barnwood rustic tray

About time I shared something I’ve actually made with my own little hands, right?

Here is a tray I made using offcuts of recycled timber, left over from one of our outdoor projects – most likely the stable makeover.

rustictray

I began this project when I found this old bit of wood which had some paint and lots of machining marks on it. I sanded it back but loved the look of the paint so left plenty on it. It gives it character.

First thing I did was cut the piece of wood and join it together to make a tray. I used glue in between the pieces but since I don’t have a biscuit joiner to do the join properly I had to find another way. I wasn’t going to rely on just glue to hold it together.

clamped

I used one of these little galvanised metal thingies to hold it together underneath. I don’t know what these are actually for, but I’ve found them very handy for holding wood projects together… Cause I’m not exactly an expert woodworker…

rustictray2

Once it was dry and the metal joiner thingy was in place, I put rubber stoppers on it to give it a nice stable base.

Did I fail to mention the timber has a slight curve to it? I think it adds character. Then again, imperfection gives everything character!

rustictray1

I added a couple of my favourite handles. I got these at a sale in a cabinet hardware store and I will, to my dying day, regret not buying all their stock. I haven’t been able to find any like these since.

rustictray3

rustictray4

rustictray5

I finished it off with a coat of wax. A coat of 2 different waxes mixed together in fact – a nice beeswax and an antique black wax.

I love the way it turned out.

Now to get onto some more DIY projects!!!

z

Shared at:

1-Funky_Junks_Party_Junk_link_party.29-AM

c5d16-talk-of-the-town-button-knick-of-time

old window chalkboard #1

So… as part of the whole getting my mojo back thing, you know, getting inspired and finding the time and energy to finally get to some of the projects mouldering in the various sheds, I have finished a couple of items and started a few more. I’ll be sharing these over the next days, weeks, months even if I get lucky and keep the mojo going.
First up I have this little window recycle. I have two of these little windows. I think they’re king billy pine but I loved the rustic look of them so I didn’t sand them back completely to be sure. I’d say its a good guess as old windows and doors were made of king billy pine which is rare these days. 
I love king billy pine and not only cause of what it is, but cause it reminds me of my toy poodle Billybear… He was the King Billy of my life.

Here is the finished product. Cute. It retains remnants of old paint, mostly on the sides… and where it didn’t I added it to create the framed look.

The best bit of this little chalkboard project, in my opinion, is the rusty old hinge I found and added as chalk holder. Its stiffened up so keeps it shape. Plus I’ve gone over it with a touch of polyurethane to stop the rust from coming off.

If you know me at all, you know I love rust. And old things. And weathered things. I collect almost anything old and rusty. I’m pitifully easy (and cheap) to buy for!
I knew this hinge would come in handy one day.

I gave the whole window a couple of coats of polyurethane to bring out the grain of the wood and to seal it. 

You know, I make a fair few chalkboards. They can be used anywhere, not to mention how handy they are. I’m planning to list this one for sale but in the back of my mind is this feeling I’d love to have a wall of chalkboards…
If only I had more walls in this house!
Really. We have a huge living room with 3 windows, 4 doors and a pass into the kitchen. All the available wall spaces are taken up already. The office is full to bursting with storage and decorative items, so is the guest room… and the kitchen. The only empty wall is in the bedroom but I have plans for that – a photo/memory box wall…
I wonder…
z

Shared at:

