It's just the beginning

The final class was today for my woodworking course. The end of the course yet the beginning of the real work. My cabinet is not complete which is a bummer since I can't submit it for the Earth Day Canada’s 2011 Upcycling Challenge. But I'm excited to finish it up and add my personal touch.

After a frustrating day, full of debate with the instructor and a frenzy of last minute work with the power tools, I am pooped. I was able to get all of my pieces complete and now need to add a finish to the cabinet and put it all together. Great course overall... Turns out I have a slight fear of power tools and breaking them. I battled with the planer today. Eventually we made peace and I was able to get things done without shutting it down. Yay for small victories! ;-)

Anyways the course was a FAB experience. The instructor, despite our many differences, was uber lovely and imparted some wisdom. And I'll even admit I wasn't the best student since I really wasn't the greatest of listeners at times.

Here's the cabinet thus far... The left is the front, the right is the back. The top and bottom use the wood supplied by the course, the sides and back are the pallet wood and the legs are from the dump.

The workshop was all abuzz today with everyone finishing up their projects...

I started by gluing my top and bottom pieces together. I cut the pieces last week and glued them together today. Next step was to trim them to the final size.

Here's the top glued together...

And here's the back and sides glued together. After gluing side one, the instructor and I drilled holes into the side then added the screws. Once this was done then we did the second side.

While waiting for the table saw, I tested out the drill press to see if I could make a hole in the wood that would fit the legs. Good news! It was the perfect size.

I got all 4 holes drilled easily! A bit of glue and the legs will be added to the cabinet in a jiffy.

Next step is to finish the cabinet... I need to oil or stain the wood then figure out the stenciling and then assemble it. The bottom, top and middle are separate parts but not for long!

This is my friend Mike's finished bench. We're both taking the level 2 course... A taste of power tools and you're hooked! No doubt about it!

This week I'll figure out my plan for finishing up my project. I love this before and after via sticks and bricks. The finish is rustic which was what I was hoping for but after planing my wood from the pallet it's looking too slick at this point.

I'm still thinking of stenciling a design. Love these examples - the left is from Design*Sponge. It's from Barb Blair's (aka Knack) stenciling tutorial. The right is from sticks and bricks. Check out the floor! Both the tables and floor stenciling rock!

Next weekend is when I get hardcore about finishing the cabinet. Gluing, stenciling, assembling... It's all happenin'!


Kicking it at the Culture Crawl & beyond

Yesterday I went to the Eastside Culture Crawl with some friends. On Friday, we checked out Railway Street. Yesterday we walked through Strathcona and then perused a warehouse full of studios on Parker Street. Man it was an amazing location! The warehouse had 4 floors of studios. And it was packed with other crawlers. Such a great vibe!

First was breakfast with Sam and Carrie. I've realized I'm a bit nosey. I was checking out Sam's art, etc. I'm going to steal some of his home decor ideas. He framed this funky stamp from one of his travels. Can't remember from where but it was a series of stamps designed by a famous artist. Made me realize I have stamps stashed in my parents' attic from a trip to Russia way back in the day that would be perfect. Hope I can find them!

After breakfast, we hit the road. It was a perfect November day - chilly, a bit sunny and dry. I got super bundled up for the crawl and was ready to check out art, etc.

Here's one of the woodworking studios in the Parker Street warehouse. There was some pretty amazing furniture. Completely out of my budget of course! And as you can see the warehouse was uber packed.

Thought these cigar boxes were interesting...

And here's an inspiring quote found in the hallways of the warehouse...

On our way back to Sam's from the Culture Crawl, we stepped into this store on Union Street called Land. Neato store with some great home decor ideas like the crate they hung on the wall to display items. I also found these cards from Saturn Press based in Swan's Island, Maine. They use recycled paper and are typeset by hand using an antique letterpress.

I bought these two cards for $5/each. I love owls and I loved the quote on the other card.

I did a quick framing job on the cards. I cut some paper I had bought for another project to mount the cards onto then used photo corners to adhere the cards to the paper.

Here are the prints in the frames. Not sure if they look crappy or not. I'll leave them as is for now and may update the framing job later. Maybe I should use mat board instead but that may not fit with the prints and frames. We'll see!

Hope to get to some more crafty, creative projects this week. I'm feeling inspired! I think Sam, Carrie and I plus some other peeps are going to have a painting par-tee sometime soon. And then next weekend is my final woodworking class. I woke up this morning at 4am in a panic about finishing my project. Kind of sad but really I'm pumped about my project. Mike and I are definitely signing up for the level 2 course. Can't wait!


