Tag Archives: fabric

Kitchen Remodel Progress

Hello folks! I wanted to do a quick post on our kitchen remodel progress. We started six weeks ago and the contractor finally finished last Saturday.  We MADE IT (!!) through the stress of going through a major remodel and eating out of a make-shift kitchen and wondering when the contractor will be done. I will share more about the remodel experience and about installing IKEA cabinets in the next few posts. And for those who’ve been waiting to see the “before” pictures, I want to save them for the final reveal, so that you will have a good side by side comparison. For now, here’s how our gross, UgLY, 1970’s kitchen transformed in the last 6 weeks!















Obviously, the last few pictures are not the final reveal. I’ll have much better pictures taken with my DSLR for the final post in way better lighting. We started moving into the new kitchen and figuring out the window treatment, picking out the fabric for the banquette seating, shopping for decorations, etc. You know, the real fun part of remodeling! There is no set deadline for everything to be done but we desperately need some window covering so that the whole neighborhood stops driving by and peeking into our lives! (We like our neighbors, but still…)

In my last remodel post, I mentioned about sharing a design board of all the components. Well, sorry, I didn’t get around to making a design board but I made a list of the materials we used:

  • Cabinets: IKEA Bodbyn doors in gray (island) and off-white (the rest)
  • Quartz Countertop: LG Viatera in Cirrus
  • Vinyl Floors: RC Vinyl in Walnut
  • Backsplash Tiles: Jeffrey Court 3×12 in Allegro White from Home Depot
  • Farmhouse Sink: IKEA Domsjo double bowl sink
  • Faucet: IKEA Glittran
  • Over the sink lighting: Style Selections 5.52-in Polished Chrome Mini Crystal Pendant from Lowes
  • Dining area lighting: Possini Euro Metairie 20″W Silver Fabric Crystal Chandelier from Lamps Plus
  • Island Hood: Frigidaire
  • Dishwasher: Whirlpool
  • Refrigerator: LG
  • Cooktop and Oven: Kenmore Pro
  • White paint: Valspar’s “Soft Wool” in semi-gloss finish from Lowes for the ceiling/trims/doors & Behr’s color match in the off-white cabinet color. The Soft Wool color did NOT match the cabinets all that well. It is on the whiter/lighter side. So, I got some color matched paint and repainted the upper cabinet’s crown molding. Much better now!
  • Grey wall paint: Benjamin Moore’s “Stonington Gray” in semi-gloss finish

My favorite element in the kitchen is the ~~beautiful~~ over the sink lighting from Lowes. It is absolutely gorgeous in person with all the crystals glowing and sparkling in the light. Second is the gray wall paint color (Stonington Gray) by Benjamin Moore. We’ve had a wall color change once, which went from Behr’s “Historical Ruins” greige color to this one. Our front door is painted with Historical Ruins and it looks very nice against the blue exterior of our house. But in the kitchen, this greige ended up looking too green unfortunately. BM’s Stonington Gray has a blue tint to the grey but not in the slightest bad way.  It is clean, soothing and sophisticated, which is what we wanted for the kitchen.

Well, that’s it for now. Hope you’ve enjoyed this post! Feel free to leave a comment or question below and I will do my best to get back to you soon!

2014 Sewing Projects!

Hello cyber world! I’m back with some goodies to share; some sewing projects I’ve enjoyed working on over the past few months. It was such a relief to FINALLY check off some of the items I’ve been meaning/dying to make (thanks to my ever-growing list of things I want to make in life… which none of it is truly necessary. But I just like hoarding ideas and creative undertakings I would eventually get to do one day.) Like my sister’s laptop bag, with the fabric was that bought specifically for it over 2 years ago! And I made a few simple tank dresses for my madre who wanted some not-too-shabby home clothes. Next on my “list” are tops I could wear to work and I bought a cute skirt pattern from JoAnn’s during their 99 cent pattern sale. But that’s for another rainy day… Onto my projects!

Ok, so my sister’s laptop bag is made with this adorable British fetish fabric (we found at Michael Levine), featuring vintage scooters. It was originally supposed to be a messenger bag she could carry to work. But she later decided that a laptop bag would be more useful.

