falling down places

I don’t know about you, but I love falling down, abandoned houses and sheds. There’s something so sad yet beautiful about them. I love the faded colours and the weathered timber. I mourn the waste of these places, left to disintegrate ’cause for whatever reason, no one wanted to live in them and love them any more.

A few years ago I spent time photographing old sheds with greyed timber and rusty roofs. This trip I couldn’t resist some of the abandoned buildings we saw. There are too many of them…

This old church was one building we were able to walk around and even inside.

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Inside it had a lovely curved roof and a small stage. Vandals had broken windows and most light fixtures. Rain and critters had done their share of damage as well.

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Nature starting to assert itself, bushes starting to grow in through broken windows.

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Around the back two outhouses, one still standing, the other on a serious lean. Would you visit this outhouse? I’m sure the redbacks living in there wouldn’t mind…

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Next, a simple old farmhouse, one which already had plants growing over the porches and inside the front room. You can believe me when I say I stomped around really loudly as I explored. I wanted to let the snakes know I was there.

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Around the back things were sadder. I know there are lots of reasons old homes might be abandoned, but it still makes me sad to see.

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What was left of the sheds was a mess, but offered some great textures for photos.

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This is one of my favourite photos, an old door and a bit of old metalwork…

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This old house stole my heart. It would have been such a beauty when it was loved.

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As it stands now, sagging verandah and rotten timbers, I wondered if it would be possible to restore it or if it was too far gone. Too far gone I think. But what a lovely old home… A part of me wants to know if its for sale…

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There were sheep grazing in the yard so I’m guessing the old farm was bought by a much larger property, the old farmhouse not needed and left to eventually become part of the landscape.

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Sigh…

This little cottage is definitely beyond any hope. From the outside it looks a bit of a wreck…

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With the leaning chimneys…

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And inside is more of a wreck. The place has perhaps been gutted as well.

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Look at the colours of the ceiling timbers! If I was salvaging bits of this house I’d be taking those ceilings, rotten timbers or not!

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And look at the old bits of newspaper and wallpaper still clinging to the walls.

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If I can’t restore and love these places, can I at least salvage from them?

Apparently no. It’d be considered stealing.

No fun!

z

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rodeo! (and more)

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We’re back from some weekend fun. And I’m so tired. It seems like I’ve been driving all day today (in fact I was driving most of the last two days), but it was worth it.

I took Wayne away for a weekend up north of the state, to the Carrick Bull Riding Rodeo.

I don’t have any photos of the rodeo. It was too windy and too hard to take photos, but hey, everyone knows what a rodeo is like. Horses, bulls, whips, cowboys, hats, barrel racing, roping, steers and dust. Not in that order necessarily.

It was an evening event and by the end of the night we were both frozen and could pass for a red indians thanks to the red dust. It was fun though. I do love a rodeo.

Here are some pics of our trip. I decided it’d be a trip through the central highlands and past the great lakes of Tasmania so we went through Bothwell where we stopped for coffee at a cute little coffee shop.

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I loved the sign, but I loved the door even more!

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Not to mention this table was so rustic, I could have it here, no worries.

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The only photo I took of one of the lakes at Breona, dark clouds and amazing colours.  I began to think I’d love a shack up there… to spent time up near the lake.

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I love going up north through the middle of Tasmania, the way the countryside changes as you leave the lush Derwent Valley, through the dry highlands, trees being replaced by scrub as you get up higher, down the mountains with their dense forests and ferns, all opening up to the lush pastures as you go down the other side.

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This time we stopped in Deloraine. I’ve only ever driven through (on the way to dog shows up north), never stopped to look around and appreciate the town. It’s beautiful. I love it. I want to live there.

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We had lunch at the 50s Diner and it was great! The best malted milkshake I’ve had in years!

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And all the collectibles! I was in heaven. If I lived in Deloraine I’d live in the Diner…

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I’d found a cute little Air B&B unit to stay in at Evandale. It was a bit further on from Carrick so we drove there to check in, then backtracked to go to the rodeo.

Our hosts were great and the self contained unit was gorgeous, thoughtfully decorated and very comfy. This was only my second Air B&B stay and way better than the first!

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Wayne made himself at home straight away…

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I’d been to Evandale before, (for a dog show – obviously!) so bascially I hadn’t really been there. For years I traveled around the Victoria and Tasmania, only ever seeing the showgrounds…

Evandale is gorgeous. I love it. I want to live there.

