Category Archives: Crafty

Going potty!: DIY-planter

Aaaaaah! ūüôā

…what a nice holiday break we had!

I purposefully switched off and it was great!

Now I am attempting to go back to what seems normal. No more sand between my toes. “Take me back to the beach!”

Towards the end of 2015, I made two small planters. It was an idea that I was toying with. Obviously it was my first attempt. I had two special households in mind when I made it.

I gave one to my cuz, Damian and his wife Lucinda as a gift. We stayed a night with them in Bloemfontein en route to Paarl before Christmas. When we returned in January en route to Jozi, I was pleasantly surprised to see them appreciate it like this!

 

Ain't it cute?

Ain’t it cute?

planter done 2

Love the grain of the wood

planter done

I think the pink one is my favourite

They bought little succulents¬†in the cutest holders. ¬†It warmed my heart. Look at it sitting pretty on their kitchen counter! What a nice way to bring the outside in…and these babies require very little maintenance.

Here is the before picture when I just completed it. It is made with saligna wood. It was left untreated as I wasn’t sure which finish they would like. They opted to keep it raw.

Planter

Planter

The other one I gave to one of my school buddies, Bernadette and her hubby, Andre. We visited them in Jeffreysbay also. Uhm…cannot wait to see how they have used it! Send those piccies Bernie!

Here’s to a wonderful 2016 for us all!

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DIY: Kiddies playstove

Play stove ~ {A wooden-build toy stove for kids to introduce them to the culinary world by encouraging imaginative play}

Another project I completed when doing my training course in carpentry in October, I am very excited about this one…especially since it is a surprise for my girls. They have no idea I made it for them…it is hidden in a special place…awaiting to be revealed in time for Christmas! Ssshuuuuuuuushhhhhh!

Stove

Vintage-inspired play stove

I was inspired by this one¬†I found on Ana White’s website. I am hoping to build the complete kitchen over the next few months.

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In progress

In progress

I used supa-wood off-cuts. I completed the project under the guidance of my training supervisor.

Stove1

Drawer

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Inside oven

It needs a few tweaks here and there, but I will give it to them in a few weeks time! I need to give it another lick of paint but I am super excited…remember don’t say anything…it’s a secret!

 

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DIY: Tap your Tippy Tap

Tippy Tap ~ {The tippy tap is a hands free way to wash your hands that is especially appropriate for rural areas where there is no running water. It is operated by a foot lever and thus reduces the chance for bacteria transmission as the user touches only the soap. It uses only 40 millilitres of water to wash your hands versus 500 millilitres using a mug. Additionally, the used ‚Äúwaste‚ÄĚ water can go to plants or back into the water table.}

I had so much fun making this project!

Tippy Tap 4

As per previous posts, you will read that we currently use an outside bathroom facility as our container home is still under construction. It houses a shower and toilet, but no hand-wash basin. This posed a health problem as we couldn’t wash our hands. For the last few months we have been washing our hands in the kitchen sink! Uhm…not ideal.

Outside bathroom

Outside bathroom

Anyhooo. It was time to improvise. I saw this cool device on a local programme, Voetspore, a few months ago. It immediately caught my attention.

In my rubbish stash, I had some old easels that would be perfect to use. I used them previously for another cool project, where I made an A-frame shelf.

I started off attaching the frame to the fence. The idea is not to make a permanent fixture. So the fence was perfect.

I leveled it and assembled it. I added a water bottle and soap.  To fully operate it needs a foot lever which you fasten with rope and tie it to the bottle neck.

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Easel

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Attach frame to fence

Tippy Tap 1

Fully assembled

Tippy Tap 2

5 liter bottle and soap on a rope

Tippy Tap 3

With foot lever

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How to use tippy tap

The kids love this new device! It promotes good hand-washing habits and it is fun to use!

Would you use a tippy tap?

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A little rubbish here and there…

I have become a professional scavenger by now. I know what I want, otherwise I can easily be seen as a hoarder.

I am so excited about my new finds…

 

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Not sure yet what they’ll be…Watch this space…

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DIY-Wall clock done!

I shared my progress on this creation a few weeks ago.

This clock was inspired by the skyline of Jozi. I originally intended it to be vertical in shape. But as I started working on it, it evolved as is.

I found these off-cuts in a skip at my local carpentry factory. I love rummaging for good stuff. It is birch-wood plywood…oh, it is beautiful wood.

