Tag Archives: upcycling

a bum bag and other wips

When it comes to getting rid of old clothes, jeans have always been a stumbling block for me. I think, I might still lose enough weight to fit into these, or I might get fat again and then I’ll be sorry I chucked them out, or Now these would make a really great bag, I must never ever throw them away! With the help of this tutorial from Knotty Threadz, it finally happened.

denim bag 1

I decided not to make the straps out of denim but “cannibalised” an old bag (a great idea from The Snail of Happiness) so mine has nice leather straps.

denim bag 3  denim bag 2

denim bag 4

The front and back pockets are still in place for cell phone and keys, and it’s got a cotton animal-print lining. I left the labels in place as well, I don’t know why, I just like them. Without the scarf threaded through the belt-holders, and from the back, it looks like a bum, doesn’t it? The original bum that wore these jeans wasn’t a big one at all, by the way, but it was a man bum so maybe that’s why the bag looks so wide.

I found a little needlepoint cat that got stitched many years ago, it’s now part of a cushion that will be on sale at the Made in the Cape market from Thursday this week.

cat cushion And lastly, progress on the cross-stitch Guatemalan dogs is good. I’ve really enjoyed stitching these but I’m onto a new design already so they’ll have to get finished soon.

cross stitch 6

What is everybody else working on?

something else with lids

Taking a short break from hats. Phew.

I did something with lids and coasters some time back and still have a stack of tin lids for recycling. I was thinking tree decorations?

lid 123

lid 124

lid 125

I just made up some circles and kept changing the colours, although you could adapt a nice coaster pattern (like the one Janette used here: http://crochet.about.com/od/vintage/ss/aa052606.htm)


tree decs 1

Back soon x

tin can lid coaster and doily lamp

I was so inspired by Janette’s coasters and bowl (The Green Dragonfly) the other day that I had to try one myself:


I used Vinni’s DK Nikkim (cotton) and a 3.5mm hook. It’s turned out slightly bigger than I wanted so the next one will be with a 3.00 mm hook. I wanted to try an idea that I came up with all by myself, thinking about garbage and trash all the time like I do, and a smaller coaster would obviously work better. I did it anyway!

Glue a piece of felt or soft fabric to one side of a tin can lid. The can opener I use makes a pretty smooth edge on the tin but there might still be a bit of sharp here and there, so that’s the side I stuck the fabric on.


When it’s dry, trim the fabric so it makes a neat circle. Smear some glue over the other side of the lid and press the coaster onto it (wrong side down).  I put the bottle of glue on top of the coaster so it would dry nice and flat:



If I was going to make these to sell them, I would make sure my fabric side was perfect and that no tin showed round the edges (ie. when you look at it sideways). But for my own coffee mug, I’m happy with it just as it is.


Apart from coasters, I also have doilies on the brain. Jam Tarts is going to be at the Doilie Market in Durbanville this Saturday,  and I’ve been up to lots of repurposing with vintage doilies to give them a new lease of life.


This is my new bedside lamp: a doilie draped (permanently!) over a wire frame and the stand made from a liqueur bottle (cabled up by Rob wearing his electrician’s hat), painted white, then coated with modge and white tissue paper. I got the idea for that here.

Better go tidy the kitchen now. You can imagine what a mess it’s in.

To be continued…


Happy New Year!

I have started my 2013 jar a la Rachel in her post that I reblogged yesterday, so already I feel like I have ticked something off my list of things to do.

And this picture below, while not looking like much to get excited over, represents the start of my commitment to being tidier and more organised this year.


I had bits of stuff and pots of cuttings all over my little garden and patio, and it was looking really messy and unloved. I dug out two pieces of wood from the garage  (rescued from a neighbour’s kitchen-gutting months back) and Rob turned them into shelves for me.  The large teapot is a birthday present from Anne, and now houses an ivy plant. The small one was accidentally broken and given to me to use in a mosaic.  This obviously never happened, and I think it will look lovely as a planter.  It had better.

And, as I shouldn’t need to point out, what’s a patio without disco balls? Right, Lisa?

It’s been almost a year since I started blogging, encouraged by the witty and well-travelled Rowena (Reading and Writing), and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it (sometimes I pretend it’s “work”, hahaha). It has helped me focus on what I do and what I’m trying to do, and led to meeting and being inspired by some talented and wonderful people all over the world.  I’ve even had to google some of the places that you guys hail from, so you’ve broadened my education as well – Wisconsin, Mikkeli, Wellington…

Wishing you all good health, happiness, brilliant creative ideas, and many many reasons to get up in the mornings.

To be continued…

Christmas market pickpocketing

I just came across this post about Christmas pick pockets, and it set off a weird scenario in my head…

PickPocket#1: Wow, what a fab market. So much stuff!
PickPocket#2: Yeh, awesome. Check what I got – a baby mobile with hand-quilted anteaters. Wasn’t easy getting it up my sleeve but the handstitching is worth it.
PP#1: Tracy will absolutely luuuurve that. I got her something, too, for the baby’s room – look, a crocheted blanket in purple and limes with orange pompoms round the edges.
PP#2: No! OMG! She will die of joy! Where did you find that???
PP#1: You see that woman over there with the dreadlocks? She had it in her carrier bag. She also had this –
PP#2: A photo frame made out of beer bottle lids and empty marmite jars? No way!!! There is no limit to people’s creativity these days.
PP#1: I know. And if you turn it upside down, it opens out into a garlic crusher.
PP#2: Funny you should say that, there’s a chap over there selling garlic crushers that he’s turned into earring holders. I thought of nicking one but then I really only had room in my bra for this funk-my-phone cover with neon skull design.
PP#1: Yeah, but you can’t go wrong with one of those. I hope that clanking sound isn’t bothering you?
PP#2: What is it? Wait! Let me guess! You saw those liqueur bottles with fairy lights inside?
PP#2: haha, I couldn’t resist. I took two, got one in each sock. Will be so divine for the dinner table. Unless I can palm them off to Stinky Sam, you know how he loves sparkly things. Might be worth a couple of quid, whatcha think?
PP#1: Yeh, give him a bell. He’s a magpie, that Sam. And he’s been at the Claremont Festive Fun Day today so he probably hasn’t seen these yet – unless he’s been surfing Etsy. You ready to go?
PP#2: Nearly, I just want to see if anyone’s bought that silver teacosy embellished with peacock feathers and baboon teeth – it had such an authentic African look. Ooh look, I can see a peacock feather sticking out of that man’s basket!!! Distract him for me, won’t you, just for a second…

Alan Coren would be turning in his grave.

To be continued…