Princess Peg Pin Ups

The latest creation – Princess Peg Pin Ups – with Christmas packaging.

Aren’t they just gorgeous?

Princess Peg Pin Ups Princess Peg Pin Ups

Princess Peg Pin Ups

Homemade peg pin ups – perfect for pinning reminders, photos or the children’s artwork to the fridge. Or brighten the whiteboard at work.

These are wood clothespins (the old fashioned pegs we used in my mother’s day, before the proliferation of plastic pegs), hand painted (sanded and given a second coat), and decorated. Some of the pegs are dyed instead of painted. I superglue strong magnets to the back of each of the pegs for extra holding power.

Feeling crafty

Despite my harrowing adventures with DIY laundry tables and upcycling cabinet doors (I love both finished products), I have continued my misadventures into DIY. Only I have tackled the world that is craft.

And came up with homemade peg pin ups – perfect for pinning reminders, photos or the children’s artwork to the fridge. Or brighten the whiteboard at work.

These are wood clothespins (the old fashioned pegs we used in my mother’s day, before the proliferation of plastic pegs), hand painted (sanded and given a second coat), and decorated. Some of the pegs are dyed instead of painted. I superglue strong magnets to the back of each of the pegs.

A few people foolishly encouraged me and I have even sold a few. I thought at first people were just being nice, but then people who had seen what their friend had just bought would come up to me and ask for the same. I have sold out of my supplies for the imaginatively titled Choo Choo Train Peg Pin Ups.

Choo Choo Train Peg Pin Ups

And here are some camouflaged caterpillars …


A hand made christmas

Crafty ideas for christmas gift giving

First of all, make yourself comfortable with your craft items around you.

Pick out suitable papers, last year’s cards, printables off the www.

Raspberry champers optional!

Handmade cards turned into handmade christmas frames.

Framed frames – top row are purchased local handmade christmas cards. Bottom row include a few more plus my favourite Merry and Bright frame. Middle row are a selection of the framed christmas prints.

These were given to co-workers as christmas gifts.

Frame your christmas sentiments


61 Hours by Lee Child review on goodreads

Check out my profile at goodreads – an online social networking for bookworms.

The latest review is for 61 Hours by Lee Child.

61 Hours (Jack Reacher, #14)61 Hours by Lee Child

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

61 Hours was my introduction to Reacher. And what an introduction.

Reacher is a loner, a former military police officer highly trained in offence, defense and weaponry. He travels throughout the States as he has spent his former life travelling the world but does not know his own country. It seems that each town he walks into has trouble afoot. And who best – with his tortured moral code – to tackle the trouble head on?

Lee Child has honed his tight thriller writing and character development that is sadly lacking in the 2nd and 3rd Reacher novels I’m trying to get past halfway through. The first in the series Killing Floor has the best first paragraph / first chapter I have come across in a thriller. He put a lot of work into it – certainly wanted the manuscript bought and published. Give me a later novel from the series and I’m hooked. Cancel all social engagements – I’m with Reacher til the last page is turned.

A memorable illustration of Reacher’s fast reflexes – He tells of an Army psychological study of reactions to fear in children when Reacher was six years old. This has stuck in my mind – possibly because of a fascination with the studies that were conducted back in the 50s, 60s and 70s before they were banned (think Pavlov’s studies done on children, the jail study, the electric shock experiment).

A friend tracks how many times Reacher showers / changes his tshirt through the novels. It’s a compelling occupation, only I get too caught up in the story to properly remember the (rather low) numbers. But I shall leave this with you in case you don’t get so caught up.

Cheers and happy reading.

View all my reviews

Repurposed vintage grass catchers as plant containers

Not sure how well the photo will show up these gorgeous vintage metal push mower grass catchers. These belong to an age when things were built to last. So much so, my budget (read second-hand) brand name drill found it difficult to punch holes for water drainage. Hence only one is planted up so far with Popcorn Petunias (a plant name that lives up to its hype).

Repurposed plant containers from grass catchers

The set of three (above) I picked up along the roadside when the hard rubbish collection was on. The below Super 12! grass catcher came from the rubbish tip shop and had to be purchased with its push mower. But I love both items and use the mower as a garden deco item. Some people restore these but I’m happy with my more modern mower.

Super 12! Grass catcher repurposed as a plant container!

