Father’s Day Card

I handcrafted this card last night while our toddler hang out with me in our home office. My hands got busy. Her tiny hands did too. She didn’t want to go to bed even though it was past her bedtime. She had fun playing with my mini whole punches. Eventually she gave in to her tiredness, snuggled right into my arms, and fell asleep. I crafted with one hand. Something I have gone used to by now having 2 babies. 

Happy Father’s Day Sweets! The girls and I think you’re amazing! We love you!!!

Redoing My Acrylic Canvas Painting

I wasn’t sure if you can paint over an acrylic canvas so I did some research.

I was thrilled when I found out that YOU CAN!

Some people use a gesso medium and cover the entire canvas to have a blank slate again. Others, turn their canvases upside down to not get confused with the old painting. In my case, I just used it as it is. I kind of wanted to use my old painting as a base anyway of where I wanted my new and improved horizon to be. After 2 days of letting the original painting sit in our room, I decided I was ready to change it. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I can pull it off, but I know if I retouch it I have to commit to finishing it. And so I used our dining area as my studio. I don’t own an easel since I have not painted on a canvas before. When I sketch on my sketch pad I just use whatever table is available. Hahaha.

So this is what I came up with…

Continue reading

My Paint Nite Experience

I recently went to a Paint Nite in town with a bunch of ladies from our church. If you haven’t been to one or haven’t heard of it, Paint Nite is a social painting event where the rest of the class paint the same thing.  Experience in painting is not required as there’s a painting instructor that guides you step-by-step through the featured painting in about 2 hours.

The cost per ticket was $45 and they provided all the painting supplies. I don’t think all Paint Nites are fundraising events, but the one we went to was giving $15 of every ticket purchased to CIBC Run for the Cure. They even provided some light snacks, and a cash bar for those who were interested in drinking while they paint.  Continue reading

My First Craft Fair Experience

I can’t believe we are on the second week of April already and I have not written anything since my last post in March. Forgive me. Life has been extra busy for me, preparing for the first craft fair that I attended, among other things. I have to admit, joining a craft fair was a lot of work! I love crafting as much as I love chocolate! And if you know me personally that says a lot!

Surprisingly, there had been many days that I just didn’t feel like sitting down and picking up my craft supplies. This hit me as a surprise because I never thought I would feel this way. One thing I learned for sure is that if a hobby you love turns into a chore, it doesn’t matter how much you love doing it, it won’t be fun anymore.

The craft fair was a good experience for me. I learned a few things that I wouldn’t have known if I had not embarked on this journey.

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Here’s what my set-up looked like at home the night before the fair. Continue reading

Flat Doors (Hallway) Makeover

I don’t know why but for some reason, most of my DIY projects around the house were done during the time that I was pregnant with my girls, which makes bending, and climbing ladders or chairs, and painting, a little bit challenging. Nonetheless, my growing tummy never slowed me down. It’s actually the opposite! I guess you can say I was nesting!

One of the projects I did while I was pregnant with our second was brightening up our dark hallway by painting all 5 doors. The doors were all plain flat hollow doors too, which I wasn’t crazy about. But to replace all the doors would cost us an arm and a leg, so I thought I can probably just spruce it up for a couple of bucks!

The first door is a cabinet bifold door where we store some kitchen stuff that we don’t use often. The one after that is the door to the main floor 4pc bathroom. The 3rd door is the guest room. The one at the end of the hallway is now our toddler’s bedroom and the one on the right is the nursery.

OUR HALLWAY BEFORE…

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So for this project, I decided I will put 2 panels per door to give it more dimension (I skipped this part for the bifold cabinet doors). I made my measurements and used a masking tape to guide me where I am going to put the trims.

For the first panel, I measured 5 inches from the top of the door, 5 inches from each side, and 3 inches from the top of the door knob.

For the second panel, I had to measure 3 inches below the door knob, 5 inches on each side, and 6 inches from the bottom of the door.

Measuring these panels would have been easier if the doors are perfectly square to the door frames. But since the house is already 40 years old, that wasn’t the case. I couldn’t entirely rely on the level I was using so I made a couple of adjustments here and there so they would “look” leveled. (I think that’s why  for an old house, it’s a good idea to make the measurements while the doors are still attached to the frames to see what it would look like).

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Then we went to Home Depot to get my trim. I decided to get one that is 3/4 inch wide. As I was marking where to cut my trim, our firstborn was intrigued by the masking tape on the doors and started peeling them off! I had to eventually barricade the hallway so she can’t get to them.

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Before I painted the doors, I had to prep them first. I looked for obvious dings and scratches and used a wood putty to fill them up. The bottom part of the bifold cabinet door wasn’t square so I had to build up layer after layer of wood putty to make it as level as it could be. And then I sanded the doors and wiped them down with a damp cloth before painting them.

BEFORE

AFTER

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For the bedroom and bathroom doors, I started painting the inside panel the same paint colour as the walls. (The previous owners left some paint behind that I was able to use. Jackpot!). I kept the doors attached to the door frames while doing this, just because it was in the middle of winter and I cannot bring them outside. Once the inside panel was dry, I removed the tape and carefully painted the outside panel the same paint colour as the door mouldings.

After my husband cut the trim for me, I painted them using the same paint I used for the outside panel. I tried attaching the trim to the door using wood glue while keeping it upright but it wasn’t working well for me so I had to eventually bring them down. I used some masking tape to hold the trim in place as the glue dries and then I secured them in place using a staple gun my husband bought for me.

