paros day 14: a wire wreath

Today was one of those glorious days you get in spring. Warm but not hot, a breeze but no strong wind. I ventured down into the storage room in the basement to bring up the outdoor table and chairs so I can sit outside and enjoy days like this.

And let me tell you, it took bravery to venture down there! Its full of rat and mice s%$t and none of the rat poison blocks I put down there have been so much as nibbled on. We have smart rats here on Paros…

Anyway, I brought out some boxes of stuff. To be honest its not all the stuff I thought I had down there, but at least now I have a clearer picture of what I do and don’t have.

So, having braved the rat infested dungeon, I earned a frappe and some time in the sun working on something relaxing and listening to some stand-up.

Last week I’d picked up a vine on one of my walks and twisted it into a wreath. Today I used some rusty wire bits and some beads to create this wreath.

As I mentioned, the wreath is made of rusty wire pieces and the vine. I collect any bits of rusty wire I find on my walks. Basically I never met a piece of rusty wire (or metal) I didn’t love. A lot of the time once I pick up a piece I make it into a heart as I walk, then bring it home and hang it above my sink. Today I used two of those hearts as part of my wreath.

I used some of my very fine gold coloured wire to hold the whole thing together and added beads for a bit of colour and bling.

I think it turned out pretty okay. I’ll most likely put it on Facebook for sale. Maybe someone will fall in love with it.

Other than that I didn’t get a lot done today. The bare minimum of housework and I thought about sewing the curtain tabs but haven’t managed to do that yet. I think I’ll tackle that tomorrow afternoon. Its meant to rain so I will still walk to the garage in the morning to do more on the sewing table. All I did there this morning was one coat of varnish on the top and drawers. I figure I can get a coat of paint on the legs tomorrow and another coat of varnish on the top. Providing I don’t have to do more gap filling.

Tonight I think I’ll go to bed early as I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf and get some real structure into my days. That means setting my alarm for 8am. Its all very well to wake up late, take a walk, work on whatever I feel like, watch Netflix etc. But maybe I need to actually have some kind of schedule. I don’t like wasting this precious time I have.

I’ll let you know how I go with it. (hahaha!)

z

paros day 10: a day late

Turns out I’m better off doing my posts in the middle of the day instead of in the evening when laziness takes over and the call to Netflix becomes too strong to resist.

So this is yesterday’s post. 

Yesterday was overcast but still lovely so Lainee and I went for a long walk up the back of here, to the top of the hill to look over the valley to the sea.

We also walked past the most beautifully kept farm on all of Paros.

And saw tons of these wildflowers blooming… Not sure what they are but they look like a native/wild lupin.

So… I did continue my work on the current projects but nothing is finished yet. Everything seems to take so much longer than you think between cutting, gluing, drying, painting, drying…

However I realised yesterday that I hadn’t shared my new coffee table! Its is one of the first things I made once I got my groove back.

Firstly, some pics of the before: This is the coffee table I inherited when I bought the house. Lovely table but just too big for my tiny space.

One of the things I brought with me when I came from Australia was the legs off an old 50s table I loved. I mean I loved the legs, not the formica top. I always knew I wanted to make my own top for it and a round table to go into the living room here seemed the best solution.

This is the finished product…

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in the hows, here goes. I was looking for old timber and found some in the bin at the timber shop back when life was normal. I glued it together as the first step using my table clamps (cause ever girl should have those!).

Then I realised that one of the pieces of timber I had used had termites so I had to treat the whole thing and let it dry before drawing a circle and using the jigsaw to cut it out.

Naturally disaster hit about then as I left it where water leaked and the table split down the middle… one of the glued bits didn’t hold.  I knew I’d have to strengthen the joins anyway so I reglued and cut out some ply pieces to attach underneath to act as a sort of binding, plus to give the legs something more substantial to screw into.

I used a combination of dark brown wood filler and a light coloured one to give the wood more interest.

Then I used my power plane and sander to create a nice smooth top and edges. I love the look of raw wood.

Last I attached the legs. Love those legs!

Et voila! A gorgeous round coffee table made by moi!

And here is it in the living room. Small enough to get around. Big enough to hold the necessities (but not big enough to become yet another crafting surface!), and oh so pretty.

I’ll end this post with a preview of another little project… Can you guess what it will be?

