Jun 27, 2018

new PDF tutorial

So happy to share my first PDF format tutorial after a looooong time!

Had been inspired to make a simple tutorial for beginners-intermediate level for a while now, and I finally completed it!

Over 150 images to guide you from start to finish, and what's more, if there are any parts you do not understand, I am just an email away :)

Please visit my shop http://alteredalchemy.etsy.com

Feb 7, 2018

Yet Another

This is to be my 3rd makeover of the year! And this time, I have chosen to do an outdoor space. Living on the 8th floor, our only outdoor space within the apartment would be the balcony. We have a relatively small balcony, probably about 12 feet x 5 feet give and take. It's a space that I seldom use because there was nothing there. Well we had a table and some plants but that was it ... a neglected space (for me at least). The husband likes to use it in the night when it's cooler outside. It is his go to space to write.

It's a really lovely space if I think about it, because we get to watch the most beautiful sunsets during the evenings from this balcony. Don't know why I didn't give it more attention earlier. Anyways, it's time to do it up and give the family a hangout space, watch the sunset and give my husband a nice little nook to write surrounded by beauty instead of dying plants ((O_O))

SO here is the Before and After photo of our balcony, and after that I will give you a brief description on the whole makeover process and what projects I did to enhance this outdoor space.

I decided to give our balcony a Zen Bohemian look, if there is such a thing ... because my husband and I have been quite into yoga lately, so I thought it would be nice to bring in the same sort of vibe into the home as well.

I began by building a mini deck.

We had a table which was one of the first things that came into this home with us some 12 years ago, and I have never been able to part with it. So after many different uses, this table has now become the foundation of my deck. However, it wasn't enough to cover the whole deck area, as such I had to build extra framing to fill the whole space. 

After framing up the extra area, I began to lay the 4x1 timber on top and secured them to the table/frames. I must mention that after my 2 previous makeovers, I got the attention of a local online hardware store ATKC, and they offered me all the wood I needed to build my deck for free! I only had to document my process on video so that they can put it on their website. Of course I was delighted with the offer!! As such, my deck costed me close to nothing to build :)

If you look at the photo, I have made a removable panel on the left of the deck. The reason is because my drainage outlet is there, so I thought I'd better make that part removable in case something needs to be fixed. Who knows!

On the right, I have added like a flip up panel with a magnet just for some extra storage space for unsightly object that we want to hide :)

So that's the deck done! I have also stained it with a mixture of 2 different stains which I had leftover from other projects.

And then, I designed and drew out a stencil of a stylized Lotus and simply stippled it onto the stained deck. After which I coated the deck with 3 coats of polyurethane to make it sufficiently waterproof.

And here is the finished deck. It is important to mention that the height between the floor of the deck to the top of the rail is still within the safety specs of 1 meter, as I do have a 7 year old. 

Next, I decided to make a table so that my husband would have a proper surface to write on. But I didn't want the table to be there all the time. As such I thought the best solution was to make a fold-up table.

I first cut up some block board which I had left over from my kitchen makeover, for the tabletop. And then painted it turquoise. I was determine to use brighter colors here, colors that I have never dared to use inside the home.

I made the legs with 2x1 timbers, and made it so that when the table is folded up, the legs would look like some sort of frame. 

Within the frame, I stenciled the Sanskrit symbol "AUM" to go with the Zen Bohemian theme. I also fashioned a 'stopper' to hold the table up when it's folded against the wall.

The table sits comfortably at the edge of the deck so that there's plenty of space still to move around on the deck. I was pretty pleased with the results :)

These were the 2 main things I wanted to do to the balcony. Of course before that, I did paint some walls a deep brown-grey to give some accent to the stark white walls. I could only paint on the walls that would not affect the facade of the apartment block when viewed from outside.

After building the deck and the table, I decided that it was time to beautify. I had a friend who was also doing some reno to her bathrooms and when her contractors ripped off all her old bathroom cabinets, I told her to save 2 doors for me. I had something in mind for the doors.

First I cut some windows into the slates of the cabinet door. Then I took some recycled wood and fashioned a shallow shelving. Attached the door to the shelving units and voila I have a vertical planter!

So this becomes my new succulent planter and I even kept the doorknob!

As for the other door, I cut it into half and made them into shelves for my potted herbs.

Oh! not forgetting also, another planter I made out of recycled wood and cake tins I bought from Daiso (our 5 dollar shop)

I added some floor decal which I bought online. Stick and peel tiles that were easy to apply, and remove should it fall out of favour :)

And the money I saved from the deck (it was sponsored) I bought a beautiful bamboo plant and those potted herbs in the photo above, some succulents and ferns. All in all I am a happy girl!

And here are some photos of my balcony now.

You can see the whole makeover process in the video below. 

