Time is passing too quickly these days. I don't understand how it's Tuesday again, I really don't.
So before I start on this week's Umbrella Collective post, I just want to say that I don't know how much I'll be posting over the next few days. I definitely WANT to, but I currently don't have a lot of time. What with being out of the house 11 hours a day for work and having to get 7 hours sleep a night (or I'm the worst person to be around), on top of other general actual life things, I really don't have that much spare time at the moment to write here and read other blogs. So please bear with me, fingers crossed things will be back to some sort of normality next week.
ANYWAY. Back to the actual post.
Rhiannon came up with the idea for this Umbrella Collective challenge- she, Amy, Laura and I had to UPCYCLE something.
I'm guessing you already know what upcycling is, but if not, it's where you take something you already have and alter it to make something all cool and new. Which is where of course I failed as I went out and bought the bits I needed especially for this post. (Have I ever actually followed the rules for one of these challenges? Here are all the past posts if you want to check)
I'm actually pretty good at throwing away things I don't use- I sort of follow that rule that you should never have anything in your home which isn't either beautiful or useful- so at first, I had no idea what to make. But then I remembered this post on Design Mom and having seen similar things on Pinterest, thought that something along those lines would be good.
Now if you haven't actually clicked on that link (and I wouldn't blame you, I often don't til I've read the whole post...) what I'm referring to is the idea of drawing on a plain mug/ plate/ cup/ bowl etc with a Sharpie (other brands of permanent marker are available) to create a whole new, pretty much unique, item.
So that's what I did! And if you'd like to do similar, here are some instructions...
To begin, get a plain white plate, mug, bowl, or (in my case, and aptly given the blog title) a cup and saucer. This set was £3 from Tesco but you can blatantly get them cheaper than that as they aren't even Tesco Value. Keep your eyes peeled for bargains!
Then... get creative with your Sharpies!! I think they have to be permanent markers- well, let's face it, we all know that ordinary felt tip pens wouldn't work.
My original plan was to write quotes around them, and I spent ages thinking of lines from poems and books that I liked. I actually wrote "There is no problem so great or so grave that cannot be greatly diminished by a nice cup of tea" on one, then decided against it- and if you do that, warm soapy water will get rid of it at this point.
Eventually, I decided on this design- isn't it cute!? (Even if I do say so myself) And I was pretty proud, because something as simple as this is difficult to mess up, even if you are as artistically challenged as I am.
I originally liked the idea of two different designs, but loved this one so much I stuck with it, but in a different colour, for cup and saucer number two...
Once you are 100% happy with your design, pop your items onto a baking tray in the oven, and bake at 180C for 30 minutes- I brought mine up to temperature with the oven (still only leaving them in there for 30 minutes) because I was afraid of them cracking- but I'm not sure that this is actually a problem. And if you want to make absolutely certain that your design will stick, spray with some sort of sealant. I didn't do this so have no wisdom other than this. Sorry.
Then, when they've been in the oven for 30 minutes, take out carefully (no smashed crockery please) and leave them to cool completely before filling with tea.
And if you want to give someone you love a surprise, pop a little design in the bottom of the cup! I once saw a mug with "Marry Me" written in the bottom on Pinterest. Future Husband, if you're reading, that's a bloody stellar idea and I probably wouldn't say no.
So there we have it! My attempt at upcycling- and I think I succeeded, as I made my plain white cups and saucers much prettier than they were before. What do you think though?