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Tag Archives: DIY

No bells or whisles

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After watching many black and white movies I fell the need to have my very own rotary phone. I thought it would look great on my old secretary oak desk. It didn’t took too long for me to find one. Jason’s Corner in Calgary is one of my favorite place to shop antiques and vintage. Unfortunately the phone I like the best didn’t ring it’s bell. But I still got it. It’s 50’s look was too appealing to leave it behind.


Once home I played a bit with it and then decided to opened it up to find out why the phone had gone mute. These old phones are quite simple and a ringer should not go out of work for a simple reason. Here’s how I did it. On my Automatic Electric phone there’s 6 screws on the bottom. Only 3 of them are for the base montage. The other 3 are holding the gut of it. On mine, the montage screws were indicated.


Once the screws were removed. The top easily gets off to expose the guts. It is very important that the ringer parts are not touched. They are filled with electricity and they old a charge even when not plugged.



So, I followed the wiring of the ringer to see where they led. They were doubling up some of the numbers on the one side leaving a free space. I wasn’t too sure which of the 2 doubled up was the one I needed to move but I assumed that it would be the one red sitting on top not the blue wire under the number 9. The number 7 was free of any wires. I then moved the red to the number 7 and called my land line with my cell phone. Success! The phone rang loud and clear.


Later I made a quick research on my phone and I was reading that they used to make that wrong wiring to mute the phones as there are no mute on those. Makes total sense and it’s a real easy thing to do. The loudness can be adjusted but even on the bare minimum it can still be loud.

My phone works nicely and I use it from time to time. It’s been a blessing for when my cordless runs out of batteries! I don’t even complain when I’m forced into using it. No one can tell I’m talking to them from a rotary phone. I’m not sure it would work when you need to press numbers on a call but to dial people there’s no issue. Now when I don’t want it to ring I just pull the cord. It’s a nice decorative item and practical at the same time.

For those who would like to visit Jason’s Corner. Their address is 3714 17 Avenue SE, Calgary. They have lots of nice things. Go check ’em out!


Hair day

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For a while I have wanted a special place to hang my hair clips and some other hair accessories. I’ve browsed the web in search of ideas. My main requirement was that it need to be easy and do not require too much assembly nor any expensive materials. After months of research and tinkering I found something easy and quick. It took me only 10 minutes to put it together.

My new hair accessories holder

All you need to replicate this hair accessories holder is:
– a horse shoe (mine was already painted)
– a ribbon (mine was from a pajamas I bought a while back)
– a hot glue gun
– some rhinestones (I got mines from the dollar store)

To assemble it just glue the ribbon to the horse shoe. I overlapped the ribbon in the back so I glued fabric to fabric to ad some strength. Then glue the stores as you please. Being a debutante in the glue gun thing I had quite an hard time gluing those little stones. But that’s me and my clumsiness.

Close up on the shoe


another close up


Don’t mind the glue in the last picture. I didn’t post a picture of what I looked like. I had to battle the glue webs trying to embed me to my seat! The horseshoe is just an idea that I had. You can use practically anything you like to create your very own hair clip holder. It would also be a nice Christmas present for a lady or girl you know.

Happy Crafts!

DIY: Rust removal on chrome

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For people that like shiny chrome there’s nothing worst then having it rust. I usually get bicycle that have rust on their handle bars, chain rings and other parts. That doesn’t look good. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Unless the chrome is really rusted through there’s most likely a chance to bring it back to his like new shine. You don’t need to spend a fortune  into it and most of the time it takes a few minutes depending on the surface. In this post I will show you how to do it.

You will need:
– WD 40 or Varsol
– a Scotch bright pad
– a brass brush (nylon are too soft and steel will scratch)
– a rag
– protection glasses
– a rusty chromed item

What you need


Please wear the protection glasses while doing this as WD 40 and Varsol are toxic and you wouldn’t want them in your eyes. I also recommend rubber gloves and and something to cover your clothes as these products will stain. I also recommend to install yourself on a surface you don’t mind damaging or outside somewhere safe. A well aired area is a must have. Vapors from WD 40 and Varsol are not good for you.
I choose to make the demonstration with an old 10 speeds chain ring. The green rusty thing in the picture is my scotch bright. It’s well used and yes I need a new one. This poor thing have suffered enough!

Now, I’m in a WD40 mode lately but Varsol work just as good. Instead of spraying the Varsol pour  some it in a container you won’t need anymore.  Take your item and spray some WD 40 on a small area. For those using Varson dip the Scotch bright and apply on the rusty item. Then start scrubbing with the pad. If it’s too much work use the brass brush applying some pressure. Once the first area is scrubbed wipe it with the rag to see if there’s touch ups to be made. Then spray another area, scrub, wipe and keep going until the full piece is done. At the end give a good wipe to the full piece and you are done.



My chain ring took me less than 5 minutes to do. It’s looking good. I the back side of it is still rusty as I haven’t done it. Maybe a total of 10 minutes no more would have been required to do this piece.

Note: I have noticed that chrome fenders on bicycles are easy to scratch. I use the Scotch Bright as much as possible to not alter the finish. Before using the brass brush test in a hidden area to make sure it won’t scratch.

I find it fun do clean rusty chrome as the result is great. A nice shiny chrome piece. How nice! Have fun cleaning your pieces.

Book: The Urban Biking Handbook

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This book I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it or not. I took it because the cover picture appealed to me. The Urban Biking Handbook: The DIY to building, rebuilding, thinkering with and repairing your bicycle for city living by Charles Haine.  By Quarry Books ( Published in 2011 and contain 208 pages. This book offer what it claims on its cover. Lots of good illustrations and explanation. It’s not just about 10 speeds but about all sort of bicycles like foldables, fixies, bmx, you name it. There’s also a section about fixing your ride. There’s step by step tutorials with good pictures. They even have a tutorial on how to jump curbs! How neat!
I think this is a good must have book in the bicycle owner bookshelf. I’m considering buying it.

Book Cover