Friday, October 22, 2010

My New Coffee Table

I found this small round table a few weeks ago in front of my own door. Just perfect to use as a new coffee table, since so far I had to make do with a very tiny end table (equally curb found).

Though it’s not in perfect condition a paint job will make it look good enough for me. There are paint stains on it which I’ve hidden under my coasters for the picture. If you like those there’s still a set for sale in my shop.

I love the bottom board. Great for putting mess out of the way.

Here are the repairs done by a previous owner. Don’t you just love that?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A Late Fifties Mirror Set

I found this mirror set about a year ago at only fifty yards from my apartment, at the corner of our block. I date it late fifties early sixties. The shape of the triptych mirror panels is still quite romantic, but the formica covered tablet with its plastic gold coloured lining definitely taste early modernism. Then the back support of the mirrors and the mini compartment below are solid wood. Only the knob of the flap is modern again. It’s a wonderful mixture of two style ages and I did not have to ask myself twice if I wanted to take this piece home!

What it was designed for is I think a mini dressing table for a tiny bedroom (so common still these days in my town, Amsterdam) or a as a hallway piece for a quick check up of the face and hair. The tiny compartment could have held a comb and brush, powder box and lipstick placed on the tablet. Which would have been handy to lay a pair of gloves on as wall.

I would have loved to keep it but the problem is I have a fairly roomy bathroom with a wash stand and a wide mirror with a tablet over it. And in my bedroom I already have a pretty large circle shaped triptych mirror. Then my hallway is so narrow I feared my tall BF or visitors would have bumped into the set constantly. So…

After having used the piece to photograph my felted make-up bowls on I decided to take it to the craft fairs as a display. Threatening to get sold of course. Not the first time, but that was in June when sales were low anyway. But last Sunday within a few hours one lady already inquired if it was for sale. She told me it was for a baby bedroom, an idea I didn’t like too much so I held her off saying she could pick it up at the end of the day. I didn’t really expect her back so when later a young woman was totally in love with the mirror I sold it to her immediately at the same price I had asked the first lady, 15 Euros. With the fading silver, hang-up hooks removed and rusty hinges I thought that was a fair price for a still quite unique piece. Not bad for rescued trash, isn’t it?

Monday, August 02, 2010


Hey all, I’m back! Sorry it took so long to write again, but I needed to reorganize and have some time away from the computer. Now let’s just pick up where I left things in May.

Just as I sacrificed another silly toy to get new polyfill for my piggies…
I found this. Looks like one amigurumi or pillow maker gave up her hobby, but placed the bag of filler neatly beside the underground bin instead of dumping it inside probably hoping someone would pick it up.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cotton Yarn

Here is a picture to show you the amount of yarn you get out of just one garment and this is not all because I’ve created a number of things with it already.

This once was a cotton hooded vest and of course I kept the zipper as well. Only the hood had serged seams and was therefore useless. Always remember to check those seams when you go thrift shopping for sweaters to unravel!
Pure cotton knits are not so easy to find so I’m always very happy when I do. The material is extremely versatile and on top I can stencil on it.
Too bad however I didn’t see any cool potholder or cell phone cozy coming from this baby pink. Though it seemed great for face scrubbies after a pile of 20 or so I got fed up of making them and I’m not into baby stuff either. When nothing else came to the question ‘what is cool in pink?’ I simplified that to ‘what is pink?’. First thing that came up was pigs.
Ah well, why not? Amigurumi isn’t my first love but I had fun designing the little creature and in the process developed a few tricks to make the putting together of the parts easier. Dutch readers will find those soon here on my Dutch blog Gevonden Voorwerpen.
Does this make you feel greedy? Piggy is not for sale on Etsy yet because I made him for the markets gambling on huge success. Well, at least the BF already snatched my test model to keep for himself while I still had it placed on my worktable as a reference. I take it that’s a good sign.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Gearing Up For The Craft Fairs Again

Booked for two craft fairs in June market season is starting again for me. Time to dig up my gear.