I replaced the old metal cabinet pull with a wooden knob that I painted the same colour as the door.

Now the hallway looks so much brighter and the doors blend in well with the rest of the house!

OUR HALLWAY NOW.

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Now all I need is to find a better looking light fixture to complete this hallway makeover. But we are too cheap to replace the old one. Hahaha. I might just come up with another DIY for that. Unless I can find a bargain somewhere! Who knows?

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Personalized Charm Necklace

I can’t believe it has been over a week since I have visited my own website. Perhaps it doesn’t seem that long ago for me because I constantly “journal” in my head… but they never seem to make it anywhere… whether it’s on paper or here. Sometimes I find that I do not have the luxury of time to sit down and write. And when I do find the time to escape from all that’s going on in my life, I ended up staring at a blank screen until something calls me back to reality, whether it’s time to feed or change a crying baby, or let the dog out, or stir a bubbling pot, or even fold the laundry that’s done drying.

Lately, apart from being a full-time mom, I have been preoccupied with my crafts.

On April 8th, I am going to be a vendor at the Spring Craft Fair at Chesley Community Church. This is my first time joining a craft fair so I hope I can see some of you there for support! It’s open from 10am -4pm if any of you wishes to stop by.

And since we are in March already I am now starting to worry if I can actually pull it off. What if I end up not having enough products to sell? What if people end up not liking them? What if I am just wasting all my time for nothing? So many what-ifs!

I craft because I find it de-stressing. If I have the time, I like making handmade gifts or cards because I get to give a part of me to people who receive them. So even though it takes me longer to make something for someone, it doesn’t matter because all the time and effort I put into it is part of what makes the gift special.

I wish to incorporate the same philosophy to whomever will buy my items at the craft fair. When they pick up something from my craft table I would like them to feel special. I’d like them to see that the person behind the crafts put her heart into every item. That the products weren’t just made in a rush to make a profit. I want to achieve perfection! Which probably makes me a lousy entrepreneur. Being a perfectionist, I have a very high standard. So if it doesn’t pass me, it goes in the reject pile that I would have to tinker away when I have the time.

So when crafting becomes a chore,  I think that’s when I need to step back and just breathe and make something else that will give me a sense of purpose.

I once told a friend, I felt useless because I do not know how to help her. That thought weighed heavy on me even after I blurted it out to her. Eventually, I found a way (as little as it was) to give something of myself to her to let her know I’m with her during this difficult time. I made her an adjustable satin cord necklace with charms that I specifically gathered from my collection to tell a story of a special chapter in her life.

personalized-adjustable-charm-necklace-_wm.jpg I handmade a necklace cardholder to put the necklace in, with cut out butterflies, and wrote a quote from Anne Lamott about grace.

I tied a hemp cord to close the card and embellished it with a flower cut out from old wedding invitation with the word beloved in it.

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I wrote her a letter as well, but that’s too personal to share here so  that would be just between me, her and God.

This craft is just what I needed to do to step away from the mundane sewing and hot gluing of headbands and hair clips.

It’s craft like this that makes me enjoy being in the midst of the chaos, and not worry about the mess one bit.

 

Cupcake Cards

I find it challenging to work on a craft project during the day because my girls don’t have the same nap times. When one goes down for a snooze, the other wakes up. But yesterday afternoon, they went on a synchronize nap for almost 2 hours so I was able to work on some thank you cards I wanted to give to friends who brought their little ones to have a playdate with our toddler on her 2nd birthday.

It’s a bifold cupcake shaped card. I didn’t get to take pictures of the process as I was trying to get it done as fast as I could while the girls are napping away. I used white cardstock and 3 different coloured papers to layer my cupcake. And when I was just about to put the jewel embellishments (one of the gifts Mira got for her birthday, but momma is using… hahaha) baby Diane woke up crying. And that eventually woke up Mira. So I had to pause crafting, take off my crafter hat, and put on my momma hat.

But eventually after supper was done, kiddos were fed, and my husband finally got home from work, I was able to finish my…

CUPCAKE CARDS.

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Don’t you just want to eat them? Hahaha. I think my baby would if they are within her reach. She likes to put everything in her mouth!

For the envelopes. I just used regular printer paper. After cutting the shape I want and scored the necessary edges, I glued the bottom part to the sides. And voila! It fits like a glove!

 

cupcake-card-with-envelope_wm.jpgI just have to write a note inside and my cupcake cards are ready to go!

But of course, as I was about to write my note, I had an epiphany… why not write the word thanks across the bottom of my cupcake? Duh! It’s a thank you card after all! SO I DID! I borrowed the purple and pink crayola markers my daughter got for her birthday and used them as first layer. And then topped it off using my coloured fine point sharpie markers to make the letters more defined. Later, I added little butterflies in pink and purple close to the word thanks. (I thought I took a picture of the finished product, but I guess I didn’t. Ooppsss!). I used the punched paper as border in the inside, so it looks like this…

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(At least that one I was able to take a snap shot before heading out the door). And then I sealed the envelope using the self-adhesive border gem you see sitting on top of the envelope.

I hope this inspires you to make your own cupcake cards! I sure had fun making them. This can easily be transformed into a birthday card, baby shower card, or even just a simple hello card to someone special. Your options are endless!

Happy crafting!

❤ Zhi