This is Not the Post You’re Looking for.

So. Things are getting mighty busy here at Ali Does It.

We’re trying our best to get the house in a slightly-less-than-chaotic state. We actually have a housewarming party on the books for the end of the month … if we can organize ourselves to get invitations out on time.

Yard Work 5
We created that much yard waste in just under two hours. We are very pleased with ourselves.

We’ve been super busy now that it has finally stopped snowing. I managed to fight through a bad cold and cut down several of the horrid hedges in the front yard (with several more to go), and now my view of the front yard no longer includes that super depressing child swing.

Yard Work 2
Hurray no more horrid hedge and suicide swing!

Not to mention the Impending Kid. Who never stops kicking. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t lacking sleep. Or didn’t need to pee.

Gren no longer fits on my lap (not that he ever really did), and so now he sulks/keeps an eye on possible zombie invaders out the window.

The point of it all is that I’m getting super tired these days, and with both of us working full time it’s getting tricky to get new *quality* content to you folks on the internet three days a week.

So I’m just letting you know now that I’m aiming for two days a week, and at least once a week for sure, even post-kid. I’m not abandoning you – I’m just occupied with other things. I am trying to create a backlog of posts that I can rely upon when my life becomes concentrated between feedings and diaper changes (because you don’t really need to hear about those sorts of things).

That’s the plan at least. I’m also going to try to beef up my Instagram contributions as filler in the interim and post them here, too (search for #alidoesit or follow me: alidoesit.herself). I’ll keep you posted – just not as regularly as before.


Fun with BLEACH

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Well, that’s certainly a title that’ll get your attention, eh? This is a quick and easy way to personalize cotton t-shirts just the way you like them – it’s not screenprinting, but the results are just as satisfactory and the whole process is way faster. Plus it’s something that even kids can do (if you trust them to use bleach). And I’m going to show you two ways to do it.

Bleach Tees 2

First, you need some spray bottles that produce a fine mist (the squirty ones won’t do you any good here), and some bleach. Make a solution of about half bleach and half water (or maybe 3/4 bleach and 1/4 water if you trust yourself) and pour that in the bottle.

Bleach Tees 1

Now you need a cotton (or mostly cotton) t-shirt in a dark or bright, saturated colour (you can use pastel colours but the results won’t be as contrasty). Wash and dry the shirt to remove any sizing from the manufacturer that may interfere with the bleach.

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Grab yourself some adhesive vinyl or Con-Tact paper.

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Cut your vinyl into the desired shape you want. You can either use the shapes to mask off an area that you will bleach around, or the vinyl can act as a shield to the rest of the shirt and only your design will be bleachy – that’s up to you.

Make sure to press the vinyl firmly into the fabric of the shirt.

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Slide some waxed paper or plastic inside the shirt to prevent the bleach from leaking through to the other side.

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Spray your design lightly and evenly with bleach.

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Just a light misting.

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Use a rag to dab away any beads of bleach that might drip onto your shirt (unless you want them to drip).

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Wait a few minutes and then carefully peel off your vinyl.

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Watch as the design emerges. When you get the right level of bleachiness that you like, rinse the shirt under cold water to stop the bleach process. Then chuck the shirt in the wash and run it through a cycle with soap to get out all the bleach.

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When your shirt is dry, you will be the coolest person out there.

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Another method, if you don’t have adhesive vinyl on hand is to use paper stencils and a glue stick. So you just cut out your design and slather it with glue from the glue stick. Make sure to go right to the edge.

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Flatten it firmly on your shirt.

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Spritz on your bleach, dab, and remove the paper before it gets too saturated with liquid (because that will soak through). Don’t worry if there’s a bit of paper left – that will come off in the wash. On this design (Serenity!), we added a few extra drops of bleach here and there to make it look like the ship was traveling through a nebula in space.

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On this shirt we did a similar negative image with a Rebel Alliance symbol from Star Wars, and then on the back we did the Galactic Empire symbol, so good on the front and evil on the back!

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Here we did a positive image, where the paper served as a shield for the rest of the shirt. You may recognize the Autobots symbol from Transformers.

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Another positive image, this one of a stylized Joker’s face from the Dark Knight film series.

More Bleach Tees 2

Because the pupils were hard to glue in place I used a fabric marker to add them back in. The shininess will go away the first time the shirt is washed.

More Bleach Tees 1

On this design the stencil I used was too thin and the bleach soaked around the edges. Not to worry!

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I simply used some more fabric markers to trace the proper outline and I really like the finished result.

More Bleach Tees 6

One Lovely Blog!

