Today, I want to write about my battlestation. A lot of my hobbies involve my computer and I spend even more time here than ever since WFH was mandated back in March. As with all things, i’m all about the aesthetics so when I moved in with Dustin, and he said that I could use the den as my office, the cogs in my brain started turning. I measured out the space and, to my dismay, every configuration that I came up with was about an inch too long to properly fit. This room is just the right size that any standard desk I was finding either wouldn’t fit or wouldn’t make efficient use of the space. I had decided that I wanted a rounded corner desk for my computer area and that posed yet another obstacle; the specific corner piece (Ikea LINNMON / ADILS Corner Table) that I wanted was no longer sold at Ikea Canada. I scoured Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace every day to no avail until I finally realized that I could just make a “Searching for” post. Within a day, a kind soul responded and sold me the piece I needed for only $20. The next step was to construct the rest of the desk. What I ended up doing was buying a rectangular LINNMON tabletop (also on Craigslist, for only $10) and cutting it into pieces to fill out the rest of the space. The challenge with this was that LINNMON is mostly honeycomb inside, with only solid areas at the parts where the legs get attached. Luckily my dad is a handyman so he helped me hammer some wooden planks into the now-exposed ends to serve as something for the legs to drill into. I already had two 2×2 Ikea Kallax units that I wanted to use as supports for the desk but unfortunately they were the wrong height to work with Ikea’s standard table legs. To solve this, I commissioned someone from Facebook Marketplace to make some metal hairpin legs, painted teal; I am really happy with how they turned out and I think they make my desk even more unique. I also got him to make some little miniature ones which I used to build a riser for the middle monitor.

Remember how I said that I had two 2×2 Kallax units? Well, I was wrong! It turned out that one of them was actually EXPEDIT, which is a little bit taller. It was about an inch or so shorter than the final height of the rest of my desk so I ended up putting it in the corner opposite my computer area to serve as extra table space. The 1″ height difference annoyed me but it was something I could live with…until one day, while wandering the Ikea as-is section, I discovered a shelf on sale for $5 that was the exact dimensions needed to act as a riser. I stuck it under the EXPEDIT unit and now everything sits perfectly flush! The EXPEDIT just feels like an extension of the rest of the desk now.

The area not occupied by my computer is my crafting space. It’s the perfect size for sewing, resin-crafting, or whatever other project I happen to be working on. I picked up a nice desk mat from Ikea to keep it clean and protected.

Once I had the desk in place, the next step was to decorate! I thought about going for the same cozy, airy feel of my last battlestation but decided to opt for something more neon. Cyber Tokyo by Alex Knight was my main inspiration but, being the sugar fanatic that I am, I also wanted to integrate candy somehow. Luckily, I found some neon lights on AliExpress, two of which are popsicle shaped! This was perfect because my mouse is the Mionix Ice Cream and I have the corresponding popsicle-covered deskpad. I also have a pencil case with popsicles on it that I picked up at Daiso during one of my trips to Japan. To go along with the candy theme, my favourite hand cream is the Skin Food Gummy Bear. The packaging is too cute to throw away and I haven’t found a way to refill them so I had just been stashing away my emptys. Since they’re purple, they matched my theme perfectly! I kept teal as a primary colour so I was able to use a bunch of things from my previous set-up. I ordered a bunch of posters from Society6 and put them up on the walls and got some coasters, also from Society6, to keep my desk white. I also picked up some LED light strips on Amazon where I can set the colour from an App on my phone and used those to add pink and blue back-lighting.

Overall, i’m extremely happy with how it all came together!

Now that the space is so cozy and aesthetic, the only issue I was having was the temperature; often it would be so cold that my hands would be too stiff to play games and with the built-in heating, it would usually warm up just about when I was done playing. Dustin solved this issue for me; for Christmas, he bought me a little space heater and did a bunch of research to find an awesome one that perfectly matches my space. It’s amazing; aesthetic, has a remote control, and, most importantly, warms me up super quickly!

P.S. here is what it looked like before

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Rainbow Ducky

Pastel ducky

Today I wanted to talk about my keyboard.

