Power tools are da bomb

This Saturday was class 1 of 6 of my intro woodworking course at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. To say I am super pumped about the course is an under statement. And the best part is I think I know what I want to make and I definitely want to use some 'salvaged' / 'repurposed' materials.

Class 1 included a rundown of the course, the studio and our in-class project. We even got to use some of the power tools. Yay!

Each of us gets a piece of wood to cut up and make into 'something' as part of the cost of the course. The wood is OK. I'll definitely use it but will incorporate other materials into my project.

Our instructor gave us the rundown on each of the tools available then we got to test out a couple of the power tools.

Here's my best buddy Mike using the saw. We both had a great time and have big plans for our projects!

And here we are just darn happy and excited about using the tools, etc. And yes I still have all of my fingers... I can't tell you how many friends were worried about me cutting off a finger or something. Gesh I'm clutsy but not that clutsy! ;-)

Someone from a previous course left their unfinished project in the studio. This is an example of what I could make but really I'm gonna make something one of a kind. I could buy something like this at Canadian Tire, etc if I wanted. I'm going all out on my project!

Our instructor suggested using Google's SketchUp to come up with a 3D plan of our proposed project. This is the plan Mike whipped up. I still need to sketch mine out.

I'd like to incorporate these table legs I found at the Sechelt dump last summer. I'll use four of them then have the other four for another project.

I'll sketch out my plan for my project this week. I want something unique that I know I'll keep and use. I'm thinking of making a storage bench to put at the end of my bed. Materials for my project include the wood that is supplied by the course, my table legs and I think I'm going to use salvaged wood pieces for the sides. I could glue a bunch of remnant pieces of wood to make one large panel. I also thought I would paint part of my project and/or do some stenciling. Big plans!

Notice the lovely new throw I have on my bed. This is from my Mom all the way from Ireland. Love it!

Earth Day Canada's 2011 Upcycling Challenge

I'm hoping my project will be done in time so I can enter it into the Earth Day Canada's 2011 Upcycling Challenge. If not then I can enter another project but this would be a perfect piece for the challenge.

Check out the video they created explaining what upcycling is...


Got me one FAB mirror - YAY!

My mirror update is done! I am so happy with it... A free mirror that looks uber FAB - lucky me! And it was a super easy update to boot.


Yesterday I scraped off the silver leaf that was on the mirror. I tracked down a sharp blade then got some paper towels and Windex and then I started cleaning up the mirror.

It's not perfect so I may try again later.

Here's the final update. The best decision was to make the sides of the mirror a solid off-white. I think the mirror is looking very sophisticated. Love the softer silver finish!

As I was waiting for the paint to dry on my mirror update, I took out this wall hanging from ages ago.

I shabby chic-ed the finish then added a coat of varathane. I then primed the middle area in the hopes of adding some chalkboard paint to it. No joy - my chalkboard paint is all mucked up so I need a new can. Ah well I'll grab some soon enough and maybe try to find other potential chalkboard paint projects so I don't end up wasting it again.

Project Update

Yesterday I picked up my prints from London Drugs. I added them to my frames. Yay!

I have to hang this frame... Not sure where to place it on my wall but for now I have a photo in it. Only 5 frames to add photos and/or prints to!

And this is where I plan to hang my mirror update. I was going to hang it horizontally but now I think I should hang it vertically. The hanging will be a father/daughter event since we'll need to use Dad's stud finder.

DIY and the single girl... I tell ya thank god for my 70 year old Dad to help me hang things!


'(owl) be yours always'

After a minor mishap I finished up my '(owl) be yours always' pillow cover for the United Way auction at work. Sometimes I feel like I'm in neutral where you do something automatically then realize it's not how you wanted to do it. Case in point - I sewed up my pillow cover with the edges folded in when I wanted them showing along with the stitching.

When I make my felt applique pillow covers, I like having a 'rough' (aka handmade) finish to them. I used a bright orange thread for stitching up the cover.

After I finished up the sewing then inserted the pillow form, I decided to add a detail to the back of the pillow cover. I picked out this orange flower button to use on the back along with some grey cord.

I used my bright orange thread to adhere the grey cord then added the button. The pillow cover is done and has been dropped off at work!

Project Update

Slowly but surely I'm finding stuff for my frames. I decided to use some old photos of my parents and then one of me for 3 of my frame updates.

Here's my Dad looking as kewl as can be. This was taken when my parents were dating way back in the day... Nearly 45 years ago! Yikes!

This is the frame I'll add the photo to...

Here's my Mom from the same day along with the frame I'm adding her photo to. Quite the happenin' couple!

And this is an old photo of me from when I was a partner in a web & print design company... Smelling the flowers... Kind of cheesy but fun. I'm going to trim it and add it to my latest frame update.

I scanned the photos then got them printed at London Drugs. I'll be picking the prints up tomorrow morning then I can finish up my mirror update. I am so excited to finish the mirror and hang it!



A kick butt kind of weekend

Well it was Thanksgiving weekend and it was super fabulous - hikes, yummy food, great friends and family, some DIY time, etc, etc, etc. I feel full of gratitude that's fer sure.

On Friday, I finished up my stool update and a couple of frame updates. Next weekend I hope to hang my latest and greatest frame updates plus start on some new projects.

