I'm a maker, up cycler, educator, thrifter, reuse guru, textile experimenter, creative person and nature lover who enjoys skiing, mountain biking and all seasons in the great outdoors. Let's live simply and keep our world beautiful.
Hello friends, I’ve been working on a new project this year that I’m very excited to share! It’s a YouTube channel created to inspire creativity and eco friendly ideas on how to fix and reuse what you already have. Check it out and subscribe! What would you like to learn how to make or fix?
My mission is making and up cycling garments and goods, mostly through sewing but occasionally other formats. I love practicing creative thinking and doing when faced with the challenges of living in a modern, disposable world. Let’s learn how to fix and repurpose quality items we already own. Avoid purchasing full retail by thrifting and lessen our environmental impact. Learn lifelong creative practices to practice and share. Live simply so others can simply live.
Hello everyone, here’s a corrugated metal fence update, built in 2013, aging and holding up well into 2018. The front of the fence includes tin ceiling tiles (purchased new and painted) and corrugated steel cut to fit into the fence in squares. Corrugated metal makes up the other three sides, the entire fence has redwood posts and rails. The aging process is fun to watch, water in the form of rain, snow and sprinklers has brought out the rust in pleasing ways.
A skate ramp was added, just inside the gate, covering up one of the gate doors.
In any spot where paint chipped off the ceiling tiles, the rusting process began immediately (see above picture). I like the rusty, aged look. Tin ceiling tiles began to rust immediately, the corrugated steel has taken much longer. It’s barely rusted at all in areas where very little water hits the fence.
The wood has been stained 3 times over the years, at the rate of about every other year. If you looks closely, you can see where the metal close to the wood is less rusty and has been protected by the stain applied hurriedly by indentured, distracted, yet hard working teens. I’ve always planned to make a tiny door for this opening within the big gate. It’s been low priority since we don’t have an animals that need to be contained, and as you can see- it’s still yet to be built. After the gates were trashed in a wind storm (heavy winds happen frequently) I added the metal strapping to the backside of the gates. Best idea ever. The strapping saved the day, the gates are holding up great now. The only weathering or warping is happening with the wooden elements. We don’t open the gates very often (2-3 times a summer) which probably helps keep them strong. When the gates are open, for as short a time as possible, we prop them up on blocks to support them on the sloping driveway.
A shipping container in the side yard for storage, hanging out or both. It goes well with the metal fence surrounding it. The aesthetic and the extra space is nice. A wooden pergola sits in the other corner of the yard. Originally, a beautiful mountain view was available in this corner but a neighboring house went in and blocked the view. The new house also blocks the strong winds that come from that direction. And the neighbors are great, so we’ll take the trade off.
The metal has been exposed to the elements for 5 years yet very little rust shows in the areas not directly hit by the sprinklers, like this pergola corner. The gravel path leads to the garden area on the south side of the house. On the south side of the house are the raised beds garden spot. Corrugated plastic panels on two sections help let more light in. As you can see, the non-painted sides of the tiles are very rusted. It will eventually rust through, much quicker (maybe 10 years) than the corrugated metal (maybe 100 years). The galvanized metal hardware is still looking good. I felt skeptical about this corrugated plastic. Nightmares of the plastic turning yellow and breaking swirled in my memories. But as much sunlight as possible in the garden area is essential. This area of the yard is invisible to both our neighbors and ourselves, no one spends time or is worried about this side. As a result, we went with the clear, corrugated plastic. As you can see, no yellow, no breaks and the garden grows well- I would do it again! The tin ceiling tiles have an extra flange on all sides, this worked out well, I bent them in on all sides and screwed right through the flange into the wood to hold the tiles in place. Tin tiles are easy to cut and bend for fitting in smaller areas.
The view from the front of the house, on the garden side, the only real wear is with the wood elements. Even with the treated redwood I hand-selected, the wood still warped and twisted, that’s the nature of wood. As a result, we wedged a 2 x 4 above the gate to keep the post on the right to keep from bending in, the wedged piece of wood has never fallen out.
During a major cleaning phase, a friend passed along a whole stack of very stylish vintage towels she had been collecting over the years. I thought long and hard about what could be done with these towels, to maximum effect. The size of vintage towels is a tricky business. Too small to wrap around most people and comfortably cover all after a bath or shower. Too big to be used as a hand towel. They could be individually spread out throughout the bathrooms in the house for display only, hung up or stacked on shelves.
Then, it hit me- the easiest upcycle job ever- they would make perfect oversized beach towels! Basically the easiest project ever- after you’ve collected the materials. Line the towels up in the color and pattern combos you prefer. Look closely before you sew them together, there is definitely a front and a back on most towels.
Most of the towels lined up to be close enough in size to sew right together. Trim and hem the vintage towels that are too long to fit next to the other towels.
The repurposed vintage towels have definitely become a family favorite. Excellent for laying on in the sun. Perfect for covering up when you’ve had enough sun for the day. So now you’ve got a great reason to go thrifting! Stand out in all the right ways at the beach, lake, concert in the park or picnic with your up-cycle savvy vintage towel brilliance. And it’s absolutely the easiest DIY sewing project you’ll ever tackle.