Wayne says I want to live everywhere I visit. Maybe so, but Evandale was beautiful…

And it has a famous Sunday market. I didn’t take many photos, I was too busy darting around from stall to stall, but loved the colours (and items) at this stall.

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Before you ask, yes, I did buy a few things. Like this little rusty corrugated iron pig made by a local Evandale artist. Isn’t he gorgeous?

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I also got a jar full of wooden buttons, some bone handled knives, a poodle with her pups and a minty green clock!

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I’m happy.

Tired and happy.

I have a ton of wonderful photos of falling down houses I’ll share in another post, so stay tuned!

z

junk4joy feature

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Just a quickie today to share a link to a feature on the Etsy Made Local Hobart blog.

Click here to read the article.

z

Ok. I won’t just leave it at that. You know me, I can talk under water. Or type. Whatever.

So, what exciting things have I been doing? Well… my bathroom cabinet (made from a very old chippy window) is almost done. I just have to add shelves, hinges and paint it.

Then make sure it works, cause, after all, it was made by me…

I put the mirror up in the bathroom. I finished the door trim and window and door trims are now painted.

Not much more to do to call the bathroom finished.

z

power plug business card holder

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This is one of those little projects that just came together, like, well, something that came together so easily, it was just like, meant to be.

I bought a vintage iron off a lady on Facebook the other day, and unlike most old electrical appliances which come with a cut cord, this one was intact. It had the loveliest bakelite power plug on the end of a very thick cord I almost didn’t cut it off.

But cut it did, cause I’m using the iron as my front door stop (of course!). I looked at the cute plug and thought “hey, I can do something with that!”

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Please ignore the dirty floor… who on earth thought black and white tiled lino would be a good idea on a farm with dogs and mud and men who don’t take off their boots?

So I had this plug and I thought, “this would make a great business card holder!”

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Into the casita* I went, to look through my collection of wooden bits. I have a shelf full of all kinds of wooden things waiting to be used to make other wooden things. Among my collection I had a lot of these small mounting plates – used in old houses to hold light switches.

Perfect.

I undid the plug, removed the wiring, used a bolt and butterfly nut underneath to secure the plug to the mounting plate, and voila! The cutest business card holder this side of creation.

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It’s the perfect thing for a junky creator like myself. Why have a simple box for your cards when you can have this?

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I think I’ll enjoy this little guy a while then list him in my Etsy shop for sale. He’s just so darn cute!

z

*casita = the old house on the property, our shed, my workshop

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upcycled jewellery organiser

 

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I’m so excited about this project. I just love how it turned out, to the point of wanting to keep it for myself. But I have to be realistic. I don’t have the right place for it and I already have enough spots for my own jewellery (which I hardly ever wear –  bracelets or necklaces don’t go well with dog grooming … or power tools!

So, here’s the story of this project – It began life as a chair in our kitchen. I went through a phase of buying vintage chairs from tip shops (ie chairs people have thrown away. ie wobbly chairs), painting them, and using them in our kitchen.

All good, except when you have a partner who treats chairs with contempt. He’s not exactly gentle with them. And old chairs need TLC. This was one of his victims. He broke one of the back legs by leaning back on it, rendering the chair useless.

It sat in the workshop for ages while I figured out what to do with it. Obviously I cut off the legs. Then I decided I had to cut the seat in half cause it was way too big for a wall  shelf. That meant I needed to put an ‘end’ on it. Done.

The basics were done. Then came the fun part…

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Firstly I had to decide what this little chair would be in its new life. A jewellery organiser was my choice so I began by painting it with a DIY chalk paint I mixed up. Then I started working on what someone would need for their jewellery.

I found a round base, cut it in half and added it to the chair using a rusty hinge, providing an extra shelf. I added a vintage double hook under it for bracelets.

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Next I added little eye hooks for earrings.

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Last I added a variety of knobs for hanging necklaces.

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The result: very pretty, very practical project! A bit shabby, a bit fun and a lot girlie.

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I love how this turned out (did I mention that?). I’ve listed it for sale locally as its one of those things which are way too big to put in my Etsy shop.