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Quite happy on the container wall

Wall clock

I used Popsicle sticks to adorn the clock mechanism

 

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Unique and bespoke wall clock

 

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Lovely textures

And it is totally hand-made. Quite chuffed!

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DIY – Jewellery box

Jewellery: {An adornment (as a bracelet, ring or necklace) made of precious metals and set with gems (or imitation gems)}

As mentioned in my other blog, Obviouslyisaid, I have just completed a course in furniture-making. Whoop-whoop!

It is indeed a dream come true. Although I am self-taught, I needed corrective training and I started with the basics.

I needed to learn how to use all tools and machines and practice safety first. One of my first projects was a storage box/jewellery box. My very vocal trainer, Schalk, designed the box and supervised while I made it. (Not really my taste in design)

Unfortunately I could not take pics of the process as camera’s are not really allowed on the factory floor. With this said, here are some pics.

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Happy DIY-er!

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DIY wall clock – in progress

Wall clock ~{A clock mounted on a wall}

We do not tell the time in our new container home! We just go on about our business without any indication really of what the time is except from our mobiles.

So a clock has become a necessity. And not just any store-bought clock will do for Lilly Loompa. It has to be hand-made and obviously made with recycled material.

I made another wall clock a few years ago with a fish-can. See it Tuna can clock.

This one is still in progress, but here is a quick preview:

Sneak preview

To be continued…

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DIY: Rubik’s cube inspired art

Rubik’s Cube is a 3-D combination puzzle invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture ErnŇĎ Rubik. Wikipedia

In 2005, whilst living in Kuilsriver, Cape Town, I did a course in art. In fact it was a course geared for kids after school! Here I was, a 27-year old learning to paint with 7 and 8 years old! It was so much fun!

The fact that I do not have any formal training in art used to intimidate me…but in that year I let go of my insecurities and just painted!

The piece below I made later in 2005 and it managed to survive all our moves from house to house. I realised when I found it in a box earlier this year, that it reminded me a whole lot of a Rubik’s cube.

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You can see the date in my signature! 10 years ago!

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Same colours and shapes

Rubik's cube

Right at home on the wall in our new container home

I love painting! As a creative, it is one of the avenues I use to express myself. It makes me happy! While I am no Pablo Picasso I love surrounding myself with art that I love and that holds sentimental value.

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Grab a paintbrush and make yourself happy!

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More red – DIY palm frond lamp

Frond~ {Compound leaf of a fern, palm or cycad}

These palm leaves are found almost all over. I picked up one a while back and immediately knew I wanted to make a lamp with it. It is really strong and takes forever to decompose. Thus this is a good way to re-purpose (except use as firewood!)

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Palm frond light in Ashley’s office

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Palm frond before painted (excuse quality of pic)

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Bare frond (taken with phone, excuse quality)

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Before I mounted it

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View from the bottom

It makes a great night light and it adds to the red pops of colour in the decor. We celebrate our first month in our new container home today! That explains the boxes under the table! Remember our project is constantly in progress. But I am glad to say we take it one day and dime at a time. Debt-free living requires sacrifice and patience!

Till next time!

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DIY side table – love red!

I have learned to love red. It is my husband’s favourite colour…but not really mine. But I do admit, it has wonderful qualities I have realised. So when I design, I try and incorporate hints and accents of red, as it is a really strong colour.

I scored a bunch of pine off-cuts from my local carpentry a few months ago and as you might know, I have a fascination with building tables with puzzle pieces or blocks. As seen here. So I decided to make a cute side table.

I started off by taping down a square using masking tape.

Off cuts

Build within the masking tape square

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Pack blocks tight like a puzzle

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Number the blocks

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Start painting

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Needs some colour…almost done!

Table done1

That pop of red just did it!

Table done

Beautifully accented table done!

Done and dusted! Beautiful and practical!

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DIY: Bed-side table that will turn heads

Many retail shops revamp at least once a year. They regularly throw out very usable items that can serve as storage solutions or furniture pieces. A few months ago, one of our leading pharmaceutical chain-stores got rid of some of their old shop fittings. I got quite a few things, but the two aluminium table frames were my favourite. I also got some supa-wood off-cuts at a local carpenter recently. With it, I made a very cool dual purpose table. It is a side table that can serve as a bed-side table with a lamp fixture.

Bedside table

I love the slats in the supawood

 

Here is how to do it.

