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Even More Upcycling

I know, pretty amazing huh? Sometimes I just surprise myself.  So, it turns out I quite like the thought of making something I dislike into something I like.

A prime example is a nest of tables I acquired some time ago from freecycle.  Gordon really liked them, but I thought they were dark and dated.  The legs were wobbly and the tops were marked.  He doesn’t like to see painted wood but sometimes it can be so tatty that painting will only improve it.

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See what I mean?

This is what they look like now after fixing the legs, a coat of cream paint and an inset of tissue paper and pva glue.

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Much smarter, don’t you think?  The paper is Nature’s Gallery by Papermania.

Upcycling (part 2)

I realise that I never did come back with an update on my planter – the one Gordon made for me from the headboard and footboard of an old bed.  I planted it with lavender and geraniums so this is what it looks like today.

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It grew very well and is often commented on.

We decided today to take advantage of the sun and see if we could make a start on our second-cut silage.  The old forager was driven out – the newer one is still seriously broken – and promptly broke down after one round of the field.  Gordon was of the opinion that he knew exactly what the problem was but even after he’d made modifications it still didn’t work.  We gave up.  We came in for coffee to discuss our options and phoned a local contractor to come and round-bale it.  He’s very busy at this time of year but has said he’ll be here this evening if at all possible.  I hope so or we’ll be making hay with it. 

Use ’em up!

I’ve been quite productive lately with my cardmaking and have spent many quiet hours concentrating on getting the effect I want.  This morning I’ve been playing with a stamp by Serendipity called ‘Winter Fenceline’ which I first saw on Pinterest and had to have.  I decided to do the background with watercolour pencils so rummaged around in the drawer to find a set. 

I ended up using a set that had belonged to my grandad who died in 1996 and as I started using them I heard his voice in my head telling me off.  As children we were never allowed to touch his stuff even if it wasn’t particularly expensive so consequently this set of pencils is almost intact.  I can’t help feeling that sense of preserving everything and keeping it ‘for best’ didn’t actually do him a lot of good.  I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way but he should have used them all the time until they were gone, which is what I intend to do.

The finished results are quite different and will be put on to cards when they’re dry.  I’ll probably be doing more – in fact I may keep going until the watercolour pencils are nothing but nubs.  Then I’ll throw them away.

I’ll enjoy that.

Here are the first two –

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The greeting is from Stampin’ Up’s Wetlands set and works brilliantly with this I think, even though it’s crooked on one picture.

Morning Star

So, it’s been a while and quite a lot has happened, but only in a casual kind of way.

We bought ourselves a new freezer in the end as the KnowHow repairman reckoned ours was a write-off.  The new one is shiny and black in the same style as the one we had before, but this time we took the optional insurance so it’s covered against faults or accidents for the next five years.

Our cows are calving at the rate of at least one a day and we are getting a heifer one day, bull the next.  It’s fine, we have enough followers here now to see us out.  If we decide to sell up we have a lovely herd of pedigree British friesians and that’s fine too.  This morning we decided to rename one.  You may recall they’re always named after their mothers but some of the older herd names have disappeared so we reintroduced Star to the herd.  Her mother’s name is Jenny and we have lots of those and since she was born in the morning I wanted to be fanciful and call her something beautiful so she’s called Withyend Floyd Morning Star.  It sounds like a proper pedigree name, doesn’t it?

Last weekend I went with friends to Cornwall where we spent most of the time dodging the rain, especially on Sunday.  Saturday was the best day of the three we spent there but we only walked along the coast or around the town.  It was a lovely weekend despite the rain.  We stayed in a B&B there called Bridgeside Guest House, which I can thoroughly recommend.  The only problem with Cornwall in the summer (other than the rain) is the noise of the seagulls, but then I suppose you have to expect that!

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Meltdown

Yesterday evening when Gordon went to the freezer for ice cream he discovered it was slush.  When we investigated further we discovered that the entire contents of the freezer was in fact slush.  The freezer was telling us on its front panel that all was well, but it lied.  It is broken as is the attached fridge and everything was warm.  Some of it was way warmer than it should have been and I emptied everything no longer edible into a large bucket which went out in the compost bin.  We rang the insurance company only to discover that we had an excess of £100 and although we lost quite a bit, there’s no way we lost £100 worth of food so decided not to bother.

The next hurdle came when we tried to find someone to repair it.  Most have a waiting list and the nearest repair company can’t see us for at least a fortnight.  A fortnight!!! Without a main fridge?  We have a small back-up fridge which struggles to keep things cool but we figured it was cooler than the main fridge and perishables have gone into there.  The repair man we finally found is coming from KnowHow, the company that deals with Currys and PC World, but even they can’t make it until Tuesday.  They’re very expensive – not just KnowHow, but everyone – so this will be the last time we bother to repair it.  Last time the compressor failed and it looks like we have a gas leak now, but to replace it with a similar model is about ten times as much as the repair costs so at the moment we don’t have much of a choice.

It’s been an expensive couple of months with domestic appliances once again.  We often find they fail in threes and have already replaced the washing machine so far this year.  Something small would do for the third one please – maybe the toaster?

Here Be Dragons

Or at least, dragonflies and they’re laying eggs.  This one is an Emperor Dragonfly I think which usually lays eggs directly into the water.  The eggs are protected by jelly and once the eggs have hatched they become ugly little larvae.  Sadly, this beauty will probably only live for a couple of weeks, but they’re something to see when they’re swooping up and down the ditches.

From what I read, they’re tricky to photograph as they rarely stay still, even eating on the wing, so I was lucky to catch this one whilst she was otherwise occupied.

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All Done

We finally finished silage making on Saturday although I wasn’t there for the grand finale as I’d arranged to do something else in the vain hope that we’d be all completed by then.  We weren’t but nearly, so between them Gordon and Dan picked up four more trailer-loads then sheeted down the pit.

As usual it’s left us drained and flopping about in a kind of anti-climatic state.  This year has probably been as bad as it gets although eventually the old forager settled into a pattern, stopped breaking down daily and just got on with it.  She doesn’t pick up anywhere near as much as the newer one and goes an awful lot slower, but it’s done.  We found it next to impossible to get anyone to drive for us this year so did all the jobs between us.  In an ideal world there would have been at least five people in total, but it was just the three of us most of the time and we multitasked.

Tomorrow sees Daniel leaving for a week-long break at the Glastonbury Festival.  This has become an annual break for him now and we were discussing it over breakfast this morning.  I reached the conclusion that at my age I need a little bit of luxury so roughing it in a tent with long-drop toilets shared by thousands of people would be more than I could stand.  If I need to see the performers I’ll watch the highlights on the tv, but somehow I suspect I’ll be catching up on my sleep instead so a few early nights are planned.

That and the paperwork!  Two and a bit weeks of not catching up with invoices has left me with a four inch stack of paper to sort through so that’s my priority today.

If I can stay awake long enough!

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