Thursday, July 30, 2009

Make Mine Mungo

I've been simply mad for Mungo lately, and why wouldn't I be? It's lovely stuff, besides which, for one, I've received some lovely encouragement from overseas: Give Me One Good Raisin, a fabulous reuse blog stationed in England, came across li'l ol' Mungo and lavished us with praise, and that was so fun and exciting and flattering.

And, for two, you'll never believe it but (drum roll please) Mungo is poised to become a reality sometime soon, sometime really really soon, in the next year or so, probably. I've been hesitant to crow about it for fear I'd put the cart before the horse as they say, but it appears to really be barrelling along, picking up momentum and no earthly reason why it should stop. I'm teaming up with Lisa Stevens of GaGa and some other great folks and it really looks like we're really on our way, HOORAY!

And in the mean time, art from old blocks and some T-shirt yarn...
and click here for my original vision for Mungo, if you don't know....
Of course now it is a shared vision and I am so happy for it to be thus... but it was this little vision that started this blog going and got this ball rolling and gosh gee you just have to say that you can really, really manifest some cool, cool stuff if it is your desire to do so... I am utterly amazed, myself.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reuse ideas for the egg carton

All these ideas and more were found at

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Six pack hammock

I tried to scan the instructions for this out of the (fabulous, inspiring) Play Book by Steven Caney, but the print comes out just too indiscernably tiny so I'm going to do you the enormous favor of typing it all out. That's right, I'm that committed. Because summer's already halfway over and you're going to have to get a move on if you want to gather up the 75 six pack carriers necessary for this relaxing little contraption. So here goes... might as well pop a brewskie while you read... you're going to need to drink a lot of 'em:
Before you decide to build the SIX PACK HAMMOCK, be sure you have a place to hang it. There are no absolute rules about distances between hanging points or height off the ground. If you are going to make your own hammock, it can be constructed to fit the space you have. The most popular place to hang a hammock is between two trees. You can also use a single tree in combination with a strong anchoring place like a house or a large post sunk into the ground. If you look hard enough, you will almost always find a sturdy hanging point. To hang the hammock, use large screw eyes at the attaching points and mount them about five or six feet above the ground. Screw eyes can be put directly into a tree without harming it. The actual height of the hammock is easily adjusted, but you still might want to have a helper and yourself hold the hammock in position to be sure your hanging points are properly placed.
at least 75 plastic six-pack carriers
2 wood sticks
2 metal rings
2 "S"-hooks
drill and 5/16-inch bit
First detrmine the size of the hammock you are going to make. If you have selected a place to hang the hammock, measure the distance between the two hanging points. The "body" or people part of the hammock should be about half that dimension. The harness that supports the hammock at either end will take up the rest of the length.
A good two- or three-kid size hammock (as shown in the photograph) can be made from ninety six-pack carriers--- nine across and tehn long. You can collect the six pack carriers over a period of time or you might go scavenging around in a campground or a ball park. If you are really in a hurry, a local soda or beer "bottler" who uses six-pack carriers might help you.
The body of the hammock and the harness are both made at the same time by weaving clothesline through the holes in the plastic carriers. The hammock is woven one lengthwise row at a time. Lay out a single row of carriers to the length of the hammock body you want. Place the carriers lengthwise so that their end "circles" interweave and partially overlap.
Cut a length of clothesline cord a few feet longer than the entire length of the hammock (body and harness). Weave the clothesline the length of the row through the holes in the carrier where they overlap. Weave the cord over, through, under, up, over, through, under, up, Fig. 2. Adjust the clothesline so that here are equal lengths of cord at either end.
Continue to add rows of carriers in the same way until the hammock is the width you want. After the last row, weave another length of clothesline through the circles along each of the two outside edge rows.
Lay the hammock flat and square on the floor. To make the "spreaders" --- the devices used to keept hr ropes separate from one another--- find two flat sticks andc ut each of them a few inches longer than the width of the hammock. Place one of the sticks at each end of the hammock body and mark the positions of the ropes on the stick. Drill a hole at each mark down the center of the sticks. The holes should be large enough for the rope to go through easily.
Carefully make a singel loop knot on each cord where it leaves the body of the hammoc. Do this on both sides of the hammock. Place a spreader at each end of the hammock and thread the ropes in order through the holes in the spreaders.
Push the spreaders up against the knots. Using two more lengths of clothesline cord, weave the end circles of the carriers to the spreader sticks. Tie the cord at each end of the stick, Fig. 3.
Gather the cords at one end of the hammock and bring them together at the end. Tie each cord individually to a large ring, being sure to adjust each cord so that the hammock will lie flat on the floor with no cords kinking. Snip off any excess cord ends.
You can hang the hammock directly to the support eye hooks using "S" hooks, or using two more "S"-hooks and two short lenghts of chain, you can make the hammock height adjustable.
The SIX PACK HAMMOCK requires no maintenance and can be used outdoors year round. IT is strong and safe for adults as well as kids.

