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. Shannon V. says:

    First off…
    ╔♫╗────────╔═╦╗─♫╗╔╗─╔╗─♥──
    ║╩╠═╦═╦═╦╦╗║╚╠╬╦╣╚╣╚╦╝╠═╦╦╗
    ║╦║╬║╬║╬║║║║╔║║╔╣╔╣║║╬║╬║║║
    ╚╩╩╩╣╔╣╔╬╗║♫═╩╩╝╚═╩╩╩═╩╩╬╗║
    ────♫╝╚╝╚═╝─────────────╚═♥
    ஜ۩۞۩ஜ THE ART OF DOING STUFF ஜ۩۞۩ஜ

    Secondly…
    Congrats to all the winners!!!!! WOOT WOOT!

    Thirdly…
    my favourite post would have to be the one on starting your vegetables from seed, as my search on vegetable gardening in Southern Ontario is what brought me to your AMAZING blog.

    Keep on Blogging!

  2. Julee says:

    I have to say that the post about cooking pizzas on the grill changed my life. I now weigh 500 lbs from eating pizza three times a day.

  3. KDot says:

    Will they eat it!!!!?

  4. Scouty says:

    Oh, how can one choose a favourite post…. I think I would rather tell you why I read you every morning…. I love this blog, it inspires me, it makes me laugh or gag or smile or say what?
    I love reading all the replies, you bring a great funny group together! I relate to the things you introduce to us each day, love, love following along.
    So the tea towel is just the next logical thing for all of us to have. Let us know how we can purchase it, then we will all be connected together – a tea towel club! secret hand shake and all
    thanks for all you do, much appreciated

  5. Vero says:

    Happy Birthday AoDS! You are seriously the only blog I read every morning, sometimes even making me late for work 🙂 Fave post was definitely getting to see behind the scenes of the Style at Home shoot!

  6. Jim S says:

    Congratulations on two years!

    I’m glad to hear things are humming. I found your blog about two weeks ago while researching chickens (we got our first egg Sunday!) and kept reading the archives for hours.

    My favorite post was “Things I Found in My Pond and How to Paint a Lampshade.” I tried to read the post to my wife, but by the end, I was laughing so hard that my eyes and nose were both running and I could hardly breathe.

    I love your crazy mix of projects, chickens, kitchens and gardens. It gives me something to look forward to every day now.

    Keep doing STUFF!

  7. Sue Hyde says:

    I read your blog every morning while eating my breakfast at my desk…….it is my time before my students enter the room.
    Your chickens! That has been my favorite posts…sorry I had to go by subject matter since there have been more than one post on them.
    Thanks for being a part of my morning.

  8. courtney says:

    Love all your post but my favourites are when you find seemingly useless things at the dollar store and create something awesome.

    If I’m not randomly selected could I please buy a tea towel?

    court

  9. Thera says:

    Grats on 2!
    But you want me to pick a fav post?
    Just one? -sigh-
    I always love the Chicken posts, but the one with the Fella and the bandaid has got to be the best one yet!

  10. Jen says:

    I love the “Will They Eat It?” posts best – but they’ve got chicken videos so they should be the obvious favorites.

    p.s. how ’bout a How To on getting an ass like that?

  11. Jodi says:

    By far my favourite blog is the Cupfake lessons! I made them for my entire family this christmas 🙂

    But I do love them all and your writing style. Makes me laugh uncontrollably

    (But I’m still bitter I didn’t win the Linen giveaway or the Bogs giveaway 🙁 )

  12. alison says:

    My absolute favor posting was the one where you filmed trying to bandage the fella’s finger in the middle of the night. I’ve watched it countless times and still cannot believe he didn’t cuss a blue streak! Love it!

  13. Tracie says:

    Happy Blog Birthday Karen! I have a birthday this month too! My fave post I think would have to be the one of that gorgeous tabletop firepit. I saw you on Steven and Chris for the first time and went right to your blog. Now I have coffee with you every morning, and try to copy you whenever I get the chance! You are amazing, congrats!

  14. Heather says:

    The first post of yours that I ever read was how to make cupcake Christmas tree ornaments. It was a link from another blog and now I read each morning as I drink my coffee. I was going to choose that one for sentimental reasons but really, it was the video of you trying to put a band aid on the fella in the middle of the night. It’s something I’d do to my “fella” and he appreciated the video, too! Happy Birthday 🙂

  15. Erica says:

    favorite post of all time: frozen yogurt tampon. I love that you keep it that real.

  16. Leslie Zuroski says:

    There are so many, do I really have to pick just one? Okay, my top three then; where you talk to the fella about the english language, where the fella’s father talks about the only true soups / cookies, poison almond bark, and the chicken that you kept trying to get rid of and then she laid the beautiful pastel blue egg. I guess that’s four. I just simply don’t follow anyone else because you show me how to do stuff I want to learn, I can post on your wall, and you make me laugh out loud. Pretty good for a two-year old. Thanks Karen.

