Visita Iglesia

Here in the Philippines, Holy Week is big. Every year my mother returns to her home town to help her side of the family with their panata which includes pabasa and procession of the religious image. Me and the young ones were left in Manila,prepping for our two month long vacation in japan besides our flight schedule is right after holyweek which makes the timing habothabot.

Still I want the kids to feel the “spirit” of the season thus Visita Iglesia, our very first. my thoughts were to open their young minds to the concept of sacrifice and hope. My plan is simple. Visit seven different churches around Manila (pre-school-tolerable distance ) and recite the Visita Iglesia prayer


It was a hot Wednesday with heavy traffic, yet the kids were quiet in between church trips. In the church, they take turns leading the prayer, which they printed themselves a day before. Genuine interest in the churches we visit were evident in their curious questions (wished I’d known more trivia). It was indeed a Holy Wednesday.

coffee table con chessboard

Right now I`m  into `white` so anything that caught my vision is in danger of being white-washed.

This table is a hand me down and has been in service for 5 years.(can you hear its cries for a makeover?)

my first step was cover the whole thing with putty (filler of some sort) to fill the scratches, obvious wood grains and chips.  I applied the putty thinly let it dry a bit then repeat process again and again and again until i was satisfied with the result. then workout my arm muscles with some serious sanding.

using a paint brush, i applied ordinary white latex paint in several coats.

for the top part, i decided to use tiles (ideal for wipe and go moms) . from Home Depot, I bought 12x 12 mosaic tile ( i needed 4) also grabbed a builders bond (good to cover 1 sqm area). Layout the tiles on top of the table when finally happy with your arrangement use adhesive to permanently fix tiles on table.

this coffee table in one time or another functioned as a tv console, foot stool,extra sitting, kids activity table, study table, dinning table and now a chess board.

I am happy with the result but my 7-year old son is happier…he loves chess games.

kiddo book shelf

not only because i am inspired to try and build these pretty shelves but this is more of a solution to my clutter-making two-year old. keeping books inside cabinets or boxes, i thought is not practical. since it not easily accessible, i had to help my two-year old take out the books she likes and vise versa…its time and energy-consuming.

we went to the nearest Home Depot (near Alabang Town Center and SNR) and my shopping list included, 3 different sizes of wood, 1″ nail, construction glue, sanding paper, putty, flat wall enamel (white), 1.5″ tox and screw.

for sure the 3-meter wood will not fit inside the car, so we asked someone from HD to cut it into uniform length.

we used 3 sizes of wood. 0.5″x2″, 0.5″x3″ and 0.25″x0.75″ (see cross-section) all of which has a length of 80 cm ( just right length to maximize the space where we plan to install shelf )

each shelf consists of 3 piece wood with 3 different cross-section. we used construction glue to put the shelf together and for additional support we nailed some 1″ nail.

next we sand the shelf, apply putty, sand again then apply 2 coats of paint (sorry forgone the photo, after all the sanding, i just want to be done with this project). I chose to install the shelf adjacent to the door to make that blank white wall useful. we measure,marked and drill holes on the wall, insert the tox. the same procedure for the shelf: measure, mark then drill holes. finally we attached the shelf to the wall with a 1.5″ screw

what i love about this project is that to me its a wall art in itself (with colorful books) . now my daughter can easily get the book she wants and she even put it back when she is done. everybody happy 🙂

BTW, thank you for generously sharing your ideas and plans you are truly an inspiration.

etc etc hanger

when the trees surrounding the subdivision were trimmed to avoid the branches and trunks from tangling with wires especially during typhoon. I was struck by an idea….I`d make an orchid /plant holder . for several months the trunks was left to the elements for curing (truth is I am still considering my options on how to proceed with my project). but when the barks started to peel off, I know its time to take up the challenge.

If you think about it, the project is simple…all i have to do is make a sort of footing for the trunk to make it stand…and i have two options: complicated or uncomplicated.

since we are too cheap to invest effort, time and money for the formworks…I decided to use boxes instead (which we have in abundance because we live in a plastic-free city). as for the reinforcement we used bamboo sticks because it’s not a critical structure, some claim bamboo has as strong tensile strength as steel and most importantly I have it already in hand; no need to buy expensive steel rebars that are difficult to cut. note: make sure reinforcement is fully covered with concrete mixture by placing small rocks underneath the bamboo.

for the concrete mixture we used cement, sand (unstrained so the presence of occasional stone is a welcome substitute for gravel)and water .  ratio is approximately 1 part cement:3 parts sand. add water to make material workable but not watery. mix and pour into the boxes. notes: to ensure contact between trunk and concrete, hammer some nails around the bottom part of the trunk that will be submerged in the mixture(last-minute step sorry no photo available). also, to hold the box together we tied some G.I. wire around the box (which needed  some support).

