Thursday, September 12, 2013

Chanelling Martha Stewart

So we are still working on the final technical plans for the house, and negotiating with contractors.  Nothing much happens in Portugal (or most of Europe) in August...  EVERYONE goes on holiday, or at least to the beach.

I came up with an idea to make a notice board for Terraplana...  So in celebration of August, here's a crafty post about making a cork board.  I'm not sure Martha Stewart has ever done a project like this, but it seems right up her ally.

To start with, I collected corks from our daily bottles.  Since moving to Portugal, our consumption of red wine has increased.  Dramatically.

There are two reasons for this.  First, the wine here is fantastic.  The red wines are especially exceptional.  If you like full flavored red wines that feel like a warm satin ribbon in your throat, then you will love Portuguese wines.  It is a mystery to me that they are not world famous by now, but outside of Portugal, the wines are little known.  This contributes to the second reason our wine consumption has increased; the Portuguese wines are supper cheap.  A good bottle of wine starts at around 2 Euros.  Great bottles start around 5 Euros, and although you CAN pay more then 15 Euros for a bottle, there's little reason to get so extravagant when 10 Euros will purchase something truly amazing!  I've seen bottled water in London that costs more!

Portugal produces about half of all the cork grown in the world, so it's not surprising that wine bottles here always have a cork even at such modest prices.  So collecting corks was the easy part.  The next step took a little searching.  I needed a picture frame, and I was hoping to find one that was both large, and ornate.  It took some time at the local flea market, but ultimately, I found one.

Full supplies required:

 A lot of corks (more then you think)
Old picture frame
board large enough to fill the frame
glue gun

I needed to trim my board to fit the frame because the frame edges were held together with some triangle pieces...  I used a small hack saw to cut off the edges of the board after measuring carefully to insure that the board would fit and cover the whole inside of the picture frame.

Next, I attached the board to the frame using some screws and my beloved supper incredible battery powered drill (a screw driver would work too).

I cut the corks in half long wise.  After trying a number of methods, I determined that a sharp kitchen knife works best for this.  This picture show's me cutting from end to end starting at the top, but it's actually easier to split them exactly if you lay the cork on it's side.

 Finally, heat the glue gun, apply glue to the back of the cork, and position the cork in the frame.

Repeat until the whole frame is full (or until you run out of corks...  in the event that happens, drink more).

The final result looks pretty cool.  Now if we can just finish the house so we have a wall to hang it on!