Wednesday 10 October 2012

Recycling, Re-purposing, Reviving.

After a particularly delightful pain menage a trois, involving a three day migraine, popped jaw and zapping foot, I have been having a little trouble finding my happy place. Even I was beginning to be annoyed by my pathetic moaning and mopey self. So today I decided to say "No more!", and force myself to snap out of it.

And what do you do to snap out of a pain-filled funk? Why you finally get around to the craft project you've had in mind for months but somehow haven't managed to pull your finger out and complete.

I have a bit of an addiction to tins. I know, I know. Mr Grumpy thinks I'm nuts too, but I can't resist a cute tin. I have even been known to buy a product simply because the tin is pretty. Sometimes even when I didn't want the product inside.
Okay so these have chocolate inside, so maybe, I kinda, sorta, wanted what was in these ones.

Some tins don't need to be altered as they are already decorative.
Two of the many tins I have plans for. The red Carbonell will remain unchanged. These make perfect and lovely plant pots. Whip off the top with a can opener, hammer in a few holes in the bottom and voila! you have a decorative pot. I have a number of these on my front steps and they look fab. Bonus is they cost me $0. I buy them for the olive oil anyway. The free pot is simply a bonus.
Some like the green Bertolli tin, get the same treatment but end up painted like my red tins above. A can or two of red spray paint. Some home made stencils (I draw them on book contact, cut them out and stick them on the tin). A contrast tin of spray paint. And lo and behold, four unique and very hardy plant tins.

But today's project was much less involved and more in line with my exhausted patheticness.

My love of coffee is no secret. I start every morning with two double espressos to get my bp and hr up. This has lead to quite a collection of coffee tins, much to Mr Grumpy's annoyance. What he, my children and probably even my dogs, don't understand is that as soon as I saw these tins I had a plan. It only took me a year to get around to it.

These glossy black Vittoria tins have been sitting in the top of my pantry gathering dust, waiting for me to pull my finger out.  And finally, today, I did.

Mr Grumpy and the youngest hammered the holes and added little wire handles for me (with minimal eyerolls at my insanity), as my Muppet arms aren't quite up to that.
I have had this sad, broken, grass-infested, plastic pot of succulents sitting waiting for some TLC for some time. The succulents inside were a gift from a lovely family friend, June, who has now passed away, and I have wanted to re-plant them for ages. June had the greenest thumb of anyone I have ever known. There was nothing she couldn't grow and her garden was always glorious. She also made lovely cakes and biscuits. I'll always remember sitting as a child in her loungeroom, eating fresh ginger snap biscuits and sipping tea from proper china cups. She was a lovely lady and my mum's best friend. Miss you. June.

What started as one small plant in a little plastic dish has ended up spawning dozen of pots overflowing with tight green rosettes. These look spectacular when the tall flower stalks spring up with their handful of little orange and yellow bells.

This is an old dip tin from a farm in the area where I grew up. I have a few of these recycled around the yard and they make fabulous pots when lined with some old fly wire (we have a lot of this thanks to the dogs ripping our fly wire doors to shreds to get back into the house).
 One piece of this succulent will give me a dozen new plants.
 So pretty.
And 20 minutes later I have four new plants in black shiny tins. Recycled and re-purposed tins. Cuttings from a plant I already own. Even the potting mix is from my compost. $0 spent, apart from the tins which we would have purchased anyway for the coffee inside.
 One on the door of my famous fashion shed door.
Another three in a line down the side of the shed.

Not bad for about 30mins work. The glossy black tins look quite good against the greens and greys in the garden. And despite aggravating the migraine that I had only just managed to beat into submission, and feeling absolutely knackered, and in need of a nanna nap, I'm pretty damn happy right about now.

Michelle :)


  1. that looks fantastic. gardening gives immediate gratification doesn't it?

    1. It really does Tanjil, especially on a quick project like this. They look really good at the moment and the succulents have started growing again. Fingers crossed they'll keep growing well.

  2. i am so jealous of your creative talent. If thats what you can do when you are in pain and sick, I would love to see you in full force. they look beautiful. I hope it cheered you a little.

    1. Aw thanks Tanjil. It'd be nice to be able to do some bigger projects again but finding the energy is just so hard these days so I go for smaller achievable things now.

  3. By way of accentuating the positive ... this condition means drinking more coffee, eating more chocolate (more caffeine) and eating more salt ... and getting nice pots (pun fully intended).

    1. Hell yeah. Gotta look for those silver liinings ;)

  4. I'm the same with sewing and baking. :) nothing makes me happier than a few jours hunched over my sewing machine with expansed of fabric and ending with a gift or item fot my etsy shop that i know someone will love.

    Yesterday i managed to get a stew in the crock pot. Standing pong enough to get meat, onions, and carrots chunked up was a feat that's left my family woth nothing more complicated than grilled chicken or spaghetti for over a year.

    While my husband was peeling and slicing potatoes amd the kidlet unloaded the dishwashet, i got the hair to make oatmeal cookies..... 6 dozen oatmeal cookies. And they're amazing. Lol. But by the time the first trays of cookies came out, i was so wiped i didn't care if the rest got baked.

    1. That's fabulous Mel! I think whatever the project/chore, completing it is half the battle and feels so good when you do. I'm very impressed by all you achieved. :)

  5. So pretty. Gardening is so therapeutic.
    Hope you are well. I so appreciated the lovely, lovely giveaway prizes. I have been away from blogging and popping in occasionally to repost something old. Hope to get back into the swing of things soon.
    Hugs to you,

    1. It is therapeutic Mary. Even just sitting in the garden is good for the soul. So glad you enjoyed the prizes. I must admit I really enjoyed posting everything off to everyone and knowing it might brighten their day a little. xx


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