Bits and Bobs, Unfinished Projects

The past few months have been rather quiet, with regard to working on anything business or craft wise. I can’t really say the same for other aspects of my life! Work has been busy (which is good, considering the Newcastle economy is a bit crap), Pat is off to do his training until September-ish, and I’ve been staying away for work quite a bit.

But anyways! Enough excuses. After a few weekends spent catching up on doing household tasks that I’ve been neglecting (say, a rotting pile of wood/banana leaves/weeds that have been piled onto the driveway for a few months and were starting to smell), I’ve gotten the proper mind-set to actually accomplish things. Little things, but things none the less.

Sometimes we have to realise those little things add up and eventually snow ball into something great. I’m still at the stage of watching the snow accumulate on the ground (a rather slow and agonising process let me tell you), but I’ve managed to finish off two relatively small projects that I’ve managed to drag across the pond and in through many many house moves before actually spending the 30 minutes to finish them.

small accomplishments, unfinished projects, plushie, monster, DIY, crafting, felt, sewing
While organizing some bits and bobs from my stash I found a plastic baggie containing two half finished projects… a plush doggie and a wee square monster! No time like the future to finish them… Small accomplishments.
crafting, sewing, DIY, plushie, monster, felt
Basically all I had to do for this guy was finish sewing on the eyes and sew him all up! Isn’t that fabric amazing? I bought it during the poor high school years. Yeah, most people were saving their part time job money to buy booze or food, and I was splurging on fabric.
dog, plushie, felt, stuffed, craft, DIY, sewing
The dog took a bit more time, but really, after everything is planned and cut, it doesn’t take that much time to sew everything together. Here he is all stitched up, waiting to be stuffed like a family lined up a Ryans buffet.
unfinished projects, plushies, felt, crafting, DIY, sewing
Well, here it is, a whole half an hour worth of work to finish some wee projects that I’ve been carting around for a few years now.

Saturday Project: Before and After Dumpster Find Mannequin

mannequin, dumpster dive, repurpose, DIY, recycling, spray paint
Dumpster dive mannequin find before and after spray paint

I will go on and admit my secret shame: I dumpster dive. Not as much as I did back in the States, but if I see something interesting in the trash I have no shame picking it up. Australians also seem very good at putting their “nice trash” outside the dumpster… Council Clean Up Day, anyone!?

When I lived in downtown Newcastle the back entrance to my place was an alleyway where all the shops would dump their trash and it would sit for weeks before they got it emptied. Awesome for when my partner wanted to make seating for the veranda out of palettes, not so cool when it piled up and you couldn’t open the gate.

But I digress. One day I found this little gem shoved awkwardly in the side of the dumpster, probably by the guys who ran a t-shirt printing business at the end of the alley.

I carried it back up to the apartment much to the shock and horror of my partner.

Something needed to be done with it. I had all of these lofty ideas to paint it, put all sorts of designs on it, decupouge, cover in fabric or duct tape… None of this ever happened. I hauled it from one house to the other, thinking it would eventually go in the bin again.

I got some kick up the ass when I was home for a weekend and figured the very least I could do was spray paint it. One trip to Bunnings and $7 lighter, I had a can of blue spray paint.

I went to town on this thing. The partner tried to give me a few pointers (which I promptly ignored, even though he is amazing at anything DIY), and in about an hour it was done.

One thing I will recommend: clean off any marker before starting! I gave the mannequin a good wash but couldn’t get off the permanent market. I should have dissolved it with something to get it off, because as I was spraying the marker would dissolve from the paint. I wound up just giving it a first coat and letting it dry for a few hours but I could have saved myself some time and some of the nightmarish imagery.

Saturday Project: Dresser Before and (somewhat) After

dresser, furniture, DIY, before and after, furniture sanding
Before and after of my free (thanks Sally!) wood dresser

Sanded the hideous varnish off of this dresser a mate gave me, and probably got cancer in the process from breathing in the varnish dust.

After sanding everything (stopping frequently to blow the varnish dust out of my nose and think about my life choices), I added a coat of Danish oil to seal and protect the wood. Just waiting on some hardware! I went the way of the EBay for some “cup” pulls, rather than a local distributor, because $2 for a pull was a bit more economical than $25 each pull for the EXACT SAME THING (I kid you not).

Seriously, Australia. Not cool.