Mt. Vernon Register-News

Community News Network

December 28, 2012

Why women are now into power tools

NEW YORK — Ana White, who runs a popular website devoted to woodworking for women, came out with her first book this fall. The cover of "The Handbuilt Home" showcases a huge hammer and a fair amount of pink. Inside, close-up shots of well-crafted, brightly painted sideboards, console tables and play kitchens, look like they were taken from a Pottery Barn catalog, only White includes instructions on how to build them yourself. There are photos of smiling young women who've used White's carpentry plans, alongside their testimonials ("This great console table, with the matching hutch, really is a simple project") and tips ("It helps to use a shelving jig from a woodworking store").

White isn't the first to target an increasingly visible demographic of women who want to build their own furniture, but she's one of the savviest. Her website, ana-white.com, is an amalgam of the ideals of American womanhood, blending a pioneer woman's can-do spirit with the intimate tone of a mommy blogger. White, once a self-described Alaska "housewife" and stay-at-home mom, says she was "afraid" of power tools until a turning point in 2007. She and her husband were broke, sleeping on a mattress on the floor, and she realized that the only way they'd ever afford a well-made bed was if she made one herself. Five-foot-four and size 2, without the strength and heft one associates with home improvement gurus, White was also juggling the demands of a newborn baby when she designed and built that farmhouse bed. If I can do it, her message to other women goes, of course you can.

"I'm not a trained carpenter; I'm just a mom," White, 32, told me over the phone from Delta Junction, Alaska, which is so remote — seven hours from a Target — that she's had almost no choice but to embrace the DIY ethos for almost everything, from the paper banner for her daughter's birthday party to a tiny picnic table for her American Girl doll. "After I built my first piece of furniture, I realized it doesn't take an incredible amount of skill with the tools we have available today. It just takes a really good plan and someone telling you, 'Yes, you can do this.' "

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.51.22 PM.png VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine

    A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 15, 2014

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Google acquires drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread Internet

    Google is adding drones to its fleets of robots and driverless cars.
    The Internet search company said it acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides customer access to data services around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

    April 14, 2014

  • E-Cigarettes target youth with festivals, lawmakers say

    The findings, in a survey released Monday by members of Congress, should prod U.S. regulators to curb the industry, the lawmakers said. While e-cigarettes currently are unregulated, the Food and Drug Administration is working on a plan that would extend its tobacco oversight to the products.

    April 14, 2014

  • Why Facebook is getting into the banking game

    Who would want to use Facebook as a bank? That's the question that immediately arises from news that the social network intends to get into the electronic money business.

    April 14, 2014

  • Stepping forward: The real Colbert

    Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

    April 11, 2014

  • Teens trading naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 10, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks