This is becoming a bit of a theme – it must be something to do with the energy and optimism of a new week!
I love Mondays – it is such a good day to tidy up the house after a busy weekend, put everything to rights, then settle in for some lovely crafting – my enthusiasm and imagination is always bubbling on a Monday, not yet subdued by day to day busyness, cooking and washing, errands and school runs.
Despite it still being “winter”, Brisbane recorded the hottest August day on record today, so it was onto the porch nice and early, trying to capture as much of the breeze as the day had to offer. I do so love winter – in fact, I am always longing for a much colder, longer winter! – but there was a lovely feel to this unusual day. It sparkled of summer holidays, early sunrises, late sunsets, the fresh warm air tickling our arms and legs, the wafting fragrance of jasmine, and the many pleasures offered by long weeks of pottering with my family, preparing for the coming Christmas (omg, I said that word!). All we needed was a trip to the beach and I would have sworn it was December!
Instead, I farewelled Mum, emailed Julian (who’s in Chicago this time), made breakfast for and read to Abby who’s home sick, and then, when she was sound asleep – I always know she’s truly unwell when she *sleeps* as opposed to draws and reads and plays in bed – gathered up some of yesterday’s hard rubbish treasures. Hee! hee! hee! Honestly – it’s better than any shopping I’ve ever done.
First up – this grotty wooden tray. Mum was appalled. Put it back, she shrieked, it’s utter rubbish and filthy. Well of course it is, it’s hard rubbish! But a tray is so very useful. I love them hanging on my kitchen wall, waiting to carry drinks to the porch, breakfast in bed (usually Abby – I cannot even remember the last time I had breakfast in bed), and … when we’re tired and floppy, dinner on the sofa whilst we watch a film.
So I gave it a wash, thinking I would paint it. But as I scrubbed, it turned out to be quite nice wood – and the back revealed that it was made in Sweden. I would have felt a bit mean smothering it in paint, so I took it downstairs, and scrubbed away at the already patchy varnish with some steel wool and methylated spirits.
Now it certainly didn’t come up perfect – but that’s good, ’cause I don’t want it to look spanky new. Just beautiful and well loved. Whilst scrubbing, then sanding, I was imagining stencils, then decoupage, but finally settled on applique. Of the modge podge variety.
With Swedish Horses for a Swedish tray. This modge podging stuff is such fun. I glued on the horses and flowers, the painted three coats of modge podge over it all. The veneer on the bottom left hand has lifted slightly but Mum’s a whizz at reglueing veneer.
I’m ever so thrilled with it … we’ve tested it out, and it works well. Fancy that :-)
In between coats, I re-purposed another useful kitchen item – also designated ghastly by mum – but I could see the potential. I have three. Each a different colour. One for the kitchen, one for porch (I’m picturing little glass jars for flowers) and I think I’ll put the last one in the bathroom – for the oft-used items – talc, sunscreen, shea butter, and the hair elastic jar.
They are the little plastic covered, wire baskets the milkman used many, many years ago, when he use to deliver our milk each afternoon. The bottoms are a wee bit marked, but after a good scrub, they were positively shining. Here’s the first one, jars in place – at the front cinnamon sugar for toast, almond meal for crumbles, roasted cashews for snacking, and at the back dried cranberries for baking and school lunches, corn kernels for popping, and peanuts for cooking and baking. I couldn’t resisted a little quilted scrappy sash, buttoned on (more stippling practice) and before I could restrain myself …
… modge podged lids. W-e-e-e-l-l … the lid was off, the brush was already wet and they look so sweet with the red check of the Bonne Maman jam jars.
And best of all – it looks so tidy and well organised. These jars always live on the bench, but they were very higgledy piggledy before. Some were in an old square baking tin, but others (that didn’t fit) were clustered around in a very displeasing way. Now, if we need to move them so as to have more space beside the mixer we can do so effortlessly. And the old red coated wire even matches the mixer.
Who needs to visit the mall when there’s sidewalks to be trawled :-)