Well for starters, there seems to be a rather hopped up squirrel having a full-on, super-crazy-rave-dance-party in my attic. So that’s new.  I’m gonna have to do something about that.  Raves are so 1990, I don’t care if you are a squirrel and probably don’t know any better.  Get with the times there Skippy. For reals.  Nobody in the big city sneaks around hiding Ecstasy pills anymore.  They hide milking goats, and chickens.  Maybe the odd  plastic bag they were forced to get at the grocery store when they forgot their reusable one.

Stupid squirrels.

The other thing that’s new round these parts is the look of the blog. You may have noticed.   I mentioned when I switched over to the old new look, that I’d be changing things up with the seasons.  Dark for fall and winter, light for Spring and Summer.  Welcome to the Spring look of The Art of Doing Stuff.  Kind of like the weather, if you hate it, don’t worry about it ’cause it’ll eventually change again.

The other new thing is, I have finally opened up my SHOP page.   I’ve been spending the past several weeks curating pages of things that I love that I think you’ll love too.

The page is called The Good Stuff. For the moment you can get there from the large box at the top of my homepage, or you can just click on the “SHOP” button in my menu.


That’s just a sampling of the first few items, but you can see the sort of thing that’s there.  A bunch of stuff I like.

If it’s something I actually own, have used and love, it’s marked with a gold banner saying “Own it & Love it”.  So you can buy it knowing I don’t only like it, I own it, love it and recommend it.  So it’ll help you feel a bit safer about buying something you maybe aren’t sure of.

I created this page because I know how hard a time I have finding nice things on Amazon, Etsy, or wherever.  It’s just so overwhelming.  SO many choices.  The Good Stuff will be a place you can come if you are looking to buy someone a present and need some inspiration or even better, if you’re feeling like a little pick me up yourself.  Also they’re affiliate links so I make about 10 cents every time you buy something.  So there’s that.  It sounds ridiculous but those dimes really add up.  Soon I’ll be able to buy that goat.

The other section that’s up and running is an extension of one of my most popular regular posts “5 Books I’ve read and 5 Books I’m gonna read”.  That section is called Good Books.  That’s where I’ll list all of my favourite books including a lot of the ones I’ve read based on your recommendations in the comment section of my 5 Books posts.

It’ll be the fastest and easiest place on my site to come and look for a good book to read.

I still don’t have my Art of Doing Stuff Swag for sale (tea towels, reusable grocery bags, tshirts)  but that’s coming.  Eventually.  One day.  You know.  In the future.  When the squirrel parties have died down.

I’ll add to the lists every week so there will always be something new for you to look at. And if you look right now and scroll about half way down The Good Stuff page you’ll find something very, very appropriate for this moment in time.

Now for that giveaway.

As a thank you for reading my blog, as an incentive for you to look at my new Shop page and as a way of enticing new readers to The Art of Doing Stuff (yes, I’m pretty much always this transparent), Wednesday I am giving away …




Paid for by me, as a gift to you.  See you then!


  1. Barbara says:

    Love the lighter spring look and have a list of things I’d like from the shop. Winning the mixer would be great!

  2. Dorothy R. Stanley says:

    How do you “sign up” for a chance to win the mixer?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dorothy. The contest is on Wednesday. I said that in the post but everyone is asking about it, lol, so I’ll go and make the notice that it’s Wednesday a bit more prominent. Details will be available in Wednesday’s post. :) ~ karen!

  3. Diana says:

    The link for the knife is broke. It shows the lamp instead.

  4. Donna says:

    YAY It’s finally Spring and it’s snowing here this morning. I’d love to bake some cookies if I only had a beautiful brand new mixer ! Love your new shopping pages.

  5. Samantha Pellegrino says:

    I love you, your site and your squirrel parties. Even if I don’t win the mixer, I’ll still be around. ?

  6. Shelby says:

    This is very cool! Just this past week, I ordered something from one of your sponsors totally unprompted by your newly-designed page! (Old habits . . . blah, blah, blah.) Thanks so much for sharing, well, you with me/us. Oh, yeah, being selected for the mixer would totally rock, too! Super-crazy-rave-dance-party rock!!!


  7. Jody says:

    Happy Spring–finally. So happy you have the link to great books to read. It takes the exhausting work out of reading all the synopsis and figuring out what I want to read.

  8. Trish Oriordan says:

    I am always so happy when someone loves “A Confederacy of Dunces”. I gave that book to my dad and he didn’t get the humor, which was heartbreaking. But hey, there’s you.

  9. Dorothy R. Stanley says:

    I am a new member of your club. Thanks so much for the Goods….I am an older lady and I do shop frequently online but get overwhelmed by all of the choice……and have been disappointed at the quality of some items I have purchased. Now I have an expert “shopping assistant.” Thanks…. There on three items on today’s “Goods” that I plan to purchase!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Dorothy! I know how overwhelming browsing on the Internet to shop is. It isn’t so hard if you know exactly what you’re looking for, but if you’re just looking for a few good ideas it’s really time consuming. This should help a bit. ~ karen!