My relationship with keyboards has been an interesting one because I have always been very particular but not always very discerning. When I first built my desktop back in 2013, I didn’t want to bother spending any extra money on peripherals so I just used things that my dad already had lying around. Among these was an old dell rubber dome whose grip pads had already peeled off. Over time, as I became used to it, I also grew attached to it. In retrospect this was terrible because it truly was an awful keyboard. The lack of grip pads was especially problematic because I needed it to be positioned on my desk in a very specific way otherwise I would feel severely handicapped in whatever game I was playing. My brother would always tease me about how I was so attached to something so crappy and he could never understand why I wouldn’t just buy a new one.

One day I woke up and decided that I wanted a keyboard with a backlit keys. I didn’t care about the specs and I didn’t know the difference between a rubber dome or a mech; all I knew is that backlighting looked pretty so I needed it. Still not wanting to spend much on a keyboard, I turned to CraigsList where I found a CM Storm Trigger with Cherry MX Browns for a very reasonable price. This was my foray into mechanical keyboards.. It wasn’t gaming, it wasn’t coding, it wasn’t even stumbling upon r/mk and discovering the endless possibilities for customization. Nope. I accidentally converted myself to mechanical simply by being cheap and superficial.

Pretty in pastel

Once I got used to that keyboard, I knew that there was no way I could go back to using mushy rubber domes which posed a new challenge when it came time to re-design my room. Like I said, i’m a very particular person so that meant every aspect of my room had to be perfect. This resulted in me buying a new monitor, tower case, and mousepad. I wasn’t able to find a white or mint green speaker system so I sewed matching covers for my existing one. My headset was already white so all that was left was my keyboard and my mouse. The only mouse i’ve used so far that properly fits my grip is the Razer DeathAdder but unfortunately it only comes in black. I ended up finding an older one (with the blue backlight instead of green), again on CraigsList, and I will be taking it apart and painting it glossy white in the future. For my keyboard, the process was a little bit more complex.

After discovering r/mk, I became very excited with all the possibilities available for customization. Things like custom cables, keysets, and artisan keycaps..really just so many opportunities to turn it from a hunk of metal and plastic into a work of art. I already knew that I wanted a white keyboard–that was a given–with Cherry MX Browns, as I loved the feel of my CM Trigger, but how could I allow myself to see all these other wonderful possibilities for customization without capitalizing on any of them? That just wouldn’t be right.

Other matching peripherals

I knew that this time for backlighting, I wanted more colours than just red. Ideally I would have liked my keyboard to have the full spectrum available but I was okay with just red and blue as long as they could be mixed to make various hues of pink and purple. I wanted it full-sized for no other reason than just having more space for pretty keys. I’ve always thought that artisans look impractical so I figured the extra numpad could be used as a place to put them if I ever became (i.e. had the resources to become) a collector. I also stumbled upon a beautiful set of pastel rainbow keycaps and once I had seen it, I had to have it. You see, the world of mechanical keyboards is a world of no turning back; once you’ve entered it, you continue to discover more and more things that you want until your wallet is empty and your desk is full.

I ended up buying my keyboard on MechMarket, a beautiful white-cased Duck Shine 4 with Cherry MX Brown switches. It wasn’t cheap but it was what I wanted and i’m very happy that I sprung for it. For the keycaps, I bought the front-printed NPKC Rainbow Keycaps from MassDrop. I actually think that the blank ones look a lot prettier but i’m not familiar enough with key content to fly blind like that. Front-printed allowed me to have the beauty of the blanks when viewed from above while still having the option to easily see what’s on each key. I also bought three Gen.S Gem Artisan Keycaps from MassDrop in Rose, Turquoise, and Jade and was able to win a raffle with Bad News! Keycaps; the cap I got was quite simple but it has a pearly opalescent shine to it which is one of my favourite things. It now sits proudly atop the ESC key. Lastly, I ordered a custom USB cable from 90N1NE and I am very happy with it. It is a beautiful teal colour that perfectly matches my storage boxes and it looks great with the gem artisans and rainbow keycaps. He also let me order some extra teal sleeving which I plan to use on the cable for my mouse when I finally get around to it.

Discovering r/mk has also ignited another fire in me and that is artisan keycaps. They look so beautiful and I have always liked the idea of working on small scale things like that. I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head for caps that I want to make. When I have time, I’d like to learn to create silicone molds and also learn resin-casting so that is a project I will look forward to doing in the future. Another thing to mention about r/mk is that it’s one of the friendliest and most welcoming Reddit communities that I’ve stumbled across. Of course I’m sure there are exceptions, but overall, their community seems to consist of a lot less snarky and catty people than I’d typically expect to encounter on a hobby-based subreddit.

