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Ikea Inspiration

Posted on July 30, 2015 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)


It's way too hot to do anything today (31 deg C / 48 deg C humidex) so I'm inside in front of my $10. fan, having decided to spend my afternoon with Ikea - not the shop - it's way too far to traipse over to the wilderness where the store is located. I just don't have the energy. Fortunately, I do have access to Ikea online, both to its Livet Hemma site and the 2016 catalogue. The catalogue is the US version.

Upcycled Pallet Patio Hanging Bed


A nice Ikea idea – if you have the skills – create a hanging bed on your balcony or patio or in the garden, recycling wood pallets. And, of course, decorating your new 'bed' with Ikea linens!!!

How to Do It

I myself would not attempt this as you know I am a klutz. The bed would probably fall down on top of me before it was finished. But if you are keen (and skilled in all ways carpentry), Oklahoma photographer Sheryl Salisbury provides very clear step-by-step instructions for making a pallet swing, which can be used as a bed (with photos). For instructions, click here.

I really like her food shots.

Recycle Fabric Pieces for Balcony Privacy

If you have a balcony that overlooks a busy street, your next door neighbour, or an ugly view, why not hide what you see with this neat idea. Not only will you gain a little privacy but you'll finally find a use for all those unused bits of fabric you've got stashed away. I did something similar when I had a balcony that overlooked the back of a number of restaurants.

How to Do It

Simply rip strips (2-3 inches wide) of any brightly patterned fabrics that you won't be using and tie the strips to your balcony railing. You can also use any lengths of ribbon instead of fabric.

Create a Giant Notice Board

I can never have a big enough notice board so I really liked this idea from the Ikea 2016 catalogue - creating a giant one using several small cork notice boards. This one was designed for a boy's bedroom but I can see it almost anywhere including my studio! You can often buy these notice boards at charity shops - so keep an eye out for them.

I recently found a very large notice board (but not big enough!) for $4.00 at my local church charity store. Because I don't especially like the look of cork, I recovered mine with a piece of pinstripe fabric purchased at Value Village last year. I'm now on the lookout for another similar notice board to increase the size of the one I already have.

Too hot to go on, so I'll say ciao for now.

Further Workshops Postponed

Posted on July 27, 2015 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

My first workshop went very well and, although only a small group, we had loads of fun. Everyone went home with a finished book sculpture and were looking forward to the next workshop.

Unfortunately ...

Wasn’t it John Lennon who said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.”?  Well, I guess that applies to me. I will be postponing my next workshops as I need to be away for most of August. I’ll still be posting things that I find interesting but my workshops are on hold until September.

Workshops - Kids Welcome

Posted on July 20, 2015 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I've been thinking awhile about having kids (for free and accompanied by an adult) come to the book folding workshops and so, when a neighbour, who is familiar with my workshops, stopped by the other day with a pile of comic graphic novels for me to use, I thought about how I could test this idea out. By the way, for the purists out there, these books (as in all the books I reuse) had torn pages and/or were missing quite a few, were badly stained and, generally, unreadable. Perfect for a kids' book folding workshop as the books had just the right number of pages (not so many as to overwhelm but enough to challenge little hands) and were also quite colourful. Would kids enjoy this kind of project? I needed to find out.

As chance would have it, a 6-year old friend wandered over to my place to see if I had anything crafty on the go. He had helped out with the pizza garden and was eager to see if I had anything new up my sleeve.  So - of course, I handed him a 'Lucky Luke' book and showed him a few basic folds. Then I left him to it. He quickly caught on and, in under 20 minutes, completed the above 'sculpture' and then asked if I had more books for him to fold. Although not a particularly scientific test, I realized that, yes, kids just might enjoy this project. If you are interested in coming to the workshop, don't hesitate to bring one kid (free) along.

Workshop Announcement

Posted on July 6, 2015 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

At the moment my studio is in a bit of a disarray as I've been working hard making samples for my coming Saturday Morning Craft Club workshops. I am not by nature an organized soul so I spend a lot of my time sifting through my craft storage boxes and recycling bin to find materials and supplies. I do make an attempt to label everything but during the occasional organization frenzy, I tend to misplace stuff.

Since my brain tends to go overboard when coming up with ideas, I've had to narrow down my workshop choices and came up with over 50 easy-peasy, frugal projects. As I have only 5 Saturday mornings, you can see I had to whittle down my choices a bit more. 

The workshops are geared for adults, teens and kids 5 to 12. Anyone who wants to start a new hobby, make stuff for their church bazaar or raise funds for school projects, maybe even be inspired to start a part-time home business at little or no cost will want to attend. These workshops are also great for grandparents or childminders who are looking for cheap and easy ways to entertain the little ones will find a few ideas to get started.

The first will be my popular Book Folding workshops scheduled for July 25. I'm still working on the others.

To more information on the Book Folding workshop and to register, go here.

Pizza Garden Update

Posted on July 2, 2015 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I'm pleased to tell you that my pizza garden plants have been growing so well that I've had to transplant them yet again into bigger pots. All the herbs are thriving and my tomatoes and peppers - well - are just coming along nicely. My balcony garden faces north so does not get a lot of sunlight just an hour or so in the late afternoon so I can only attribute the growth of my plants to the coffee that I serve them every morning - my leftover coffee and coffee grinds. Can it be the caffeine that is doing this?

I'm especially pleased about the tomatoes. 

Recycling Magazines

Posted on June 28, 2015 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

I've blogged about recycling magazines before and this week I ran a magazine upcycling workshop recently at a local shop and the turnout was way better than I expected. I had no time to advertise or even post my workshop as it was almost all word-of-mouth advertising. Anyway, each participant got one magazine and it is safe to say even though we made a bunch of stuff, they still had loads of pages left over to do more recycling at home.

We made bags, tags, cards, and envelopes. The materials required are all stuff we all have around the house or are easily accessible: scissors, pencils, rulers, glue stick and, of course, magazines.

I surprised everyone by showing them how to make gift boxes from magazine covers. What fun!

There are, of course, dozens of other ways to recycle (or I should say upcycle) magazines from beads to Christmas trees. All how-tos can be found online, so go search!

Did I mention that any leftover magazine bits and bobs can be shredded and used as filler in mailing parcels? A workshop participant even suggested turning what's left over into confetti. By the way, if you have no magazines, junk mail, old maps, even paper bags work just as well.

Stay tuned as I'm planning a series of Saturday morning craft reupcycling sessions? This time I hope to be a bit more organized.

Ciao for now.