When my husband sorted out a cotton sweater with a cable pattern, I cut it up and put the pieces in my fabric stash with the idea to make sweater trees for Christmas. Some weeks ago I rummaged through a box filled with rusty parts and found the perfect tree trunks for this project.
I dyed one piece of the sweater in a medium gray because I wanted the trees to look a bit different. Additionally, I used the left side instead of the right side of the knit fabric for the smaller tree. To give the trees a certain stability and to prevent the fiber filling to poke through the little holes, I sewed inlets from heavy weight muslin first and covered them with the sweater material.
The Christmas ornaments I used to embellish the trees, are a few years old. I made them from star-shaped thread cards, a bit of paint, pieces of lace and glass cabochons.
I keep my Christmas decoration rather simple this year and I love it. I’ve sorted out and given away a lot of Christmas ornaments and other décor pieces. My taste has changed so much and I had been in a serious decluttering mood. Almost everything super cute has left the building :) . Has your Christmas decoration style changed as well over the last few years?
When I came across an insect hotel on Pinterest about two years ago, I was intrigued immediately. I hadn’t seen or heard of one before. I learned that insect hotels are predominantly made from natural materials to provide nesting facilities and shelter to beneficial insects, especially during the winter months. When we planted some tomatoes this year and they got affected by aphids, I remembered this concept. I don’t like using any kind of pesticides and rather wanted try to attract beneficial insects to our garden, which would eat up aphids and other damaging insects, snails etc.
When I mentioned to dear hubby, that I would like to have an insect hotel, he right away ran into the shed to grab some reclaimed wood and started building one. Well, not exactly but it didn’t take me very long to persuade him. Some homemade chocolate muffins might have been involved :) .
When hubby had finished the main structure, we filled the house with twigs, bamboo, straw, bark, pine cones and a piece of a tree trunk with some holes drilled in it.
I took a piece of driftwood and painted a “Vacancy” sign.
Even insects want to know how much a night in a hotel will cost them. So I made this sign with the rates for our comfortable rooms and suites. We have special rates for long-term guests and packages are available as well :) . Now we wait for our guests to check-in and hope to have less pest infestation next year.
You’ll find the insect hotel at these great parties:
It is so nice to meet you, Ladies! My name is Popping-Eye Pete but I prefer to be called Rusty Charmer :) . Julia put me together from all kinds of stuff she found at junk yards, flea markets and the beach. I’m so glad she did because I have so much fun discovering lots of amazing things. I’m very thirsty for knowledge and when I’m especially interested in someone or something, my right eye pops out, so that I can have a closer look. Like now, while looking at you :) .
I usually read and at the same time listen to an audio book on a totally different topic. Having a rusty pétanque ball as a head seems to help being a good multitasker. I would suggest, Julia should get such a head too. Oops, that was a bit naughty, wasn’t it? Hopefully I won’t get disassembled now. Maybe you can put in a good word for me.
It might be hard to believe but I’m a bit shy and don’t talk much. I rather like to attract someone’s attention by gently ringing the bell in my right hand and then holding up a piece of paper with my thoughts or questions. I hope you don’t mind.
We are so sophisticated over here. This advanced clothespin technology is all the rage at the moment, if you haven’t heard yet.
It was such a pleasure meeting you! Have an amazing weekend! I’m off now to relax a little bit before I hop over to these great parties:
When you like to create and decorate with found objects and discarded items, it is great to have someone who keeps an eye open for things you can upcycle and repurpose. In my case, it is my husband who always watches out for objects I might be able to use in some way. When he spotted an old wooden tote that someone had thrown away, he knew I would be happy to give it a makeover.
My little helper Barney had his own opinion what the wooden tote could be used for. I am sorry, my sweet furry friend, our ideas are similar but this piece is not for you.
While I like a bit of rustic wood, this thing was just too battered to leave the wood exposed. I filled the larger holes and cracks and painted it gray.
It is years ago that we spent some wonderful vacations in the South of France but we always think back to them with great pleasure. Therefore, I chose to hand paint the name of an imaginary bar/café in St. Tropez on the wooden tote. The most time consuming part was to decide which fonts I wanted to use. I finally went for “Callie Hand” and “Chocolate Box”. They just talked French to me :) .
So far we have used it to carry drinks and snacks into the garden but I think of filling it with glass jars and use it in the kitchen.
My wooden tote will serve some drinks at these great parties:
I know, it is a little bit late to show you something rather summery but this can happen when you deal with some adventurous fish, slow international mail service as well as internet and computer problems. Let me explain. Some of you might remember the neutral colored linen and lace fish I sewed two years ago. I still like them but this year I wanted blue ones for my summer decoration. I picked some old jeans from my stash of used clothes and made six denim fish.
While the three fish above stayed with me, the other three decided they would need a little adventure. They hopped into the Adriatic Sea not far from here and swam all the way to California, using the Panama Canal as a shortcut. As the fish were made from used materials, they thought they might have a chance to be published in GreenCraft Magazine. When they arrived at the beach near Laguna Hills, they met a nice mail man who brought them to the office of Stampington & Company. So or similar the story goes :). I am very happy to see my upcycled fish in the fall issue of one of my favorite magazines, along with lots of other fabulous upcycled and repurposed projects.