What you need:

Aluminium table base

Wood off-cuts

MDF backing

Lamp holder kit (with wall plug)

Round energy-saver light bulb

Drill and hole- saw

Screws

Start off by cutting the off-cuts to size, to fit on the table base. Also use the MDF board and cut to size. This will serve as the back support board. Use screws to secure the off-cuts to the back board.  Also secure the whole wood unit to the table base with screws. Using the hole-saw, cut a hole in the corner for the light fitting to rest in. Make sure it fits snugly. Assemble the lamp and light fitting kit. Fit the bulb, plug it in and switch on!

 

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Perfect table for reading

It has been featured in the Jan/Feb issue of¬†Green Home Magazine,¬†on the shelves now.¬†Once again proof that recycling does not mean you have to compromise on design. I am really proud of this one…it is functional and beautiful at the same time.

Till next time!

Signature

 

 

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DIY desk lamp: Looks like a Pixar character

Deciding to live green does not mean you have to compromise on design. In actual fact, recycling discarded goods, gives you the ability to revamp and possibly improve on an existing design, without spending a fortune.

Reading increases knowledge. Thus visiting the library is always beneficial. It is a Mecca of knowledge and is a great place to unwind and get lost in a good book! My daughter’s school re-organised their library recently. They threw out the old bookends and I could not resist! They represent the rich history of the school and I like the worn look of the yellow paint coming off. I decided to repurpose the block into a desk lamp. It almost looks like a character from the Pixar movies and I like the contrast of the contemporary steel against the old, worn wood.

What you’ll need:

Wood block (size in relation to the lamp-base)

Lamp base (I used a stainless steel base)

Drill and hole- saw

Lamp holder kit (with wall plug)

Energy-saver light bulb

Screws

Discarded book-ends

Discarded book-ends

Pixar light 3

Reminds me of a Pixar character

Doesn't it?

Doesn’t it?

Pixar light 2

Start off by cutting a big hole in the wood block using a hole- saw. Once you are done, change the size of hole-saw to a smaller size to accommodate the light fitting. Flip the block so it stands as a rectangle. Drill a hole on the inside and centre of the big circle you made earlier. This hole is for the light fitting to rest in. Once again, flip the block to the other end. Use a normal drill bit and make a hole for the electric wire to fit through. When done, pilot the electric wire through the hole and connect the light fitting. Test if the connection works. Connect the block to the metal lamp base and flick the switch!

I love it! Till next time!

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EAT your DIY

I am so excited and happy for my sister, Ame and her husband, Edmund who recently bought their first home. They got married in 2011 and I featured some snippets of their wedding. Read about it here.

We went home last week for another family wedding and I decided to make a gift for her. Something small, but with character, I decided to make her some letters for her kitchen, using off-cut supawood.

What you need:

Wood off-cuts

Jigsaw

Wood-glue

Paint

Sandpaper

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I decided¬†to give it a country chic look by sanding it down in between the paint layers. Ame loved it at first sight…she actually thought it was store -bought…which I view as a compliment!

Re-use – Recycle – Love

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Easy 2-minute DIY

It is Saturday morning and true as can be, I have to fit in a DIY-project. It promises to be a busy weekend, so I do not have much time.

I do not like chucking out usable goods…and have been collecting our empty roll-on containers. Here is an easy way to re-use them as storage:

Materials

Empty roll-on containers

Glue gun

Empty roll-on containers

Empty roll-on containers

Remove packaging stickers and separate the components

Remove packaging stickers and separate the components

Remove the stickers and separate the components. You will only require the transparent section. Rinse them in hot, soapy water to remove any trace of the deodorant.

Then, use the glue gun and join them together. You can either do 6 pieces or half them.

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For all your bits and bops.

 

 

Easy DIY

Easy DIY

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DIY: Picture frame tray

Picture frame: {A framework which a picture is mounted}

Tray: {An open receptacle for holding or displaying or serving articles or food}

* The holidays are almost here! Yeah!

Chances are you are expecting some visitors for the holidays. You might have your parents over and you would like to surprise them with breakfast in bed. Use an old picture frame and turn it into a beautiful tray to serve them and make them feel extra special.

What you need:

  • Big square picture frame (with glass still intact)
  • Beautiful fabric in the same size (I used a printed plastic place-mat)
  • Handles
  • Cordless drill and screws
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Gather materials

 

Sand down the picture frame to reveal some of the old paintwork. Use the handles and measure where you need to drill the holes to secure the handles to the frame. When done, slide the glass into place. Then after neatly lay the fabric on the glass and cover with the backboard.

