My China Cabinet Makeover

We have some happy news. We’ve bought a house and are moving very soon! I should really be packing, but instead I am finding every excuse to avoid it. That includes finishing up projects that have long been in need of finishing. Take for example my china cabinet and hutch. I painted it and changed the hardware to wood knobs last fall, but only just added the fabric and rehung the cabinet doors yesterday!

Please excuse the quality of the photos. I took them on my phone in the late afternoon, so the light is not that great. The before photo is not mine, but it is an example of what the cabinet looked like before it got it’s makeover. I neglected to take a before photo of mine! You can find these kinds of hutches and cabinets for so cheap on kijiji. Ours came from my husbands grandparents, and my MIL assures me that they would be pleased with what I’ve done to it.

I painted the cabinet with some mis-tinted primer/paint combo paint from our local paint store. Cheap wood knobs were finished with a homemade beeswax polish, and the Cath fabric was tacked into place with furniture tacks. I missed a few times, and ow, my fingers are not happy today! I am however very happy with my new shabby chic cabinet. I can’t wait to find a spot for it in our new house.

china cabinet after
china cabinet after
china cabinet after

cath kidston fabric
china cabinet after


Vanilla Cardamon Lip Balm Recipe

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Hello Monday! Well, vacation time is over, so this may be the last post for a little bit. I wanted to give you my lip balm recipe before I get too busy and it is put on the bottom of my to do list! I had in mind to make lip balm for Christmas presents, but lacked the oils required for most of the recipes that I saw online. Then I found this wonderful article that gives the ratios of oils needed to make lip balm. I use the Soap Calc to figure out my soap recipes, and figured that there must be a similar calculator for cosmetics. I was right! The batch size calculator allows you to punch in your oils, your batch size, and then it creates your recipe. Here is my recipe for natural lip balm. Enjoy.

Vanilla Cardamon Lip Balm Recipe

Makes one 8 oz batch of lip balm

1.6 oz grated beeswax
2 oz coconut oil
1.2 oz palm kernel oil
.8 oz castor oil
1.2 oz infused avocado oil (instructions to follow)
1.2 oz infused almond oil (instructions to follow)

Melt beeswax in a double boiler, add solid oils, followed by liquid oils. Mix well and remove from heat. Pour into small lip balm containers and let cool before capping.

To make vanilla cardamon infused oil:

Pour avocado and almond oil into a small pot. Heat until just warm over low heat. Chop up 2-4 organic vanilla pods and add to pot. Add 2 TBSP of cardamon seeds to pot. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 1 hour. Use right away, or for a more intense scent, pour in a glass jar and let steep for 1 week. Strain oil through a fine sieve or cheesecloth before using.

The first batch I made (the darker of the two) had about a 1 teaspoon of red palm oil added to the oils. I wanted the added benefits of vitamin E and A that red palm oil is well known for. The second batch had only 1/2 of a teaspoon, and I am happier with the results of that batch.

Do you like my bar code labels? I created them using this free bar code generator.

Personalized Mug DIY

Yes, I too have jumped on the Sharpie mug craze that has been all over Pinterest lately. One big difference though, I’m not using Sharpies! I did a lot of research and found that even the oil bases Sharpies eventually wear off. I instead went with the Pebeo Porcelaine markers. They are specifically designed for china, and are very hardwearing. In Canada they can be ordered from

I wanted to give you a tutorial as to how I drew on my mugs. I don’t have lovely free hand writing, so I needed to come up with a method that gave me some guidelines to draw over. The method worked really well! Please excuse the not-so-awesome photos.

The supplies: $ store white mugs, Pebeo markers, rubbing alcohol to remove any mistakes, a graphic, a soft HB pencil, something to burnish with (I used a closed pen), painters tape to stick you design on and a ruler.


I bought the fine and medium size, but wish I had only bought the fine size. The medium was too thick for lettering.




Type out your phrases on Word. You can have fun using different fonts, however I found the simpler text easier to paint over. Save as a pdf file, and in the print settings select layout and flip horizontally.




Draw over your reversed image with a soft HB pencil. You want to go pretty heavy with the pencil so that the graphite will transfer onto the mug.


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Tape your image onto the mug and burnish over the lettering. Press hard!


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Now you can draw over your image with the marker. Let the lettering dry for 24 hours, and then bake at 300 degrees for 35 minutes to make it dishwasher safe.




I love how they turned out. The creature on the right was designed by our son Jack. He has created a whole world of Eyeball Guys. We love them, but it took a lot of convincing for him to allow me to draw one on a mug. He is very protective of his designs!

Anthro Inspired Pillow

Tufted Double Bloom Pillow from Anthropologie. $498


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A few weeks ago I was inspired to give our room a Boho makeover. The challenge was to not purchase any new items, and to not paint the walls. I shopped the house for items with an eclectic feel and riffled through my fabric stash for pillow fabric. The vintage wool needlepoint has been gathering dust for years, just waiting for the perfect time to be transformed into a pillow. The handmade Anthropologie pillow was my inspiration, and I set to work creating a pillow using my favourite faded rose fabric (a Fabricland remnant from years ago. I wish I knew the company name and pattern!) and decked out with vintage buttons (thanks to my Nanas button collection) and pom poms. I just happened to have yarn in the right colours for the pom poms. Everything came together and I’m so pleased with our new space!

Source notes: Sheepskin from Winners, April Cornell floral bedspread from Value Village, Vintage dresser free from neighbours porch, knobs on top drawers from Anthropologie, feather pillow inserts from JYSK (so cheap!), painting of Louise Brooks by my husband, vintage curtain panel on closet door and faded cream rose fabric on large pillow from my lovely friend Elizabeth. Isn’t it nice to have friends who share their stash?


Bunchy Pant Problem Solved

I love the look of skinny jeans or cords worn with tall boots. There is however, that pesky issue of the pants bunching up above the boots. I think I may have come up with a solution. Remember stirrup pants? I wasn’t about to sew permanent stirrups on my pants, in case I decided to wear them with a low boot or shoe. Instead I sewed buttons onto the inside seams, and attached a length of buttonhole elastic. Voila! Removable stirrups. Now I can sit, stand and move around without my pants bunching up.


Rust Cords

Rust Cord: Joe Fresh
Striped Sweater: Tommy Hilfiger
Boots: L.L Bean
Messenger Bag: Cath Kidston
Scarf: thrifted

Thanks to Iolan the Wears for inspiring this post.