A cashbox was something I had long wished for, and was surprised last September the curbs provided me with one. It shows patience does pay off.
To wrap my larger items prettily and practically I have these carrier boxes with simply my own ‘card’ (it’s a piece cut out of my old flyer) stuck over the original shop’s logo to personalize them. Some are used and some are brand new.
I also have shiny sacks from cosmetic stores and such.

And of course for the smaller and cheaper stuff I still have some of my lunch bags and my homemade sacks.

Now help me hope for sales so these goods will all be put to use before they finally will be trashed once more, but hopefully end up in the recycling plant.

For Dutch readers you will find me here: on June 5th
and here: on June 6th.

PS: Sorry about the slightly changed layout, but Blogger has a new publisher and somehow I can't get the pictures positioned on the left without this space they get now. If I try that the text gets wrapped around and that would look even more different.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Teapot Handle

Found a broken teapot and removed the handle that was still in mint condition.

Replaced it on my cute little Chinese pot that was desperately waiting for a new one.
Voilà, easy fix!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Yarn Stash

Take a look at my new yarn stash. These four handcrafted trashed garments will at least last me through summer, as I have enough leftovers in my drawers and some older curb finds yet to unravel.

For the moment I'm still busy finishing up my vintage wool making felted baskets and bowls.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Rain Barrel

Over at Reduce Footprints the weekly challenge to change the world is saving water. Of course we all know we should take short showers and keep that bucket underneath to collect some water for cleaning, flushing the toilet etc. Use a wash-bowl for our dishes and throw the saved drain water in the toilet bucket. And don’t let that tap running while brushing our teeth. I’m looking forward to see what the other contributors of the challenge have added to that.

Results and the new challenge are published every Wednesday. I hope you will join the club too. You don’t necessarily have to dedicate a post to the subject, you can submit an older post that meets the criteria as well or just send in a comment.

For me rainwater is an important alternative for the tap and not only for watering my plants, both indoors and outdoors.

So I’m taking the opportunity to show the rescued barrel I use to collect it. Actually it’s not really a curb find, but it was left behind in the yard of that temporary apartment we lived in three years ago. Probably the large plastic container has been used in the world of food production or dining and the little tap is very handy for filling my watering cans.

To be able to use it I had to raise the barrel and found the cast iron understructure of a castaway coffee table perfect for that.

This large watering can came in mint condition from the street as well as several smaller ones I use indoors.

No Cézar, that’s not good drinking water. You better drink from the fresher rainwater in one of the smaller pots that stand around in the yard. By the way if you were wondering how kitty is doing since last time: all his upper teeth and a wart in his face were successfully removed last Monday. Clearly the pain in his mouth is gone and now he loves to go outside again. So we’re all very happy despite the costs. But if you know how to help a blogger earn some cash (if not read my last post) I’d appreciate that very much. Thanks, it’s desperately needed!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Toy Trucks

These simple wooden toys were made by hand in a learning workshop. That’s what the sticker underneath tells me. They look quite used, so one little boy probably must have loved to play a lot with them. Yet then his parents threw them out heartlessly when he grew too old for them.

As always it is beyond my understanding. Despite the scratches and dents in the wood they are not broken and I found them ready to use for another child on the curb. Such an honest, safe, non-chemical and plastic free toy can only be found in specialized shops these days and probably at a price. Now mine may be a bit rougher than those professionally made but still I couldn’t leave them to go to waste. They waited a couple of years in my storage because I didn’t know anybody with little boys at the time.

Recently I met a lady – my current crochet student - who does have one and on top works with the 4-6 year old group in a school. After last week’s session I sent her home with some rescued children’s books I suddenly remembered my two wooden trucks. And was reminded again this morning when I had to dig up the cat carrier for a visit to the vet’s with one of my furry ones.
Suzanne was very pleased with her welcoming present this afternoon. And if her son outgrows the trucks she can donate them to her school’s toy corner where they will probably last for many years to come.

I do believe my student is getting more than her worth’s money for her class and I hope she thinks so too, but I like it and I can’t think of a more rewarding destination for my toy rescues.
It made me feel very happy today, despite the bad news that my cat is going to have to undergo very costly surgery which I can barely afford.