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Beautiful and functional

 

Easy and practical

Easy and practical

Easy and your family will love you for it!

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DIY: Easel shelving unit

Easel: {An upright tripod for displaying something (usually an artist’s canvas)}

I have recently started writing for an awesome magazine: Green Home. I focus on what I love: Recycling and DIY.

The segment is aptly called “Talking Garbage”. ¬†

Adequate storage is a much needed aspect for a good, working home. You can never have enough storage space. A working home also needs decorative elements and you can merge the two. I made

a decorative shelf for use in a private library or lounge area. I used 2 old artist’s easels and build them like a long ladder. I then used old pine off-cuts as the shelves. It looks pretty cool and is super
practical!

I love the addition to our living room! It cost me nothing but 2 hinges (R4,00 ea) and some elbow grease!

Old artist’s easels

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Take easel apart and construct it like a ladder

A-frame shelf 4

I used off-cut planks as the shelves

A-frame shelf

It is done!

* Cheerio!

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DIY done! Spice up your kitchen

A few weeks ago I previewed my progress on making a spice rack for a client of mine.

Finally I have had time to actually post the pics of the completed product!

75% done

75% done

Pop of yellow

Pop of yellow

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I am quite proud of it…as it is made with off-cuts I found on a dumpster. ¬†Love going green! Client is extremely happy…that makes two of us!

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DIY: Spice up your kitchen!

Spices ~ { Aromatic substances of vegetable origin used as a preservative}

A friend of mine recently asked me to make a spice rack for her.  Now, although I am quite nifty with the power-tools, I do not really have the correct tools for the job.  However, I could not say no to the challenge!

She briefed me and this is more or less what she required:

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So those of you who know me, know that I recycle. ¬†I found loads of off cuts at a local carpentry. ¬†So I didn’t have to spend a fortune on buying the wood.

Let me get cracking!

Material list:

Supawood (MDF), cut to size

Super-strong wood glue

Wood screws

Panel pins

I started off building a block.  Then I proceeded to add the shelves on the inside of the block.  I also added the small blocks that creates the interest of the otherwise boring rack.

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This is all I could complete today.  Next is the finishing and painting.  Canary yellow it is!

Stay tuned…I will post completed product later this week!

 

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A giant is awakening…

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LillyLoompa has been quiet.  Gently awakening after a deep, deep sleep.

Check out my plastic spoon mirror featured on www.craftley.com

I am back!

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Child’s play continues…

Dresser ~ {A cabinet with shelves}

About 2 years back, I posted a DIY project about a dresser.  In essence, the dresser had one drawer missing and this highly irritated me.

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Drawer missing

When you are short of budget for renovations or even decorating you learn to always think out of the box.  I had to make a plan to fix this eyesore.

So I did.  And I still chuckle when I think about it!

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I painted a piece of wood in the same dark colour. Then I had to make a frame to mimic the other drawer fronts

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So I used coloring pencils!

* ¬†Ha! Bet you didn’t think of that!

I was quite happy about the end product.

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Dark stained dresser

This time around, I desperately needed to change the colour! I never liked the dark stain in the first place.

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I sanded it down and layered it with layers of white and teal paint

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In between the layers, I roughly sanded the edges to expose the dark colour

The last coat was white.  Then I proceeded with the drawers.

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Final coat was white

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Completed dresser

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 The hallway already feels a lot brighter!

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Side view

That was fun! Child’s play! Have you done something silly while DIY-ing? ¬†Let me know! Share!

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DIY: Doily up your pantry

Pantry ~ {A small storeroom for storing foods or wines}

The pantry was one of the things that attracted me to this house.  It is functional and also not to bad looking?  It has Louvre doors and the white-washed finish reminds me of a beach house.

Pantry

Pantry

That is on the outside.

* Inside looms temptation of all kinds.  Foods, healthy and not-so-healthy.  After the bathroom, this might be the most visited room in the house!

Also, its a bit untidy.

Untidy shelves

Untidy shelves

I have tried numerous times to organise it by categorising, but for some reason it always gets messy!

Time to tackle this food-mountain!

I went to my local fruit and vegetable store and collected some tomato crates for FREE! I love these, they are so handy and sturdy!  Grab some paint and coat only the front panel of the box.  Thus you save time and paint.  This also makes it easy if you want to change colour at a later stage.

