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Our recycled home

Craftiness, DIY, Finding things, Our recycled home, Thrifty

It’s a vintage suitcase, er, stuck on the wall, y’know?

26 March, 2012

Like most people in the world, I am in love with vintage suitcases. I bought my first one ten years ago and have been stacking them up ever since. I have a pile in New Zealand, in my in-laws attic, and I have, um, a few here.  I tend to see a room as incomplete without one, don’t you?  (Partly because they looks lush, innit. And partly because every room has lots of odds and ends that need storing.)

Sellers have totally started milking this though, at the vintage shop by my work they sell them for £25. Are you crrrrrazy? So when I found a cute little yellow number in our loft stashed up there by the previous owners,  amongst other wonderful treasure like boxes of casette tapes, a car wheel and sacks of nasty Christmas decorations, I was rather thrilled.

You probably know, we are slowly putting together a home here in Camberwell  using other people’s leftovers;  we have kitchen bench tops from skips, cupboards from the side of the road, furniture from charity shops and trinkets from jumble sales.  We are inspired by other recycled homes; we like to see our house as a creative challenge to consumerism. And also we are cheapskates.

So we were never going to go to Ikea when our desire for shelves arose. The other week we bunged a book on the wall as a shelf and were quite delighted with that. Inspired, we screwed the little yellow suitcase up next to it. And I think I love this even more.

Here is the vintage duck I found at last week’s car boot for £1.50. Also in the suitcase is my old art model, from whence I was a child, and a frame I found in a charity shop skip (as in, you know, their discards, not the one where people donate stuff. Yes, I am sure!! Bahaha.) This is some hardcore magpieing, right here!

It can take some weight as we used heavy duty screws. But we only wanted it for aesthetic purposes so as long as it can hold a frame and some scrumpcious ornamentals, I am happy!

suitcase shelf

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Craftiness, DIY, Our recycled home, Thrifty

It’s a shelf, yeah, made out of a book.

6 March, 2012

Anyone following me on Pinterest would think I have a mild obsession with shelving. I have been trying to get inspired about out bedroom walls which have been bare since we painted them a year ago. I have pinned shelves out of boxes, baskets and books. We don’t need shelves for a reason, we’ve nothing special to go on them, it’s just walls kind of look a bit rudey nudey without them, don’t you think? We also have loads of dark old furniture in our room so the last thing we need is walls packed with wood shelving and jammed with books. For this reason a novelty shelf appeals to my aesthetics. So last night, with the help of my trusted familiar, Husband Tim, we put up a book shelf- a shelfy thing, but with a book rather than a plank.

Recycled home- bedroom makeover

I LOVE IT!

On another level, we have created our whole home out of stuff we have found by rumbling in the jumble or dredging the streets so this alternative shelving shebang really floats our boats. Who needs Ikea shelves and brackets when you can find a rubbish (really, what IS there to fill a whole 300 pages about rugby?), but nice looking book, and saw off a hunk of wood from a discarded old dressing table?DIY book shelf

It is the perfect size for a lovely tin or photo frame, it I was going to do a number of them scattered around the walls but instead have a few other things that would make equally novel shelves. We will hopefully get busy tonight to finish that up.

PS What a bummer it’d be if you missed a post of mine, eh? Follow through Facebook or Bloglovin or even just enter your email to get them pinged into your inbox. I won’t be spamalot, promise!


Craftiness, DIY, Finding things, Our recycled home, Thrifty

Vintage Spoons Hanging Hooks

27 February, 2012

Cor, don’t you just LOVE a nice souvenir spoon?! When I saw these in a New Zealand charity shop for 50 cents I snapped them up. They just totally evoke a colonial inspired 1980’s afternoon tea vibe, eh?

I have had them rattling around with a faint idea of using them for something but then when a need arose for a place to hang our tea towels I just KNEW. Just knew. These spoons were always meant for greater things than stirring sugar lumps.

Here it is, another 5 min recycling crafty frolick:

I found this bit of wood on the pavement once and have had it randomly on display. I love the imprint of VB ENGLAND along it. It is a bit rugged but I thought it would help my spoons to sparkle.

Linking up with the ever brilliant Magpie Monday of course!

Craftiness, DIY, Our recycled home, Thrifty

It’s been framed: thrifty home decor

16 February, 2012

My tea towel. I love it. I bought it in a Faversham charity shop for 50p and knew instantly that it’s destiny had changed. It was not going to end up drying soapy water off Nutella jars disguised as cups. It would be art. Hung with great joy upon our kitchen wall.

I bought the frame for £12 from another charity shop (ripped off I know, it is just an Ikea one) and painted it white. It now sits on our brick wall and adds a massive oomph of Old Skool England into our rather Frenchy kitchen.

