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Halloween Workshop Projects - A Peek

Posted on August 24, 2016 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

My Halloween workshops are coming up soon and if you're hesitating, here's a peek at the projects you'll be making. I'm a firm believer in using what I have for my workshops and what my participants may have lurking in their cupboards and recycling bin. Why spend money on decorating materials when you probably have them on hand? The projects are easy-peasy to make and take less time than you'd think. Participants can choose to come to one of the workshops or opt to attend all three. Regardless, if you attend one or all three, the good news is you will go home with worksheets and materials lists to complete projects from all the workshops. Sounds good, no?

Click here to register.

Can't wait to see you all!


Halloween Workshop News

Posted on August 18, 2016 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Is it really time to start thinking about Halloween? Yes, it sure is and when you come to our Halloween Decorating Workshop, you’re in for a ghoulish and ghastly time. There's not a pumpkin in sight. Instead, think Edgar Allen Poe meets Alfred Hitchcock, then you'll have an idea of what I've planned for my three Halloween workshops. Deliciously wicked but with a touch of elegance. The good news is that almost everything I'm planning can be recreated from what's hiding in your recycling bin and cupboards. 

For more information and to register, click here.



Ikea Idea - Wood Therapy

Posted on August 18, 2016 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

This morning I was able to enjoy my usual (but belated) cup of coffee on my balcony at my new table and also my view of 3 Victorian houses and the gorgeous trees (well over 100 years old) opposite my building. Yes, I admit to being a treehugger, literally. Must have been one in my previous life. Maybe they're kinfolk!

Anyway, the houses sit in the canyon of high rises where I live in downtown Ottawa. This morning, amids the morning cacaphony of delivery trucks, police car and fire engine sirens, and other noises that never cease, I worked out my plans for my first Halloween workshop.

After my coffee intake, I took a gander over to Ikea's Livet Hemma hoping to find an idea I could share and luckily there was one if you're in the need of a coffee table, which I am.


The whiz kids over at Ikea built a coffee table using their own Knagglig crates (approx. $15 CDN each) and one of their tabletops. I like this idea because the bottoms of the crates serve as storage. However, I don't know about your area, but vintage or vintage reproduced wooden crates are like gold here - costing a small fortune, so the Ikea ones are reasonable in comparison. Of course, you can always go looking for wood and build your own. 

Once you've found your wood, this guy over at Woodworking for Mere Mortals has a tutorial you can follow to make your own wooden crates. As for the top of your coffee table, an old door, sanded and stained, would complete the project.

For the tutorial, click here.

Next trash day I will be on the lookout for an old door and more wooden drawers. 

Workshop News

Posted on August 17, 2016 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I have cancelled the Himmeli workshops and will be putting my energies instead on my two favourite seasonal ones - Halloween and Christmas. I will be posting my first Halloween workshop later today.

Street Finds - More Goodies on the Street

Posted on August 16, 2016 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Yup, another day of great street finds. It's been pouring rain today but I had to run out to finish up some chores and, to my surprise, stumbled upon another treasure trove at the same location where I found the discarded Ikea drawers. Among the items on the curb were things I actually needed. It's so weird that I'm beginning to think I'm either the luckiest gal around or someone somewhere really likes me.

I dragged home a black patio table, a white plastic garbage pail ( just what I needed for storing my plant pots once my balcony garden has been shut down for winter), a small black and rusted watering can, and what I originally thought was a Victorian mirror frame.

The patio table is a perfect replacement for my large round patio table, which I recently sold. It was just too big for my balcony and took up too much room inside when I brought it in once summer's over. When I sold my original table, I figured I could find something smaller at a charity shop but never seemed to have the time to go and look.

And there it was this morning: small, dark, and handsome, leaning so casually against a tree. Just what I needed so how could I resist. I was missing my early morning coffee on the balcony and now I can enjoy it once more before the weather changes.

The round 'frame' turned out to be the metal bottom of what I think was a lampstand. When I saw it I knew what I could make with it despite the fact that it's not really a frame. People will freak out when they see what I'll be doing with it for a future workshop.

Not exactly a street find - I pilfered these apples still attached to branches from a crab apple tree in the park. The groundskeepers saw me and merely shrugged and then laughed when I told them how I planned to use branches of apples - again for a future workshop. 

The real reason why I went out this morning in the torrential rain and again, not really a street find. I find that shoe boxes are just perfect for Christmas gifts and decided to head out to beg for a few from local shoe shops. Little did I know that nowadays, the shops no longer keep the empty boxes customers don't want when they purchase shoes. They're flattened (the boxes, not the customers) and destroyed. I think shoe manufacturers instruct shops to do this because they're are afraid counterfeiters will use the authentic boxes for their counterfeit knockoffs. 

However, once I explained why I wanted them, a few shop employees were gracious enough to give me what they had - even providing me with bags to carry the boxes in. They all asked me not to name them in my blog as they were afraid, I think, of crowds coming and begging for the same. But I am grateful they did give me what they could.

Street Finds - Wood for Cutting Boards

Posted on August 13, 2016 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Do you ever find that you think about something you need, then put it out of your mind to find it arrives at some unexpected moment? It happens to me a lot and again yesterday. 

It was garbage day and across street from my building I spotted a some interesting materials put out ready for the taking. So, of course, I dashed over to see what I could pick through and found an Ikea chest of drawers that had been taken apart and set out on the curb. 

What a surprise. I've been thinking about Christmas and what to give my friends who have EVERYTHING already. There was a post on Ikea's Livet Hemma site about dressing up cutting boards with leather. Of course, they were flogging their own cutting boards but I thought, AH HA, there's an idea. Why not gift my friends this year with custom made cutting boards? All I needed was some wood. 

Et voilà! I dashed across the street and found a motherlode of wood. I nabbed one of the drawers (heavier than I thought but heck, it was pure pine!). Once home, I took the drawer apart and found I had enough boards to make at least half a dozen cutting boards. Now I'm just am waiting for a friend to bring over some tools I can use. 

To top off my day, I found esy-to-follow DIY instructions for making your own cutting board over at A Beautiful Mess. Yay! For instructions, click here.