What It’s Like to Be a Woman In a Man’s World

What It’s Like to Be a Woman in a Field That’s Still 99 Percent Male Nina MacLaughlin. (Photo: Beowulf Sheehan)

In 2008, journalist Nina MacLaughlin quits her desk job of seven years with no plan for what to do next. Though she had no experience to speak of she jumped at the chance to apply to a Craigslist job posting for a carpenter’s assistant. She was especially heartened by the tagline “Women strongly encouraged to apply,” and sent off her application right away.

She got the job, and has been a carpenter in Cambridge, Massachusetts, ever since.

In her new memoir, ‘Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter’, MacLaughlin tells us her experience of abandoning her desk job and the satisfaction and joy of learning to work with her hands. She spoke with the Cut about what her career switch taught her about ambition, how working as a carpenter changed her own femininity, and what it’s like to be a woman in a field that’s still 99 percent male.

To read the full interview click the photo or click here.

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Vacationing family decides to restore abandoned French chateau


They’ve unearthed mysterious medieval tunnels, uncovered ancient artifacts that hint to what daily life was like , and uncovered a beautiful fresco in a salon on the first floor. (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.) It sounds romantic, but the process of buying and restoring a property of such size and significance has been an arduous labor of love.

Join this Australian family who had been on the hunt for a vacation home in France and then stumbled on a property in need of some major TLC that captured their hearts.

“We had never planned on a chateau. Our French friends warned us about those,” says Karina Waters,  “But after driving down the snow-capped mountains and seeing the chateau’s grounds from the village, we were sold.”

Click here to visit their website and see how things are going.

Get The Smoothest Wall Possible – The Level 5 Finish

Believe it or not there is is more than one way to finish a flat, untextured wall surface.

We’ve had some clients who were very particular about what they were looking for.

One client who lived in England specifically requested that his apartment in France be painted by brush and not by roller. He said he ‘hated’ the texture that paint rollers left.

We had to let him know that this meant more time therefore more money. He was willing to pay the added expense and was delighted by the result.

In this video we present the Level 5 finish which is the smoothest finish one can deliver using conventional drywall and plastering techniques.

The presenter does a good job breaking the process down into 6 easy steps.

It takes a bit longer but for the client with a discerning eye it just may make all the difference.

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What Does Drywall Repair And California Have In Common?

Answer: The “California Patch”! (AKA: the no cladding patch). Very cool!

‘Yes’, this is the second video we’ve posted by Lowe’s and ‘No’ we are not getting paid. We just call ’em the way we see ’em and this video is the best we found on the subject.

What do we like? First of all, although we are Americans in Paris, we have never even HEARD of the California Patch. This is ingenious because a typical drywall repair solution includes: cutting all the way to the studs on either side or using a wood 1×3″ or similar backing to reinforce the whole. Then you need drywall tape, screws, and a screw gun plus the drywall plaster, drywall knives etc… This is an elegant solution.

Also, we like the way they show in the beginning that they are taking the extra step to protect the floor. Drywall dust footprints can and will follow you all over the house. Try to wipe them up with a sponge and you just created your very own ‘dust fun cloud streak’. Whether it’s a complete renovation or small repair; a clean job site is a happy job site.

Plus, they go into drop dead easy moves for textured finishes and if you live in Paris you sure see alot of those. Move over enduit wall texture specialist dude. Got it covered.

Lastly, the video is well produced. No fast cuts or over the top Heavy Metal sound track. The music and image flow is smooth and very Zen, the way a good carpenters mind set should always be!

Well done Lowe’s. Keep up the good work!

Picture This: Get The ‘Lowe’ Down On Hanging Around

It’s no different in Paris than any other part of the world. No renovation is totally complete until you hang the pictures on the wall. At that point a house or and apartment becomes a home.

This video is a made to sell products sold from the hardware store Lowe’s in America but it does have a number of handy tips on how to hang pictures on drywall, plaster and masonry.

What did you think of this video? We would love your feedback! 🙂

Renovation sites in paris

This is a video of just a handful of jobsites and renovation projects we have been on over the past few years in and around Paris.