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…

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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.



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).


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.


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.




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!





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?



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.


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.


Dining Chairs Makeover

I have been adoring our dining set for almost a year now. I do not regret painting the chairs at all even though it almost cost me my sanity when I was pregnant with our second. I blame it all to my surging pregnancy hormones! You can read my emotional breakdown over chairs here.

But just look at the difference a little paint (and a lot of elbow grease) can do to an outdated furniture! It made our dining room looks bigger, airy, and bright!





Initially, I plan to paint the legs of the dining table as well, but I ran out of time when I first tackled this project. If you read my previous post about it you will know why. That’s still in my endless list of DIY projects in the house. But having a toddler and a crawling baby makes it a little bit tricky to work on home improvement renos. Oh well! It is what it is. I cannot complain! I have 2 wonderful babies!!! I’m sure someday down the road they will be helping me on my projects around the house.

I painted these chairs in April last year. They have been banged on, spilled at, grabbed with sticky and sometimes greasy hands, and wiped clean with wet cloth countless times since then. And I am happy to say, that the paint is holding really well. No chipping! Yay! I guess all my endless sanding and triple coat of sealant paid off after all! Thank goodness!!!

I thought I can get away with leaving the table as it is since it is in very good condition… well it was at some point anyway… until our toddler started eating with us on the dining table sitting on a booster seat we attached at one of the end chairs. The wood veneer couldn’t handle the constant spilling and wiping. Both ends of the table ended up having some of the veneers chipped off. It also started to have a very obvious bubble on one side.

So I have been on a look out online for inspiration on transforming our dining table without breaking a bank. Here are some of my thoughts:


Pros: Have you seen them? They are aesthetically beautiful! Not to mention durable. It looks sleek and fresh. And I can actually say goodbye to using placemats and table heat pads!

Cons: I don’t know how safe it is to have a concrete table top when you have 2 little ones who can easily bump their heads on the table as they climb the chairs. This may start a paranoia!


Pros: Natural, classic look with casual appeal. With the right care, it could be a lifelong piece of furniture. It adds the warmth of wood at a lower price (?).

Cons: Shows scratches and wear; heat and moisture can damage the finish. Not stain proof. Needs to be reconditioned yearly, which I don’t know if I will ever get to. LOL.

3. FARMHOUSE TABLE. This has been my recent obsession that my husband heard me talk about on and off. We almost bought the materials too but then after adding up all the cost of the wood I would need, I was surprised how pricey it was.

Pros: Let’s face it, they are beautiful! I like the look of a stained table top with white legs! I am not one for a rustic look so I will not distress my paint. However, distressing the wood may not be such a bad idea after all so any future nicks or scratches will just blend in with the rest.

Cons: But I’m worried that food will constantly get stuck in between the cracks. What about spills? Won’t it get trap between the cracks too which will later lead to wood damage? I guess I can use a clear silicone caulk for the gaps? How durable is it? Will it start peeling away down the road like the caulk we have in our tub?

Once I finally decided which route to take, the next question is what am I going to do with my old tabletop? I wouldn’t want it to go to waste. I guess it won’t be wasted if I go for a concrete tabletop. But how toddler friendly is it really? Perhaps there’s a way that I can build a tabletop on top of my existing one. Maybe I can use it as a support?

Hmmmm… Decisions… decisions… decisions…

Any suggestions?

Painting Dining Chairs

Sometimes all we needed is just a good cry. Which is exactly what I did, and I feel so much better already. With it comes a big sigh of relief! A heavy burden lifted off my chest.

I know it seems to be silly to have an emotional breakdown over chairs. Who does that, right? Apparently I do.

When my husband left for his 9-day trip to the East Coast to windsurf with a friend, I decided to spruce up our dining set by repainting it. It’s something I have been thinking for a while, but I just never got around it. It was only after we recently bought our 2 white Ikea shelves that I was more convinced that its dark paint colour has to go. The dining set has 6 padded chairs (as you can see on the photo below) and a rectangular table with a nice detail on top. I spotted it at The Brick for less than C$500. A fantastic deal! This dining set was one of our first purchases after we got married 4 years ago, and surprisingly even though it’s not made of solid wood, it only has few minor dings and scratches.

