about it,,,which brings odd looks from those around me.

  39. Jessica says:

    I’m a relatively recent arrival (just a couple of months,) but I found the post about replacing the fuse in your dryer very supergirl-esque. Despite this, I have to say just for the sheer fun-value, I love “will they eat it?” Your chickens make me laugh.

    I’m super far away, so I don’t want you to have to pay shipping for anything, but I thought I’d let you know I nominated you for a Canadian Weblog Award, (I couldn’t believe that you weren’t already nominated!) because this place is ACE. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Jessica – Don’t worry about it … you’re still eligible. Tea towels don’t cost all that much to ship. 🙂 ~ karen

  40. Reagan says:

    Happy Birthday! Here’s to your great blog (cliink clink!) and to many more bdays! It’s such a fun blog to read. My fav posts are the random mixed bag of tips and simple, daily DIYs, like making ricotta cheese, proper towel folding, and broken nail mending. Xo

  41. Wendi says:

    I’m a newbie, so I’ve been going back into the archives for the last couple of weeks. TOTALLY HARD TO PICK JUST ONE FAVORITE! But I love, love, LOVED following you through the making of the chicken coop! I found myself just shaking my head, thinking “Damn, she’s good!” I really don’t know how you do it!

    Oh, and your ass does look great in that pic, btw ;o)

  42. Karin says:

    Dear Karen,

    You are my favorite Blogger!
    And most of all i liked your
    “throw away 50 things” blog!
    I love it for the wonderful idea, because i made it
    immediatelly and because i love to Look at my
    kitchen drawer and think of you in far away
    Canada!
    Greetings from Germany.
    Karin

  43. Nancy says:

    I can’t believe it’s only been two years! I feel like I’ve been intimately involved in your life for waaaay longer than that. Needless to say, my favorite post is like many, the yogurt tampon. I’m pretty sure it was the first post I ever read, and then I immediately went back and read all of the archives.

  44. Gayla T says:

    Oh, Cameron, oops, Karen, When I was reading about you giving towels to those who had helped you I was thinking what a nice thing to do and then I read 5 more got one and there was my name. I’m so surprised I am speechless which is ok since it’s just me and the dogs and cats. I’m so thrilled. I never knew I wanted a tea towel with a chipped cleaver on it until I saw it and thought it was a hoot! I really don’t deserve one since I’ve picked on you so much but I’m sure not turning one down. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I just love parties!

  45. Lori says:

    Happy 2 birthday !!!!!!
    Wow to pick just one….. Nope can’t do that
    I love them all . There are a few that stand out for me
    If I remember correct the one that brought me to your blog was one on the bird bath. How you used everyday items to do it. Oh and the Christmas bulbs in your front drive ( walkway)
    Please really consider selling the dish towel! I would love
    one or two.

  46. Belinda Philp says:

    happy birthday – it was a happy accident when I stumbled across your blog – it’s made me smile every time it gets delivered to my inbox. My fav posts have been the Fella ones (he’s a bit of a hunk, too 😉 but not quite as good as my fella :D)
    And I like the design-y ones, too. But really, even the ones that I’ll never ever do, like how to tap a maple tree, are fun to read

  47. sarah says:

    Yoghurt tampons for innovation, creativity, hilarity and nonsense

  48. I love the tea towels! Favourite post of all time… I think the tree trunk table has to take the prize.

    Or how to get oil out of pavers, parts I, II and III just for the comedy.

  49. Jen says:

    Your blog is only 2? For some reason I thought It was older than that? When did The Nester feature you…that’s one day I’ll never forget…the day my blog reading world turned on it’s head! The first thing that popped in my head for favorite post…was a Thanksgiving video Gobble Off. Sometimes if I’m having a bad day…I watch that video. Cracks. Me. Up. PS. Marti’s comment on this post, could be my favorite comment ever.

  50. AKing says:

    Happy Blog Birthday! I always enjoy reading about your dollar store decorating and your fun perspective on pretty much everything, but I have to say that the chicken posts are my favorite. I like the building the coop posts because they are inspiring and I like the will they eat it feature bc I get to see the chickens being all chickeny. We used to raise chickens and I would love to have them again, it’s fun to live vicariously through your videos!

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