Lone nasturtium flower amongst the petunias

Stand is from the rubbish tip shop, container is an old plastic bucket, v cheap watering can from big name hardware store, and a few garden deco items!

DIY laundry table – a learning experience for a newbie!

My recent DIY project got me motivated to try more daring things. I should have known but I went ahead anyway.

My new front loader washing machine was delivered and, as I expected, there wasn’t room to sit the machines side by side, like I had with the last washer. Yet the dryer sitting on top of the washer looked completely out of proportion.

I also had a bigger problem. Henry the cat always eats his dinner on top of the dryer. If I put his food somewhere else he just sits on top of the dryer looking at me askance.

Something had to be done.

After triple checking the measurements (the first two checks resulted in different outcomes) I headed to the local hardware store. I love this store and I prefer to shop locally, but I don’t think many females walk into the timber section. The first guy I spoke to had the typical Australian male response – he looked around to see if there was somewhere else he could be. When I asked if they would cut the wood to size he said the cutter didn’t cut very straight. Whether he meant the machine or the person using it, I’m not sure. He then put me onto another person who had better communication (and sales) skills.

I reckon the new guy worked me out pretty quick as a DIY enthusiast – lots of enthusiasm, not much knowledge or skill.  Anyway, he was great. He cut the table legs to size (yes, they are straight) and gave me a piece of MDF for free (it was used as packing material – a bit like reusing pallets, I guess). The table items including brackets came to less than $30. My hardware store bill though was over $100. How does this happen? You add in a can of paint, this and that, and next minute you are wishing you have shares in the hardware store business.

I painted the items first. As I said, lots of enthusiasm. MDF takes a lot of paint. I used a primer, followed by two coats.

Yes this is on a lean. Or at least the concrete is on a lean. The sawhorses were freebies - picked up when the hard rubbish collection was recently held here.

I predrilled screw holes and drilled the brackets attaching the legs and table top.

Table was wonky.

Lady at work gave me a few ideas how to fix it. Thank you Eva.

Back to the hardware store Saturday after hair appointment. Still lots of enthusiasm.

I also had a brainwave. How about adding a silver trim to the table top edge to match the silver trim of the whitegoods and stainless steel of the laundry wash basin? Ooh. Style!

A final coat of white semi-gloss (it looks spiffy white and clean) was followed by masking the table top ledge and painting the edge using a sponge roller. So easy. I just wish I added a few more coats of the silver to deepen the shade but I still have that opportunity if I so wish.

How it turned out …

Okay. Not the best, but it does its job. And I couldn’t have bought something to suit for any $.

Yes, it holds the dryer, a full dryer load in action, and the cat’s dish (slightly smaller than the pictured laundry basket) and the 6.6kg cat.

I learnt heaps and know what I would do different next time so a worthwhile experience.
Close up of the exceedingly complicated washer electronics. Still haven’t worked out what some of the symbols mean. Yes I have read the booklet.

I’ll try to add a photo of the table in use as was intended – a shelf for the cat’s meals. Henry the cat eats for the Antarctic so shouldn’t be too difficult to catch that on digital film.

The latest project – upcycling a cabinet door into a frame – part two

Hi. Back with an update on the project. Remember I was repurposing an old cabinet door into a frame.

It started with this ...

Last weekend I sanded down the door and tried a spray on primer.

The “primed” item looked dreadful. I can’t show you a photo. Too embarrassed. I made such a shocking mess I spent time searching the internet and asking advice.

What not to do with spray painting (all kinds for that matter):

  • Don’t go heavy, keep it to a light coat
  • Don’t spray paint on a windy day
  • Don’t mow the lawn and leave grass clippings to be blown about and get stuck to newly painted item!

Taking on board some good advice, I decided that I would get an electric sander and see if that would help. The type I got has an extra drop down “mini” sander attachment for small detail work.  The thing I find strange is the sander looks sort of like an iron. I know how to use one of those.

I then found at the hardware store a couple of marked down sample pots of mis-mixed paints in colours I like. And my sister-in-law mentioned using a foam roller (the craft size that comes with its own tray). Brilliant suggestion Rach.

So this weekend the project continued with a sanding down and a clean up with a damp rag to pick up the dust the sander hadn’t collected in its little dust collector container.

The paint rolled on beautifully with the mini foam roller. So easy. I gotta say this is the way to go. No mess like with the spray paint. And the fumes weren’t potentially lethal. I know I will use the spray paint again, particularly with finicky items, but this will be my preferred style from now on.

