Recycle repurpose relove and rejoice

Hi All

I took the first three words in the title of today’s post from an amazing blog dedicated to sharing us all how to shmick up our inner and outer living spaces with recycled ‘stuff’. The rejoice bit is all my own. I love finding uses for things that you might otherwise throw away. I like to save money.I hate wasting things. I am not a hoarder but I like to use things to make other things that I want more. Does that make sense? If I can’t use it, I will give it away and let someone else have it. In saying that…does anyone out there want a couple of striped canvas movable awnings to put on their windows? We have 2 sitting here that would be perfect for a holiday house or shack. Anyone wants them…they are yours. I think that the universe revolves around giving. I think you get what you give and if you give freely, the universe will give right back to you. I am not saying that you will win lotto if you give a homeless person $2 in his coffee cup (make sure that it’s empty and he is actually asking you for money…they get a bit shirty when you toss coins in their java if they haven’t finished with it!) I am saying that is how we are supposed to live. Take what you need and share out what you don’t. If you clutch things close to you…you tend to lose them. If you give of yourself freely, it tends to come back to you in other ways. That’s enough philosophy for today. I love finding out how to make things myself. I hate spending money on anything if I don’t have to and with the price of just about everything rising exponentially, we all have to think about making do and learning to live with less. I love finding a bargain. I love hunting out how to make something myself. I just love thrift and think that op shops are heaven on earth. I especially love it when I find a blog or website that shows me how to do things in a most innovative way. Here are some of my current favourites…

This first one I only found yesterday when I was looking for interesting things to do with wooden pallets. It’s full to the brim of amazing ideas of what to use your old discarded ‘stuff’ for and should you happen upon something ‘interesting’ that you have no real use for…look a bit deeper, it might just be this year’s designer table, or chair or even office furniture.

Here’s one of my favourite sites. It’s a positive wealth of information about all sorts of D.I.Y. ‘stuff’. If you little geeklet needs some mental prompting (if that happens question their genetics…true geeklets don’t get bored…just dangerous. I know…I had 3 of them) sit down in front of this site and find something as interesting as converting a common or garden variety of recorder (the bane of all music teachers) into an electric flute! No kidding…it IS possible to make it sound worse!

This site has all sorts of amazing uses for waste products. I particularly loved the Buddhist temple made entirely of beer bottles…isn’t that an oxymoron? Anyway, here’s an amazing park to take your geeklets if you just so happen to live in Wisconsin. Take a look at what this man has made out of scrap metal…

The most awesome thing that I found out by going to this site is that they can actually convert babies used disposable nappies into biodiesel. It’s apparently a closed system but I still wouldn’t want to be living next door to THAT factory…
Here’s the site to check out everything else. Very creative uses of what would otherwise be landfill.

I am not a snobby magpie. I will hunt down and search out anything that interests me and often start with one subject and end up at the end of a nights hunting on a completely different subject. I just love to learn things. In saying that I much prefer creative and aesthetically pleasing uses that will fill a need rather than making something for ‘something’s’ sake. By that, I mean I am all for making bottle walls, compost and crushing egg shells in my compost but I can’t for the life of me see a good reason to knit toilet roll dollies using old toilet rolls…if you head off to lots of craft sites you could forgive yourself for getting excited at the promise of being able to reuse and recycle all sorts of common household waste…thats right up to the point where you actually SEE what the ‘amazing uses for toilet rolls’ actually are…get creative people. I love the hats out of beer cans. I love the sandals out of old tyres and knitted supermarket bags made into everything from hats to tote bags. I love bottle walls (LOVE bottle walls :o) but all of that “other stuff” that is made to cram our poor local markets making it hard to find anything of worth in between the nana stalls laden with overpriced arts and crafts is a waste of time and energy. Much like people starting websites and shops because THEY want to sell something. Too bad if no-one wants it. We have all seen things advertised on ebay that you would throw out but someone out there thinks that they can make a dollar out of it…

Steve’s mum lives in Liverpool and they get some amazing art ‘installations’ including the hundreds of statues of men in various depths in the water. We actually visited Liverpool when this installation had just been built. Here is some Art (this one deserves a capital “A”) that some amazingly creative minds have built. first a robotic elephant…

And then…(wait for it…this one DESERVES a drum roll…)


Here’s the blurb that goes with this feat of total amazingness (I don’t care if thats ‘proper English’ it deserves a new word especially for this)

“Commuters arriving at Liverpool’s Lime Street station were greeted by a 50ft (15m) high mechanical spider clinging to a nearby redundant office block. It has been built by French company La Machine, which in 2006brought the streets of London to a standstill with the Sultan’s Elephant. The spider is believed to be “waking up” on Friday. It will descend from its current position on the side of Concourse House on Thursday to be moved to the city’s new arena, before coming to life on Friday. The creature will then begin exploring the city later that evening.”

