Category Archives: DIY & Projects

#HelloProKitchenReno: My DIY Kitchen Renovation

My DIY Kitchen Reno

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you probably know that, for the past few months, I’ve been planing and gearing up for a kitchen renovation, which I’m proud (and nervous) to be executing and taking on all by myself (with help from my dad and Shawn), all while raising a puppy, teaching, and still keeping up with my day-to-day career as an illustrator, designer and blogger. Phew!

When I first bought my 1950s brick bungalow at 22, I was just proud to own anything, but over the years, I’ve become familiar with some quirky issues, specifically, a few things in the kitchen that leave more to be desired. Right after I gained possession of my home, there were a lot of upfront expenses: I had to get a new roof, replace windows, get a new water heater, install an air conditioner, the list goes on. So when it came to my appliances, I was tapped out and opted to hunt Kijiji where I found a fridge and stove pair for $30 from a man down the street which we literally carted down the street on a dolly. They worked for what I needed at the time, but as the years have gone by and I’ve updated other areas of the home, I’ve realized it’s time to face my kitchen, including getting some grown-up appliances!

So I’ve teamed up with Leon’s Furniture through their blog, Hello Yellow, as well as Frigidaire Professional® to create a kitchen renovation series, #HelloProKitchenReno. I’ll be sharing my journey publicly (whelp!) over the next month, and you can follow along with my process on YouTube where I’ll be sharing weekly vlog diary updates (the first of which you’ll see at the top of this post).

In my excitement over the last few weeks gearing up for this, I’ve been pinning hundreds of kitchen-inspiration photos, and made myself a little mood-board for my soon-to-be kitchen which I’ve printed out and hung in my office to remind me — and motivate me — to keep going and trucking through the grunt work! Got to keep my eye on the prize…

But before I begin picking out lighting, sourcing tile, buying accessories and all of the fun stuff, it’s time to focus on the task at-hand: demolishing my current kitchen. Below are photos of my current space.

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Visit Hello Yellow where I take you one step further into the issues I’ll be tackling, step-by-step.

New Life For a Foliage Embroidered Canvas

New Life For a Foliage Embroidered Canvas

A few weeks ago, I scored this awesome framed hand-embroidered canvas artwork at my local Re-Store for $8. And I completely ruined it.

The shot below was taken in the store (next to many other adorable embroidered pieces, unfortunately none which had any sign on them of who made them). I fell in love with the inherent texture and size (it’s 18″ x 24″). And best of all, it was framed and ready to go on a wall.

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On the same trip I also found this awesome pale pink paint for $2 which I was itching to get home and use on something. So I brought both items to the check-out without hesitation.

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I’m not sure what I was thinking, but within an hour of getting home, the frame of the embroidered piece’s frame was painted with the pale-Pepto pink, and it looked awful.

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Awful, awful, aawful. So once the paint was dry, I immediately news-papered the canvas to protect it, trimmed the edges with painters tape, dusted off my trusty Krylon gold spray paint and got to work.

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Propagating Succulents: An Update on My Plants

Propagating Succulents: An Update on My Plants

I’m obsessed with my plants.

It’s borderline concerning to my friends, but it makes me so genuinely happy to watch a leaf uncurl on my pothos or a new shoot to grow from my palms or the leaves of my jades reach for the light. But what’s even more satisfying is growing new plants from existing ones, which is essentially what propagation is.

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Last July I shared a step-by-step guide on how to propagate and I thought I should give you guys an update on my plant progress. I’ll be honest, my success rate with propagation is about 50%, but through the process I’ve discovered some things that have helped increase the odds, which I’ll share with y’all today.

This sucker was taken in July from the Kalanchoe below and has been the most successful cutting so far. I didn’t pluck the “mother leaf” off, but rather let it decompose naturally. To begin with, while it was sprouting, I didn’t water it. But once the stem was large and strong enough after a month or so, I lightly watered it weekly and continue to water every 1-2 weeks when the soil is dry.