  10. Diane Richards says:

    Love the spring/summer look, the shop and the book page.

    Would love that KitchAid stand mixer! Fingers crossed.

  11. Sara says:

    Well, day-ummmm, you have good taste! LOVE the leaf vase and the bee earrings, and the knife, but when I clicked on “buy it” it took me to the lamp. :/ p.s. You’re fun to shop with because you don’t talk a lot.

    • Karen says:

      I know, lol. I’ve fixed the knife page. :) I love that leaf vase too! I wasn’t sure anyone else would like it but I do so I added it. ~ karen!

  12. Susan says:

    I’ve been lusting after a Kitchenmaid mixer for years I’ve also been lusting after the idea of owning goats. Those cute, sweet pygmy goats that can clear our property of rambles, poison ivy, and wild viburnum shrubs that are taking over the woods. I haven’t visited your shop yet because I’m sure I’ll only find something else to lust over. Something probably in linen.

  13. Miriam Mc Nally says:

    Congrats on the shop Karen! I hope it makes loads of money for you. I was sooooo excited when I saw TAODS logo, thought I was finally going to buy a cloth with that fab hatchet……..

  14. Stephanie says:

    Hi Karen, as a fellow Canadian, I was a little sorry to see that the two products in the Shop that I clicked on were linked to Amazon.com instead of Amazon.ca, particularly now that the loonie is so low – any reason for that?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Stephanie! All my products link to Amazon.com first, then Amazon switches it over to Amazon.ca if the product is available in Canada. The reason I link to Amazon.com first is that is 75% of my readers are American and only 15% or so are Canadian. Many products are available in both countries, but the odd time (as you found out) it’s only sold in the US. ~ karen!

  15. Barb says:

    Yes to entering the mixer contest! I could use it to make bread dough for my new veggie farm/egg business.
    The umbrella flipping the bird made me laugh right out loud (I think I woke the dog!) and I want a brass knuckle mug. Great stuff! I love that so much beautiful and funny stuff is on one page- now if I only had some extra cash. Are you giving away any of that?

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Barb. Come back on Wednesday to enter to win the Kitchen Aid. And next Friday I’m going to give you all a chance to tell me what you’d like to win in the future! ~ karen

  16. Thera says:

    Love you, love your blog, yes please to a Kitchen Aid processor!!!

  17. Teresa Jennings Richardson says:

    Nice changes. I’ve wanted a stand mixer for years but had no where to put it. I just got my counter tops cleaned off, and while I like that bare-to-the-bones look, I think I’d enjoy that mixer there too. I hate our neighborhood squirrels. The rascals raid my garden, eat every fig before they get ripe, snatch the strawberries before I can, tease my dachshund, chase the birds, strip my pecan tree and drop those painful-to-bare-feet empty shells across my back yard. They are fun to watch running through the neighborhood through the treetops this time of year although I’d rather have them gone. They made mighty fine eating when I was a child….

  18. Jamieson says:

    Beautiful! Welcome, Spring Stuff!

  19. Sandra Lea says:

    Well the chicken skeleton is a little creepy but I’m not into chickens like you are. But the rest of the stuff is great.

  20. Jenny W says:

    Must be a time zone issue, or the nor-easter that blowing through here, but I don’t have the new lighter spring-y-er look :(

  21. Katie says:

    Like the new look! Also, love the sentiment on those socks on your shopping page…as a teacher, I could proudly wear those with a high degree of truth and accuracy at least once a week…haha!

  22. Lisa says:

    I’ve also had squirrels in the attic, running between the floors, generally having a grand old time exploring all the odd spaces between the walls and floors my crooked old house! Freddie Freeloader brought home a wife, started a family and we had to wait until the kids were old enough to venture out on their own before we sealed everything up tight. Totally freaked my cats out for weeks!

    Love the new look by the way – and I’m totally down with helping you get a goat!

  23. Gillian says:

    None of the cookbook –> Amazon links work. :-( Also, when you hover over the links in the post above they completely disappear.

    Just a few glitches I know I’d like to know about if someone found them on my page. <3

    How do I enter the contest?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Gillian. There’s an issue with Amazon not flipping the links from .com to .ca for some reason. And no I had NO idea when you hovered over the links with my new white background that they disappeared entirely, lol. Thanks I’ll fix it. :) ~ karen!

  24. Suzanne says:

    Hey Karen! Love the new pages! Just letting you know the link for the butcher’s knife sends you to the page for the lamp. Thanks for the giveaway! I can’t wait to enter on Wednesday!