Oh, and a Baileys of course… It helps me sleep!

z

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guess i should have worn gloves

(And yet this post has nothing to do with COVID 19)

You know how I’m always complaining about the stuff I can’t find in Greece, or how when I DO find it its like 3 times the price I paid for it in Australia?

Well, this is one of those things. All I wanted was plain old liquid nails. Construction glue. Yep. I did find it eventually… for approx 12-15 euros a tube! That’s like AU$24-30!!! For liquid nails! Something I used to be able to buy for AU$1.99 on sale for the cheaper brands at Bunnings!

Sheesh.

Anyway, I found a similar glue in a tube rather than a tube, for 6.50e. The tube was so hard to squeeze though I almost busted a few ribs trying to squeeze the stuff out.

What I did end up busting was the tube. With the results you see above.

Its been a week and I am still not completely glue freee…

So, what did I want that glue for you may ask… I was making a toy lamp base for a friend. You may remember the toy cake stands and other items I shared on my blog a while ago here.

This is the only before pic I have, sorry. By the time I remembered to take before photos I already had so much glue on my hands I wasn’t going near my phone. I’d finished putting the toys onto the base and put masking tape around it to hold things in place till it dried.

This is what it looked like once the glue was dry and I had the first coat of paint on it.

Another thing I can complain about is the lack of colour choices in spray paint on Paros. I don’t know what Athens has to offer, but on Paros you can only get black, white, clear, red and maybe blue…

Since this lamp is for a little girl’s room I wanted pink. I got lucky though and got a mistint of oil paint in a lovely pastel shade of pink.

The downside of painting it with a brush and oil paint is that its not as easy as spray paint, takes way longer to dry and in the end just doesn’t have the same smooth finish. But it works.

Sorry there are no finished pics… but you can thank COVID 19 for that since the restrictions in Greece are now severe… I gave it to my friend and am not going to visit her for a while…

z

paros, day 1: sock bunnies

I’m in love with these bunnies!

I had planned to work on bigger projects today, ones requiring power tools and paint, but the weather seems to have gotten on board with the whole shutdown/isolation thing. It went from absolutely beautiful to crazy windy and cold overnight.

Indoor projects seemed the way to go. I was thinking about the various sock animals I’ve seen on Pinterest lately…and I had just washed 2 pairs of socks which had lost their elasticity… so I thought why waste them? Lets try out one of the sock bunny ideas.

I kind of made it up from a combination of sock bunnies I found on Pinterest, adapting it to create one bunny out of one sock.

I am in love. They’re soft and floppy and darn cute!

Of course if I make these to sell I’ll make them using new socks, but these are made from my own socks. I have no problem with my own socks! And I’m keeping these babies.

I might use the remaining two socks to create another animal… a cat, a dog, who knows. I have two more socks and a lot of time on my hands…

z

 

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dedication to my grandparents

Its been a long time since I shared a creative project (yeah, Christmas crafts don’t count).

This is something I’d been planning to do for ages. I started it in Australia and brought the bits with me to Greece to finish it.

Basically its a memory box type of photo display dedicated to mom’s parents.

My grandmother was a seamstress and my grandfather was a fisherman. Since I already had tons of vintage sewing bits and pieces, it was easier to work with the seamstress theme.

I printed some old photos, going back to 1932 for the first one where my grandparents only had 3 of their 7 children, then a photo of my grandmother with 5 children. I didn’t have a photo with all 7 children…

On the left, my grandmother is the one on the right and grandfather is the one sitting at her feet with 3 children (my mother is the baby in his arms). On the right my grandmother is surrounded by her 3 daughters (mom on the right) with one son on the left and one in her lap.

My favourite photo of my grandparents is the one below where they are mending fishing nets together. Thats how I first remember them.

I lined the back of the box with a vintage sewing pattern and added various bits and pieces from my mother’s old sewing box.

The only thing missing is the vintage little pair of sewing scissors I have… I know they’re are here somewhere but they’re obviously packed in a craft box. When I find them I will add them to the box.

This is the first frame for my gallery wall.

z

an interactive reading lamp

While sorting out my blog I found I have a ton of old draft posts I never finished to post. I’ve decided to finish and share them now and then, at least the project related ones, even if they’re from projects I made while living in Tasmania. Projects are projects after all, no matter where you make them!

