About zefiart

Blogger, DIY-er, poodle lover, graphic designer, dog groomer, recycler, artist, wonder woman in my spare time.

another charging station

Remember when life was simpler, and not every power point and surface in your house had multiple cables connected to a myriad of devices being charged?

Ah. Those were the days…

I’m getting sick of it to be honest. I keep creating charging spaces and shelves and spots and there’s still too many things being charged on the kitchen bench.

We don’t have a huge kitchen. Our bench space is limited, and we have enough crap on it already… I don’t want phones, hearing aid controls, battery chargers and headlamps on the kitchen counter thankyouverymuch.

Not sure if you remember my upcycled drawer charging station. And here in its newest incarnation. Its still used all the time and is even better now I have one of those multiple USB charger towers inside. We use that for our phones and Kindles mainly. But there are still more things that need charging…

Which is why (given Wayne’s tendency to use the kitchen bench as a charging station) I created this little spot…

The background (without pics as I naturally forgot to take before pics!): I found this little enameled tin box somewhere along the line and had to have it cause its just so cute. Of course, it didn’t look like this when I bought it. See the blue-ish grey colour on the strip in the middle? It was that colour. And there was a bright blue unevenly painted, blurry line around all the edges. Which I discovered wasn’t waterproof as it ran when I washed it. Ugly.

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So it got a Zefi makeover. I washed it well, scrubbed off the offensive blue, then taped off the middle strip cause I wanted to keep the word. Allumettes = matches. In French. What’s not to like? Lastly it got a couple of coats of gloss antique white spray paint. I like the way it makes the blue/grey stripe stand out.

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My idea was that, since Wayne continues to use that power point on the bench to charge various small devices, I’d give him somewhere to put them. Hide the cables inside the box, place small items inside too. Sounds like a good idea, right? Yep. You’d think…

Yet, I come in the other day and see this:

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Sometimes you just can’t win…

I’ve ordered him another multiple USB charger and I’m going to make a shelf for him at his desk… what can possibly go wrong with that?

z

a couple of small felted projects

I haven’t had a lot of time lately to do (let alone share!) a lot of projects. But yesterday I had a bit of time to do a couple of little things.

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You know those annoyingly tangley cords on your ear buds/headphones? Well, I’ve decided I need to take this pair with me when I go to Greece in a couple of months and I do NOT want to deal with them getting messed up in the bottom of my bag all the time. So I decided to make a little pouch for them.

I had this little pocket lying around on the floor of my office/craft room. Literally lying around. Cause I have 2 bags of pure wool jumpers I felted ages ago and haven’t done anything (much) with. I did cut this pocket off one of them at some stage though…

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All I had to do to make this pouch was to find two buttons I liked and locate a hair band in my stash of ‘handy things’. Then I stitched the band on one side with a button, and a button on the other side to sling the band over to close.

Easy peasy.

The front is way cuter with the edging.

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Then, since I had the felted bits out, and needle and thread handy, I figured it was time to make my old headphones usable again. These old things work fine but they’d been in a box for so long the foam pads had disintegrated. Very uncomfortable to wear without them. I wouldn’t recommend it.

So, I made my own warm and cosy covers.

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Not the fanciest and my design leaves a lot to be desired (notice I’m not showing the sides where I’ve had to fudge them to make them fit better). But hey, they work! And maybe next time I make covers I can do a better job…

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we have turkeys

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Yesterday we welcomed two more mouths to feed  critters to our menagerie of feathered friends. Two male turkeys.

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We got these boys from the RSPCA where they were being cared for after being seized from a neglectful place. I’m not sure of any details, but when a friend mentioned that there were turkeys looking for new homes, Wayne was first to jump at the chance.

He likes big birds that make noise.

Seriously. He wanted turkeys cause they gobble. He wanted geese cause they honk. We have a really loud farm. Forget the peace and quiet of the country! Around here you’re never able to sleep in.

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There were girls to be had as well, but after our experience with the geese*, I didn’t want more eggs to steal.

*I bought Wayne 3 geese for Christmas a few years ago. Two boys and one girl: Jethro, Hank and Annabelle. We now have 14 geese, and the only reason we ONLY have 14 geese is that I crawl around and face off with angry female geese every summer when they lay eggs and steal them.

So we now have two male turkeys. I really hope they don’t start fighting like the roosters do. The ganders don’t fight… maybe we’ll get lucky with the turkeys…

For now only one of them has a name. The black boy is called Polanski. Roamin’ Polanski to be exact… cause he’s already figured out how to get out of the paddock we put them in to settle them in (and introduce them to the horses who’ve already stood at the fence wondering at the new family members). Polanski can get in and out of the paddock at will.

Luckily for us, the brown boy isn’t as nimble (or maybe as adventurous) so he hasn’t made a break for freedom yet. I say luckily cause we really were expecting to wake up this morning and find them both gone. I think the only reason Polanski hasn’t run off is cause his mate won’t follow him. Yet. Or hopefully ever.