DIY & the single girl

Here I am updating, refinishing, DIY-ing... Quite the modern gal... Most things are easy peasy and then there are those things that are so not me. Hanging uber heavy mirrors I've decided really sucks... Or just isn't fun. Especially when you gotta do it on your own.

Last weekend I wanted to get a couple of mirror updates hung. I decided to move things around a bit then my Dad came over and we had some father/daughter time. Our quality time together is either him helping me hang stuff or me helping him with computer stuff.

Here are the mirrors Dad helped me hang. One for the area between my bedroom and bathroom, one for my living room/office and one for my bedroom.

I was going to hang this one above my bed but then decided to hang it between my dresser and side table.

I desperately needed something to jazz up this space...

First we got some wire from a framing shop and then some heavy duty picture hangers. We were good to go! Here's mirror #1 hung...

And mirror #2 hung...

And yay! Mirror #3 hung...

Feels great to have the mirrors finally up on my walls and not on the floor! There will be no more mirror updates for a bit. How many mirrors can a girl fit into a 1 bedroom suite? I'm getting close to 5 medium to large sized mirrors... Eh gad that's gotta be enough!

Ode to power tools

I'm in love with my woodworking class... Despite shutting down one of the machines in yesterday's class and having a minor fear of injury I'm super thrilled with the class. Oh and then there's the debates about recycling with the instructor. Ah we're 'bonding' or so I think. He helped me glue wood together yesterday so we're at least bonding literally. ;-P

My wood pallet is going through a transformation. It's in the middle of looking classy and rustic... I might beat it up a bit to bring it back to rustic. The planing has made it look too nice! Although the holes from the nails are still pretty darn prominent!



The sides are good to go! I'll trim them to the final size next week. Here are the 2 by 4s on the left from last week and now they're glued together and planed on the right. Yay!

I decided to use part of the wood supplied by the course for the top and bottom of the cabinet. I was going to use the other pallet but decided against it. Unfortunately I won't have time to make the shelves but I should be able to get all of the other pieces assembled. Next step will be staining and painting. Slowly but surely it's all happenin'!

And here's my planing incident... This piece got stuck in the planer. Oops! Man I felt like a nitwit but really it must happen all the time! Or so I'm hoping.

Eastside Culture Crawl

Today I'm off for brunch with friends then doing some culture crawling. A few of us went out Friday night to check out studios and art. Looking for inspiration!

I did find a couple of nifty ideas on my travels. Not necessarily art but more craft. Loved these necklaces that had pendants made from vintage typewriter keys. They were gorgeous!

And then these bracelets. Such a funky idea!

My favourite place was the Union Wood Company on Railway Street. Great area of town with some pretty funky studio spaces. At Union Wood Company, we were able to check out their work area with all the tools, etc. Good times!

The Union Wood Company makes custom furnishings and supplies local stores with their wares. Stores they supply include Old Faithful Shop in Gastown and The Cross Decor & Design in Yaletown. Even better they use reclaimed and repurposed materials from salvage yards, antique stores, demolition sites and other sources.

I really liked this headboard made with wood and steel. Great little shop!

Here's hoping today's jaunt brings more inspiration! At least it's sunny out... A bit chilly but not raining. That's a bonus for a November day in Vancouver!


The free stuff is rolling in

Yes indeed the free stuff is rolling in. I was offered the below today. Definitely loving the green shelves. Not sure how big they are but they have potential! Once I see them in person then I'll know what to do with them... Other than cleaning them up a bit. Looks like they've been sitting somewhere dirty the last while!

I'm going to pass on the white shelf. It's a bit boring and not sure it's worth my time.

And other than updating my wood pallet in my woodworking class, I'm making a few things for friends. I'm all about sharing the TBD love!

I finished sewing up my pillow cover this afternoon. Another project done. Phew! I have a few outstanding projects but I'm getting there.

I used baby blue thread for the stitching. Next step is to give it to my yoga buddy. Hopefully she likes it!

I'm also stenciling some corkboards for my friend Thelma... Finally! I've been meaning to get the stenciling done for awhile. This is the design we decided on. Once I print out the design then it should be easy peasy to get these done.

Other creative adventures include hitting the Eastside Cultural Crawl tonight and Sunday. Here's to checking out some studios and getting inspired!


Getting the love, giving the love

The past while I've definitely been feeling the TBD love... Well the love in general to be honest. Lots of fun stuff going on, new friends, lots of work... And then kicking power tool butt has definitely been the icing for me these days.

This week the 'Artist Among Us' feature went out. This was a mini article about me for the Arts Office. It features North Vancouver municipal staffers who have a creative sideline... Of course mine being Thrifty By Design. Here's the link to the feature. Let me know what you think!