Here it is hung on the dress form (which I really wish wasn’t so purple-ly) with a tank dress I made to wear during the hot summer SoCal days. (Oh, how I miss the warm summer nights…) Because the over the shoulder strap was wide, I had a heck of a time finding hardware that fit its size. I found one at the fabric district but it was a belt buckle instead of a strap adjuster. Oh well. It still works.
Laptop Bag with Tank Dress

Next, is a summer tote I’ve been carrying around all season long (even now I take it with me everywhere!) I didn’t realize versatile tote bags were until carrying this around. Now that they’ve gotten rid of plastic grocery bags, it’s been so practical to have a tote on hand to carry your smaller grocery purchases away. As for the straps, if you remember a few posts back, I had shopped at a leather store and got a bunch of scrap pieces. Well, the straps were made with one of the scraps. (Straps, scraps, straps, scraps – that’s hard to say.) I really like combining leather with fabric. I am “planning” on going back there and getting bigger pieces to make myself an all-leather tote. Yea, let’s see when THAT’s going to happen. lol.

These next two, I made these with the intention of selling them on Etsy if they turned out well. But I wasn’t so confident they would sell. So I’ll just give them away to someone’s daughter if they want ’em. I used mesh fabric for the Fairy Head Piece and some sparkly silver Christmas ribbon I got from Michaels.

This one I wanted to call it the “Miss Little Diva” headband if I sold it. But it just didn’t look all that diva to me. Oh well.

Next, I found an easy dress pattern for little girls in a Liberty book and thought, ‘Why not make a dress for my niece in Korea?!’ I call her my niece, but she’s really my cousin’s daughter. The fabric isn’t from Liberty but it was so darn adorable that I couldn’t pass it up. I made matching headbands and sent them on their way across the Pacific. My niece liked the dress so much that she wanted to wear it for four days straight! lol. Oh, that made me soooo happy. 🙂 Here she is!




Seriously, she’s the cutest thing ever!!!

This apron is on my Etsy shop. I saw this fab green apple fabric while shopping in Seoul’s fabric district and immediately fell in love with it. What better way than to make it into an apron?! Et voila.

These next few are also on my Etsy shop. For a while, I’ve been hearing about “Liberty of London”, especially from my sewing buddy J.B. I’m quite ashamed to admit that for someone who sews often, I’m so late in the game in my discovery of this ridiculously spectacular fabric line. Its prices by the yard speak of its undeniably exquisite quality. And the feel of tana lawn cotton fabrics is comparable to silk. So ever since these luxurious objet de desir caught my attention, I’ve been hooked! I mean, I can’t really afford to buy them in bulk or anything. But even 1/8″ of a yard is suffice to soothe my craving for a little something magnificent. So, I got my fabric from Michael Levine in downtown LA and made a skinny and a wide versions of these headbands.

Liberty of London “Fitzgerald” Fabric-Covered Wide Headband:

The skinny version:

I also made these headbands in this awesome turquoise fabric I found at JoAnn’s. (I love love LOVE ~~~ turquoise! It’s just a fabulous color that seems to go with just about anything.) Here’s the wide version of the turquoise headband:

And the skinny version:

That’s it for now! I hope to be posting more before the year’s over. But I’ve decided to be more gracious to myself and not push for something that might not really happen…

Citronella Candle Buckets

I ~LOVE~ SUMMER… Especially balmy Summer nights! What’s even better is sitting out on the patio, as the heat cools down to a pleasant no-jacket-necessary temperature. The only exception would be those annoying mosquitos that disrupt your much needed chill time! So to combat those pesky little things, I made some citronella candles out of fabric-covered metal buckets.