As far as MassDrop goes, i’ve participated in 3 drops and have had a good experience with all of them. Everything that i’ve ordered has been great quality and has arrived either earlier or exactly when it was supposed to. The gem keycaps took a while to be prepared and ship out but I already knew the expected timeline when I committed to the drop. Recently i’ve been seeing reviews from people who have had terrible experiences with drops so be sure to do your due diligence and conduct thorough research before committing to anything.

Overall, i’m thrilled with how my keyboard turned out. It makes me happy to be surrounded by pretty things and I can now proudly say that my keyboard is not only pleasing to the touch, but pleasing to the eyes as well.

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Donut Pillows

Making donut pillows is one of my favourite things to do. I’ve sewn them using both a machine and by hand. In my experience, the results and quality have been very similar both ways. By machine is definitely much faster but I find that hand sewing can be therapeutic for me so I tend to go back and forth between methods depending on my mood.

For larger donuts, I like to use minky fabric because it is super soft and it doesn’t fray so you don’t need to worry about finishing the edges. Another reason why it is nice is because it does a great job of hiding your stitches; with minky, they won’t stand out if they are uneven or if you can’t quite find the right colour of thread to match the fabric. For the small donut pin-cushions, I use felt. Similar to minky, felt will not fray however, unlike minky, it does not disguise your stitches. It is much more important to stitch evenly when using felt. I have not tried any other materials so far as I am quite pleased with the results i’ve gotten.

To make a donut pillow, you will need to cut out 2 pieces for the “body” of the donut, one piece for the icing, and several smaller pieces for the sprinkles (see diagram). To draw the circles, I like to trace household items; for the outer circle, I use a large serving plate and for the smaller circle, I use a rice bowl. It is important to note that, after sewing, your donut will actually be much thinner than it appears at this stage so be sure not to make the inner circle too large.

The first step is to sew all of the sprinkles onto the icing. I like to loosely position them and ensure that the different colours are properly distributed and balanced. Once I am happy with the composition, I pin them in place. I then use white thread to carefully sew them on, one by one. This is, by far, the most time-consuming step, especially if you want your donut to have lots of sprinkles, which I always do. It can get repetitive but I find it very peaceful to lay in bed sewing on sprinkles with Howl’s Moving Castle playing in the background.

For the small pin-cushion donuts, rather than cutting out and sewing on a bunch of sprinkles, you can simply use embroidery thread. Depending on how fat you want your sprinkles to be, I would recommend using 4 to 6 strands. It’s very easy; just sew a small straight line and that will act as one sprinkle. For consistency sake, be sure to make all of your sprinkles approximately the same length.

Once you’ve gotten all of the sprinkles sewn on, the next step is to attach the icing to the top layer of the donut. First pin the icing into place, then use a running stitch around the outer edge. If you want to, you can then secure the icing with a running stitch around the inner edge. Another option is to leave it loose for now and then simply include it as a third layer when stitching around the inner edge during the completion steps of the donut.

After you have attached the icing to the upper piece, the next step will be to sew the upper and lower pieces of the “body” together. Flip the pieces so that they have their right sides together (soft fuzzy sides facing inwards) and then sew around the outer edge using a running stitch. Once you have completed the outer edge, flip your work inside out so that wrong edges are now together. The final step is to use a blanket stitch to sew the inner circle. If your machine will allow it, you can also use a running stitch for this part, but I find that sewing a blanket stitch by hand yields the cleanest results. Be sure to add stuffing as you go, ensuring that it is smoothly and evenly spaced. If you stuff it in chunks without taking the time to spread and space it, you can end up with a lopsided donut.

For pin-cushion donuts, rather than sewing right sides together, keep the right sides out and just use a blanket stitch around the outer and inner edges. The blanket stitch looks great against the felt and seems to give the donut more character.

Depending on how many sprinkles you have and how large your donut, you can easily complete a pillow in less than 4 hours. They make great gifts and are actually surprisingly comfortable to lay on. Hopefully this tutorial was helpful. Enjoy!

