This weekend….Salvaging Building Materials and Junk!

Warning – sheer grunge follows!!

There is no gardening going on here this weekend but Roger is busy, busy. Most of our materials for outside have been salvaged from somewhere or another and a couple of weeks ago Roger heard about a new vineyard going in next to the farm where he works. To make way for it they are pulling down old shearing sheds and yards with hundreds of metres of timber fencing. Roger went around to see the contractor and told him he was interested in some timber for both fences and gates (we have to fence off the whole garden which would be no small cost if we were to buy it new) The guy took his number then rung him last night to come and take whatever he wanted because it is going to be demolished on Monday.

We went around last night to see if we wanted anything other than the fencing he had seen,  these fences you see at the side go for miles and some will be coming here. They aren’t as old as some of the timber. this building is between 80 -100 years old.

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Gates galore.IMG_3910

And 3 sets of these cute old indoor swinging gates (I have no idea what we are going to do with those!)

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And really old gates covered in lichen which Roger will make something with, but a mountain of these.IMG_3914

Inside is a long feed trough made from a really heavy old wood. It’s about 8 foot long and will go in front of the house for plants.

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This old hand basin doesn’t look flash all grubby but it’s a fabulous old thing, much bigger than a usual hand basin, there is no damage to it anywhere. We both liked it and are hoping we can use it downstairs.

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Some old cubby shelves.

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And there were treasures that were nothing at all to do with timber or fittings. Roger bought these home – they are interesting! Not good for anything but looking tatty somewhere 🙂

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Tomorrow our carport will be full of what to anyone else (yes, I know what you are thinking! lol) but to us all of it has potential. It needs a damn good clean, but this represents a huge saving on building materials for us. On top of that we get a pile of junk we cetainly don’t need but can do something with. I am not even going to show the old cupboard because everyone will think we are madder than we really are. Maybe one day 🙂 🙂

If you don’t ask you don’t get and Roger will ask if he knows something is going to be thrown out or burned (me, no, I won’t ask) But I am just thinking of a conversation we had with a young guy here about 6 months ago. When they moved here he couldn’t find work and things were pretty grim for him and his family. He saw a farmer getting his sheep in one day while they were out driving. He stopped the car, bolted the fence and bowled up to the farmer asking if he did 2 days work could he have a sheep to eat. The farmer didn’t hesitate and he got the animal butchered by the farmer all ready for the freezer.

During the week the old church down the road was pulled down, it was damaged too much in last years earthquakes. We didn’t know until later but I imagine (I certainly HOPE) that they managed to save the lovely old windows and some of the timber.

Oh! One finicky cat!

A couple of days ago Roger came home with some stuff in a banana box. Mittens has been sleeping in this for two days and last night I decided I would buy him a wee house to sleep in.IMG_3698

This morning I decided though he seemed happy with a box, maybe I wouldn’t rush out and buy something. I did however have a sturdier box he could have and enlisted Roger’s help in cutting out a doorway.

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Did Mittens like it? Yes!! He climbed in straight away and fell asleep.

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So, Wendy….home alone and feeling a bit bored decided to make his little man cave a little more comfy and pretty because he liked it so much. I remembered a large piece of fabric I had, it’s white and fluffy and I thought this would be perfect! Did he like it? Yes, he loved it so we were all GO!IMG_3713

Pillow in the bottom and all the inside all lined with fluff. Then, his Mum decides to go the whole hog and make it …well not so much a man cave, but a boudoir maybe.IMG_3715

 Did Mittens like it?

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NOPE. He found the scraps I made it from to lie on and will not go near his new house.IMG_3718

Doesn’t appreciate homemade? Has more style sense than his mother? Maybe just a back-to-basics kinda guy?

Making new from old….and homemade Mod Podge

A month or so ago I showed a little cupboard I had started repainting, one that my son almost threw out. I wanted to turn it in to something my granddaughter might like but or I would rather have inside (depending on how it turned out!) then I didn’t like my paint job 🙂 I decided to decoupage it. Anyway this is it before:Image

My husband pinched a short length of cane from the back of a cane bookcase to replace the missing one, I painted it, covered it, attacked it with sandpaper to shabby it up a bit and applied a couple of coats of Mod Podge.Image

Mod Podge is a horrific price here in New Zealand – $20 for a wee pot of it. As I have never tried the real stuff I have nothing to compare the results with but from my very unexperienced eye I am happy with the surface.

Mod Podge:

1 cup Elmer’s or PVA Glue

1/2 cup cold water

2 tablespoons clear varnish

Mix all together and store in glass jar.

