Feb 2, 2015

Recycled VHS Tape Project

I had considered writing an short paragraph explaining the reasons why I haven't kept this site updated. In truth - life just keeps getting in the way...which is kind of why I'm writing this now.

We become so caught up with our day to day dealings that we miss out on simple solutions to growing problems. In the words of Tyler Durden "Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need"...

...and as always, we are throwing away stuff we could 100% reuse.

Case in point. 
Myself and my wife popped a message on Facebook recently, asking if anyone wanted some kids shows that we had on VHS. Yes..we still have a VHS player (amongst a growing variety of other formats and machines that are slowly invading our house....see above T.Durden quote!) but our son has outgrown all of these shows, and they could easily go off to a new home but sadly, not a single person had any interest. "Why not give them to a charity shop?" some said...well guess what? We tried and even they didn't want them.

So, what do we do? Bring them to the recycling centre? 
They are just bits of plastic after all. Aren't they? It's not like we should imagine a kind of bond with them solely based on the fact that our son learnt about the 4 Seasons from Barney or about Friendship and Honesty from Thomas the Tank Engine or how to count with 'The Count' from Sesame Street. They are just tapes aren't they?

(Damn you Toy Story...you have a lot to answer for when it comes to anthropomorphizing inanimate objects!)

So what alternatives are there? Surprisingly...loads.

How about.....

                                                     An Umbrella Stand

                                                        A Pencil Case

                                                   Gift Decorations


                                                        Photo Frames

                                 For the DIY enthusiast there's a Foosball Table

                               but most of us just want somewhere to hang our keys.

Look...the list is endless. Don't believe me? Have a look here

I'm not saying that you should keep everything and have a cluttered house. We all need to do a Spring Clean and check what we have and what we need but just because it's not useful to us - doesn't mean it's not useful to someone else.

In that spirit, I'll do my best to keep this site going. I might have outgrown it myself - but that's no reason to throw it away!

Sep 8, 2014

Pebble Cactus Project

Image: Craftberry Bush
If you like to have plants around the house and have the world's worst green fingers, so much so that there's a good chance you could even kill a cactus, then this project is perfect for you.

Also, if there are kids in the house, this is a great idea too as it could be a nice little craft project for them as we enter a colder season and finding 'stuff to do', while it pours rain outside, is all part of a parents daily quest.

Apr 16, 2014

Wednesday Website # 001 - Colouring Pages

Image: Patent Pending Projects
I have been really bad about updating this blog of late, yet I find the time to update the Facebook page on a daily basis - so new rule - update weekly.

To start things off - On my Facebook page I highlight a website every Wednesday. Most of the time it's for useful stuff like where to find great ideas for Handmade Gifts or cool websites that allow you to create Photo Booth Style Pictures with your webcam. Sometimes, I'll point you in the direction of a great Read or some great Art.

Sometimes, I just need a little break from all of it.

Today's website (and one of my favourite types of website - the FREE PRINTABLES kind) comes Colouring Page, a fantastic resource for lots of free colouring pages of characters from your favourite family friendly Movies, TV shows and Books.
Here's their Facebook Page too.

With colouring pages for Beauty and The Beast, Toy Story and Frozen to Peppa Pig, Spongebob Squarepants and Winnie The Pooh. There's something here to keep the kids entertained on the rainiest of days.

And remember - if you can, try to reuse any discarded printed paper to print the colouring pages on.
Better to have the kids scribbling on that than brand new pages, that if we're being honest, probably won't end up on the fridge 'forever'.


Mar 24, 2014

DIY Dominoes Project

Image: Patent Pending Projects
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Of course we all know that Ferris Bueller quote but lets just take a look at the first part of the sentence.
Life moves pretty fast.

When I started this blog in 2011, I wrote 70 posts. In 2012, I wrote 54. Last year there was a meager 13 and so far, in 2014, if I manage to finish this one...it'll be a grand total of 3 and March is almost over.
Yes, life is moving pretty fast, with not much time for personal projects anymore like this blog - and even more so now, with a 3 and a half year old and a 10 week old puppy, who can be both found running around my ankles on a daily basis.

