Can you clean up Daleks?

Utter junk becomes an arty dalek cage.

Lola’s out walking 10 of London’s bridges for charity – to help Ugandan students make it to secondary school, seeBridges for Africa. Pete’s up in Wigan where he will see West Ham be defeated, and relegated. So it’s just me and Nell at home with a long to do list. We’ve got to sort out the broken junk and toys in an attempt to tidy up the house for it’s new occupant next month. This post is by Nicola using ideas adapted from her book,Homemade Kids: thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children.

Art attack
We could go to the dump, but two years ago I figured out what I wanted to do with dead toys and tools if I ever had time. So today became a chance to create a chicken wire armitage then pack it with unwanted toys and turn it into an artwork of recycled toys. It’s not so easy to do this in practice with my 0.5m high, 25cm wide bit of wire from the veg garden, especially with Nell going “but that’s my tamagotchi, you can’t use that.” But it didn’t stop us creating a magnificient sculpture by knitting the house’s difficult to recycle items into chicken wire slots.

Like the Weee Man?
The Weee Man is a famous sculpture created with all the electrical items a person uses and discards in a lifetime that helped seed this idea. Look closely at my photo and you may see the stuff a 10 year old might discard, including three pairs of injured sunglasses, a broken screwdriver, a defunct bike horn, and three jewelled pens that never worked. actually this is my junk, provided by my now dead Great Aunt which meant that i just couldn’t part with them. There’s a drinking straw, broken necklaces, bracelets, textile scraps and “I am 5” badges.

Beauty in the eye of the beholder
Of course it may clutter up shelf space in its new incarnation but Nell and I are delighted with our installation. Nell says, “it was fun. We could sell it! Maybe for £20,000 and then buy Dr Who and Mooshi Monster cards, toy snakes and everything in the world…” In other words there’s not a chance of our home becoming decluttered!

With our Art Attack over we crossed the road to drink mugs of tea and try out the cakes at our neighbour Naomi’s regular Cake Sundays for the street where food and gardening are talked about until it’s time to go home and cook dinner… I had a lovely time (and Nell played with some new friends), but I’m sorry to say that I came back with yet more things to squeeze into the house – one raspberry cane, a packet of spinach seeds and a bit of compost.

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