string holders and evicting bats

Phew. The day is over. A good day, but SO tiring. I got a ton done which is great. I failed at a couple of things too, but hey, you can’t win ’em all.
So, what did I do today that was so exhausing? Well, I started with the plan of putting up the new grooming sign. I worked on that for about 30 minutes before giving up. It was just not working. Good thing too really, cause in the end I decided I needed to rethink the position. More on that soon.
I did 3 loads of washing and the usual chores of feeding and caring for all the animals, and I did a little garden work. Then I decided it was time to clean out the carport. 
Background: We used to keep our chicken feed in the carport and that encouraged mice and rats to live in there. Which encouraged the dogs to dig at the walls and generally cause trouble. About a month ago I started the car and a mouse jumped out of the engine bay. I’ve been parking out in the yard since. 
So, I decided the carport needed a makeover, more to make it safe than to make it look nice. Trust me, its a pretty basic farm carport… Not much I could have done to make it look pretty.
Anyway, I ripped off the sagging plywood which had been put over the barn wood and in the process evicted two rats and one tiny bat.
Yep, a tiny bat! Not a typo! I was so excited when I saw it. At first I thought I’d uncovered a hairless baby rat but then saw its cute little face and wings. I wanted to keep it! I wasn’t quick enough to catch it, it escaped under the wall and out near the dam. I was worried the geese would eat it – I mean, it was full daylight… what do bats do if they’re out in the day? I looked for it but couldn’t find it so I hope it was ok. The geese weren’t around so I know it wasn’t lunch at least.
I threw out a ton of rubbish and rat infested nests and then I nailed a thick particle board to the bottom section of the wall – Its not about keeping rats out as much as its about keeping any small animals (ducklings, chickens, natives) out of our yard. The finished carport is so much neater and I like the exposed slatted wood back wall. And bonus – there is nowhere for rats to nest any more!
After the carport was cleaned up, I opened up a small area I’ve had penned off to keep the dogs from digging. Hopefully now the rats have been banished the dogs won’t need to dig for them and destroy my plants. And I’ll be able to pull weeds. Yeah. I live to pull weeds.

ha.

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to share with you today. I wanted to share my new rustic string holder. 

I was inspired by this lovely makeover of a thrift shop find by Carlene at Organised Clutter. When I saw it I thought what a great idea, I have to make one of those!

Yeah. Ok. Mine looks nothing like that. 
I had spindles. I had a ton of string. I didn’t have a fancy wall sconce. I also didn’t really have a wall spot to put it. So I just grabbed a piece of timber from my offcut pile and put them together. It’ll do for now.

Its not pretty, but it works. Its not for the office, its for the workshop so it doesn’t need to be pretty. The workshop leans more towards a more rustic-farmhouse-hoarder design style.
Thanks for the inspiration Carlene, and sorry I killed your idea. 
z

my newest junky planter

I’ve had this gorgeous funnel shaped THING for a long time. Its some kind of filter, I presume it came from a water tank. I have no idea what it is… like so many of the things I collect, I just liked the shape.
I’ve had it for years. I’ve had various plans for it over the years. I was going to make a light fixture out of it at one stage. But its never happened. Its hung around in the yard most of the time, doing nothing useful.
Yesterday I decided it was time to do something with it. 
I’ve had many hanging planters over the years, mostly ones I made myself out of chains bought from the hardware store and steamers or colanders. I took one of the chains from a steamer with succulents in it and put them onto this rusty piece of gorgeousness of mysterious origins.
Who cares what it was in a previous life? What purpose it served. Now its a proud planter, holding a mix of succulents on the corner of our porch. In summer there’ll be tiny hot pink flowers forming a halo around it.
Below it sit my old mop bucket – one of my favourite planters of all time, the steamer which lost its chain – sacrificed for the greater good, and my camelia, in a new spot.
See, I’ve had this camelia for a year and it wasn’t doing great. Not where I had it… so, I’ve moved it. Its a heavy pot… moving it was pretty much impossible on my own… till I made a rolling base for it!
I used some pallet wood, made a frame and added castors. Now I can move it anytime I get the urge – to where it’ll get more sun, where the frost won’t get it or just a couple of inches to the left.

Meanwhile some months ago I posted about my change of heart regarding geraniums after seeing a photo of pelargonium apple blossom. Well… I was lucky enough to get a cutting of it from a really nice lady. And look at it now!

My formerly black thumb might be getting a tinge of green!
Before I go I’d like to show off my newest toy:

Isn’t that little tricycle the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? Imagine plants in the little wagon… 
Watch this space.
z

one chair-back, three ways

What do you do with a broken chair? Fix it or throw it away, right? Or… you can re-use it as something else. For instance, you can make it into a shelf, a photo display or a coat rack. I know. Just look at Pinterest. There’s tons of ideas there. 
I couldn’t make up my mind what I wanted mine to be, but I found the bits to make it into an adaptable chair-back – it’ll adapt to any situation you put it in! Just pick a room and it’ll fit in with what you need it to do. Or be.
The best bit, I think, is the antique curtain rod holders I found. I’ve had these rusted and bent things for a few years, just waiting for the perfect project to use them on. They’re just so cute with their little flower topped screws for holding in the curtain rod.
I got a couple of bulldog clips – with the requisite amount of rust on them – and added those to the back to hold things… 
So, here are some options: 
1.  Kitchen utensil hanger. It can hold handy kitchen tools and recipes.

