Sunday, 17 February 2013

100 uses for an old tin...and some messages

Thank you for kind words on the last two posts - I have been trying to get an essay written (in years gone by I could rattle those off the night before submission date....not so easy nowadays...) so been a bit slovenly writing here but I will reply to all your kind comments - sorry for the delay.

So along with my home made bags, china, tablecloths I like an old tin.  I am not ashamed of my tin habit....there are much worse things that I could be addicted to.

As I was carting the shopping home from the Co-op the other day ('sausage fingers' in the making) I walked past a sprawling charity shop (the one where most of my 'returns' are returned to as it is the nearest).

 'Hello again - are you still looking for umbrellas?
 'No thank you - umbrellas are soooo last year dahling'
 'Bird Cages then?'
Titter, titter....
 'Oh my goodness no - bird cages were last weeks news!  Today I am in need of a particular little print' (that I had seen the previous week but thought 50p was too much.....)

Sadly that print had been sold but I spotted a tin.....a tin with a bashed up lid....I suddenly needed a tin more than anything...tin was £1.50 and I knew what I needed that tin for.

I was especially pleased that the colour of the tin matched my old Lloyd Loom table perfectly! Tin was a little dirty and just needed a bit of a clean (soap and water).  Maille was very taken with the tin so this will end up in her room I think.

Sorry - a few photos because I love the colours

I have used tins for plants many times before and this one was on the Mollie Makes blog a while ago.

This tin was a bit rusty so added some vintage trim and a button to disguise those bits - I popped a jam jar of water inside (ah - you see here that I managed to sneak in TWO tins in one photo!)

You don't have to plant with plants - this one was filled with oasis and then some winter flowers put in for Christmas

The vast majority of things that I make I do not show here - I DO NOT HAVE ALL DAY!!!

I am just using my blog to administer some messages:


In no particular order -

Dear Eco Ethel - I was a overcome by your gifts - that was very, very special indeed and once camera batteries are recharged I will blog about it.  I am figuring out a way of wearing both the brooch and the bunting...Sorry about the paucity of wrapping on my part.

Dear Lydia (I hope that is how you spell your name) - lovely to meet you yesterday.  Chuffed indeed that college students are reading my blog. Sorry that I spout on but I have been thinking about the marriage of art and science since our meeting.  I have a BSc and MSc and various PG Dips and I have never seen that as being at odds with making stuff. I think that the Krebs cycle is the most wonderful piece of art that there can be!  Cellular respiration is my number one favourite thing to teach!!!! There is plenty of scope in life to have a full range of skills/attributes/hobbies - I have had lots and lots of different but always interesting jobs (CV takes a bit of explaining....).

Dear Maaria and Phoebe - Maille tells me that I am legend at school.....that pleases me greatly as I have always wanted to be a legend in my own lunchtime...(thank you Eric M).  By the way I am not deliberately trying to be funny!!!!  Maille does not think that I am funny - she thinks that I am strict!

Dear Miss Lazy Daisy Jones - You are most welcome and I am particularly glad about the pin tin!

Dear sisters - Happy Birthday for last week Gail.  Trudie and I  ballroom dancing: Trudie dropping to the floor - barking at me to spin her round like Anne Widdecombe - will forever rate in my top five funniest ever life events.  All of this in order to try and win a box of Maltesers! Staff said that is was the funniest thing that they had EVER seen. YouTube clip coming up

 Thank you also Gail for helping to save me from drowning when I was a little girl - Maille likes me to talk through that quite a lot (which is why I am thinking about it again now) and we ponder how the children might never have been born.....

I should cite 'It's a Wonderful Life' at this point...

Best wishes
La Cootard


  1. Oh I love you to bits...oo er does that sound weird if so then i did not say it ok!
    frome anoneemouse

  2. Your posts always make me smile Jenny. I love your ideas and the tongue in cheek way you write about things. What do you mean you are being serious?!

  3. I too have lots of love for old tins. The one with the prims looks gorgeous, no wonder it's being snaffled xx

  4. Here's a big cyber thank you...splendid stuff personally delivered...gosh!
    The play box is so special (for special bits), fairy hasn't stopped moaning, I can see why you got rid. She already wants wings and a wand for Christmas.
    Stag will be set free to embellish and I'm sure the wreath will shine forever!
    I can hear the bag ladies of Chichester shouting "We want some Custard Baggage"
    Eco Ethel xx

  5. Always and inspiration reading your posts! Went on a blog hop adventure after clicking on the mollie makes link - so much time can be spent this way, must get on with my own makes! Faye

  6. I love your tins used for plants. I've used enamel cooking pots in the past. xx

  7. I need vintage tins and spring flowers....RIGHT NOW! Lovely post Jenny, now get on with your essay! :) x

  8. Hello! My husband has just returned from London and has brought with him Hot Cross Buns. I didn't know there was such a thing other than in nursery rhymes. They tasted wonderful! I wish I had a tin of Primrose for the breakfast table. Lovely, your collection. Elizabeth

  9. Oh! These are wonderful! How come your tins are so much better than ours??? Don't answer that Sandy

  10. What a wonderful idea - to plant a tin! I am going to do this! I really am. I have the perfect vintage tin, in fact. It has cowboys on it - and we just moved to the country. Won't that be perfect! Now if I can just find the box it's packed in!!!

