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

merry christmas!

Free Photo Christmas Card Template - Karen Cookie Jar pertaining

I thought it might be time to post SOMETHING… maybe just a Christmas wish, maybe something more… its been so busy leading up to Christmas that I haven’t had a spare minute to even think about the blog.

My bad.

So what have I been doing, you might ask? Well. I’ve been grooming dogs. And dogs. And more dogs. I made more crazy critters for the market, and more wind chimes. I did the last two Saturday markets in New Norfolk. We’ve had a film crew here two weekends in a row, filming a short movie for Tropfest in our house. I’ve been watering the garden and ignoring the height of the weeds we call a lawn.

Yep. I’ve been a bit busy.

So today is a day of rest. The plan had been to take out the canoe and take a picnic and spend the morning on the water. But we slept in, had coffee in bed, opened presents and had a late breakfast…

Later today we’re doing a one hour slot on the local radio station and visiting some friends. A relaxed and easy day.

Last night I finally had the time to make some Christmas cards for my various FB pages and groups…

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You’ve already seen the Junk4Joy card at the top of this post… and lastly, my personal card…

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Its been a few years since I actually posted cards. I used to send out tons when I was younger but now I only do electronic ones. How lazy am I?

And yes, I don’t care how politically incorrect it might be to say ‘Christmas’ but I don’t care. To me it is and always will be Christmas, so as much as I respect others’ right to believe what they want to, I expect them to respect my right to say Merry Christmas!

On a crafty note, this year I made some little tree decorations to sell at the markets.

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There are multilayered white on white ornaments, made using scrap fabric, vintage lace, iron on stiffening fabric and felt. Oh, and buttons and cotton as ties.

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Pretty cute, even if I do say so myself.

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I’ll share some pics of the newest batch of critters later – the pics I have of them so far are really bad. Also some of the other stuff I’ve managed to do around here in all my free time.

I really needed this break.

z

bathroom update

The bathroom has become one of those ongoing projects that just lingers…

When we started it dragged on, mainly cause I got the plumber to do the tiling and it turned out he’s a great plumber but not such a great tiler. It took forever. In the end I just wanted him gone so I opted to finish the room myself.

Not that much to do… Or at least that’s how it seemed till I listed it:

Patch holes in the window frame and paint
Remove silicon around the shower where it was stained by the grout and replace
Seal the grout
Paint the wall that wasn’t tiled
Put in skirting boards on that wall, quad in the corners and trims around door
Gap fill and paint woodwork
Put up the towel rail
Sort out a shelf/shelves for above the vanity
Finish the cabinet for storage
Paint and mount the mirror
Make a cabinet out of a window to finish the storage corner

Suddenly, it wasn’t such a quick job to finish…

This week I managed to cross a few items off the list – some cause I did them, some cause I eliminated the need to do them! Always a bonus when you rethink your plans and eliminate steps!

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What I did get done:

Attached the towel rail
Broke the vintage mirror I had sitting on the window sill
Sealed the grout
Finished the cabinet
Did most of the door trim

Here is the cabinet’s story. This cabinet was on a pile to go to the rubbish tip. I rescued it cause I could see potential in it. By the time I got it it was missing its doors, shelves and was a total mess.

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None of that worried me, I liked the shape. Problem was, it was too wide for the space I had. So I cut it down. I basically had to pull it apart and put it back together again in a narrower shape.

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I painted it with a very pale grey DIY chalk paint and put a new dark grey back on it. The dark grey back almost matches the concrete effect wall the cabinet sits against.

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The plan is/was to put towels in the larger shelves on the left and make boxes (or buy baskets) to slide into the smaller shelves on the right. These boxes (or baskets!) will hold the kind of stuff you don’t want on display – makeup, hair stuff, whatever. That way, since the cabinet is not in front of the mirror, I can take the box/basket to the vanity to do my hair or makeup… then put it all away again.

Since I wanted to start using it, I’ve gone ahead and made do with what I have for now. I some towels on the right and used some old suitcases to hold other stuff. It’ll do for now!

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When I put up the towel rail I was able to put 3 of the screws into the joins between tiles, into the grout. However the last screw had to go into a tile.

Have you ever tried to drill into a tile? I hadn’t. I had to go buy a special drill bit.

I never want to do it again. I bought an acrylic suction type shelf for above the sink. MUCH easier… It gets things off the window sill and out of the way.

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I also added a small IKEA mirror for doing makeup.

But I didn’t explain why the vintage mirror got broken… Well, when I sealed the grout I had all the house windows open plus the fan on in the bathroom, but I was still choking on the fumes. When I finished spraying I ran out and left the mirror where it was, leaning against the open window…

When I got back into the house after grooming I found the mirror on the floor, broken to bits. Sigh…

Oh well. At least its not the mirror I planned to put in the bathroom long term. It was a temporary mirror. I still have to paint the long term mirror.

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So what’s left to do? Well… I need to finish the door trim. I had enough timber to do it but I cut the top bit too short, then cut another bit and did the angle wrong. Measure 3 times and still get it wrong… I bought some new trim and will finish it this week.

Needless to say I’ll then need to do the gap filling and painting of all woodwork.

What I eliminated from my list was the skirting board behind the cabinet. Without it the cabinet sits flat against the wall. Perfect.

What I’m changing my mind on is the quad in the corners. I dislike quad so I’m going to try gap filler in there and see if I can make it neat enough. If I fail I’ll go ahead and use the quad.

My plan is to make a smaller cabinet to sit on top of the larger one, with a window as the door. Step one is complete: I found the window I have earmarked to use as a door. Now on to making the actual cabinet…

That’s the fun bit!

z

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the etsy market experience

Since Andi prompted me, here is a post about the Etsy Makers market we had here in Hobart at the end of November. It was the first time for it here in Tasmania.

I spent days getting stock ready for it – of course I had my dolls, which are currently listed in my Etsy Shop (its a work in progress), but I also wanted a lot of smaller items which would appeal to people wanting something small as a gift.

I made cute brooches from fabric scraps and felt. They were very popular.

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My crazy critters were popular too. They’re scrappy fabric creatures with a soft stuffing.

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I also had a few teapot suncatchers, critter heat packs, lavender filled houses and hearts. Basically, all kinds of things that I enjoy making.

And then, of course, there were the dolls…

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It was a great weekend. Successful too – I sold heaps of stuff, including 2 dolls which was a bonus. I know I love making them and people are impressed by them, but they’re not something which jumps off the shelf…

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People loved the dolls, saying they look so much better in person. I displayed them in groups, with boxes of scenery to suit behind them.

If you want to buy one of my dolls, or get one made for you, visit my Etsy Shop!

z

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