This weekend I started on a pillow cover. I decided to whip up a pillow cover to donate to work's Unity Way auction. The past couple of years I've donated a crafty item to the auction so now it's a tradition.

First step was to come up with a draft design. I decided to go with a wool pillow cover with a felt applique image plus text. I went with an owl and heart then added a script. I used an owl to mean 'I'll' so the text was 'I'll (aka owl) always love you'.

Next I cut out my felt pieces then pinned them to the wool...

Then I stitched the felt pieces...

I think the pillow cover is starting to look uber cute - just need to add the text!

I printed out a few options... Not sure what I'll choose but once I add the text then I can sew up the pillow cover and be done!

After working on my pillow cover, I decided to work on the free mirror update.

Loved the silver leaf but it was a teeny tiny bit intense...

So what's a girl to do?! Well I decided to keep the silver leaf but soften it. A touch of off-white paint on top, a bit of rubbing the paint off to 'reveal' the silver underneath and now it's starting to looking pretty darn fine.

Wait until you see the final mirror update... I finished up the decorative part of the frame update yesterday afternoon. I'll add the final touches next weekend then it'll be done. The only work I need to is tweek the paint along the sides of the frame then add a coat of varathane.


Here's what I have to finish up next weekend. I'm making the sides of the frame a solid off-white. At first I decided to do this to cover up the gold and now I just think it makes all the difference.

It's looking darn elegant. Can't wait until it's done and I can hang it! It's one gorgeous mirror for free... This update probably cost me a couple of bucks in materials. What a deal!


This weekend's project - my freebie mirror

Here's the free mirror that was donated to TBD this week by my coworker Lynn. It's 27" by 33" - definitely big and heavy! Lynn added silver leaf to the frame. I'm wondering if I should just soften the silver leaf with a light coat of off-white or paint. Or completely paint over it, etc.

I definitely want to paint over the gold spots!

Hopefully I can work on this maybe Sunday or Monday. I also need to come up with a project to donate to the United Way Campaign at work. We usually have an auction that I've donated projects to the past 2 years. I might make something specifically for the auction or worse case scenario I can donate something I already have in stock. We'll see!

Crafty Fridays rock!

Today I broke out my can of varathane and went to town! I varathaned a couple of frame updates and then I finished up my stool update. It looks GORGEOUS!

Here's the final update in my entrance way. This is a keeper!

I'm having a crafty Friday which is great! Soon I'll be heading out to go thrifting and meet up with a friend but I got stuff done this morning! Yay!

I put all of my re-usable bags under the seat of my stool and now this update is complete.


Here's the scary before shot... Yikes!


And here it is after some TLC... Off-white paint, new fabric... Super cheap and lovely update - it definitely cost me under $15.


One of those I love Vancouver days...

Another inspiring day of checking out hot spots in Vancouver. Definitely feeling the love for Vancouver today! And definitely loving my extended long weekend... Thursday, Friday and Monday are fun days for me and then there's the weekend! Thankfully I'm having a mini lull with my freelance work right now.

First stop was Nelson the Seagull in Gastown for lunch with my buddy Mike. OMG I had the yummiest sandwich ever. It was on par with Meat & Bread - another great lunch spot in Gastown. Great decor, yummy food!

Afterwards we walked to Yaletown so Mike could go back to work. Then I checked out some of the home decor shops. Love The Cross Decor & Design at 1198 Homer Street! They had a few things I would consider buying but mainly I like to look at stuff for ideas.

They had some fun prints. I really need to find photos and design prints for my wall of frames. The frames look good but they're still empty!

They had some super cute paintings too... This one in particular is lovely! It's hiding in the back - it has a bird with 'chirp' in a talk bubble.

I ended up walking by Raw Canvas in Yaletown. It's a lounge, wine bar and art studio at 1046 Hamilton Street. Love the concept so maybe one night I can go with friends for some red wine and art making!

Next stop was Liberty at 1062 Homer Street.

I found a few things that got me thinking. Today I noticed lots of big mirrors with ornate frames. At Nelson the Seagull and The Cross Decor & Design they had mirrors with white ornate frames. I found one at Liberty with a grey frame. I'm curious about the colour since I acquired a free mirror this week with a lovely ornate frame but I'm not sure what colour to paint it. I'm hoping to refinish it this weekend and I even have a spot for it!

This small frame had a distressed grey finish... Not sure if I should go for a solid or distressed finish for my free mirror. I'll post a photo of the free mirror tomorrow. Right now it's in my car until I'm able to update it.

This is where I plan to hang it although I haven't measured it or even had a good look at it. I'm hoping it fits above my cabinet.

Tomorrow I'll finish up these frames...

I went with a turquoise finish for this frame. I wiped the paint away to bring out the detail in the frame. Once I varathane the frame this should look lovely!

And the big news... I added my hinges to the stool!

I got a bit intense about having the hinges screwed in perfectly but I think I did OK... After all the work I did, I didn't want to mess it up with the final task! Hinges are good to go... A coat of varathane then it's a done deal.

I thought of covering up the upholstery tacks on the inside but really whose going to see the inside other than me?! I guess I can still cover it up down the road but for now it's looking A-OK!

Off to yoga now... It's going to be a FABULOUS super long weekend!