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Treasures from Nature

Posted on September 20, 2017 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)



If you think that you need buckets of money to decorate your home, think again. Just head out to your back yard, local park or woods and you will find more than you can imagine to create natural and charming decorations for no money and very little time. Why not create a wonderful centrepiece using Chinese Lanterns? Use a string of fairy lights and you're all set.



Gather up colourful leaves and make a bright and cheery maple leaf wreath. All it takes is a wire coat hanger stretched into a circle form and glue. Before making the wreath use a warm iron to flatten the leaves between sheets of wax paper.



Have a little fun and create a few large 'butterflies' to decorate your seasonal pumpkins or your walls. Fold leaves to form wings and glue to a gnarly twig. Again, press the leaves flat before making these 'insects'.


None of these ideas take a lot of time and certainly no money. What would you do?


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.