These photos are from a lamp I began early last year, planning to enter it in the Art From Trash exhibition. Needless to say I never finished it and never entered it cause moving to Greece kinda got in the way. I did sell it to a lady who appreciates wacky things though.

The idea of this lamp, the “Reading Lamp”, is that its made up of broken reading glasses in place of crystals. And the best thing about it is that you can keep adding to it. Never  waste another broken pair of reading glasses again!

My original plan for the lamp had been to paint the base a bright colour instead of the brass as it was when I found it, but to leave the pretty glass decorative bits in the middle. But as I said, it was an unfinished project when I sold it. The new owners get the pleasure of collecting old glasses and adding to the lamp shade. In a way that seems better though, makes it more personal.
And this post leads right into another floor lamp remake which is current… stay tuned.
z

bedside wings

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Welcome to another ‘here’s one I prepared earlier’ DIY upcycled project post.

As I pointed out before, amidst the chaos of work and preparing for my trip to Greece, I found the time to create or finish a few projects. Just to make myself feel better!

So, I had this old chair. It had a broken back. But the seat and legs were in perfectly good order.

I did what any self respecting DIYer would do – I cut the back off.

Then I painted it many layers of different chalk paints I mixed up myself.

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Between coats I gave it a bit of a sanding, to expose the various colours and add interest.

This chair used to have a padded seat so the seat area itself was a big hole. I put in a bit of masonite cut to the right shape. My plan was to buy a thick perspex sheet cut to fit on top and fill the recess with photos and other bits and pieces.

bedsidewings4

You know how you sometimes order things online that you think you want for a particular project only to change your mind? These glittery angel wings are one of those purchases. I had planned on putting them on my jean jacket but I’m not really a glittery girl… They were sitting in the craft room when I was making up the guest room for friends before my trip.

It was obvious they belonged on the chair/bedside table in the guest room!

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The bluey green tones of the chair suit the room perfectly and the wings are just perfect in there.

I’m loving it.

Now back to the beach.

z

a quirky business card holder

What do you do with vintage electrical plugs? You make business card holders out of them of course!

Well… I do anyway.

You saw my first such offering here. It was time for more. I have more on the way, but this one is special.

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I started off with a dark brown electrical plug and a wooden mount (in old houses here in Australia light switches were mounted on wooden blocks to hide the wiring, cause wiring was usually ON the wall, not inside it). But this was a large wooden block, meant for two light switches… what to do with the extra space…?

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I rummaged in my various boxes of extra handy assorted junk that I collected cause I knew I’d find the perfect use for it one day and found this odd little clamp.

It was perfect!

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I sprayed the clamp with some varnish to seal the rusty bits (cause I love rusty bits), added a touch of oil to the bolt, then drilled a hole in the side of the block to hold it in place. The little butterfly clampy bit does a great job holding down a stack of business cards.

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You know. For extra business cards. In windy conditions. Display some on the plug, keep extras on hand under the clamp.

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How can you not love this quirky little piece? I bet no one else has a business card holder like this one!

Soon to be listed in my Etsy shop.

z

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gloss black cake stand

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So… one day someone posted on Facebook about wanting to buy a large wooden cake stand.

I contacted her as I had a couple I’d made using recycled bits and pieces. Wooden platters, lamp bases, whatever. This is one of them.

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Yeah, I decided to try copper coloured paint instead of my usual pastel chalk paint. Not sure if I like it…

Anyway, back to the lady and the Facebook post.

Turned out she wanted an extra large cake stand. 36cm across. I didn’t have anything that big so I cut the circle out of some MDF. I cut it at 38cm. A bit of breathing room for the cake….

But it was boring. Just plain MDF… BO-RING. meh.

I could do better.

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What do you think? Can you tell what I did? I used small wooden beads I ordered on ebay. I got those little suckers and glued them to the bottom of the circle. I love them. They add a bit of fancy to the cake stand.

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Its going to be used for a black & white themed 21st birthday party, so the lady wanted it gloss black. I gave it 2 coats of black after giving it a coat of sealer. Done. Just like a bought one.

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Very darn cute. Those little beads just make me smile.

A fun project and a happy customer. What more could I want?

z

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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!”

iron

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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