  17. Terri says:

    I found your site when I was looking for ideas for unique birdbaths…then I saw it. “I heart dollar stores”. You gotta love a girl who has true love for the dollar store! Though, since I’ve been reading your blog, I’ve become aware of how lacking the Dollar Tree is in comparison to The Dollarama….sigh. As for my favorite post? That would be really difficult since I often seriously laugh OUT LOUD while reading your blog and find myself saying to whomever is close by “Listen to this!” BTW, me and my 15 y/o son made your butter for Thanksgiving. We both thought it was pretty cool!

    Happy Birthday!

  18. Karen B says:

    Congratulations on 2 years! I have to say that my favorite ‘post’ on your blog is your bio. It was the first thing I read and it reeled me right in. It’s far better than any other I’ve seen because A. it’s funny and B. it gives insight into who you are and who/what has influenced you. I laughed so hard and just had to keep reading. Now I’ve got my sister hooked on your blog too, and you’re often referenced in our conversations.(THAT’S why your ears were burning!)

  19. Tres says:

    There have been lots of great posts but my favorite is an oldie but a goodie, “How I Rebuilt My Entire Backyard and How You Can Too! If you’re an idiot that is.” That is the post that got me reading The Art of Doing Stuff and I have been hooked ever since. Oh, that and the guest appearance by Chippy.

  20. Karen says:

    For me it’s a tie: how to toilet train your cat and how to fix holes in your fish. Those two in particular had me laughing out loud. Though the way I originally “found” you was when I googled curry chicken salad and your post came up about when you were on the diet with the “asshead” trainer. hilarious. Do I have to choose??!!!

  21. Phyllis says:

    Oh my….this is impossible….I am a late starter…so spend a lot of time going back and reading old posts..I love the chicken/coup series…but alas, having read the comments I am going to have to go hunt for the wine/shoe/tree opening gig!…Sounds hilarious…love the fella posts too! I NEED to purchase tea-towels for my girls!! Wishing you the best B-Girl!!

  22. Michelle says:

    WILL THEY EAT IT?? – without a doubt. Really any post about the chickens makes me smile 🙂

  23. Dawn says:

    My favorite (after discovering you last Saturday and reading your entire backlog in a day and a half) has been the fake chicken in the chicken coop. I am still chuckling to myself thinking about it- and plotting when I’m going to get the chance to pull something like that on one of my friends!

    • Karen says:

      Dawn – I was looking for something in my potting shed just yesterday and came across that chicken! Made me laugh just looking at it. Stupid thing. Weird mother. ~ karen

  24. Kipley Herr says:

    Favorite post(s) The one about the fella’s use of the English language and the picture of your surprise face upon seeing the baby chix. Backyard chickens is what led me to your post.. I have 3 illegal chickens in my back yard. Don’t ask don’t tell.

  25. Shawna says:

    Dink. Need I say more?

  26. Elizabeth says:

    I love the post about the True Pies! But I enjoy reading every post so much. Happy blog Birthday!

  27. Kellay says:

    I would have to say the coop was my favorite post. I dream of having it one day. When bylaw let’s us have chickens. It is what brought me to your blog and I’ve been a daily reader ever since.

  28. Virginie says:

    Those are perfect !! I want one.

    I guess my favorite post of yours was the one that I discovered your blog through, and made me decide to stay : the Homemade Firepit !
    And of course your gorgeous fence (trying to get a new fence myself I can’t seem to find nice prefab horizontal fence panels…).

    So please, give me a chance to Dexter my kitchen up a little 😉

  29. Mary Werner says:

    Easy peasy – the DINK post!!!!! It snagged me and the hook has been set. I go back a read a few posts each day just because I love your site AND your comments. You have a bunch of great followers! Mary W.

  30. Traci says:

    My favorite post is the one on making a personal firepit…that’s the one that brought me to your site for the first time! (Link from AT)

  31. mary c says:

    Monarch butterfly series. Totally wept.

  32. Kerri says:

    Tree + wine bottle = knee slappy post 🙂
    Happy Birthday Art Of Doing Stuff!
    Congratulations winners!!…

    ..
    .
    Where’s my party wiener?

  33. jamie says:

    I hope you sell these as well. Yeah, that’s a lot of silk-screening, but they’re too awesome to not share with the whole wide world. Your outdoor tabletop torch thing was pure genius (even more geniuser than the other genius things at TAoDS)

  34. Karen Boreham says:

    Oh my! Favourite post? Pick just one? Hmmm… the coop building cam kept me riveted, even without an appearance from Johnny Depp. But if I had to pick an honest and true post it would be the Dance of the Chicken. My boys loved that one too.

  35. Christine Durst says:

    Congrats Karen (happens to be my b-day too but I’m a shitload older than 2!). I adore your musings, projects, ideas, and creations… here’s to many more birthdays to come! (Well too early for champagne so I’m toasting you with my coffee!).

  36. Jeannette says:

    My favorite post was the one where you showed how to fold a fitted sheet…that has changed my life! Happy 2nd birthday!