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The leaves below were taken only a few weeks ago from my money plant and have actually all been successful. The key is letting the leaves dry and sprout on a sunny sill for 2-4 weeks before placing them on moist soil. I only started watering them recently (when they look like this:)

The sprouts above were taken from my money plant. From that one money plant I bought back in June (the one in this post), I now have 4, 2 of which are these bad boys:

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Lastly, the least successful, my echeveria. They had the smallest success rate due to the fact that they’re tougher to know when to water and when to leave alone. I find other plants (jade, kalanchoe, pothos, etc.) more forgiving. Typically my echeveria reach about a centimeter high before they shrivel so I’ve deduced that I’ve been underwater once they are mature enough to handle it. The ones that have done the best were placed on soil specifically for cacti and propagating (which is far less refined than potting soil and has more chunks of big bark pieces and twigs–the stuff roots can cling onto) and watered lightly every 1-2 weeks.

Another issue I rain to often was leggy echeveria, as you can see below. This means it was getting too much light.

To fix this, I cut off the top half and left the base with about an inch of the stem in the soil. The nub, err stem, will eventually produce new sprouts so it won’t look ugly for long. As for the part I cut off, I simply pluck enough leaves off the base so there’s about an inch or two of bare stem.

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Then I leave the top and leaves on a sunny sill to dry and callous for a week or two before planting the top and pushing it down into good soil so it’s a “normal” height. Voila, a new plant! The leaves can be place on top of soil and very lightly watered. I actually mist mine so they don’t get drenched and rot.

Hurray plants! If you’re not propagating yet, get on it. Anyone have advice for how to up my echevaria cutting survival odds? Or watering tips/schedule?

DIY Cotton and Wool Throw Blanket/Duvet

DIY Cotton and Wool Throw Blanket/Duvet

With fall in full swing and winter around the corner, this DIY throw blanket is useful, beautiful and easy to make. A perfect weekend afternoon project!

I poke around my local thrift store every few weeks and was tickled when I found this dotted and arrow patterned beauty. I was saving it for just the right project when I stumbled on a coloured sheet in the same shade of green (!).

I’m not a very patient person, so I was pleased that this entire project took only two hours from start to finish.

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Materials

– Two pieces of lightweight fabric;
One piece for the back, one for the front. These can be the same fabric or different — get creative and switch it up! It would be cool to do a two-tone blanket, or use the same colour in different shades. I find alot of my fabrics at Thrift Stores.

– Wool Batting
I got this quilt batting from Walmart for around $12 for a Double-bed sized piece.

– Needle and Thread
You could hand-sew this beauty, but a sewing machine simply makes the process faster. (Thank you mom for letting me use yours!)

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Instructions

1) Iron both sheets.

2) Lay both sheets on top of one another, flat on the floor. The front sides (the ones that will be exposed) should be facing each other, “kissing”; the back side of the first sheet should face the floor, the back side of the second sheet should face the ceiling.

3) Lay the batting on top and cut the sheets and batting so they are all the same size and dimensions. It should now look like this:

Bottom: first sheet with right side facing up  —  Middle: second sheet with right side facing down  —  Top: batting, all cut to the same size

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 4) Secure the blanket on all sides using straight pins or — in me case — bobby pins, clothespins and bulldog clips. Honestly, they serve the same purpose; as long as it keeps everything in place and flat while you’re sewing one side and the next, use anything!

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5) Sew all sides! If you’re like me and used unconventional clips, simply remove them once they near the needle. When you’re sewing the last side of the blanket, leave an opening big enough to pull the rest of the blanket through, about 5″-10″ wide–you’ll sew it back up later.

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6) Pull the blanket through the hole and marvel at your greatness! Pull the corners out so they’re nice and sharp.

7) Pin the gap closed with the raw edges on the inside of the blanket and hand-stitch it closed with a blindstitch. Voila!

Stay warm and DIY on! I’d love to see your creations! Tweet, mention or tag me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

 

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