Before we purchased the 2 white Ikea bookshelves (R photo above) which I used as our dining room pantry we had a cherry coloured cabinet on the R corner (see photo below) where we put our tea collection, and our sweet and salty snacks for easy access. The dining set didn’t look out of place then.


However, when we moved the cherry pantry to the garage to make room for our recently purchased white shelves, the inevitable has come. Its dark color was not blending well. The living room across from this dining area also has white furniture (you’ll see it on the next photo down below). But buying a new dining set that will go well with the existing color scheme doesn’t sound very practical specially since the one we have is still in great condition. Hence, the idea of painting it became more and more appealing. I have done quite a few painting in the past, just never furniture though.

But really how hard could it be? Later on I found out how naive I was!

You see there’s a big difference between painting the walls of your house to painting furniture. I know that now. The only time I used Primer is when painting a new drywall. If my surface area has existing paint already, I just use a good paint with primer. And if you get the really good brand of paint, one coat can sometimes be enough specially if you’re painting light coloured walls a darker tone. The only preparations are dusting off the wall (or wiping it down with a damp cloth if you prefer) and taping. And then you cut your corners with a brush and you use your honky donky roller for the rest of it, and you are done.

No endless sanding required. No hard to reach little corners. And no 2-3 coats of sealing necessary.

Our dining set is made of wood veneer. Not laminate. Trust me, there’s a difference. I learned that a wood veneer is a thin layer of hardwood (usually thinner than 1/8/inch) that is bonded to a less expensive surface, often a cheaper wood, particle board, or MDF. While laminate is a man-made product (usually plastic) that is actually ‘printed’ to look like it has wood grain.That being said, light sanding is a necessary step for both materials so the paint have something to adhere to. They said that if you use an oil-based primer, you can pretty much skip the sanding process. I don’t know how long your paint will last if that’s the case. I sure do want to skip the sanding myself, but if I’m going to put time and effort on this project, I might as well make sure it’s all worth it. I don’t want to see paints chipping off anytime soon!

I won’t put all the details of my insane project here. It would be on another blog when I’m finally done the crucial process of painting, sanding and sealing it. But this I will share… On the many articles and blogs that I read to prep for this project, the majority of them say that oil-based primer is more durable than water- based.

pregnant-lady_wm.jpgBut because I happen to swallow a perfectly round watermelon, exposing myself to too much chemicals is probably not a good idea.

It is unfortunate that even though we are on our last days of April, it’s still too cold for me to paint outside. When applying primer and paint, the label says the working environment has to be above 10 degrees Celsius. Well, it hasn’t been above 10 where we live! It would have been ideal if I can paint our chairs outside during the day when my baby naps, but the weather hasn’t been warm enough for that. I can’t even do it during the day inside the house when she sleeps because the chairs won’t be dry by the time she wakes up. The last thing I want is scrubbing off ‘lil hand prints of paint stuck on the carpet fibers! That’s just not happening!

So what do I do? I paint at night after she goes to bed. The dining area has been my work station. I used as many lights as I can so I can see what I’m doing.

Still, nothing can beat the day light! Every time I will bring out the chairs at the deck for sanding, I can see little imperfections here and there that could have been avoided if I had ample lighting. Here’s where my other frustration lies. I have to do my sanding outside or I will risk my baby crawling into the dusts and putting her hands in her mouth. So when she naps in the afternoon, I bring the chairs to the deck.

One by one I will carry them down the steps of our main floor, line them up to the hallway, and when all 6 are down in the landing, I will bring them to the deck one at a time. I tried carrying 2 at once, one hit the door and chipped off a paint that has not totally set yet. Arrgghhhh!!!!

Bringing the chairs back in the house for painting, and taking them back out for sanding seems like a never ending process, and I’m really getting tired of it! I have sanded these guys 5 times already, which means carrying them up to the main floor, where I paint them at night, and then out into the deck for sanding in the afternoon. It needed 2 coats of primer. Perhaps if I have used the oil-based, one would have been enough. But clearly that wasn’t the case with this one. I used 2 coats of paint as well. However, there are still some areas that need some touch up. After that, I am planning to put 2 coats of sealant to protect the paint from constant use.