There's also that game we all have to play each day called 'Earning Money and Paying Bills'. A game we must unpack every morning, check that all the pieces are there, explain the rules to existing and new players before rolling the dice and either winning everything or losing it all. At the end of each day, we must pack every little card and token back into the box and put it away for the next morning when we get to play it all over again. Yipee!

Jan 30, 2014

Nuts & Bolts Chess Project

Image: Cub Scout Ideas
The other night I watched a fantastic documentary called Brooklyn Castle, which told the story of five members of a chess team from a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high school in Brooklyn, that has won more national championships than any other in the US.

                "The film follows the challenges these kids face in their personal lives as well as on the 
                chessboard, and is as much about the sting of their losses as it is about the anticipation 
                of their victories."

It was a compelling, engaging and moving documentary that put forth a powerful and positive message about how to succeed, no matter what your circumstances are.

Jan 13, 2014

Cable Storage Project

Image: Our Thrifty Ideas
People who set goals for the new year are no way happier than people who don't set goals for the new year. In fact, I'd go as far to say that they are probably less happier than the people who don't set any goals at all.

Lets look at it this way.

Most people who make new years resolutions are looking to either lose weight, exercise more, sort out their financial debt, have a more rewarding job, eat more healthy foods, smoke less cigarettes (or possibly quit), stop procrastinating, be more active, get things done, stress less about smaller things or simply...make more time for themselves to enjoy those smaller (and possibly do bigger) things.

At least 50% of us will fail and in a way, we set ourselves up to fail. The first time we break the resolution we feel weak and therefore feel like a failure. The trick is to fail but not give up entirely.

Oct 3, 2013

DIY Wall Sculpture Project

Image: poppy haus
It seems that BBQ season is well and truly over.

You could be forgiven for thinking last week that we were getting a second chance to enjoy some sunshine and warmth before the winter finally set in and we started pulling those big woolly jumpers out from the back of the bedroom cupboard.

The heating went on and in our case a new boiler went in. Any outdoor furniture you have was packed away in the shed along with the BBQ, which went into forced hibernation, much like we will do in a week or two.

If you watch Curb Your Enthusiasm, then you'll be familiar with Larry David's issues with skewers and having to look like an idiot, not knowing what to do with one, when you're finished eating the food from it.

Now I'm sure Larry couldn't care less, or at the very least, probably wouldn't have a huge problem with recycling the used kebab skewers, but until I find another (cleaner) use, you'll have to make do with this post, which relates to what you can do with 'unused' skewers that aren't going to get the hibernation treatment along with the BBQ.

Sep 26, 2013

Lamp Shade Project *Supplemental

This time last year, I was on the hunt for the perfect lampshade

If I may, I'd like to make an addition to that list - if for no other reason than to be able to have a lampshade, currently selling online for a criminal 1000 dollars, and make it for as little as 20 - 30 dollars. 
That's 15 - 20 euro to us.

The Rhododendron Chandelier below is for sale at $998 at Anthropologie. That's right......$998 for a lampshade!

But now you can create your own at a fraction of that cost and all you need is a pendant lamp from IKEA (cost 2.50) and some cupcake paper liners that you can buy on ebay (for approx 10 euro) 

Sep 16, 2013

Biodegradable Bird Feeder Project

Image: Daily Messes
You find yourself walking in the countryside eating a piece of fruit and when you're finished you can see no bins around to get rid of the core or the peel. You think about putting it in your pocket, maybe wrapping it in some old tissue and then you realize - "Hey, I'm in the countryside. This is biodegradable" and you toss it under the nearest tree for some small woodland creature to feast upon. In the absence of said small woodland creature, the fruit will just simply decompose and return nutrients to the earth and support a new generation of growth.

But here's a question. Is this considered littering?

Jun 10, 2013

Flameless Fire Pit Project

Image: Free People BLDG 25 Blog

Camping in this country can be really hit or miss.

I say that, being very much a non-camper and extremely hesitant to relinquish any comforts I've acquired through the years. The idea of sleeping on the ground, surrounded by, what can only be described as a large brightly coloured bag held in place by folding metal poles, does not appeal to me in the slightest.

I know there are many of you who love the outdoors - whether there's wind, rain, sleet or snow (and on the rare occasion - shine) and if I'm really being honest, so do I.
The outdoors can be spectacular and beautiful - especially when looking at it from the coziness of indoors.
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