Junk Christmas Decorations 2014

Adventures in Junking was created in February 2015, but I had been repurposing/upcycling material well before that. Before I post this year’s Christmas creations I’ll share some work from last Christmas, A neighbour put a bundle of vertical blinds at the curb the evening before garbage collection day and I salvaged several of the weights in the bottom of each blind. They were a bit too heavy to make into tree ornaments, so I made them into gift tags.  There were several steps. Each tag was gessoed and painted before I decoupaged vintage messages or images. (from the Graphics Fairy and other vintage clip art sites. Many of those were tea stained before being decoupaged onto the painted tags.

  For the finishing touches I used a variety of fabric scrap, old keys buttons and costume jewellery.

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Cottage Garden Ivy Chair

I rescued this child’s wicker chair from the curb in front of a neighbour’s house. There was a hole in the wicker seat. That suited me just fine. The garden was calling. But it was dull and uninspiring as it was.

I’ve been playing with a distressed decoupage treatment recently. I’ve done a birdhouse and a Thanksgiving sign. I thought I would try it on the child’s chair.

Rather than widening the hole in the seat to accommodate a plant pot, I wanted to add a vintage spring form baking pan to echo the green in the paper.

I painted the chair with my homemade white chalkpaint, and then used modge podge to randomly apply torn strips of paper. Then I let it sit for at least ly.24 hours to let the modge podge dry completely. Then I used a scraper and coarse sandpaper to distress it heavily.

I picked a couple of patches of moss to further echo the green in the paper and the springform pan.

The finish project is destined for one of my guerilla gardening sites, and I want to make it as vandalism resistant as possible. To secure the bake pan t the chair seat, I inserted a chopstick into the bottom of the spring form pan, attached a doubled length of gardener’s wire, which was fed through one of the holes In the chair seat and secured by wrapping the remaining wire around a second chopstick.

I sprayed the entire chair and outside of the baking pan with exterior poly (3 coats). Then I filled the bake pan with good soil and added several lengths of ivy and a couple of white winter pansies.

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Sweet Dreams for Rescued Dumpster Headboard

It wasn’t necessary to actually “dive” into the dumpster to rescue this headboard. I don’t know if it was a lack of the upper body strength it would have taken to lift it in or a hope that someone like me would come along and save it from the landfill, but the person who relegated it to the trash simply leaned it against the dumpster.  And that’s where it sat for the two weeks it took me to persuade someone with a big enough vehicle to help me rescue it.

It is wood, but is neither vintage nor great quality, but I loved the sleigh bed type ogee style.

And I had no inhibitions about painting it.

 And adding a sweet message

 Painted with homemade chalk paint (salvage white paint remains from a local municipal program and 1/3 plaster of paris), distressed and waxed with clear wax.

 I played around with fonts on the computer until I found something that was both pretty and very legible. I traced it onto the headboard using artist tracing paper. Then I filled it in using a black paint pen.

Benjamin-the-Cat loves to be the centre of attention.

As our autumn nights grow crisp and cool, I’m ready for some sweet dreams.

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Corbels Repurposed as Bookends

I am one of those people who will never get used to reading a book electronically.  A book has pages that are either soft and old or crisp and cool, that absorb light and are not a source of it.

Not surprisingly, my home is full of books. Less today (moving house has a profound impact on one’s love of books, which are extremely heavy to pack and move).  I recently donated to charity a small bookshelf full of hardback Canadian history books. A friend who was helping me pack pointed out that I hadn’t read them in years. But you know it’s funny how much I miss them. They are like old friends who you don’t phone often but you take great pleasure in knowing that they are there.

And I am always on the lookout for interesting bookends. I picked up a pair of interesting corbels from the curbside of a neighbour’s house.  They were sitting on the curb on their flat edge, so upside down. They looked like what I took them home to use them for – bookends.

 Many of my books are tall hardbacks, and it’s sometimes a challenge to get bookends that will support tall books. These corbels literally rise to the challenge.

Thanksgiving Sign from Repurposed Antique Mirror

  I bought this antique mirror from a neighbour’s moving sale. The frame is quite badly damaged. That was great. I would have no regrets about painting it.

 I wanted to make a sign, so I painted the whole thing, not just the frame. I used white homemade chalk paint. The Plaster of Paris helps the paint adhere well even to the glass. Two coats did the job.

  I used this paper on a birdhouse I refinished and loved the result. And since I have so much of it, I hauled it again.

 I tore off strips of the paper and modge podged them onto the sign, both glass and frame.

  I distressed the sign (did I mention that I lettered onto the glass the words Give thanks). I distressed the paper heavily using coarse sand paper.  Frequently sanding right through the paper, giving the look age would produce.

Thanksgiving Sign

Thanksgiving Sign from Antique Mirror

Thanksgiving Sign from Antique Mirror

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Frame Scrap Birthday Sign

 Three months ago my neighbour was loading a trailer full of junk to take to the dump.  It was torture for me, but I did manage to rescue two long strips of a picture frame that had been dismantled.  It wasn’t old or even real wood but it had a nice shape and I knew when I saw them what I would use them for.

 It was to make a sign for his daughter’s birthday. It is the colour of her bedroom, and she can stick in the back corner of her closet and pull it out every year.

10 Second Autumn Centrepiece

It breaks my heart when I see antique teapots relegated to the trash just because their lids are lost or broken. It isn’t necessary to spend all kinds of money on expensive vases or watering jugs when much more interesting vessels are at hand.

This lovely old teapot has lost its lid but not its utility.  A handful of roadside weeds in this lovely old teapot – contrast of the polka dots on the teapot with the spikes. of the greenery – make a beautiful centerpiece for our Sunday brunch table and took 10 seconds to create.

Brass Firedog Shelf

Recently I was taking photos for my uncle’s antique auction (Kenpassmoreappraisals.wordpress.com)

  I wanted a little shelf to showcase a couple of pieces and this pair of brass firedogs almost leapt into my hands. A lot of homes have firedogs in the attics, their original utility having been virtually eliminated. A traditional winter décor piece in want of creative repurposing! I picked up a piece of old lumber at the side of a fishing shack and voila. I love contrast, like the rustic soft piece of lumber against the warm, hard finery of the brass firedogs.  This would be a perfect way to display some desserts at an autumn tea I’m planning.