Plastic free, and exploding colors

I had a very full weekend filled with work and fun, perfect mix if you ask me. I like to be busy and this weekend I was definitely busy.

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I spent a good portion of my time working on furniture. One piece I will be keeping for myself, the other two are a request for my youngest grand child. With several pieces going at the same time, and having to work inside due to the rain and humidity I was shocked by the sight of the apartment today. It looks like a box of crayons exploded in here.

I finally finished the commercial cafe chair. Here’s what it looked like when I started, it needed some serious repairs to the back of it.

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Solidly constructed.

Solidly constructed.

Made in the USA

Made in the USA

Rather than buy a new cushion, I stuffed filling from a couch cushion under the original foam pad which was still in good shape.

Rather than buy a new cushion, I stuffed filling from a couch cushion under the original foam pad which was still in good shape.

Knowing this would be used by a 2-year old I had a cute piece of fabric picked out for the seat. Instead my oldest granddaughter informed me she knew what her cousin would like better than I did.

Not what I had planned to use.

Not what I had planned to use.

I decided to go along with her, I think she has a gift as it turned out cute.

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She wasn’t done, she found a piece of wide purple ribbon and informed me the chair needed a bow too. I added the bow which can be removed at any point.

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I listened to my son and his wife who have been asking me to get a futon or sofa bed for their overnight stays. After months of looking I decided a futon was the best choice. It was cheaper, took up less space and would be easier for me to move when I need to clean under it.

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Here are a few of the colors scattered around my apartment at the moment, does it look like a box of crayons to you?

Red, yellow, white and blue.

Red, yellow, white and blue.

Pink

Pink

White

White

Yellow

Yellow

Looking at the mix of colors its easy to see why we don’t want to have too many colors in one room, it’s overwhelming on the eyes. All this is in addition to the colors already in my apartment, and the pinks and purple in the chair.

I am struggling with the no plastic in July challenge. I purchased Beth Terry’s book Plastic Free: how I kicked the plastic habit and you can too. I was surprised by how good this book was. I learned quite a bit new including:

No plastic in making this book, look at the exposed spine held together by cotton rather than plastic thread.

No plastic in making this book, look at the exposed spine held together by cotton rather than plastic thread.

  • Even though I have single stream recycling many types of plastic are sent to the landfill if there isn’t a buyer for the plastic
  • My Tom’s of Maine deodorant containers are recycled along with yogurt tubs, food containers and even pill bottles by Preserve’s Gimme 5 Program.
  • Do you remember the plastic on the organic bananas I buy? I never knew why this had to be there. Now I do. Its to prevent mold. Non organic bananas are dipped in a fungicide to prevent the mold instead.

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  • Chewing gum is plastic. So much for being told its safe to swallow.
  • Do you know that silicone is made from sand and which is pressed through hydrocarbons, petroleum or gas. This is a hybrid product using different chemicals that can take more heat, but the jury is still out on whether its safer.
  • Polar fleece has plenty of environmental problems. Every time you wash fleece, or other polyester or synthetic fabric you are releasing tiny plastic fibers into the water system. These fibers are being found in the oceans.

I found much more in Plastic Free, I urge you to read it if you care about your health, reducing plastic or wanting to protect the health of others and the planet. You will find recipes to make your own cleaners, condiments, and ethical businesses where you can buy what you can’t make or find locally (including Ms. Terry’s favorite etsy shops)

First I missed seeing two bags being used for my purchase of peas at the farmers market, then I bought 3 containers of plants at the market. I will reuse these so they won’t be single use, but they are still plastic.

The first two were to fulfill a promise to add flowers to the fairy garden. At least these were grown locally and not shipped in.

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Then I purchased a tomato plant as the deer ate mine.

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Sunday I did some shopping. There are a few items of clothing I won’t buy used, of course that resulted in two more bags of plastic (I’ll use them for picking up the dogs leavings when he visits). I also needed clothes line to reweb a few outdoor chairs I rescued last summer. Why this had to be encased in plastic I can’t figure.

Two small bags, three pieces of tape, and two bags on the clothes line which is polyester, another type of synthetic material.

Two small bags, three pieces of tape, and two bags on the clothes line which is polyester, another type of synthetic material.

I also found myself having to purchase apples in a plastic bag with a plastic tab to hold it closed and the plastic wrapper, plastic tape, and a produce sticker on the bananas.

Every day needs to have a little fun. Saturday I received a visit from my granddaughter and her mom. The little one begged to have a tea party with me. She and mom baked cookies.