We think they’re young boys as they’re not gobbling yet. We look forward to that soon.

Did I mention we have magpies? Yes! I’m so thrilled! We’ve never had magpies here before. To me their song is the sound of the australian countryside. Well, them and kookaburras! But we’ve had those, and enjoyed their laughter regularly. Its great to have magpies here now  too.

And just so you know, I got a new tablet and this is my first post on it! Its taking a bit of getting used to…

z

 

i used to be a good cook

At least a decent one… I could cook things and feed friends and family without poisoning anyone and with minimal face pulling and stuffing food into handbags.

I used to actually enjoy cooking. But then it became a chore. And I don’t even have kids! How pathetic is that? I blame the fact that the men in my life have always been prehistoric when it comes to food: meat, meat and maybe a vegetable now and then if they’re feeling generous. And I tend to cook very light on the meat. I’m not a vegetarian, though I should be. I just can’t be bothered to work that hard for food. Being on any special diet means you have to think and plan what you put in your mouth…. Too much hard work.

When I’m in the mood I’ll cook. Or (more likely) bake. I love baking but lately, it doesn’t seem to like me as much.

Case in point:

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What was meant to be apple crumble… more like charcoal crumble…

I’ve made apple crumble for years. I make a GREAT apple crumble… yet for some reason I burned it. It seems like almost everything I cook/bake lately is burned. In fact, if its not burned its probably not cooked.

I did manage to make a beautiful spanakopita last week – not a bit of charcoal to be found!

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Normally I make my own pastry for my spanakopita, but that time I’d bought some medium thickness filo pastry from a greek deli to try. It was good, but I still prefer my rustic country pasty.

Yum.

I think its time to make another spanakopita. I can live on that stuff.

I also made pasta flora last week too. This is what’s left of it:

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You can find my mom’s pasta flora recipe here. The spanakopita recipe is here.

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plans…

Best-laid-plans

Yes. Well. This is how it goes around here:

I make plans for tomorrow, the day after, the whole week. I have a diary I keep my appointments in. I make lists of things I need to do – today, tomorrow, the day after, etc.

Then something happens. Nothing ever goes as planned… do you find that? Things I meant to do today get moved to tomorrow or the next day or next week. I do things today that weren’t on the list for this year. I shuffle papers, never use a pen in my diary (learned that the hard way), write new lists.

Surely I’m not the only person who’s life seems to have a life of its own?

Don’t expect any insights or clever solutions in this post. In fact, if you have a solution please share.

I know the theory: Write things down. Make lists. Prioritise.

I DO THAT.

Then things change and I need new plans and new lists. My plans are organic in nature, growing and changing…

I make lists and number things in order of priority as well as geographic location. I mean, how else will I manage to do everything in a time-and-fuel-efficient manner?

Will I ever get this under control or is this terminal do you think?

z

tidy here, mess up there

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Its a universal truth.

In order to clean up one room/area, you mess up another.

Or is it just me?

The other day I tidied up the living room. It was due. There was more dirt on the carpet than in the yard. No one can accuse me of not being house proud…

In order to clean and tidy the living room I had to remove certain items. Like the baskets of towels and other bathroom stuff which I’d put there while we were renovating the bathroom. Months ago.

Like the laundry baskets full of washed clothes waiting to be folded and put away. Ok, I’m down to one only, not so bad.

Like the pile of odd socks which have lost their sole mates.

You get the picture.

One reason for tidying was to lay down the new/used rug I’d bought. Cause one day I’ll rip up the carpet in there and we’ll need rugs for warmth. So I removed all the unnecessary don’t-belong-in-there items and cleaned and put down the rug.

Where did the extraneous items go you may ask? Well… they had to go somewhere. And that someone had to be out of the way, yet accessible in order for me to put them away at a later date. Probably much later.

The doorway to the guest room.

Is it just me, or is everyone’s life a matter of just moving things around? From here to there, from there to further over, then a couple of inches to the left?

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I’m sick of it. I’m feeling the itch again. The itch that says ‘get rid of it’.

I get that itch now and then, mostly due to the frustration of not having enough space for the crap we accumulate. The porch is full of things I put down months ago cause I would need them for something, like the final touches to the bathroom… The mud room is full of stuff that came out of the house to be put in its place later.

I’m gonna cry.

Its raining today. Our plan for today was to pick up a load of hay. Ain’t gonna happen in the rain. So I have an indoor (mostly) day to do some cleaning.

Or I could clip the poodles, who are looking a bit like woolly mammoths right now.

Or I could make the spanakopita I’ve been planning to make for the last 3 days.

Or I could just sit here and do nothing…

z

another abby

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Yes, its another Abby from NCIS.

What can I say? She’s a popular girl!

This is the last of the 3 commissioned dolls I just finished.