The first coat using a foam paint roller

I  liked the accidental effect of the white trim and decided to leave as is.

Up early Sunday morning for the second coat – so quick and easy – then spent the day with friends visiting the art: market and lunching in a wonderfully upcycled historical building on the wharf. Home again to finish the project.

I chose a vintage fruit crate label as the item to be “framed” by the “cabinet door”, via decoupage.

It dries clear

Ignore the air bubbles (I’m trying to).

The finished project. Not too bad for first effort. I like it.

The latest project – upcycling a cabinet door into a frame – part one

My latest project suits my vintage decorating style which a friend once described as a cross between shabby chic and french provincial. I like to call it Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.

Yesterday – vintage

Today – technology

Tomorrow – trend setting.

Okay, maybe not so much the latter but I’ve been practising the current diy trend of reusing and upcyling for years, from the coffee table made out of a door back in the 80s to my most recent fun finds of turning a vintage radiogram cabinet into a bar. That is, if I get round to that project. My lack of woodwork experience has lead to me trying this simple project first before I work my way up to restoration and french polishing.

So here it is my first project item – amongst more of my vintage finds –

Small cabinet door

So many items I have at my house have not been purchased new. Many people move to Tassie, buy a house load of brand new furniture and then move interstate in six months, not wanting to pay the quite substantial removalist cost.

Given this is a test project, I haven’t yet worked out what I will frame within the cabinet door frame. I thought the butterfly print (actually a card) would suit, but the dimensions are not right for it. Though this may look different after I paint the door.

Trying to choose what to frame ...

Some prep work.

Now, the painting. There will be a part two to this project write up. It may be a how-not-to diy project post. We’ll see.

Crafty greens

Spring weather always brings on a craving for salads for me. So I have been out
in the garden toiling away. But my problem with growing fresh and tasty veg and
salad greens is that I tend to plant and forget.

So I took on the advice from my stash of gardening mags and am growing them close to the door. [The veg that is, not the magazines, though they tend to grow better than anything I plant.] Easy access and easy to remember to water them when I leave the house and return. The sunny front porch provided an excellent heat source to kick start the potatoes and zucchini, which I planted way too early but they are thriving as you can see.

Zucchini in a hanging growbag

Purple Gem and Nicola potatoes in growbags on the porch

The zucchini is in an upside down hanging growbag. I added nasturtiums to attract bees to pollinate the flowers. I think I overplanted the potato sacks but we’ll see closer to Christmas. One lot grew faster than the other so hopefully I’ll have a staggered supply of high antioxidant purple gems and yummy Nicola taters.

I have the shallow rooted salad greens planted in small tubs with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage. My plan is to have a series of tubs of greens on the go,
resowing seed every few weeks. That then presented me with a dilemma. How to
keep track of which greens were which?

So here we have the Mesclun mix of lettuce.

Recycling your greens

Easy as. The idea came from a recycling site on the web (I’ll try to find it again to give credit). The site had people drilling holes in wine corks, but I found I could simply push a nail in easily and then twist the skewer through to where it sat stable.

I can simply write labels directly on the white containers I have. Can’t do that yet though as I can’t remember which one had the rocket seeds and which has the Drunken Woman lettuce. Yes, that is a name of lettuce variety from The Lost Seed, and not the reason for not remembering which one is planted with which.

Drunken Woman Lettuce. Or is it Rocket?

I’m having similar problems – as in identifying which pot has which plant – with the mini pumpkin, yellow squash, and the remaining zucchini seedlings. The leaves look exactly the same to me. Can anyone tell me how to identify them? Or I can wait and be surprised.

In future I will be recycling more champagne corks and the like as labels
when I plant, not after. Old CDs  reportedly make good labels too. I wonder if they will detract birds too?

Do you have any tips to share?

Having fun with iphone photography apps

How much fun can it be?


A whole new jumble of fun has come my way thanks to iPhone photography apps. These marvels have reignited my love of photography. The apps allow a novice like me to play creatively without a darkroom or expensive software.

Instagram provides more still – a community. Pop on over and say hi – my Instagram ID is rivolipalace.

Here are a few of the resulting photos I have inflicted on the Instagram community.

I list the apps I have used in these photos at the end. Some photos use more than one app.


PS Express