Tag Archives: Recycling

Lowly Roots

Lowly Roots

I’m a huge fan of recycling, or upcycling or whatever the in-term is at the moment.  There’s something so satisfying about transforming old, abandoned, scruffy, broken items  into loved, treasured and beautiful things.  My kids are terribly embarrassed by their magpie mother, if I walk down a street I always keep a close eye out for sparkly things – whether that be pop can tabs which can be spray painted and daubed with nail varnish to make bracelets, odd earrings, scattered beads from snapped necklaces, nuts, bolts, washers, straggly ribbon blown by the wind and caught in spiky bushes….anything really.  I’ll often go into a shop and fish out the change in my pocket, only to find the spare change is outnumbered by small metal objects that can in no way be exchanged for a can of pop or a pint of milk.

Here’s a few things I treasure, all found objects.  Laugh if you must, maybe it’s not normal.

A turqouise glass bead I found by a riverbank on a dog walk.  An archaeologist friend of mine said that beads such as this can sometimes be from the iron age, but then again, it could just as easily be from a broken bracelet from Accessorize, lost on a sunny day spent by the river. Who knows?  I like it.

A turqouise glass bead I found by a riverbank on a dog walk. An archaeologist friend of mine said that beads such as this can sometimes be from the iron age, but then again, it could just as easily be from a broken bracelet from Accessorize, lost on a sunny day spent by the river. Who knows? I love it because it was lost and rolling around amongst the rocks, and now I can make it into something pretty again. 

I'm not enthralled with this bee to be honest.  It'll probably be pulled in pieces and made into something else, but I do love what the abdomen is made from.  I found it squished in the middle of the road, probably run over by a million and one cars.  If you look carefully you can see the image of a pylon-like tower with zig zags coming out of the top that look like the symbolize radio waves.  At the bottom it says 'BBC' so I'm presuming it was some sort of promotional pin badge.

I’m not enthralled with this bee to be honest. It’ll probably be pulled in pieces and made into something else, but I do love what the abdomen is made from. I found it squished in the middle of the road, probably run over by a million and one cars. If you look carefully you can see the image of a pylon-like tower with zig zags coming out of the top that look like the symbolize radio waves. At the bottom it says ‘BBC’ so I’m presuming it was some sort of promotional pin badge.  This is almost impossible to see on this photograph by the way, it’s hardly visible because of the damage.  Say what you like about the bee, it’s not great, but the pin badge did make a fabulous bee’s bum, or at least I think so. 

I think this is called a nut?  Not as in hazelnut obviously, more of an industrial 'nut', most probably used with a bolt to secure things to things.  I'm very vigilant when I walk past garages and where people fix cars outside their houses, because there's a higher llikelihood of finding strange little odds and ends that I can scavenge.  The next pic shows what I made from it.

I think this is called a nut? Not as in hazelnut obviously, more of an industrial ‘nut’, most probably used with a bolt to secure things to things. I’m very vigilant when I walk past garages and where people fix cars outside their houses, because there’s a higher llikelihood of finding strange little odds and ends that I can scavenge. The next pic shows what I made from it.

I turned the 'nut' into a pendant after gluing and wireworking random bits and pieces onto it.

I turned the ‘nut’ into a pendant after gluing and wireworking random bits and pieces onto it. The copper coloured central ring and the metal outer ring were also just picked up off the pavement in passing. 

Maybe it’s the remains of the ‘Hunter/Gatherer’ instinct.  The same reason why it’s so therapeautic to spend hours picking masses of blackberries from hedgerows, when you could easily just bob down to the grocers and buy a box of them for not very much money and save yourself the trouble of purple stained clothes and thorns embedded in fingertips.  I could just buy supplies from craft shops, or simply spend a couple of quid on pre-made jewellery from shops, but there’s no challenge in that.  Besides, I can make things that I can actually see in my mind’s eye, and they’re unique.

If you’re willing to invest a bit of time pulling  things in pieces you can find all manner of things too.  I had so much fun disembowelling a bedside clock a while ago.  It was broken and ugly so I didn’t feel guilty ripping it in bits. After messing around with a screwdriver, ripping off the facade and rooting around amongst the innards, I found all these gorgeous little things.

I never imagined a dissected clock could be so interesting!

I never imagined a dissected clock could be so interesting!

