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Street Finds

Posted on September 13, 2017 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

This morning's walk had me discovering a whole lot of stuff on the sidewalk waiting for the garbage trucks. I was upset to see so much stuff that would end up in the landfill when it all looked in pretty good shape. As an example, see what I found below.



Both the shutters (there were 6) and the chair need a bit of TLC but the rewards would be enormous. Here are some ideas. You'll find plenty more if you do a bit of research.


SHUTTERS


An easy way to reuse the shutters as head boards in the bedroom with just a lick of paint and then flipping them.  




Make sliding doors to glamour out a doorway. You can purchase the sliding gear at hardware stores.



Our lady Martha looked at her shutters and made this linen cupboard. 



If you have the carpentry skills, transform shutters into this kitchen island. Now for the chairs.


CHAIRS



Bored with that old armchair. You can actually paint it! Apparently there is paint specially designed to use on upholstery material. To find out how, click here.



If you prefer fabric, you can pick up wonderful pieces of vintage curtain drapes or upholstery fabric at charity stores and even if there's not enough of one colour to cover your chair, you create a one of a kind of chair like this ... 



or this.



This is my favourite - I have a thing about stripes.



Kitchen Table Business - Gardening

Posted on August 4, 2017 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

If you're serious about starting a craft kitchen table (i.e., home-based) business you have to look at legal issues. The best place is your own city hall and tax departments. You can get free information there although it may cost you to register your business. None of my postings will be looking at these issues since every place has different rules and regulations. That's one of your jobs!!



To get back to my search for crafty kitchen table business ideas, I love gardening (albeit on a small scale given the size of my balcony). With this in mind I came up with the concept of a simple garden business idea in an eggshell - and no, it's not my original idea. Gardening in an eggshell is all over the Internet. My spin is using seeds from what fruits and veggies I buy and eat. It always seemed to me that it was a waste just to toss seeds into my compost box (also very tiny as I live in a flat!!).


I saved the eggshells from my morning scrambled eggs. To transform these into little seedling ‘containers’, I used a sharp knife to make holes in the top and bottom of the eggshell by just gently tapping the eggshell with the knife until a hole appeared. I made the top hole larger so the egg would fall out into the frying pan for my breakie. The small bottom hole is to let excess water out when watering the little plants. I tried various seeds - lemon, pepper, orange, and cantaloupe. Only the cantaloupe seeds germinated, but, no worries. My 'soil' was really only tea and coffee grounds mixed with a little of my compost.


Et voila, in 2 weeks the little seedlings emerged.


This is a great idea for a stay-at-home mom who enjoys gardening but has got room for a garden, has kiddies to look after, or no extra money for tools, supplies, etc. This is a nice, inexpensive way to start your own little gardening biz. All you need are a few eggshells (don't forget to empty the eggs first) and some seeds.


Can't you just see yourself providing cafes and restaurants with tiny herb seedlings - perhaps in a vintage eggcup (check out local charity shops for these). These would also be great little fundraisers for your kids' school projects, a favourite charity, etc.


Cost for my cantaloupes, by the way, was zero.

Kitchen Table Business - Nature

Posted on August 3, 2017 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)


In my last two posts I blathered on about how you can perhaps make some money, even start a home-based business based on paper (and whatever paper you've got in your recycling bin or stashed away in cupboards, etc.). This morning, on my daily walk, I found another resource.


On the grounds of our City Hall that I pass by every morning, I noticed and picked up pinecones and acorns. Then the lightbulb moment came when I realized that resources for starting a crafty kitchen table business are available wherever you look, not just in your recycling bin.


At a local park, I also came across apple trees and rose bushes. The apples were still too small to pick right now, but would make a great harvest soon (apple pie, anyone??). The rose bushes were covered by hundreds of rose hips which can be turned into amazing jelly (rose hips are bursting with Vitamin C!!) and even a healthy tea. I asked the groundskeepers about pesticides and was reassured that none were ever used and that all the produce was free for the picking as long as care was taken not to break or disturb the plants. So there you are - free stuff. If you cook, bake and can preserve, you've got a gold mine here.


