Rakelle

I kept coming across rake head wreaths and separate posts for upcycled cheese grater owls. I thought it would be fun to combine the two. Rakelle is the result and here’s how I put her together:

It all started when I found the rake head in a “free” pile in front of a neighbour’s house. My kitchen grater is sturdy and clean. But a local supermarket had a few in their remains bins for $1 each – I bought them all. (the plastic fruit was a freebie from a separate roadside rescue, but didn’t make it onto this wreath after all)

And I always do it outside and cover my nose and mouth – some posts I’ve read suggest the potential for toxic gases. I also tossed in a couple of canning jar metal lid rings (for big googly owl eyes) to get them nice and rusty.

I intended to leave it overnight but I got consumed with something unexpected so it was about 36 hours before I pulled them out and rinsed them thoroughly to halt the corrosion. Because the combination is so effective, use a heavy plastic or metal container that will resist corrosion. Meanwhile, I cut the bottoms off two soft drink cans and bent the cut edge inward all the way around. These were the perfect size to fit inside the canning jar rings.

I used gorilla glue to affix the pieces. The rings around the base of the can add to the owl eyes. The metal clip I used for the nose was in my collection of bits-and-pieces.

I used cheap tinny teaspoons for ears. I used floral wire to one to each side. Initially I regretted having not thought about that early enough to rust them, but at the end of the day I liked the contrast of the non-rusted ears and eyes.

I added a couple of gold buttons for pupils of the eyes – and you can see I started playing with the finishings and opted for some stray strands of Chinese lantern instead of the bulky plastic fruit. I used florist wire to attach the metal owl to the rake.

I used pinecones and floral moss to fill out the bottom. And for fun contrast, I added a string of craft pearls around the base.

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Photo Gift

As a kind of defacto family historian I have somehow acquired 90% of our family photos. Rather than shutting them away in albums or boxes I make them into meaningful gifts. A while ago I discovered an adorable photo of my mother as a toddler and had a copy made for my brother.  He would have been thrilled just to get the photo, but for very little cost and effort I put it into a special frame

 I picked up this simple solid wood frame for $1.50 at a local thrift store.

 I drew inspiration from a Diet Coke can from the series that has names and relationship roles on them.

 I gave it a base coat of red paint and let it sit for a couple of days before adding a good coat of homemade white chalk paint. I distressed it heavily in some sections to go right down to the original wood, and lighter in some areas so the red base coat could peek through and echo the red lettering on the tag.

  Then I cut the word Mom from the soda can (I just used regular scissors) and glued it on with marine goop.  Then I gave it a good coat of beeswax to give it a nice smooth feeling despite the distressing.

 The photo printing cost $1.14, the frame was $1.50 and everything else I had on hand.  What a sweet gift for less than $3

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Wall Clock to Hanging Planter

 Walking home from work a week ago I passed a house that was being gutted in preparation for remodelling. On a big pile of garbage was a funky reproduction wall clock.  It was filthy dirty and had a few sharp nails sticking out here and there, but I saw the potential.  It’s fully modern and it’s clockworks are the cheap plastic battery operated kind.   But I loved it at first sight.

 I took it home and gave it a good scrubbing.  I didn’t worry about the cheapo clockworks getting wet because I had no intention of restoring it to a working clock.

I dragged out my homemade white chalk paint and gave it a couple of good coats.   The lines of the clock were pretty enough on their own, but I wanted to add a bit of embellishment.   I have a little grapevine wreath that I have used oh so many times, and I was delighted when it fit the clockface perfectly.  It has been many colours,  some of which now peek softly through the white paint.

  I wanted to make it into a wall planter, and figuring out how to do that was the hardest part of the project. I played with baskets and various types of wire and screening. I finally settled on this lace embellished burlap that I glued on using Marine Goop. It is strong and pretty, and will allow for drainage.  Then I stuffed the little pocket with end-of-summer white flowers (sweet alyssum, pansies and Alaskan daisies that rebloomed once we finally started getting a bit of rain. That pocket could also be used to hold wedding or Christmas cards.

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Home Sweet Home Friday

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Cottage Garden Birdhouse

I bought this birdhouse as part of a package deal I negotiated at a friend’s antique store. It was anything but antique, and looked a bit stark and uninspiring. But I thought could do something about that. I used some wood filler to create a bit of texture around the entrance holes. Then I gave it a couple of coats of homemade chalk paint (3 parts recycled paint, 1 part plaster of paris).  I dragged out some paper I bought at a loonie store for lining drawers. The colour was perfect for where I wanted to take this project.

 I tore off several pieces of different sizes and used Modge Podge to apply. Once thoroughly dried I sanded the paper and the edges of the wood, and a few other select places to create a vintage distressed look.

Then I made my own tinted was, using Minwax clear and a 1/2 tsp of coloured craft paint, which I applied to select parts of the birdhouse. I used clear wax on the rest of the piece.

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Thinking Thanksgiving

Each year when we would be preparing for Canadian Thanksgiving in mid-October, my Oregonian uncle would joke “You folks never did get that timing right, did you?” However, on those occasions when his visits corresponded with our Thanksgiving celebrations, he never turned down the extra turkey dinner.

From a decorating perspective, it means that Canadians plan for Thanksgiving before Hallowe’en. Not much, but before. October is a busy month, so I’ve started planning in September.

