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 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!”

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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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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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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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fairy lights and a quick wreath

I’ve been getting into the Christmas spirit lately.  Over the last couple of days I’ve put up some fairy lights outside, on the porch. Not enough, but hey… its all I got what I got so I’m using them!

I had bought some fairy lights to use at the Etsy Makers Market last month so I decided it was time to make use of them. Firstly, I put the quick Christmas tree I’d made to hang my felt and lace ornaments from at the market. I put it in the grooming room to give it a bit of festive spirit. Of course, since I’m selling the ornaments, I had to find another way to decorate the tree… Use what you have I say, so I used grooming bows!

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In the house I just lit up the Christmas tree I made out of crib slats a couple of years ago. I mean, when you have perfection why mess with it? I love this tree so I’m sticking with it.

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I had one more sting of lights which I’d earmarked for a wreath.

So I went looking in my shed, to find the right item as the basis for my wreath. What I found was a galvanised tray. A bit rusty in parts cause I’d had pot plants on it.

I like the rusty look.

Obviously.

My middle name is rust. Well, it could be…

All I did was wrap some wire I’ve had for a long time – no idea what you’d call it, but it looks like dried vine. Then I wrapped all 10 metres of the copper wire with lights around it as well.

I printed out a retro Christmas card for the center and its done.

For now its sitting on our sideboard in the living room. Once I figure out how to hang it and hide the battery operated controller I’ll hang it on our front door. Here it is unlit…

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And here it is lit up.

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So pretty.

I love fairy lights. I think we should have them everywhere all year round.

I need more fairy lights…

z

 

 

wooden ruler to business card holder

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Yeah, yeah. I know. I do this all the time. I get busy and I disappear from blog-land leaving my readers wondering if they should contact the authorities regarding alien abduction…

So, last you heard I was preparing for the first ever Etsy Made Local Market being held in Hobart. It was great fun but exhausting in both the lead-up (getting everything ready for the market) and the market itself.

Now its back to real life and the endless To Do list which I spend my life adding to.

Anyway, back to the market preparations… while getting all the things I needed to take with me sorted, I realised I couldn’t find my business card holder.

Nothing to do but make another one!

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I’d seen a business card holder on Pinterest which was made using a ruler…

I had a ruler…

So I made a box.

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Ok, its not the strongest box in the word. Its held together with PVA and hope. But its pretty. In fact, I had a lovely lady at the market ask how much it was. She was disappointment when I said it wasn’t for sale.

As you can see, I’m using it to hold my dog grooming business cards, but at the market it held my new Junk4Joy cards:

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I had a few different things at the market – my repainted dolls, suncatcher teapots, scrappy creatures, lavender filled hearts and houses as well as random other things I’d made…

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It was a very successful market and great fun. Now I’m preparing to do some local markets in the run up to Christmas.

After that I promise I’ll rest a bit. And finish the bathroom. And make a laundry. And rip up the carpet in the living room. And make more stuff…

sigh.

There’s no rest for the creative.

z

 

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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