Repurposing at it’s best – Nan’s laundry

Handmade haven laundry day using enamel baby bath which was my nans baby bath, wooden pegs in a handmade peg bag.I love re-using and re-purposing things, especially when they have come from family. This was all very normal for my Nan’s generation – passing things down, keeping a bottom drawer, finding other uses for things – which seems to be sadly lacking nowadays.  Last year I was lucky enough to be given her laundry bowl and basket.  Now these items are just amazing!  The bowl is an old enamel baby bath.  Her baby bath.  She’s 91!  How cool is that?!  I use it for the wet laundry when pegging out, just like she did 😁.

Handmade Haven, re-purposed fishermen's basket, laundry basketHandmade Haven, re-purposed fishermen's basket, laundry basket

The basket is for the dry laundry (AKA how many odd socks basket).  This used to be a fisherman’s basket (her Dad’s family were mainly fishermen, plus they worked the lifeboat in the village) before it was her laundry basket.  Her Dad, my great Grandad, gave it to her when she got married, telling her it would last a lifetime!  I’ve no idea how long it was used before my Nan and Grandad got married in 1949, but it’s been going strong ever since, and will continue to do so long after I’ve finished with it.

Do you have anything you are reusing or re-purposing that you’d love to share?

My Nan and my boys, March 2019

 

Handmade haven made a messenger bag from old jeans and lined it with marauders map fabric

Old jeans equals new bag!

Well that fortnight just flew by! I’ve been working like a loon, plus I’ve had my annual urge to sort stuff out and get rid…no mean feat when you’re a natural hoarder 😂.

Over the years my boys have been through a fair few pairs of jeans.  The ones that have life left in them are passed down or go to the charity shop but the ones that have holes in knees etc, are cut up to and the use-able bits of fabric are saved.  This isn’t all of my rescued/saved stash 😉

I’ve been wanting to make myself a new bag as the old one I made was looking a bit tatty round the edges.  The outside of the new bag is made using some of those jeans, stitched patchwork style then trimmed into a long wide strip.  I then make a long narrow strip that turns into the sides of the bag and the handle.  I treat myself to the amazing marauders map fabric a while ago as I always intended it to line my new bag.  I added a couple of dividers inside and I made sure I’d got one of the jeans pockets on the front so I could use it as a pen pocket.

Handmade haven messenger bag made from repurposed jeans, Harry Potter marauders map fabricimg_6642Handmade haven messenger bag, made from repurposed jeans with handy pocket

My old bag was a similar style but it had a press stud fastening on the front.  I’ve made this one with a longer front as I never used the press stud.

I love that my bag has been worn by my kids!  I also love that I’ve made it myself, so it’s completely unique.  I know it’s not perfect (who needs to follow patterns anyway) but it’s full of love 😀

Handmade haven messenger bag, made with repurposed jeans

Moler inc, red Volksrod pick up, built not bought

Built Not Bought

I thought I’d introduce you to my Hubby’s pride and joy….

Red volksrod, open wheeled, flat bed with engine showing. VW Hotrod.

Moler Inc Volksrod

We’ve had VWs in one form or another for 15 years or so, but he wanted to do something different with this one. He has spent the last four years building this…He’s such a perfectionist too, so there probably isn’t a single thing that he made, and was happy with it the first time round😂😂.  The attention to detail is ridiculous – for example, he drilled thousands of holes in the door cards so that he could then hand-stitch the pattern exactly as he wanted it 😁. If you fancy taking a better look, he is Moler_inc on Instagram.

Volksrod, hood ornament, custom hood ornament, moler inc. Cast from resin.

Moler Inc Hood Ornament

Impossibly hard thing…Grief, depression

I was going to write something entirely different today, but then I read something on Tiffany Han’s Instagram page last week that stopped me in my tracks.  She said

There was a time in your life when you spoke a sentence that changed everything.

There was a time in your life when you did the impossibly hard thing and survived to tell about it.

Those two sentences are one and the same thing for me – I sat and cried.  I cried because I can remember the exact sentence – “do you know how many times I’ve thought about killing myself?!”  This was said to my husband, my best friend, whom I’d been pushing away while really wanting him closer, while I suffered with post-natal depression coupled with anxiety.  I didn’t realise at the time, that that’s what it was, but the argument, which brought that sentence from my mouth, was my impossibly hard thing.

Admitting something is wrong is always the hardest step, but it is also the first step to moving forwards.  My depression/anxiety was caused primarily through grief.  If you’ve read my about page you will know that my Mum died, aged 50.  She’d been ill for a few months, having multiple tests, but no cause was found.  My hubby and I had also been discussing having another baby, as I’d always thought we’d have three, but we had stopped at two.  We’d finally decided that we would try for another one, then the bomb hit…they did the right test and found it was in-operable lung cancer.  We decided we wouldn’t share our plans as it didn’t seem the right time and that she’d have more important things to be thinking about, then she died 5 days later, the day after our first son’s birthday, and 4 four days before Christmas.  Complete devastation.  Ten months later, after deciding we would go ahead as that’s definitely what my Mum would’ve wanted if she’d known, our third son was born.  Sods law dictates that we’d fall pregnant straight away right!?  All the grief I’d hidden away as I didn’t want to distress a babe growing in me, came to a head over the following months.  Awful, awful months.  A black hole with a ladder that never went anywhere when you climbed it.  Tears – though not as many as you would think weirdly.  Dark thoughts.  Really dark thoughts.  Suicidal thoughts.

People talk more about mental health now, although not nearly enough, but at least they are starting.  My period of depression, once I’d said that sentence, ended once I’d had some medication, then a bereavement counselling course.  That helped so much.  And talking to my husband, not bottling it up.  My Mum died in 2005.  2005!  I’m not the same person I was before my Mum died.  How can we go back when something so huge and life changing happens?  We just have to try and go forwards the best we can, and ask for help, or talk to someone… say that thing.