I’m sorry. I’ve been holding out on you. The lovely and talented Kay-Leigh Bain of Miss Juliet Poe’s Emporium nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award (thanks so much Kay-Leigh!). This isn’t the first time (and hopefully it won’t be the last – PLEASE LOVE ME) but I wasn’t really sure people would give a crap if I put personal fun facts about me on the internet so this will be the first time I’ve actually gone through with the whole process. So if you nominated me in the past, I’m sorry again, and this one is for you!

So there’s a process I gotta follow here:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
2. Display the One Lovely Blog award and logo.
3. Write up the rules on your blog.
4. List seven facts about yourself.
5. Select fifteen of your favorite bloggers to nominate and write a comment on their blog to let them know you nominated them.
6. Follow the person who nominated you.
7. Display the One Lovely Blog award on your blog.

Okay, I got this.

FACT: I am so close (SO CLOSE) to finishing my PhD on the anthropology of hockey. Problem is that I am so sick of hockey at this point that I really don’t want to finish the sucker.

FACT: I am obsessed with Gren’s little pink feet when he sleeps like this. I can’t even handle how cute they are. FEETS!

Tuckered after Christmas 1


FACT: I am horribly allergic to green peppers, which is why you will never see them on this blog. BAAAAAD things happen when I eat them.

FACT: My guilty pleasure television show is Supernatural. Don’t judge me. Those boys are very pretty.

FACT: I HATE grating cheese. I can’t even tell you why. I just hate doing it. Fortunately the Pie does it for me when necessary.

FACT: If I could do this for a living, I totally would. I love to learn new things, do new things, and then teach other people how to do them. It’s like my very favourite thing in the world.

FACT: Ali Does It recently reached the benchmark of TEN THOUSAND FOLLOWERS! Thank you so much to each and every one of you!

And now, the nominees are, in no particular order. Some of these lovely bloggers are on hiatus at the moment but it doesn’t stop them from being some of my favourites:

Antoinette of Cooking Spree: I found her blog through another blog (that’s normally how it goes) and I like her style. Even if she likes beets.

Krista and Jess: these ladies popped into my radar a few years ago when they recreated a cola recipe to die for. They’re in the midst of dealing with twins at the moment, but I can’t wait to hear from them again.

heretherebespiders: I “met” this yahoo Yank a couple months ago through a flurry of comments exchanged on the blog. I really want to meet her naked neighbour. And learn her garden magic.

Eiram from I Chase Boys is actually a friend of mine, and the blog is on hiatus for a number of reasons, but she’s still awesome and her hilarious tales of wifedom and motherhood are worth hearing.

I haven’t heard anything from Elly at the Elly Green Show in a long, long time, and I miss her. Come back, Elly!

Jordana of the Urban Xenophile is an old, old friend of mine (like, from when we were eight) and fellow anthropologist. Plus that girl got STYLE.

I wish that ana at i made it so WERE a friend of mine. She makes everything, including knitting, look easy. I want to eat her brain a little bit.

I only recently discovered will craft for food. I wish I had discovered it earlier. It’s hilarious. More please!

The folks at Heritage Row Reno I kind of know through friends of acquaintances of mine back in Newfoundland. They’re also on temporary hiatus, but these things happen when you’re renovating.

And speaking of renovating, if you haven’t been reading Daniel’s adventures at Manhattan Nest, you’re missing out. I would marry both Daniel and his fiancé if they weren’t already spoken for, and I love watching him learn how to fix up a house so I can steal all his knowledge later on.

Nick at Frugal Feeding and I have been chatting back and forth over the blogosphere for years now. I’m super envious of his beautiful wooden table and his ability to do everything in metric, at all times.

Caroline at The Wanna Be Country Girl is another one of my bloggy friends, and another one I haven’t heard from in a while. She has mad skills with a camera, folks. I ain’t lyin’.

Then there’s Movita at Movita Beaucoup. I know she won’t go through with this award process because that’s not her style. But you should check her out anyway. She’s only a little bit nuts.

Almost finally, my super badass sister-in-law Teedz at icantmakethisshitup. She’s learned how to beat people up from the Isreali military, yet she uses her powers for good.

FINALLY (holy crap that’s a lot of nominations!) my best friend Chelle from Makeup Your Mind. She’s the one who got me into blogging way back in the day before things like Google and Facebook and whatnot. If you’re into makeup and style and all that stuff that makes little sense to me, check her out!

Introducing the SideBar! and Bourbon Slush

I am positively chuffed to announce the addition of a bar to the Ali Does It DIY repository. The delightful Trav, a budding home bartender, has caved to my peer pressure kindly volunteered to show us the ropes with a few of the fun and fantastical alcoholic beverages you can mix up these days. Enjoy this one as a last taste of summer on your long weekend! – Ali

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Bourbon Slush Punch

So, food is tasty, and cooking is interesting, but we all know the truth: eating is just a thing we do so we can stay alive long enough get to the good part, which is drinking.

