What To Do With Broken Faux Wood Plantation Blinds: Make Boxes!!

Faux Wood Plantation-Style Blinds
So, my husband and I rent out a beach condo. And part of managing a vacation rental is dealing with the things in the condo that need to either be repaired or replaced. (When folks are unfamiliar with a home, it's really easy to yank too hard or pull the wrong thing and snap some piece of plastic or cord or other.)  More often than not, it makes more financial sense to replace rather than repair whatever's broken, since that seems to be the way most household items are manufactured at the moment (I stress at the moment, because there is a growing availability of products and technologies - such as Sugru and inexpensive 3D Printers - that now allow the private individual to actually repair things that are meant to be disposable, and to replace previously irreplaceable parts. But I digress).

One thing we can usually count on finding broken at the condo each year is one or two of our Faux Wood Plantation-Style window blinds.  Often the mechanism for raising or lowering the blind is stripped or a cord has snapped, which means a trip to our local Walmart to buy a replacement.

Making The Proverbial Lemonade

Disassembled Faux Wood
Plantation-Style Blinds
On one of these occasions, admiring the ingenuity with which those individual plastic slats were designed to mimic real slats of painted wood, I just could not bring myself to toss out the broken blind without trying to use at least part of it for something else!  So I snipped the cords and saved the slats.  It turns out these pieces of plastic (only a few millimeters thick, approximately 2 inches wide, and coming in nice long lengths, depending on the width of the window they covered) are a fantastic material for crafting lightweight, reasonably strong, and slightly flexible, structures.

My Etsy Store!

OK, so I haven't posted anything to this blog in aeons . . . but I have still been making things.  I've got lots and lots more unusual ideas to share here. Over this past winter, however, a lot of these things have involved felt: Felt flowers, appliques, and cute felt animals, mostly.

You see, this past winter, we moved to Beech Mountain, North Carolina.  And starting the very next day after we moved into our new home, it snowed a lot.  I mean a LOT.  Even the locals were impressed. So we spent many a long evening sitting by the fire.  What do you do when you're in a situation like that?  Well, I found out that I have an urge to make pretty things out of soft and colorful felt - small things that enable me to work pretty much wherever instead of having to slink off to the solitude of a spacious sewing room (which I no longer have).

A 19th Century Bonnet - or at least my version of one . . .

My daughter and I are going on a field trip to Fort York in Toronto; and even more fun, we're going to be attending dressed in early 19th century style, complete with mob caps, long skirts and petticoats!  I made us the dresses and whipped up some mob caps for us.  But I was still without a proper bonnet, and I read that it would have been unseemly for a married woman such as I to appear out of doors with nothing covering my head but a mob cap!
So, a bonnet seemed necessary.  I got a "bee" in my proverbial "bonnet," and decided to make one myself.  I couldn't find any free patterns online for the style of bonnet I wished to make; so I thought I'd just go ahead and put one out there myself.  (I'll apologize now for the photos.  It was just me, myself, and I, to hold the camera; and so I didn't have a camera man until the very end, when my husband helped me photograph the finished product . . . and also my pointy, shiny nose.)

Instead of going out and spending tons on some sort of rigid specialty sewing materials for the brim and a lot of extra cloth, I decided that a cheap bamboo place mat and an old pillow sham would fill the bill instead.  And, as it turned out, they did!

Mosaics Out of Paint Sample Cards

Ah . . . so little time; so many, many ideas!  But once in awhile I get to do something creative.  I have been meaning to try out making mosaics using snipped-up paint sample cards from the hardware store (I do have too many of these accumulating in the house, what with two vacation rental condos to decorate and a need to be really, really sure I'm picking the right color for a room).  Well, as my darling daughter and I are studying Ancient Rome in history at the moment, making a mosaic design fit in well as an enrichment activity; so I got to hit the proverbial "two birds" today.

So above is Emily's (using this project as an opportunity to make a "Get Well" card for her Grandma.  And here is my effort.  (Not sure why we both felt inclined to make a fish.  Still it's a nice little subject to start out on.)

Finally! I Got Around to Using My Sugru!!!

What with moving house, homeschooling, and plain old-fashioned laziness, I kept my packets of Sugru idle and unused until about a month before their expiration date.  After using globs of it for uninspired, but needed repairs to various kitchen implements, I did one little artistic thing:

Behold!  My cute little Sugru Mouse, whose job is to keep my iPhone cord from slipping off my desk whenever I unplug my phone after charging.  He's just heavy and "grippy" enough to keep it from sliding off and falling back behind my desk.

The tail curls rigidly, but is not attached to his back, and is "bendy" enough so that I can slip the cord into and out of the loop.  I'm ordering more packets of Sugru now.  They've got so many more colors to chose from!
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