Acrylic paint crazy

Hello DIYers!

Do you have that item that you have always had and you use it very few times because it lacked appeal? And you always wondered how to make it more appealing? How to give it a face lift? That a little change will help you appreciate the item more and that it will make you use it more?

This item could be anything really  clothes, shoes, a handbag, accessories, furniture.

I have this pair of shoes that i like, they are basic black and are rather boring. They honestly could do with a bit of character.

After reading this piece on pineconeshelf i decided to try it out on the shoes. I got the bronze acrylic paint and some paint brushes from Text Book Centre for about Ksh500 and Ksh200 respectively.

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I wanted to create lines on the tip of the shoe, so i cut out and stuck some masking tape, painted it and let it dry for a day.

So  i was left with some paint  and it was at this point that i went a little crazy and decided i might as well paint a few more things. I got this mason jar which initially had marmalade in it, cleaned it in and out. Also i got a sufuria which was rusted and i still had had plans for it in a future project.

At the end of the day i had painted three things and i loved the results! The shoes pop with character and I wear them more now! The mason jar now sits on my desk at work with pens in it. The sufuria is yet to be used but soon…

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Try out the acrylic paints and be creative with the application! Don’t for get to share your end results!

Keep it DIY!

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Taking stock-one

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Hi DIYers!! It is been a long minute since I posted. Plenty has been taking place but I still did some projects whenever I was able to…a few projects coming up.

Today I want to do something different, that I have borrowed from other blogs including This is Ess. As the year comes to a close, I would like to take stock of the year that has been. 2016 has been a year of crazy happenings across the globe and even here in Kenya. 2016 brought me the gift of a baby girl in October (hope this explains my being MIA). Pregnancy and birth and taking care of a newborn have taken over my life and it is quite the journey.

So here goes my first taking stock.

Learning– To be patient. Growing a human being for 10 months (yes 10, whoever said pregnancy lasts 9 months was giving the bare minimum) and the toll it takes on the body requires patience. Taking care of a newborn is another kettle of fish.

Wishing– for 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep

Eating– balanced diet and lots of fluids… Being a milk producer is no joke. Is this how cows feel?

Trying– to exercise whenever I can. I am determined not to get a new work wardrobe…

Reading – Little Contented Baby by Gina Ford. Trying to understand the art of getting baby into a routine. Of course baby will do what baby wants…and mummy gets impatient then I remember to be patient.

Watching – More than normal TV for me! Ordinarily I prefer to read and listen to music. But with feeding a little human who likes to stay awake, I am on that Modern Family, The Crown, Billion, Designated Survivor, Documentaries, animations and others.

Enjoying– the cool, rainy weather! Makes it so worth it to be at home!!

Listening- to white noise for babies to sleep though I am the one that ends up nodding off only to wake up and find baby wide awake!! I am also loving the sound of Simi and Alicia Keys’ new music.

Loving– my baby girl to the moon and back! Being a mom is as challenging as it is rewarding. Also I love the uji that my mum brings me every week….

Wearing– Breastfeeding friendly clothes, which for me are lots of lose fitting tops and vests! You really have to think of what to wear and how easy it will be to breastfeed especially in public! And the public includes your house when guests come calling….

Hoping – for a fabulous 2017!

Happy New month!

Keep it DIY!!

Personalizing generic furniture

Hello DIYers!

With all the furniture stores sprouting all over, we have an influx of generic furniture that tends to lack personality.  Don’t get me wrong the furniture is as useful as they come, but when in your space, you want it to look like yours, no?

From the Mombasa Flat Update, i found one such piece of furniture at the dining area.

The dining area before

The dining area before. The cabinet is used to store cutlery and also as a bar.

I got some decorative paper from Nakumatt Nyali (the matt paper quality and NOT the shiny version), some glue, a pair of scissors, and a ruler to take measurements.

I took out the glass, luckily the cabinet had grooves that the glass would roll off from. This made the project so much easier. I took measurements of length and width. Measured out the paper and cut out.

Cut out paper

Cut out paper

With the glue i carefully stuck the paper at the end of the cabinet.

finished product

Finished product with a pop of color

With some rearrangement of the cutlery and some artwork at the top, it was done. I chose not to put back the glass,  wells ave for the bottom one which refused to come off. I thought it looked better without.

What are your thoughts?