So, back to work. No rest for the wicked yada yada. Yesterday I finished sorting out the jungle which was our vegie patch. The weeds were waist high. I had weeded the raspberry patch a few weeks ago in order to find the fruit and to plant some pumpkin and cucumber plants which were given to me by a friend. The rest remained buried under old growth weeds. I’ve managed to cover the two jungle beds with weed matting and heavy objects to kill both weeds and seeds. If that works, next year I’ll have nice enriched soil to plant things in. Without using poison.

At least that’s the theory.

Today is going to be too hot to work outside so its ‘clean up the craft room’ day. After grooming. If I’m not too tired or its too hot…

It’s good to have plans.

z

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new year’s resolutions

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It’s that time again. When we think about the new year, new beginnings, what we’ll do to be better, be healthier, be thinner, smarter, wealthier, more successful, more loving, more adventurous… just… MORE.

It’s just another day really, nothing has changed since yesterday, but the first of a new year brings new hope that somehow we’ll be able to make changes for the positive that we failed to do last year (and all the years before).

Things I’ve failed to do on a regular basis: Get fit, lose weight, schedule my time better, prioritize better, garden more, spend more time with the horses, not mess up the house (as much) with my craft projects, clean the kitchen often, vacuum before the dust bunnies demand to be fed, get rid of things I don’t need or use, not buy more things I don’t need or use…

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Things I’ve succeeded in doing this last year include one big one: I gave up my ‘day job’ and finally began to groom full time. And I love it. Its the best thing I ever did.

Now if I could only learn to schedule my time better and keep my accounts better I’ll be on top of the world.

So this year my resolutions will be: schedule better, keep my accounts better, finish all my started projects, start more and finish those, empty out the shed of all the things I do not need or use, learn to say no occasionally, not volunteer for everything under the sun and go visit my family in Greece.

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I began the year well. This last week I spent a ton of money on things I needed (wanted) for the garden, and things I did not need but just wanted. Among the things I bought is this beautiful platter. I’d seen it at the market and resisted, then went back the following week and it was still there.

It was meant to come home with me. Who am I to resist fate?

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I also bought some cane baskets I definitely did not need and a couple of dolls I will use but did not technically need. But that’s all in 2017, when I spent my money carelessly. this year I will be better.

Cause I’ve made a resolution!

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Another thing I did last week was share my garden with a lot of people. I’ve given away seeds from my gorgeous lupins, aquilegia, foxgloves and sweet peas. I’ve given away plants I’ve grown from cuttings. I believe in sharing these things cause when I started my garden I was lucky enough to be given a lot of plants by people who were generous enough to share with me. Pay it forward and make the world a prettier place.

In return I got some herbs, some plums and some chilis. Don’t they look nice on my new platter?

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See? I knew I had to have it…

So. What are your new year’s resolutions?

z

revamped phone table

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Its been a great start to the year – I’ve already managed to finish a few projects I’d begun last year, or had sitting around on my To Do One Day list. Case in point – this cute little phone seat/table.

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I’ve always loved these mid century pieces, especially the metal ones. But I don’t always like the vinyl seat covers or the old faux woodgrain formica tops. Here is one I did previously, replacing the top with strips of tassie oak.

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Anyhow, I had this one, which is nicer in a way with its angled style. It took me ages to decide how I wanted to do it. In the end I decided to use one of my experimental tops and to reupholster the seat.

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Actually I had to make the seat from scratch as when the time came to finish this I couldn’t find the original seat… Typical. I’d put it in a safe place…

So, I made and upholstered the seat using foam and batting, some timber and some gorgeous toile fabric I had in my stash. The black and white fabric looks great with the black metal and the grey concrete top. A kind of shabby/industrial mix.

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The concrete top is my experiment… I wanted to find a way to make my own concrete tops for coffee tables and other bits of furniture, but didn’t want the weight of concrete. I tried out a few different methods and this is one of the resulting pieces. Its a bit of pine which has had a layer of concrete mix applied to it, been sanded back a bit and sealed for protection. Its got a nice concrete look, imperfect and still light enough to move without needing a forklift.

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It was sold pretty fast when I listed it so its already in its new home. It was fun to do and fantastic to actually finish it!

On to the next project… Actually, I have a few finished projects to share over the next few days. Meanwhile I’m working on the bathroom to get it finished. So far I’ve painted the mirror and bought the bits I need to make my window cabinet. I finished the door trim and need to paint the window and door surrounds. I also need to sort out the corners… and my storage baskets or boxes… then the bathroom will be finished!

z

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(faux) polished concrete side table

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Once you work out how to do something, why not do it again?

