Usually, Christmas is a slightly terrifying time for me. It means another year has flown past without me realising where that time went, and I am an uncharacteristically crappy gift-giver (pre giving hand-made gifts) so there was always a huge amount of anxiety and tension around buying two whole families worth of gifts. Yuck. Christmas is actually exciting this year because not only have I lost that anxiety and am making all the gifts (watch this space) but my Grandmother is over from the UK for the first time in a very long time. The opportunity to spend Christmas at the beach was too hard to pass up and as such I didn’t want to buy a real Christmas tree if we weren’t even going to be here to care for / enjoy it! On went the thinking cap and I found this awesome tree that tickled my fancy in a very big way.
I definitely went into this project half-cocked… but luckily for me it worked out awesomly – not even a cuss word uttered, yeeha.
Phase one involved drawing the general shape onto the pallet and cutting it out with my handy-dandy jigsaw and a fair amount of brute strength with the handsaw.
Phase two involved adding additional reinforcement to the back of the tree
Phase three saw the outside frames go on (I’ll be honest, there were almost cuss words during this stage) and a light sanding to remove any gnarly bits (a fair few splinters were removed before this point) and a wax/stain from my ever faithful Briwax in Antique Pine.
Phase four included a base – it sat upright fine in the garage, not so much on the carpet. Luckily Hubster is well versed in sorting out these little mishaps of mine so came to the rescue with some wood from the garage and nailed it on the bottom so it’s now sittin’ pretty and of course the decorations.
I love, love, love it. It’s not perfect but it just adds to the charm in my (slightly biased) opinion.
I think I’ve mentioned before my propensity to hoard fabric and yarn? Well I can honestly say I have in no way managed to improve this behaviour. Zilch. Poor Hubster is very forgiving about this little vice so I decided the lest I could do is to make it neat and tidy. I think I’ve also mentioned previously how much I hate cleaning? That hasn’t changed either. So the solution needed to be easy to maintain and look pretty (or at least not offensive to the eye) to satisfy all needs.
I found this lovely piece of inspiration on Pinterest (where else?) and there was no looking back
A quick plea on Freecycle for cot railings and voila, new and improved fabric storage
Double bonus, they were free and I saved them from going in to landfill as the rest of the cot was broken to pieces. Hubster was double happy because not only does it look good, but there were two of them and they were free. Not sure yet if I will paint them, they are in fairly good nick as is so it’s not imperative at this stage, might see how things go before making that call.
Recently, I seem to have been in a wee bit of a funk. No rhyme or reason why, just a decided lack of motivation, inspiration and energy to do anything remotely crafty. I’ve done a couple of wee projects (e.g. Just Crate) but that was forced due to necessity rather than for the joy of making things. Perhaps the renovations that we did earlier in the year tapped me out of creative juice? Who knows…
One project that helped to get me back into the swing of things was this lovely little restoration of an antique blackboard. As per usual, dopey here forgot to do before pics…. insert face palm here. However the end result is awesome and I’ll explain what I did to get there and show you some cool little surprises I found along the way.
This little beauty was languishing away in the depths of my parents under-stair storage area. It needed a bit of work but nothing daunting thank gosh. So of we went with a quick sand and stain with my ever faithful Briwax (in Rimu), reattaching the legs (needed some new screws here), a quick coat of blackboard paint and reattaching one of the knobs. No sweat.
Unfortunately the roller at the top no longer ‘rolls’ but Mum has assured me that there were some cool examples of cursive writing that you could scroll through. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to open the back up and have a look… maybe.
One of the cool things is that it folds down into a writing desk upon closer perusal low and behold what did we find but etchings.
The bottom one – H.D – is my Grandfather’s youthful rebellious scratching and as he recently passed, this makes it all the more special! It will be so much fun explaining it to future sprogs.
Recently Hubster found me some cute little crates in the deep dark reaches of his parents garage. I think they were originally seedling trays, but as I’m already set for seedling storage I had other plans for these little darlings.
Unfortunately I’m still hopeless at taking ‘before’ photographs but the originals looked a little like this (source)
The first step was to rough them up a lil’ bit and stain them. A combination of steel wool and briwax ‘Antique Pine’ gave this result.
Whew! Sorry about the radio silence team – we’ve been head down bum up, busy with what has been affectionately coined ‘Renovation Month’. I’ll spare you the details – save that for another day – but it sure is good to have a moment of peace and quiet to gather my thoughts and plan my next crafty adventure. Here’s what’s tickling my fancy at the moment.
This adorable jumpsuit. (Source) Continue reading
Okay, so this post is going to be a little out of the usual for me… nothing is created. Something is cleaned though and glory what a clean!
I hate cleaning. As in would rather poke out both my eyes and run an obstacle course than clean my house. I am in constant envy of mama-dearest who has a weekly cleaner, alas, our budget just won’t cut it. Not if I want to keep sewing and creating things. Due to this aversion I tend to let things slip the more exhausted and bogged down by marking I get during the term.
Recently I convinced Hubster that we needed to get a steam mop. As I am uncommonly uncoordinated, the traditional bucket and mop method often left our carpet between rooms featuring lino covered in water. “Think of the carpet” I told him. Plus it was cheap.
Will I be this happy mopping my floors???
Yet another gift for a baby-to-be is the Playful Stripes baby blanket. This time for a close friend and partner-in-craft.
Since Hubster and I decided to purchase the house we currently live in, we have started to organise ourselves and are trying to sort things so they are just the way we want them. One catalyst for all this organisation is the fact that we are getting the carpets replaced. As we are already living in the house, this means moving ALL of the furniture out of the house while the old carpets are pulled up and the new ones installed. Phew, the thought of this literally makes my blood run cold so we have decided to start early and get things ship shape so we aren’t moving junk out and then back in at the time.
The first stop for us is the Kitchen. We’ve already installed this handy dandy kitchen shelf.
Today we started on corralling all the junk we had attached to the fridge. Unfortunately I didn’t take a before photo (I swear my brain is like goo at the moment) but rest assured it was a state. Photos, menus, recipes, other assorted papers stuck all over it. So much so that we could no longer see the awesome magnets we were given as wedding presents and those that we have collected on our travels.
So many friends are about to have babies! Luckily I’ve been laid up with an injury so that gives me plenty of opportunity for knitting all sorts of baby-cuteness!
It seems that life is getting in the way of crafty times again… A series of unfortunate events has equated to my being quite seriously injured. Not conducive to getting things done. Luckily, I can still search for all sorts of inspiration to tide me over until I’m back to normal.