  25. Noreen says:

    Hey there!
    Do you ship to the UK?

    • Karen says:

      Hey Noreen! The objects come from all over the place, and they’re the ones who ship it. So in some cases yes, and some cases no in terms of shipping to UK. As far as the KitchenAid giveaway goes, it will be wired for North American use. :/ ~ karen!

  26. Sherry in Alaska says:

    Yes, Karen, I would love to win the mixer!

  27. Auntiepatch says:

    I love both lists! Thanks for the giveaway! Love the squirrel book, too!

  28. Marna says:

    Sorry to hear about the squirrel. We’ve only had rats over the years, they do a lot of damage too. We have nasty neighbors who must raise the rats in their yards. I would like about half of what you have in your shop! I saw that the chocolate bunny was out and the owl lamp. I pinned some items that might become gifts. (I have a board just for gift ideas, comes in handy.) I love some of the books you have in the list, and added some to my list to purchase later, thanks. :)

  29. Lynne says:

    Love your new Shop page and especially your Good Books. Looking forward to weekly updates. Good luck with your squirrel quest – we’ve had them – I swore they were raccoons wearing army boots up there – but the guy that installed at the ‘one way door’ found wisps of red fur on the entrance. So my giant visitors ending up being tiny red squirrels. So much for my powers of identification. P.S. Great colour choice for the mixer.

  30. Jeannette says:

    Would love to win the mixer. I use an old handheld and could never see the need for the stand type…til I got old and now I have arthritis and it hurts to hold that thing for 2 or 3 minutes. So, yeah, now I see the point of it. It would be great.

  31. Kelly says:

    How do we enter this giveaway? I cannot live without a KitchenAid, as anyone who has ever lived with me can attest!

  32. Elaine says:

    Hi Karen: is it my imagination or my eyesight but …. is the grey background now lighter in color? I’m so glad you have a Book List as I love reading and like to hear what others are reading especially since two of my favorite authors got up in years and have now passed away. Chatelaine has a pretty good book recommendation too but will certainly be checking yours out AND your Shop!

    A present being given on Wednesday? Wow! What do we have to do … just write in on Wednesday or what? In any event, good luck to all the entrants.

  33. Jennie Lee says:

    Long ago, I kept potted plants in my attic windows. I had colorful marbles on top of the soil, just to look nice. One day, I heard a really weird noise coming from the attic. A raccoon had come in through the window, and was rolling the marbles all over the floor. At least it wasn’t playing 90s music, like your squirrels.

  34. Suzanne says:

    My friends had raccoons in their attic. A momma and 3 babies. The damage was horrific. They had to move out of their home for 6 weeks while the repairs to the roof, duct work, sheet rock, and painting were made. I hope your squirrel is easier to tame.

  35. Ei Con says:

    No ‘Geek Love’ on the Good Books page? Thought that was a fav of yours.
    Always wanted one of those mixers. Sigh.

  36. Lynn says:

    Had a pair of squirrels move in BETWEEN the first and second floors. Then they gave birth to a basketball team that practiced running continually from one side of the house to the other for months! Finally it warmed up enough for them to go exploring outside. After they moved out the hole got plugged and I had insulation blown between floors. Done. What a nightmare. Good luck!

  37. Pam says:

    I own (and love) that mixer in black! Used it to make cherry chocolate chip oatmeal cookies today. Yum! I don’t have squirrels, but we have some pretty aggressive raccoon in the area. They’ve even attacked people recently. Maybe if they were taking ecstasy they’d be more loving.

  38. Mel says:

    Ohhhh. Lovely things! I would be so so soooo happy to win this mixer. It would be treasured for years to come. My darling husband has been on a pankick (making pancakes almost every weekend for me, from scratch) but has an el cheapo type mixer which has a pathetic motor with a high-pitched annoying whine of trying to mix batter. He’s been smitten with The Great British Baking Contest show on Netflix, and I think that mixer would improve our baking experiences exponentially!

  39. Dawna says:

    I could do squirrel’s. They would be better then the white horned owl who moved in to our roof. It took two years before we could evict her and her owlets’ (they are protected in our area). There talons cause significant damage. They terrified our small dogs (add floor damage) and tried to eat one of our cats (vet bill). So squirrels? Bring it on! LOL

  40. Nicole says:

    Five years ago I was having a perfect weekend ruined by the words “my real estate agent says there’s a squirrel in my house.” The problem being of course my brother was three time zones away and I was five minutes away. You have my sympathies. It probably took two years for me to stop jumping every time I saw a squirrel outside and I had a giant walnut tree in my back yard. If you like those French onion soup bowls you should check out Donn Zver pottery in Troy. I think he has some like that however I’m not currently seeing them on his website. Richard Fisher in Dundas does have a double handled soup bowl but it’s a bit deeper.

