Old window becomes menu board

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Two days to go and we are almost ready for the big day! These old windows will serve as menu board and seating plan.

After searching through my fathers farm house we found three nice old windows which we cleaned up and then used a white pen to write with. The windows will be placed next to each other and around the edges we have written the guests names and in the two central panels we have presented the menu.

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I started off by choosing a font I liked and adapted the size to fit the given space of the window, it took a bit of calculation but once that was done I just had to print it out and tape it to the back of the window with magic tape (which is easier to peal off and does not leave any glue marks on the glass.) Then with a steady hand work your way down, starting at the top so not to smudge the text as you go on. Then simply remove the printed sheet of paper and you are left with neatly presented text.

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Back to the grim reality…

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So it finally came to an end, our free life with plenty of nature and fresh air, here we are waving good bye to the countryside and returning to the city… bye bye green grass and hello gravel.

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however, on the return to the city we faced some distress when we passed the supermarket to buy food…

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Because going from free growing, berry picking existence to commercial plastic environment we could not help to feel distraught when one bag of supermarket products gave us this much plastic junk! -despite buying everything organic!!! so unless you have access to farmers markets or large city bulk buying options (which we don’t)  you are forced to bring home a lot of plastic rubbish; -crazy!  -tick tock waiting for times to change… 

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ok sometimes we just got to look in a different direction; so to distract our minds from all this madness I wish to show you my latest up-cycle projects which I have worked hard at for the last few days.

Some time ago we purchased some second-hand furniture, which looked a bit dated,  but they have now been given a fresher look:

Project no.1

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it looked something like this before the makeover (this is a borrowed photo because I got so carried away that I forgot to make photos before I started)

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-now it looks like this.  First we cleaned it up and then gave it a new life with an ecological white wash, new metal hairpin legs and doorknobs.

 

Project no.2

-to give new life to an old chair, very simple, just change the fabric but don’t buy a new piece just recycle something old by adding paint to it. I actually had some old print samples lying around so I decided to use this ‘failed’ print which looks a bit abstract but makes a nice contrast to this vintage chair.  Gone old fashion embroidery!

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Ecological marketing

Sometimes it just drives me nuts, all these freebies that you get everywhere!…all in the name of marketing. Well ok I have to admit that it does work in getting our brains washed in believing and consuming certain brands, but honestly as a person and parent who wants to make a conscious decision of reducing and reverting the consumerist concept I feel a bit relentless about having all these cheep looking and pretty useless marketing objects around the house, so what can we do?? yes I confess; -most of the time I bin them (in the correct recycling container of course) but tonight I had another idea…tititittiitii

During my momentarily battle of whether to set up a professional on-line store or just sell creations on a whim, a client placed an order, and I suddenly felt that I wish to spread my eco brainwash to other people (marketing!?!..) and there it was, one of these gadgets that the kids had taken home the other day and japp, -why not transform that! so here it is, an ecological, up-cycled marketing piece, hopefully with a more meaningful message

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Here above you can see the original jigsaw with Snoopy before he was killed and buried by an eco-warrior, -may he rest in peace…Amen.

Late night sewing and eco labels

Its been a busy week and the onset of summer here in the north has definitely given me more energy! Apart from crafty creations I have replanted all the plants in the house, -so now they are very happy, and the girls room got a little make over and am just about to complete an eco-outfit for my youngest.

Some time ago I sourced these beautiful vintage woven tea towels which I am now transforming to summer dresses. However as I have two curious creatures in the house it is much safer (and easier) to get the sewing machine out at night…(hence the industrial spotlight).  I used old invoices to make some quick pattern pieces in order to re-use existing materials, and the best invention was the eco labels! For that I made a mixture of very strong coffee and salt which I then applied to cotton bands by using rubber stamps and hey! -I got some garment labels! you know; coffee stains the fibres and salt acts as a fixative and together they make an ecological ink!  So these are the first samples:

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well, I still did not get the iron out and got to complete the neck and hemline however today I tried it on to check the fit and yes it looks like it will work! (will get some photos with my little model once its 100% completed)

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so now I have to make one for big sis too, -equal rights are an important factor in a democratic home! that’s why I made two eco labels straight away, I know what I have in front of me and I better get on with it A.S.A.P.  Anyhow; – here you can see the printing process: to make an ink pad I just cut off a small piece of cleaning cloth and gently soaked it with the coffee & salt mixture, and I would recommend that you test print on a scrap piece of paper before you apply it to the real item.

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So there we are; front and back view with an eco label, and yes; will get on with the second one now, -see you soon!

 

 

Back to packaging

Following a previous post about packaging a great deal of comments and new findings has made it very clear that a lot of people are concerned with this issue.  Last week a friend of mine brought my attention to a new shop in Germany called Unverpackt, a supermarket without packaging where you simply bring your own containers and refill them -like in the old days! Looking further in to this I found that ZeroWasteEurope has a great round up article about different shops in Europe that follows this concept, and it made me wish that everyone could have access to one! -would it not be great if we all could go shopping without buying all the scrappy plastic!? With all this in mind and fuelled by a comment from Angelique (who now lives in Germany and buys at farmers markets) I started thinking about shopping bags!  Despite bringing our own containers we would still need to carry our groceries home right!?! So to stay in tune with the whole ecological design idea I came up with these tea-towel grocery bags which have recycled leather belt handles; -which are strong and sturdy with a minimal impact on the environment,  as all the materials already exists.  So could they be something we could use?

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recycle material to make something new…

With all the bits of fabric, cardboard and unwanted garments we have at home I feel its time to clear out and make something new, -rather then just putting it in the bin (japp, I know, that is the easy option) but hey its so much more rewarding when you have actually made something and it could be a nice gift for yourself or someone around you. In my case and in this instance, this creation is for my little girls,  you know they just happen to be the people I love the most, so making things for them comes quite naturally…so here we have some recycled artwork.

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                             So what materials were used for creating this image?
well to start with I got a bit of cardboard as backing (the cardboard came in a delivery that I received the other day) and then I cut out the owl’s body from some fabric that was laying around the house and glued that to the cardboard. Then the wing was created with a bit of lace which came from a skirt and the eyes and beak were made out of a paper bill (glad I could use that for something more fun…) and green yarn were added around the eyes as a contour line. To complete the image I painted some stripes and dots with ecological paint and framed it, -so here you go! 

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The other day my friend posted an article about a guy that does recycled art on a much larger scale which I found very interesting, so click on this link for some humane inspiration and architecture on a whole different level!

Plastic toy reincarnation

Thanks to the wonderful world of Pinterest, I got this idea of up-cycling some of my daughters plastic toys (yes, are going through a phase of domestic plastic-dieting by trying to eliminate the use of plastic at home). So with the approval of my 5 year old we got the kitchen knife and cut one of her little dolls in half! Then we cleaned up some used glass pots and got to work and glued 1/2 doll to the lid, applying glitter to the glass pot (of course, -working with a 5 year old) and then painted lid+object in a uniform colour, voilà!

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Here you got some photos of the process, and it was all fairly straight forward, however creating the zigzag pattern on the jar was probably the most tricky and if you want to have a go I would recommend using a masking tape to seal off the area where you want to apply the glitter. -So what will we now use them for? well I was thinking they could be good for storing smaller objects in the kids room, maybe some hair-bands or crayons, I mean the good thing is that you can see what’s inside.

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