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Leave it in the sun to dry.

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While it is drying, take some small paper doilies.  Mine was a little to big so I cut out the middle section.  Then I joined the two halves using Sellotape.

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I wanted to create a blackboard effect so I used matte cardboard and used a white marker to make labels. ¬†Use glue to attach the “labels” to the painted surface.

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It will dry clear.  I ran out of Modge Podge otherwise I would have used the decoupage technique.

After this is dry…you can start organising your shelves!

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The shelf structure works on a bracket system, thus preventing me from putting all the crates side-by-side.  This is an on-going project but I am extremely pleased with the result.

It cost me nothing but about 90 minutes of my time!  Do you have any pictures of your organised pantry?  Please send!

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DIY: No more Joe Soap

Soap ~ {A cleansing agent made from the salts of vegetable or animal fats}

Trying things for the first time is exciting.  You give your mind and body the opportunity to venture where they haven’t been before.

I love experimenting and sometimes I get ideas that have never been tried before.  This time around I tried reusing soap for the first time.

Inspired by candy sweets, I decided to make a pair of costume earrings.

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Step 1:

Gather all your small pieces of leftover soap bars.  Luckily I always buy the same colour soap for health reasons.

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Step 2

Get cookie cutters preferably in small dainty shapes.

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Step 3

To soften the soap, dip in hot water.  Also dip the desired cutter to make the cut easier.

Carefully press the cutter on the bar and steadily press out the shape.

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Step 4

While the soap is still wet, draw another heart on the surface to give it some detail.

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Step 4

Use a glue-gun or quick-setting glue to paste an earring finding to the back.  Seal it with a gloss sealer.  You can make all kinds of shapes and colours.  Experiment and enjoy your new, affordable adornment!   You’re no regular Joe Soap with these little babies!

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Creative genius: Multi-functional wire basket

I love supporting local artists and I had to share this genius hand-made product I bought last week from a street vendor.

By just pulling the basket in different directions and shapes, you can create various forms for function.  This is amazing, check this out:

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Flower vase

Egg basket

Egg basket

Fruit basket

Fruit basket

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Pot trivet

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Cake stand

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Wall art

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Light fixture

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Different shape light fixture

This street vendor, called Gerald, made this basket himself and I think it is pure genius. ¬†It is so easy to play around with. ¬†And I’m ashamed to say he only charged me R50.00 (just under $6).

Proud to be South African!

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Clever decorating tricks: Creating areas of interest

Every home should inspire.  After all it is where we wake up in the morning, and recline to at night.

A house becomes a home once you start living in it.  Your house can either fill you with joy or make you depressed.  Bare walls and empty rooms can cast down your demeanor, whereas cheerful, decorated rooms can fill your spirit with peace and joy!

Walking through your house should make you feel happy!

Easy ways to create a happy room is to paint the walls and put up pictures.  Also put personal memorabilia on display and create little reading nooks.

Below are some inspirational pictures of interesting areas created by home-owners.

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Now, creating these corners does not have to cost a fortune.  A little imagination and creativity goes a long way.

Here are examples of how I created interesting, inexpensive little corners in my home.

Kitchen wall

Kitchen wall

Read DIY post here.

Reception room and leading to dining area

Reception room and leading to dining area

Read about how to make the funky dining table.

Travel

Travel

Read DIY post for this cool lampshade:

Reading nook in lounge area

Reading nook in lounge area

Read DIY post for this funky lampshade:

Wall of hearts

Wall of hearts

There you go.  Prove that it style does not have to cost you a lot!  Send me some of your inspirational areas in your home!

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Photographer in training

Photographer ~ {lensman, artist, creative}

My eldest daughter 6 years old. ¬†She is a typical girl her age who just wants to be like her mom. She is always talking about being an artist or Interior Decorator like me. ¬†It’s amazing how close she watches me and what I do.

I was pleasantly surprised (and very proud) when I browsed through my iPad’s albums to find these pics:

She made these forms using pipe-cleaners

She made these shapes using pipe-cleaners

In true fashion, she stood back and took a look at her handy work.

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She lately has a fad for snails.

She made a house for the snails the day before not knowing they would escape and some of them got injured while trying to run.

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Enjoying the afternoon sun over Jozi.

I love this picture.  It is very true in how I see lazy afternoons in the City of Gold.

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