Perhaps if I don’t care much for the smooth factory finish, I wouldn’t have bothered sanding them in between paints. And maybe if I’m okay with the distress look, I could have just left the sanded areas the way they were. But I do like a smooth factory finish look. It looks fresh. It looks neat. It looks perfect! Ah, perfection! That is my curse!

So when you are 29 weeks pregnant, and you have a 14 month old baby who’s been teething and cranky, and a husband windsurfing in the East Coast in a gorgeous warm weather you wish you had so you are not hauling chairs in and out, crying over what seems to be an endless sanding and painting of dining chairs is warranted.

A warning to all pregnant mommas out there who wish to do some crazy house projects like this: a momentary emotional breakdown over chairs can be expected… especially when you only have a couple of days left before your husband comes home and painting the dining chairs happen to be your big surprise for him.

I definitely felt the pressure of the clock ticking in our living room, mocking my every brush strokes.

HOWEVER, I think I have every bit of an excuse to be on a rampage right now.

I am pregnant. Physically exhausted. Sleep deprived. And emotionally down.

But now that I have bawled my eyes out, cried my heart out to God, numb my mouth with BBQ flavored potato chips (Yuck!), and expressed my frustrations in writing, I think I am ready to face the dining chairs again.

Chairs… I shall not be defeated!!!

Baby’s 1st Birthday Party! (DIY Paper Medallion)

So after making the tissue pom poms, I started scouring the internet for some ideas. What I ended up making are paper medallions in different colors and sizes. I have all the materials I needed to make this colorful and easy DIY craft so that is a plus!

Materials you will need: 

  1. Construction paper in different colors. Or colorful scrapbook papers. Even old magazine or newspaper will do. (When we were printing our wedding programs, we made some mistakes here and there, but instead of throwing away those rejects, I saved them. I know someday it will come in handy. And how cool is it that I used them for decorating our baby’s 1st birthday party?!). 
  2. Invisible tape.
  3. Stapler.
  4. Glue gun.
  5. Scissors.
  6. Craft punch (I’m using a rose window punch by Martha Stewart that we bought on sale at Michael’s).
  7. Some sort of a mounting tape. (I used a mounting tape that I have, and then some painter’s tape from my leftover painting projects).


In this tutorial, we won’t go through extensive measuring and all that math! Let’s leave the math to the engineers, shall we? That’s just an added step that I don’t have the time for. If you wish to measure yours, by all means, do so! But for the rest of us who are trying to make these decorations in the middle of the night or while our babies are taking their afternoon naps, let’s get down to business.

Step 1: Lay down your paper and decide how wide you want your fold to be. (Mine was about half an inch and you can pretty much just eyeball it, like I did). You can either fold lengthwise or crosswise. Just remember if you decide to fold your paper lengthwise, the bigger your medallion is going to be and the more paper you would need to make the ends meet. So I fold mine crosswise (to save time and paper!). Fold 1/2 inch from the edge and crease. Crease it well! Turn the paper over and follow the width of your first fold. Continue folding accordion style until you reached the end of your paper.

Step 2: Repeat the same process using the same sheet of paper, making sure you use the same size folds. (For a fuller accordion, use 3 sets of the same sheet and size folds. I just used 2 accordion sets and it still turned out great. However, I think it would have been easier to put it together if I made 3. Less resistance if you know what I mean. But I used staples and invisible tape to attach them together, so it wasn’t that hard). Once you have 2 accordion sets, fold them in half.

Step 3: Turn your 1st set of accordion over. Have the ends meet and secure it with either a stapler or a tape. (I find that it’s not so easy to staple them using the regular size stapler, but I still used it anyways for some of it, specially the thicker paper. But you can just go ahead and use the invisible tape to attach them if you want. However. if you have a small stapler, use that instead. It would make your life easier).