2. Garden tool hanger. The bulldog clips are a handy place for seed packets and gardening gloves.

3. Hand towel holder. The clips can hold shopping lists or notes.

I also tried the variation of a tea towel on the rod… it works, but the I think it works best as a hand towel roll holder. Hand rolls really struggle to look good in a kitchen and this kind of dresses it up in my opinion.

So where will it live? I’m not sure. I have to think about it. All three ideas work.
Till then it waits to find its home…
z

Featured at:

Shared at:

cluttered easter sideboard

I don’t usually do special things for Easter. In fact, I barely do special things for Christmas… I mean, who remembers the chalkboard Christmas tree when I was too lazy to make a real one? Or the book stack tree? Even when I did make an effort, it was minimal.

Well, this Easter, inspired by the anti-bunnies I’ve been making for my Etsy shop, and finding a rusty rubbish bin in my stash, I’ve gone all out.

Working on the theory of more is more, and the design principle of clutter is good, I’ve decorated our sideboard with a mix of vintage, rusty, junk and food.

I like it.

Of course, unless the hot cross buns get eaten soon they’ll have to be covered, ditto the chocolate, but hey, for one day it looks great. When the food is gone I’ll just add a few other things to maintain the cluttered look.

Its not like I don’t have a lot of junk.

So, what’s taking up space on my sideboard today?

Starting on the left, a couple of empty frames I’ve moved from one house to another and never got around to filling ‘frame’ (hahah) an antique vent I found at a tip shop. Just had to have it. I mean, could you resist that shape? Sure, its not exactly your average sideboard decor…

A couple of funnels add the necessary (in my life) rust factor. And a couple of anti-bunnies sit back and enjoy the view.

What are anti-bunnies you might ask? Well, they’re scrappy monster bunnies, kind of the opposite of cute Easter bunnies. Not that they aren’t cute. These guys are cute as. They’re made of a mix of recycled and vintage fabrics. I recycled bits of fabric out of an antique armchair the poodles pulled apart. Turns out it was stuffed with fabric scraps. Who knew.

The middle section is the serious section – ie the food section. Since I sold all my cake stands and haven’t made any more (yet) I’ve had to improvise using one of my retro kitchen scales and an antique serving dish. The dish holds eggs of both kinds: real and chocolate. I bet you know which I’ll be going for…

You can’t have Easter without hot cross buns, and naturally you need butter for those. I don’t have a butter curler so I’ve had to make do. The napkins are vintage ones I’ve collected over the years from different places. One on the right under the side dishes was given to me by my aunt Marissa in Greece – it used to belong to my grandmother.

On the right its ‘help yourself’ with a stack of smaller plates and knives. But it can’t be too practical… Old timber cogs, old books and a couple of sets of salt and pepper shakers, topped off by a wooden duck finish the look… Cause what sideboard is complete without a duck?

Above it all hangs the masterpiece. A rusty galvanised bin lid I scrounged from somewhere years ago. Does anyone remember my previous bin lid projects? I love rusty bin lids. This one holds more anti-bunnies and a couple of vintage Easter greeting cards I found online. The cards are held in place by vintage earring magnets (also for sale in my Etsy shop).

This rusty lid has little hooks on the side so I tied a bit of hemp rope to hang it with. I placed a few of those floor protector felt pads on the back to stop it from marking the wall.

The sideboard itself is something I acquired via barter. Barter = good. A friend of mine had a sideboard I’d admired and he admired the oriental cabinet I used to have my TV on. We swapped. Everyone is happy.

The sideboard is a very heavy solid tassie oak piece, made in Tasmania. It holds all kinds of useful things and doubles as our bar. Its very useful and very pretty.

