The Ever-Evolving Kitchen

The Ever-Evolving Kitchen

One day the entire kitchen is getting a proper renovation. Until that time comes I am constantly reconfiguring it trying to keep it functional for a family of seven. 

I built a new island to replace the last one. This one is sturdier and offers more storage space. I reused the top from the old one.

As it was before:

Cute, but wobbly and limited for storage. 

I took off the legs and used two of them to beef up my standard chalkboard. A fence board across the top and bottom and some paint and voila! (try that recipe btw-it’s DELISH):

I fabbed up a new island using some scrap pieces from the stash and put the old top on the new island:

Here she is in the kitchen!

My new bakin’ station is looking pretty nice! Thanks for looking Xx

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DIY Playhouse 

DIY Playhouse 

It all started with a wooden kitchen set being listed for free on the local classifieds. I expressed to my neighbor how I wanted to build a playhouse for the kids and she mentioned that as part of the process of preparing her house to sell she would be getting rid of the structure in her backyard. 

That was enough of a catalyst for me to begin putting together a plan and before long we had built a pretty awesome little minihouse that the kids now enjoy for sleepovers and mud-pie-making. 

Here’s what we started with:

This is us moving it up the road from our neighbors house on pvc pipes. Proud small-town moment:

All positioned in the backyard: 

I had to temporarily brace the upper half while I removed the supports and constructed a back wall. I extended the bottom floor out to add a ‘kitchen addition’:

You can see the opening to the top floor where I removed the existing staircase. I wanted to incorporate a small spiral staircase to create more space inside and I took cues from a tiny-home photo found on Pinterest (not my photo):

My rendition in-progress:

Bear in mind this entire project was constructed using salvaged materials; the staircase was once a large cabinet that was tossed from a local school.

Daughter testing out the stairs:

Some walls going up:

Fitting in the cupboards and appliances:

A friend gave me safety glass which I installed as a kitchen window:

Some paint and wallpaper:

I ended up utilizing some dead space between one of the stair-risers as I had a random wooden drawer that fit perfectly into the space so it was an easy upgrade! I Just screwed a new face onto the drawer so it tucked snugly into place:

I had originally sealed the floor with poly but decided to also paint it to make it look more finished. I also added a small ‘kitchen table’ (coffee table) and built a tiny bench with additional storage:

The upstairs before wasn’t a very welcoming place:

I boarded up all the walls to make it less spider-friendly and used up a sheet of scrap greenhouse material to let a bit of light in:

Next was construction of the deck. I repurposed the original staircase and got slides and wood from an old playset:

It just so happened that an old door front from a built-in tear-down fit perfectly on the playhouse so that went up too:

Added a front porch and a little faux-portico:

Built a small entry to the top floor and painted the exterior:

I used chalkboard paint for the faux-windows so the kids can draw on them. 

Here’s the end result! 

All in all I managed to do most of the work for free. The only things I paid for were the treated deck framing wood and the screws!

The kids get lots of use out of it making mudpies and hosting sleepovers. 

Thanks for looking!! Xx

Apothecary

Apothecary

I’ve been storing my random dried herbs and tinctures etc in various paper bags around the house because I didn’t have a proper place for them all. 

When I saw these boxes at the local Dollarama for 3 bucks each I had a light bulb moment! 

But it took 6 months of annoying the employees by phone and in person about their stock before I had enough of them to start the project (which incidentally gave me just enough time to receive chinese-order card cabinet pulls)

Theres a really awesome tutorial (and project) at debisdesigndiary.com on how to achieve a chippy weathered boat paint finish so I took some hints from her hilarious how-to and made up some chunky paint to ‘paint’ my boxes. I used playing cards to spread the paint. It took a few boxes to get the hang of the effect but I love how letting the paint thicken creates this awesome old finish effect where the paint edges are thick and defined like they were chipped off. You just can’t achieve that effect with normal quality paint. She says to use acrylic but I only had latex acrylic on hand and it did the job well-enough.
My strategy involved globbing the paint randomly on the surface and then dragging the face of the card across at just the right pressure to ALMOST but NOT COMPLETELY spread the paint.

Originally I really wanted a mashup of all kinds of layers of chippy color showing through but in the end I decided to go with a really muted green. I was SO tempted to Paint it White lol!

Another layer of even lighter green and then some scraping and sanding, followed by gluing all the boxes together and finally adding the hardware and:

Done!

It’s just resting on a shelf for now because I literally JUST finished it and havent decided where to put it yet. 

Looks old right? 

The cost of the boxes was about 40 bucks and the hardware totalled around 20 so it did end up being a costly project when you factor in time spent on it. 

But I am so excited to be able to actually properly keep my dried citrus peels, mints, echinacea heads, rose hips, oils, salves, waxes and butters, tinctures and whatever other garden treasures need saving!! All I need now is labels 🤗

 Happy New Year ♡ -Destiny

Frugal Tree Flocking with Dollarstore Supplies

Frugal Tree Flocking with Dollarstore Supplies

My mom in law told me that flocking your Christmas Tree is something they did back in the 80s but evidently it’s back in style again! Shopping around town I saw price tags as high as $300 for a flocked tree and that’s way out of the price range for a lady who already has a perfectly good fake tree at home.

I started drybrushing white paint on my old tree branches at home which looked ok but didn’t give it much texture or dimension.

BUT while in the craft section at my local Dollarama, I came across a bag of ‘paper mache fibre’ for 3 bucks. It looked well-enough like snow so I set out to do some flocking with it!

I watered down elmers glue and applied it everywhere I wanted the flocking to stick and then just sprinkled the mache fibre on top. 

Yes, it was a messy process!

Here’s some progress pics as I added finished branches to the tree:

You can see that it did flake and leave a mess as I put the branches back on the tree. The mache fibre came smelling kinda gluey so I assumed that wetting it would harden it. So I spritzed the finished tree with water. It worked! It set the remaining flocking perfectly and reduced the actual snowing-down of remaining fibre. 

Not bad for $3 and some glue and paint I already had on hand! 

Here it is all set up after the kids and I put all of our decorations up and topped it with the star I made out of old chair spindles and my granny’s crocheted tablecloth as the tree skirt

And a letter A for the Ashdown Family ♡

Merry Christmas Xx