Here’s What You Need:

    * Candle Wax – I used about 2 1/2 pounds of wax. ^
    * 9″ Candle Wicks (Got these from Michael’s)
    * 3 Silver Buckets with handle, 4 1/2″ diam. x 5″ ^
    * Fabric (enough to cover three buckets. I had a yard of some fabric I wanted to use.)
    * Fabric scissors & regular scissors
    * Mod Podge – Matte Acrylic Sealer ^
    * Brush for the Mod Podge sealer ^
    * Wet Paper Towel for cleanup
    * Wooden Chopsticks (for stirring)
    * Double Boiler (I used a 4-cup GLASS measuring cup and a big pot. Try to find the biggest measuring GLASS cup as possible. The bigger the cup, the more you can melt at one time.)
    * Citronella Essential Oil (*Optional: Eucalyptus Essential Oil)
    * 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon
    * 3 cloth pins
    * Newspaper (to cover your work surface)
    * Knife or Cleaver

    ^ I received these products from Oriental Trading Company for this review.  All opinions are my own.



    Here’s how:

      1. Tightly wrap fabric around the bucket generously to cover the surface. (You don’t need to cover the bottom.) Overlap the sides about 2″ and cut. Also cut around the top and bottom, leaving enough slack, about 1/2″ all around.

      2. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge with a brush all around the bucket, paying close attention to the edges.

      3. Wrap the fabric around the bucket, starting with one edge. Press down the fabric well to stick to the glue. Apply more Mod Podge as needed. You can brush more on top or under the fabric. Peel off if the fabric gets wrinkled and re-wrap tightly. Let the bucket dry for about 15 minutes.

      4. When fabric is dry, cut around the top and bottom edges as neatly as possible with fabric scissors. (Tip: Clean the scissors well after usage with a damp paper towel, making sure that there is no Mod Podge residue left.)

      5. Apply another layer of Mod Podge on the outside of the fabric, creating a “seal” around the fabric. Let it dry for another 15 minutes and apply a 2nd coat. Set aside to dry. (Don’t worry if they look chalky now. They dry clear.)

      6. Next, prepare the double boiler/water bath by placing a glass measuring cup in the middle of the pot and pouring water on the outside of it. Let the water come up about 3/4 way. Martha Stewart has a great video on how she does this. Click HERE for the video tutorial.

      7. Cut about 2 1/2 pounds of wax into small pieces with a cleaver or a strong knife. (This took some time to complete.)

      8. Melt the pieces of wax in the double boiler until liquified.

      9. Dip a candle wick into the hot melted wax and affix it at the bottom of each bucket, placing it in the center. Use a cloth pin and the bucket handle to hold and stabilize the wick. Straighten and center the wick as much as possible for even burning.

      10. Drop in the Citronella oil (or a combination of Citronella and Eucalyptus) into the melted wax and stir with a wooden stick to mix. (Tip: Use 1/2 tsp per 1 pound of wax.)

      11. Pour the rest of the wax into the buckets. Let it solidify. You will need to melt more wax at this point. Repeat steps 8 & 10 until you have filled all three buckets about 1″ from the top.

      12. When the wax solidifies, cut the wicks to 1/2″ high. Hang these buckets during the day to create a cheerful environment in your outdoor space and at night, light them up for that added summer romance in the air!


      Feel free to leave a comment or click on the heart if you’ve enjoyed this post!

A Preview of Things to Come

Hello all! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted an entry so I thought I’d say hello and give a little preview of things I will be working on!

Frankly, I’ve been preoccupied the last two weeks with a service project my church group and I were involved with (Big Sunday). Last Saturday, my team and I cooked and packed 350 Garlic Rosemary Chicken Ciabatta Sandwiches (well, they were really done on torta breads.) and served the volunteers that were participating at different locations on that day. Although the event was a success, I may have over-exerted myself a bit and got really sick afterwards. It got pretty bad the first day or so – high fever, body ache, sore throat like I’ve never had before, a crazy uncomfortable sinus headache that kept me from sleeping or even opening my eyes, etc. etc. Today is day 5 of trying to get better from a double whammy of a nasty virus infection and strep throat. Thank God for modern medicine and vacation days!! All this “resting and getting better”, however, has made me antsy and nervous that I’m losing productivity (yes, I have a problem of staying still and not doing anything. lol.) So since I’m not quite well enough to physically get up and start making/doing/driving around/etc, the next best thing is to sit in front of my computer and write out my plans for all the things to come. Here are some projects I would like to accomplish in the next few months:

Rachel and Mark’s Wedding in June – This Hawaiian themed outdoor wedding is going to be held in someone’s gorgeous backyard. I have big plans for it (I’m in charge of the decorating) but I have not settled on anything solid yet. I’m thinking about creating a white wedding with Hawaiian decorations (with leis, paper cutouts of tropical images). My biggest challenge will be figuring out how to hang or suspend things in the air and make it look festive and beautiful. The couple is really down to earth and they’ve already told me to make it easier on myself by keeping things simple. I will definitely honor them but truthfully, it’s not really me to keep things too simple… 😉 It’s no wonder that I’ve already earned the nickname “Franck” (as in “Father of the Bride”). lol. Thankfully, Rachel has turned down my idea of suspending a fabric tent over the guests. I took that as a saving grace from my over-ambitiousness. But here’s a rough sketch of where I was going with that.

outdoor wedding

Another sub-project for the wedding is to come up with a SIMPLE table centerpiece for the 10 tables we’ll set up for the guests. We bought a whole bunch of white plastic leis so I’m sure I can do something with them. 🙂 I hope to take lots of pictures from the day and post them on the blog. Wish me luck!

Fabulous Lamp Shades for these Fabulous Lamp Bases – When I spotted these glorious white porcelain lamp shades at Target, I knew I had to get them and add my own fabric shades! And even better, they were on sale. 🙂

Check out this pretty shade with a fun Amy Butler fabric. I want to make something like this: (Photo credit: Amy Butler’s Facebook page)
Amy Butler Lamp Shade

Extra Big Shopping Tote – This sewing project will not be for an Etsy sale but for yours truly. I was browsing for some fabric in Downtown Los Angeles a few weeks ago, as I do from time to time to see what catches my eyes and to get inspired by all the colors and designs I see around me. I usually get my shopping thrill from Michael Levine but I decided to venture out to the other shops one day and found some gems of home fabric stores one street over on Wall. Here’s a peak into one of those home stores:

As you can see, it’s rows and rows of flowing home decor fabrics at fairly reasonable prices. I spotted an interesting design for what can become a great big tote and decided to get a yard of it. At first look, it CAN be too bold/ugly/different. But I took it as a challenge to make this into a great looking tote bag that will fit all my fabric buys! (Adrian Orange Gray Beige Geometric home decor fabric.)
Big Tote Fabric

I’m thinking about adding some metal grommets and maybe some white rope for a nautical look. My sister saw it and the first thing she said was, “That’s ugly…” Well, I plan to prove her wrong and make her want to borrow it! lol.

Well, that’s it for now! Back to bed I go for some more shut eye.


One of my favorite fabrics is canvas. It’s sturdy and has a utility look to it, but versatile enough to be fashionable! It makes great tote bags, purses, aprons and decorative throw pillows. I love its grainy appearance and the slightly rough texture. When comes summertime (when I have a little break in my schedule), I plan on adding some canvas products to my Etsy lineup. That reminds me, I need to make a new canvas purse for myself to replace my small black crocheted “The Sak” purse I’ve been sporting for 10+ years… What can I say? I’m a simple girl.

Here’s a photo of some pillows I made; the ones with the writing and the typewriter image are canvas pillows (with ironed-on images.)


Here’s a funky tote bag I made with Marie Jacobi’s Map of Berlin fabric.


And a custom lunch bag I made for a friend.


Here are a few other awesome canvas products I found online!

Source: www.thekitchn.com

Source: styleobserver.com

Source: overstock.com

Source: themonsieur.com

Source: southernhomesandgardens.com

Source: blog.dormify.com

Source: ecanvasbags.com

I love canvas!

Griffith Park (from Alexander Henry)

My best selling items at the craft show yesterday were made with Griffith Park Red Sage fabric from Alexander Henry. I had stumbled upon this gorgeous cloth in a quaint little fabric shop in South Pasadena. I’m calling tomorrow to see if they have anymore to secure a few more yards of it, because this fabric is from 2011 and it’s hard to come by. Here’s one of the reversible totes that were sold out yesterday.


I love this fabric for its vibrant colors, bird design, and nature theme in stylized hills and flowers!