Speaking of sideboards and cabinets, I saw this one in my online browsing and fell in love. I want it. Its nothing like the oriental – or ‘ming’ cabinet I had my TV on and swapped for my sideboard (ie it has the same ‘locks’ on the doors)… its way better!

Anyway, back to reality, you know what its like with these vintage cabinets – they have keys and if you lose them you’re in trouble. I think I have one key to share between 3 bits of furniture – including the small cupboard in my office.

In order to make this key less prone to being misplaced, I’ve added a tassel I made of jute string. It was okay, but a bit too plain. I thought the sideboard needed a bit of bling so I steampunked it up a bit with bits of chain, crystals and other bits from an old necklace.

Much better.

There you go. Our sideboard is finally all dressed up.

Now… what else can I decorate…?

z

Shared at:

fun junky planters

I’ve been a bad blogger. I’ve let other things (like working and earning money to eat) get in the way of sharing all the exciting things going on around here. I know you’ve missed me and are dying to hear how things are going at Wind Dancer Farm.
Well… not much really. Except that I’m about $1200 poorer thanks to Romeo. First a couple of weeks ago while grooming him, I found he’d got a grass seed in the sheath of his penis. Yikes. And while investigating that I saw he had a lump on his flank. It didn’t look like a grass seed but I took him straight to the vet. There was nothing in the privates, whatever had got in had got out thankfully. He got a course of antibiotics and it cleared up.
The other thing, the lump, the vet was concerned about. The ‘c’ word was mentioned. So Romeo went in for surgery to have the lump removed and a biopsy done. We then waited a week to hear. Romeo limping uncomfortably cause he also seemed to have a grass seed in his left front paw. I searched but couldn’t see anything so I waited to see if it would improve.
The biopsy said the lump was cutaneous reactive histiocytosis. Not something usually found in poodles or even, for that matter, on that part of the body. Wierd. We are waiting and seeing if it was a one off… I’ve got my fingers crossed.
When the stitches came out I asked the vet to check his foot which was not improving. He couldn’t find any indication of a grass seed either and thought Romeo might have broken his toe. He gave him anti-inflammatories.
Well, it got worse and worse till I saw that there was now a hole in the webbing between his toes. I searched and pulled out a grass seed spike and took him back to the vet. They kept him for the day and searched but didn’t find any more foreign bodies. They cleaned it out and sent him home with a red bandage, antibiotics and he’s also on anti-inflammatories again. It should clear up now but till then we call him Limpy.
Poor Romeo.
Other than that all is well. The garden is looking shocking but given that a reader commented on my old toolbox planter I thought I’d share some of my whimsical plant containers.
I have quite a few old and rusty galvanised buckets. This one, one of my favourites, sits on the porch cause the begonia doesn’t like it too hot or frosty.

Last year I bought this gorgeous 60s planter from a garage sale and have put small pots with succulents in it, as well as a cutting of a beautiful pinky white geranium I’m growing.

At the end of the porch I have my lovely old mop bucket. We had one of those things when I was growing up. I much prefer it as a planter.

Since its now autumn the garden is looking pretty awful. Most plants have finished flowering and look ratty. But some are coming up again. Like the sweetpeas in the rusty old washing machine tub and the columbines in and around the old ammo box.

The steps up the porch have some new seedlings in them, alysum and lobelia which will fill and overflow the old pots and loaf tins they’re in.

I’ve replaced the succulents in the bike basket with plants which will overflow and cascade as well. Cat mint, which has purple flowers, in one pot and a pink groundcover I’ve forgotten the name of in the other.

In three pots in a basket on the back of the bike I’ve got a white daisy like plant, some alysum and lobelia. The white will grow upwards and the others should cascade. One day it’ll look great… one day.

The succulents I put in my stacked containers are coming along nicely. I have three of these but the third isn’t looking too good yet. I made these a couple of years ago for indoor storage but decided they’d work better with plants in them. They’re made of spindles and baking tins.

I made hanging baskets out of old strainers and steamers, put succulents in them and hung them on the wall near the door. Only succulents do well in planters with so many holes as they dry out very quickly.