I love the look of polished concrete things, and while in Greece I met a guy who made polished concrete jewellery – bracelets and stuff. But it was light.

I have no idea how he made it, but it did get me thinking.

Ok, so I thought for years before doing anything. Haven’t you ever had a thought that festered in the back of your mind for years before becoming reality?

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Well, I did. Don’t judge me.

I knew there had to be a way to do it. I’d seen those Pinterest links to DIY concrete sink makeovers – like this one. Problem was, I couldn’t find that product here.

So, I had to improvise.

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When I was doing my bathroom I bought a joint compound to smooth the gaps in the cement sheeting. I got the wrong stuff – it was more like concrete than the joint compound I envisaged that I could sand smooth…

In fact, it was so hard I used it to patch the broken concrete step in the yard and it’s still holding strong!

Anyway, given this stuff was so strong I thought why not use it over timber to give it a concrete look? Lighter than real concrete, but with the same kind of hard feel.

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The strength means its pretty hard to sand smooth, so the finish isn’t as polished as, say, a bought one… and the edges are rough, more rustic looking. But hey, that’s fine with me. I like rustic.

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This is the second faux concrete top I’ve made since I discovered this method. You can see the first one here.

I finished it with a couple of coats of polyurethane to seal it and put it on top of a little stool base I had. A match made in heaven. Or my workshop. Same thing…

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There you have it. A cute industrial rustic farmhouse side table.

Moral of the story: don’t be afraid to experiment. If it works, great. If not, eh, what have you lost? A little time, some products, some face. No biggie.

z

how a chair became a charging station

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Once upon a time there was a metal base for something that I picked up at a tip shop.

And a broken chair, basically a seat without legs and spindles.

What would you do with those things?

Me, I decided to put them together and make a charging station.

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First thing I did was cut a piece of MDF into a shape which reflected the chair seat shape and connected it to the seat to make a ‘back’.

Then I drilled out the holes, removing broken spindle pieces.

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I cleaned the stand, using steel wool to remove the rusty bits, and sprayed it gloss black. Then a bit of sanding. A bit of painting. A bit of varnishing.

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Then I joined the two together.

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Okay. Something was missing. A charging station needs power, right? So I mounted a power board underneath.

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Now all you need to do is plug the power board into the wall and your chargers underneath, feed the cords up through the hole and sit your phone, tablet, kindle, whatever on top and done! A handy charging station.

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Sure beats having a million things and a tangle of cords sitting on the kitchen bench.

z

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suncatchers and teapots

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Its been one of those days. You know the kind, where all good plans go astray? It began when I got up especially early to mow the lawn (weeds) and work in the garden. I got to the ride on and found it had a flat tyre. So I started up the compressor, found the attachment and got ready to pump up the tyre. Only to find the battery was flat.

So much for that plan.

I spent a bit of time in the garden weeding, cutting back dead bits on plants, collecting seeds and generally trying to make it look like someone cares. Then the sun came out.

I don’t do sun.

Maybe it’ll hide again soon and I can get more done.

Anyway…. I thought I’d share a few of my teapot suncatchers… or just blinged up teapots… Whatever you want to call them. I’ve always collected pretty old teapots and jugs and usually make them into something you can display. These are my most recent ones.

The one above is sitting on the windowsill in the kitchen. I couldn’t give it up.

This one is in a new home. I love the blue chandelier crystals on fishing swivels!

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I love the coffee pot on this one, again blue chandelier crystals and faux pearls.

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This one didn’t have a lid so I improvised, making a lid from a Fowler preserve jar lid and a vintage cupboard knob. This one is decorated with black beads I salvaged from a broken necklace. The black handle, knob and beads just fit well together and I like the contrast of the gold and silver.

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This one is my favourite. It too was missing a lid so I used a shinier preserve jar lid and one of my crystal knobs. This one actually opens and shuts properly with the little hinge. The heavy chandelier crystals compliment the knob. Very fancy!

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Lastly, a simple little milk jug, or hot water jug, with its salvaged beads and chips of white shell.

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Yep, I do like my teapots.

I’m not sure if I’ll list these in my Etsy shop due to the awkward size for packing and shipping, but they will be for sale on Facebook and at the local market if they last that long. I’m taking a break for the month of January. Too much to do and I really need to rest a bit!

z

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