The price for much more than a jar or Mod Podge was around $3.

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I love the look of rusty barbed wire and old timber. Rustic and shabby are my favourite styles in decorating…which is good because it’s cheap, or sometimes free. Overall though I guess you could say we are eclectic collectors of junk 🙂 Roger works on a farm that has heaps of discarded “materials” everywhere so he brings home bits and pieces sometimes.

6 months ago he made me this kitchen shelf to hold bigger things I had no storage for. It was made from old farm gates and posts.Image

And a few weeks back he made me this 🙂

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And maybe everyone will wonder why on earth I love this but I have no idea….I just DO love it. We went to help someone clean up their section around 5 years ago. They own an old country pub/cafe and this was in a skip. It was much bigger and is solid wood and quite weathered. Much to my husband’s consternation I asked if I could have it for the kitchen wall. He cut it down for me to fit but it’s still very large. It came down in the quakes and we are about to put it back up.

About as eclectic as it gets adding this to the bunch lol

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Home, lavender products and the absolute best of market finds!

After 2 weeks of cold and rain we have a most beautiful autumn day here so I popped out and took some photos of the “hood” 🙂

This photo shows our wee valley, we are in the first row of houses opposite the vineyard and amongst trees.

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New Zealand, home to 4 million people and over 30 million sheep 🙂

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Winter is creeping up.

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We managed to finish our lounge but haven’t finished putting everything back or all the pictures back up. This is it though, it’s actually a pale coffee colour which isn’t showing very well. We are really happy with it. It ended up costing around $290 to de-stipple the ceilings, replaster and finish/paint, put in downlights and paint the walls, windows etc. A big job for Roger but I did help with the painting and the shifting of way too much “stuff”

Before:

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After:

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Last weekend we had to go to Nelson for Roger to attend an apt and got there early to have a look around the markets. It was only 30 minutes before they were due to pack up and I asked one woman how much she was asking for some cake tins and a retro dinner set  – just being nosy really as I thought they would be too expensive. “Fill a bag for $1, I don’t want to take this stuff home” she said handing me a pile of supermarket bags. After a brief discussion with me clarifying she actually DID want people to take this stuff for so little…she then put the cake tins inside each other so we could fit more in a bag, we ended up with all this for $4.

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 And some shameless advertising for my sister 🙂 Jan owns a lavender farm in Carterton and have offered to put an ad here for her for any Kiwis interested in purchasing lavender oils or products from her directly. She sells oils. soaps, hand creams and lavender pillows and can be found at lavenderabbey. Look at her gorgeous dog Rene!

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There is very little going on in the garden right now, but Feijoas and Figs still coming thick and fast. Job today!

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Secondhand buys and my hideous pantry

No one could ever call me a minimal. I buy all sorts of things I like because they are cheap, I will say though I don’t do it often…just occasional trips nowadays when I am looking for something in particular. This time I was searching for more jars and also bottles suitable for fruit liqueurs. It always happens that I see other people’s pre-loved treasures and feel I would like to love them too – or I see other people’s junk and think I could use it somehow. (I will not show you a photo of our spare room full of stuff to go back to op-shops but instead we will gloss over the fact Wendy buys stuff for which she has no use for sometimes because it was very cheap!)

Anyway, these jars cost 50c – $1 each and is the only way I will ever buy jars. I have bought whole boxes full for $1 before but these were all needed for some reason. See that lovely big bottle, it’s an old whiskey one with a screw on lid – $1!!

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Wicker hamper $5

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Large flour bin was $10, this will last my lifetime.

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Roger’s buy, a pig cookie jar – $2

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2 wooden containers for $1, I have no idea where these will go/fit!

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And this for $5. Now…this will be a winter project (well, that’s the plan) I have a weird thing for boxes, wee drawers etc, have them all over everywhere. This took my fancy, it’s about knee high but pretty ugly as is. What potential lies here though!! Watch this space for a beautiful decoupaged piece – or, you could see it in a future post on purging my home and a rant about all the junk I have collected and the need for it to be gone!Image

 We have been here 7 years and have always despaired of the pantry. Much of it is hidden behind the wall, it’s never been finished (the house is 40 years old!) and is full of wasted space. Image

In fact it’s the ugliest pantry you will ever see 🙂 and there is little other storage in the kitchen. These brackets in front were very quickly put up after the first earthquake when everything felt out – they are not normal pantry fittings I know 🙂 They have not come down because we still get the occasional one 6 months later. You see my problem here though ay!? I would like something nice and something functional. Roger is going to be taking this front wall down and building all new shelving, which IS a bit concerning because I get to view his unfinished projects every time I go into the garden. He assures me though that he does realise the importance of a job done quickly, and done in it’s entirety, when in the kitchen.

