What is Upcycling?

upcycle meaning
Definition taken from Google

To upcycle or upcycling has become a pretty trendy thing to do but, when you think about it, generations before us have been doing the same thing over and over again.

To upcycle today has a huge meaning, from taking broken furniture and making it into something completely different (for example a chair turned into a side table) or just to sand something down and re-paint it.  Even repurposing things is a form of upcycling, like turning a dresser into a home office space.

Upcycling does not stop at furniture either, clothes can be upcycled from jeans and dresses into bags and tops, old blankets into cozy jumpers, plastic bags into rugs…the list is almost as endless as our imagination.

The definition talks about creating a product of higher quality or value than the original and the meaning of the word value is not one just of monetary value but of emotional value too, taking something that you dislike and adding your own touch to it and making it something that you are proud of and like, something that fits your life and style.

For me, upcyling is about adding my own personality to something, from chairs and lamps to my desk and storage space, clothes and accessories, and making things stand out, become unique and a piece of artwork in its own right.

What do you consider to be “upcycling”?

Advertisements

Planning for April’s A – Z Blog Challenge

I have decided to take part and attempt the April A – Z Blog Challenge, it is a challenge where you start on the 1st April with a topic beginning with A and work all the way to Z through the month, blogging every day, except Sundays leaving your last post – Z being published on the 30th April.

img_1683

Attempting a blog challenge seems like a nice way to push myself in my writing and topics that I may not normally cover and might be a way for you guys to learn a little bit more about me along the way!  I’m hoping that my writing skills will improve, that my photographs and images will get better and that I may learn something about myself through the whole challenge.

img_1683

But today, I’m focusing on planning for the challenge.  I had to sit down and think really hard about undertaking this challenge as I don’t really like starting something and then not finishing it, and I wanted to know that I can give my time to crafting posts and getting them up in a timely manner through the whole of April.  I have decided that I would like to run the challenge alongside my usual posting schedule so, on some days, not only will I be creating and sharing 2 posts I will also have twice the amount of preparation to consider.

img_1683

So far, in preparation for the challenge I have added the alphabet to April’s calendar alongside ideas for my usual posts and also created a spreadsheet with this information on it.  To the spreadsheet I have started putting topics against the letters that I could write about, some letters have several topics I could cover and other letters (here’s looking at you – X…) have none what-so-ever.  I like to be prepared rather than writing ad-hoc as it helps me to prepare content and decide which topics will be the most interesting.

img_1683

The next plan of action is to go through the list of topics I have and start drafting out more concrete notes and make a plan for what the posts will need (graphics/photos/headings etc) and once I have all that done I just need to sit tight and wait for the challenge to begin!

img_1683

Are you taking part in the April A – Z Challenge?  How have you prepared so far?

Upcycle Project – Table Lamp

IMG_5083ACD591E6-4F15-4CDA-893D-530ABE8085F3FEB1EFCC-4740-4B54-B82A-CAA0B0C993246AE02198-90CA-4269-A3FE-C606360C65A7AE78AAA9-E34F-4950-9829-F42D0C43174EDA0CC710-0F7B-469C-9C2B-CA4FF0FEEE09A0FB5B8F-E1D5-4825-BE51-C7914B20ACE644385925-0F0B-4C63-BCFA-06B72C5428D1405D8618-EA83-4CDA-B157-39FB15AC5582

I’ve been meaning to write a post about this lamp for a while now as it’s probably the one thing I get most compliments and questions about when people visit my home.  I was going to share how I upcycled the lamp from being a plain lamp to having a dinosaur fringe but it seems that, at the time I didn’t take as many photos as I should have.  The good thing is that I can still talk you through the process!

Items You Will Need

  • Lamp with shade
  • Dinosaur Figures
  • Pony beads
  • Jump rings
  • Headpins
  • Eye Pins
  • Round nosed jewellery pliers
  • Flat nosed jewellery pliers
  • Darning Needle*
  • Lighter*

*unless you own a dremel or other drill with a super fine drill bit….

