Watercolour – an old nemesis or a new friend?!

The new year brings with it a new obsession. Though I’ve been toying with watercolour paints for quite some time now, and several times in my lifetime, however this time I am obsessed with it! And as with any obsession, it can be crazy! I have always loved watercolours, but this time we are having a real battle – I want to win! And make it mine!


One weird morning, I pulled out my old watercolour set and had a desperate urge to paint something.To my surprise, it actually came out the way I saw it in my head. Let’s say I was pleased with it!


However, the piece after that, and the piece after that just seemed so dry, and mechanical and strained, making me want to snap my brushes and never touch them again.


This is when I feel watercolours and I are through.


But then again, a little breather, and we are back on talking terms. I lower my expectation and resolve that practice is better than no practice.


And so my journey begins. And really, this is just my journey of practice. Lots of practice. So much practice that some of my doodles have been given to friends and some I’ve even put up for sale in my beloved second-hand RightHere and some on Etsy.


So if you, like me, find yourself on a sort of journey where somedays you think you found your calling and some days you think you are wasting your life, check out my adventures on instagram as olga_mcdalova_watercolours! Maybe it will help you pursue your passion?

Make it and love it (or hate it)! It’s all good!


Crafted wedding invitations

This is a very special post, and though it is more than a year old, it marks and celebrates a very special event that shook this planet exactly a year ago. Very special family members, my husband’s brother and my now sister-in-law got married and today are celebrating their first anniversary! This post serves as a treasured reminder of that beautiful occasion, and my tiny contribution towards it.  Congratulations guys and thank you!

I had a priveledge to put my Cricut Cutter to use, and craft out these amazing invitations. Close to a hundred of them (that’s counting all the ones that I’ve ruined, too). 

I wasn’t sure if I can call them “handmade” as the pattern was purchased from an online shop. The puchase gave me some headache, too, as apparently you have to use it quickly, because the file expires and cannot be saved… I learned that the hard way.

My Cricut cutter was amazing! I love it! One of the best purchased for my craft soul, however pricey. 

I have learned a way to streamline my production. I bought two sticky pads, and while one invitation was being cut out, I was busy popping out the cut out pieces and cleaning the mats. Hideous, tideous job. 

It took a few long weeks to bring it all to completion. The cutting took long, but hunting for the right material, in the right quantity, took even longer. 

Once cut and folded, the insert was printed and displayed inside.

The order of service was adorned with a heart, cut out in similar pattern to the invitations. This one, I’m proud to say, I designed myself on CorelDraw. 

Most importantly, they were done in time, and the happy couple were, well, Happy!

Make it and love it!

Wardrobe Upcycle

Seems like my last few blogged DIYs have been about slapping paint on things, and again, I bring you my latest Upcycled Wardrobe, smothered in some fresh paint. Love it when an opportunity presents itself, at the right time. When is the right time? The right time is when I have the right tools available, space, some spare cash, inspiration, and most importantly, baby daddy who is happy to keep Mia Familia busy.  Then stars allign, and I barely have a choice.

With the help of a few dear friends and family members (thank you!), this little beauty made its way into my house.

It was lovingly painted white, looking nice and neat on the outside, however inside was a different story.

There wasn’t much room for any major alterations, it was sweet as it was, just needed some fresh paint, inside and out. 

I chose a shade of green, very light minty colour. Dispite all the beautiful colours available, I find I always diverge towards black and white. And if not black and white, then my next go-to colour is green. So I wasn’t any more adventurous this time either. 

However, this is exactly the shade that it needed. 

The inside, once again, was a different story. I did not choose this colour – it chose me. It was in the discounted section at Homecentre, and the sales person kind of wanted me to buy it, so it came home with me, and found it’s rightful place in this world inside my cupboard. Its a lovely lavender grey.

 As I started working on it, it’s purpose became more and more clear. I considered craft cupboard, wardrobe, etc., but as the coat of paint continued to reveal it’s identity, it was clear it was a linen cupboard.

Choosing handles was also easy. It had to be something not too shiny, not too modern, yet not too classic. I never like starting with “nots”, but found these little handles, and they were just perfect!

All in all, after a week of some sporadic (whenever time allowed) cleaning, sanding, painting, distressing and folding laundry, I get to wake up to this little friend!

Make it and love it!

Playhouse to Veterinary Clinic make-over

It’s been a long time coming! Some ideas born in the head have a few months gestation period! Finally, this came out!

It all started with our volunteering youth. They were fund raising for a mission trip abroad and were looking for opportunities to serve within the local community – for donations. I was starting to think of freshening up the playhouse. The opportunities presented each other, shook hands, and got on with it. They were happy painting, I was happy they were painting. 

Unfortunately, summer came, and we left for the summer. Once we got back, I was six months (going on fifteen) pregnant by then. I needed the master helper. My mum!

In its entirety, I think mum and I have different tastes (she’s way more eccentric), but on most things, I trust her eye. So one morning, she agreed to help while I was busy at work. I left her the choice of paints, and gave her complete creative freedom. I couldn’t trust anyone else like that. The colour choice is perfect! Not too hospital, not too girlie, not too boyish – just perfect for a Pet Clinic. 

First layer done. Now for the furnishings and accessories. 

We didn’t do much painting on the outside, but the white paws really freshened it up!

