There's no place there for getting my mojo back through creative play — or what some would call work. But I couldn't exactly bring my tools and found materials aboard so instead I wandered the decks of Holland America's Zuiderdam for the three-night repositioning cruise, overfed and undernourished by the complete lack of things to do beyond pushing buttons in the smoky casino or pounding on the treadmill. Same for the Cancun all-inclusive. There was nothing doing for a non-thrill-seeking, sports unenthusiast like myself so I bobbed around in weak, cheap tequila drinks, ducking the bouncing aquacizers.
First up: the penny hearth. I liked the idea of commemorating the beginning of the end of the Canadian penny in a functional way. After some surveying of various penny-mosaic methods on YouTube I devised my own idea for a hearth that is not only fireproof but reflects flames to shimmering effect. I started by brushing the grey to-code cement board with copper-coloured acrylic paint, then glued down a row of pennies using Liquid Nails in a caulking gun to create a random pattern that will eventually merge seamlessly into the wood floor. Unlike other methods that call for grouting or a final pour of resin, I decided to let the accumulation of ash fill in the gaps over time. I'll figure out if I want to buff up those pennies later. As with many elegant solutions, it takes a lot of thought to arrive at the simplest method.
This was one of those learning moments.
A lot of my reclaimed, sustainable projects and tests take a lot of research and collecting, but some are serendipitous discoveries. On a morning beach walk I found this rusted rake (below), now a utensil holder. A favourite hand-carved bottle stopper finds a home where the long-lost handle used to be.