Posts tagged ‘making’

December 22, 2021

Christmas Cards 2.0

This year I made Christmas cards again for my family. Jen brought along some craft supplies on the Sunday afternoon before Christmas and we crafted together for a few hours. I wanted to do simple cards that wouldn’t take too long to make but still look top notch. I was inspired by an image online that used messy watercolour on top of a white crayon drawing of Christmas symbol, but instead of crayon I did paper cutting and came up with my own symbol designs. I am very happy with how they turned out!

October 8, 2020

Furniture 1: Crib

In the later part of my pregnancy and after having Moses I have been working on a project to design furniture for our apartment. There are very nice woods available here and yet most quality furniture is imported and far too expensive. Our first project was to make a crib for Moses as he is quickly growing out of the cardboard crib that I made for him at 4 months old. It was a challenge to get the carpenter to follow the drawings and things ended up a bit different, but the end result still achieves the look I was going for and is solidly built. We are looking forward to getting some tools and making furniture ourselves so that we can have more control over the design and quality. That said, the carpenter did very well with the few tools that are available to him. I am looking forward to posting more furniture to come as they are made!

July 21, 2018

Wedding Invitation

Soon after arriving in Beni I had to decide how to share about my engagement with friends and family from home and also invite them to our wedding. I did not want to do a digital invitation because I knew that no matter what I did, I would not be happy with it. I decided to do it by hand and experiment with a calligraphy set that I got from my Grandpa. I wrote the sections of the invitation on pieces of trace paper and then cut them up and arranged them on a white board along with some yellow flowers that I picked from the garden. It turned out better than I thought it would! I experimented with taking pictures inside and outside that created different effects with the background (fabric vs grass) and shadows (soft vs sharp). The indoor photo was the winner, but I have included both here. I was glad that I found a way to do the invitations that made the process more fun! I sent the picture to friends and family in e-mails and included one of my favourite photos of Othy and I.




March 3, 2016

Home Projects

Over Christmas I used some of my dad’s maple lumber to make some furnishings for my and Susan’s apartment. We have this cute little sunroom off the back of the house that is perfect for plants in the summer, but the problem was that there was no sill to place plants on. The first project was to make a long sill to go underneath the windows on both walls. The second project was a group of shelves for the living room. Unfortunately they still are not all up because I haven’t found any more brackets that I like! The pair that I have I found at an antique store in the junction.

I cut the pieces with my dad’s help in his workshop and then he drove me home after the holidays to drop off the pieces and help me install a new Ikea lamp over our dining table. Because sanding is such a dirty job, I made the sunroom into a little workshop for a few weeks. I took a lot of care with the sanding and finishing and the results were excellent! I decided to try using shellac as a finish because I wanted to keep the natural colour of the maple and wanted to use a more natural product. I am very happy with how they turned out!


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February 29, 2016

Christmas Cards

This year I decided to make homemade cards for my family. I experimented with embroidery and they turned out quite well!



February 12, 2016

Gingerbread Houses

This year I did more gingerbread house making than all years combined! My first opportunity was on December 18th when a group from my church made gingerbread houses with the residents of Adam House, a refugee shelter in the west end. We had it pretty easy because we used a bunch of gingerbread house making sets that have ready-made pieces, icing, and candy all ready to go. We split up into four teams and each made something different. Some groups made the standard house, and others (my group being one of them) started cutting pieces and doing different things with them. It was a fun time! I invited my couch-surfer Ashley to join us since it was also a new experience for her. The winning team was the one that had “Adam House” printed on it!