When I received my copy, it was already mid of August and since then we had internet connection and computer problems. With the internet going on and off several times a minute, it was difficult for me to read blogs and impossible to post. At least the internet problem seems to be solved for now and so I am finally able to show you my fish.
I can hardly believe that it is September already. I have not decorated for fall yet. It is still so hot here but next week the temperatures are supposed to come down a bit. Maybe that will get me into the pumpkin spirit :) .
My denim fish will swim over to these great parties:
If you are interested in upcycling and repurposing, you most likely know Betsy and her blog My Salvaged Treasures. In case you do not, I can tell you that Betsy is super creative and comes up with the most amazing ideas to assemble beautiful and useful treasures from discarded items. She turned a vintage radio speaker into a night light, a rusty rake into a picture holder and a vintage camera into a vase, just to mention a few of all her wonderful projects. I also adore Betsy’s jewelry made from all kinds of objects, like watch parts, small hardware pieces, and silverware handles. When she showed some necklaces created from tiny silver salt & pepper shakers last year, I put making one on my to-do-list and there it stayed. Recently Betsy was so sweet to remind me by posting another batch HERE. :) This time I did not procrastinate but went to work right after reading her blogpost. Thankfully dear hubby knew where I had stored the cute little salt shakers that I had bought lots of years ago during a vacation in New England. We had used them maybe twice or three times in all these years. Therefore, it did not feel bad to give at least one of them a new purpose.
I chose turquoise and white beads because these colors go well with most of my clothes. I am happy how the pendant turned out. Thank you very much for the great inspiration, Betsy!
The salt shaker pendant will hop over to these great parties:
May I trade the months of July and August for an additional May and September each, please? I could easily do without these hot and humid summer months, served with lots of mosquitoes as side dish. With each degree exceeding 77 °F/25 °C, my list of enjoyable activities gets shorter and shorter. At 97 °F/ 36 °C outdoors and only little less indoors, there are very few things left, I like to do. Besides taking a shower, eating ice cream and watching our cats, there is only one more fun thing to do. Opening mail from sweet friends that is :).
A package from my dear Marie from Lost Bird Studio is a treat at any temperature.
Marie made this gorgeous bracelet for my birthday. I love everything about it.
She had become a pro at making s-hook clasps. She gave me three fabulous sets along with some lovely bought ones to create jewelry with and a pretty metal number tag.
Marie also sent me some beads and other bits.
She was so sweet to fulfill some wishes I had and bought seeds for me that are difficult to find here (lavender, endive, cilantro, thyme and cornflower), a pair of black espadrilles and some packages of gelatin powder.
Marie enjoys gift wrapping and her packages always look so beautiful. Thank you so much, my friend! I love your gifts!
A fabulous flower card came from my dear Dorthe over at Den Lille Lade.
I love the colors and the great textures. The leaves on the flower are real dried ones. Thank you very much, dear Dorthe!
If you guess that I am off now to take a shower and then have some ice cream while watching the kitties, you are absolutely right :).
Have a great weekend! I will be back soon with a necklace that was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers.
For this week’s Summer of Color challenge, Kristin chose two oranges and one blue. This combination just screamed rusty assemblage to me. I glued some vintage book pages onto a wooden board and painted them with diluted acrylic paints and water-soluble pencils. I sanded some areas down. After some stamping, I rummaged through my boxes of rusty smalls and constructed a pendulous object. The upper part is fixed from the back with a screw.
I named this assemblage “d-pending”.
This was the last week of the challenge. I did have a great time with Kristin’s weekly color prompts. Thank you so much, Kristin! I was a bit out of my comfort zone here and there but that is the point of a challenge. It is good to be pushed in another direction from time to time. I already miss the challenge and hope it will be back next year.
Here is a recap of my “SoC” projects. I am happy with all of them but my favorite is today’s assemblage. I am a rusty girl, what can I say :)?
For the first two weeks of the ICAD challenge over at Daisy Yellow, it had worked out and I created something on an index card every day. In the meanwhile I am pretty far behind but I still have a second batch of cards to show you.
I made a few collages without following the given prompts and it started pretty harmless with a vintage soap image.
When I found a vintage ad for an undertaker business in my folder and then images of some toxic mushrooms, I could not hold off and had to let out my black humor :).
The food theme continues with this amazing discovery. Some headlines of a 90 year old newspaper had stirred my imagination.
Christmas is only 5 months away. It is good to have some early gift ideas, don’t you think?
Dessert anyone? You can’t resist, or can you :) ?
I have to admit, that I had lots of fun with these collages and I liked the combination of vintage papers and some pops of red.
Last week prompts were all about games and I managed to make 4 cards.
For me this summer seems to be all about trying new things. If you had asked me a year ago, if I could imagine to paint an abstract painting one day, I would have raised my eye-brows about such a ridiculous question. Never say never applies once again! For this week’s Summer of Color challenge, I painted my first abstract encaustic painting, using the required two greens and one pink. I admit, it is not a lot of pink but it is there.
I call it “Tempted” because I was tempted to add something figurative but I was a good girl and resisted :).
The inspiration for this came from Shari Replogle and her wonderful “Wax on Wednesday” videos on YouTube. I have been watching them frequently over the last few months and was intrigued. If you are interested in encaustic painting techniques, I would highly recommend Shari’s videos. You can also visit her blog “Plays with Paper”.
I am glad I tried something new again. This was so much fun and for sure not my last abstract encaustic painting.