here is my daughter adding some finishing touches.


then i was struck yet again with another idea…instead of hanging plants why not hang etc etc things instead…so while waiting for my son to finish KUMON, i went to the hardware to buy some hooks.

lightning does not strike twice but ideas sure does 🙂

revived lamp

after learning of my interest in recreating things, my mother has a new SOP before throwing things away, her unwanted things goes through me first. she is hoping that I make treasure out of her excesses:)

this poor lamp have been in storage for at least 20 years. The problem is there is no shade that come with the base (the shade was broken and thrown away but  the base was kept may be because it was a nicely shaped wood ; and my mother may have plan to find a shade someday but never found any).

Although I have a general idea on what I have/want to do, still I Google for more inspiration and ideas (instructions and tips).

this project opened my world to the wonders of spray painting. after reading the instructions on the can several times, I shake the can, held my breath and press. It was so easy and the result is really amazing.

as for the shade, buying a conventional shade is out of the question, they don`t sell the shade here in the Philippines separately…to import a shade takes a long time and for sure expensive. so I had to be resourceful and make do with what we have in this part of the world. I usually take note of the things they have in dollar store or 99 store(they are inexpensive alternative), I remember seeing a trash basket and thought it will make a good skeleton shade.

hopefully, I can also pass down to my children and the future generation not only this new-old lamp but the idea it imparts.

Let there be LIGHT

For BIG room improvements with LITTLE money involved, many decorators/designers advice either rearranging furniture, wall painting or improve lighting . Since our living room space is very small rearranging the furniture (humongous sectional sofa) is not an option, one wall I have painted already and now I will unveil our new light fixture…of course its DIY.

This is the before light fixture. I wanted more light so these will definitely have to be changed (hopefully its an upgrade)

My mind is already set to use a fruit bowl/ basket so I have been on the look out for anything (as in anything) so long as it has the concave shape. And then I found these…FOOD COVER, what I like about them is that they are light-weight so no worries of falling on our heads or getting bumps if it ever happens, the abaca fiber also lets more light out which I prefer and it is inexpensive about 4 USD each,,, I simply love it. Next step was to look for light kit but it seems unheard of here in the Philippines :)) so I just purchased wire, socket, energy saving light bulb, electrical tape (let the helpful hardware guy guide you and don`t hesitate to ask questions …anything concerning electricity is serious business). I also bought some chains for hanging.

Assembly is very simple…first I made sure to cut 6 equal length of chains, then attached one end of the chain to the food cover. my second step I spliced the protruding wire of the bulb socket to the extra wire (best to have someone knowledgeable to it for you). A foot away from the socket I made a knot so the other end of the chain wont slide down where I attached all three. Hope the picture would explain better :)) BTW the white circular plate is a junction box cover, gotta put it back otherwise to hide the electrical wires on the ceiling.

So here is our new DIY light by day

and here it is by night

Happy DIY-ing 🙂

clothes peg BURST

we had this mirror as a house-warming present…so after several years, its time for a make-over (actually, I have always been itching to make DIY sunburst mirror so I say its make-over-time no arguments DAD)

The are so many options for the sun rays materials but I think the best would be whichever is available and economical 🙂 Wood rays are my bet but I can’t just go about the village and start cutting barks from trees, I don`t think I can finish this project if I end-up in jail. So I went back to the dollar store where I saw these wooden pegs (pays off to be a scout and have a good memory)

I could have left the clothes peg alone but I wanted darker wood look so I soaked the wooden pegs on a dark wood varnish. Don`t forget to protect your manicure, wear gloves.

Then clipped them on the clothes line which I protected with aluminum foil (why the foil???cause its what we have in the kitchen…maybe if you have baking sheets or old newspaper that would serve same purpose)

although, there are many materials to choose from, it seems to me there is only one way to do the sunburst. first mark the mirror at the back side for guide (I just offset approximately one inch from the side of the mirror, you can use a measuring or drawing device like ruler, compass,  even elliptical curves to make a perfect guide…mine was a shortcut so don`t imitate its for lazy person only)

start attaching the rays beginning with the N-E-W-S then NE-NW-SE-SW. this will also serve as guide so the pegs are evenly placed and spaced. also, it is safer to sort of layout the rays before actually gluing it to the mirror. as for the glue consult your local hardware store…there are different glues for different materials.

once finished, you`d be very excited to hang/display your project immediately but be patient, remember the glue has curing hours or days…read labels.

Now stand aside and admire your work.