 #repurpose #upcycle #vintage #Thanksgiving #Autumn #horn of plenty

I began by turning my antique car horn from a wreath into a Horn-of-Plenty

  I wanted to create an upcycled autumn planter, so I took the “Rosemary” tag off it’s stake and used Marine Gloop (awesome stuff) to attach it to an antique flower sifter. There are so many plants that invoke thoughts of Thanksgiving dinner, and Rosemary tops my list.

#flour sifter #antique #holidays #celebrations #vintage gardening #container gardening #salvage #Rosemary

#flour sifter #antique #holidays #celebrations #vintage gardening #container gardening #salvage #Rosemary

#salvage #succulents #succulent decor

#salvage #succulents #succulent décor

I added a scrumptiously rusty dish overflowing with succulents

 #upcycled clock #repurposed clock #roadside rescue

#upcycled clock #repurposed clock #roadside rescue

I found this non-working modern clock in a curbside give-away pile. Initially I thought I would just paint it and turn it into a photo frame.

 #repurposed bundt pan #vintage gardening #wreath

#repurposed bundt pan #vintage gardening #wreath

As I was cleaning up my container garden I saw a new role for my vintage tulip-shaped bundt pan. I had used it in this vignette, but unlike some of my bundt pans I didn’t want to permanently alter this little sweetie by drilling drainage holes. Today I was very grateful I hadn’t.

#Rustoleum #salvage

#Rustoleum #salvage

I grabbed a can of Rustoleum rust coloured spray paint and gave the entire clock – glass and all – a couple of healthy coats. As I was doing so I had an idea for a Christmas project, so I just used my hot glue gun to make a temporary Thanksgiving buffet wreath.

#Thanksgiving Wreath #Bundt Pan Wreath #Junk Wreath #Salvage Wreath

#Thanksgiving Wreath #Bundt Pan Wreath #Junk Wreath #Salvage Wreath

I love the worn paint rim around the base of the bundt pan; almost as much as I love its

 #antique potato masher

#antique potato masher

Nothing says the holidays like a heaping bowl of steaming potatoes mashed with fresh cream and big chunk of farm fresh butter puddling on top. An antique brooch adds a bit of bling to my Thanksgiving décor.

 #antique bread board #antique butter bowl

#antique bread board #antique butter bowl

#antique butter pats #antique pine bread board

#antique butter pats #antique pine bread board

#antique pine butter pats

#antique pine butter pats

 in antique flower frogs

in antique flower frogs

scalloped edge.

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As we were driving down a highway past a stale development site surrounded by seven foot fence with an unkempt and overgrown interior. But I saw a flash of red metal. We drove back and found a gap in the fence.

  It had rust on the chrome, but otherwise I was thrilled once I saw the classic lines of this steel framed child’s bicycle. It is going to the police station tomorrow – I fear some frantic mother is struggling to explain to her child that there are people who will help themselves to your bicycle if you leave it outside the fence.

But while I have it, I think I’ll just hang from the handlebars my antique Red Rose Lard tin filled with red geraniums.

Eastlake “Second Look” Mirror

Second Look Planter My antique auctioneer uncle is fond of telling the story about two antique dealers who were stranded on a desert island, where they both did a thriving business.  That story was top-of-the mind this morning when, over our weekly brunch, he told me of a special mirror that slipped his attention at his antique auction last week and been sold before he realized it. He described what he called an Eastlake style (named for writer and architect Charles Eastlake who never actually designed furniture but had a significant impact on an era of furniture design).

Immediately after breakfast we drove out to the postcard pretty heritage agriculture & fishing village of Ladner to the Dragonfly Gallery (http://www.bcartist.com/), owned by longtime friend Alain Nowak, to buy the mirror back.

  It is a grooming mirror called a “second look” mirror.All the way home my uncle chattered about the features of the mirror – like the little wood cups on either side of the mirror that are for holding hat or hair pins, for that last minute tuck before heading out the door. But I immediately saw in the pretty front drawer a potentially great planter.

Chocolate Tuxedo Desk

you can imagine the amount of taping that went on.

This is actually a project from last autumn that preceded the blog, so I’ll share it this autumn. The desk was a true roadside rescue, I lifted into my car alone – which amazes me because it is one of those heavy oak 1940s teacher’s desks. My back hurt the next day, and I couldn’t move it 6 inches after that. Like the mother who could lift a car off her baby… this junker found superhuman strength. Unfortunately, I can no longer find the before pictures…

this desk ultimately became a quasi room divider because of it's size and the fact that it looks great front and back. There's no ugly side that needs to be hidden against the wall.

this desk ultimately became a quasi room divider because of it’s size and the fact that it looks great front and back. There’s no ugly side that needs to be hidden against the wall.

The City of Surrey (British Columbia) has a program where people can drop off their unused paint (including partial cans) and others can go and pick up leftover paint for free. It saves thousands of cans of paint from ending up in landfills, but you are limited to what colours (good thing I like white) and quality and type... I've never seen any chalk paint or fusion paint). So this desk was many coats of paint - even distressed. And it is a big desk with paint surfaces everywhere. So lots of crawling around.

The City of Surrey (British Columbia) has a program where people can drop off their unused paint (including partial cans) and others can go and pick up leftover paint for free. It saves thousands of cans of paint from ending up in landfills, but you are limited to what colours (good thing I like white) and quality and type… I’ve never seen any chalk paint or fusion paint). So this desk was many coats of paint – even distressed. And it is a big desk with paint surfaces everywhere. So lots of crawling around.

You can imagine the amount of taping that went into this job.