So as far as getting love... I'm getting a bunch which has been super FAB!

I've also been sharing the love. Nice to have 'skills' to share and help your friends in their endeavours... Whether it's setting up Facebook pages for a couple of friends who are starting up new businesses or designing a website for another friend. Or of course making pillow covers! This is the one for my yoga buddy Gina whose baby is soon to arrive.

Tonight I'll sew it up then it'll be good to go. And this Saturday is power tool time. Only 2 classes left and hopefully I can make some serious progress on my open cabinet.

Off to yoga... Life is good! :-)


A day of creativity

Today was filled with fun creative stuff! It started out with my woodworking class. Class 4 of 6 is done. Only 2 of the 6 students showed up. The other student and I got tons of power tool time and one-on-one time with the instructor. Yay!

Here's the wood I glued last week. Today I put it through the planer to smooth out the surface. I also cut the fifth piece in half, used the joiner for the sides then glued it to the 2 sides. Each side uses 2.5 top pieces from my main pallet.

I then started gluing the 2 by 4s together from the bottom of my main pallet. I've decided to use the 2 by 4s for the back piece of my open cabinet.

I was able to glue two 2 by 4s together and then two more 2 by 4s together - talk about efficient! Next week I'll glue these four 2 by 4s together and maybe even glue a fifth. This should be wide enough for the back piece of my cabinet.

Next week I should have the sides and the back ready to go then I can work on the top and bottom pieces. The top and bottom pieces will be made from the wood supplied by the course. I had planned to use it for the back but decided the wood from the wood pallet should be used for the sides and the back. Next class will be interesting... There's lots of gluing in my future!

Project Update

After class, I hit Collective Stone in Lonsdale Quay. They sell jewelry and jewelry making supplies. I took in my hearts and necklace I was going to combine together. I thought my idea for repurposing the earrings was good but then I talked to Holly.

Holly rocked! We discussed ideas and this is what I ended up with. It's quite simple and elegant. We used a chain with larger sized links and turned it into a choker by adding a ring to connect the chain in the middle. We then had the chain hang in 2 lengths and added the hearts to the end of each chain.

I've collected a ton of necklaces lately but don't have any chokers so I'm really happy with this! The chain with links and clasp cost $15. The uber icky earrings were $2.50. A snazzy necklace for under $20! Oh and Holly did all the work... Even better! :-)


And the Creativity Continues...

Tonight I'll continue on with the creative vibe-age by sewing. I'm making another owl pillow for one of my yoga peeps. Gina and Spencer are expecting a baby so this is my baby gift for them. I'm going to work on the hand-stitching tonight. Looking forward to some zen time. Hand-stitching is pretty darn relaxing.

Today was one uber fabulous day!


My latest love - repurposing jewelry

This week I'm working on repurposing some jewelry I picked up at the Lions Gate Thrift Store. I bought these crazy earrings for $2.50. The bows are a bit much but I loved the hearts. I'm not sure what the earrings are made of but they have potential.

First step was to remove the bows and stems. These earrings seem so 80s...

Here are the hearts. Really liking the design on them and the shape.

I decided to turn the earrings into pendants. I'm either going to use both hearts on one necklace or make two pendants. I'm not sure yet. I have a couple of extra necklaces I can use for the hearts. This is a necklace I bought at Value Village for $1.99 awhile ago. I like the blue stones but the necklace as is seemed kind of blah.

One of my options would be to use this necklace with or without the blue stones and then use both hearts. If I keep the blue stones then I would need to find some silver beads to use as separaters between the hearts and stones. I have no idea about jewelry design so bear with me. Definitely feel free to share your ideas and expertise on this update!

I removed one of the links in the necklace so I could add my hearts to it. Here's the necklace as is with the hearts and stones.

I also could do something with these beads. I bought this necklace ages ago at a garage sale for a couple of dollars. Tomorrow, after my woodworking class, I'm heading to the bead shop in Lonsdale Quay to see what my options are.

My First Jewelry Repurposing Project

A few months ago I repurposed a silver broach I found at the Lions Gate Thrift Shop - it's my lucky place for jewelry finds. The broach was $4 and it's my favourite piece of jewelry. It was quite the deal since the broach is silver.

Here's a close up of the broach. My Dad glued the broach shut then I put it on an old necklace. But it kept flipping over. Luckily a street vendor selling his own jewelry fixed it for me for free. He cut the clasp (since my Dad REALLY glued it shut) then took the stem and curved it around to make a hanger. Easy peasy!

Here's hoping I can come up with a swanky idea for my hearts. I'm getting all girly with these jewelry finds. Loving it!