Category Archives: Other people’s junk

Junk? what junk?

When it comes to junk-combing, I thought I had already sunk as low as I could ever go. Other people’s rubbish bins, construction sites, the side of the road – if there’s ‘stuff’, I’m there.

But yesterday I discovered a deeper level: driving a long way down the coastal road to collect my new driver’s license in Fish Hoek, I passed two guys pushing a trolley full of – well, who knows what exactly, I could just see STUFF. The promise of treasure, someone else’s cast-offs to be lovingly renovated and given a new lease of life. Something else to pack into the garage to ensure that I will never ever be able to get my car in.

These chaps may have been surprised to see a middle-aged woman in a Mini Cooper screech to a halt, leap out, rush over and excitedly inspect the contents of their junk haul, but they didn’t show it. Like professional hucksters, they had set a price on the two items I suddenly felt I couldn’t live without, got them into my car and roped them up so I didn’t get banged on the head as I turned corners, in less than 2 minutes. What a fix!

And here they are:

My two beautiful finds. My doors. Warped, broken glass, cracked, paint peeling, filthy, probably full of woodworm – aren’t they totally fabulous!? I have stashed them in a corner of my spare room for now, while I ponder on the possibilities.

To be continued…

crockery upcycle

I spent most of my morning at Nicola’s house. She is my hairdresser – the best in the west!! Every now and then I timidly suggest that I should let my grey grow out, because maybe it would be all platinum and shiny and sexy (in a kind of faded, middle-aged way hahaha). She only ever has one response: Over my dead body. So that’s a No.
Karen was also there this morning, which was so nice because she was going straight to a birthday party afterwards with two gifts (one a belated one for someone else), so I could see what she’d made:

Cupcake stands! Out of old plates and sherry glasses. Nicola promptly ordered one for herself, and then one of her other clients followed suit. I’m really pleased – Karen hasn’t been herself lately (I’m not quite sure who exactly she has been, but I prefer the original) so I think a bit of encouragement and support did her good. She is extremely creative, but never seems to see herself that way.

Nicola had saved some chipped mugs for me, to use in my mosaics:

Not quite sure how I’m going to work them in yet, but perhaps I’ll be able to think of something so unusual and gorgeous that I’ll be spared the kind of comment I received from someone at our Open Day. She was looking at my mini mosaic mirrors on their little wire stands and she said, ‘You know, I have a friend who does mosaic work. She’s really good, and she sometimes gives lessons – why don’t you contact her and see if she can fit you in?’

To be continued…

Before and after

A few months ago I found this table at a Moving-On sale in Goodwood.
I’d gone to the sale hoping to pick up a mannequin but my entry number was one of the last ones called, so there were only unwanted dregs left for me. Peeved, I thought I should at least justify the trip by purchasing something, and lit on this. R50 = score!

Mosaiced and sprayed and socked, it is now this:

And I don’t mind telling you that everyone who saw it on Saturday laughed themselves silly at the crocheted socks. But I don’t care. I think socks are going to be the Next Big Thing for furniture. Am I alone in this, or does anyone agree with me?

To be continued…

bear hug

Got me a new bear.

In the Mowbray charity shop the other day (the charity is Help a Rural Child, by the way), I heard a sad little voice coming from the bottom of a box of skanky old tablecloths and serviettes. I unearthed Bear.

Now he lives with the other bears in my bedroom. As you can see, he is particularly fond of Earle.

And yes, I do realise how ridiculous I am being.  I am, after all, a sensible and emotionally mature  adult woman.  Maybe it just means there’s still a bit of child in me.  And maybe that’s not a bad thing.

Anyhow, must dash off – the bears need their breakfast and I promised to make them pancakes today.

To be continued…


Blanket day

I have nothing crafty to show for my weekend and feel rather bleak about it.
On the other hand, I got some other things done.
1. Found a great big fat red paper heart at the charity shop.

2. Started and finished Tim Parks’ latest novel. Utterly compelling.
3. Picked up two sad little lampshades at a moving-on sale, soon to get a new lease on life.

4. Ate McDonald’s next to the sea in Fish Hoek.
5. Went to a 21st party on Saturday night. Shew, those kids!
6. Put in a truckload of hours working on my website. Still not done, though. Sigh.
7. Had a super intensive blanket day yesterday.

And now – NEW WEEK AHEAD. Time to get cracking on it.

To be continued…

Stool sample

Every time I go into the foam shop in Claremont, my eye is drawn to the ancient little stool that is kept at one of the sewing machine tables.

It looks so shabby and tired, as if it has tried really hard over the years to earn its keep!

I asked if I could borrow it for a couple of days to show someone I knew who works with wood, because I wanted my own version. Long to short, Gerrie made me a beautiful stool out of reclaimed wood, which I collected on Saturday at the Hope Street market.

It isn’t as A-frame as the old one, and the top is slightly bigger – which I think is a good thing (from a comfort point of view). I can’t decide whether to leave the wood as it is or to give it a weathered look.  I also can’t decide where it is going to live, so for now it’s in the lounge and gets moved around every couple of hours.  Such a silly, simple thing – but it makes me happy.

To be continued…

The lady with the lamp(shades)

I’m still on about lampshades. Last week I found a lampshade on my chair when I got to the office one morning.  It was stained and grubby and old, and one of my colleagues commented that he thought it was a strange present to give someone – he and his wife usually buy something new when they give a gift.  “It’s not a gift, W——–, it’s a challenge,” I patiently explained.

First, I spraypainted the shade in a metallic light blue, but this wasn’t dark enough to cover the marks that my wipe-down hadn’t been able to remove. So I grabbed the copper paint and gave it three coats. Once it was dry the colour looked fine but the fabric went a bit bulgy in places:

(Anne said I could just stick a flower on the lumpy bits if they didn’t disappear.)

Then I ferreted out 3 balls of dark grey dk yarn that I purchased from the Chinese shop in a moment of madness recently. I figured that the whole thing was an experiment so I could use whatever came to hand and if it looked dreadful, it would go in the bin anyway. I crocheted a cover.

It didn’t fit, so I added on a row of shells at the bottom.

It still didn’t fit, so I added on another row of shells, a bit smaller.

Finally it fat.

The spraypaint coating had made the surface slightly rough, so the crochet just stuck to it and held its shape perfectly. My last row of shells was a bit tight so I pulled it right down and stitched the middle stitch in each shell to the fabric that covered the wire rim.  I took the pics last night when I’d finished it so they aren’t great, but I think it turned out okay.  And the person who left it for me — sorry, pal, but you ain’t getting it back now… :)

And my last bit of lampshade news for the day – at the Milnerton Market I had found a packet of 10 crocheted miniature doilies for R15.  They were perfect for my bedside lamp.

There is a matching lampshade on the other side of the bed which, for the moment, remains undecorated.  But just for the moment.

To be continued…