With that healthy, well-balanced guiding principle in mind, I give you the first SideBar offering: a bourbon punch from Smitten Kitchen that’s strong enough to make you dizzy, but delicious enough that you won’t notice until you stand up.

This one’s easy, and it disappears quickly. That’s why we quadrupled the recipe.

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First, you’ll need to make a strong black tea. I’m not a tea drinker, but Ali picked out an Assam tea that worked very well. Let it steep until it cools, and toss the leaves. You’ll need 4 cups of tea.

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Next is lemon juice. Don’t use juice from a bottle, though, you monster. Squeeze 1 1/2 cups of juice from some fresh lemons.

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Finally, you’re going to need 1 cup of granulated sugar, 6 cups of orange juice, and a decent bottle of bourbon. You can juice some oranges, but a good bottled orange juice tends to be much better than bottled lemon (or lime). For the bourbon, we used Wild Turkey 81, and I’d also suggest Four Roses Yellow Label as a similarly cheap option. You can use a pricier bourbon if you want, like Bulleit or Woodford Reserve, but some of that flavour is likely going to be overwhelmed by the citrus.

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Pour all the liquids into a fairly large mixing bowl, including the whole bottle of bourbon. Since you’re going to want a glass or three while you’re making the punch, you should probably buy another bottle just in case.

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Stir in the sugar.

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This is the base for your punch. You could probably shake this with some ice and drink it by itself, but we’re not done yet. Keep this refrigerated until you serve it.

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When it’s time to serve the punch (which was, in our case, immediately), put equal parts ice and punch base in the blender. Half a cup of each should make one serving, and 5 cups of each makes about two litres.

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Blend them together until slushy, then pour the punch into glasses and garnish with a lemon slice, lemon peel, or mint leaves. Mint in particular is always good with bourbon and orange. If the mixture isn’t slushy enough, blend some more ice in. If the flavour isn’t strong enough, add more punch base. We definitely had to do a bit of experimenting to find the exact ratio for small servings. A lot of experimenting.

I’m going to be honest, I don’t remember how many I had.

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Happy Canada Day!


Ours had a bit of an early and unexpected start, but seems to be working out just fine.

Have a safe and fun day celebrating Canada’s 147th birthday!

Happy International Women’s Day

Autumn Leaves

Auntie Mags

Getting Ready

Hello to all you beautiful women out there!

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Photo by Alex Ferguson

I’ve always been so proud to share my birthday with a worldwide celebration of womenkind.

Today is a day where I am always thankful for all the amazing women in my life: my grandmothers and my mother and mother-in-law, who have taught me pretty much everything I know that actually means anything to me; my four (!) fantastic sisters-in-law, who I think are better than blood sisters for the sole reason that I didn’t have to fight with them growing up; my three nieces, who inspire me to be someone they can look up to; my three best lady friends, who have kept me in line from all the corners of the continent for decades … and the list goes on!

Where would you be without the women in your life?

Cape Spear

Photo by Ian and Jacky Parker

You should also celebrate the amazing women in your life today. You don’t have to be a woman to join in on the fun.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.

I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
Krystopf-Atlas Visit May 2013 15It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Cape Spear

Chel and Me at Breakfast

Cape St. Mary's Eco Reserve 59

This Might Help

Hi Everyone.

I don’t normally do this but my lovely, creative, and incredibly brave sister-in-law Teedz has recently started a blog about leaving an abusive relationship.  I think it’s a great therapeutic exercise for her, and if any of you know anyone who has been in a similar situation, maybe it will help them too.  Plus Teedz is an amazing writer and I will always read whatever she writes, even if it’s sad.

If you’d like to check it out or share it with others, please do so:

Ali Does It: 2013 in review

In case you were curious (I always am about these kinds of analytics-sciencey-statisticky things), the lovely robots at WordPress have made a nice little annual report for us, so you can see what you found the most interesting at Ali Does It Herself.

What would you like to see here in 2014?  Anything you’d like to revisit or expand upon from previous entries?  Any new DIY ideas you’re too afraid to try yourself and want me to experiment with first?  Let me know in the comments section.

Here’s an excerpt of the report:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 87,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Happy New Year!

In Remembrance

Today’s post will be delayed until noon in honour of Remembrance Day.

Photo by Peter Anthony, borrowed with thanks.

A World of Readers

If you are a WordPress user, you know that you can track how many visitors you get from each country, which is pretty cool.  I know that a lot of IP addresses get routed through various countries automatically, depending on where servers are located, but I also know that a good many of these visitors are actually from the country indicated.  These are my country stats since the end of February, when WordPress started keeping track of this stuff.  It looks pretty neat, so I thought you might like to see it, too.  And thanks for visiting!

I live on the right-most tip of the small island on the right-most tip of the country that is a slightly lighter orange than the USA.
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