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Wake Up Your Creativity with Karen

Monday, February 17, 2014 by Chris

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At the Interior Design Show last month, I caught up with my friend, the supremely talented Karen Johnston (Mosaicworks). She'll be in Toronto this coming weekend to give a mosaic workshop at Artscape Youngplace (180 Shaw Street, Rm 107). The class runs Saturday (10 - 3:30 pm) and Sunday 10 - 12 pm) for $130 (cost includes supplies and use of tools but not lunch, there's a great little cafe on site). So if you've been itching to get crafty this is a great opportunity to wake up your creativity.

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Toronto (East) Tool Library Launch

Monday, November 4, 2013 by Chris

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The Toronto East Tool Library and Makerspace throws its doors open for a grand opening party Thursday night (1803 Danforth Ave, 8 - 11 pm, free). The Tool Library lets members borrow a dizzying array of electrical and hand tools for up to five days; it's a cost-efficient way ($50 per year membership) to access tools you only use once in awhile. This sounds like exactly what I need for those occasional reupholstery, cutting and refinishing projects you know I love to tackle. Join me, I'll be there.

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Dirty Little Secrets

Sunday, August 4, 2013 by Chris

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I have a window IN my shower and you can imagine what years of water and rental neglect had done to the frame and sill. It was the most pressing home improvement I needed to make before I turn my apartment over to my visiting Home Exchangers and its been the most satisfying DIY I've tackled in a few years.My solution was boat-grade epoxy resin and polyurethane paint. I patched the worst of the holes with hardware store epoxy then build up two layers of resin, which leveled itself onto perfection. A light sanding and I was ready for the noxious, ultra-high gloss yacht paint that has me singing in the shower for the first time since I moved in!

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Finally Doing it Right

Sunday, March 17, 2013 by Chris

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If the leggy little tray table, above right, looks familiar it's because I featured it as a quick and dirty DIY in October 2011. Too quick and too dirty as it turned out. My Red Green, duct-tape method for attaching the legs lasted a few days before it all fell apart. Then I tried epoxy, which held on for about a week. What I really needed was a circular piece of wood into which to screw the legs, and then attach the tray to the wood. This is where Michael Greenwood came in, kindly providing me with a perfectly-cut circle of 1/2" plywood.

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Not So Ugly Duckling

Monday, May 28, 2012 by Chris

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You couldn't really call it ugly; even with its goopey, brown stain the cabinet was too inherently glamourous to merit the u word. But the finish was appalling and so my friend Susan was determined to give the piece a makeover, ideally in a tasty, high-gloss colour to approximate the Tommi Parzinger examples below. Suz decided on canary yellow and set about sanding the piece down to prep it for spraying. Much to her surprise and delight a swan began to emerge almost immediately. Susan was stunned by the beautiful wood grain and thought the piece might be teak although the jury's still out on exactly what kind of wood she was working with.

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