Restored

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The joy and satisfaction of a restored piece of furniture cannot be underestimated – especially when you have undertaken the job yourselves.

This post from November last year tells the story of our most recent furniture acquisition.  It was in very good condition but GMan sanded and recoated the entire piece, however, the real difference was the replacement of the drawer handles.

I have been using the dressing table for about 3 weeks while we were waiting to collect the new mirror.  I chose to have bevelled edges to replicate the original.

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Today we fitted the mirror in the frame and attached it to the dressing table.

Before and after photos.

I am really pleased with the final result.

Almost Finished

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We are on a mission to try to finish several projects around the place.  Hot on the heels of the completed cold frame, we finished replacing the handles on our latest restoration project.

It is now over 6 years since I wrote about the silky oak dressing table/drawers that we restored.  You can read about it here.  This piece has now been relocated to the guest room.

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The latest restored piece is slightly larger and now has pride of place in my bedroom.  It is also silky oak and a very similar style to the other one.  The mirror for this one is larger and rectangular rather than oval.

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The final step is the new mirror which we hope to pick up this week.

I do not think we are likely to be restoring any other large pieces of furniture in the foreseeable future but there are plenty of other jobs.  We are now working on finishing the top of the pergola/walkway.  This has become rather necessary as the mandevilla creeper has now almost reached the top of the wire on the sides of the pergola.

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This was just after we had planted them in September 2018.

 

Isolationism or Self-Reliance

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I have seen the following text and similar being shared in various posts on Facebook over a number of weeks.

Two can play that game China
Threaten our economy
All products from China will be left on the shelf !
Who’s With Me

However, there never seems to be any commentary from the person sharing the post as to how they actually propose to achieve this goal of not buying products that are made in China.

I believe that wherever possible we should be buying food produced in Australia.  Fresh and unprocessed food are generally the best nutritional option.  Additionally, packaged food may be produced in Australia but presented in packaging from China or elsewhere.  It is highly unlikely that you would be able identify where the packaging was sourced.

Food is not the only thing that most of us buy.  There are clothes, shoes, homewares and hardware supplies.  When was the last time that you checked where your purchase was manufactured?  Does it matter?

In my opinion, it is more important to be a conscious consumer generally rather than targeting goods from one particular country.  Buy only what you need (not want), understand what is ‘enough’, care for and repair what you have and source pre-loved items where possible as ways of stepping away from over-consumption.

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Over-consumption means that we are drowning in ‘stuff’ that is cheaply mass-produced in countries such as, but not exclusively, China.  Become a conscious consumer and you will immediately significantly reduce the products you are buying from China.

Your thoughts?

New to Us

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A few days ago I was lying in bed in the morning  and scrolling through Facebook when a Marketplace advertisement popped up and caught my eye.  It was for a silky oak dressing table which looked to be in pretty good condition and a fair price- $150.  Silky oak is a tree which is native to where I live and we have one growing on our property so it is quite special to have furniture which was obviously made with locally sourced timber.

Within a matter of 10 minutes I had contacted the seller and arranged to buy it with collection that afternoon.  GMan and I took the ute and collected this beauty.

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It is currently in the workshop as we intend to sand and refinish the timber as well as replacing the handles on the drawers and possibly replacing the mirror.

You may remember the other dressing table, also silky oak, which GMan restored a few years ago.

Dressing table

Once the new one is restored I will probably swap the existing one to the guest room and replace it with the slightly larger one in our bedroom as there is more drawer space.

Awesome Araldite

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I think many people are probably like me and imagine that the wonder adhesive, Araldite, has been around forever.  In fact, this is not the case.  It was introduced to the mass market in the late 1940s and can be used to fix almost anything.

With an introduction like that, I expect that you can guess what these 2 items have in common.

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Yes, they have both been mended using Araldite.

The first photo is my clothes airer which I have had for about 7 years but it is somewhat older than that as it had previously belonged to my mother.  It is a deceptively simple design but I constantly needed to be careful as the poly pipe could easily come apart at the 4 corners near the top if you pulled the airer to move it.  The design is such that it can be disassembled if required but we decided that since that had not been necessary in the past 7 years that we would permanently secure the joints with Araldite. It seems to have worked perfectly and now I can move the airer easily without worrying that it will all collapse.