I’ve had this old cane chair for many years, I bought it in an op shop when I was living in Fentonbury. When I got it it was dark brown, I used a wire brush to brush off the flaking paint and sprayed it white. The paint is flaking off again now so I decided to relegate it to a garden ornament.

A bright petunia will full the jam pot. Next spring I’ll put in another one – this time in spring so I have flowers through summer.

I used to have a lot of old toolboxes with succulents in them but this is one of the last ones. I sold a few of them at the market stall I did in January. I love old toolboxes and this one in blue and rust is just gorgeous.

The last one is the one on the back of this little tricycle.

You’ll notice the flour sifter near the old (cheap) half barrel planter that I can’t move without it falling apart. I have 3 sifters but this is one in best condition – ie the plant is still thriving.

One of the other sifters lies next to an overturned pot full of succulents. Hopefully the succulent in it will grow and spread. If not I’ll just put another in there!
This little area is in a wasted corner of the driveway where the retaining wall meets the steps to the path. I envisage that the succulents will grow and fill the area.
The other side of the retaining wall is decorated with some more buckets and drums.

And more ammo boxes… with more seedlings in them!

Do you get the feeling I love rusty old things? Well, you wouldn’t be wrong!

I do need to get out into the garden and begin trimming things back for winter and, if things go to plan, there’ll be a ton of flowers next spring.
I’ve been holding myself back waiting for the right time to cut things back. I get the urge to do it as soon as things begin to look ratty. Well, time is fast approaching. Time to tidy the garden, plug up all the holes the birds use to nest in, continue making the yard safer for the dogs next summer (ie keep them safe from snakes).
Lots to do.
Always.
z

my new farm gate

Progress on the new grooming room is slow. I had one day where things kinda just flowed and things got done. I was up on ladders, using my arms and head to hold up sheets of MDF to the ceiling and using the nail gun to secure them there.
Then I ran out of MDF.
Turns out I’d measured correctly but remembered wrong. I needed 6 sheets (of the biggest size I could handle on my own) but remembered to buy 4.
Live and learn my friends.
So, having NOT finished the ceiling I couldn’t very well finish everything else. I had one and a half walls I could put ‘skirting boards’ and ‘cornices’ on.
I placed those words in quotation marks cause I’m not using either cornice or skirting boards for the job. I got plain pine boards cause it was the cheapest way to go. The end result is the same: I’m covering gaps where walls meet ceiling or walls.
Having done the bits I could do without finishing the ceiling, I looked around at what I could do next…
…and found the gate.
Ok. I didn’t find the gate. I found the gate was a job I could do which wasn’t affected by the unfinishedness of the ceiling.

I had planned to use pallet wood to make the gate, but I had 2 long pieces of old tassie oak flooring outside the grooming room, in the tiny yard, just waiting for a use. So I used them.
Firstly I had to measure the distance between the cement slabs the casita and the tiny shed (its an aviary) are sitting on, then the distance between the walls. I’d already attached an extra post to the one on the side of the casita which holds up the porch roof so I could swing the gate off it.
I cut my timber pieces the height I wanted – tall enough to stop a dog jumping over them. 
Then I did what any sane, mathematically challenged person would do: I marked the measurments out on the floor and lay the timber down, spacing the boards by eye and laying the cross pieces over the top. Good enough for me.
I joined all the boards together using screws then reinforced those with nails. 
I cut my Z pieces. I did two cause I couldn’t work out the angle to cut a single one on… I did say I was mathematically challenged! In order to save wastage I went with 45 degree angles and 2 Z pieces. It should work fine.
I hope.
Last I used some nice strong chicken wire over the back of the gate cause the gaps are big enough to allow dogs through. I had wanted a picket style gate with small gaps but I didn’t want to spend money on treated pine or fence pickets.
This is one heavy gate cause tassie oak is heavy stuff. I had to get some pretty strong hinges from Wayne’s collection of rusty items to hang them with.
I love my new rustic gate. It fits between the wall of the casita and the aviary and will stop dogs from escaping into the paddocks.

I’ll be putting a bolt onto the gate at #1, put a hole into the aviary wall for the bolt to slide into.