Reuse in the garden

I just received this craft o' the day from good ol' Martha and I thought it would be a fine repurposing project.... goodness knows there's loads of old pots lying around. And a water feature in your garden.... how feng shui is that? The instructions for this flower pot fountain can be found here. You could double up on the repurposing and fill this with graywater from your bath (which I'm sure would be plenty clear, unless you've been digging ditches all day).

I thought I'd tack on a few more garden ideas so this post won't seem too paltry. There's a handful of great ideas for what to do with your old leaky garden hose here. And at This Old House I found this lovely photo of a transformed ladder... of course there's no end to the stuff you could stick in your garden for vines to crawl up or for to stack planters upon... and don't even get me started about old bathtubs.... sure, you could fill it with flowers as a marvelous planter but why not hook it up to the water supply, create a nook with hanging plants or tall bamboo for privacy, and bathe outside in the summer, or use it as a kiddie pool... to me an outdoor bath is the very height of luxury, I hope we'll have one someday. I was inspired by this garden by Flora Grubb (who just happens to be my cousin-in-law).... the tub was obviously custom made so it's not reuse, but just go ahead and get inspired by this image, why don't you.... That vertical succulent garden alone is enough to make anyone's eyes start spinning in their head.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Oh my...

... this is simply astonishing. Shoes, hats, jewelry, and clothing made from wire found inside pre-1980's television sets, by Alison Bailey Smith.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Save $199, 995 when you make your own

I'm mainly clueless when it comes to things like handbags or accessories of almost any sort, really, so I hadn't heard about the fabulous, most expensive handbag ever, the Hermes Birkin bag, which costs a cool two HUNDRED thousand buckerooskies. An enterprising young crafter made a snarky, stylish and proactive comment on this sad state of affairs by creating her own version of the bag, made mainly out of odds and ends she had laying around the house. The surface is comprised mainly of strips of pages from an Ethan Allen catalog. More on how to make one of your very own here.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

groovy wall treatment

Hmm, that's a bit hard to see, but it's magazine pages shredded into strips and then papered onto the wall. I think it's pretty awesome looking, and it kind of explodes the myth that you have to get certified Grade 'A' wallpaper. My mom has one wall in her house that is papered with maps, and an upstairs bathroom done with Far Side cartoons and other entertaining reading for those private moments... she used laundry starch and it's been up there for at least twenty years and looks great... in this instance, found in the book Home Cheap Home: a room-by-room guide to great decorating, they recommend affixing the strips to your wall with a craft glue like Delta Sobo. Allow them to dry overnight, and then brush on an even coat of transparent sealant such as Miniwax Polycrylic. This is in the bathroom, too, so probably in another room of your house, you mightn't not have to bother with the (probably noxious) sealant.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oh what to do with those many vintage suitcases

You may have noticed that thrift stores abound with the funkiest vintage suitcases... their place in life usurped by so many other lighter and more practical luggage solutions, it's really tragic that the world has not much use for them... that is, until now...

these and other fabulous ideas are found at Jennifer Perkins' blog, Naughty Secretary Club.

Chasing Cheerios also has a cool idea for a child suitcase rehab here.

Play kitchens and dollhouses..

...Made mainly of Mungo? Where do I sign up?

I've been kind of obsessed lately with these subjects lately, and the book Green Dollhouse has only fueled my fire... (you can also look at their website)...check out this one, Monopoly Manor, which features a shower curtain made out of a Wonder Bread wrapper, scrabble board for floor tiles, and a bathtub cleverly made from a bottle of bathtub cleaner... the possibilities are really endless when it comes to creative dollhouse construction and I'm cooking up a class, for adults this time, that I'll keep you posted about, so stay tuned...

I've also been checking out all these swoon-worthy play kitchens that are cleverly created from items otherwise bound for the dustbin.... OK, OK, that's not necessarily true... this natural wood one above was found at ikeahacker (the other was found here and they're so amazing and they are for sale, and since you probably don't

have access to many gigantic olive oil tins if you're swooning now you may want to shell out some bucks for one) but perusing these homemade play kitchens caused me to realize how totally do-able an utterly adorable homemade/mungo play kitchen would be. You just need some sort of cupboard-y type thing for the base, cut a hole in the top and put a metal bowl in the hole (and I've already done this so I know how now) and you know.... add a backsplash, a shelf, some knobs, paint on burners for a pretend-stove of some sort... whatever you care to dream up.

So, one trip to Blue Hanger and one roadside pick up of an abandoned cupboard later, and I have this-here pile of Mungo just waiting to be transformed... the sad thing is that we don't even need a play kitchen, we already have a play kitchen, but I'm just too obsessed and simply. must. follow this. or my brain might explode. OR something like that, I'm not really sure, but better not risk it.