Tag Archives: Relaxation

Upcycle – Birdcage succulent planter

One day I came across a beautiful vintage look birdcage that was a bit worse for wear and so had been cast onto the corner for garbage pick up. I loved the style of it and thought it would be a terrible waste to send it to the dump so I grabbed it and took it home. I have always loved the idea of upcycling and I decided I was going to figure out a way to make this into a beautiful planter.

Here is what I was starting with. Meanwhile check out the little photobomber I just discovered haha.

Here is what I was starting with. Meanwhile check out the little photobomber I just discovered haha.

I have no idea what this horrid, tacky, stubborn, pink, sticky crap was, but it was everywhere and a pain in the butt to remove!!! I resorted to an old toothbrush, boiling water and detergent, followed up with some alcohol wipes.

Evil pink stuff

Evil pink stuff

So once it was all clean and pretty it was time to decide what I was going to do with it. I had a vision of creating a succulent planter. The idea being that in time the succulents will grow and poke out through/overhang the bars. So I went shopping…

My haul :)

My haul 🙂

Then it was time to find out if what was in my head would translate well to real life [I should note that I know others have done this successfully, but I was doing it without any instructions from any of those people 🙂 ]. I lined the base with Coconut fibre to stop the soil from falling straight through the bottom of the cage.

Make sure you compress it well. I tried to make mine a bit like a nest with the edges raised.

Make sure you compress it well. I tried to make mine a bit like a nest with the edges raised.

Then I added in the succulent planting mix and my succulents. Here are some photos of the finished product 🙂

 

I chose succulents that would spread, grow and hang out between the bars nicely as well as flower in different colours.

I chose succulents that would spread, grow and hang out between the bars nicely as well as flower in different colours.

 

 

I am very proud of my first upcycle attempt. Especially considering there were no instructions… I am happy to report that there were no pieces leftover post construction 🙂

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Meditation – Librarian style

Greetings and a happy Friday to you all!

The weather has been a bit sad of late (yes I am talking about the weather, but I have an awesome point so read on)… the kind of weather where you want to curl up in a comfy chair with a blanky, a [insert hot beverage of choice] and a good book. These days I find myself so busy that I forget to take time for myself to reflect on what I am doing, over this summer break I had a goal… read the books I haven’t been able to read all last year because of Uni work etc. I started many books… didn’t get the opportunity to finish one of them. I started to notice that my usual laid back bubbly persona would sometimes hideaway and I would get snappy, I don’t believe it was from book withdrawal syndrome. I think it was subconscious jealousy at the people I saw that seemed to have time for things where as I always felt so rushed. Last year flew by like a whirlwind and it wasn’t until our trip to Vanuatu where we had banned any and all technology that I felt like I could just breathe and do whatever I wanted and take time to enjoy the moment… I never took my watch anywhere and no phones – we had no idea what the time was at any point and it was fabulous.

But we can’t have holidays all the time (unfortunately) so how do we capture a little bit of paradise in our everyday lives to reduce stress levels, stop our eyes going square and just to stop and reflect and be ourselves? Some don’t feel the need for this, for instance after 2 weeks of no technology my hubby was begging for internet connectivity. Younger generations would probably feel immediate stress at having to leave their mobile at home, where as I now find joy and feel a little naughty when I turn mine off for at least half a day every weekend.

When I used to work in Sydney city there was this little bookstore I used to go to, ‘Maddagen’, it was in the basement of a building and very raw and industrial looking. I used to get a hot chocolate and sit in this GORGEOUS old, kinda worn red leather armchair that would not have looked out of place beside a fire with a gentleman smoking a pipe in it pondering philosophical things. I would sit there and read a book and drink my hot chocolate and sometimes look out the window a bit above me, as we were in the basement you could pretty much just see shoes and ankles (you’d be surprised how many people don’t take the price stickers off the bottom of their shoes). I would go there at least once a week and it was blissful, in all that hustle and bustle of a crazy city I had this perfect little haven hidden away. Unfortunately it was a little too hidden and disappeared one day; I wish I had known because I would have made them an offer on that chair.

