Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Have You Completely Given Up On Me Yet?

Because I totally wouldn't blame you if you had. It's been a crazy couple of months, and starting a new job hasn't been kind to my free time. But I'm still here, I promise!

One of the things that kept me pretty busy was last month, I went with my mom to a meeting in Kyoto. To clarify, I didn't actually go to any meetings, I just freeloaded. But I want to share with you some of my favourite pictures:
Oh yes, I went to a cat cafe
Fushimi Inari-taisha

The Kit Kat flavours are either out of this world or realllllly weird.

Oodles of buddhas at Otagi Nenbutsu-ji temple.

Togetsukyo Bridge.
Just a monkey chillaxin'

Cherry blossom season.  Simply gorgeous.

I don't even remember which temple
this was.  I had "temple fatigue" by the
time I got here, I think it was the 3rd temple
I had seen that day...but it didn't disappoint.
I'd say the food was 50% delicious and 50%
bizarre.  Guess which category this fell into.

Golden Pavillion - look at that reflection!

Anyway, Japan was a crafter's paradise!  If you ever find yourself there, I highly suggest going to Tokyo Hands, a multi-level store with an emphasis on DIY and craft supplies.  LOFT is a similar store, but Tokyu Hands has my heart. And if you're into fabric crafts, you simply must visit Nippori Textile Town in Tokyo.  By far the best store it has to offer is Tomato, a multi-level fabric store with every conceivable pattern and material imaginable.  I was running out of room in my suitcase by day 2, so I only got scraps.  Here's my haul:
I could have spent all day at that store, but we were in a hurry to catch our train to Kyoto.  I think I did pretty well for a blitz trip, though.  Keep an eye out for some of these fabric appearances in future posts...

So, after that prologue, bring on the DIY! I give you one of my proudest crafts yet...Anthropologie-inspired kitchen canisters.  

Here's my inspiration:
From Redbook
And here's my take:
Happy little family all in a row.

A little story behind this: my mom and I love to cruise antique and flea markets.  I'm moving into my own place in August and can't wait to start decorating my own space.  I came across these cute little wooden canisters and thought they would be perfect for kitchen canisters to hold flour, sugar, and other foodstuffs.  I snapped them up and couldn't wait to get home to work on them.  I spent most of Monday (it was a long weekend here) working on them, and then I realized that I forgot to take a before picture!  I am kicking myself! The closest I could find to a before was an ebay listing, so just try to imagine them all plain and wooden.  They had a ton of potential, especially with those raised parts that were just begging to be painted with chalkboard paint!  I am so happy with how they turned out.

Materials I used:
  • Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Paint in Surf, Habanero, and Meadowlark (the green was a cheapie dollar store purchase) 
  • Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Chalkboard Acrylic Paint in Black
  • Paintbrushes
  • Zinsser Aerosol Clear Shellac
That's it! And the steps:
  • Prime everything with a couple of layers of white paint to cover up the wood.  Wait for it to dry completely.
  • Unscrew the knobs.  Paint tops and knobs in colour of choice with several layers.  Wait to dry completely between layers.
  • Paint primed area with chalkboard paint (I did 3 layers).  Wait at least an hour between each coat.
  • Coat with sealant except on chalkboard surface
I dulled the red, yellow, and green with some white acrylic paint so they would come out a bit softer.  I ended up going with a rose colour (at my mom's suggestion - thanks, Mom!) and I think it goes really well with the other colours.  You might have noticed there is a lot of drying - that was the most time-consuming.  Everything else was just paint, which I find super therapeutic.  Art therapy and cute kitchen accessories - what more could I ask for?

Verdict: A great success!