My next and more hard-core gingerbread experience happened the very next day because my friends Jacky, Rachel, and Vikkie had decided to get together and make a house from scratch! What’s more is that we decided to try and make the house from the Disney Pixar movie “Up”. That morning I went to the store and then baked the dough. It was fun to just chill, listen to Christmas music, and do that part on my own. Then in the mid-afternoon I met up with Joy and we took the bus to Markham to have dinner and finish the house at Rachel’s house. Vikkie found a template for the “Up” house online which was a real help and so Vikkie, Joy and I rolled and baked the pieces while Rachel and Jacky prepared hot pot. We had hot pot together last year and so now it has become a tradition. While we ate dinner we watched the classic film “White Christmas”. I had forgot how many witty quotes that movie has! We didn’t start putting the house together until 9pm and we were at it until 12:30 in the morning when Joy and I had to leave to grab the last bus back to downtown! It took longer than expected to put together because we had some structural problems with our roof. We had baked them too thin and so ended up putting them back in the oven for a while and then sticking them outside to cool to make them stronger! The only thing we didn’t get to was the balloons that we wanted to make coming out of the chimney just like in the movie. First we were going to make a structure out of gingerbread and stick jelly beans on it but then the others had the idea of trying to stick the jelly beams to a balloon. It got too heavy though and soon it deflated into one big sticky mess! We all decided that rice crispy squares would have been the way to go! The house was a real masterpiece overall, though we all decided we had been far to ambitious as usual! Because we had to leave before it was finished, Rachel put the finishing touches on it on her own and sent us a final photograph. Now we are all gingerbread house-making pros!

House from "Up"

December 28, 2015

Autumn Hike

On October 25th my friends Jackie, Rachel, Vikkie and I went on a hike to Webster falls in Hamilton.  We are all very busy and so we had actually picked the day back in the summer already when they had come over to the East end to spend a day at the beach. Rachel came and picked me up with the others in the late morning and we drove down to Dundas. We wandered the shops for a while and then grabbed lunch at The Thirsty Cactus. From there we drove to the bottom point of the trail and made the ascent up the escarpment. The multi-coloured leaves were STUNNING! We were fortunate that the leaves had stayed on the trees for so long. It was a drizzly day but it meant that the trail was less busy. As we walked along I was being my crazy childish self as I ran to try and intercept falling leaves before they hit the ground. I think I just like the idea of catching a leaf that is entirely unique and has never touched the ground. There was one stunning look out point in particular that sat on the edge of a cliff. We took turns going to a clear area and taking photos of each other jumping in the air. Finally we got to the falls and enjoyed the scene while Jacky took the role of professional photographer. It was already getting dark and so we decided to take the road back. It was a pleasant surprise when the path took us along the train tracks for a while and a light fog settled in. The hike was just what I needed to expel some of the pent up energy and anxiety from my new job, my new apartment, and my grandma’s recent passing. Once again I was left in awe at the wonder of God’s creation. The leaves were dying and yet in their death exhibiting an amazing beauty. And yet when the leaves die we are not fearful because we trust that spring will come again with new life.

Colourful view

The two leaves that I caught at the same time!

The two leaves that I caught at the same time!

Webster falls

Webster falls

We got back to the car at dusk and drove back to Toronto. We stopped at NoFrills and picked up pumpkins to carve and apples for apple crisp. I really wanted to carve a watermelon for old time’s sake, but there were none and so we went with an acorn squash to try carving something new! Back at my place we made a delicious pasta dinner and freshly baked apple crisp for dessert. I was distraught because we had forgotten to get ice-cream when we were at the store (apple crisp just isn’t the same without vanilla ice-cream) and so I grabbed my bike, told the others I would be back in ten minutes, and rode out to No Frills. Unfortunately I discovered that No Frills closed early on Sundays and so off I went to Freschco! They were open yet and so twenty minutes later I was back and the ice-cream was well worth the journey! After dinner we started carving pumpkins. Jacky carved the big one into an evil grinning face, Vikkie carved a mischievous minion from the smallest, Rachel carved a frankenstein from the squash, and I carved Pinocchio from a pumpkin that had a long stem that I could use for the nose. We were proud of how they turned out!

