Sunday, 17 July 2016

our new old kitchen trolley


Today I thought I'd share the fun makeover of a sidewalk find.

Last year I picked up this pitiful serving trolley from the side of the road. The top was broken off, it had no lower shelf and it had at least 3 layers of bad painting... one of which was peach.


Well, that had to go!

I'd always planned to have a movable kitchen trolley in our kitchen but there's really no room for it. Here you can see the original little side table I planned to make into a trolley for the kitchen.


I brought it in cause Wayne had bought a couple of appliances that were taking up space on our kitchen bench. I needed more space. But this little green side thingy wasn't the right size... it was nice and narrow and had a drawer (missing in the photos for some odd reason) but it was too long, forcing the table over too far.

See that big blank wall? Watch this space...


Anyway, the little trolley is a bit better in proportions. Its not as long so the table doesn't have to get shoved over too far, and its not too wide, allowing the dishwasher door to open when its in place! AND its taller and already has wheels!

It was meant to be! Thank you hard rubbish collection day!


This is a project I got the bug to do one afternoon and I almost finished it the same day. Basically it took me one afternoon and 4 weeks to finish.

Thanks to a broken finger.

I used the off cut of the pine slab I had left over from making the kitchen shelves. I cut it to fit on the top. Since it was a lot thicker than the previous top, it sits up above the trolley sides.




I cut the bottom shelf out of a piece of leftover plywood from the TV cabinet/room divider. (I'll need to buy more plywood to finish that now as I keep using the bits I planned to use.)



The reason it took so long to finish was the whole circumcised finger thing. That put a damper on my creativity for a while. The main work was done though, all it needed to be finished was a couple more coats of polyurethane.

I could do those with one hand.



Once those were done I only had to lug it up to the house using one hand, one arm and one hip.

In pieces.

Then I put it in place and started using it.

Done.

Not bad for a piece of rubbish.

z



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Friday, 15 July 2016

grrrr frustrated


I'm bored.

Annoyed.

And frustrated.

This morning I had a plan. A friend was coming over thus bringing the count of usable hands in the house to three, which would enable me to make a few things.

Like a spanakopita. 

An apple cake. 

An apple crumble (I think its called an apple crisp in the USA... a rose by any other name is just as yummy).

Why the heavy apple leaning you may ask? Well, three weeks ago I bought a ton of apples to bake a few things. Said apples are still sitting there, getting less crisp by the day. I wanted to get it done.

But the friend cancelled on me. So I sit here thinking how hard would ot be to peel and cut apples with one hand? 

How possible is it to kneed and roll out pastry?

Do you know how long it takes to change a broken plug with one hand?

These are serious questions!

z

Sunday, 10 July 2016

recycled milk bottle armchair - alternative furniture


You know how sometimes there's an idea in your head you just can't find the time to do, yet you just can't let go of?

Well this armchair is one one those.

I'd wanted to make usable furniture out of cardboard, papier mache and other recycled materials for a long time. I had this vision in my head ...and one day I decided it was time to make it reality by building it at work in one of my creative programs.

I work in day support for people with intellectual disabilities and am lucky enough to have some creative programs.


We began by using a pallet base for strength. We used milk bottles as the main building material, using tape and glue to create the shape we wanted.

Next we cut and folded thick cardboard around the bottles to give the chair smooth surfaces.


The chair is quite big and it took weeks and weeks to build. We did many, many layers of papier mache to hold it all together.


At one stage we even began to colour the glue so we could tell how many layers we'd done!


As the chair began to take shape we found we had to add more bottles in order to get the size we wanted. We used cardboard. milk bottles and shredded paper to create the curved arms.



Once the chair was ready for its final layer we swapped out newspaper for book pages. We added detail on the arms so it looked more like a 'real' armchair.

The pages were stained using a mix of coffee and tea.


After all the work to put the chair together, we ripped a hole into the back so you can see the milk bottle and shredded paper construction.


I mean, what's the point of it if you can't see what its made of?

A little surprise on the back with this cute mouse illustration.


There's another 'rip' on the other side too, as if a cat's had a go at the chair.


Or a mouse?


Lastly we coated it all with clear polyurethane for protection.

We made a seat cushion for it, recycling an old sofa cushion with a new, reversible cover. Castor wheels on the base make it easier to move around and finish it off.



We entered our armchair in Art From Trash, of course.


Its pretty comfy for a cardboard, milk bottle, papier mache chair!

z

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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

re-purposing used tea bags into a fish


What do you do with your used tea bags? I dry mine out and collect them of course.

Doesn't everyone?

Ok, I'm not normal.

I just love the tea coloured stains - I've used tea to dye things before, and used flattened tea bags on the dress I made recently.

Anyway, the tea bags and a trout seemed the perfect match for an art project. For Art From Trash of course. This is another of the projects I created at work with the help of one of the guys.

First I drew a trout on a large piece of paper (from a roll so it was long enough). Traced this onto some thin MDF and cut it using a jigsaw.


Since it was going to be a considerable size and moving it in a car would present a problem, I kept the trout in two parts. I glued strips of wood to the back of both pieces at either end. These served two purposes - the ensured the trout hung out from the wall a bit instead of sitting flat against it, adding dimension. It also gave me somewhere to attach hinges, making this a foldable piece of art!

Practical as well as pretty!

My assistant helped me paint on the face, tail and fins by adding all the spots. Then we began the long process of gluing on the tea bags together.


I left the strings on them on purpose - I think the movement of the strings in a breeze gives the illusion of movement.

In order to blend the 2D painted surface into the rich texture of the tea bags I used flattened bags which let the painted colours show through.

Add a hole for the 'fishing hook' and it was ready to hang.



Once we'd finished I sprayed it with clear varnish for protection. While that was still tacky I sprinkled it with some very fine aurora borealis glitter - cause, you know, trout shimmer!

This is the finished trout. 


 And here it is at Art From Trash.


Yep. That is a sold sticker! It sold pretty much straight away, and I've had enquiries as to whether it has any siblings.

It was a great success at the show.

z