Handmade Arabic script jewelry

Handmade Arabic script jewelry

Here are some of the handmade pieces I’ve created by cutting out names written in Arabic script. I started last year when I was doing a summer course at the Glasgow School of Art. In order to practice cutting metal, I decided to make a tag with my name in Arabic.

I really liked the result. However, I didn’t imagine that it would cause as much interest as it did. I started getting compliments from people that would notice it when I was wearing it and, before I knew it, I began to get requests from friends and acquaintances to make them one.

At the moment, I’m trying to find the best way to make more of these items using fair trade and/or recycled materials. I’m also working on other designs which I will be showing soon.

All photos by Mili


Upcycled bar stools

Upcycled bar stools

When I moved into a new apartment with an open kitchen, I decided it was time to get bar stools. But when you´re living in a rental, especially in a city that will not be home forever, you tend to think twice about each decision when it comes to furnishing the apartment. I needed to feel at home in my new place and I wanted to decorate it the way I like it, but I wanted to minimize the costs. Instead of buying new things and consuming more, I wanted to use what was already available.

My bar stools project started with looking at designs and products in the internet. Of course, I made my inspirational bar stools board on Pinterest that you can see HERE.

The next step was checking second hand options on the local buy and sell portals. That was when I had to face reality. Most of the good stools were too expensive compared to what I was planning to spend. The rest were typical mass production ones that we’ve seen so many times in so many places and, of course, they were not of my taste. The only possible solution, which happens to be my favourite, was upcycling those “plain and boring” stools.

I got an excellent deal for a pair of chairs that look like the ones in the picture: someone was moving out and getting rid of the excess. I’ve seen a number of DIY posts and tutorials on how to make those more “appealing” and I have to say that a lot were very cool and neat as upcycled better versions. However, because I wanted something slightly different, I decided to do a bit more than just a mere cosmetic change. You can see the result below.

I hope you like this quick and easy DIY project for my kitchen and be inspired to do the same or something similar. Send me your thoughts. I would love to hear from you.

 

To start with, I removed the backrest and I painted the structure. I wanted to change the seat, and I was planning to use wood for it. In keep with the upcycling approach, the idea was to find a wooden item that I could repurpose. That led me to cutting boards, and… I found the perfect bamboo ones! They were inexpensive, already treated, just the right size and with shaped edges. Plus, the color was a perfect match for the kitchen and living room palette. No cutting or crafting needed! I just had to remove the small hanging ring.

Although the stools looked amazing as they were, I made cushions for them. To make the inner cushion, I used an old bed linen for the case and and old pillow for the filling. To make the cushion case, I used a table cloth I’d bought in Ecuador: I loved it’s colorful ethnic pattern and I thought it might be a good idea to use it in one of my projects. In any case, I’ve seen other interesting ideas and I’m planing to make another pair of cushions. A change in the look of the bar from time to time is always good!

BEFORE photo > Google image search

All the rest of the photos by Mili

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Downsizing wardrobe concerns: Variety

Downsizing wardrobe concerns: Variety 

When I speak to people about my journey of rethinking my wardrobe, besides genuine interest in my experience and reasons for doing so, I’m noticing a lot of concern. Many claim that it’s an interesting idea with good reasons behind, but say that they wouldn’t be able to do the same because of “so and so”…

I want to look into these “reasons” and try to figure out the issues people fear when considering the idea of downsizing (their wardrobe). This is a broad topic that I’ll probably address in different future posts. I do so in an attempt to challenge the arguments against it as well as to point out some solutions that could help overcome this resistance.

One of the recurrent concerns I’ve heard so far is: “I would be bored of wearing the same clothes over and over again.”

I believe that we can achieve variety in our personal style with less items and more creativity: using the same elements to achieve different results. It might be a bit more challenging, but it’s definitely more sustainable (both for the environment and for your budget). Once I allowed myself to use only a limited number of clothes for some time, I realized not only that this was not so much of a “sacrifice” like some might think, but also that it’s adding on my quality of life. We can be “cool” even if we decide to steer clear from the mass consumption society. In fact, working with less also took me back to my creative nature and allowed me to improvise and invent more, as I used to do before when I was younger and I didn’t have the resources I have today.

My aspirations to achieve more variety led me to designing changeable pieces myself and experimenting with my jewelry and clothes. You can see examples in my other posts. Hopefully they can give you some ideas for you to experiment on your own. 

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