Veterinary clinic downstairs and adoption centre upstairs. 

Patient patients.

Opticians department.

Record keeping (aka Big book of boo-boos) is a must.

Anxious pups…

Pets looking for their humans.

Ikea dog bum hangers fit perfectly with our theme.

Now, hours of bureaucracy keep out Vet intern occupied. 

Make it and love it!

Toadstool Amigurumi 

This one is my personal favourite. Apart from being so cute and fairy tale like, it’s a pattern that’s entirely my own. In fact, it is so made up that every time I repeat it, it comes out different. However, that’s what I like about craft. It should always be different. We are not machines, and once a certain horizon is explored, we can see new heights to climb. If you crochet, then you know we are counting like crazy calculators, but every count is inspired. 

It still feels like a news craft, by merely switching yarn colour. So, why not brown toadstool. I think I will also try them in yellow and orange next.

As far as technique goes, if you are a fellow crocheter,  you’ll be pleased to hear that each toadstool is made in one go. Start with a magic circle of 6 st, increase either to 8 st, or 10, repeat couple rounds, increase again, repeat, till you reach 24 st. That depends on how tall and wide you want it. Then reduce to 18, 12, 6. Change to white yarn for the leg, and again, improvise. I increased 6 st to 8 to give it an extra curve. 

One of the toadstool Amigurumis lives with my best friend.

The other ones went to Christmas fair, and never came back. Maybe it’s time to replenish my stock. 

I make it, but I love who loves it. As much as I do, she hates to see them go. 

Round pedestal dining table remake

It’s a crazy revelation to me, but my last blog was almost one year ago! And that is not at all due to the fact that I haven’t done any craft – on the contrary, it’s been a busy year. It is definitely time to clean up my phone photo gallery and post some of the recent dos up.

One that I’ve been waiting to share is my dining table remake. It is nothing original, but a great experience for me, with all its failures and lessons. It turned out great, fits right in, and if furniture were pets, this one found its human family. 

Here it is in our old apartment in the kitchen. The dining nook off the kitchen was tiny, so having six chairs out was not optimal. Yet still, a beautiful and cosy table serving it’s purpose.

Here it is in our new abode. Having a bit more space, we have it permanently extended. However, as we have a breakfast table in the kitchen, we keep two remaining chairs there (and a bench).

It was not always easy. At times, we rubbed each other the wrong way (literally), but it was love from first sight, really. 

I first saw it on our local “Buy, Sell, Swap” site, for as little as 50 euro. It looked worn, tired, the soft seats stained and aged, but not dead yet. It could live another life. 

I did the usual. Cleaned it, sanded the flat surfaces (which took a long time!), and painted it white. I think I used a white satin something. I asked for durable and washable wood paint at my local DIY shop. It was a good call. Several layers were required, so I’d use roller first, then fill in the gaps with a brush.

For the table top at first I thought I’d do a stain and a white wash. However,  that didn’t work as I probably did not sand well, and some of the old varnish caused the stain to get absorbed differently. I had to sand it all over again. Also, the wood grain on the extention slabs was going in a different direction to the rest of the table, so second time round I decided against the white wash and just leave it stained. I believe it was the walnut shade.

The chairs were also a boggle. I bought some material to reupholster the old seats. I thought about getting something waterproof, but then I wasn’t sure how comfy that would be in our hot humid climate. I bought some black and white gingham plaid material from Ikea.

Sure, it looked great, worthy of a before and after shot, however, not very practical. After a few days in our house, white became grey, and as it was upholstered, it was not easy to wash. In fact, impossible to wash. Something had to be done. 

Just so happened that our plumber was in fact a carpenter, so he was more than happy to work on a different seat, and cut out wooden seats. After staining, the chair seats looked great.

Once the paint was completely dry, I went over the edges with my sander to give it that rustic farm house look. Every finger print and imperfection tend to really stand out on white furniture, but with worn out edges,  it’s not half as bad. 

It turned out beautiful! With more room around it, one can really appreciate the pedestal leg and Art Deco curves on the chairs. Love the end result! 

As true as ever, make it and love it!

DIY – Wooden Christmas Tree

This Christmas tree alternative is so cute, of course I had to try it! You will find it all over Pinterest. My favourite ones are the ones from pallets, but as I didn’t have pallets, new planks had to do.


There are so many ways to go about making one of these, but as always I make it the way it makes sense to me.
My way was to use my kitches floor tiles as my grid. It was easy to mark out some hypotenuses and use those for the Christmas tree shape.


All the pieces of wood were cut different lengths, according to my marked template. I used another piece of wood inserted between the planks to make even spaced gaps. Never need a ruler when you don’t need a universal standard measurement. It’s all relative.  Mine are Olgametres (“obtaining an object in close proximity that can be used as a measure without universally accepted graduations to identify a certain length used for that single purpose only and disregarded henceforth”). What are yours?


When the tree was cut, some pieces got moved by mistake slightly further apart, but I realised that I liked it like that more. It looked taller and slimmer like that.


Once assembled, sanded and painted, it went up on the wall, just above our churches’ coffee counter.


Here is the decoration odessey. I say odessey, as this took a while, but only because I got to decorate it with some students, and all the ornaments were handcrafted!  More on that later!


And, as always, ~ Make it and love it!