  37. Barbara Roesch says:

    Happy Birthday! the posts that I like best are the craft ones—especially with supplies from dollarama…I have 11 nieces and nephews aged 8 to 28 and for each family gathering, I’m the crazy Ant Bee, responsible for “crafts”…your wreaths, uses for glass jars etc. seem to work for all age groups—now I’m waiting to see what you come up with for Easter!

  38. Brenda says:

    Happy Blogaversary Karen…I can’t pick a favorite either, your posts never fail to entertain and inspire us all to ‘do stuff’. Thank you. Oh and happy that Marti is getting a prize..she always gives me chuckle #2. The cleaver is perfect for her.

  39. Gina says:

    Love, love, LOVE the tea towel. Congratulations on such longevity in the blogosphere! I’ve been a fan for about a year now and my favorite post was probably the one of the photoshoot of your house. No, make that the one about you re-doing your back yard. Your Dollar Store decorating ideas! That’s it. You introduced me to the Dollar Store!

    Anyway, I love the, all. You are a delight and a part of my morning ritual with my cup of coffee. Best wishes for at LEAST 2 more years!

  40. Karen Dorman says:

    I found the second edition of “How to fold a fitted sheet” very helpful! But I enjoy reading every day…you always inspire me to think outside the box and you are usually good for a bunch of giggles.

  41. Michelle Cain says:

    Hi and Happy Birthday. My fav post is the crunchy sweet potatoes post because it is how I found your blog. I love your blog and the pratical advice you provide.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  42. Rebecca says:

    I really love them all. Of course one of the first posts I read was the frozen yogurt tampon video, which made me fall in love with your blog. But i think the monarch series because I actually did that. And how that gave me something to impress my friends with. Thanks karen! Happy 2 year blogiversary!

  43. Celine says:

    7 Jeans makes all ass look delicious, well, my ass too anyways.. not sure what I would do without them, they just contain all my junk perfectly! 😉

    Awesome tea towel! My fav. post is the meatball post, as I now make them by-weekly for my family, and also your video how to grind beef. I had the kitchenaid, and the grinder, never used the grinder. Now I use it weekly and my junk looks even better! Way less fat than the extra lean ground beef even, it’s great!

    So thank you for making my life better! By far the best blog I found in a long time, I enjoy reading it every day (I do work for the Government after all) 🙂

  44. christina says:

    congratulations! The frozen yogurt tampon is what brought me to this site in the first place… so I guess that’s my favorite!

  45. Amy Schmucker says:

    Favorite Post of all time is the one on growing your own sprouts. I printed the pictures, promptly ordered seeds and then had a party. At the party I gave everyone one tablespoon of seeds in a baggie with printed pictures and directions from your website on HOW TO…
    I told everyone how I have learned so much crap from this website. I am now on my third and best alfalfa growing period where I have perfected the growth using a plactic strawberry container from the grocery store and some cheesecloth on the bottom. Perfect.
    er.. One idea is for you to sign your name and the name of the website on a tea towel in permant marker and auction it off to make some money. Just a thought.

  46. Carol-Anne says:

    Happy Birthday! Hard to chose a favourite post. I made your table top fireplace for my Mom who lives in Muskoka (she loved it!) I planted garlic because of your post, I’ve been to the reuse it center looking for glass orbs and of course made numerous trips to the dollar store because of this site. I think the one that made me laugh the hardest was. The Stop, Please, Please Stop bandaid episode with The Fella! Keep up the great work!

  47. Susan says:

    P.S. can you only vote once in the competition? I can’t seem to get the thingy to let me vote again. It keeps flipping over to your site!! Good Luck in that btw! I figured out how to share it and posted it on my Facebook page too! No matter where you place you are a winner in our book!

  48. Susan says:

    First Congrats on your 2nd anniversary!! What an achievement! Second this is not fair having to choose just one but but the chicken coop, chicken raising and and general chicken goings on, obviously caught my attention. Then of course the true pies list and the true cookies and all the fabulous recipes all tried and true! But a frozen yogurt tampon? Who writes about that and gets away with it? Why the same one that videos some poor bugger trying to sleep but that needs a bandaid in the middle of the night!!! Is that where the idea for a meat cleaver came from by the way?
    I could go on and on but I must get ready for work! Renovations are killing me! How bout a post on reviving broken, sore bodies and fingernails! Mine will never be the same! Whatever you write about just keep em coming! You are the first I read in the morning and often in the middle of the night! Love you Karen! Congratulations again!

  49. Amy says:

    Congrats on turning 2 – I can’t pick just one post. Although the one with the fella and the band aid had me giggling the whole way through. I read you every morning, it is a great start to my day. Also I would love to buy that tea towel if you do decide to sell them here.

  50. Annie says:

    I must go back and read the archives.
    I loved the christmas tree sticks stuck to the wall post. (the first I ever read). It seems rather tame compared to other favs I’ve read above!
    But I am so doing that next year for each of my boys to have one in their own bedrooms!
    Congrats on your anniversary. Pleased as punch you didn’t give up on it before I got to make eassyyyyy cherry tarts and become a goddess in my house.
    Thank you thank you!

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