Thursday, November 17, 2011

“Just use it” and Further Thoughts on Accumulation


Yes, more stories come to mind on this favorite of subjects and my post on “The Art of Accumulation” (here) seems to have provoked some discussion among friends. A family member reminded me of the time I hauled something to the dumpster on the main road and my husband went into such shock that I had to go retrieve it. A friend’s husband built two rooms in the back of their garden to contain the overflow. And someone built a whole house for their daughter who only visits in the summer, because she not only accumulates, but collects as well—a daunting combination.

         To my way of thinking, then, the best projects are those that make use of several accumulated items. I need to make a dent in that pile of small clay pots in which plants are sold. The Before:
Well, how about stacking them? The After:
Much better. One of my next projects will be three or four stacked pots for a more sculptural effect.
Then there was a forlorn bidet, removed during bathroom renovation, that sat in a hidden corner of the garden for two years.
At first, I thought that if I smashed it to smithereens, I could make a really lovely pot from the pieces. It is porcelain after all. My husband objected and mentioned the price (couple hundred dollars, at least—it was imported). Ok, ok. However, the faucet had to be removed as it wasn’t intact and there was a rusty bolt that required removal as well—his job. Half way through the nasty removals, he said: “Wouldn’t you just like to smash this for pots?”!! Not anymore--I had other plans! The trick was to find the right spot.
Wrong spot--it sticks out too much...however, I did find a better place. Next, I placed a tile at the bottom of the bowl and an old paint can. Then I added the rocks for drainage.






And finally the dirt mix.
You may be wondering about the paint can in the dirt. The After:
The paint can serves as the base for the mosaic pot. If the faucet had been intact, I would have used the bidet as a quirky bidet plant container and would not have hidden it’s original function. However, as it stood I had to find a spot that it would fit into discretely. I planted some spillers that will eventually hide the form a bit and I'll add other pots around it.
That’s a successful upcycling project—three items into one. My new tiered planter provides more cool green on my patio for the hot summer months. 

And that's probably the closest I'll ever get to a tutorial.

21 comments:

Debbie said...

How great is that. My first tought was to turn it into a water feature or a fountain of some kind. Then I remembered where you were....the plants look great and love the different form it gives.

CREATIVE MIND said...

This is the most smart effort, you are doing great my dear! now it turned out into a beautiful piece,,thank you so much for the tutorial :)

Exuberant Color said...

Well that seems the untimate of recycling! It all looks great and will probably surprise some people as to its original purpose. Your stacked pots are a great idea and I love your mosaic work.

Sujata said...

You are so clever with your up-cycling projects. Love the new life you gave to all of the found treasures!

susan christensen said...

Hee Hee Hee! I love this post, and am going to be thinking along these (up-cycle)lines as I clean out our own accumulations! love, sus

Connie Rose said...

Hilarious, Nadia!

concretenprimroses said...

I love it. The greens all go so well together. I prefer anything stacked, uses up more!
I'm trying to use up things, but I also keep accumulating. Gotta start selling what I make I've decided.
Kathy

Mary Zeran said...

I am laughing so loud I almost spit juice out my nose. BRAVO!!

Katie said...

you're the beauty recycler! xo

Ms. ∆×∆p×≥h/4π said...

Oh, Nadia--it's only a question of time--and I seem to run out of it--spread out over several communities and projects as I am--I just pick away at the accumulation as best I can--your recycled artistic productions are exquisite, and I have been saving this little African animation to share with you before I run off to a woodsy retreat and stop blogging till December--for Nadia A Story A Story http://youtu.be/3a7U08B7TY8 --Have a thanks full thanksgiving all!

greeninthemiddle said...

you make so many beautiful things!

Nifty Quilts said...

I love your ability to innovate! There's something magical about making something from items at hand. Inspiring!

Michele said...

Very Clever! LOL!!

happytrees said...

I love your garden! It's crazy beautiful, and your project has officially started my upcycle gathering for holiday projects!

bj said...

I love this new addition to your garden! You are so creative!

Postcards from Wildwood said...

Brilliant! I love all your other mosaic pots too.

I too get a great satisfaction from making something out of next to nothing, and lament that so much of our stuff these days has a built-in obsolescence. Like new printers that are actually cheaper than replacing the ink cartridge ... but at what cost to the earth...?

Roxanne said...

You deserve and award for being the ultimate recycler. :D

liz said...

And you could even stand the bidet in another larger pot and plant around its base! I don't think I'll throw another thing out after reading this.

Linda A. Miller said...

Nadia, you make such wonderful recyled art that becomes fresh and alive in its new form. Bravo! I will have to rethink my cleaning out projects! Happy Holidays to you.

thyflo said...

un magnifique jardin et l'idée d'utiliser ce bidet est très ingénieux . félicitations

shirley said...

You have such amazing ideas...I love love love this idea.