Every month, TOH master carpenter Norm Abram answers reader questions and shares his best tricks of the trade. We’ll share them with you here because

Tying two short ropes together

Q: I don’t always have a rope that’s long enough. Is there 
a way to securely, but temporarily, tie together short lengths of rope?
—William Wildman, Marlton, N.J.

A: Knots that join ropes together are called bends. My favorite one is a sheet bend, which is easy to tie and won’t slip. Unlike the commonly used square knot, sheet bends are especially handy for joining ropes of different diameters, and they’re easy to untie after being under a lot of tension.

Illo 1. Bend the end of one rope (A) into a loop, called a bight. Feed the end of the other rope (B) up through the loop and behind both its legs.

Illo 2. Lead the end of rope B so that it goes across the top of the bight and then under itself. Tighten by pulling both standing ends. Leave at least 1 inch of rope B beyond the bight.

See more of Norm’s Tricks of the Trade

ALSO don’t forget to take your #SelfieWithNorm before the brand-new season of thisoldhouse starts in October!

anonymous said:

So i just started uni and I joined the university's newspaper. I'm thinking of doing a book review column! Can you give me any advice? I have to submit my first review this week!!

That’s amazing! I’m so happy for you. :)

  • Be honest
  • Draw readers in with the first sentence. I normally sum up the book and/or my feelings for it
  • Explain the book’s plot briefly. Give away just enough to let people know what it’s about without spoiling it for them
  • Try to address a number of aspects of the book, including things like writing (style, format, pace), characters (development, protagonist, likeability, relationships), setting and plot
  • Use paragraphs when you talk about a different aspect of the book. It adds a nice flow to your writing and makes it more appealing to your reader, rather than a block of text that’s all over the place
  • Talk about what you liked and disliked, whether you loved the book or hated it. Be constructive
  • Mention who you would recommend the book to - include examples of similiar titles/authors or a genre/style
  • Don’t ramble for the sake of a long review. Be concise in the points you make
  • (This helps me anyway) Take notes before you write your review and plan what you want to say. This way you can be organised and not forget anything
  • If you have any control over the formatting, be sure to make the review visually appealing. Add an image of its cover art, use bold and colour to enhance certain parts of the text, etc.
  • Write in the style that’s natural to you, while still writing a formal and well-written review
  • Be sure to proof read and comb through it for errors, to avoiding those sneaky little typos
Studying Tips!

This is how I study and take notes. I’ve adapted this system from many other tumblr posts I’ve seen, as well as from guidance from teachers in school. Hopefully you will find something useful in this post!

1. Quick Pre-Read/Annotation: Before class, quickly flip through the lesson of the day in your textbook or handouts and highlight things that jump out at you: key concepts, vocabulary words, that kind of thing. This is so you aren’t walking into a lesson completely blind and you should be able to form some questions to ask in class as well.

2. Rough Draft Notes: I bring a spiral bound notebook to each class; this notebook is for rough draft notes. Make the headline bold and include the lesson title, page numbers, and the date. Don’t worry about neatness, just try to get complete notes that you can condense and make cohesive later. Also be sure to write down any more questions that come up, so you can get them all answered sooner rather than later.

3. Annotate Further: After class but ideally on the same day, annotate your class readings or textbook and your RDN further. If this is math or science, make connections in the margin of your textbook between examples and theories or proofs. If you’re studying English, annotate for deeper concepts and meanings, as well as for syntax. Use sticky notes to write down and mark any questions you may have, as well sticky tabs to indicate pages that hold especially important information.

4. Do The Work: Work out all your math problems. Read your novel for English. Listen to Spanish radio. The only way to truly learn the material is if you practice, practice, practice. Also, I try to take full advantage of my math and science books. They’re usually filled with extra problems, projects, and pre-tests that can greatly aid in understanding the material and possibly boost your grade up a few points, as well. 

5. Final Draft Notes: Mondays and Tuesdays are my “study days,” where I take my annotated readings and rough draft notes and condense them all into “final draft” notes. I find Cornell Notes to be very useful in this purpose, but any style works, really. When using the Cornell style of note taking for a final draft, i make sure the left-side questions are all deeper meaning and yet answerable, not clarifying questions that I would need to ask my teacher. If this is math, you should style your FDN like a typical textbook page: have a vocab section, multiple example problems fully worked out, and theories written out in your own words. If these are notes for a book you’re reading in English, it won’t be too different. Have a vocabulary section, a syntax section, an important quote section, and a final section with historical or outside connections that you can use when writing an essay. I store my FDN in chronological order in three ring binders divided by class that I keep on my desk at home. These are my study guides for use when writing essays, doing research projects, or studying for exams.

There you go guys, oh and also these coffee recipes might help: x

Good reasons to use sticky notes and why they are useful for me:

- I use them to remember things, and I stick them to folders, my computer, even to the refrigerator. This way I always remember important things. (I forget things really quickly…)

- Sticky notes are a blessing and I use them to keep track of all my tasks too, like homework, reading and other stuff I need for school.

- I use them to mark places on my textbooks, and when I do it I use smaller ones. I do it on my binders too, so I can organize them better.

- Sometimes I stick it to people’s backs with stupid sayings, but that’s really not important and a bad idea — jump this one, just keep reading

- Other nice thing is to use them to write motivational and happy things, like studying, hardwork and inspirational quotes, little drawings or anything like that.

- I also sometimes use them for reminding other people of things, like “don’t touch my food” and stick it to a little box inside the refrigerator. (People don’t listen anyways, but this could work for you)

So yeah, just if you need some tips to organize your school life or anything like that, here’s my advice! Sticky notes are your best friends just use them okay

Good luck! xx

✿ sorority sugar 50 last minute sorority recruitment tips! ✿

Q: Recruitment starts tomorrow!! Any last minute advice?!

A: How exciting!! Whether you are a PNM, or a sister, the advice is very similar……………..


  • Breathe. 
  • Sparkle & shine.
  • Be the type of person you want to meet.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others.
  • Reach out from your heart.
  • Keep your eyes on the prize.
  • Talk until your throat hurts.
  • Don’t be afraid to get excited!
  • Smile & laugh
  • Prepare to change your mind. 
  • Give yourself a break.
  • Perfect is boring.
  • Don’t let stubbornness stand in the way of your goals.
  • Accept recruitment surprises.
  • Banish self-consciousness. 
  • Think creatively.
  • Spotlight the positive, downplay the negative.
  • Keep score of your wins, not your losses.
  • Stay sharp every round.
  • Be grateful for the life you have.
  • Sleep as much as you can and eat healthy.
  • Accept fate.
  • Be worthy of your favorite chapter or favorite PNM.
  • Commit to change.
  • Be kind to all around you.
  • Graciously accept compliments.
  • Keeping your expectations reasonable controls disappointment.
  • Don’t be tooooo serious.
  • Allow yourself to enjoy recruitment.
  • Don’t loose hope.
  • What you see in a chapter, or a PNM, depends on how you look at it/her.
  • Be an overcomer.
  • Never quit - just move on.
  • Stop worrying about what other people think.
  • Every round is another chance.
  • Before you talk - think. 
  • Remember that you’re only human.
  • Sometimes you win - sometimes you learn.
  • See the opportunity in every sorority or every PNM
  • You become like the people you spend the most time with, choose carefully.
  • Believe you can and you will. 
  • Take a leap of faith! 
  • Find some humor in recruitment.
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Have a sense of adventure. 
  • Share the magical and beautiful parts of your life/chapter
  • Choose happiness.
  • Note to self: relax!
  • Trust the process. 
Watch on dormtrends.tumblr.com

College dorm room haul!