Look, the Internet is full of projects and ideas that you can duplicate in your own way if you are truly into starting your own business. Having said that, remember not to just copy someone else's work. Take what you see and like, and find a way to reinterpret it. Something that will make your work stand out. For me, it's taking a process and simplying it. Find your own style and go from there.


With your own kitchen table business, you can work while the kids are in school, for as many or as few hours as you wish and make stuff that someone, somewhere will buy. If you think you don't have the talent to create something, why not sell materials you find. Sell those pinecones and acorns, your old maps and bits of paper, textiles, etc.


Take the time to do some research and to see what is being sold on Etsy and eBay. I was amazed to find that you can sell anything - toilet paper rolls, kitchen towel paper rolls, wine corks, bits of fabric, empty bottles - you name it. Not necessarily creative crafting but if it brings in a few dollars for, say, to pay for supplies you may need for your real craft, go for it.


My point is that materials and resources for starting a craft business are available all over the place, not just in your recycling bin. You can start your own little enterprise at anytime. It just depends on whether you want to put in the work and the time. Stickability is the key. It may not be the way to instant riches, but discovering that it's in your control may bring rewards unimagined.


So as that Nike ad said, Just do it. 

Kitchen Table Business - Paper Part 2

Posted on July 23, 2017 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)



In my last post I talked about how to use maps to create stuff you could possibly make and sell (or give away as gifts): items like these gorgeous map paper shoes made by Jennifer Collier.  Gorgeous or what!! And she does this for a living!


In this post I'll show you more paper examples of what you reinterpret in your own way:


Chairs



I love this chair and will probably copy the idea for myself using a similar one!!


If you have a few chairs you no longer like or use, you can decoupage these with maps for yourself or to sell. If selling, the more chairs the better as you may find that your chairs will be in demand by decorators!



No chairs? Often on my daily walks I come across discarded chairs as well as other furniture! So head out for a stroll and lug home a chair or two. Or ask friends and neighbours if they have some they're planning to throw out. Don't be shy!! I view these as potential money earners (unless you need them for your own home and you save money!!). This idea also works for any small pieces of furniture - tables, dressers, etc.


At the website, Altered States, you'll find furniture decoupage how-to instructions. For decoupaging chairs, click here.


Dishes, Plates, Trays  


Forage through your cupboards, closets, basement, or attic and pull out all those old glass dishes, plates and trays that you've never used and turn them into cash! If you don't have any, head for your nearest charity shop or go to local church bazaar sales and pick these up for pennies!


Look at the following examples:




Shown above are two plates decoupaged with maps. Note you will need to buy decoupage glue but this can be a worthwhile investment. For instructions for decoupaging similar plates, click here.



Our lady Martha has great instructions for decoupaging glass trays with maps. Click here for her video.


I like this post because it has Martha working with Ben Busko who makes and sells decoupaged trays with maps and other materials. Check out his website here.


If he can do it, so can you!


No Maps? No Problem!


If you don't have any maps, what other kind of paper resources do you have? Old books, used envelopes, magazines, etc. Almost anything you can make with maps, you can make with almost any kind of paper.


Remember Jennifer Collier's London map shoes at the start of this blog? Well, she's also made shoes out of book pages ...



and also with envelopes ...



Jennifer doesn't stick to just shoes. I'm just using her shoes here as examples of things to make with paper. She makes other objects using paper as well. Go visit her site and be inspired.


One last item ...


and I'm done with paper (and map) ideas. If working with glue or cutting up paper is not your thing, but you are a sewer and have always wanted to create your own pillow covers, etc. head over to Spoonflower to find out how you can have your very own material printed.





The above is an example I found on Etsy (no longer available) using a map. You can recreate your own drawings and designs on paper. To find out more about printing on fabric, click here.


Liked any of these ideas? Remember that all the above are someone else's work and be respectful when choosing to use an idea. The object here is not to copy exactly what you find but to take an idea and create your own, in your own way.

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