Colourful Scarf

Aside from the Noro Striped Scarf, there is only one other thing that i’ve knit for myself. I was scrolling through instagram suggestions one day when I came across these beautiful mittens made by an instagram user named yarn_cafe_creations. It was some of the most beautiful yarn that i’d ever seen so I knew I had to get some for myself. To my surprise, I found that the yarn was hand dyed by yarn_cafe_creations. Luckily, she owns an Etsy store of the same name where she sells this yarn and more.

The colour that I fell in love with is called “mermaid party” but there were many others that I had to resist the urge to buy. I was very pleased to find that this yarn is incredibly soft with no itchiness at all. I wanted to make mittens but I knew that I wouldn’t wear them so I decided to opt for a scarf and headband set. Once again, this is a case of the yarn doing all the work; I used the exact same pattern as the Noro scarf, which is a basic knit purl knit purl with slipped stitch edges, only modifying the number of stitches cast on. I can’t remember exactly how many stitches I used but I wanted this scarf to be fatter than my Noro one so I believe it was more than 39. Again, I did not do any blocking for this as I prefer the unblocked look and there were no issues with curling.

I can’t get over how pretty this yarn is. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of it. I had a lot of trouble narrowing down which ones I wanted to upload so please forgive me for this image-heavy post. More photos here.

Noro Striped Scarf

Knitting has been a hobby that I have abandoned and returned to many times over the years. On the one hand, I really enjoy the process of knitting. It is extremely relaxing and satisfying and it is something that can be done almost anywhere with minimal supplies needed. On the other hand, I don’t personally wear very many knit items myself so when I do knit, it tends to be primarily for gifts.

One item that I did knit for myself is the Noro Striped Scarf. It is actually a very easy project as it is really the yarn that does most of the work in making it look so beautiful. Noro Silk Garden yarn comes in so many pretty gradients that I think the longest part of the process for me is actually just choosing which ones to buy. In total, you need 4 skeins so I try to pick 2 neutral ones (stripe 1) and 2 vivid ones (stripe 2) so that I don’t have to worry about clashing colours. For the vivid ones, when transitioning between skeins, I try to do it at a point where they have a similar colour so that there isn’t a harsh transition point midway through. Sometimes this requires cutting the skein at multiple points and re-attaching it in a different order; this is a pain to do but I would say that it’s worth it in the end.

The pattern for this scarf is very easy, simply knit purl knit purl all the way through with a slip stitch at the end of each row to finish off the edges. Each stripe comprises two rows with the extra colour being carried up through the sides when not in use. I tried to copy Jared Flood‘s design exactly so I casted on 39 stitches using size 7 needles. For the scarf in these photos, I used 2 skeins of Noro Silk Garden 267 which I striped with 1 skein of NSG 301 and 1 skein of NSG 8. I didn’t do any blocking as I thought that it already looked good without it and I wanted it to maintain its elasticity. I haven’t been able to find a very good selection of NSG in stores anywhere close to me so I tend to order online either from or I have had great experiences with both of these websites and would highly recommend them.

One thing that I will mention is that NSG is actually a bit scratchier than I expected. I have dermatographia so my skin is very sensitive and I find that this scarf can be itchy at times. It seems that, as long as the scarf does not move around too much against my skin, then itchiness is kept to a minimum.

Overall, I’m very happy with this scarf and I always find myself wanting to knit more and more of them to give away as gifts.

Room Makeover

Please bear with me as this post is going to be long-winded and very image-heavy.

Last Christmas, a bunch of people were asking me what I wanted for a present. It was really hard for me to think of anything because there was nothing that I particularly wanted or needed. I no longer bother telling people not to get me anything because I know that they will just do it anyway, so instead I opened up my laptop and started brainstorming. Somehow, I came up with the idea to redecorate my room and decided to ask for presents that would help spruce it up. Things like new bedsheets, duvet cover, floating shelves, pretty office supplies, etcetera etcetera. As I am prone to do, I got totally carried away and ended up redesigning my entire room. This all happened right before final exam season so it was very distracting, but in the end, it was worth every minute and penny spent.

One thing that I realized while planning out my new room was just how expensive everything is when it comes to interior design. I am very particular about the things that I own, so even if it strays from my vision just the tiniest bit, it won’t do. Unfortunately, many of the things that I wanted were either way out of my price range or simply didn’t exist at all. Well that was a challenge I was happy to take on, as I decided that if I couldn’t buy the items I wanted then I would just make them.

