RSS Feed

Category Archives: Our recycled home

I see red: a few snaps of home

Posted on

We have a magazine coming to our house to take pictures in a few weeks time, Pretty Nostalgic, the prettiest, newest wee vintagey mag on the shelf. Jim’ll TOTALLY fixed it for me as the night before it got arranged I was lying in bed thinking how much I would like some photos of some of the corners of our home that we have poured a bit of ourselves into, the spaces where we have taken someone’s nasty old scraps and given them new life. I am SO excited!

We have started tidying up in preparation, and, blimey, getting tidy is a bit addictive isn’t it? I did that toy shelf, moved onto the mantel piece, started in the kitchen, gosh, soon I’ll have OCD and will be hoovering once a week!!! (Oh, most people do that? For real? Once a DAY, you say? Ah. *awkward smile*)

The mantelpiece is one of those areas that is kind of a centrepiece of the room but still manages to be The Primary Magnet of Remnants. Keys, wallets, loo roll, it all ends up on there. Since sorting it out, whenever Tim tries to put anything down on there, like his cup of coffee,  I am like “Er, is it red? No? Oh, well, bummer, it doesn’t fit the theme. Move on, please, move right along.”

One of the easiest ways to make odd collections of things look nice is by grouping them in vague colour themes.

I love nothing more than having fresh flowers around the house. I have searched high and low for some reasonably priced red tulips to go in this enamel jug but my inner cheapskate  got the better of me and blossom from our backyard bush had to do.

Tim found this beautiful old red chair yesterday, just dumped on the street.

We have about 63 too many chairs in this house, it is one thing we can’t turn down when we walk past them, lonely and neglected on street corners. We should really start a chair hospital.

Given a discarded item a home lately? Got any posts of corners you are proud of?

 
Ooooh looookkkkkk: The Blue Eyed Owl! You are GONNA LOVE HER!!!

Advertisements

Vintage Toys and a mother’s second hand strategy

Posted on

As soon as Ramona and I enter a charity shop or a jumble sale I zoom straight to the kids section and pick out the nicest (by nicest I mean oldest/ most wooden/ cheapest) toy or coolest kids book and place it into her hands with an excited exclamation of “LOOK- this is just the ticket!!”  I then move straight away from the kids section, out of danger territory. It may seem a bit mean, or a bit against my “child-as-unique-independant-person” philosophy but I simply CAN’T take home another giant, ugly, fluffy toy circa 1998- and this IS the thing she will choose if left to her own devices.

It is something we have to face, as parents. Kids toys ain’t often pretty – or perhaps often too pretty; pink, beribboned, cuddly. They can take up a lot of space and ruin the aesthetics of a room. I’m sure many of you don’t care, and I wish I didn’t.

But I do. I just dooooo.

Fortunately, the world of second hand provides a mountain of eyeball pleasing kids options. I am always on the look out for retro looking, vintage play things and have found some gorgeous numbers that Ramona loves too.

We have one area where the ugly (by ugly, I really only mean new. Why are new things so damn ugly?) things live, in an ancient deep drawer hidden to the side of the sofa.  And I have just recently launched an Exhibition of Old Children’s Things, on quite a prominent shelf, that all three of us enjoy looking at.

Apart from the Ukeleles, which were gifts,  all of these are second hand. I picked the abacus and clock up from a charity shop in Blackheath a couple of weeks ago for One Squid and found these little playmobil bike riders on that Legendary Farham visit. Eeek, I just love ’em.

I always keep my eyes peeled for little music instruments so that when Ramona’s chums come over we can all have a bash and a sing. We have an immense Salvation Army heritage- all my 3 generations on both sides, my parents, Aunties and Uncles are all ministers in the Barmy Army and Ramona does them proud as she tinkers with this “timbrel” (tambourine) I got for 50p last week at a Bootie.

She is singing “Wind the bobbin up” -which mostly just involves her saying “Pull, Pull” over and over and over. It is her favourite song, she bursts out in it approximately six times an hour but it also sounds a lot like her sound for “Poo” which results is us spending lots of time each day on unnecessary but tuneful potty visits.

And finally, just a couple of weeks ago at my local car boot in East Dulwich I found this pretty ancient skipping rope with a couple of scary mushroom guys for handles.

PS little while ago I posted about some other vintage toys and included some secondhand toy pillaging tips – have a broose. (That’s Scottish for browse.)

PPS Have you found any thing retro for your kids recently?

PPPS I am linking up with the magical Magpie Monday over on Liz’s blog – if you get a chance do go and have a squizz at all their wonderous second hand goodies.

PPPPS Have you noticed my new header? Can you tell me why it is blurry, the blithering, bladdy, blurry &a*t%r&!

PPPPPS If you enjoy reading this old blogaglog of mine, have you had a moment to put me up for a MAD blog award? There are loads of catergories but you could especially vote for me in the “Most Over-Vintaged Up Photo Editing ever” or “Most amount of Made Up Words In a Post In The World”.  No, seriously, I reckon Home/ Thrift/ Craft catergories are possible themes of mine? Muchos Gracias.

It’s a vintage suitcase, er, stuck on the wall, y’know?

Posted on

Like most people in the world, I am in love with vintage suitcases. I bought my first one ten years ago and have been stacking them up ever since. I have a pile in New Zealand, in my in-laws attic, and I have, um, a few here.  I tend to see a room as incomplete without one, don’t you?  (Partly because they looks lush, innit. And partly because every room has lots of odds and ends that need storing.)

