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.

Île Saint-Louis – Complete Paris Apartment Renovation

Once in a life time you have a client that you just don’t get along with. At first you think things are manageable but things go sour and no matter how hard you try it never gets better.  It’s not the fault of either. It’s just one of those things.

Then once in a life time you have a client that changes everything. Once in a life time you meet someone that is so dynamic, so artistic, so engaging, so maniacal, so passionate yet at the same time so ‘normal’, who can put on a face that is congruent to what people think he should be, he challenges the boundaries of your own perceptions about what is available in for use as an individual in the world.

We are going to call him the Maverick.

On and off, for circumstances we could not control, the better part of three years we were isle-in, like a villain, on penicillin with the Maverick.

It was  a glorious time.

When we met Mavs, we had no idea that he was ‘renting a womb’ as he put it, to have children with his partner.

We eventually met his partner, his wonderful children and enjoyed the company of his warm loving family.

He would bring us simple yet thoughtful and caring gifts from America.

Once he said, ‘Guys, don’t listen to me. There’s a saying ‘Get your hands off my ears. I know what I’m doing.’

How do yo not love a guy like that?

If you are reading this, Maverick we miss this time we had together.  So here is a video in honor of and that begs the inside joke from.

It’s the Isle. Do you know what time it is? 😀

Kitchen Design Ideas

A small kitchen - technical drawing.

A small kitchen – technical drawing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a home or apartment renovation kitchen designs can be challenging, especially in Paris where the space you have to work with can sometimes be so limiting.

In this video they have a few things we found  interesting.

The wall mounted wine racks get a thumbs up. This is a stylish option when contemplating storage solutions in a small kitchen design.

The rolling cart and moving the appliances of the counter tops are also great tips.

And they also touch on something that is rarely addressed.

Different people have different cooking styles. For instance men sometimes approach the kitchen like a construction site and spread out all over the place.

If a couple enjoys cooking together but their styles clash, giving each their own area is also a very good idea!

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Modern Kitchen Design Ideas 2013

Modern kitchen

Modern kitchen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We found this video interesting.

Although you will rarely have a Parisian kitchen with the largeness and grandeur displayed in this montage, the material selection is completely in line with a trend we’ve been noticing.

It used to be a Modern kitchen, or what is sometimes called in Paris, an ‘American Kitchen’ used to consist of very basic, almost neo-industrial color schemes and elements which are ease to keep unblemished and maintained.

In the above video we see design ideas which incorporate the introduction of wood and other natural materials which broaden the feeling of home and nature that break up the clean lines and ultra ‘sterile’ functionality usually associated with Modern kitchen design motifs.

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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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Before A Client And After A Friend

One of the great joys of life is working on a renovation project, finding solutions to problems together and at the end being able to call your client a friend.

Providing timely solutions can be especially difficult in Paris where the words ‘pas possible’ can sound like the National Anthem.

The following video is a small tribute to a few clients and friends who together we have traveled this terrain .

It was either the Hyatt or Hilton hotel chain that noticed something interesting when reviewing the questioners they gave customers to fill out.

People who had encountered problems which were met with first class service by the hotel staff gave an over all rating higher than people who had no trouble whatsoever.

The top management had even considered creating ‘false’ problems with which they would then respond like Superheros to save the day.

When it comes to apartment or home renovation in Paris and dealing with the French culture as a whole, solving problems that by all rights shouldn’t exist is par for the course!

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