But perhaps you could consider to see if one of my sponsors is worth visiting for you. Or otherwise take a look if there's something in my Etsy shop that you like? Thanks in advance!

Friday, February 05, 2010

The BF's Easy Chair

Meet our good friend Ed once more, here comfortably seated in our visitor’s faux suede easy chair in the BF’s apartment. We found it right in front of our door in mint condition without even the tiniest speck on it. There was one more plus the matching couch, be we didn’t have place for more and of course we were not going to replace our fantastic Alberto Nieri couch.

That pretty glass Ed is drinking his beer from came in a set of four still in the box. Though the leafy decoration seems a bit unfit they just happen to be the same form and size you can get your beer in in bars around here, so that’s what we use them for.

I didn’t check but I’m sure before the morning someone took the other chair and the couch. I only feel a little bit guilty about not leaving them the complete set, but we really had one very ugly used up armchair to replace.

Now I can’t help but also show Ed cuddling Pepe. I’m not so sure if Pepe is feeling as happy as Ed obviously does, but that cat is such a darling, he just lets it happen. And that chair of course is his favourite sleeping place when there are no visitors.

Note the table was a throw-out from the gym behind our house. It was in mint condition as well, only the BF made scratches on it and wound the rope (all from thrown-out cat playing furniture) around the leg for the entertainment of his furry baby.

At the end of a nice evening, finding out Ed has an interest in the Nordic countries, we sent him home with a beautiful picture book with Icelandic sceneries that I found together with some cooking books that I already sold.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Freeform Seventies Crochet

If you crochet, have you ever tried this style? Or, if you were a kid or teenager in the Seventies perhaps the teacher forced it on you in craft class…

I don’t often find craft books in the trash so my first reaction was ‘how cool’ when the BF spotted it on a heap and handed it to me one night. But it was not for me. Even though I don’t often use patterns I’m a neat stitch counter.

As even the basic instructions taught me nothing new I decided to see if I could list it in my online bookshop. To my surprise it's EAN/ISBN was recognized by the hosting site and the book was ordered a couple of months later. Though I can’t imagine anybody would want to have it, the buyer must have been specifically looking for it. Hope she’s happy. It turned out to be one good rescue after all.
Now I only regret I didn’t scan more pages. This scarf here was really one of the ‘prettier’ designs!

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Enrico Benetti Bag

Last week I had my face professionally photographed for a short interview I had with a women’s magazine (Vriendin). What about? About this here funny hobby of mine! Where this eclectic way of recycling eventually can lead to…

As both the make-up artist and photographer’s assistant’s mouths fell open when I told them the handbag I was carrying came from the trash as well I thought it might be a nice item to show.

As you may have read before most bags I find are just good for the zippers and other parts that I upcycle. So this fine genuine leather Enrico Benetti in mint condition was a rare and lucky find.

It’s only a bit out of fashion, but actually I’m not a fan of the current style of bags. I find them puffy and overly ornamented with buckles and straps that seem to have no function at all.

The straight and functional design of my find suits me well.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Tea Pots And Tea Cozies

Sorry I haven’t written a New Year’s post, but it’s not too late though to wish all my readers a happy, healthy, green and crafty 2010!

The thing is late December I got an invitation from a real gallery to exhibit my tea cozies in February. So the year is starting off good, but I’ve been working like crazy to finish off the one new model I had begun to work on since a long time.

With my cutest model ‘Pagoda’ (see album link below) sold I don’t really have that much to show. I made this new one - which I shall name 'Chess' by the way because of the pon-shape inside the tower - to fit a sweet Brown Betty type of pot that I bought in a thrift shop. I didn't unravel, but used a small batch of leftover yarn I found in my mother's attic. For insulation I filled it with polyfiber from an old sleeping bag.

Tea pots are hard to find in the trash and if at all usually very damaged or missing the lid. But I’ve been really lucky once with this simple glass model that was completely unused as well.

Hopefully I’ll find time to model a second new cozy on this pot before I meet for the first time with the gallery owner, which is in less than two weeks.

You can find all cozies I've made so far in my online album here.