Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Weekend

Illustration by Designerjots

This week weekend comes early and I  am leaving you with this beautiful illustration by Designerjots
Have a good one everyone... catch you again on Monday.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Paige's Shelf and Coral Desk

Here are the pictures of the two pieces I just completed. The blue shelf belongs to my client Paige. Originally it was painted white, and the wood knots have started bleeding through so it looked a bit sad and messy. The new deep blue colour will not allow for the wood imperfections to shine through and it gives this little shelf a completely new dimension.

This little desk was going to be refinished in a raspberry pink colour. I had already treated it to a few coats of pinkness when I changed my mind and opted to finish it in the ever so popular coral finish.

The lighting in my basement is not bright enough hence the slight over exposure on the pictures. This is something I may be able to tweak though and hopefully for the next round of photos this issue will be corrected.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Adding Spring to my Step

Winter boots and shoes have been put away in my house. I have decided to chase the remaining days of Winter away by wearing bright pants and Converse. Not sure how effective this will be, but even a reminder that warmer days are ahead will make a difference.

Monday, March 25, 2013


And here are the after photos of the re-interpreted dresser introduced on Friday. It is now available at Freedom Clothing Collective as well as in my Etsy store.


funky knobs

beautifully beeswax conditioned surface

paper lined drawer

Friday, March 22, 2013


This little piece has been sitting at Freedom CC for a while. I  never posted it anywhere as I wasn't sure I quite liked the "home painted" knobs situation. It was cute and all, but it didn't make my heart skip a beat when I walked past it. I took it home fixed it up, repainted with a new coat of black milk paint and finished off with a coat of beeswax. A quick trip to Anthro took care of the knobs. Want to know what it looks like now? Patience friends. Big reveal will happen on Monday. Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I have a big trip planned for this coming May. Marc and I will be going to Australia to visit my sister and my new niece Lana. While spending time with family is fun, we also wanted to take a few days for ourselves and hit the Australian roads towards Alice Springs and Uluru. As I started researching the destination I came across the image of this necklace (named Uluru) by a local Australian maker MissMoss.
Uluru Necklace

I quickly contacted the maker and arrange the transaction. While on the site I also spotted this coral beauty and since they had a special promo I didn't hesitate adding it to the basket. Part of the promo was free shipping within Australia, so I arranged to have the parcel shipped to my sister's address and it is now waiting for my arrival.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Visit to an Argentinian Artist's Studio

Walking down the streets of Palermo Viejo, on our recent trip to Buenos Aires, Karen and I came across a store that sells amazing jewellery.  We couldn't resist so we walked in. This store, we came to find out, carries works of local designers and that just made us love it even more. A pair of silver earrings with a rose motif caught my eye. It was love at first sight, I just had to have them.
Rose embroidered Earrings inspired by Maria's grandmother
Upon return to our apartment we researched the contact information of the artist and I decided to email her and extend my compliments on her beautiful work. Ten minutes later there was and email back from Maria with a lovely invitation to visit her studio. Maria lives and works in an older but vibrant part of the city where you can get a real taste of Buenos Aires, where real life exists tucked away from the usual touristy attractions. Her apartment/studio is located on a beautiful tree-lined street. From the outside it looked like a regular one story house, but behind the main entrance there was a long corridor leading to many apartments.

Maria is originally from Mexico. Having spent many summers in Buenos Aires she fell in love with the city and decided to make it her home. She studied industrial design where she designed sculptures, but once she gave jewellery making a try, she was hooked. Jewellery gives her the freedom to showcase her creativity to a wide audience in different locations. In her studio are two cabinets housing her work. One cabinet is dedicated to her experimental works and the other one is the home of ready-to-wear pieces. It was interesting to see how on the surface the two lines seem to be significantly different, but looking closer there are definitely parallels that can be drawn.
Ready to wear line

Experimental line

A piece Maria is working on for an upcoming competition - a necklace that is 3,185 cm long representing the length of US and Mexican border. Each knot represents a person trying to cross that border where so many of them get killed.

