Monday, August 25, 2014


I've been wanting an old-fashioned bicycle for over a year now.  I happen to live near to malls and fresh food markets, hawker stalls and hardware shops! (the exclamation mark is for that last stop).  Taking the car out for such a short distance is a pain especially when you need to look for parking.   And walking is not a problem except my groceries can be quite a large, heavy bagful.  

And then I found her! 

The guy at the bicycle shop was baffled.  Why would I want to buy this bicycle that he uses to run errands?  He tried recommending the other fancier ones with multiple gears and so on, but no sirreeee, I was in love with this one!

I wanted not only one that would take me from Point A to nearby Point B, but one that could double up for prettying up photobooths.  Can someone enlighten me though, at what stage is something like this called, just old, old-fashioned, old school, vintage and antique?  Seems like every old thing these days is called vintage.

I loved that she had a bell!                                                                                                                           

She doesn't ring a cheerful "Everybody, I'm ho-ohmmmmm" kind of ring, but more like a "My throat hurts, don't ever leave me out in the rain again" pitiful kind of ring.

I had the larger basket they were selling, added on.  Perfect!  I'm picturing toned thighs and a firmer bum.  And a lower petrol bill.  In that order of importance.

And yes, I decided to name her Beatrice, after my late paternal grandmother...I donno, it just seemed like something she might've done (cycle, ie, not name her bicycles).  I'd always loved my grandmother's cosy home that was full of all kinds of little collectibles in old wooden cupboards.  But it was her simple garden that she kept so neatly that I was particularly endeared to.

So I'm picturing Beatrice with her basket full of flowers.  I'm just dying to dress her up for an occasion, like this:

Or like very pretty!

I'll post a photo up once I give her a paint job, but I love her just as she is right now.  aaaaah.

Friday, August 15, 2014

It's Just a Crate!

Vintage, rustic themes seem to be trending around here.  I find out it is difficult to look for a simple, wooden crate.  We went to wine shops - they wouldn't let us have any, not even if we paid for them.

So I said those dangerous words I tell myself every time not to even think.  "I'll just have to make it myself then".  Oops.

What making a 'simple, wooden crate' involved:

1.  Driving to the wood warehouse and picking out the size of planks I wanted (petrol cost, time cost).
2.  Dodging lorries and forklifts that are driven in a crazy, hurried manner all over the place.
3.  Getting cut by wires sticking out from here and there on the ground.
4.  Waaaaaaaaiting for the worker to find the pieces in the mountain of planks, plus rejecting the ones he slides down from way up there, if they were split or too pale a colour.

(I had no idea wood planks would cost so much! aaarrrrghhh!)

5.  Sliding them through the boot of my car, to the front, since I don't have a pick-up.
6.  Unloading the 10 foot or 12 foot planks piece by piece and carrying them to the back of my house where I work.



1.  Knocking off (brute strength here) the slats from my leftover wooden bed slat collection (which has now dwindled to nothing)
     -knocking them off too hard will cause them to split, hence one slat wasted.

2.  Prying out the staples or nails (brute strength here) one by one.

Like a dentist.......                                                                                                                             

THEN with wood planks purchased as in (A) above or recycled as in (B):

1.  Sawing 15 pieces of planks for just one crate (you could of course buy large, thick pieces of plywood and saw just 4 pieces per crate for the sides and one for the bottom - but that wouldn't look as nice).

2.  Sawing 6 pieces of narrow wood-joining pieces (simply because I don't know how else to strengthen the joints.  These 'joints' cost, too).

3.  Nailing all the above together (amateurs like me still bend nails, split wood, measure incorrectly).

(Nails cost)

...and nail some more...

4.  Sanding the whole thing because I'm a forevermother and will always think of little curious hands wanting to touch this and that and end up getting splinters in their chubby little fingers.

These I made are 16inches wide, 12 inches high and 8 inches deep.  They are so versatile!

You can prop them vertically..

..or horizontally.


Here they are with my collection of all things blue and white (latest craze).

And here are some more pictures to inspire you on how they can be used.




