Duo Repurpose for Binocular Case

Does watching the Hoarders tv show make you nervous? Me, too.

So, I’m resolved to selling or consigning or donating all of the projects I’ve completed that are crowding my life a bit uncomfortably before doing any more junking.

Last night I did a curbside pickup of a seatless, bashed up but cute adult bicycle. It would have been a cute garden planter, but for a couple of years on Car Free Day and Bike to Work Week I have fantasized about creating a refreshment station: baskets  filled with fresh fruit and granola bars (donated, of course) on the handlebars and where the seat would otherwise be. Paniers filled with cold drinks.

You get where I’m going…environmental benefits on so many levels. The bike I picked up last night would have been perfect, BUT I would have been tripping over it for the next 6 months. I’m proud to say I took it back this morning.

This binocular case is an example of the slippery slope to hoarding. I’ve had it for years. When it came to me it no strap and my original plan was to get a new, longer than normal strap and use it as a purse.

binocularcase-oct-3-2016-1

Never happened. And over time it got too bashed up to use for that particular purpose. But leather items like this are not recyclable, so the kindest waste management method is reuse or repurpose.

It could have been used for a funky storage container… anything that you can put stuff in can be used for storage.

But in these last days of Indian summer my thoughts turned outdoors.

Surrounded as I am by my hydrangea haul, I saw cute autumn wreath potential. I used a length of jute to replace the leather strap and stuffed it full of Hydrangeas and end-of-season Lavender.

binocularcase-oct-3-2016-3

The wreath was short-lived.

Fall weather means it is time to get out our birdfeeders and help our migrating birds fatten up a bit for their long flights, and let our feathered friends who will winter with us know where the cafeteria is going to be.

binocularcase-oct-3-2016-4

Now that the lid is down you can see what I mean about this case being a little the worse for wear…

I drilled a hole near the bottom of the case.  I don’t always like to have a catch basin for seed that falls out. There are a lot of ground feeding birds, and I’m fine with squirrels and the occasional raccoon helping themselves to some nuts and seeds. They’re all God’s creatures.

binocularcase-oct-3-2016-5

This feeder is going to a seniors’ housing complex. This particular complex doesn’t permit pets, but most of the residents love critters. There are three “stray” cats that have patrolled the grounds for a year or more, and many of the residents have some kind of bird feeding, even if it is just scattering seed on the ground.

I think they are going to love the idea of spoon feeding the birds

binocularcase-oct-3-2016-6

The clasped lid keeps the seed inside clean and dry, and it seeps out as the spoon empties.

Sharing:

Talk-of-the-Town-button-Knick-of-Time

Songbird: Child’s Guitar Repurposed as Birdhouse

songbird-pre

 

 

A pink child’s guitar rescued from my neighbour’s garbage can repurposes almost effortlessly to a birdhouse.songbird-sept-21-2016

A little paint, a spare cupboard door knob for a perch. A little sanding to distress…

Some wording added using the packing tape method… (not perfectly centred, but close enough)

Accidental technique: I left the painted guitar outside while I went indoors to print the wording.

It began to rain… and I mistakenly thought the guitar was fully covered by the house eaves. In some areas the paint blistered and started to crackle giving a naturally distressed look I couldn’t have planned.

songbird-2

Sharing:

vintage charm button 2

35ee33d17bfeb3e35cd5532dca848e6a

 

Mailbox to Shop Sign

Remember the mailbox I added to the garden in 2015?

When a lovely woman opened a new antique store near here I planned a gift of the mailbox planter.

Just removed as much of the numbers as possible and applied (roughly – so it would fit the rest of the box) some homemade housepaint.

Printed off some wording, copied it onto the mailbox, used marking pens to fill in the lettering and added a fence picket as a directional arrow. Voila!

Sharing:

vintage charm button 2

Talk-of-the-Town-button-Knick-of-Time

Glass Lightshade Planter

The City of Delta in British Columbia was the first community in North America to provide residents with curbside recycling. The province continues to be fairly progressive and a couple of years ago offered a red box companion to its blue box collection program for recycling glass. (see collection excerpt below).