Steps

  1. Using a dremel or other drill with a super fine drill bit, drill holes through all of the dinosaurs.  (If you don’t own a dremel or other drill, then you can heat up a darning needle with a lighter and use this to create a hole through each dinosaur…PLEASE be careful if using this method)
  2. Thread headpin through the created hole with the flat part to the underside of the dinosaur.
  3. Using the round nose pliers, create a loop at the top of the dinosaur with the excess headpin metal.
  4. Attach an eyepin to the created loop using a jump ring.
  5. Thread on a couple of pony beads before using the round nose pliers to create another loop at the end of the eye pin.
  6. Work out where you want the dinosaurs to hang on the lampshade and mark faintly in pencil where you want the holes to go that you will attach the dinosaur to.
  7. Using the flat nosed pliers, open up a jump ring and attach to the bottom of the lampshade.  I made sure that my jump ring went over the wire at the base of the shade.
  8. Before closing the jump ring, add the dinosaur bead loop to the ring then close.
  9. Repeat for all dinosaurs.
  10. Stand back and admire your work!

 

Top 10 Cleaning Products

img_1377

Today, for my Top 10 series (you can find other posts here) I am sharing my top 10 cleaning products.  These are products that I have tried and tested, work well for me and ones I will keep buying.

  1. Method Anti-bac – Wild Rhubarb I love the scent of this and that you can use it all around the home – bathroom, kitchen, living area, it is perfect for any job.
  2. Method Toilet Cleaner – This stuff is amazing and guaranteed to make your loo sparkle and smell fresh at the same time.
  3. Zoflora – Twilight Garden This stuff is amazing.  It is marketed as a disinfectant but it has so many uses.  I use it to wipe down my radiators, mop the floors and occasionally, when the dog towels are really grubby I will stick a cupful into the machine with them.  A little really does go a long way and the scent will fill the house and last for so long too!
  4. Soda Crystals Soda crystals are brilliant for fixing stinky drains and washing machines as well as sorting out slow drainage in sinks and baths!  They should be a cleaning cupboard staple in everyone’s house!
  5. Ecover All Purpose Cleaner This stuff is brilliant on floors, especially my kitchen floor which needs mopping at least once a day where Roxy is in and out all the time!  And it’s another product that a little goes a long way.  I like that this product is multi-functional as well, I like to mix a bit with water in a spray bottle and use it to wipe down shelving and windowsills.
  6. Method Glass Cleaner This is one product I will, probably, never walk away from.  It is the only product I have found that cleans glass and mirrors effectively without too much hard work and doesn’t leave an annoying film or smears everywhere.
  7. Method Shower Spray This product works a dream for shifting soapy residue and dried hair conditioner splodges from glass shower surrounds and tiles.  I use it every time I have had a shower on the tiles and it makes them really clean and shiny.
  8. Tesco Washing Up Liquid – Cherry  Its cheap, smells nice and does the job, there’s really not much more to say about it really!
  9. Vanish Pre-Treat Stain Remover Bar  This is a staple in my cleaning cupboard.  Not only can you use it on clothes but you can spot treat carpets and upholstery with it too!
  10. Bleach.  I’m not going to link to a product because this is one thing I will buy from anywhere, I always buy a big container of the thin bleach and will use it where and when necessary.  I love the smell of bleach, especially in the bathroom but its handy to use all around the house!

My Colourful Life – Truly Inspired #52

I took part in Rory’s Truly Inspired series over on his blog – A Guy Called Bloke, please go and check his blog out!!

A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

stones-451329_960_720

Truly Inspired Series

Truly Inspired Directory

1] Blog Name

My Colourful Life

2] What is your blog’s specific genre?

I’d say it was a lifestyle blog.

3] How old is your Blog?

Just over 6 months old, so only a teeny baby really!

4] Why did you feel the need to start an actual blog?

I’ve had blogs in the past but they were far too niche for me to add to regularly and, slowly, they all ceased to exist.  I still wanted to write and share things and really sat and thought about what I wanted to blog about and all the ideas running through my head before I started this one.  So, really, in a nutshell, I missed writing.

5] What age were you when you first started to write?

I had a LiveJournal in what feels a million lifetimes ago, so around 18 years ago!

6] Was…

View original post 1,454 more words

My Household Cleaning Routine

I know I talked about this on my monthly goals for January and in February , today I am going to share with you my household cleaning routine.

