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Do it yourself

Thank you for your nice comments about this column. I’m sure there are some of you who think or say, “She makes up those stories”. 

If you are one who might think that, let me assure you. I’m not that clever. My stories are the real deal; I couldn’t make them up. 

Case in point.

A week ago, I got up in the night and jammed my toe into the extended handle of a suitcase. We were packing for a trip and I left it in my path. I have always had trouble fitting shoes on my right foot because the second toe is longer than the others. That painful toe is now shorter, and think I solved the shoe-fit problem. (if the toe ever heals!)

Moving on. Check out this do it yourself (DIY) site,”” where one can find tons of home and garden tips; organization tips, remodeling, and much more. 

I enjoy trying some of their ideas. Organizing our messy refrigerator? You bet. Mixing baking soda and peroxide to shine up stainless fry pans? Sure. Spraying used globe light bulbs and hanging them from trees? Maybe. But, I usually crave bigger projects. Fred sometimes panics. I have been known to take on a big project, thinking I can (when I don’t know what I am doing!)

Win a few. Lose a few.

Do you relate? 

There was that time when I decided that we needed a larger kitchen window. I knew a couple who did major renovations in their home. “She” told me that she would tell me how; that it was pretty easy. I had read how to knock out the brick wall and apply drywall myself. It did look easy! The larger, framed window would just slip into the hole. Right? I told Fred I just knew I could do it. Well, it didn’t take long before dear Fred hired a contractor to enlarge our window.

We love it! We watch the birds on the feeders.

I saw on a cute, decorative “cabbage” bowl idea. All one needed was three or four items from the hardware store in the paint section. I hurried right down to buy them. Let’s see, I needed Elmer’s Glue, regular flour, and Joint Compound. (About $20 worth of stuff we will never use again.) The instructions said to mix these items into clay, and mold the clay over an inverted glass bowl. While still wet, press cabbage leaves as etching, to make the outer clay form look like a cabbage; then removing the cabbage leaves. The bowl “form” needed to dry for 48 hours, and once removed from the bowl, I would paint it cabbage green.

Oh what fun! Wellll, the bowl didn’t dry in two days, so I set it on a cupboard in the garage. Ten days later, I removed the hardened form from the glass bowl. Hmmm. Doesn’t look like cabbage to me. There seemed to be a few pieces of newspaper print stuck to it as well. So  what if one of the edges broke off? Cabbage isn’t perfect, right? I need to paint it now.

I hope I can finish this incredible project, and show you the picture. You will get the idea. I am sure you will ask me for the directions. 

This DIY rates right up there with printing my own greeting cards. Now, I would be fibbing if I told you that I have not succeeded. I have. But, only after running about 60 blanks and printing the inside of the card upside down, and the front page running off the paper so that one can’t read the entire message did I finally get all my adjustments right. 

It’s all a work in progress, you see.

I have learned that Dollar General or Dollar Tree has the cheapest items for project attempts. Self-stick tabs for the kitchen wall to hold my  oven mitts for easy access is one I won’t try. No one should ever have to see our oven mitts. They would never eat my cooking again. So, I don’t think so. And, I am not interested much in making colored flowers for the patio out of plastic spoons, but the garden signs I have already done and love them.  

So, I encourage you to try some of these thousands of ideas. Make messes, have fun.

Don’t forget to laugh at yourself! 

Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at or juditabler@awomansview.