Sunday, 20 April 2014

Upcycle Projects 2: Chalkboard

You'd think you'd be spared the copious amounts of packaging that simple purchases always bring when a larger purchase is involved.  On the contrary; it seems to come festooned with even more!

The arrival of our last couch was accompanied by two large pieces of ply and a van full of cardboard from ours and other deliveries.  Although the delivery drivers were more than happy to take it all away, pondering its future potential meant that we insisted on filling our garage with even more clutter that would one day find its second life.

After this episode, our garage was evolving ever faster into that thing that every garage is: a reverse black hole. Everything that went in seemed to loom larger on travelling through the wormhole that is the roller door.  The cardboard packaging was threatening to engulf one side of the garage, bolstered by none other than our beguiling ply boards.  Something had to be done.

The idea had struck me long before, and upon a reluctant excursion to the big green warehouse we remembered to buy what would make the idea reality: a paintbrush and some chalkboard paint.

An undercoat and two topcoats later on a sunny weekend, and the project was complete.  Being the garage, a frame wasn't really necessary to improve the aesthetics but may well be added later if the wormhole should produce some suitable timber offcuts.  Hanging was easy too as it slots in nicely behind the steel.

The ultimate garden planner

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Upcycle Projects 1: Salvaged Mirror

The 'mother-in-law,' as she refers to herself, brought down a mirror one visit that had been salvaged from someone's renovations and somehow wound itself into her garage.  She has a knack for salvaging having grown up with very little spare.  Her thrift magnet is set to super-strong and has so far attracted items such as this mirror, our hand-me-down ride-on lawn mower, spinning wheel and an array of garden tools which were otherwise destined for the dump. The mirror was initially intended for the bathroom at our old place but never hung itself; instead it sat in the garage waiting for a brighter calling.

One day, after staring at the ugly plain rear wall of the garage one too many times, eyes mesmerised into a trance by the repetitive corrugations, I decided a feature of some sort was needed to distract me from it.  The only other option was to carry a large stick with which to beat my head to break the trance.  Figuring I might need the brain cells at a later date I opted for the visual distraction technique. Open curtains (not skull) for stage entrance: Salvaged Mirror.  

We hung the mirror from a board and secured it to the wall so it wouldn't bash around in the wind and make one final grand finale by shattering into a thousand pieces on the ground.  The angle was adjusted so that when you stand in the garden up the slope you can't see yourself - just a reflection of the garden below.  The view is still a little boring but should improve as the garden grows and blooms.

Also in the pipeline is to grow a feature around the mirror to improve the aesthetics and perhaps add a water feature at the bottom provided the reflected light doesn't play too much havoc.  For now it's certainly still better than staring at a plain old boring steel wall.