I had wanted a platform bed for a very long time. The overall theme of my room was aqua and minty shades of green with a feeling of lightness and airiness. To me, there was simply no other option than a platform bed. I had given myself a budget of $100 to replace my bed frame but all of the ones I was seeing were $300+. I am very fortunate because my dad is a handyman and very good at carpentry and woodworking. I browsed around for inspiration and ended up finding reddit post with a bed very similar to what I wanted. I took the design, tweaked it to my liking, and then passed it on to my dad, who surprised me with it on my birthday. It doesn’t show well in the pictures below, but it is actually lit from below so, in the dark, it really looks like it’s floating.



I actually forgot to take before pictures so these are just some photos that I found on my phone. What a mess! As you can see, my room used to be extremely mismatched and cluttered. It was really just a mash up of whatever furniture was available at the time.

One of the biggest improvements in my new room is my desk! I enjoy both gaming and crafting so the amount of space available on my old desk just wasn’t cutting it. The area was cramped and cluttered and really just a terribly inefficient use of space. I shopped around a bit to see if I could find the desk I wanted but nothing really caught my eye. Instead I ended up designing one to perfectly suit my space and my needs. Again my dad built it for me, but this time with my help. Well I don’t know how helpful I was but that’s beside the point… We were able to use reclaimed wood for most of it but I did have to buy the two pieces that make up the desktop. Still it only ended up costing around $80 so I would consider that a great success. We used a water-based glaze because we didn’t want to deal with the messiness and fumes of the oil-based. I think it took about 4 coats to get it to the level of glossiness that I wanted. I love the drawers in the middle; the top one is for odds and ends, second is for computer-related accessories like usb sticks and memory cards, the third one is sewing supplies, and the fourth one is general craft stuff.

I found a little table-on-wheels on craigslist for $20 that perfectly matches my desk. I call it the “eating table” because it’s very easy to roll out whenever someone comes in my room to eat and watch TV. It’s especially nice because it has a big hollow compartment in which to stash the consoles to keep them out of the way when not in use.



The hardest item to conquer was undoubtedly the couch, not just logistically but sentimentally as well. The couch you see in the before picture was in our family for many years, and my sister was very attached to it. The only reason it was actually in my room at all was because she couldn’t bear to see it go when my parents upgraded the living room furniture. It served us well for a long time, but unfortunately I just couldn’t find a way to make it fit into my vision. I spent weeks researching and puzzling over how I could make a cover for it to make it look a bit more up-to-date. With the way the cushions were constructed, any kind of sewn cover was far out of my ability range and no matter what I tried, I just couldn’t come up with anything I was happy with.

Once I made the decision that the couch had to go, the next step was finding something within my budget that could replace it. I set my sights on the Ikea Beddinge Futon but, at $269, buying it new was out of the question. Don’t get me wrong, that price seems very reasonable for such a versatile piece of furniture, but I was still a poor student at the time. Again I gave myself a budget of $100. It took me quite a few weeks of scoping out Craigslist to find the perfect one. Most of the ones in my price range would seem to sell instantly and I wouldn’t even get a response. I actually ended up getting a much smaller futon first but it just didn’t sit well in the space so I sold it. I was able to make some money off that sale so, in the end, my Beddinge only ended up costing me $35.

To my surprise, Ikea didn’t sell white futon covers and none of the colours that they did sell matched my decor. And so arose yet another challenge. “No problem!”, I thought, “I’ll just learn to sew”. So I used the extra money that I had saved to buy an old Singer sewing machine and some white duck canvas. I practiced first by making pillowcases and, once I felt confident enough in my ability, I set to work and made the futon cover you see below. Since the futon is very rectangular, the cover was easy to make and I was quite happy with the result. I even added pockets on the side where you can stash a book or a remote.



The rest of the items for my room were either gifts (bedsheets, shelves, duvet cover) or purchased for cheap. I found a lot of great things at Daiso and it was particularly nice because they seem to carry a lot of things that match my colour scheme. Most of the picture frames were bought at Ikea, with the exception of the acrylic ones which were made by my dad. The paper lanterns were ordered on eBay and the Christmas lights are from Rona. I used little clear 3M adhesive hooks to put up the lights and also to hang the string for my polaroids. I did a few other small sewing projects to add the finishing touches and bring it all together but those are another story for another time.

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