#2 shows where the end board is cut short to accommodate the height of the concrete slab. I found I had to reinforce that spot as the wire could have been bent by a particularly insistent dog bent on escape. (haha)

#3 is where a sliver of wood was removed to allow the gate to swing without hitting the concrete on the casita side.

All in all, a job well done.

I’ll finish this post with a gratuitous photo of a poodle: Romeo was overseeing my gate-building efforts. He approves.
z

our junky porch

Our porch is a receptacle for junk. I mean, its the natural place for it, right? You come home with  your hands full and think “I’ll just leave that here till later” and you put it on the old box Wayne uses for his boots.
Or you step out onto the porch with an armload of stuff that doesn’t belong in the house, or you no longer want in the house, and you think “I’ll just leave this here till later…”  Or forever.
See the oil stain on the decking? Well, that’s where someone sat a chainsaw when the porch was all new and shiny. I won’t mention names, but it starts with “W” and ends with “ayne”.
I’m sure that at the time he was thinking “I’ll just rest it here for a while”… which turned into weeks and a permanent stain.
But its the nice junk on our porch I want to share with you today. Like this rusty birdcage I found at a tip shop a few years ago.

The coat rack I made using big nails and recycled skirting board, with a cute little bird accent.

The rusty propeller (ok, tractor fan) light I made.

The beautiful rusty old typewriter found on the side of the road. You may recognise it as part of one my blog headers.

The old chalkboard, made from something I found once – no idea what it was. Now it hangs beside the door to the mudroom with hopeful advice.

I recycled an old mantle shelf I found in one of our sheds by putting it under the kitchen window for plants or my collection of old white vases. And rusty hooks and other rusty things. Don’t you just love this hook?

My collection of old shears and rusty scissors.

Even the unattractive electricity meter box is dressed up with two wire hearts. The white one was once a wire coathanger…

I have a collection of old galvanised buckets. This is one without holes so I’ve put a pot inside it with my tortured begonia. I’ve almost killed it at least three times.

The fish Wayne made hang on the wall. He made these out of wire and flattened corregated iron. Aren’t they great!

An old, weatherbeaten table, a very comfy cane chair and a kid size chair grouped around an old galv mop bucket bursting with succulents.

A not so old galvanised watering can is now a planter, sitting on an old school desk the sun and rain are doing their best to ruin.

I love our porch, even if it doesn’t actually have much of a comfy area to sit and relax. I just love looking over the garden and enjoying my collection of junk.
z

industrial rustic table

Today I’m revisiting a project I did a couple of years ago. Not sure exactly when I made this table, but it was Wayne’s second desk for quite a while.
The base of the table is an old office desk from the tip shop. The top was ruined when I got it but that was ok, I got it with the plan of putting a salvaged timber top on it. That’s one plan I actually followed through on!

Up till now I’ve been quite lucky with salvaged timber – when we bought our farm there was tons of old wood just lying around the place, exposed to the weather and rotting away. We saved and reused, then stored what was left over. Wayne fixed and extended the stable using this wood. We revamped our woodshed using it. We’ve gone through a lot of it, but its not all gone yet.

I went through what’s left of the timber to find 4 pieces that matched. I didn’t. But I found some which were close enough. That’s the beauty of rustic… it doesn’t have to be perfect!

I had to brace the timber under the table to hold the slats together, and I used the holes in the metal frame to screw the top on. I then gave it a light sand to make sure there were no loose bits and to even out the worst of the wear.

Of course that ended up taking away the gorgeous grey weathered look I wanted.

Easy fixed. Using a mix of acrylic artist paints I gave the timber a wash, brushing on watery paint then rubbing it off, till I got the colour I wanted.

I used black wood putty in nail holes and filled the gaps between slats with gap filler. When that was dry I gave it a couple of coats of semi gloss polyurethane to make it easy to keep clean.

It was great as a desk. For a while. But it doesn’t have drawers. So I made Wayne a new desk (the less said about that one the better!), and this one is now for sale. If I had a large kitchen I’d keep it for an industrial rustic farmhouse look… but our kitchen is too small for such a long table. Its too cool to end up as a workbench, thus I’m trying to find it a new home.
Sometimes you just have to part with things in order to make room for new creations!
z