I am loving these guys. They take ages to make but its very satisfying to see them come together. Problem is that during summer there isn’t quite as much rubbish on the beaches as there is in winter so the pickings are slim. I’m almost out of rope bits I collected in winter now so once I use them up I’ll have to get creative to make more baskets.
I’ve had some of my baskets placed in a local gallery now (1 sold already!) so I’m afraid I can’t list and sell any on Facebook till the season is over. Ditto with my marble paintings. I have opened my FB shop to see how it goes and I may re-open my Etsy shop as well. Every little bit helps!
I’m still only working part time (ie I work full time for a bit, then stop for a bit…) great for having fun in the sun, not great for the wallet.
So, Lainee and I have had some fun times. Here she is having a fancy dinner at a beach bar.
And here at a beach side restaurant.
And enjoying a sleep in at home.
I’ve had a lot more time to myself this last week as I wasn’t working, but I used a lot of it at the beach. However, I did use some to finish projects I hadn’t touched in ages, just to be able to set them aside, put them in a gallery, or whatever.
So. That’s my news for now. More later as I share projects finally finished.
I think I’m in love with my bed… I don’t want to leave it. Well, I do leave it for the bigger TV in the living room and the couch, but I love my bed. And I love sleeping…
What’s wrong with me? Maybe I’m just tired after work, but that’s not a real excuse. Or maybe its the heat, though the last few days have been blissfully windy after days of sweltering nothingness. I spend the day with creative thoughts in my head – ‘when I get home I’ll do this and this and this…’ – eager to work, then I get home and plant myself in front of Netflix and do boneless cat immitations.
There are days I’m sure I will never blog again. It just seems so pointless when I’m tired or feel like I have nothing new to share or say. Times like those I toss up the whole social media presence, is it really necessary, who cares what I do anyway? What was I thinking offering to do a radio show online? Like I have so much time I need to fill!
Then there are days when I love sharing something I’ve just made or painted cause, frankly, I’m just a show off… If I look back at my life I think I did a lot of things cause I love to show off: rock’n’roll dance competitions (wow! you’re such a great dancer!), selling my stuff at markets (oooh, you’re so talented!) etc.
I’m impossible really.
Anyway, so what’s been going on? Well… the hand-held shower thingy in my bath broke. The tube sprung more leaks than a wicker canoe. Given its my only shower option, its a kinda necessary thing. So I bought a replacement tube. Didn’t have a wrench… (the one tool I didn’t have!). Bought one. Got home and promptly broke the old hose where it screwed into the tap… Been using a bucket to shower for the last 3 days. And the plumber never showed up today so its looking like another day or three before that issue is remedied…
But on Sunday I gave myself a break. Zefi, her family and I spent the day at the beach. My all time favourite beach which I hadn’t visited once this year so far. We put in a good solid 7 hours of hard beach time. It was great. Just like the old days.
Lainee came with us since the breeze was cool enough. Here she is waiting for our lunch to arrive…
And here she is after lunch was finished.
And while I’m on the subject of Lainee, here she is first thing in the morning.
If that face doesn’t make you wanna kiss it nothing will!
Anyway, I gotta go. Things to do since the plumber didn’t show.
We’ve had a heatwave here for the last week. Today a cool breeze has picked up and I feel like I can finally breathe again.
However, I don’t really like choppy seas, so today I’ll have to go searching for a beach that’s sheltered from the wind. Still, small price to pay!
The last few days I’ve had a couple of early morning swims so that I could cool down and then spend the rest of the day holed up at home with the air conditioning on. Poor Lainee… last night I’m sure she was panting in her sleep despite the fan going all night.
My ‘garden’ is still alive however. I water every evening cause I love flowers. This is currently my favourite corner. The red bougainvillea which seems to want to flower in winter, my white gaura and the gorgeous purple water hungry plant an aunt gave me. No idea what its called, but I love the vibrant purple flowers that only last one day.
There is another purple flowering plant in that corner, a burgundy and a pale pink daisy but they have yet to flower. No idea why. The seem healthy enough…
I planted sweet peas this year as well but none of them seem to be doing well. They grow but either end up looking motley or don’t flower at all. So no seeds for next year…
I have sunflowers though. Taller than me! My neighbour gave me some seeds and I have 3 very tall plants currently flowering. I’m not a fan of yellow flowers really but now and then its nice to have something different.
My weeds are doing well though. I’d put out a ton of seeds in various pots and had stuff come up that I couldn’t identify so I had to let them grow a while. Now I know they are weeds but can’t pull them all out without destroying my plants. A job for winter.
This weed however is one I planted myself. Don’t know what it is but it grows in gaps in the cobble stones in Parikia. I collected some cause I love the tiny blue flowers and have it growing at home now. What’s not to like about an easy to grow plant?
I’m currently caring for a neighbour’s hibiscus plant which is doing well despite me. Not something I’d chose myself, but it is pretty.
And the best thing ever….
Some of the aquilegia seeds I brought from Australia are FINALLY growing!