Keep it DIY?

 

Mombasa Flat Update

I got a request from a friend to do ‘something’ to her flat in Mombasa to make it better looking of course on a budget. I gladly accepted the ‘something’ challenge.

Here are the before pictures.

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With some cleaning and sprucing up, painting, new curtains, and some new furniture it was a go.

Here are the after pics.

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For the bedrooms, i rearranged the furniture to create more space. Painted the walls a color from the Crown Paints collection called Ash, its a soft  and calm grey. Also got curtains in the colors available from Nakumatt Nyali.IMG_7400 IMG_7404

For the living room, painted two colors i absolutely loved from the Crown Paints App. Yellowed Leaf (the greenish yellowish one) and Perry Blue (the bluish one). Traded-in the old furniture for the corner seat and bright pillows. Also got rid of the carpet, it’s so hot in Mombasa a cool tiled floor is so much better….

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For the dining area, got rid of the carpet, i think it looks so much neater without it. Got new curtains and painted the Yellowed leaf and Ash colors. For the cabinet, i brightened it up with some wrapping paper (not of the shiny variety) see the project here.IMG_7410 IMG_7412

For the kitchen some cleaning up, arrangement of utensils, dish rack and curtain did the trick.

Disclaimer, i hired someone to do the painting this time round. Also, do download the Crown Paints App it really makes colour selection so much easier.

What do you think of the before and after?

Keep it DIY!

Mango Chutney

Mangoes are in season! I love mangoes they are such a versatile fruit to work with! You can peel and eat, or eat them with the covers, blend into a thick juice, make a smoothie, place slices on pizza (try the ThaiFrican), eat with ice cream…so many options. I could eat them all day, every day. When in season they are definitely cheaper to buy compared to when they are not.

I like to make mango chutney when they are in season and use it through out the year.  The dip is easy to make and when properly stored can last you until the next mango season. It can be eaten with anything from chips and crisps, to bread, rice,  and meats. Its up to your taste buds really.

Chutney is a side dish in indian cuisine whose ingredients can vary from tomatoes, to groundnuts, yoghurt, cucumber and mint. Today, there are many variations from various international cuisines.

To make my version of the mango chutney, i use:

-Ripe mangoes (of course)

-White Vinegar

-Red Chillies

-Garlic

-Ginger

The ingredients

The ingredients

The vinegar gives the dip a long shelf life so that it can be preserved for use throughout the year.

Peel and chop the mangoes. Crush the garlic and ginger. Chop the red pepper into small pieces, since i don’t like it very hot, i only use the cover of the chili and throw away the seeds.

For the two mangoes above, i only used 3 cloves of garlic, thumb size ginger and half the chili.

Put every thing in a blender, add a teaspoon and a half of vinegar and blend till a thick paste is formed. Taste to check if all the ingredients balance, it should have a sweet and tangy taste before the chili kicks in.

Dip in storage containers

Mango chutney dip in storage containers

I placed the chutney in small containers for storage in the freezer. I used the small containers since i never have to use too much at any given time.

Ready to get into the freezer

Ready to get into the freezer

To use the chutney, remove it in advance and allow it to naturally thaw. Using a microwave to defrost it may change the taste as you are introducing heat to the dip…sort of cooking it.

Also the top layer of the chutney when stored could discolor and become brownish. Worry not, after thawing, just scoop off the top layer and you will meet with the original colored chutney :)!!

Try it and share the results.

Keep it DIY!!

 

DIY Photo gallery

Hello DIYers!

This week i undertook a project that has been on my to do list for a while now; a wall photo gallery.

A follow up from last weeks painted frames, that came in handy in putting together this project.

First off you need to identify where the gallery will be. The wall should not have too many things going on as the photo gallery in its self is a busy spot.

I had identified this wall in the living room for my gallery

I had identified this plain wall in the living room for my gallery

Once you know how much space you are woking with, start collecting your frames and pictures. Let your imagination free on the pictures, it could really be any form of art that you want to display.

I had been collecting frames and images for a while…so i had them stacked in a corner of the living room. They were judgmental this frames, always looked at me from the floor reminding me that i am yet to hang them….

 

The judgmental pictures and frames...on the floor...