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I cannot believe I have just shown the whole world my crappy pantry! The door normally stays firmly shut 🙂 🙂

But I will be so happy to see it gone and something workable in it’s place. That dishwasher does not go (top photo) and will be gotten rid of to use the space. Much as I would’ve liked another it’s not going to happen, they use too much power.

Heart stones, mosaics and pictures.

I seem to have developed a preoccupation for hearts. I mentioned last month I had tried mosaics for the first time and readers asked to see them…I still have to grout the last one so hadn’t shown photos yet. We learn (I certainly do!) by trial and error, the pink one was my first ever and pieces were too far apart, The second a little better, the coloured one much better but still unfinished.

I collect heart shaped stones and rocks, they are everywhere. I decided to cover some of these for my first mosaic efforts.

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Two paintings I did for my granddaughter’s room at her Dad’s. One has yet to have to words put on. I shamefully copied these from a beautiful artist whose work is on the net and to whom I am no threat whatsoever, so I do hope she never minds! In the original the fairy is blowing bubbles and I substituted with hearts.

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About six months ago we bought a secondhand sewing machine for $25. I can sew for haven’t for many years so have been looking at it with some anxiety about using the thing. But a couple of weeks ago I saw these pieces of fabric in a thrift shop and bought them, I had visions of a basket of homemade hearts with maybe lace and some hessian. I don’t know where this things for hearts has come from, funny how things just develop within.

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My mum died a couple of months ago, when I saw this set in a shop window I decided to treat myself to something new…it took me all of ten minutes to decide to buy them lol. These 3 hearts represent my mum, dad and sister who have all passed in recent years. They are enamel with birds and roses on.

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Two hearts I found at the beach on Saturday, yet to find their place. Not perfect but heart enough.Image

When we moved here Roger was building the new bridge down the road, he’s a concretor by trade. We had no money to spare and he felt guilty because he hadn’t got me anything for my birthday. At work that day he made me this. It was our first year together and I was very impressed by this! Few men on a building site would stop to make their wife a large heart. Apparently the comments of his workmates were to the tune of “Oh man….that’s cool dude”, and “Your missus is a pretty lucky lady, mate” with a pat on the back.

No one made fun of him but he wouldn’t have cared less anyway lol

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And just because I think this is pretty cool but apparently it has a hidden meaning for me only, lol, I am showing you my angel stone I found on the beach.

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Second hand – new to us!!

Regular readers know of my / our love of second hand and thrift shopping, we never buy new. After a long period of making do or going without we decided to go in to a car boot sale which is a regular Saturday morning event in town…..to treat ourselves our version of retail therapy 🙂 And we needed vegetable plants, this is the cheapest way to buy them. While Roger is far more likely to buy things that we are needing I tend to be rather more emotive in my buying – I like old or interesting things we don’t need. He comes home with useful bits and pieces, I often just come home with cheap but exciting “treasures” I can’t wait to put up somewhere.

This is what we got for $53, along with vegetable plants, coffees and a couple of hours entertainment poking around,  wandering in the sunshine listening to lots of good music and chatting to lots of people we knew. I also saw a very elderly couple drive right through someones stall then attempt to back back through it, turn around in a confined space right next to me and park to go and help clean up….they reminded me somewhat of Mr Magoo lol.

A 1970’s velvet patchwork look-a-like double bedspread. I stared at this for ages wondering whether I could justify the $15 and decided I couldn’t leave it for someone else when I just loved it.Image

A cow milk jug to replace one we lost in the quakes for $1

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Two painted wooden spoons – $1 and two old enamel folk art painted spoons $2

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 3 oven dishes to replace some broken ones, $11 for all

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A framed dry flower picture, not perfect but done by someone with care $6

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We were rapt with these, 4 very large jars for $10. This photo is quite deceiving, they are 12″ – 14″ high.

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A $5 beanbag for Bob which has never been used, I think he likes it 🙂

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 A pluggy thing? for the workshop and another sprinkler for the garden, $1 each

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These sprinklers are $30 new at least, we have 4 which we only paid $1 or $2 and all were barely used. I know many people who wouldn’t dream of buying secondhand stuff but this sort of buying suits us just fine. We can get old and charming, original stuff no one else will have and we can buy what we need on a low budget without stressing over how much it cost.