No plastic!

No plastic!

I added some freshly picked strawberries, since there weren’t many ready to pick I added orange segments as well.

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She planted her pansies.

No helped needed, she already knows how to plant her own flowers.

No helped needed, she already knows how to plant her own flowers.

Then we walked to the beach where she made a friend.

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But evening the sky opened up, with an amazing thunderstorm.

I will be able to reveal the other projects in a couple of days.

How was your weekend?

16 Comments

  1. Your granddaughter is so cute! I’m also participating in plastic free July and it’s a real eye opener. I thought I was barely using plastic but having to keep hold of it makes you realise just how much creeps into the house! I have a huge project on the go atm and can hardly keep on top of my daily tasks but as soon as that is out of the way I want to read Beth Terry’s book. You’ve convinced me that there is plenty in there to learn!

    • Linda, I have been following your progress as well as Fairy of Organised Castle on the no plastic in July challenge. It is super hard. I hadn’t thought about the produce stickers being plastic I knew most register receipts are coated in chemicals but didn’t give it a thought that it was a type of plastic as well.then there is the polycrylic I use to seal my furniture so it will hold up to rough use. That is plastic as well, not just the container it comes in. The polycrylic isn’t what I would call a single use item and it does save an item destined for the landfill, but I will have to find an alternative as I use about a gallon a year.

    • Thank you, Ginny. I find myself drawn to bright colors in the winger when light is short, but this year I still want bright colorful accent in my home. In the past I tended to stay with muted hues of my favorite colors yet I found myself attracted to colorful loft spaces. Now that I live across from the lake I feel more open to the cottage/loft feel, at least my interpretation of how those two styles could meet.

    • Live and learn, I have added the futon to the loveseat. Christmas is the hardest time to accommodate guests as I have 3 adults and one child who stay over night with me. By deciding to purchase a laptop rather than another desktop computer I am able to pass my grandparents table to my son and his wife. Where the table sat is the perfect size to put the loveseat now. I have been moving things around in here and when it’s done I’ll update the pictures so you can see that it looks more open now.

  2. Wow! Lois what a wonderful fun-packed weekend you have had… Love the finished look of the chair.. and your Futon and sorry to hear the Deer got to your tomato plant. But that new one looks healthy… We have 6 plants in the green house but no fruits on as yet.. but plenty of flowers..
    Glad your weather has picked up a little.. Here its exploded into Summer with a vengeance and was high yesterday with temps 28 deg C.. unusually hot for July.. but not complaining…
    Friday and Saturday were work days.. And I have had 3 days PC free lol..And so admire your attempts at plastic free… Everywhere you look everything is covered in the stuff…. and its so unnecessary in many cases… I often fight with those compressed vacuum packs to open them which are around every item for so called Security reasons..
    So Sunday I got up and watered the allotment before it got hot.. we finished our two hours of watering back and forth with watering cans at 8-30am and even then it was getting hot..
    To come home and have breakfast.. I then chilled out with a book, and watched the Mens Wimbledon finals in Tennis on TV in afternoon… And our man won.. Andy Murry… first tennis Wimbledon champion of UK for 77 yrs!,,, So I was cheering along…

    Can not begin to match your weekend though.. Fantastic… and a joy to read… :-) ~Sue xx

    • Sue, that must have been very tiring to carry so much water for so long. I would have wanted to veg out as well. Congrats on your guy winning the Wimbledon, I don’t follow much besides the NFL.

      it has been so wet here I have not had to water a thing, but that comes with its own problems when it comes to gardening and trying to control the weeds.

      Yes, plastic is everywhere. We too have much sealed in plastic for safety. Avoiding the beauty and health products is a big way to avoid a good amount of that.

      I did have a nice weekend, thank you.

  3. Look at your lovely nails! Plastic free is such a challenge – I didn’t sign up formally, but it’s a daily commitment I try to make. I do a lot of reuse of plastic containers too, though I’m not sure this is good for me, it’s better than landfill. I certainly look at my options with every purchase, so it’s keeping my eyes open.

    • My nails? I do nothing to them! When they get ragged from too much use I cut them off and let them grow again, I have always been fortunate to have good, strong nails.

      As for plastic, I am dismayed by the amount I have brought home so far. The clothesline and the underclothes are not something I buy frequently, but for the clothesline I figure using that to repair chairs that were about to be tossed in the dumpster is the least harmful course. Like you I try to repurpose any plastic I end up with, our world runs on plastic so its hard to avoid.

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