The judgmental pictures and frames…on the floor… 

I chose to go with black frames given the very white wall and so the brown frames had to be painted black. Now that i had my frames, printed pictures and my space, I needed to determine how they would be arranged. I laid them out on the floor beneath the wall to ensure i got the length right and also to map out an arrangement.

Now, what happened in between was i realized i needed a big black frame that would carry several images, the gold frame wasn’t cutting it. Plus i know that it will come in handy someday…in some other project. I dashed to House of Leather where i was certain they would have what i was looking for. Indeed they did…see what i did there? Anyway, for Ksh2,000 i got this beautiful black frame that could hold 10 images and had the word ‘memories’ in the middle. Perfect!

Well laid out plans...

Well laid out plans…

So i had sufficient space and a good layout plan. The carefully spaced frames would need to also be carefully spaced on the wall. I remembered a post i had seen on one of my favorite DIY blogs Young House Love, tracing out the frames on paper and placing the templates on the wall with measured spaces in between the frames.

If you try this at home [and i highly encourage you to] this is a very, very important stage. It will reduce on errors and frustration levels.

I had no tracing paper, so i went for the next best thing, newspaper. Placed the frames on top and traced out making sure to indicate where the hooks were.

Tracing on newspaper with a black marker

Tracing on newspaper with a black marker

After tracing out, cut the paper out and stick them on the wall with masking tape and carefully measure the distances between the columns and the rows.

Newspaper wall gallery

Newspaper wall gallery- yes i did correct the wayward template on the right end

I couldn’t find a newspaper big enough for the larger frame, it was time fir some elbow grease, i traced the actual frame on the wall! I used a pencil to trace it out, including where the hooks will be, not sure you will be able to see the outline on the image above.

After placing the traced out paper it was time to put the hooks on, remember the templates pointed out the sections where the hooks would be, so this will be a breeze. I used the hooks with little nails on them as they are more sturdy than the ordinary hooks that have glue. They go for Ksh50 from hardwares. It is important to make sure that the hooks you use will be able to hold the weight of the frames for a long period.

Tools for the day

Tools for the day

And finally, i got to hang the frames on the wall. And i loved it!

Wall photograllery

Wall photograllery

I also loved the fact that it has some space left and therefore the potential to grow.

Try it out and share!

Any projects you have undertaken lately? Share!

Keep it DIY!

 

 

 

 

 

Painting picture frames

Hello DIYers!

Pictures. They speak a thousand words. They immortalize moments in our lives. They tell the story of who we are, where we have been and who we have become.

Growing up, taking pictures was an annual family event and the images would end up in the family album. With the increase in camera ownership, many more memories were captured and stored in the album. I still love looking at old family albums and yes i have two in my house. In today’s world of selfies and phone cameras, not many people ‘preserve’ life’s memories and no Facebook, Instagram, snapchat and all those others don’t count…not in my books.

This weeks project was painting some picture frames i got from Tuskys Supermarket for Ksh200. They looked very drab and unappealing, but hey with that price, they were screaming my name!!

The frames

The frames before

To paint them, i removed everything so that i was only left with the frame. The back had some strange nails at the back and i had to figure out a way to remove them without damaging the frame.

The back of the frame with the small nails holding the glass and paper

The back of the frame with the small nails holding the glass and paper

 

I had to get creative with how i removed the nails....i used a nail cutter. This damaged the nail cutter...but was worth it.

I had to get creative with how i removed the nails….i used a nail cutter. This damaged the nail cutter…but was worth it.

Next, i sanded the frames down to get rid of the slight varnish it had. Sanding it makes the paint adhere better.

sanded down frame

Sanded down frame

And then it was time for the fun part. Paint! I had some left over black paint from a previous paint job.I used a small brush, that was part of a set i got from Game Store at Garden City…by the way this place is a DIYers heaven!!

My tools. I used the smallest brush, the orange one

My tools. I used the smallest brush in the pack for this project, the orange one

Painting is messy and taking pictures while painting was an uphill task. However, what i did was lay out an old newspaper on the surface i was working on to avoid getting paint on the tiles…although some of ended up there!

After painting, i hang them out to dry. Like literally hang them. I used your everyday paper hooks to hang them out to dry for 24 hours.

Hanging them out to dry

Hanging them out to dry

The frames are now ready for the next step….the photogallery. Stay tuned for the next episode….

Any projects you have carried out lately? Let’s hear about it.

Keep it DIY.