How To Recycle Old Coffee Mugs #DIY #Project

It’s SPRING!

What a great time to freshen up the yard with a totally 100% free project using items we already had. re_up cycleDon’t throw away those cracked cups with broken handles!

We all know I’m a collector of things, whether it’s empty boxes (‘cos you never know when you might need one) or bathrobes ( I have about fifty of them) or seashells (of course!) — and all the rest: shoes, jewelry, books…

I’m also a breaker of things — like coffee mugs and wine glasses.

At any given time, I have half dozen injured/wounded/disabled cups that’re in various stages of rehab on tugboat man’s repair table.

He’s the BEST fixer.

I might wield a mean glue gun, but he has the patience and fine motor skill to join together broken pieces of china, another of his great qualities, I might add.

Most of the repaired cups and mugs aren’t really usable for holding hot liquid, but I’ve held onto them because I love them and they’re special to me…Hello Kitty, Yale Mom, and the ones with seashell motifs — I mean, how can I just toss these guys in the trash?

One fine Sunday afternoon, I felt the itch to start another DIY project but nothing specific came to mind — just thought I’d wander around until something sparked interest — then I discovered an old boat ramp behind our greenhouse (not sure what boat it came from). I’d seen this ramp for YEARS and overlooked it a dozen times. This time, however, I had an epiphany.

It’d make an awesome shabby chic plant stand for the coffee cups!

Now I needed to find something to lean it up against, and chose a Brazilian Pepper Tree that we never really liked ‘cos it’s invasive, but it’s been here since the house was built, and the birds like it — because of that, so far it’s been spared. You can’t really grow anything under it (that’s only one of its problems) and the roots protrude and are gnarly.

Think Oklahoma dust bowl. Think Grapes of Wrath. That’s exactly what that neglected little area brings to mind. It was time to render a little aid and LOVE.

I filled the mugs with succulents that I already had growing in the garden.

View from the deck: A perfect location to turn into a bohemian hippie focal point.

coffeecuplanter3jupitersbeardI planted a square of Jupiter’s Beard from seedlings I propagated; it’s a drought tolerant plant with lush pink flowers — really easy to grow, and it’ll fill in an otherwise kind of ugly and barren spot.

I took a bird bath from the front yard and an assortment of other planters gathered from the garden and clustered them all together to create visual interest.  The worn and broken tiles add to the shabby chic feel.coffeecupplanters

Bonus upcycle DIY: Turn an old hat into a planter by cutting off the frayed brim and attaching twine. So simple to set inside a pot of colorful flowers; hang and enjoy!
coffeemugplanter1

You can never have too much aloha spirit!

Share your best up/recycle #DIY project.

10 reasons why seashells are enchanted

I’m still in the throes of harnessing my inner beeyotch (the lady who slammed on her brakes and made a u-turn in front of me got a taste of that new me) but I took a teensy break to ponder the oft-asked question: Why do I love seashells?

1. Just like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. Some are almost perfect twins, but there’s always an individual characteristic if you look close enough.

2. Unlike a snowflake, they don’t disappear.

3. They are all beautiful in color and shape and size.What a treasure!

4. Shells can be worn as jewelry.Abalone necklace with rope work, earrings, pearl bracelet, necklace of polished shell pieces

4. There is appeal in their symmetry and asymmetry.fairshells

5. For me, seashells impart a tangible tactile and visual state of bliss.

6. Shells give birth to episodes of intense creative passions. This is my most recent seashell bouquet; an organic interpretation inspired by a froggy vase acquired at a local thrift shop that helps victims of domestic abuse.newfrogvase

7. Once upon a time, a seashell housed a living creature.

8. Cowry shells were used as currency in China.cowry shell

9. If you love to collect dust, start collecting seashells! They are a dust magnet, prolly their only negative trait.

10. A small grain of sand–a foreign body–inside a seashell grows into a magnificent pearl.  A pearl is an annoyance to the shell,  just exactly like the way I am oftentimes an annoyance to the captain!white-pearl-in-oyster     

Seashell insanity–Episode #452

Well…my tugboat man spent pretty much the entire day surfing. He came home at 2:00 p.m and said he had been trying to catch a wave in to shore for over an hour or he would have been back sooner. RIGHT.

Does he think I just fell off the turnip truck? Do I look stupid? I know that trick–the old “I couldn’t get in so I just had to stay surfing until the sun went down and the tide changed” lie.

I was so mad at him for abandoning me that I had to devise a painful retaliation to convey my displeasure. I decided that we were going to go walking in our little village of Carlsbad and go in and out of EVERY shop. That is absolute torture for my hubs, which meant it was perfect. And since I’ve gotten my Chanel, she hasn’t really had a good outing and begged to come along and see and be seen by all the tourists and locals in our little town.

We went to every single store including one where I bought some beautiful seashells, ‘cos, you know, I just don’t have enough seashells. I made him go into antique stores, sandal shops, shoe stores, clothing stores–up and down State Street and Grand Avenue without a moment to rest. When I felt he had been punished sufficiently, we went home and he installed a shelf that he made for my new shells and my seashell box we created together.

There’s more surf tomorrow, so I’ll be thinking of more ways to make his life miserable.

shelf1shelf2

 

 

Instead of Flowers, How About an Enchanting Seashell Bouquet?

Today is super hot and humid but I went to Pilates anyway, and saw a friend of mine who’s a nurse and she always has a handful of non-latex gloves or figs from her tree for me and I trade her tomatoes and cucumbers and clary sage seedlings, so it’s a win-win for both of us.

I’m really excited about all my clary sage seedlings; I have about 100 of ’em that look very healthy but will have to wait for the weather to cool down to put them in the ground. Here in So Cal, October is our spring, and that’s the best time I have found to plant natives.

So I have all these seashells, right?  Prolly thousands of them, collected by me or presented as gifts, and I’m not super creative like everyone on Etsy and Pinterest, but I do like to embellish almost everything with shells and rocks.

I was looking for a new project and somewhere saw a bouquet of seashells and starfish and thought that it looked easy enough to re-create, so I did!

How to make the seashell bouquet:
1. Get craft sticks of all sizes; I even used chopsticks
2. If you don’t have a glue gun, get one! I can’t live without mine, that’s for sure. For this project, you don’t have to be perfect, obvs you need to use more glue for the heavier starfish
3. If you want to use florist’s foam,that would be a good idea; I didn’t do that here, but I did fill the vase with paper

Voila! Here’s the finished product. This vase is at the bottom of our stairs up to the second level and is the first thing you see when you come in the front door.