Glass had to be separated out for safety, environmental and economic reasons. It breaks – some types easier than others. That makes it a danger in a multi-material collection box. It makes separation of multi-materials (much of which is done by hand) dangerous and prevents separation and recycling of the materials contaminated by broken glass, making them difficult to recycle.

It takes time to educate people about what can and cannot be included in a curbside program. Although the table below shows that light fixtures cannot be included in the red box, I have found a few in my neighbours’ redboxes walking down the street on collection day.

Lightshadeplanter1

When I found this lovely art deco style lightshade my initial plan was to make a tiered stand, inspired by the fabulous tiered stands made by Angie over at Knick of Time…

Lightshadeplanter2  But then I found a couple of these smaller fixtures that also have a deco flavor.

I was fooling around with them – you know, how we do when we’re starting the creative process. They clicked together as if that was the intention of their design.

Lightshadeplanter3

I put some screening over hole at the bottom of the shade to retain the soil. Then I filled it with colourful annuals and my favorite soil (I use the same soil in the garden as I do in potting house plants.

And voila!

Lightshadeplanter4

Glass Containers
(Depot or Collected Separately at Curbside – check with your collector)

MMBC Materials List

Material Description Do not include
Non-deposit glass bottles and jars
  • Clear or coloured
  • Consult with your recycling collector for instructions.
  • Empty and rinse bottles and jars. Labels OK.
  • Include lids with container recycling
  • Drinking glasses or dishes, cookware, whole or broken window glass or mirrors
  • Ceramic mugs or other ceramic products
  • Light bulbs or light fixtures
  • Beverage containers (return to depot for refund)

Sharing:

vintage charm button 2

35ee33d17bfeb3e35cd5532dca848e6a

 

Chair Planter with Bling

Planterchair1.jpg  Here’s a tip off the top from the auctioneer’s kid: when you go to an auction (or antique store) park near their garbage.

It’s astonishing in this junk-friendly era with distribution mechanisms like curbsides and “Craigslist free” listing, but people still throw away stuff that is…well, “killing me with potential” as we used to say around the Crib board.

In this case the source was my antique auctioneer uncle. He bought a batch lot (a “Lot” at an auction is an item being sold. That item can, as in this instance, be a group of items. Usually they are items of low value grouped together in the hope of creating enough value to make it worth the auction house’s overhead costs of selling it.)

Planterchair2.jpg

My uncle wanted one item in a batch lot being sold at a competitor auction and he did NOT want this seatless, scratched up chair frame and told his employee to haul it out to the garbage.

It never got there.

The frame was nearly 100 years old and perfectly solid. Someone had sanded one side – clearly intending to refinish the frame and probably upholster a new seat cushion (if that is your desire for a chair frame you come across, there are tons of cushion forms floating around for free or you can get one cut from scrap wood for a song!)

I had other plans. So on the way home I stopped by the recycling centre. I don’t know about where you live, but in British Columbia you can take your leftover paint to the provincially funded recycling depot in every community. They will either dispose of it in the most environmentally-safe manner possible or, if it is still usable, will put it in a bin where another member of the community can take it for free and use it up (THE most environmentally responsible disposal method). I picked up almost a full litre of off-white paint (colour selection is limited to what gets dropped off…of course).

But I was fortunate and found a good supply of cream colour latex – which I made into homemade chalk paint with the addition of some Plaster of Paris (about 30% which I mix in a separate container so I can play with the combination until I get it right.

I took advantage of the lovely summer weather to paint outdoors. Two coats.

Planterchair3

I then distressed it by scraping with the blunt edge of a butter knife the parts that would be worn naturally (edges of the legs, back and seat, most elevated areas of carved section) and then lightly sanded with a sanding block.

It was pretty, but I wanted something a bit more so I looked through my vintage costume jewellery and found a brooch I thought perfect for the job.

I love pearls – and am quite fond of rhinestones.

planterchair4

I attached it with E6000- a good, strong glue.

Planterchair5.jpg

I wiped the chair down and gave it a coat of clear outdoor Minwax.

