She’s donned a corset for her roles in Anne of Green Gables and Road to Avonlea. But these days, Mag Ruffman feels more at home in a tool belt.
Both men and women look to the contractor, author and creator of fix-it shows like A Repair to Remember, Anything I Can Do and weblog toolgirl .com, for advice.
“We’re living in uncertain times. People want to feel safe and secure in their homes,” said Ruffman, who is a featured speaker at the Ottawa Home and Garden Show this weekend.
She also gets lots of questions on cheap do-it-yourself.
“People that come to home shows are responsible homeowners,” she told Metro Ottawa. “They’re trying to stay on top of their biggest investment.”
Ruffman herself fell into fix-it and DIY. In 1989, she was still working on Road to Avonlea when she met her husband, carpenter Daniel Hunter.
“So whenever I had time off, I’d hang out with him,” she said. It was at work sites that she learned carpentry, finishing, plumbing and electrical.
A Tool Girl was born. And she’s the first to admit there’s a girly side to her.
“I want to do a line of coveralls for girls,” she said. “Gear for girls is really bad.” She also jokes that a tool belt needs to have a lipstick holder.
She encourages women to get involved in their own projects.
“How hard can it be? Someone before you has done it. If you have two hands and a brain, you can do it,” she said.
Although she’s toying with the idea of getting back into acting, first on her list is Tool Girl University, a new show and online learning program.
“Using your hands — what a wonderful way to make a living every day,” she said.