Every Day

  • Wash up
  • Put dishes away
  • Wipe down kitchen surfaces

Each Week

Monday

  • Clean bathroom – sink, bath, skirting, window sill
  • Bleach toilet
  • Mop bathroom floor
  • Fold bedding and put away

Tuesday

  • De-clutter living area/dining area
  • Empty bins – bathroom, bedroom, office, kitchen
  • Put bin and re-cycling out

Wednesday

  • Bring re-cycling bins back in
  • Sweep floors downstairs
  • Wipe over living/dining area surfaces and kitchen cupboards

Thursday

  • Clean desk
  • Tidy up

Friday

  • Wash clothes
  • Hang clothes to dry
  • Change bedding

Saturday

  • Sweep floors downstairs
  • Hoover downstairs and upstairs
  • Wipe skirting and banister
  • Fold clothes and put away

Sunday

  • Wash bedding
  • Hang bedding to dry
  • Clean fridge
  • Clean door handles and light switches

Fortnightly

  • Dust shelving upstairs and downstairs
  • Hoover under bed
  • Hoover mattress
  • Turn mattress
  • Tidy spare room
  • Wash sofa covers/blankets
  • Wash all towels (I have enough towels to last me a fortnight and like washing them all together!)
  • Wipe down doors

Every other month

  • Clean out cupboards
  • De-clutter drawers
  • Wash down tops of cupboards
  • Clean washing machine
  • Wash curtains/nets
  • Clean windows

What does your cleaning routine look like?

K9 Interviews 59 – Roxy

My dog Roxy was interviewed by the lovely Rory and Scrappy over at aguycalledbloke blog! Please go and check his blog out! Rory blogs about all sorts of interesting things!

A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

IMG_8894

K9 Interviews

K9 Questionnaire

A] Personal Details

1] Your Name?

My full name is Roxanne Rhianwen.  I get called Roxy mostly but answer to Scoots, Magoo, Puppy Bear, Babycakes and other silly names Mummy likes to call me.

2] What do you call your 2-leggeds?

024

Mummy, Daddy, Grumma, Grampy and my Uncle.

3] What K9 Breed are you?

I’m a Staffie crossed with Amerian Bulldog

4] How Old Are You?

005

“Me, when really young”

4! My Birthday is the 5th November!

5] Do you live inside or outside and more importantly – do you run your household? 

I live inside, outside is too old and scary!

I definitely do run the household!  Anything I want I usually get!

6] Where abouts in the world do you live?

16cogg

I live in South Wales, Uk.

B] Exercise/Play Time/Adventuring

 018

7] How often do you take your 2 leggeds for a…

View original post 1,230 more words

What’s In My Bag?

Happy

Today I’m sharing with you the things that I carry around with me in my bag on a day-to-day basis.  I believe that a lot can be learned about a person and the content of their bag, plus I thought it would be fun to share the content of my bag.  I may make this into a quarterly post as it may be interesting to see if what is in my bag changes from season to season or from bag to bag, what do you think?

Happy

My bag is from Artsac.  I bought it a few months ago, at the end of January along with another bag (which I wrote about here).  Despite that the bag is nylon it has been my go to bag since I purchased it, originally I didn’t want a bag that was nylon as I was worried about how long it would last and how it would wear but I’m pleased to report that it’s not showing any marks or scuffs at all!  What has surprised me is how much I can fit into it and still have room for more!  There are 2 main zip compartments that span the width of the bag and are accessible from the top, one has 2 little slip pockets inside it, the other has a small, zipped pocket which has a square, red Artsac label stitched to it.  At the back of the bag there is a zipped pocket that runs the length of the bag and would accommodate important documents.  At the front of the bag is a flap that has 2 zippered compartments, the right side pocket has Artsac branding in the form of a colour coordinated rubber square on it.  Under the flap is another zippered section that is about an inch shorter than the height of the bag but runs the full length.

Other Views

First is a look into what I keep in the 2 main zippered compartments…

Untitled design

In the back main compartment is my kindle.  In the other main compartment I have my Filofax Malden, my Kate Spade pencil-case, a Minions Moleskine notebook, and my Bright Side blog and social media planner.

Main Compartments.png

The front flap pockets usually hold my business card holder and my entry fob for work (not shown).

