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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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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kitchenalia

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I’ve always liked collecting old kitchen paraphernalia. Among other things. I basically collect anything that appeals to me. I mean, you never know when you’ll need ‘that’, right?

So, while making some wind chimes for the local market I found this extra long THING in my collection. I normally use these for my junky sun catcher/wind chimes.

These are two of my previous ones. Click on images to go to post.

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You can see other suncatchers and wind chimes here and here.

These things are so me. I love the mix of sparkle, rust and old wood. The one above was my first one and I kept that one for myself. I love looking at it.

But back to the kitchenalia one…

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A selection of old and vintage kitchen tools, a small steamer pot and a little airplane… cause, why not? Doesn’t everyone have a vintage wood airplan toy in their kitchen?

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It sold at the market as soon as I hung it up. Obviously I’m not the only one who likes these odd dangley things!

I have three more available at the moment. I’ll share them when I get photos of them and probably put them in my etsy shop.

z

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hiding the gas bottles

Does anyone remember this?

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I made this box to hide our gas bottles – the ones that we use for our cooker. The idea was to create something which would hide the ugliness while looking pretty and being useful. The doors are hinged to the sides so you can open them and slide the bottles in, no need to lift them over the top. The top had a hook to hold it up so you could work without having to hold the top up at the same time.

The box hides two gas bottles and a bin where we put our household rubbish till we take it down to the large bin for collection. It was perfect – hid the gas bottles and kept critters out of the rubbish.

You can read about it here.

Well… louvre doors aren’t made to sit outside in all weather. This year the top began to fall apart, till one day I lifted the top and was left with 2 bits of timber as the louvre slats clanked around me.

Luckily the bottom and sides are holding up well but it was time to create a new top.

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This time I decided to skip the slanted hinged top. I just made a flat top with bits of timber I had lying around in my workshop. I added a nice strong handle so you can lift it up, and if you need to keep it up you just lean it against the wall.

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I actually love the new top. Its rustic and the two different coloured timbers is a nice touch.

I also love that I can no longer see the rubbish!

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Another ‘little job’ ticked off the to-do list.

z

a little aqua cabinet

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I’ve had this little cabinet for a few years now and its been through a few incarnations. When I got it it had an awful, damaged, laminate top which I replaced with beadboard to start with. Then I painted it white with a crackle effect and used it as my bedside table for a while.

When we moved to the farm it ended up in the shed gathering dust.

Firstly, I disliked the crackle effect – it just wasn’t quite right. Then I disliked the legs I’d put on it – they were the wrong style but they were all I had at the time.

A little while ago I decided it was time for a makeover. I love the retro glass door and even the original liner, but I decided it needed new legs, a new handle and a new colour to make it pop.

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First I looked for legs among my collection of junk handy things and found these lightly tapered 60’s style legs. I painted them black to go with the silver and black handle I chose.

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I mixed paint using what I had on hand, making my own chalk paint by adding fine unsanded grout. I find this works great and gives a lovely finish. It also allows for a chippy look with use, giving it a natural worn look rather than a purposefully distressed one.

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The paper inside is a bit ripped, but its clean and has been glued down – plus it has touches of the aqua which ties it in nicely.

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I love the contrast between the aqua and the black. No one can accuse this of being a boring little cabinet any more!

Oh, and please excuse the filthy floor. It was raining and the only place I could take these photos at the time was the grooming room between customers.

z

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the blind – a win and a fail

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I really hated the blinds the house had when we bought it. They were all like this above: cheap and salmon. Eek.

I made curtains for the other windows but never got around to doing it for this small window in the corner of the living room. Not only was it ugly and cold in winter, but to add insult to injury the blind broke so wouldn’t go up and down and would actually fall on you if you tried to raise it.

It was time it went.

Actually it’d been time it went about 7 years ago, but hey… I was busy, ok!

My idea was to make a padded blind, inspired by something I saw on the Ikea website in their ideas section. My plan was to use a dropcloth (I love the natural colour) and get some batting for the inner layer. I kept putting it off cause I’d have to buy the batting…

Then Romeo decided to help me out. When Montana began having continence issues I bought some cheap single bed doonas from Kmart and use those as dog beds. I fold them up and put them into covers and voila – instant, easy to wash and dry dog beds.

Well, when Romeo gets bored he loves to attack his bed… He ripped a hole in the cover and tore a whole section of doona, leaving me just enough for the blind! He wasn’t being naughty. He was being helpful!

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This is the corner now, much better without the salmon blind. The pics aren’t the best but hey, I did the best I could. Don’t complain.

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The whole thing wasn’t as easy as I thought. The doona made it quite unwieldy to sew and I can’t sew a straight line if my life depends on it.

I also made a couple of mistakes. The idea was that I’d use large hooks and put rings on the blind so you could chose how much you wanted it gathered. You know… halfway, three quarters, all the way, etc.

First mistake was in calculating the length, I didn’t take into consideration the hooks, so the blind is a big too long. Even when I replaced the hooks I planned to use with smaller ones.

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The other error was where I put my rings. I put them on every crooked line when they only needed to go on every second one, and i needed one at the bottom which I missed. Oh well.

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So, I have a very crookedly sewn, nice thick and warm blind which is helping keep the house warmer in the cold. Its a win… even if there are a few failures involved.

z

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