D I Y, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., Trash to Treasure, WOODEN Projects

7 ways with pallets & organizing my backyard !!

Hello dearies !! How have you been ??

Me, I’m running in full gear organizing my garden, courtyard and backyard !! And that’s quite a lot.

A couple of facts :-

  • We live in Dubai
  • A  part of Dubai is still desert while the other part is a beautiful concrete jungle which includes the worlds tallest tower – Burj Khalifa !!
  • Wood is precious ! If you’d like to work on a wood project, you’d have to buy wood in places like Ace Hardware at the Festival City.  We have many hardware stores but only a handful would be able to provide wooden planks ~ some are located in Al Quoz industrial area.  So for the DIY enthusiasts like me, a pile of dumped pallets is like honey for the bears !!

Back to my courtyard improvement :-  I’ll just explain alitte about my house surroundings. My house is fenced and surrounded by a large patch of land on all four sides.

The front two sides  of  the courtyard are being prepared for the garden. ( will share in another post, once the grass starts grinning )

The third side of my backyard will house my kitchen garden. (hopefully)

And 4th side where my kitchen door opens has  :-

  • My “Recycle park ” (work much in progress)
  • My wood workshop ( a small open space with tools )
  • Two large sheds
  1. One of the shed carries all my exhibition stands, dozens of workshop chairs, frames and many other things related to my exhibitions.
  2. The other shed is for all our domestic storage.

My wood workshop is nothing great but just an open space with a couple of wooden stands for wood chopping, designing and sanding. A few tables to carry all my tool kits and a wire rack to hold some of my hardware stuff. Samie has provided excellent flood light just recently which makes working in the evening so much easier now. Below here is my little wood workshop.

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Much before all the grass, plants and flower beds get worked on, I wanted to organize all the stuff lying around in the backyard making it look terribly messy.

The dumped pallets, (which I mentioned in my previous post) served several purposes here.   We are expecting rains this season, so I did not bother painting them. Here are just a few ways in which the pallets helped in making the backyard presentable .

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I have wanted a picket fence for like forever !!! And now, I get to make one for my garden !! Once you get rid of the 3 edges, and cut the planks in a v shape, it gets this look. I will be digging the base, deeper into the soil so that it gets support. With every pallet, I can make 2 of these !! We never wanted the plastic ones that you get at Ace Hardware or Daiso, coz they really are too small and cannot withstand the desert heat or the sandstorms.  This turned out to be the perfect solution.

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The center log that gives support to the pallet is much thicker. I cut out these house like structures from them. I have nearly 5-6 of them. Although I love their natural color ~ I might alter them with some decoupage or paint, if I get tired of this look.

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The cycles are generally not used in the summer months so they get dumped in a corner, but this is the season, the boys get them out often for a ride. I found this idea on pinterest and I can tell you, its so much more easier to have them on these “Pallet stands” !!  You don’t even have to nail them coz they are so sturdy.

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What could be more fun than a ball pit in a sand pit !!!! The cats love it ~ the boys love it !! And believe me, it was super easy !!!

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I have plans of placing larger planks on the base of these two pallets inorder to give them some height, plus a mattress and we can make patio sofas out of them !! How cool is that ~ but right now, I am unsure if I would like to carry out this plan, since we already have large benches in the patio. So with this project, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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I have already made several garden signs and sign boards with these in various shapes. Ofcourse these single plaques are shaped in arrows but I have some which have been nailed together in formation of twos and threes ~ which are waiting to be painted.  But that’s for another post 🙂

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I really like, that the brooms, mops, shovel and other cleaning sticks have now a proper place with support to keep them together. This really makes organization so convenient.

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So that’s it. These pallets have benefitted us a lot. But there are many incomplete pallet projects still waiting for my attention. Hopefully, I will share those in another week or so.

I am linking this project with the following parties ~ It would be great if you could also join these fun parties.

I hope you found some of these ideas inspiring. Please share with me if you have made any use of pallets. I’m always looking for inspiration 🙂

Thank you for visiting me today. It would be great if you could join me on Bloglovin or subscribe to my blog to keep intouch with all my latest posts.
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D I Y, Makeovers, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., T U T O R I A L S, Trash to Treasure, WOODEN Projects

Home Sign post!

Hi friends !! I am absolutely delighted that my repurposed Pizza Box( mixed media art)  was featured in not one, not two but Six blogs !!!! Thank you, thank you so much dear friends afar !  Alittle encouragement goes a very long way. Thank you to all the following blog parties that featured my Pizza Box.

