Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Change the world ... change your decoration!

Hello Possums! This is going to be one of the fastest posts ever written. My fingers are going for the sprint record at the typing olympics and it's shaking the whole house.
For it is a post that MUST be written. Only now, after teaching Pokemon's pre-school English class this morning (If you're happy and you know it, CLAP YOUR HANDS !!) and taking an hour to put a collage of 4 photos together I now have exactly 10 mts before racing back to school to pick those little messmonsters of mine up for lunch. 

Last Wednesday (and Oh GOD ARE WE WEDNESDAY AGAIN ALREADY?) over at Reduce Footprints, my favourite Green blog with lots of fab ideas for reflecting on how we can actively reduce waste and improve this wonderful world we  live in, SF hit on a topic that was right up my alley. Take a trip to an antique store...BUY SECOND HAND!

(Lamp made from Henri II buffet pieces and small wood base, table made from repainted vintage table base missing it's marble slab, and slice of tree trunk. Took a while to cut the bark off it and sand it down, but I liked the effect)

You may remember that in one of my past  lives I used to paint furniture, rewire and paint old chandeliers, make lamps out of bedposts etc etc. Well, I still do! Only I rarely sell them anymore - I make them for the family. And I know there are a few others of you out there who do too! Hubby, Beaker used to grumble when I came home from yet another attic sale, flea market or second hand store with dusty, broken bits of wood and metal and hopelessly grubby sheets and fabric. 'What are you going to do with that? ' He'd say. Normally by the time I'd finished a piece he'd ask where we were going to put it in the house, not realising it was the same junk I'd bought months earlier, and then he would grumble because I'd sell it!! So, after he went nuts at me because I sold the coffee table I was working on (for him to put his evening tea on by the sofa - it's true, we did need one) to a girlfriend who dropped by for coffee as I was finishing it one day. I decided I would indeed make a few more things for the house, on the condition he didn't question what pieces of ephemera and rust I came home with. A deal was struck, and, seeing as we had no furniture left after the house fire, I thought it was time I set about finding a cheap way to get things back into order at home. GOONESS ME - my time's run out... 

That's ok - I'll be back to add some more after the kids are settled into their sports this afternoon...In the mean time, here are a few ideas ...

Wash up old monogrammed sheets and sew them into curtains (I have NO ability with a sewing machine so I KNOW anyone can do this...) Make sure you get to the flea markets EARLIER than the antique dealers so you get the goodies before they do - that's what keeps the prices down. You've heard the story about the early bird...
Alternatively, you can make them into bedspreads and duvet covers. I tried one, but had a friend sew the rest as it took me 13 hours to make a single duvet cover for my daughter's bed ...I told you I was no good at sewing!! All our beds have duvet covers made from vintage sheets that you can dye (I prefer them white... )

We needed light in our little rented place ...
(finally going to be REIMBURSED by the insurance 4 YEAR's LATER - but hey, better late than never!!!) So hop! Rewired an old sconce and fixed it to an old door I found lounging around at the tip. All the poor door needed was a bit of a scrub and some white paint...

This one plugs into a socket in the wall as there were no wall wires where we needed the extra light. Wiring is not difficult, but it does take a bit of time. Easy stuff to do while you're sipping a drink outside watching the kids in the pool, or sitting by the fireside of an evening.

Ok - time's run out... Can hear the messmonsters hollering for lunch from 15km away... Back to add some more later. 

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  1. You packed a punch with this post! Quick, insightful and witty...well done Madame "groovy English teacher"! Love the idea of sewing but I am like you and can't sew to save myself!

    Best wishes always,

  2. Fabulous post Ange. I am all for recycling and try and buy preloved items most of the time. Infact this morning I set out for a baguette and returned with a antique plates, box of antique matches, wee easel, painting that needs restoring and a few interior design books. I am going back to buy a fabulous ciel de lit that I saw but was not sure about :-)

    Not sure where I am going to hide it....

    Bisous Budgie, L x

  3. What a wonderful collection of things you have got here! I love the old-door-light-fitting so much and your monogrammed curtains!

  4. great upcycling going on here, I will have to come to visit again!!

  5. Hello from Canada!! soooooooooo glad I found your blog,love your style and sense of humor! All the best,Chrissy

  6. I tried to make a king-sized duvet cover out of old linen sheets, it was a logistical nightmare, I'm sticking to pillowcases and hankies from now on.

    Lovely table!

  7. morning cupcake~
    fabulous, inspiring post, as always. I can't wait to do some shopping with you - although I fear a lot of things being posted home...
    talk soon,

  8. Oh my god, I am so in love with the diy idea, and I am so inspired to try to do it too. I'm glad you admitted to not knowing how to sew. I don't either, and was thinking I must be the last woman on the planet who cannot sew a straight line.

  9. Ange, I like this post about your decorating ethos. It is good to re-use and re-invent. We definitely think twice when buying new and we've never regretted our second hand furniture purchases.


Can't think of a famous quote that says 'communication makes the world go round' so you 'll just have to get my clumsy way of putting it instead ;-) Your comments are precious. Thanks for dropping by!