The only planter I had that fit the chair was brown, so I gave it a quick spray with quick-drying Rustoleum matt white spray paint. Filled it and set it next to the front door.

The pink flowers brought out a pink tone in the pearls.

planterchair6b.jpg

Planterchair8

Planterchair7

I’ve used it as porch décor, but it would make a nice piece of decoration for a backyard wedding, as well.

Sharing:

vintage charm button 2

35ee33d17bfeb3e35cd5532dca848e6a

Snickerdoodle-Create-Bake-Make-Party-Button-1

Make-it-Pretty-Post-Button

Flower Tins

Confession: when I go with my uncle to take consignments for the auction I have to leave my wallet at home.  I have an addiction. I’m a junk junky. o

Sometimes, even without my wallet I frequently come home to my bursting apartment (I’m not quite being scouted for the tv show “Hoarders” but it gets close sometimes).  Occasionally I use the Wimpy (the Popeye cartoon character) approach “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”.  If it’s a really special item – and I’ll share a hilarious story in an upcoming post – my darling uncle buys it for me.

In this case, our friend John, who buys and sells out of a commercial storage locker, as well as an antique mall booth and a portion of a new antique store, gave me a handful of leftover tins. I wouldn’t have bought them all – there are some American tins and I only collect Canadian and Irish-theme tins.

This blog is as much about landfill reduction as demonstrating value (historic or commercial) in items that some people would throw away, so John’s gift was a challenge.

This random collection of antique and vintage tins contains a couple of Canadian tins that will join my collection and the rest I’m going to use for gift-giving.

Mid-summer gardens are flower-filled and blogland is full of posts of unconventional items to use as vases.  Second nature to this junkaholic.

with flowers 2

A “welcome to the neighbourhood” gift for a new neighbor who has a potted garden, a few thank yous for dinners and drinks and garden plants, and in no time I’ve checked off a number of names on that perpetual gift list I keep in my head.

I’ll be honest. A couple I’m going to de-plant and send off to friends and contacts who might enjoy additions to their own collections.  Thoughtfulness, ingenuity or collect-it-forward sooo  outrank a price tag when it comes to gift-giving.

 

Sharing…

Snickerdoodle-Create-Bake-Make-Party-Button-1

Canuck Junk

Getting ready for July 1st.  Polishing up my Canuck Pride.

Canada Day 2016 2

This is the antique window my uncle rescued for me from his friend and client, Herda.Graniteware Garden

I needed a Canada Day (July 1st for my American pals) porch greeting – and quick. So I just printed off the words, taped the pages in place on the back side of the window and then used black and red Sharpies to trace the lettering onto the window.

The Maple Leaf I drew by hand (obviously – lol).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This antique doll comes from the East Coast of Canada. The clothing (including the sou’wester hat) is traditional fisherman attire. The red hair – well, our maritimes are heavily populated with the descendants of Irish immigrants.

 

 

Faerie Garden

Truth be told I have  avoided the whole Faerie Garden craze. But when I found a perfect condition little glass faerie on a neighbour’s recycling bin I thought I would give one a try and then offer the faerie as a free giveaway.

This tree fungus seemed the perfect backdrop. If  you are interested in the glass faerie, leave me a comment saying so. On June 15th I will randomly draw one name

Sharing this post at:

Garden Angel

 

Expecting company on Sunday, so I want to sharpen up the outdoors décor a little.  At Christmas I made some spindle angels as gifts.  I will probably put this one away for next Christmas, but it’s going to debut as a porch ornament in the meantime.

Garden Angel

The total cost was about 1o cents. One side of a broken picture frame and a chair spindle, both of which were curbside rescues. The head is a cookie cutter I’ve had for years and never used.

The bling is junk that I rescued from broken things.

The only cost was the bit of paint and glue.

Spindle Angel

Soon it became a pretty add.ition to a porch planter

Child’s Play

Sharing this at:

Talk-of-the-Town-button-Knick-of-Time

Before-and-After-Post-Button

vintage charm button 2