I  have several other pizza boxes which I may share in my next post. But today, I would love to share with you one of my first garden signs/courtyard signs/ pathway signs !! The best weather (depending on your definition of best !!) in Dubai is from November until February.  Day time is between warm to pleasant while late evenings can be chilly enough to call out the cardigans.

We get very very little rains here but when we do get a shower or two ~ the entire city shines and sparkles while the residents cheer and run out of their houses to experience the blessed rain drops.  I know, most of my blog visitors are from the west and you must think, “what is the matter with this woman ~ how can they like the rains ~ how can they not want some sun ~ how can they enjoy chilly evenings ” but you know, each one of us is blessed with something in abundance and we have been blessed with aloooooot of sunshine so we really cherish the little blissful “winter” ~ we receive ♥

This post is not about the weather in Dubai or gardening in Dubai ~ but if you do have a backyard or courtyard, I may as well tell you that November is the best time to start preparing the soil and flower beds of the garden. I generally start working on my garden in full swing by November so that, come December, the garden looks inviting and can accommodate all our holiday  guests.

This year, I have worked on several décor projects for the garden, one of which is a directional sign arrow for “Home” Its not something fancy but I really like how it turned out. It stands out with its pale white color and swirly fonts.  Following is a short pictorial/tutorial. DSCF6059

Recycled Material ~ Wood from Pallets !! DSCF6060

So, I started out with a dumped “PALLET”  !! Yes, you heard me right, I chopped one plank of the pallet with my jigsaw.  Sanding it nicely and then giving it the arrow cuts on one end. I let the long perpendicular end remain rather rugged since a large part of it, would remain buried in the sand/pot.  I made sure the end of the support post was narrow so that it could be dug deep into the soil/pot. DSCF2091

A couple of nails from my newly bought  nail gun (the one I bought from London, remember, in the last blog post )  shot it together in the center. And then the sign post was ready for the aesthetic workshop. DSCF2092

Nothing fancy, just your regular pale plastic paint. It is glossy. Two coats of that did the job well. DSCF2093

When the paint had dried, nearly a day later or more, I free-handed the letters “HOME” on the arrow. The font I have used is :- Beyond Wonderland. Isnt it marvelous ??!! DSCF6134

The pencil writing was later made ready with sharpies markers and a rough border was added.  I did distress it alittle but just a little becoz I understand, It may have to still endure a lot of sun and will get distressed anyways 🙂   A single coat of modge podge was the last step in the process. I have used the checkered foam stamp on the long support post. Voila !! FotoFlexer_Photo

This was my first attempt at making a sign post. I am pleased with the look. I hope you find this tutorial helpful and perhaps inspirational as well. Please share with me, any of your first wood work experiences. There are so so many fantastic ladies out there, in the blog world who are making such amazing wood works ! I hope this is my first wood work post in a loooooong series of posts about making plaques and sign posts. I am linking this post to the following blog parties :-

 

I am so happy that you are visiting me today. Please subscribe to my post or join me on bloglovin. I will be glad to follow you back !!

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England, Something inbetween

Craft supplies shopping in London

This post has been overdue for nearly a month, if not longer. I wanted to share with you’ll some of the goodies that I bought while in London for our summer holidays.

One of the biggest confusions, we always have, travelling as a family overseas, is the time for my craft goodies ! Being in a foreign land, we are as it is, torn between filling out days with visiting scores of museums, parks, historical sites etc and to add to the stress, I generally drop a bomb or two, for shopping for my craft goodies 🙂

Generally there is a vote and of course, its not fun when mama is upset so I get away with squeezing atleast a couple of hours for hunting my beloved goods. One thing, I noticed about London is, that being a first world country, people like to shop online and realty is far too expensive hence very few stores have established outlets unless they are eateries or mobile phone stores !!

One of the best stores (or rather ONLY store) that I visited for craft goods was “Hobby Crafts”  A timely tip from a cousin, made it possible for me to search for it on the Sat Nav and ofcourse, then persuade samie  !!

You know that feeling that you had as a kid, when you entered a toy store full of toys that were free for you ??? No ? Well, that’s exactly, how I felt when I entered the store ! It felt like I was in the happiest place in the world for me !! The choices were vast ~ variety was amazing and whats great is that they have two stories full of arts and crafts ! No matter how much I write, nothing can explain, just how much fun that entire experience was. Hence I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves.

Oh AND BTW, Hobbycraft has not paid me to write about them but I wouldn’t mind, if they did pay me 😉  ♣

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Oh yes ! Doesn’t it look like the place you could easily get lost in ??? I know I did !

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Here are some of my valuable goods from that shopping spree !

And ofcourse I bought a mother load of sharpies too of various nibs !

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Couldn’t have enough of these Spectrum color markers !! These are like copic markers ~ alcohol based markers.