Maria in her studio

Maria draws inspiration from her native Mexico as well as the seemingly unnoticeable details of everyday life.

Necklace and earrings are inspired by the leafs that fall in helicopter motion  .

Sketch book

Desk on which most of Maria's beautiful work gets created

Our visit to Maria's studio was an unexpected gesture on her part and it illustrates the warmth, spontaneity of the local people and the desire to share their story and hospitality.Maria also runs an Etsy store, so if you would like to see more of her work or request a custom item, you can do so here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I came across the image of this dresser on Pinterest. I wish I knew where to send the credit to, I kept looking for it over and over again, but my searches didn't yield any results. I love this piece so much and have started thinking about how to achieve this look on one of my next projects without going nuts and losing patience in the process. Will see what happens.

Source: Pinterest

Monday, March 18, 2013

Home Made Beeswax Furniture Polish

For the past couple of years, or ever since I started painting furniture as a career, I have been using Minwax furniture finishing wax to seal painted surfaces. It has worked well and it never failed providing a smooth and shiny finish. However, I have been doing some research and decided to try and make a home made finishing wax using beeswax as a main ingredient. I wanted to find a recipe that doesn't call for many ingredients and that is as environmentally friendly as possible. And I found one, it calls for natural beeswax and another solvent.
I have recently come across a Toronto based beeswax candle producer on Etsy (Gammy's Beeswax Candles) and have decided to purchase some of their candles. In one of our email exchanges I found that they also sell raw beeswax and I decided to get a block for the purpose of making my own furniture polish. What worked well is that their studio is very close to where I live so I can swing by and pick up the order myself.
So here is how the process went:
The beeswax came in a 1/2 lb block. In order to be able to melt it easily, I grated the block and mixed the shavings with the non-toxic natural oil made for treatment of butcher's blocks, wooden salad bowls, cutting boards etc. The ratio I used is 1:4 in favour of the oil. I could also have used olive oil, but was afraid that it may turn rancid at some point, and that would not be a good thing.

I mixed all the ingredients together and put them in a glass jar that I placed in the steamer  to avoid any water from getting into the mixture.

Once all the wax shavings have melted and the liquid had turned clear yellow colour I took the jar out and let it cool, mixing it occasionally. When it cooled down the mixture acquired consistency of vaseline. If I had used less oil, it would probably have turned out harder which would have been fine too.

I decided to try it first on  my kitchen table that was definitely in need of some love and tender care.

table top before
 And here is what happened after I had applied the mixture, let it sit for about 10 minutes and buffed out with a soft cotton cloth.

Table top after

I was so impressed with the results that I decided to use it on a piece of painted furniture that I had just completed and that is now available for purchase at Freedom Clothing Collective (939 Bloor Street West in Toronto) or in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Milk Paint

Last week I met my friend Krystin from Everything You Do Is A Baloon as we wanted to check out a local store that sells milk paint. I had painted a few pieces with milk paint before and quite liked the process, but my goal was to try something different and use paint itself to crate texture and depth. Through some research and conversation with the paint store owner I got a basic idea on how it could be achieved, and could not wait to try it out.
For this piece I used a two toned approach. I painted the base with black milk paint and topped it off with a shade of blue. The idea was to have the black base showing through but somewhere along the line I must have gotten to impatient and eager to try the new technique so the end result was not as I anticipated it to be. Instead I ended up with a finish that is way more textured and antiqued than I had hoped for. This is not to say that I am unhappy with it, as the matter of fact, I think this may easily be one of my best pieces to date, but the look I was going for will be for another piece to enjoy.
This piece has its temporary home at Wild Bird, a Toronto based store located at 622 Mt. Pleasant Road.
Unfortunately these pictures snapped with my phone don't do it justice, but it is the best I have to work with for now.

One of two papered drawers

Friday, March 15, 2013


It has been a while again since I posted anything, almost 5 months... I am embarrassed to be honest.
I have been trying to find the way to have this blog up and running without feeling overwhelmed by it. Hopefully my new approach will prove to be successful. So to start with, yet again, here are a few pieces I had completed recently. Enjoy.