Weekly Photography Challenge: Twisted

“Not straight, not so straight” – twisted, in fact. Sticks, and the flames that consume them, cannot keep a straight line.

Bonfires are a regular event here, signalling the end of summer and fire restrictions. It’s also the end of Alex’s tired old thrifted chair – and a sobering reminder of the flammability of foam upholstery!

I made some candle lanterns using glass jars and twisted wire, to add atmosphere and light up the path to the paddock. This one has a hanger made with a found, twisted piece of heavy wire. The marbles around the tea light candle keep it centred and avoid overheating the glass. The jar lid can be popped on when the lantern isn’t in use, to keep the rain out.

Weekly Photography Challenge:Repurpose

One month already gone- it whizzed by, probably because we’ve had various family members staying, and/or been travelling for most of the time since Christmas day, and time flies when you’re having fun…

So, to this weeks photography challenge – Repurpose. As an artist and as a “greenie”, I’m often looking for ways to reuse old stuff, and that’s how I have made an old vernacular building (or bush shed) into a semi-outdoor living space. We call it the Seahorse Saloon.The walls are lined with pieces of old cupboards, the shelves were drawers. Parts of walls were doors or windows. A bedhead is the back of a settee made from a broken pallet, amongst other things. A coat of paint (a hand-me-down tin from a friend) ties everything together, and sets the watery theme. Most of the furniture was sourced in thrift store/op shops.

The miniature bar used to be part of a kitchen cupboard, the end was a door on a different cupboard, the lining boards are so old, no one knows…etc. You get the picture! I’ve had a lot of fun with it, and plan to have a lot more.img_1004-large

Unfortunately, spiders of many species also find the saloon congenial – here one has repurposed the ears of an old hobby horse into a spider house….Eeek!

Weekly photography Challenge: Transmogrify

This week’s challenge theme has a magical vibe – Transmogrify – which means “to change in appearance or form”, although not necessarily by magic…I guess caterpillars do it when they change into butterflies or moths, and that would have been a wonderful subject if one had obliged me at short notice. No such luck!

Instead, I have taken some photos of the Junk Charm Bracelets I make, and some of the bits and pieces I pick up to Transmogrify into charms.

If you look at the charms, you will see washers, small nuts, buttons, a hairclip and electrical connectors (not the real name…), along with beads and other pieces from broken jewelry and a couple of purchased charms. I acquired a collection of odd teenage doll shoes at the oppy/thrift store where I volunteer – I intercepted them before they could reach the bin- so more recent bracelets include some sort of little shoe. It was a simple matter to make a hole and thread the shoe onto a jump ring – transforming a bit of junk into a charm. “Repurposed detritis”, as my tag says!

Creativity: Upcycled T-shirt Cushions.

These are all old band t-shirts, but the idea can be used for any printed tee that is beyond wearing for whatever reason, but still loved. The three Nirvana ones I made years ago, but the others I was inspired to get made for comfy and appropriate party decor.IMG_7432 (Large)
I found the Twentieth Century Breakdown shirt in an op shop/thrift store, and teamed it with a flowery print in toning colours. I used iron-on interfacing on the back of the t-shirt panel to stabilise it. The stretchiness of the fabric isn’t really an asset for cushions, especially when using it alongside woven fabrics.IMG_7433 (Large)
Two more Greenday shirts belonged to my daughter. I asked her before I chopped them up. One was wide enough that I could simply cut  straight across the whole shirt, top and bottom, to leave a square with the print on it. Then I stitched a long, preloved zip into the top seam, sewed up the bottom, and that was it. A new cushion from an old t-shirt! One thing I found out the hard way – it’s a good plan to UNDO THE ZIP before completing the seams – much easier to turn your cover right side out if you do! From the other shirt, I cut a panel with the printed image and appliqued it onto a patched background. I used fusible web to hold the layers together, then top-stitched around the edges.
Also, unless you are making your own inserts, measure your fabric before you cut, and make your cover to fit standard inserts. ( 14″/35cm,  16″/40cm, 18″/45cm ).

I was given two round inserts, so I made two round cushion covers! The Vines shirt I found at the Salvos. It was in good condition, but I only used the front as the back was blank. Any spare sections of t-shirt have been cut into continuous strips of “yarn” and put aside for a later project. I’ve used the “Trouble” print on a chair and another cushion, so they all play well together without “matching”. The tiny P.J. Harvey shirt I’ve had for years after buying it at the Save The Children shop. I cut it into two discs, front and back, and cheated on the zip by sewing it onto the outside – a line of stitching either side of the zipper teeth – then slit the fabric behind the zip…It worked, but it’s probably not a good method if the zip is to be used often, as the raw edges would snare the teeth eventually, I think!