The second photo is my jewellery box which was a wedding gift from GMan so it has significant sentimental value.  The lid is hinged and some years ago the glue on one side of the hinge came loose so it always just sat in place.  A bit like the airer, it was not a major problem – just a niggling annoyance.  GMan had to clean and remove the old glue before fixing the hinge back on using the Araldite.  He was not convinced but it appears to be successful and I can now open the lid of the box as it was originally designed.

These are simple repair jobs that can be undertaken by anyone.

What have you repaired lately?

 

A Chair Repair

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This was quite a minor repair in the scheme of things but it restored a damaged piece of furniture to its original state.

We bought this chair secondhand from Gumtree a couple of years ago.  My original intention was to have an occasional chair in the corner of the office/library but I found a pair of chairs and the seller was not prepared to separate them so we bought them both and managed to fit both of them into the newly re-arranged room.

I recently noticed that a piece of wood had come off an arm of one of the chairs.

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It appears that the rolled ends on the arms is actually 2 pieces of timber glued together and the glue had probably dried out allowing the curved underneath piece to become detached.

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I applied some Aquadhere wood glue to the surface and used a clamp to hold it into position until the glue dried.

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The chair now looks as good as new.

Finally Finished

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It is 2 months since I wrote this post about buying the fabric to make a new cover for the day bed.  I had made a small start a few weeks ago but today I started seriously sewing.

I have now finished the cover apart from the fasteners for the straps which will hold it in place.  I will buy some more this week.

Here is the end result.

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As described in my earlier post, the other side is vinyl so that I can leave it reversed when not in use so that if the cat sleeps on it the cat hair will be easy to remove with a damp cloth.

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I am very pleased with the result and the colours match the other furniture and details on the verandah.

Buying for a Bed

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It is 4.5 years since I wrote this post about covering the mattress on an old bed to use as a day bed on the verandah.

Unfortunately, it did not quite turn out as I had planned for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, the cat thought I had made it for him and proceeded to lie on it regularly and blanket the entire surface with grey fur.  Secondly, I realised that it was directly accessible to anyone entering our property and I would not feel secure being asleep there.

The second issue has been addressed somewhat by having a lockable gate installed.

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However, the problem of the cat remains.  I have considered this for some time now and decided that the best option was to have fabric on one side and vinyl on the other.  I will keep it vinyl side up generally so that any cat fur can be easily wiped off but turn it over to the fabric side when I (or anyone else wants to lie or sit on the bed.

Since the original post, we have painted the bed frame in a dark grey (the same colour as the surround of the gate in the photo above).  Additionally, the outdoor table is now red.

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I had an idea that I could incorporate these colours into my new plans for the bed.  So, today when I was shopping I went to Spotlight and was surprised and delighted to find exactly what I was looking for.

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The plain black vinyl will be for the cat while the stripe fabric which was described as ‘outdoor canvas’ will be perfect for the fabric side.  I should have enough left to make a couple of cushions, too.

I was really pleased to find exactly what I had imagined and I am looking forward to getting it made and ready to use.

Successfully Repaired

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I did some repairs to my cane laundry basket a couple of weeks ago.  I delayed showing you my handiwork until I was sure that it really was going to be successful.

Here is the well-used basket with some of the cane broken.

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The rear of the handle on the left has broken canes.  Here is a close up view.

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These pieces should be positioned the same as the other side of the handle but once they have broken and the tension is released they have sprung away from their position.  There is now nothing holding the handle in place and if I chose to, I could pull that side of the handle right away from the basket.

I had been considering how I could repair this for some time and I finally bit the bullet and bought some thin plastic rope.  I would have preferred cotton cord but that did not seem to be readily available.

My general idea was good but I had not really thought through the finer details so I did that on the run.

Here is the end result and so far it appears to be holding up to the rigors of being a washing basket.

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