Make a planter out of used tin can


  • $0 left-over tin can (Christmas gift – caramel popcorn!)
  • $0 painter’s blue tape
  • $0 left over spray paint
  • $4.2 4 QT. potting soil + fertilizer

HA.  I knew there was a project waiting to be made out of the tin of popcorn that I received as a Christmas present.  Of course,  the popcorn was the present, NOT the tin can.

Step 1: Measure the same distance from one edge of the can, make marks, and use painter’s tape to circle around the tin.  The plan was to let the original green of the tin to show through.  I taped 3 rows of the tape to reach the desired width.

Step 2:  Spray paint the pearl-white paint all around.  I suspended the can to make sure none of the sides/edges touch anything while drying.

Step 3:  Use very-fine wool spool I had to sand off the surface to make sure smooth surface.

Step 4:  Pull off the tapes.

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shower curtain rings turned Mini Wreath by Katie Brown

A little holiday elf dropped this tutorial by the lovely Katie Brown at Smile Like You Mean It blog this morning.  It is so cute and simple, and I had all the materials needed.  I just HAD to make it.  Right Now.

Full tutorial link here:

Here is my attempt:


  • old shower curtain rings
  • glue gun
  • yarn of various colors

shower rings, glue gun, yarn

Okay, I know there’ll be a bunch of trial & error there, since I wasn’t sure about my patterns, color combinations, or length of yarn I needed.

Attempt #1:  wrapping yarn on my finger before looping it onto a ring.

Verdict:  not exactly as efficient of a strategy as I hoped for.  Next!

Attempt #2:  stick with the basic approach – one loop at a time.

Verdict:  it actually wasn’t too bad.

Ta-da!  Look at what I made.

I decided to string a bunch of them together and hang them in front of my closet door.

If my ceiling wasn’t 10 ft. tall, I would string them across my ceiling too.

anywhere else you can think of putting them?

corkboard jewelry display / organizer

Smaller apartment means new set of challenge on how I can store & organize my jewelry.  Continuing with my previous theme of “needing to see everything to remember wearing everything”, I decided to make something else for my new bedroom.


  • $o for old cork board
  • $0 for old acrylic paint, paint brush
  • $0 for old fabric head band that I no longer use
  • $0 for little screw hooks I already used for old hanging jewelry boxes.

diy, jewelry organizer

Step 1:  mix colors & paint the boarder of the board.  I wanted a deep grey to mimic other metallic frames in the room.

Step 2:  cut head band to pieces & take out the screw hooks.

Step 3:  position the fabric strips with thumb nails.  Insert the screw hooks. 

A word of advice – take an inventory of what you have and how you’d want to organize them first before you start putting things on the board.  Otherwise, you might find yourself pulling and re-inserting.


Step 4:  hang your beautiful necklaces, earrings, bracelets, etc.

new home in Boston

Lots have happened in Mango’s life in the last 5 months.

  • moved across country – yay!  new apartment to play interior decoration!
  • experienced one of the biggest snow season in Boston
  • dealt with the possibility of losing a close family member forever – luckily, it was just a dress rehearsal.

now I have lots of catch up with on this blog for all the fun new projects I am trying here.

To start things off – here is the new apartment!  It’s basically one large room that is our living+ dining room + kitchen.  The bedroom is pretty small so we don’t usually hang out in there.

On one end, you have beautiful windows that provides an awesome view.

Main living space

Check out the tall, flat / 2D looking building outside the window – it’s John Hancock Tower!  It’s the tallest building in Boston.

View from the living room

The other end of our main living space.

Main living space + kitchen

The chaos we started out with.

The apartment has a VERY tall ceiling.  So tall that we get to stand a 10 ft. long surf board straight up.

It’s so tall that I wonder how we are going to get our thin comforter (which we have cleverly stored on top of the closets) down.  Neither one of us can reach it on a regular chair, and the building ladder is nowhere to be found.

The fun part – hanging stuff on the wall.  We picked an older brownstone building for the lovey and different look we’re used to see in California.  Well, we should’ve realized that it also means brick walls under the dry wall & paint.  Very different kind of hanging techniques needed.

Man hard at work with drill... and realizing we have bricks behind the dry wall.  arrrrrgh.

After finding correct drill bits for the brick walls… off we go.

Finished Living room

self-adhesive DIY lampshade


  • $6 for lampshade template with self adhesive surface
  • $3.5 for polka dot paper


  • about 30 minutes
Step 1: lining up the raw materials.


self-adhesive lampshade


Step 2: trace the green template on the back of the paper I wanted to use on my lampshade.

add an inch on all side of the template for wrapping.

Step 3:  cut out the traced paper pattern.  Start carefully lining the paper on the self-adhesive surface

Step 4:  Wrap the extra margin to the inside of the shade.  Make cuts along the side to the paper bends smoother.  Tape down the margin of the paper that’s now inside of the shade.

1st treasure hunt at Alameda Point Antiques & Collectables Faire

For many months, I’ve been wanting to check out Alameda antique faire/flea market, which happens once a month.

It was such a HUGE market with much to see.   I’m quite bummed that I didn’t bring a camera because our weirdest sighting included a space suit!

Finally after walking around for 3 hours with my willing partner-in-crime, we picked up a few items to add to our space.

1)  Buttercup Federalist Ironstone dish:  serving bowl?

2)  cute small stool with reupholstered top

3)  decanter:  it’s where our gin calls home now

4)  vanity table – pictures to come

First visit to SF Flower Mart


  • $18 for 3 large batches of flowers.

I visited LA Flower Market long time ago and have been meaning to stop by the one in SF for quite a while now.  First impression of SF Flower mart was that:  “hmm… it doesn’t seem very big”.  Well, it’s not as big as the one in LA but still have lots of pretty flowers at good prices for my little adventure.

Here is some pictures for my splurge of $18… and many more of the pink flower buds that will open up well in the next few days.  Happy Monday to me. 🙂