I think I want to move to a cottage on a hill surrounded by forests.....sighhhhh.

p/s  My DIY-ing started out as a necessity for having jobs done around our house, then moved onto making pretty things for myself, and now there are some awesome people who are making orders from me.  I'm still amazed that people want my things, heeheheheeee!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kettles Turned Planters

So how did I get into this?  It started out merely as a necessity, this fixing things myself (DIY) around the house.  Then I went on to refurbishing furniture pieces as my Mum wanted to get rid of some of them.  In the meantime, I kept finding discarded stuff that was still useful, and giving them a makeover.  Now people want to buy some of my things.  The thought tickles me!                                                                                    

I had bought (yes, bought) these two old metal kettles 'cos I saw their potential.  Someone had seen my earlier conversions of some of them and wanted them as planters as well, one in blue and one in green.  Here are the steps.  It's really quite simple!                                                                                                            


1.  Take a Before-photo (for me, 'cos I blog.  For you, so you can show your friends how ugly they started out
2.  Wash them with soapy water and sand off as much of the soot and muck as possible.
3.  Hammer a large nail to makes holes at the bottom, so the plant has drainage.  Personally I would not grow a plant directly into the kettle as I don't know if it will slowly rust and affect the soil. I'd rather put a pot inside.  Take photo.

4.  Paint first coat of primer (for metal) all around.  Take photo.  Leave to dry in the sun (meantime, check facebook :)

5.  Then paint primer on the base.  Take photo.  Leave to dry (meantime, have breakfast that you forgot).

6.  Then using the hammer, hit flat the jagged edges of the holes that you made earlier, inside.  This, so it does not hurt anyone who is trying to fill or clean it ('cos I'm a forevermum who thinks of these things).  Of course this step should have been done before painting any primer.  Take photo.

7.  Oops.  Forgot the photo before this stage, which is, paint the handle black.  Leave to dr-. (start writing blog post).
8.  Paint the body with one coat of coloured paint.  Leave to d- (reply whatsapp message).
9.  Paint base.  Leave to --- (meantime, put laundry out).
10.  Second coat of colour.  Leave t.d. (meantime, cut finger nails).  Take photo.
11.  Second coat of colour on base.  L.t.d. (wash some laundry by hand).
12.  Spray lacquer.  L.t... (wash dishes in sink...nehhh...husband likes to do that).
13.  Spray second coat of lacquer.  L. (you know the drift?).  Meantime, water plants on porch.
14.  Wait to next day 'cos you're done for the day.  Next day, fill up with different plants until satisfied, for 'modelling' the After-photo (you can even hang the planter since the kettle has a handle). Take photo. Send photos to customer for approval.
15.  Upload photos and finish blog.

Simple enough? :)



Now dolled up....


 It is really hard for me to part with my pieces after I make them.                                                               
 (*weeping quietly).                                                                                                                                   

Friday, August 1, 2014

Wheelbarrow Rustic Love

For the longest time I have wanted to make an all-wood wheelbarrow!  I do not have a garden so, one on my front porch with potted plants will be so charming.  Then I see pictures like this and I go, "That's it! I'm making one even if I don't know how to!"                                                                                               

                                               This picture is from

I now have to buy wood as all my supply of recycled wood has run out.  What a bummer (I do not like to use pallets, personal preference).

I'll let the pictures do the talking.  There's a lot of elbow grease involved but I have kept the pictures to few so that you will not be discouraged to make one yourself! haha!  Seriously, if I can make one, so can you!

Since I could not get the hole-borer I bought to work for me, my husband improvised by using a normal power drill to bore the hole on the wheel and the rod holders.  Round and round and round he went slowly until the hole got big enough for the branch I had (yes, it's a branch).  Mind you, this wheelbarrow is for ornamental purpose only although I am quite sure it can function pretty well, too!

The size of the bucket alone is 25 inches at the longest part, 16 inches wide and 11 inches deep.

I didn't have nicer plants especially flowering ones, at this time so here it is, as is.                                                                                                                                          

Makes me wanna go out right now and buy some flowering plants and fill her up!  aaaarrrrgh!  I LOVE it so!