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Decor Recycling - Spring on the Balcony

Posted on May 14, 2016 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (2)


I love spring because it means that I get to decorate my balcony and my studio with an eclectic mix of vintage and found objects that have been stored away over winter. The warmer weather allows me to expand my living space. Here are a few of my balcony ideas.



I invite bird visitors to my balcony, not with bird feeders (these only attract pigeons!) but with bird baths - both water and sand. Birds like to take a dip into the sand bath to rid themselves of any pesky little insects that hide amongs their feathers. I make both types of bird baths using clay pots and saucers. I attach the saucers to the pots with velcro - that way I can undo them easily for storage or use for my extra plants.



Because wasps and hornets can be a problem when eating al fresco, I hang little jars of sugared water (flat coke works, too) a few feet away from where I will be dining. That way, the insects get their meal while I enjoy mine. By the way, the insects survive their little dip and I set them free once I've finished my meal.



I like to have a pot or two of herbs on my patio table while I work and usually pot these up in whatever container I have handy. This year, I potted my Italian parsley in empty maple syrup tins. This way I get to nibble on something while I work and the scent of herbs can be soothing.




When the sun goes down, I light up my patio with candles set in small vintage yogurt jars and topped with a few vintage cheese graters. I place these on an old laundry bench that I picked up in England.


As you can see, it's really easy to create a unique and personal atmosphere on your balcony or even in a small garden space just by using what you have on hand.


Tomorrow - what I do inside my studio.


Copper Tones - Upcycling in the Kitchen

Posted on October 3, 2015 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)


Upon occasion I am called upon to help someone settle into a new flat or apartment. This time my friend Davide called for help. He's in his first year at uni and, like most students, low on decorating funds. However, he knows what he likes. Currently, he's enamoured with the copper trend that's appearing online and in print. However, the cost of the real thing is not in his budget. Like most student flats, his kitchen has very little cupboard space but as a real foodie and a not too bad a cook, he wanted his kitchen to be organized and look good as well.


So, of course, I turned to his (and my) recycling bin to see what we could find. Glass and plastic jars and tins seemed likely candidates for a copper makeover. I hate to admit it, but we used copper spray paint but I did place the items to be transformed inside a cardboard box and hopefully the impact on the environment was reduced. We looked for copper paint but that was not available. 


Despite the fact that most of the glass containers we found came in different sizes and shape, I knew that painting the lids all the same colour would give Davide the look he wanted. 

When I left him with the can of spray paint he was busy looking for more items to spray. Right now, he needs a few of those large pickle and pepper jars that you see in delicatessens and Italian restaurants for his baking ingredients.

By the way, in my next posts I hope to be focusing on Christmas - my most favourite time of year - and yes, I know it's early. But from what I gather, my visitors are clamouring for ideas and who am I to object.

 

Halloween Table Settings - Use What You Have

Posted on October 28, 2013 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (0)


My Ottawa Citizen Halloween article came out this Saturday and in it I describe three Halloween table settings I created for guests who are coming over for a sitdown supper on Halloween night. For each guest, I designed a personalized table setting that matched their interests. I created one for a book lover, a movie goer, and a puzzle solver. Nothing too ghoulish or ghastly, since I don't want to frighten my guests. It would have been easier I know to go and buy stuff at the dollar store but I figured I'd use what I already had including old photocopies that I've used for other projects.


My friends tell me I'm not really a recycler - just too lazy to go shopping. True, my recycling bin is one of my BFFs. To read my Table Setting article, go here.


Fabulous ways to repurpose vintage house keys

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)



It's Sunday morning and I'm up for something silly and frilly, so here it is. A wonderful, fun way to reuse/repurpose/recycle vintage house keys (and empty jam jars!!) from Style Me Pretty (via Bridal Musings). Fabulous idea for a little girl's birthday party - no? Or it can be adapted for a boy's party just by changing the decoration on the jar. You can get full instructions for this project over at Emmaline Bride. Gives a recipe for the soap bubbles, too.


I've started to collect vintage keys when lived in a 100-year old house that at one time had been a boarding house -  each bedroom could be locked by the boarder when he/she went out to work in the morning. So I was always on the lookout for keys that could maybe fit the door keyholes. And you know I did find a bunch. Some even fit the doors at my sister's old Victorian house in Toronto! I still have a horde of these keys somewhere in my storage boxes. Never thought to use it in this playful manner.


There are a lot more creative links for reusing those old house keys over at Bridal Musings. Even if you're not celebrating a wedding, any of these projects could be adapted for other festivities. Take a peek.