Ok, not a ton, considering I must have planted about 1000 seeds in the last 3 years, but SOMETHING. I am now praying to the gods of plants that these little guys make it, flower and produce seeds.
I don’t know if you remember, but I had a huge collection of aquilegia growing in Tasmania – all shades of purple, blue, white, pink, burgundy and red. And all variations of single, double, small and large, with spurs, without… I miss them… I want them… They are so delicate and just… just… gorgeous. (Here is a link to some pics).
Bonus: they self seed and spread. I had them coming up between cracks in the pavement, in odd corners, etc. Ditto the sweet peas. I miss that.
I guess I am missing the farm in Tasmania.
But I have sea breezes, the smell of the sea and the sound of cicadas to console me.
This is a small easy update to a very wintery looking footstool I bought this winter. This is what it looks like:
Nothing fancy, just warm and furry, goes well with the faux cowhide rugs I throw over the couch in winter.
But in summer I wanted something lighter, more in keeping with the summer look of lighter throws. So I dug out the old flour bags I’d collected in Tasmania. I was going to get a friend to make a quilt out of them but never got around to unstitching them to give her. Now I have a few very old and some not so old ones I’m not sure what to do with sitting in a suitcase under my bed.
I selected a not so old one (its in kilos) to make this cover.
I don’t have progress photos cause I always sew by the seat of my pants (ie sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t though I always make them work somehow)… but basically these are the steps:
I cut the bag open to separate front from back.
I laid the front fabric upside down and placed the stool on top (also upside down) and traced the shape.
I cut the circle allowing plenty of seam allowance.
I cut the back into a strip deep enough to cover the sides and go under a bit – the length wasnt enough so I used a piece from the front (with writing on it) to make it long enough.
I sewed the two pieces together to form a long ‘side’ piece.
I hemmed the side piece with a channel to fit elastic in it.
I slid the side piece onto the stool inside out and placed the top piece on inside out and pinned it all together.
I sewed it all together, trimmed edges and zig zagged them to stop fraying.
I threaded elastic through the channel and voila:
Fitted it onto the footstool!
I didn’t bother ironing it (cause I’m basically lazy and ironing would have meant cleaning the stove top of the sundry bits and pieces its collected, putting out my ‘ironing’ towel and getting the iron out from under the sink*), so its the edges aren’t all sitting in the right spot, but you get the picture.
*My iron is only out when I’m dedicated to sewing. Naturally.
Underneath you can see the elastic holding it in place.
One small project finished!
Meanwhile I’ve been busy doing stuff, painting on marble, grooming dogs, going swimming, napping in the middle of the day when the heat gets too much for me, making baskets, watching a lot of Netflix…
I finished Orphan Black (loved it), started iZombie (loving it)…
Hey, at least most of the time I work while watching Netflix, don’t get on my case!
I’m still obsessed with shades of mint green. As if you didn’t notice… And the darker, greener green which appears on vintage pieces.
The little cabinet I just shared under the electric board door I shared months ago:
The green cupboard I just shared:
The chalkboard visible behind the sea rope basket which also lived in my kitchen in Tasmania:
Almost everything in my kitchen in Tasmania… The doors, the chalkboard…
The paper towel holder…
The drawer I upcycled into a charging station…
The roadside find trolley I fixed as my coffee cart…
Don’t get me wrong. I love old things and I love the antique colours they come in. I love other colours too – light blue, creamy white, pale yellow, dusty pink, light grey. But vintage greens never fail to catch my eye.
I think the first piece I ever had in green was a meat safe like this one.
Isn’t it just the perfect colour? Greeny blue with a nice dose of rust.
These days a paler version is in fashion: a softer, more pastel, more 50s colour. Since I mostly mix up my own colours I find something I like and try to match the colour. That means I get close but not identical each time I paint something. Suits me fine. I’ve never been hung up on perfection. Old things are not perfect… its that worn and used look that makes them perfect to me.
Here are a few examples of things I painted in variations of that minty greeny colour.
A small wall mounted bookshelf (sorry, no finished photo):
The bottom of an old wardrobe I converted into shoe storage for our porch in Tasmania. The drawer was broken so I kept the front in its original colour and hinged it from the bottom.
Not the best photo, but the most distressed look I ever attempted on a small men’s wardrobe I used for craft supply storage in my office. I painted this in pale yellow and pink then topped it off with minty green before sanding and scraping back.
A greener green colour for a small vintage meatsafe I upcycled for towel storage in my grooming room.
I have an old timber couch I plan to sand back and paint next but I think I should stick to antique white for that cause then I can pick any colours I want for the cushions. Painting it green will limit my choices…
I don’t know why, but I love making baskets out of rope and other things I find on the beach or road. This one is made from a lot of white bits I found mostly on the road, plus some coloured bits from an unravelled rug I found that my aunt was throwing away.
When you have a brain like mine anything found is a treasure… its both a gift and a curse.
As with all my rope baskets, I collect rope pieces I find anywhere, bring them home and wash them (I bleached these bits since they were mostly white), dry them and then sort them as I sew them together. By hand of course.
