Cheap and Natural Handsoap–and a rant

...spenses Lysol anti-bacterial soap, which comes packed into special cartridges–meaning you can’t fill the dispenser with whatever soap you like. The tagline for this product is, “Never touch a germy soap pump again!”  I love the double-speak of Healthy Touch/No-Touch. Is the underlying logic that no touch is healthy? Time to evacuate to our plastic bubbles! Three cranky thoughts on this product: 1) First, the obvious. Wh...

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How to Make a Mosaic Stepping Stone

...ety glasses and do the cutting in a box to keep shards of glass from flying around. I also do this outside or in the garage so little shards of glass don’t end up in our house. Once cut, I press the little tile pieces against the sticky side of the contact paper–face down, or “good side” down.  The sticky paper holds them in place. When you’re finished sticking all the tiles down, it’s time to mix up some conc...

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How To Design a Garden Step III: Pathways

...ach other you need 5 to 6 feet, though a path that big would be for a larger piece of land than we own. Consider the size of any tools or wheelbarrows you might need to accommodate. Materials I’m fond of mulch. It’s free, easy to maintain and breaks down into soil. I’ve used gravel in the past–it looks nice but it can be hard to keep clean over time. Stepping stones also work nicely. As for edging, I’ve been using r...

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Make a Brigid’s Cross

...ecorded before the 17th century, so who really knows where it came from. (Shades of Spinal Tap!: No one knew who they were or what they were doing…) But what the hay. St. Brigid’s day is February 1st, and the cross-quarter holiday of Imbolc, which marks the coming of spring, is celebrated around the 2nd. I think this weekend would be excellent time to make a few Brigid’s crosses for fun and luck. A prope...

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Easy To Make Furniture: Sunset DIY Manual From the 1970s

...e you believe. While I think DIY furniture books from this period are somewhat horrifying, I have a respect for their can-do attitude in the face of the era’s declining wood shop skills. Then, WHAM, the global economy and Ikea came along and wiped out the last remaining economic reasons to try to make your own furniture. That being said, I think some clever folks with time on their hands and an eye for discarded materials could make use of...

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Cat Poop Compost Installment #2

...for two years, and it should not be applied to food crops (but it can go around fruit trees). *** Last year at the end of July I posted about our experimental cat litter composting solution in The Cat Poop Portal post. It’s been a while since we reported in, and I’ve received some gentle pokes from readers, so this is an update. Long story short, it’s going slowly. At the time of the last post we’d installed a 50 gallon...

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Support AB 1616 To Make Bake Sales Legal in California

...out it, please visit cottagefood.org. Many states have cottage food bills already (see a pdf of those states and the laws they have on the books). Those that don’t need one! In California, AB 1616 will help many people with home-based businesses in a time of economic uncertainty. Please consider making a donation to the Sustainable Economies Law Center to help pass AB 1616. See cottagefood.org for details of the bill and for a complete list...

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The World’s Most Beautiful Okra

...kra from seeds I saved. And thanks to a tip (can’t remember where I heard this) I’m having an easier time harvesting the pods. One of the problems with a small patch of okra is that, initially, you get a sporadic harvest. And you’ve got to pick the pods before they get too big and tough. So I’ve been picking a few and day and tossing them in a bag in the freezer until I have enough to cook with. As for cooking okra I leav...

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Instructables

The SurviveLA inbox contained a useful link from Komrade Box – a web site called “Instructables”, which is a compendium of useful tips ranging from how to pimp out your bike to how to recycle stuff you have laying around the house. Sites like this make the “internets” seem useful. Of course, you could also waste your time watching shit like this....

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