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Hi Nicole, just thought you might like to know, if you don’t already, Donn’s got his spring 30% off sale this coming weekend. His website definitely does not show his complete line of pottery. I am a huge fan . . . wish I could afford a whole set of his dinnerware!

  41. Sarah says:

    My mother just gifted me her barely used white KitchenAid stand mixer, which probably means this will be the giveaway I win! (In which case I’ll really have to learn how to bake.)

    • Sarah says:

      I take that last part back. I revisited your first post ever earlier today, so I’ll probably tackle meat grinding before the whole baking thing.

  42. TucsonPatty says:

    Love the lists, love the new lighter, springier looking blog, and want the Kitchenaid.
    I love the book list!! I have read many of these books – what great taste you have in literature!! ; ) I’m glad to see my all time favorite in my life: Laura Ingalls Wilder!
    I personally think the series should be required reading for every school child. You try to twist hay into sticks to burn and keep warm through a long freezing winter!

    • Karen says:

      The book list is a work in progress TucsonPatty. :) I have a LOT of books to add to it so I’ll keep adding and adding. Just like The Goods list. ~ karen!

  43. Joslynne says:

    Great new look and love the shop site!!

  44. Alison says:

    Love it all!! Thank you for curating a wish list for me to provide to family members for gift ideas!!!

  45. Michelle says:

    Had a long babbling post and was almost done when ignoring my battery back fired. Karma saved everyone! Anyway I will use the shopping and deep breathing exercises to recover from your squirrel attic rave induced ptsd. Understand I am recovering from a roof rat rave that cost us $25k and a year of construction hell! New ceilings, drywall, insulation, Air conditioning ductwork, and electric. So please tell mr squirrel to leave now!!! And my boy goats are milk goat mixes. Best pets ever but if they had not found a pet home they would have been eaten. Most milk byproduct babies share this fate. Just love my bratty boys. Lambert and Vincent Van Goat. You’d love their beautiful black and white coloring. Ok now to shop!!!

    • Michelle says:

      Ok the panic attack has eased for me. Even if I heard tiny running feet all night in my restless sleep. Now I have lots of stuff I really want. gold and copper are my obsession. As are wellies they come in handy with horse and goat chores. The thug cookbook is laugh out loud I love it although haven’t tried any recipes yet. Think I have some fun summer book ideas now.

    • Jen says:

      Vincent Van Goat! Love it! :D

  46. Denise says:

    Love both lists, great eclectic variety!

  47. Cathy McCoy says:

    Love the Good Stuff site! Was tempted to get the chicken skeleton for my friends that recently opened the Brass Rooster Gastro Pub here in town. Think it would make a good bar accessory? I’ve already donated my pair of Royal Order of Exhausted Rooster mugs.

  48. Lavada says:

    The Secret Life of Squirrels – how apropos to this post! You absolutely crack me up! Happy Spring!

    • Jenn says:

      We have the book for our son, it’s a fun little read. Fascinating how the author set it all up for the photos of the squirrels, plus she’s Canadian.

  49. Ell2 says:

    I definitely checked out your shopping page, got some ideas for purchases- most too expensive- I already have lots of the less costly items… but ideas nonetheless. Now, how do I enter to win the mixer- I still have my Mom’s from 1972- it works ok, but I cannot get accessories for it!

  50. Sandra says:

    Good Stuff page works, but the Good Books link didn’t (from this page) – it did from the Good Stuff page.

    I want the processor – guess I have to wait until Wednesday? lol

    • Karen says:

      Thanks so much for letting me know Sandra. I was wondering if you wanted the processor. (just kidding … I’ve fixed the link) ;) ~ karen!

      • Jacqueline MacDougall says:

        the book links go to amazon.com not .ca love this new area of your site!

        • Karen says:

          It should switch over automatically Jacqueline. (the links are to amazon.com but should switch to .ca if you’re clicking from Canada) I’ll look into it. thx. ~ karen!

        • gloria says:

          Occasionally, I buy from Amazon, but could you consider suggesting that your readers buy from an independent bookseller? I know Amazon is way easier, but a little more effort is not so much to ask to ensure a future that includes these wonderful places to shop for books. Or, another great option is your public library, heaven knows they need the business.

        • Karen says:

          Well, not really in this instance Gloria. You see, this is how I make my money. I get a (very) small commission from Amazon or Target or wherever else I find products I like and link to. Independent book stores just don’t offer that. I assume most people shop both online and in actual stores. This page is for people to use while shopping on line. ~ karen!

    • Gloria L. says:

      my most favorite blog was the one that you did on starting, and planting sweet potatoes & yams. Last year was my first time, and already have them going for this year.
      Pick Gloria Lundberg for the mixer, always wished I had one . Thnak Karen for what you do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Seed Starting Calculator

  • About Karen