This one is my favourite right now, but that changes with every basket I make. I enjoy making them and spend hours watching TV and putting them together. I have the callus on my thumb to prove it
I’m still working on the FB shop page to sell things, still looking for the right gallery to show in and still have no idea what I’m doing.
I found this gorgeous cupboard in an online store on Facebook and feel in love. So I bought it before even figuring out where I’d put it. Turns out it fit perfectly in my bedroom.
I didn’t take any good before photos, but the guys from the shop were kind enough to send me the one above from their listing. You can see it has a nice shape in the display area, no doors, no drawers and a dish rack inside the top part.
I basically let it sit there, wrapped in plastic, for a couple of months before I started working on it. The only thing I did was expose the hinges. I’ve never seen hinges placed on a piece of furniture like this before. I measured them and went looking to see if I could find hinges to fit so I wouldn’t have to mess with removing and replacing. I got lucky and found some in brass (which I painted naturally!). They’re great actually as I can easily remove the doors if I want to move it around, making it much lighter.
It needed a major overhaul obviously. I sanded it back to remove the old paint (and dirt. Lots of dirt). I removed the dish rack cause I wasn’t going to use it in the kitchen. I made doors out of plywood. I made drawers out of whatever I had on hand, with plywood fronts. I got some simple white ceramic knobs.
I mixed up paint to match the original colours cause I liked them. A more yellowish green than the minty green I usually like. You can’t see it in the wrapped pic but the inner part in the middle was blue and the insides unpainted. I painted the insides blue.
My plan was always to put it in the bedroom for linen up top and shoes down the bottom. Hence the holes in the doors: to allow air to circulate. Bonus that it looks cute.
The naked ladies, being mostly white, are ideal for display purposes. Mind you, its also a handy spot to store them till I decide what to do with them. And till I find what belongs in that spot.
Ever since I moved here I thought it would be handy to have a pull out shelf drawer cabinet thingy (what are those things called anyway?) to hide away the bottled water. The water here is meant to be great quality but you know, once you get into the habit of drinking bottled water…
Anyway, till recently I would buy a six pack of 1.5 litre bottles and put them in the corner next to the washing machine, then toss the empties on top… given the washing machine still sticks out of the kitchen bench and I still need to finish that ‘end’ of the kitchen, its not a pretty sight even without the bottles.
So while I was up at my uncle’s garage remaking the cupboard I figured I’d use the opportunity to try my hand at making my thingy.
Its basically made out of odds and ends I already had on hand, but I did have to buy the wheels. The paint I mixed up to match the existing kitchen cabinets. Its basically just a box with a shelf in it, a solid back and narrow slats to hold in the bottles. Pretty easy to make. Its not perfect, but it works.
Given I make things without any real knowledge of the hows tos, I’d say it came out pretty well. Especially cause its the exact right height! And me with my mathematical disability!
PLUS I didn’t have to re-cut anything. I got everything cut the right size first time (I have been known to waste a bit of wood now and then… but that’s ok, I usually find something to do with the ‘wrong’ bits.) I’m pretty amazed at myself really.
You may have noticed, its not all bottled water. The idea was for it to hold a full six pack of water and perhaps a couple of leftover bottles from the previous pack, but I thought it was a nice spot to store my measely collection of alcohol as well. It had the room!
So there you have it. Another home improvement brought to you by Zefi. 🙂
Things have been a bit all over the place lately, which is my excuse for not posting more often. I thought I’d post while I was on Syros while Lainee had her second operation, but I just couldn’t drum up the enthusiasm for it.
Lainee is doing fine though. She was hungry one hour after waking from her surgery the vet said, and had the staff wrapped around her little paw the whole time she was there. She came out raring to go. The only thing that slows her down is the heat. She really doesn’t do well in the heat. The vet said that’s cause of her heart murmur. So I keep her out of the heat as much as possible. I’ll have to start carrying her back from work when its hot so she doesn’t become tired or overheated.
Meanwhile I started work, in a way. I only had 5 days worth of work to do, then I have to wait for more stuff to do. I hope my job becomes regular soon as I need the income naturally. Though I must admit, I love being a lady of leisure in summer.
So, taking advantage of the not working times I have been working on the tons of projects I have that need finishing (or starting!). I finished the little green cabinet I shared yesterday and have been working on the bigger cupboard I got. That should be finished and back home today if the guy who’s helping me with it can bring it.
Today I thought I’d share the latest finished sea rope basket. I wanted this one to be a bit bigger than the last ones which I made to hold smaller stuff like keys or glasses. This one I’m currently using to hold fruit on my kitchen counter.
These baskets are easy to do, they just take a lot of time. I have a callus on my thumb to prove that. First I have to collect bits of rope from the beach (usually over winter)… most of the pieces I find are only small, between 2-5 inches long. I bring them home, wash and dry them, then put them in a bag near the couch. I pull out the bits I want as I work on a basket. I work on the couch while I watch something on Netflix. Stops me from wanting to snack all the time.
I’ve already started another one, totally different this time cause its from roadside rope. I will share that one soon as its finished. I enjoy doing them. I like having something for my hands to do.