Inspiration from cultural heritage

We just celebrated the Slovenian Day of culture (which is also a non-working day, yey!) and many cultural institutions held celebrations and other special events for the public. Slovenian cultural heritage is a rich one. The first association I have when trying to picture a typical Slovene imagery in my mind is rustic carnation from Upper Carniola, lots of red hearts and beehive panels. Not sure what I am talking about? Here they are in all their vivid colours, rounded shapes and lots of detail.

These are so beautiful that just call for reinterpretation. A small detail from these images can be put in all sorts of crafting products. I can already see the detail of carnation from the cloth as a pendant or line with hearts from painted egg as a bracelet pattern. Maybe in different colour or stylised lines… or maybe not.

So I jumped to Museum of GorenjskaSlovene Ethnographic Museum and other websites for more inspiration. Here are some images with objects that caught my attention.

I will definitely try to include some of the details in my future projects (see the pattern on the furnace doors – great for projects with wire).

To me these are just beautiful and it is amazing how much effort was put in these objects in the old days. They are part of the heritage of my nation – and tell us even today how our ancestors lived, what they liked, what were their values. Amazing, isn’t it?

 

What is your cultural heritage – does it attract you? Are you inspired by it?

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Worlds oldest instrument – Neanderthal Flute

DIY Vases with test tubes

Vases made from driftwood

Pieces of branches that have been washed by the sea, treated by the winds and bleached by hot sun have a unique colour and are very light and soft. We found driftwood pieces at the local beach. After washing it thoroughly (you do not want to have any marine bacteria at your home) we simply drew holes and attached the piece to aluminium stand. Finally the wood was treated with wood oil and wax – it gives it a velvety touch and smells divinely. The pieces are quite narrow so we put in the hole glass test tubes. It can become a vase or a candle holder, even pencils or brushes can find a new home. For larger pieces a glass vase or jar could be used instead of test tubes.

Simple vases from plywood

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Two pieces of plywood were cut to shape so they can be put together – one is inserted into another – and in the middle goes the test tube.

Upgrade plywood vases

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For this vase we glued several layers of plywood, cut it into “O” shape and drilled the hole at the top, so the test tube can be inserted into the wooden piece. The piece is put onto aluminium stand and secured with a screw. Finally we put two coatings of lacquer for shiny finish.

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Aluminium piece vase

This is a bit more complex piece. A spare aluminium piece was cut into shape and sanded. Than my husband drilled recesses and holes with his homemade CNC machine. This time it is the stand that is made out of wood – it is an old piece of wood board that was lying around.

 

What is so attractive about handmade craft?

via Daily Prompt: Craft

Craft noun: skill and experience, especially in relation to making objects (Cambridge Dictionary)

During the most stressful time at the job I found out that a lot of us, coworkers, dreamt about doing something with our hands, something touchable, to be able to enjoy the whole process from scratch till the result of our work lay in our hands. I guess it is an innate need to be creator, to make things happen – also in physical sense. To gain skills to do a good, functional and beautiful object is even more compelling.

But the reality is, many times we do not have the chance to experience these simple pleasures, especially in workplaces that require mostly intellectual or standardised work. And besides, why bother doing it yourself or buying a more expensive handmade item if there are cheap versions available all over the place?

For me it makes a difference – for me the old-fashioned handmade craft is valuable in many senses so I support these businesses whenever I can by buying their products rather than mass-produced ones. They may be more expensive and are not as flawless as factory polished products, but they have a story to tell: they are as unique as the person – creator who made them.

 

DIY charging station

We always searched the right charger for the device that was approaching battery death all over the house, so the first step was to label the chargers with device name and kept all chargers in one place. However, more than one device was often charging, so cluttery scenes were often seen near electrical outlets. The chargers basket was no better: a mess of unmistakably entangled electrical wires. Now we have a DIY all-in-one charging station that solves it all.

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Our charging station has two main parts: a crate that contains chargers and wires and the upper part that holds up our devices – two tablets and four mobiles. Every device has its permanent place with the name put on it.

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I bought a small wooden crate and three book holders for few euros at local store. Then I  disassemble them all, saw off excess parts and drilled holes for wires and assembled the parts together. The rest is paint and embellishments.

And here is all the mess that is put safely out of sight.

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We usually keep our chargers in the charging stations. For emergency charging when we are out of home we have a power bank and spare USB cables. Also, the charging station is a storage space for devices when they are not in use, so we do not have them lying all around the house anymore.

Handmade wall clocks

Handmade DIY wall clocks made out of natural or recycled materials.

The wooden farmhouse clock is Pinterest inspired. I found out it was originally designed by AveryStDesignCo – a small business that makes furniture and clocks out of reclaimed wood. I liked it so much that I tried to do one for myself. I used reclaimed wood, cut and sand it and aged it with steel wool and vinegar solution. I painted the outer circle with white chalk paint and finally draw the numbers with black acrylic paint.

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Back side of the clock was treated with vinegar solution as well. My husband cut the recess to hold the clock mechanism.

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This clock is made out of beach stones, that were painted with acrylic paint – green and grey ones. Some stones were covered with gold leaf that was glued on their surface.

Finally I simply hot-glued stones and clock mechanism to the wall, since we do not plan to remove this clock in near future and wanted them to really stick tight. I am not sure if hot-glue will leave any residue to the wall though.

I had an old stack of number stickers that I used to indicate hours. This clock is in the kids room so to make it more playful I used different fonts.

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A really old project. The central part of the clock is made out of an old piece of aluminium. My husband drilled holes in it so the wooden sticks and spheres could be fixed in. On the back side there is a recess for clock mechanism. I painted the wooden parts and pointers on the clock with high gloss paint in different colours.

With some imagination a lot of different natural or recycled materials can be used, making the projects friendly to environment and our pockets.

Letting go and embracing

I just found a wonderful post by The richness of a simple life about the meaning of life. The keywords that resonate with me, are: gift, embracing, searching, sharing and giving it away. But it is possible to introduce really meaningful things when we let go of all distractions and clutter of everyday life – physical and even more psychological ones. To make space for our vocation.

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. -Pablo Picasso Life is so beautiful when you embrace who you are, and build your life around that.

via The Meaning of Life — The Richness of a Simple Life

DIY Beach stone jewellery

Simple beach stones turned to jewellery.

Nice small beach stones, mainly from the local beach called “white rocks”, have been used for this project. The beach is situated under steep cliff and exposed to strong winter winds, so the limestone stones are pretty rounded and smooth. It is quite easy to find the right sized and shaped stones, but they are not rock-solid, so due care is needed during processing, especially when drilling holes.

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I made holes with Dremel, using diamond drills and drilling under water. Stones are connected with silver plated wire (6 mm) and swarovski stones have been put to add some glimmery touch. The texture of stones is smooth, so no surface grinding or warnishing is neccessary.

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The right earring is made out of sea glass. Shape of both earrings is similar, but different material has been used to make the set more interesting. To match them together the swarovski stone is added to the stone earring.

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Stones can be used to make pendants and rings as well. For pendants I used larger stones, so combination with various materials is possible: I inserted smaller stones, pieces of wood and even metal.

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And here is my treasure hunting site, the “white rocks” beach.

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