Pumpkin carving

October 31, 2015

Return to the West End

The day after returning from the conference I started the first day of my new job. It was a bit crazy but I wanted to jump right in because I was absolutely broke! You won’t guess where I got a new job! Philip Beesley Architect! That’s right, I went back… yet again (this is the third time). This time though it is for an entirely different role. Philip Beesley is partnering with an Austrian architect, Rolf Siefert who is working on a few building projects in Toronto. The main one that is well underway is a renovation and addition to an old industrial building in Liberty Village. The building has a lot of character and it has been challenging and fun to work on! I have been a few times on site and felt like, yes, this is what I’m supposed to be doing! Remind me.. why did it take so long to get to this point? I am now in the intern architect program and have started logging my hours to become a certified, full-fledged architect! Only two-ish more years to go (that is if I am ultra efficient)!

Another fun moment was getting my bound theses from the school! What? I wrote a one inch thick book? Okay, that must mean I can do anything I put my mind to (with God’s strength and direction)!

Bound thesis book

Because I was working in the West end, I had a real desire to move back there and be closer to my job. Where I was renting a room from John-Paul in the East end it took me an hour to get to and from work and I felt distant from the architecture community. I had previously lived for a year in little Portugal and eight months in the Junction triangle and so the area already felt like home. My friend Jen from Grace Toronto knew that I was looking for a place and wanted to introduce me to a girl from our church named Susan who was looking in the same area. It seemed like we would get along great and so we started looking for a place together. It was an exhausting process but we found a place a few weeks later! It’s the biggest place I’ve ever had! Sometimes I feel like it is more space then I need, but then I think of how nice it is to host people and work on crafty projects :P. The apartment is in the Junction neighbourhood and is the second and third floors of a house. The kitchen, dining, and living rooms are on the main floor and the bedrooms are on the upper floor. The apartment is a perfect twenty minute walk away from my work and a skip and a jump from High Park! Because the apartment is so spacious I think it is going to take a while for us to get it looking the way we want, but I have managed to make my room into a welcoming, gezellig space.

Bedroom IMG_1692

I might save photos of the living areas for another day when I am more proud of what they look like! For now though, here is a project that I did last weekend. Susan has a wicked road bike that she keeps inside and we were trying to think of a cool place to put it. We have a very generous stairway and so I thought it would be cool to hang it off the wall there. I went into a bike shop looking for wall hooks and found out that they are expensive, but then I was inspired by bikes that were on display that were sitting on a sloped rack and held from behind with a single hook. I realised that this would work in our entry on a small little sloped area that runs beside the stairs and would only cost me a few dollars! The result is that when you enter our apartment, you feel like you are about to be run down by a bike! I put two hooks in so that my future nice bike (one day…) will also have a home…. :P There will be many more house projects yet to come!

Bike storage

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February 11, 2014

Pillows and Kitty

I recently completed my second sewing project that was to make pillow covers for my living room. Here they are! They are red and blue with a white cord. My plan is to eventually make four more: two that are blue and white with a red cord and two that are red and white with a blue cord. I also made a cover for a square pillow, this time with all of the same fabric that has a nice embroidered pattern on it. I’d like to make one or two more of those as well. I could definitely see myself getting faster as I went. Making my first ever pillow with the trim wasn’t easy! PillowsDSCN8738DSCN8742

I also want to introduce you to another member we have in the house. Karan my roommate is taking care of his mother’s cat for a month. The cat’s name is Manu. He is a beautiful grey colour and quite cute but unfortunately isn’t the friendliest cat to strangers. Mostly we leave each other alone, though while I was sewing he sat on the back of the couch and watched me, and also played with the fabric while I was laying it out to cut the patterns. Over all it is a nice experience to have a pet in the house, though I think I will always be more of  a dog person.


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February 4, 2014

My First Scarf

This past week I finished knitting my first scarf! I learned how to knit from YouTube videos back in November and have been working on it slowly since then. Because I didn’t want to do a standard stitch, I tried the Bamboo stitch which creates little columns into which I wove white yarn at the very end. It was a lot of fun but I think I’m going to put away my knitting needles until next winter because it is too good a procrastinating activity!

Folded scarfWearing scarfStitches

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