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CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY OF THE ACRYLIC STAMPS !! Love the steam punk one and the keys one too.

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Cant wait to start with these babies !!

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Its incredibly difficult to choose 10 of the best designs from a good 50+ ! This is a relatively newer brand and much less expensive than spellbinders.

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I just have to admit, that the rectangle die cut on the right has to be my favorite so far ! Oh and another diecut set which was absolutely phenomenal is this one in the center ~ it has a lot to offer for the person good with sewing like scissors, spool, needle, yarn, model ~ and all these are diecuts !!! Endless possibilities !  Its absolutely expensive but so worth it !! 🙂

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Sizzix diecuts, a punch and a border punch. 2 sets of wood mounted alphabet rubberstamps. This orange punch is kinda new coz you can actually use it as a border punch or you can get individual coin punches too. Very innovative.

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Don’t you just love the fall colors !!

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Cant have enough of these ! This bag was at a discounted price.

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Unusual bookmarks, clipboard key chain and miniature size safety pins !

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These rubberstamp sets were actually a part of the magazines that I bought. Can you believe it !! I bought so many craft/scrapbooking/hobby magazines and they are all came with these gifts !! Yuppee !!

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I picked this lovely collection of design paper in blue and pink, from Hobby crafts. Its a large pack of 12″ x 12″ with beautiful pastel designs.

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Paints, paints and more paints ~ modge podge, crackle medium and a load of acrylic paints.

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Small size clamps

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I have this huge “thing” for designed wooden pieces ~ be it heart or stars ! One day I hope I am able to make these myself ~ till then, I think, I can indulge in these 😉

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For when I finally start working with carving wood !

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I am a huge sucker for fridge magnets !! Both my fridges are stormed with magnets 😦    I love these magnets. Each with such intricate artwork and lovely quotes. We picked these from Lake district in Windermere.

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This 3 tier cupcake tray was to die for !! I just fell in love with it ~ and fell out of that love, once told how much it cost ! But this was a gift nevertheless from the boys for me 🙂  Aren’t my boys, the “bestest” !! We bought this from a beautiful little store in the lake district.

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Isnt this a beauty or what !!! Its a book holder ~ more for recipe books in the kitchen. It weighs enormously ! Its solid wrought iron.

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Nail guns are such a handy tool however, I couldn’t find any in Dubai inspite of  looking high and low for them ! For whatever reason, even Ace hardware did not have them ~ luckily, I found these in London. And bought a bunch of extra pins and nails. They come in batches of thousands.

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So that’s it !

Some women, like to buy sandals, some bags, some diamonds and I love to buy tools that will help me create things ! I cant thank my husband enough for being as patient as he was and my wonderful, boys managed to keep their dad engaged in the store next door ( Sports direct ) while mama could have her fill, peacefully.

Oh, in case, your wondering, the last 7 pictures are not items we bought at Hobby crafts.

So that’s it !! I’m feeling so relieved having shared my priced shopping goods with you’ll.

Oh and BTW, I painstakingly kept all the receipts and the VAT reimbursement form for the VAT claim at the airport  ( ♥ thankfully we don’t have this tax business in Dubai ) ~ and guess what ??? Turns out, the airport VAT counter travelex opens at 7:00 in the morning and closes at 10:00 pm. Our  flight was to depart at 9:15 !!!!  Which meant, that with roughly 50 passengers ahead of us, our chances of making it to the counter were so dim.

What’s more weird (but somewhat sensible) is that you have to keep the said items out for inspection  (which in some cases means an entire suitcase !!) ~ The queue for the counter was ridiculously huge with every passenger unpacking his suitcase just to display his goods  !!  My initial attempt to keep Sawaabi with the small trolley bag full of my items at the counter while I juggled between the check in counter and the travelex counter was turning out into a nightmare !!   In the end, we just let it go !! What a complete wasted effort !  Oh well, we learnt our lesson ! Which is ??????  Not sure what 😉

Anyways ~ What matters is that I may have had to pay a tax, but I am a happier person with so many toys to play with. Its been alittle over a month and I have still not unpacked the markers. The rest I have found some use for.

I trust you found my post informative and perhaps even inspirational 😉  Please share with me your experience of craft stores in London. Would love to know, what I missed 🙂

I’d like to share my shopping spree with the following linking parties.