Sellers have totally started milking this though, at the vintage shop by my work they sell them for £25. Are you crrrrrazy? So when I found a cute little yellow number in our loft stashed up there by the previous owners,  amongst other wonderful treasure like boxes of casette tapes, a car wheel and sacks of nasty Christmas decorations, I was rather thrilled.

You probably know, we are slowly putting together a home here in Camberwell  using other people’s leftovers;  we have kitchen bench tops from skips, cupboards from the side of the road, furniture from charity shops and trinkets from jumble sales.  We are inspired by other recycled homes; we like to see our house as a creative challenge to consumerism. And also we are cheapskates.

So we were never going to go to Ikea when our desire for shelves arose. The other week we bunged a book on the wall as a shelf and were quite delighted with that. Inspired, we screwed the little yellow suitcase up next to it. And I think I love this even more.

Here is the vintage duck I found at last week’s car boot for £1.50. Also in the suitcase is my old art model, from whence I was a child, and a frame I found in a charity shop skip (as in, you know, their discards, not the one where people donate stuff. Yes, I am sure!! Bahaha.) This is some hardcore magpieing, right here!

It can take some weight as we used heavy duty screws. But we only wanted it for aesthetic purposes so as long as it can hold a frame and some scrumpcious ornamentals, I am happy!

Linking up with Liz and the marvelous Magpies over at Me and My Shadow. Me and My Shadow

Browse some of my  other thrifty home decor ideas here and please tell me about yours!

It’s a shelf, yeah, made out of a book.

Posted on

Anyone following me on Pinterest would think I have a mild obsession with shelving. I have been trying to get inspired about out bedroom walls which have been bare since we painted them a year ago. I have pinned shelves out of boxes, baskets and books. We don’t need shelves for a reason, we’ve nothing special to go on them, it’s just walls kind of look a bit rudey nudey without them, don’t you think? We also have loads of dark old furniture in our room so the last thing we need is walls packed with wood shelving and jammed with books. For this reason a novelty shelf appeals to my aesthetics. So last night, with the help of my trusted familiar, Husband Tim, we put up a book shelf- a shelfy thing, but with a book rather than a plank.

I LOVE IT!

On another level, we have created our whole home out of stuff we have found by rumbling in the jumble or dredging the streets so this alternative shelving shebang really floats our boats. Who needs Ikea shelves and brackets when you can find a rubbish (really, what IS there to fill a whole 300 pages about rugby?), but nice looking book, and saw off a hunk of wood from a discarded old dressing table?

 

It is the perfect size for a lovely tin or photo frame, it I was going to do a number of them scattered around the walls but instead have a few other things that would make equally novel shelves. We will hopefully get busy tonight to finish that up I was just too excited about the Pinaddicts Challenge to wait until it was all finished. You actually MUST go and visit the craftgalore over at Melksham Mum- such a delight. 

Vintage Spoons Hanging Hooks

Cor, don’t you just LOVE a nice souvenir spoon?! When I saw these in a New Zealand charity shop for 50 cents I snapped them up. They just totally evoke a colonial inspired 1980’s afternoon tea vibe, eh?

I have had them rattling around with a faint idea of using them for something but then when a need arose for a place to hang our tea towels I just KNEW. Just knew. These spoons were always meant for greater things than stirring sugar lumps.

Here it is, another 5 min recycling crafty frolick:

I found this bit of wood on the pavement once and have had it randomly on display. I love the imprint of VB ENGLAND along it. It is a bit rugged but I thought it would help my spoons to sparkle.

Linking up with the ever brilliant Magpie Monday of course!

The thriftiness of organisation

“If a cluttered desk is sign of a cluttered mind, what, then, is an EMPTY desk sign of?”

Eh, eh?! An EMPTY MIND! HA!

And thus I stay happily contended in my disarray.

But you know what? There is something particularly unthrifty and complicated  about mess. Having to buy more balloons simply because you can’t find your existing 5 million. Spending 6 minutes every morning foraging for bobby pins to hold your quiff together.

Inspired by the spectacular Thrifty Mrs I have begun organising my shiz. GASP! I know. It is a massive turn around for me but I have to say it is working a treat.

I began with my bedroom sideboard. It is the place where EVERYTHING ends up.  Surplus crockery, tools, make up, pants, coins and pens.

A Thrifty Mrs explains the importance of having your every day things accesible and your rarer things tucked away.

Taking this principle I found a better place for the pens (er, the desk drawer?) and the coins. I got rid of makeup I will never touch and divided up make up, jewelry and hair stuff into seperate tins.

In two tea cups I placed the bobby pins and hair clips and earrings I wear most days, and in my box I placed bigger things I need every day like deodrant and my hair brush.

I realise probably none of you struggle with mess like this (and I am even a bit embarrased blogging my mess) but I am  pretty stoked with this new organisation marlarky. I feel quite evangelical about it (hence the blog!) And flipping heck the THINGS I will achieve with my extra six minutes a day. I’ll probably end up as the Prime Minister after this.

DIY Parasol light installation thingy

Thanks to your creative brainstorming over my vintage parasols I have a delightful new addition to the spare room. A kind of lampy, fairy lit, parasol installation hanging from the corner of the ceiling.  The photos don’t quite do it justice, it looks a lot more ethereal in real life!

It was so easy to do, literally took about ten minutes. I screwed a hook into the ceiling and tied the parasol onto it. I then gaffa taped some fairy lights to the stem of the parasol (taking care to make sure no bulbs touch the paper). The only tricky bit was reaching up behind it to hang it and get busy with the gaffa.

The large mirror on the wall disguises the wire.

I love it even if it does have a bit of a breasty look about it.

Tim is going to despair when he sees I have created another lamp thing. They are just so cosy and add such ambiance, oui?