I 'sewed' some of the clock to a wirework bee I made.  All held in place with the wire you can sometimes find wrapped around corked wine bottles.

I ‘sewed’ some of the clock to a wirework bee I made. All held in place with the wire you can sometimes find wrapped around corked wine bottles.

It’s just so much fun, and so fascinating to see what you can do with something and nothing.  My dad used to play a game where he’d draw a squiggle on a piece of paper, then my sister and I would take turns trying to make little pictures out of them.  That’s all I do with metal and wire really.  I just pick something up, look at it, turn it round, put it on something else, attach it, embellish it somehow and then it becomes something else entirely.  Make no mistake, this doesn’t always work.  I’ve made some monstrosities in my time.  I tried to make a german shepherd out of wire once, and it ended up looking like a weird dog wearing baggy pants, a friend said that it looked like a canine MC Hammer.  Here it is for your amusement and my embarrassment….

Dog wearing pants that are far too big for it.

Dog wearing pants that are far too big for it.  I was trying to copy a sillhouette and it just didn’t work at all!

Anyway, I digress.  This is just an example of how doodling with metal can be fun. It doesn’t always come naturally to me, but because I love it, so I persist, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

The point is, from just a piece of wire, or an abandoned bit of tatt, you can come up with all sorts of things.  Silver or gold, or expensive materials are things of beauty, you can’t deny that….but I’m actually proud of the lowly roots that make up many of my creations.  I’ll proudly boast that something is made from a broken hair clip and feel absolutely no shame about it at all.

Life’s about making things up as you go along, or at least it is for me.  You find the sparkle on the pavement, the simple little things that make up a day and turn them into something good and worthwhile.  That’s the idea anyway.

Advertisements

Just Another Day…

Just Another Day…

…made up of little things that seem inconsequential really.  Still I have to remember these times, because they’ll be ammunition for when my kids are 21 and I want to embarrass them.  Cos I’m nice like that.

I bought Sausage and Darlek a small bottle of Vimto (or Vomit as I call it) on the way home from school.  Darlek happily drank hers, no problemo.  Sausage said it was ‘spicy’ but decided he liked it when he realised he could do brilliant burps with it.

As a result the last 10 minutes of the way home were very noisy.  If I had closed my eyes I could easily have pictured a sea-lion lolloping alongside me up the hill.

‘Baaarph!’  ‘Boooooaaark!’  ‘Brrrraaawph’  ‘Buuuargh’  etc etc.

I kept telling him that he’d make himself sick, but to no avail.

Darlek is acting like a teenager too, which is great.  I told her she couldn’t have a sweet at 8.45pm because she was just about to go to bed.  So she went to the fridge, opened it, threw the sweet in and slammed the fridge door with more than a little venom.  I told her if she slammed anything like that again she’d get sent to her room immediately.  So she burst into tears and I felt very guilty.  I hate arguing with either of them.  I slam things around when I’m annoyed so I guess she’s growing up just like mum.  I reckon the next time I slam a door she’ll tell me off and tell me to go to my room, and I’ll deserve it probably.  What goes around, comes around.

Last day of school today and I was supposed to pick them up at 2.30pm.  At 2.45 I was drinking a leisurely cup of tea when the phone rang and a rather annoyed receptionist told me my children were still waiting to be collected.  Oops.   It’s definitely not just my kids who act a bit daft sometimes.

Good news!  I saw my consultant yesterday and he has booked me in for an urgent flexi-sigmoidoscopy, but didn’t seem too worried about my recent symptoms.  He said that urgent flexi-sigs are done by surgeons, so if I need any work doing whilst they check out my innards they can sort that for me.  I’m hoping they have some good drugs because I don’t fancy being conscious whilst that’s going on.  The good drugs are the only nice bit really.  It’s a great excuse to get off my head and not have to worry about getting told off by my mum.

Horace has had a stinking cold but has been typically dedicated to his job and has gone in anyway.  Which is admirable, although I’m still rather unsure whether or not his colleagues will appreciate him giving them a cold for Christmas.  I’m sure they’d prefer a small bottle of vodka or something.  But if he wants to give them mild influenza, then it’s up to him.  It’s cheaper at least.