There is a thrifty principle here. (Although you have clearly realised this is just an excuse to show off my tea towel.) If you see something pretty and it is kind of flat- frame it! Prints are expensive, framed prints even more so, we have only TWO actual arty prints in our whole house, but our shelves and walls are filled with nice bits and bobs stuffed into frames. Here are some things I’ve framed.

Photos (hahahahahahaha, just kidding)

Record Sleeves

Buttons

Wrapping paper (Map prints/ London underground prints)

The graphic from a reusable bag (the bird – a native NZ Tui – here)

A swatch of fabric

Obviously some of these things are more to provide background depth to a collection of things you have on a shelf (like the fabric) and others are more to be a central piece on your wall.

Just for example, a retro tea towel would work quite well:

Keep your eyes peeled for anything lovely that captures you, and always buy good frames if you see them in charity shops. Especially big ones as they are hard to come by. I nearly always end up giving my frames a lick of paint. White frames can be overdone these days but sometimes a white frame just provides an unobtrusive way to show off your goods.

This tea towel is so old it is Made in the UK – when did we last have a tea towel industry here?!

Done anything thrifty lately? Why not get on board with #ThriftyThursday! Or tell me about it in the comments box…

Finding things, Our recycled home

That time we drove 12 hours to go to a car boot sale

23 August, 2011

We went to France ten days ago and, I swear, we didn’t have a clue where we were going or what to do there except that I had seen a snippet online; “the Vendee’s biggest flea market“, and being so beloved of the humble car boot,we thought that was as good a starting place as any.  And French old stuff is definitely cooler looking than English old stuff. Our lovely friends (Jenny is newly identifiable in blogville over at Talking up the good) lent us their wheels and we zipped off. We left on Friday and needed to be there for the Sunday- and after 2 days in the car we were wondering why France is so gosh darn big and whether we should have looked to see if there were any flea markets closer to Calais…

But we made it. And we had a mission, to try and find storage for all our previous cupboard incumbents, that now will sit on an open shelf in the kitchen.  We have been looking for something for ages but second hand storage is hard to find, and we try mightily to steer away from Ikea and buying anything new. There really isn’t a need as there is already way too many plastic containers on this earth. But sometimes this calling leads you to inevitably rainy and muddy corners  of Europe.

We got this load of enamel and glass, all ranging between 2 and 5 Euros, they will look perfect in our kitchen, though we may have to get rid of a little rust. And that wee kettle was idealio for our camping stove. (Also in the pic our newly revealed brick and boards as part our our kitchen overhaul woo!)On our way home, after swimming and chateaux visiting in the Loire valley we stopped in on the Paris flea markets at Porte de Montreuil and picked up another enamel thing (!), some clothes for Ramona (France do the best kids clothes no pink in sight but lots of cord and bloomers!) and an ancient cute hair clip.  All between 1 and 2 Euros.I read a thing in the Guardian yesterday about Hauling– teens doing youtube vids of the bargains they bought and I realise this isn’t much better. I am shamefaced, but I turn to you with imploring eyes and ask  “Is it not more of an achievement if I had to sift through rancid, boggle eyed stuffed otters and vintage Girly mags (old porn is still porn French people!!!!) to uncover this stuff?”

Besides, I am only doing this to INSPIRE and ENCOURAGE the world to spurn it’s new, plastic, matching set ways and discover the treasures to be found in the furriest, greasiest crevices of Jumble World. In France it is called Brocante, which sounds very much like the noise a chicken makes if you squawk it. This got us through some of our darker moments stuck in traffic on a peage (a PEAGE! I KNOW!! Ripped. Off.) Actually in hindsight every word sounds like a chicken noise if you squawk it…

We spent our last wonderful day lolling in the gardens at Versailles. Then the car, um, broke down. But  that’s a story for another day…

Our recycled home, Parenting

Bubbles: the last word in lazy parent tricks

16 August, 2011

When I am feeling a bit weary and Ramona is in need of entertainment I put something ethereal on the boombox, say, Fleet Foxes or a bit of classical, and then I lay on the sofa, her in the crook of my arm, and I blow bubbles. We can do this for a good twenty minutes. It is sublime and, nearly always, just the ticket. Needless to say, I am also become  wicked at blowing big bubbles.

My friend Dan Fone took these:

These close ups of Ramona would be classics if it wasn’t for the delicious but crusty smudge of Boursin on her forehead.

Another time I will go Next Level with my own bubble mix and enormous homemade wand.

PS I am actually on ‘oliday in France right now but with my technical wizardry have managed to post this in my absence so you, my dear readers, don’t think I have fallen off the blagon. (New word- blog and wagon. You’re welcome.)