Sep 18, 2017

Another Makeover ... Bathroom this time!

Oh yea, looks like I've been bitten by the DIY bug big time! Here is another makeover I did to the apartment. My tiny guest bathroom :)

This is the AFTER

 ... now brace yourselves for the BEFORE ;)

We dubbed it the "Blue Bathroom" when we moved in 12 years ago. Took me 12 years to figure out what to do with it. My main obstacle was the blue tiles. I didn't like it at all, but couldn't afford to hack it all down and retile the bathroom, so we just left it as is. And then I got to know that you can actually paint on tiles. So I did some research and found (to my disappointment) that we didn't carry specialize tile paint here. But I was so into it already, I had to find an alternative. And I did find one.

This is a 2 part epoxy paint for exterior surfaces. You get 4 liters of paint and 1 liter of hardener in the package. Mix the 2 together, and you get a durable, highly scratch resistant paint. And this was the savior! I love how the paint covered the tiles and it feels really good to the touch. Besides the wall, I also repainted the floor and even added stencil to it. This was an impromptu decision as I actually wanted to retile the floor when I had some extra cash. I gathered, retiling just the floor won't cost me a lot. But I needed a temporary fix to the blue tiles on the floor too while waiting. But after I did the stenciling, I fell totally in love with it!! I'm hoping now that it will last for a long time!

A Moroccan tile design I found on the net, and made my own stencils
In love with it!
After the walls and the floors, I DIY-ed a simply vanity out of pine wood and added galvanized pipes for the legs for an industrial touch.

I also decided on a stainless steel salad bowl for the sink.

I'm not going to lie, I did face some problems with the sink and the plumbing. Because the salad bowl had a relatively wide and flat base, after I installed it, I realised that the water would not drain properly. Also, the drain was a lip higher than the base of the bowl, as such I had pools of water in the bowl. After some thought, I decided my best solution was to raise the level of the base. So I got out some of my old Ice Resin and added it to the base. And since I was adding resin anyways, perhaps a few gears won't hurt ;)

And so, by the end of it all, I have solved my water drainage problem and added a Steampunk touch to my sink! Best outcome ever! And oh ... check out my homemade faucet which I was thrilled that it turned out so well :)

Here are some photos of other features that I have added.

A light fixture also made of galvanized pipes
Dressed up the builder's grade door with moldings
A crude shelf out of pieces of RM5 kitchen utensil racks

A quote, image transferred to pieces of burned pine
and a towel rack made from extra pipes

I am utterly delighted with the new look of our bathroom! No more blue tiles!!
Love the way it turned out
Black shower curtains for drama
The Vanity
Vanity with the tungsten light on
A pano of my tiny bathroom
My favourite photo
Let me leave you with 2 videos I made on the full process of the makeover :) Hope you'll enjoy it!!



Aug 1, 2017

Kitchen Makeover : Project Kitchen Pt 2

I still cannot believe that it took me just one month to complete my kitchen makeover. Continuing from where I left off in the last post, my second concrete top for the sink turned out beautifully, in fact now that all three pieces are done, I can say that the sink piece came out the most perfect.

Tho ... the plumbing took me quite a bit to get right. To be exact about 4 hours plus going back and forth the hardware store to get the correct stuff. Luckily the hardware store is just outside my condo.

Never done this before

Cutting a hole on the stainless steel sink for the faucet outlet ... the day when sparks flew!

This part is the most difficult to get right. The angles were tricky.

But ahhhh ... WATER at last!
I had to put a bowl underneath the plumbing for a week just in case of leakage due to my inexperience. Fortunately, nothing happened and all is well :)

And voila!

And finally my final piece of concrete countertop went in with the help of some muscles ... my 2 brothers and husband!

Next stage is to complete the backsplash. I wanted the industrial theme and so I went with chalkboard. I measured up the wall with paper and used it as a template to cut the holes for the electrical outlets in the plywood which I wanted to use as chalkboard.

I got a chalkboard recipe of 1 part unsanded grout + 3 parts latex paint from youtube and proceeded to paint the ply.

I then torched and painted some pine planks to make a feature wall.

And here is the final result of my kitchen makeover :)

Featuring the feature wall
The dark side of the moon ... oops the counter

And the chalkboard says ...
A quote by Jacob Nordby, tho I changed it to represent my family
Some gear imprints I added on the concrete. You can also see the imprints on the wood as I framed the backsplash with the wood I used to make the form of the countertop.
These "bolts" are fake. I soldered nuts onto washers and spray painted them black to resemble a bolt. And then stuck some mini watch gears on some of them

I scattered the fake bolts around the wood frame, some to hid screws
Made an extra chalkboard for the girls to play with
I must say that I am pretty pleased with the results!