Reducing, reusing and recycling my footprint

August 28, 2013

High excitement here at West Cottage!

My mini came home the other day.

Our friend Wayne made a detour with his flat-bed picked up and carried my mini to the cottage where we put it into Robert’s garage, took out lights, windows and inspected the rusty bits which need to be cut out and new bits will need welding on in readiness for a fresh coat of paint.

All in all I’m so very lucky that this shell is pretty minimally rusty. You might not realise that most people spend hours and hours treating rust in mini shells. They are most notorious for rusting.

mini comes home

Oh yes, fresh coat of paint. Oxfordhire summer cloud grey. That’s what I want. With chrome detailing and black upholstery. Just like this shadowy red kite against the sky.

Actually, the proper colour name in old Austin mini catalogues is Tweed grey.

077 copy

I’m so aware that I’m putting another car on the road to burn more fossil fuel and, even though we will make sure it is a clean engine and runs efficiently and economically, I’m still very interested in saving and re-purposing rather than buying reproduction parts. (Also, I love vintage much more than repro, so no contest really! 🙂 )

So off to the scrap yard from vintage car heaven we went today!

Robert knew exactly where an early Mark 1 mini was, and, although it’s seen better days, we still salvaged a black rear seat, a steering column and some tail lights.

This yellow mini I’m sitting in has retro seats which have a houndstooth design. Really nice and funky. We’ll remember for next time. But this yellow mini had fantastic door cards. (Those are decorative vinyl sides which adhere to the back side trim)

A third mini, sort of a funky pink one gave us a real Bakelite steering wheel, and, later when we tried it, it fit on the steering column! The mini is coming together.


This afternoon, at home, I made myself a cup of tea in this little set. It is a pottery made in Torquay of red Devon clay. It’s a collector’s type thing, but I’m not a collector; I just found it in the car boot sale and loved the sweet old sentiments on the pieces.

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Robert thinks it’s tat (this means tchotchkes) For all Terry Pratchett readers, like we are, he actually said that the set looks like something Nanny Ogg would bring back home from “foreign parts”…lol. But I like it. And it fits right in with my recycle and reuse mind set. 🙂  We even got the Skip bin hire service as they do not dump the waste they collect into landfills and sure that it all gets recycled.  Now recycling products and saving the environment is more of my style.

tea set

Speaking of, I’ve ordered this incredible book and it’s come. It’s an altered book and it’s amazing. Talk about reusing and re-purposing!

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British artist Tom Phillips took a forgotten Victorian novel by W H Mallock called A Human Document and painted and collaged over all the pages leaving some text showing thru, creating a new story.

Not only is it an absolute beautiful artistic piece over 370 pages, it’s a pleasure to read the story.

It’s giving me so many wonderful ideas!

Visiting Sezincote House
Victory at the Village show!

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  • Reply michellepond August 28, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Too many wonderful things in this post to mention them all! Glad the mini is home and coming together.

    • Reply Veronica August 28, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      Thank you so much Michelle. 🙂 It’ll probably stretch out a few months because I’ll be back in Van for a while and R has so much to do, but it’ll come together. 🙂

  • Reply August 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Bravo! I cannot wait to see the completed Mark 1 mini !! YAY!

    • Reply Veronica August 28, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      Hi Kathryn, I’d love to have another Mark 1 like the beautiful one I lost, but this mini shell is mid 70s so Robert and I decided we won’t try to replicate a Mark 1, (for example, the sharp point at the bonnet side of the front door is rounded in a Mark 1 body, but pointed in a later mini…too much work to replicate), but just incorporate the elements we both love in a mini. It’ll be a unusual and beautiful mini made just for me. 🙂

      • Reply August 29, 2013 at 12:18 pm

        Wonderfully fulfilling task together to I bet!

        • Reply Veronica August 30, 2013 at 3:38 am

          Oh yes Kathryn, it does bring us closer. 🙂

  • Reply Catherine Llewellyn August 28, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    joyjoy happy post! is that a cute and chubby little owl I see in the lower photos? X

    • Reply Veronica August 28, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      Yes! Happy little chubby owl. Thank you so much Catherine; I love it. 🙂

      • Reply Catherine Llewellyn August 28, 2013 at 11:03 pm

        i love YOU! xx

        • Reply Veronica August 30, 2013 at 3:39 am

          Aw, sweetie, love you too. X

  • Reply Becca August 30, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Oh my gosh, you should totally make a repurposed book like that! I love all your beautiful artwork and to have it already bound would be perfect!! I’d definitely buy one. 🙂

    • Reply Veronica August 30, 2013 at 7:58 am

      I’d love to Becca. 🙂 I bought an old Poe book I’ve been thinking about drawing on.

      • Reply Becca August 30, 2013 at 8:20 am

        Do it! Do it!! I call dibs!! 😉

        • Reply Veronica August 30, 2013 at 11:04 am

          Ok, doing it. 🙂

          • Becca September 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm


          • Veronica September 1, 2013 at 8:53 pm

            So Yay Becca. 🙂

  • Reply The making of a personal journal | February 5, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    […] form a most wonderful book called “A Humument” by Tom Phillips, which I bought last summer. I linked it to Amazon, but if you google images you’ll get a better […]

  • Reply How to Make a Found Poetry Journal from an old Book | Wordsmith Studio July 6, 2015 at 12:41 am

    […] first got the idea from a beautiful book called The Humument, an upcycled Victorian novel, by artist Tom Phillips. […]

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