Tuesday, October 28, 2014

upcycled tables & old friends

Hello. I'm just back from a long weekend at the bach. It has been so long since we visited our little cottage, six months I think which is terrible, so it was really nice to make the most of the holiday weekend and 'reacquaint' ourselves. As Eva said over the weekend, she loves home, but the bach for some reason, really really feels like her 'real' home. Which may seem like a funny thing to say, especially for an eleven year old, when everything about the bach, is so lo-fi, and that includes the wi-fi, which is of course, non-existent.

Upcycled trestle table via small acorns blog

However, I know exactly what she means, even if I can't exactly put my finger on the reason why. Maybe it is the switch off and the more simple way of living. You step through the door, and aside from a few dead cockroaches, everything else is like greeting an old friend. Everything is at once familiar, and you instantly feel at home.

I have collections and some favourite found items at the beach cottage that I am often sorely tempted to try and bring back to Wellington. And Brunnel is always trying to persuade me that this painting would look fantastic in our city home. It does feel so sad to lock up and leave these treasures behind. However the feeling is the opposite upon rediscovering them again the next time we visit. I think I appreciate them more because of this. Take my favourite chippy turquoise door table. Freecycled from the tip, money couldn't buy the perfect imperfection of that paint job. This definitely belongs at the bach.

upcycled trestle table via small acorns blog

And though this painting could look good anywhere, for now, it too belongs at the beach. And besides, Eva tells me just quietly, that all her friends think it is terribly inappropriate, and they worry that the woman in the painting looks like me, and that I posed without my top on for the artist. No wonder they sit on the sofa opposite giggling! I assured her it wasn't me, but I'm not so sure she was convinced!

The only thing from this scenario which came home with me to Wellington? The jasmine of course. Freshly foraged, I couldn't possibly just toss it away lightly!

Amanda xx Pin It

Monday, October 20, 2014

favourite photos

favourite photos via small acorns blog

I am not a photographer, but I love to take photos. I think the smart phone era means a lot of us are the same. The best camera is the one you have with you, and now 99% of the time, I have a camera with me. Your phone combined with one of the amazing photo editing apps available to download (Afterlight, Snapseed, VSCO or the editing features inbuilt with your phone) really means you can make the most of your photography.

But what do you do with your photos. Do most of them go no further than your Instagram feed and your camera roll? Same. With occasional, much loved, forays into Origrami. But some are worthy of more!

Turn some in to the art works they deserve to be. Have them printed. But not on regular photographic paper. Instead, choose a lovely raggy or textured art paper stock, and print them digitally so the colour is perfectly true.

Like this image of my favourite roadside fruit and vegetable stall signage. Every time we head up to the bach we pass these wonderful hand-painted vegetable signs, so typical of orchards and growers. Yet, when you actually look closely, many of them have gone 'up-market', their signage now professionally sign-written, same font, colour and size. This makes this amazing conglomeration, spelling mistakes and all, all the more perfectly imperfect to me, and I look forward to seeing what vegetables are currently for sale whenever we pass by.

favourite photos via small acorns blog

You will be feeling quite proud of your photographic efforts when you first see them printed, believe me.You can ogle them awhile, washi tape hang, or frame them. I print mine smaller than the paper size, so there is a nice natural border around the print, and then I frame them in a bigger frame, so they look more major than minor. If you use an off the shelf frame, like this one from Country Road, they can easily be changed on a whim, or a season, or a vignette, or a memory.

Healthy looking baby's tears plant - Ann at the garden centre was laughing because I'm sure I only buy them to then bring about certain death. I swear, I love them so much. I'm going to try much, much harder with this one.

Amanda xx Pin It

Monday, October 13, 2014

upcycled bottles

Hello! Hope you had a lovely weekend. For the first time in I don't know how long I had a weekend away from the store. I was AWOL but never mind. The weather was so beautiful and pottering around at home was about all I wanted to do. My little garden had some much needed attention, and I was so excited to see the first of my dahlias putting up some zesty green shoots. Yes - you're right, that did put a little spring in my step. But I'm an anxious mother, fretting about the prospect of that spider mite already, and doing my darnedest to wish it ill health and another venue this season. Not that I would wish that pest on even my worst enemy, truly. But hopefully, my preventative steps will keep it away. Wait and see...

My love for old vintage bottles and jars is well known. But I also love to upcycle new bottles, especially if they are quirky and interesting, or just plain 'foreign'. Remember that something seemingly so common and everyday in a far flung destination will be quite unique once transplanted back home and upcycled with a few flowers displayed in it.

upcycled bottles via small acorns blog

They make the most perfect flower vessels, especially for my haphazard, casually un-arranged few stems type of arrangement.

They are one of my favourite travel souvenirs. You can definitely guarantee that each time you use that bottle you will remember the day you acquired it, and where it came from, and the story involved, and these make for the best travel memories. A snapshot of a moment in time.

upcycled bottles via small acorns blog

Sometimes there is 'the one that got away' - like this Limca bottle which I was desperate to bring home from India. In a country where recycling bottles is literal gold, these stayed behind. In the incredible heat, Limca was a cool haven. I saw many Limca bottles, and because they were always recycled they came in many vintages and styles. This was the one I had to have, much much older, and quite quirky in shape. However, despite doing my best to persuade the seller that I would pay him more than the recycling fee, I had to let it go! Next time maybe!

Happy Monday.
Amanda xx

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