Simply Creations Link Party at My Simple HomelifeFurniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard SeedInspire Me Please Link Party at
Liz Marie Blog
Frugal Friday at The Shabby NestFeathered Nest Friday at French Country CottageWhat Have You Redone at Redoux InteriorsHome Sweet Home at The Charm of HomeThrifty Things Friday at The Thrifty GrooveSimple and Sweet
Fridays at Rooted inThyme
Be Inspired at Common GroundFaunt It Friday at Chic on a Shoestring DecoratingFrugalicious Friday
at Finding Fabulous
Fabulously Creative Friday at Jennifer RizzoShow and Tell Friday at Romantic HomeJunkin’ Joe Vintage and Thrifty Finds at The Cottage MarketWeekend Wrap-Up Party at Tatertots and JelloShabbilicious Friday Link Party at Shabby Art BoutiqueTickled Pink at 504 MainAnything Blue Friday at The Dedicated HouseRustic Restorations Weekend Link Party at Homespun Happenings,  Great IdeaThursdays at A Handful of Everything.

I am delighted you’ve visited me today. Please leave a line or two if you have enjoyed your stay here. You can also subscribe to my posts or add me to bloglovin.

Have a beautiful weekend !

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Altered Box, Altered Pizza Box, Altered Wall hanging, Art & Craft Ideas, D I Y, Makeovers, Mixed Media, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., Trash to Treasure

Pizza Box to Canvas for mixed media 2

Dear friends,

Thank you very much for liking my pizza box canvas in the last post and taking the time to leave all the encouragement in your comments. Being appreciated for creativity is great but being appreciated for applying innovative ideas in repurposing household goods, really give my creativity a huge boost !

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I am driven these days to work on mixed media. I find it the perfect medium for me becoz I get to play around with different elements like fabric, paper, inks, tissue, buttons and whats even great is that with a little bit of prep work (gesso) , you can start your project right after a pizza meal !!! Exactly ~ on the pizza box !!! Earlier I have shown you how you can use a pizza box as a shadow box here and here, and a canvas here.

Today I am sharing my second project in this series. Don’t throw away those cords from rice bags or cat food bags (nuggets) or even the shoe laces ~ Roll them in a circle with a little hot glue on a small piece of round cardboard  and you have yourself a pretty flower. I added a tiny pearl in the center.

The other flowers are rosettes ofcourse (for which you will find many tutorials on youtube ) The last time we visited the tailor for my suits, I managed to get the boys to collect a pile of thin long pieces of pretty fabrics lying around to be dumped !! (what all, my baby boys do to please me !!)  The black and white checkered flower is a result of that collection.

A few paper flowers with pearls glued in them ~ a digi stamp of a vintage clock ~ diecuts of some flowers and swirls ~ are what make this project up. I have used very earthy colors for this project as well. There is no particular technique used in painting except the card technique.

The five blue circular looking stones ~ are a first time for me.  Whenever I try out a new look, I generally ask the boys to get a neutral answer to know if they would/could recognize, the look I was aiming for. In this case, my youngest tells me it looks like blue gems !!  Bingo !!   Wow ~~ Job well done I guess.   Ofcourse this is not my idea.  I was really fascinated by one particular craft artist who had a tutorial to produce the effect of this stone on the side panel. I love this technique and I so apologize why I did not save your blog address, so If you are reading this post, kindly leave me your name and address, I will be glad to give you credit for this technique.

So that’s that !!

This message is something, I have grown up with ~ so it is really close to me and I hope to inculcate this virtue of humility in my boys too. My grandma, (ni ) used to advise us always to strive for the stars but never forget where we stood and never forget our past. It is very profound. Perhaps I never understood the importance of this saying while younger but it helped a lot when success followed me in my career and at some point almost overwhelmed me. Such reminders often times, show up when least expected and you have that  “sparky” moment ~ almost like the Almighty is trying to give you a direct message. I know I felt that way. Have you ever been in a difficult/confusing situation and came across a line or quote that almost felt like you were being guided by the Almighty ?? Please share with me if you have.

Anyways, back to my pizza box. Fotor110422634 Fotor110424111

Recycled materials : Fabric, cord, pizza box, scraps of paper from my stash of DP. DSCF6043

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I am linking this repurposing project with the following parties :-

The Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and DreamingSunny Simple Sundays Party at Sunny Simple LifeSundae Scoop at I Heart NaptimeThink Pink Sundays at Flamingo ToesNifty Thrifty Sunday at Nifty Thrifty ThingsIt’sParty Time at Three Mango Seeds,  SilverPennies Sundays at Silver PenniesFrugal Crafty Home Blog Hop at A Blossoming LifeDIY Showcase Party at Minette’s MazeInspired Sunday at Sunday View

I am so glad you popped over to visit me today ! Please leave a line in the comments or subscribe to my post and I’ll make sure, I visit you back too !! Cherish each day ~ its one of a kind !  I’ll leave you with that beautiful thought.

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