Check out this blog for more about the build up to this artistic event

You need a bit of perspective on just how BIG this spider actually was…

Here you can see it menacing the population of Liverpool. I got this photo from this website…

You then need to see the people who get this thing to ‘go’

Here’s where I got this photo you get some more amazing photos of this group of robotics engineers actually sitting underneath the standing spider on the site

And here is the spider actually walking down Lime Street. Steve’s mum said that it was awesome to see. You would think that perhaps the people in this photo could have been cajoled into looking a teensy bit scared? Nope…these Liverpudlians have seen it all!

I was reading the latest copy of Feast magazine (SBS’s foodie mag) and I need to say one thing to the people that compile the recipes and subject lines to enlighten we mere drooling hoards out in colonies. I was hastily adding up what I did and didn’t have to buy to make the delicious biscuits that were beckoning me from the pages when I got to the section on Christmas traditions and recipes to accompany them. Lots of multicultural lovely things to make a food deprived woman dribble when I got to the Aussie section. It is titled “The colonial kitchen” and it is all downhill from there. If ANYONE in that office thinks that a sane modern day Aussie is going to cook Barrier Goose (a stuffed shoulder of mutton) or billy-can bun (a damper with sultana’s in it) all washed down with a nice cup of uber strong black billy can tea for their Christmas lunch they have multicultural rocks in their heads! Perhaps it’s a bit of psychological mumbo-jumbo to make us recoil at our colonial past. Perhaps they actually think (in their obviously deluded minds) that someone might actually think that this would be something amazing to serve for Christmas lunch. Nope. You’re mad! Maybe it’s just to make everything else look 50 times better than what we poor Aussies have to offer. These were foods of deprivation and making do NOT celebratory dishes. There’s taking pride in your heritage and there’s rose coloured glasses and this is most definitely a case of the latter.

I have just been hunting out some information regarding Antonio Gaudi. As someone who can appreciate the beauty of creativity with the best of them but who often finds the act of creativity somewhat challenging, I have the most utmost respect and admiration for people with creative vision and especially those who decide to create things that might otherwise be completely at odds with their peers but that live on to give every generation after a sense of wonderment. Antonio Gaudi was one such visionary and I am just waiting on some permission from a website to show you some fantastic photographs of some of his work. What an amazing architect! I hold him in the same stead as Mauritis Cornelis Escher whose amazing tessellations strike a chord with my need for order out of chaos. “Things are not quite as they seem” is most probably the most apt statement when coupled with what I find impressive and admirable about architecture and art in general. I don’t tend to stick with one artist or genre… I just likes what I likes. The same goes for music. I am all over the place but there is a common theme of colour, curves and creative use of the materials used that holds everything thematically together. I love art deco and the rounded buildings and curved windows. I KNOW that they cost a veritable fortune and are a pain in the eye for all of the poor builders out there that had to make them but I am talking about the ‘look’ here. Its the overall presence of these buildings and the era in general. Big, simple lines and oppulent. I remember watching a program on television called “Around the world in 80 Garden’s” I loved the subject matter but Monty Don is NOT my idea of a good host. He bores me to tears with his pretentious need to keep putting his take on whatever he is exploring. Who cares whether you like it or not Monty…that’s up to us to make up our own minds. You are just there to guide us through these amazing gardens, most of which I never knew existed. I was especially taken with 1 garden in the jungles in Mexico.  Englishman Edward James created Las Pozas in Xilitla. No idea how to pronounce that by the way…I sat there fascinated by the amazingly spacey collection of concrete intertwined in the jungle. They don’t call these things follies for nothing.   80 acres (over 32 hectares) of natural waterfalls and pools interlaced with towering Surrealist sculptures in concrete. It almost makes me want to give up this landscape design lark before I even start! Life is too short for bad wine so hopefully my garden design won’t be cleanskins…

