Creativity: Making a Silk Purse from a Sow’s Ear

The old garage/shed that came with our property was what is kindly called a “vernacular building”. That means, made from whatever was handy, and without benefit of plans…It was sturdy, and the possums and rats found it accommodating. The walls and roof were both corrugated iron – reused at least once. I suppose it had character, but it was neither beautiful nor very useful. Ten years ago, we pulled the front part down to make way for a new possum-and-rat-proof shed. The tail-end stayed, because we needed a dry place for winter’s wood, and a place to stash recyclables until someone could take them to the transfer station. What was once a hard-to-access carport became a place to dry the washing. And so it stayed, until…

We were having a party, and what if it rained? So the carport became “The Pirate Lounge” – after which the junk piled back in again. It’s a shame I never thought to take photos as the changes took place. More recently, I decided to get really drastic. and had a really big clean out, demolishing the decrepit old cupboards (possums, rats, mice…) and resolving to get rid of what wasn’t useful or beautiful…

Since then I have lined the walls with parts of the old cupboards.


Then the new walls were painted – with one of the old cans of paint a friend gave me. She was clearing out her laundry after a snake appeared in the bathroom…Yes, I know! The colour is very “her”, and prompted Alex to comment that the new decor was “more mermaid than pirate”. True. It is.20151228_144225

The next step was to barrow in gravel to level up the floor, which had only ever been “dirt”, and went with the slope of the land. I laid a big tarp over the top of the gravel so its fairly clean and stable. By now, the name has changed to “The Seahorse Saloon”…20160106_145214

You can see shelves on the left of the photo – drawers from an old robe, stacked up against the wall (and nailed in place).20160106_171859

Once the floor was done, I put down some mats and brought in comfy chairs. Then I made a nice pot of Japanese green tea. There’s still plenty more to do – the car port part needs a new floor,  too, but I’ve been having a lot of fun creating a pleasant outdoor living room using reused and recycled materials wherever possible.

It’s still in the vernacular spirit of the original, but much, much nicer.

3 thoughts on “Creativity: Making a Silk Purse from a Sow’s Ear

  1. Pingback: Creativity:Designing a Sign | sukies original

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