  11. Lovely post Jenny ... you are funny!

    I love an old tin too ... thanks for giving me some ideas. Today I will be mostly sticking bits of ribbon on tins and filling with compost and bulbs ... happy days!

    Love Claire xxx

  12. Dear Jenny,your planted tins are quite delightful,I am dipping into blogland this Monday morning to give me some cheer before I head off to work( which sadly doesn't hold any magic for me at the moment) so life is spent thinking about my invisible shop laden with goodies to sell to like minded folk,the colours in your photo's are food for a starving soul.THANKYOU!'bye for now Pam.

  13. Hello Jenny:
    Gosh, you do have a way with a tin! Nothing so mundane as keeping cakes or biscuits in them....where we see practicality you see pure art. Let all our tisbe overflowing with plants from now on. They look lovely! Yes, a legend in your own tin...perfection!!

  14. ~AHHH vintage tins, Tis LOVE, Jenny! I sigh deeply when I see YOUR blog header with all these tins, when I come to visit! I plant little primroses in my vintage tins too....Such a lovely way to have them on display...Have a good week Jenny! leaving YOU with a smile :) Love Maria x

  15. Oh dear more tin envy... What a lovely pair of poodles... and those primeroses do look fab!
    I did so well to leave the tins at the Bazaar but am still thinking of one... how sad!!
    Hope the essay is now a thing of the past and you can get out in the sun. Cx

  16. Lovely tins! Such a pretty idea too. This will get me into trouble as I had up until now just been using tins for buttons, buckles, ribbons and such like, now there is a reason for rescuing even the most bashed up tin there will be no stopping me in my charity shop rummages. Thanks for sharing your treasure.

  17. The tins are gorgeous, perfect for displaying pretty blooms. Kudos to you for becoming such a legend with the yoof!

  18. Oh I love love the flowers in the tins!!! SO lovely they all are! I'm totally going to do this, this spring/ summer! :) Happy new week! xo Holly

  19. Love that biscuit tin, you always have the best ideas, Lucey x

  20. Oh what a cute idea to use a tin in this manner. I will try and remember this and put some sweet little primroses in one this summer.

  21. I absolutely LOVE those primulas in that tin. They look stunning. Got my eyes peeled for similar from now on! :)

  22. Not to be sorry. Not only you but also everyone loves color. This is very impressive color. Thank you for everything. PlantWerkz

  23. I love the tins and have started my own collection. Thank you for the lesson in how to use them. I'm on my way out to get some pretty plants right now. I love the image of you spinning your sister a la Anne. Philippa xx

  24. What a lovely idea! Love your post, made me chuckle. Karen :)

  25. So pretty and I love the primroses ... spring is on it's way ... yippee ... wishing you a lovely week ... Bee xx

  26. Lovely, lovely spring page Jenny - the old tin filled with primroses is whizzo :)

  27. I love what you have done with your tins - brilliant idea!
    Julie xxxxxxx

  28. Your tins look lovely. I've just bought a gorgeous Bisto one and you've given me a great idea for display at my next fair! M x

  29. nice to put plants in tins, I've never thought of that! life sounds good and interesting for you right now! Heather x

  30. Ohhh, these beautiful photos have brought colour and delight into an otherwise awful day of marking essays. Many thanks, Jenny. I'm just going to go off and take a picture of my one and only tin - a blue coronation tin I bought in a bootsale in 1978. I have been ashamed of it for some reason and kept it in the attic. Now I see it's a tin to be proud of (isn't it?)!



  31. I have been after one of those dundee cake tins for years!!! I might have to pop back to where I used to live and do a scour of the charity shops they seem to have got better.

  32. Kindred spirits you and I, because I too use old tins as plant pots and vases and rarely bother to blog about it, although in my case that has a lot to do with Wales having been mired in perpetual gloom since about 2011 and tin photography requiring decent daylight.

    And I also have a CV that needs some explaining ... it makes sense when you know the story but the story would take the whole of a dark Welsh day to tell! In my case connecting the aborted PhD and a stint drystone walling is perhaps the most interesting bit ;)

  33. Tin looks gorgeous planted up with primulas. My Mum bought me some from her local market last week that are planted in a basket but your tin is so much nicer. Although I'm now looking over at basket and wondering whether a coat of bright paint would be good. Not while plants are inside of course. Once they're finished it might get a makeover. You are such an inspiration! Fiona x