Mmmm the ponderings...

I never found a book store/cafe quite the same and even if one came close it seemed to not last long. With the expansion of places like Amazon and the popularity of new technologies such as; ebooks, ereaders, ipads, smartphones and ereader apps Ye Olde Book Shoppe just can’t keep up. Even the Woolworths of book shop chains Borders has gone under. So in the spirit of old book smell and tattered covers I thought I would share this awesome very short article (with lots of beautiful pictures) depicting the 20 most beautiful bookstores in the world (according to the author). My favourite comment on the article is, “20 reasons not to buy a kindle”.

http://flavorwire.com/254434/the-20-most-beautiful-bookstores-in-the-world?all=1


No time for siesta!

I was reading a blog post this morning where someone described just having a sit down on their patio and being still, being in the moment, I suddenly realised that whilst reading this post I had been jiggling my leg and attempting to skim through the post. I froze trying to figure out what on earth was going on here, reading about someone being still and taking time to enjoy a moment of silence was making me feel restless… are you kidding?! Am I that far gone that even reading about relaxation makes me jittery now? Whoa! Not good!

My mind raced trying to ascertain the reason for this restlessness and the leg jiggling that had alerted me to it, why was I uncomfortable with someone I have never met living god knows where having a sit down on a Sunday afternoon? This makes no sense! Did I think they were lazy? No. Could it be jealousy? I don’t know, perhaps… hmm maybe.

green eyed monster

Jealousy?! Really?! Wow haven’t felt a real bout of that in what 10 years? Crazy! But then I thought she probably worked damn hard for that afternoon of sitting – the green beast replied, ‘any harder than you? Look at you!’. So I did, I took a good hard look at myself and realised that I am a bit of a mess, not on the outside because I am pretty good at maintaining facades it seems. On the outside I am the picture of organised, efficient, insightful, blah blah blah all those words. Inside the whole balance of mind, body and spirit… well right now I don’t think they have even met each other before… they are truly estranged!!! My life over the past 6 months has been crazy and I know I have abused every aspect of myself in attempt to soldier on and get everything done.

But, I am really starting to feel the effects of working full time, studying Uni at night, organising a wedding and being heavily involved with the pre-birth, birth and life of my baby sis’ surprise bub (first baby in the family since my brother 22yrs ago and she was misdiagnosed with digestive problems until 4 months before she was due).

The last week or so I have felt 75 or 80 rather than 21 (ok 28), everything is far more sluggish and my desperate need for sleep and rest screams at me from every pore. I am so grateful to pour myself into bed at the end of the day. I think the only thing keeping me going is healthy eating, coffee and a dream of the honeymoon just over the horizon.

I think my body is beginning to revolt against me the last two days I have had fevers and shocking headaches, which has forced me to spend more time at home, but still I did not rest as much as I should.

My mother finds this disgusting, but my time to myself where no one could get at me was going to the gym, I could turn on MY music and be totally alone in my little sphere for a while. When I was done I felt like I had done something good for my body, regained a little sanity and my thoughts were more in order and at the end I rewarded myself with a long shower (I never do this at home due to water and electricity costs). But with everything going on there hasn’t even been time for me to do this, last time I did a pilates class I almost fell asleep. I find solice in the fact that the major project I have been doing for work will be completed by the end of this week which should hopefully give me a little breathing space and less sleepless nights.

This is not enjoying life… this is spending my life working and my work to life balance is completely out of synch. I have managed to finish all my Uni assessments for the year ahead of time which is one less thing to worry about. This is really nice because now I am able to enjoy more of the wedding stuff rather than it feeling like a chore. And in 5 weeks time the wedding will be over and we will be on a tropical island with no mobile phones, laptops or internet and nothing to do but recreational activities… ohhh the joy!