I am collecting bottles. Steve is very happy about this as he likes to drink what comes out of bottles. The problem is that I need a whole LOT of bottles. I have quite a few blue ones, lots of brown and clear ones and now I am after some green or other colours. I am going to make a wall out of bottles. I think I might make it next to where we are going to make our wood fired pizza oven. Then again I might not…I just know that I want to build a wall of bottles. Back in Albany Western Australia Steve and I met a man who had built an entire wall of his mud brick house out of bottles. No doubt he liked what came in them as well, but the resulting wall was amazing. It filtered in the light and gave an almost stained glass look to the entrance of his home. Perhaps I will make Effel Doocark a stained glass brood house? At the moment she is having her first night out of doors with the top of Earl’s dog crate over her all weighted down with a rock to stop her from being scoffed in the night. We can’t afford her step sibling the same degree of security because we can’t find her. I take that as being a good sign as if we can’t find her (and lord knows we have tried!) she must be pretty well hidden. Hopefully she will emerge in about 15 days with tiny chicks behind her as we are going to have to start beating the bushes to chase her out otherwise. Perhaps Pingu, who is now a most sophisticated chook, who prefers expensive bird seed to her regular chow, might appreciate a nice bottle wall? It’s not only the chooks around here that are trying to flood the property with progeny, our Java finches Bernard and Manny (yeh…we guessed Manny quite wrong) Have 3 eggs on the go. They have often attempted to reproduce and the lead up to this reproduction usually involves an intricate hopping dance which is quite hilarious to watch. Up until now they have had very little success. Mainly because they didn’t have a nesting box. Steve felt sorry for them and decided that he would make them a nesting box. He made them out of our “Stop the Pulp Mill” signs and they instantly decided to make a lovely nest out of hay and shredded newspaper and hop up and down a bit and lay 3 eggs. Manny actually laid 4 eggs but decided that one was substandard and tossed it out of the nesting box.  I will let you know if we end up with little java finches. They are most prolific apparently and easy to raise as well. We haven’t seen any more Java finches around ever since we got ours. I think that they might have been someone getting out of breeding that put them into the pet shops. They are lovely birds.

I was just reading my free e-book from Annie over at The Micro Gardener. I am constantly amazed at how generous people are with their information. I know that Annie, like me, loves to research things and she is sharing with us all the benefits of her hard grafted knowledge. I can’t wait to get stuck into the garden armed with the information that I am gleaning from Annie’s site. One day my knee will settle down. One day Earl will stop trying to topple me over by pushing me on the back of my dicky knee. He seems to know that if he shoves me something amusing is going to happen. I am unable to walk the dogs at the moment because I simply can’t keep myself upright at the same time as being maneuvered all over the place by an excited dog. The problem is, the longer that I take to walk the dogs, the less used to them wrangling me about I will become. It’s a sort of catch 22 situation on steroids. At least the garden won’t wrangle me. Apart from the hilly terrain…and the wildlife that shoots out all over the place…and Earl…and the slippery slopes…and the rocks…sigh…

Just a quick aside here before I go. I have been trying to be a ‘good girl’ and list the websites that I have been getting pictures and information from. I realise that it takes time to compile these things and am trying to give credit where it is due. This said…Wordpress seems hell bent on getting my ass sued! I seem to be spending more time scanning my posts for missing blog and website addresses that float off into the ethernet never to be seen again than I do actually posting…get your act together WordPress…my peeps NEED their information!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mum
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 12:58:44

    Hi Pen, I am having trouble sending an email to Anne. She wanted a few photo’s, so last night I send three, then when I tried sending the rest they wouldn’t go, no matter what. All I got was an error report saying can’t send. I finished up in bed & have just been trying again with the same result, so have contacted her why. I remember that elephant & spider in a different format in Liverpool too. SCARY ! The colourd glass bottles try making a wall to another hothouse with some, they’d look great. Dot them around the wall too. I do hope Bernard & Manny bring out babies love, can you imaging the size of them ? Like you, I find Monty Don a bit too much, he annoys me ! He will be coming on with gardens of Italy next! I hope Effel Doocark made it through the night intact! She’ll sit like glue now, till she brings out babies. I also hope the missing mother hen does come home wth her brood. She is more than likely somewhere really close hiding out, as is often the case. I can see Big Yin really puffing the chest out now!


    • narf77
      Nov 17, 2011 @ 13:27:49

      We have just spent most of the day moving all of the plants that were outside the gate and the plant stands all the way over to the other side of the compound. We are knackered! Steve is whipper snipping a bit outside to make it look nicer as the grass is pretty overgrown. I am not sure why you couldn’t send pictures. It might be because your photo’s are pretty big and Anne’s internet service might not allow them through. We think we know where that other chook is hiding. She has made herself a nest deep in the coprosma and there are 2 hen shaped holes on either side. Effel doocark is watching everyone with her beady eyes and puffing up to twice her size now she has eggs. She won’t leave them and is very determined so hopefully we will get some ‘interesting’ babies from her. I am off to rest my knee.


  2. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Apr 16, 2013 @ 22:42:28

    This is very inspiring, and reminds me to get with it on several projects that have been floating around in my mind.


    • narf77
      Apr 17, 2013 @ 04:33:55

      I have people that inspire me online as well so I like to pass the inspiration on 🙂 It’s like ripples on a pond isn’t it? 🙂


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