Front flap pockets

In the compartment under the flap top I keep my purse, lipsticks, lip balm, perfume, a pouch with gemstones in it (currently moonstone, blue lace agate, rose quartz and hematite), hand warmers and a lip crayon.  Not shown are my mobile which I was using to take these photos, or my house or car keys.

Front compartment

I don’t tend to use the pocket across the back of the bag very much though I find it useful for letters that need sending, any important info I need with me for the day and for keeping my repeat prescription in before I take it to the pharmacy.  I also don’t really use the inside slip pockets that much, or the zipped inside pocket though they are useful for putting tissues in or my trolley token when I am planning to go shopping.

At the beginning of this post I said that I believed a lot could be learned about a person and the contents of their bag, what do you think you have learned about me?  What could be learned about the contents of your bag?

 

 

The Importance of Having a Content Plan

the importance of having a content plan

I’ve had several blogs over the years which I would add to when I thought of something to write about, sometimes this would be several times a day and other times 3 or 4 months would pass by before I published anything.  In that time I would have ideas but they would come and go, especially if I wasn’t near a computer at the time.  Often I would think about my blog and have the fullest of intentions of adding to it but then sit at the desk, the little cursor on-screen blinking away and not have an iota of what to write.  And in time ALL of my previous blogs failed – I failed to write posts in a timely manner, I rushed what I was writing and didn’t really think about my words or topic carefully, I missed opportunities to link to interesting articles or previous posts, photos were rushed or non-existent and the general quality of the post was poor overall.

Now though, I have approached this blog differently.  Before I even signed up and created MyColourfulLifeUK, I started to write down ideas for this blog, I talked about it with friends and family and generated a few ideas of what they found interesting in the subject fields I enjoyed.  And so started the beginnings of a content plan.

A content plan is so important as a blogger as it gives you a framework with which to create blog posts and help you with what you are going to write about on a day-to-day basis.  Having a content plan is like driving somewhere you have never been before but with well written directions.

Here are 7 things that having a content plan has helped me with

  • Knowing what I am going to write about

Having a plan has helped me no end.  I always have an idea of what I am going to be writing about and now I don’t waste half of my time sitting and staring at a blank screen.  What I didn’t bank on was that having a plan actually encourages me to write and I am always excited to sit down and draft up a blog post now.

  • Helps me to prepare content (Including links and images)

Having the knowledge of what I want to write about allows me to thoroughly prepare, from researching topics, making notes, finding useful links, taking photos, writing the post and editing it.  If you know then you can prepare.

  • Helps me to generate new post ideas

Whenever I sit and look through my content plan I seem to be able to come up with new ideas to write about, and in researching topics I will often find something else that piques my interest and opens up a whole new set of thoughts about posts I can create further down the line.  Now I have a content plan I never seem to be short of ideas!

  • Provides well thought out posts for your readers

My English A Level lecturer always said he could spot an essay that had been hastily written and I didn’t really believe him back then, but now, after reading lots of different blogs on all sorts of different topics I know exactly what he means.  When you have a content plan there are not many posts you will write in a rush which in turn means that your posts will be well thought out, the points raised will be clear and there will be a good flow to the words and pace.  Rushed posts often meander off track, words are clumsily thrown together and even the reading pace feels rushed.

  • Helps me to stick within the theme of my blog

I’m a lifestyle blogger which means that I can over a lot of different subjects and still be within the theme of my blog overall but if you have a niche blog, I had one covering art when in university, it could be really easy to stray from that overall theme.  I know that it’s your blog and you can pretty much write what you want, but if you have a niche theme then it’s worth sticking to it, trust me, your readers will thank you!

  • Helps me to build a schedule for my posts

Once I have a list of content that I want to write about I then open Excel and use a calendar that I created to schedule my content, colour code each topic and start placing the topics against dates to publish.  This helps me to see what to write and when as well as not having too many posts on the same topic being crowded together.

  • Keeps readers interested and gains return visitors and followers

All of the above points lead to this – keeping readers engaged with your writing, gaining repeat visitors and, hopefully, gaining followers who will keep coming back to read the content that bought them to your blog in the first place.

I hope you find this useful.  What are your thoughts on having a content plan?