As for Christmas…well.  Our Christmas tree is up and decorated.  I have ordered a turkey too.  There were only a few turkeys left in the shop so I had to get the smallest one, which incidentally looked like it was actually ostrich rather than turkey.  I think we’ll all be a bit turkeyed-out by New Year, there’ll be tons left!  I might do a series of recipe blogs, ‘Turkey a-la-fried’  ‘Turkey a-la-microwave’ ‘Turkey wrapped in turkey parcels’  ‘Turkey with added seasoned turkey’.  You know when you say something too many times and it starts sounding stupid?  Turkey, turkey, turkey, turkey, turkey….. (downs small glass of sherry)..tukey, turkey, toonkey…. toorkney..turkey…twoknee…tooknees..toorkee…

Anyway!  I have a nice little Christmas craft tip to impart.  You only need two props.  A) A Christmas Tree and B) A box of Quality Street.  Are you up for it?

Right, Step 1:  Prise open huge tin of Quality Street. (make sure no-one else is around so you don’t have to share it)

Step 2:  Eat all the caramel barrels first before anyone interrupts you.  This is important.  They are the nicest ones.  If anyone comes in and asks where they are, say that they must have forgotten to put any in this tub and blame poor packing standards. That way you’re blameless.

Step 3:  Pile the papers in front of you.  Do not stop eating until you feel vaguely sick.

Step 4:  Get each sparkly wrapper, nip them in the middle and squish them upwards so they look sort of like scrunched up flowers.

Step 5:  Hold as many sweetie scrunched flowers as you can in both hands and lob them at the Christmas tree.  Most will land on the branches and will nestle there like delightful multi-coloured decorations.  Fallen Quality Street flowers blend nicely with the bits of shredded tinsel and pine needles embedded in the carpet.

This is a brilliant Christmas tip if I say so myself. I came up with this idea because I am very environmentally minded and am an avid reader of BBC Wildlife magazine and National Geographic.  I care about my surroundings.  So, save energy!  Don’t walk to the bin, throw pretty litter at the tree instead.  Recycle!  Repurpose sweet wrappers as Christmas decorations.  That way it will disguise exactly how many you’ve eaten too, so your partner won’t be able to sit there and look at you with that ‘I know you’ve eaten all the caramel barrels’ expression.

It’s a win / win situation.

Happy Christmas by the way.  Wishing all my readers a stress free, sparkly, family friendly, chocolate filled, sherry infused, drizzly with patches of sunshine, wonderful Christmas and an even more fabulous 2013.

Love from me. x :O)

Makedo – Find and Make Car!

Makedo – Find and Make Car!

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for joining me at this auspicious occassion: the launch of the Brink of Bedlam’s new and highly innovative Makedo Motormobile, courtesy of the Toytastic Toyjeanius!!!!!    (Cheer please….)

Brum...Brum!

The equipment used to make this consisted of highly sophisticated mode of transport were as follows:

A Cardboard Cutty Saw Thing, Plastic hinges, Plastic nuts n’ bolts and Clips – All mechanics must be 3 yrs or over. 

Younger mechanics are easily distracted. As chief engineer I coped with the chaos by pulling my hair out. Box bedlam!

We did use scissors in addition to the supplied cardboard saw cutty thing, but only with strict supervision.  It’s not essential to use scissors, but it certainly speeded things up a little.

The project manager supervised throughout by checking each individual cardboard box for quality control purposes:

Every part of the process was inspected very carefully.

Here’s how the nuts and bolts were inserted.  Using the end of the cutty saw thingy, jab a hole through the cardboard and push the drawing pin shaped thingy through, secure with the plastic bolt thingy.   The process is shown here:

We found that the older mechanics are more suited to this kind of work.

Go faster stripes are essential!

The kit we used came with some snazzy stickers shown here:

Who needs knobs and dials when you can simply use tons & tons of stickers to control a car!

And this….madam and monsieur……is the finished car!

On your marks......get set.........go!!!!!! (Well, at least pretend to 'Go!)

This car is recycled, emission free, environmentally friendly, contains re-usable parts, has style, panache and above all contains fun.  You’d be mad not to drive it!

If you’d like your very own Cardboard Car it is only £9.95 and you can buy one HERE!  Your model may look vastly different to ours, it all depends on what boxes and props you can find, and your imagination.  Drive one home today!

Toyjeanius sent me this very unusual, quirky, Makedo Car to review, no other financial reward was given.  This is a very safe mode of transport, and there’s  no insurance or license required. Neat! :O)