With this one, I once again had to re-root a barbie head. Have you ever noticed how many of the old barbies are blonde? Not many black haired ones among them!

I bought black hair from my favourite aussie seller again ((Custom Doll Hair AU)  and began work.

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Another faceless head on a stick…

Then I used watercolour pencils, pastels and watercolour to give her a new face.

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This Abby has the tattoos as well. My first Abby doll didn’t have those, but this time I went further even though you can’t see most of them when she’s dressed. Authenticity you know…

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Once Abby’s face and tatts were finished I put her back together and began dressing her. I bought a pleated black skirt on ebay and found a singlet top I thought would work well in my barbie clothing collection.

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I gave her a Monster High belt I thought the real Abby would appreciate, and made her a leather dog collar.

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I couldn’t find knee high boots so I bought some gorgeous over the knee socks from a maker on ebay. I painted a pair of boots I had in my collection and added straps to make them look a bit more Abby-like.

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I figured that Abby wasn’t totally complete without her lab coat, so I made one for her. I even rolled up the sleeves so she’s ready to get to work.

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Overall I’m pretty happy with how she turned out.

I do love those long socks!

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katy perry doll

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Yep. I tackled the cupcake dress!!

This is another of the dolls winging their way to the UK and she was the one that took the longest to make.

Obviously.

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Most of the hair rooted – faceless doll heads on pens is a common sight around here…

Firstly I had to order blue hair from my favourite local seller (Custom Doll Hair AU), then I had to re-root my barbie head with said blue hair. And paint on her face, of course.

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I bought a dress which was suitable as the base for my cupcake skirt. And some cupcakes from ebay. There was no way I could make that many cupcakes in this lifetime…

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The only way I could figure out to make the skirt was papier mache. My old standby. I love papier mache and can make anything with it. I’m pretty good at it, even if I do say so myself. 🙂

So I built myself a ‘scaffold’ from cardboard (ok, its more like a layered cake) and tissue paper. It only took 3 goes to get it right. I gave it 3 coats of white acrylic paint and made 2 different layers of ruffles which I hot glued to the bottom.

I made a matching ruffle for the top of the dress, which I stitched onto the straps and neckline. I then cut the dress to the right length and attached it to the skirt using hot glue. Not while it was on the doll.

Obviously.

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Headless doll. Another common sight around here.

Once I picked the shoes I preferred and had her all dressed up she was ready!

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She needs one of those stands that holds her up by the legs cause there’s no way that skirt is going to allow her to have a regular ‘around the waist’ stand. What can you do? Its the price you pay for looking so fabulous!

z

 

another amy

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My life seems to have been dolls dolls dolls for the last few months. But the good news is I’ve finally finished the last 3 custom dolls so I can now maybe do something else with my spare time!

And since they’re now finished and will soon be on their way to the other side of the world, I can share them!

First up is another Amy Winehouse. This time made using a second hand barbie doll. You can see my first Amy doll here.

In order to do this Amy I began by removing all the (blonde) hair from the doll. I wanted to try using felt for her incredible hairdo so I used a combination of glue and the rooting tool to attach Amy’s beehive and messy hair.

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Then, of course, I had to give her a face…

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No Amy is complete without tattoos, and this girl is no exception. She has all the tatts, even the ones you can’t see under her funky 1960’s style shorts/dress.

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I couldn’t find black boots so I painted a pair of silver boots and gave her a black belt to tie in the outfit.

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The outfit Amy’s wearing is actually an original Barbie outfit from my collection of clothes and I chose it cause it really seemed to suit her style.

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I’m quite pleased with how the hair turned out.

… next I’m going to try using felted wool to make Captain Jack Sparrow!

z

 

amy doll

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Time to share another doll repaint. This is Amy. Winehouse of course. I decided to make her for a couple of reasons: the beehive hair and the tattoos. I like both of those!

This doll began as a Bratz doll with a really messy head of thick black hair. She was ideal. I didn’t have to re-root her. Phew. Re-rooting can be fun in its own way… its a kind of repetitive, zen-like kinda thing. But it can take so long! So when I get the chance to skip it… well, I’ll jump at the chance!

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I loved doing her tattoos. Not an easy task of such thin arms, but fun to do nonetheless.

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When I made Amy she was a doll I made for my own amusement. By that I mean I was only pleasing myself. I dressed her in original Bratz clothes that I felt suited her style and listed her in my Etsy shop. She was sold to a lady in Spain. Yay.

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With the sale came a request for a bit of customization. Her new owner wanted bigger eye liner and a different outfit. I made a black and white checked dress and a Blake hair pin. The photo below isn’t her finished unfortunately. I think I somehow missed taking finished photos of her. (oops.)

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This photo shows the dress un-hemmed, the belt undone and untrimmed, and the first attempt at the hair pin.

Trust me, she looked better when it was all finished.

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