Step 4: Repeat the same procedure to your other set of accordion and you will end up with something that look like this.


Step 5: For a much cleaner look, put a long piece of invisible tape on the top side to gather the ridges of the two ends that you attached earlier. You can totally skip this part if you aren’t so anal about it. But this is how it would look though if you do…

So from this…


To this… (Do you see a little bit of tape sticking out?  Cut that out or fold it to the other side). 


Step 6: Attach the two halves of your paper medallion using either a stapler or a tape. (When using a stapler, always make sure you use the back side of your paper. You wouldn’t want any staples showing. You can even use a thin layer of hot glue if you’re using a thick paper).


Step 7: Gather the ridges together and placed a small piece of invisible tape in the middle. (Make sure the tape is not bigger than the piece of paper you are going to use to to attach in the middle of your medallion).


Step 8: Using a whole punch or scissors, cut out a small circle or flower to go in the middle of your medallion. (I happen to have a craft punch by Martha Stewart so I used that instead). Attach this to your paper medallion with a hot glue to give it a more finished look.


You can also try tracing the ends of your medallion or your floral center with different coloured markers to give it more character. Or even add glitters! There are so many other ways you can do to further enhance this very easy DIY craft. Literally, the sky is the limit! Just let the child in you have fun! Enjoy!!! 😊








Baby’s 1st Birthday Party! (DIY Tissue Pom Pom)

Our sweet little Mira just turned one last month. I didn’t want to spend too much on decorations, so I made them myself, with the exception of some few things that I bought at the dollar store. We did buy a helium tank for $35 at Walmart. Our tank says it can blow up to 30-35 balloons. But we used ours to blow up about 40 and there’s still some left in the tank. I mean we can probably just get away with just blowing the balloons manually, which we did for some of them. But I just can’t resist the look of the balloons floating in the air with their ribbon tails dangling down. I don’t know about you, but for me there’s just something magical about it. So I’m quite happy with our $35 helium tank purchase.

I didn’t really have a specific theme in mind. I started making the tissue pom poms and then it just kind of went from there. I had bought a bunch of tissue papers for a previous project so I didn’t even have to buy them. I’ve looked at several instructions online on how to make these lovely pom poms, but here’s how I ended up making mine.


On my first attempt, I used the entire sheet (20 x 26 in size).

Step 1: Stack 10-20 sheets of paper. (I only used 10 sheets because I was trying to be frugal. But the more sheets you use, the fluffier your pom pom would look. So it’s up to you!).  From the bottom of your stack make 1 inch wide accordion folds, creasing with each fold. (I didn’t want to be bothered measuring things so I just eyeballed what an inch would look like. But feel free to use a ruler if you want). 

Step 2: Cut about 6 inches of twisty tie, slip over center of folded tissue and then twist to secure the tissue papers in place. Make a loop at the end. This will come in handy if you are planning to hang your pom poms. If they are not going to be hanged at all, you can skip this part.

Step 3: With scissors, trim ends of tissue into rounded or pointy shapes. (I prefer the soft look so I went for a rounded tip instead). 

Step 4: Separate layers, pulling away from center one at a time. (Be very gentle when you do this as they can easily rip if you rush this process. Take your time and relax! I know it can be time consuming but think how beautiful the result is when you are done. You can reward yourself with some chocolates when you are done if you want! And if some did get rip along the way, don’t fret. It’s not the end of the world. Just be careful on the next ones.)

Step 5: Feed a ribbon or a string into your twisty tie loop, and hang your lovely pom pom!



On my second attempt, I used 8 sheets of tissue paper and then folded them in half (crosswise: from the bottom up). Using the crease mark as a guideline, I cut my sheets in half. Now having 2 sets of 8, folding them crosswise accordion style, I was able to make 2 medium size pom poms that look like this. 

pom poms

You can also combine different colored sheets if you want. After using just pure pink for my first 3 pom poms, I experimented in combining purple & white (mainly because I was running low on purple sheets) and absolutely loved the outcome! 


As a result, I made another pair in yellow and white.

Here’s what they look like hanging by our windows. 


Say hello to the birthday girl!