Friday 16 May 2014

Bicycle inner tube woven chair

See here for an update from March 2017 on how the chair has survived three years in the sun.

The plastic 'cane' on one of our outdoor chairs recently started to snap all down one side:

The chair was still usable, but clearly wasn't going to stay that way for much longer!

Inspired by my success with our bathroom stool, I decided to weave a new seat for it out of old bicycle inner tubes.

It took:
  • 4-5 inner tubes cut into 1 inch strips lengthways (they came in two different widths, so some gave two strips and some gave three).  I forgot to count the tubes before I cut them up so I'm not exactly sure how many I used!
  • 7 'sessions' of 30-45 minutes each (two to prep the tubes, two to cut off the old cane, one to thread the length-ways parts of the chair seat and two to do the actual weaving);
  • scissors (to cut the strips of inner tube), a bucket and rag (to clean the tubes - the insides are powdered with talc), secateurs (to cut the cane), a stanley knife (used in joining strips of inner tube together) and sellotape (to secure the tubes while part of the work was in progress).
And now it's done!

As I couldn't find any tutorials online for doing such a thing, below are some notes on how I went about it.

Please note, the chair lasted about three years (in full sun, in New Zealand where the the sun is uncommonly harsh) before it needed 'recaning'.  Click here to see the deterioration in the rubber that had occurred after three years.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Lots of writing!

A week or so back I finished a piece of writing I started in 2010.  It's called Enabling Technologies Part 2 and describes things I've discovered since my previous article on the topic in 2005.

Then, in just two days (!), I wrote my entry for this year's ANZMES (CFS support society) competition.  The theme was "Things that give us hope" and my entry is My Hope is in God.

Click their titles if you'd like to read them :-)

Saturday 3 May 2014

God is my only hope

A couple of months back I returned to listening to a psalm a day.  This time around I've been struck by something new: again and again the Psalmist affirms that God is his only hope.

Take yesterday's psalm, Psalm 62, as an example:
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
    from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall never be shaken.
How long will you assail a person,
    will you batter your victim, all of you,
    as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.
    They take pleasure in falsehood;
they bless with their mouths,
    but inwardly they curse.Selah
For God alone my soul waits in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
    pour out your heart before him;
    God is a refuge for us.Selah
Those of low estate are but a breath,
    those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
    they are together lighter than a breath.
10 Put no confidence in extortion,
    and set no vain hopes on robbery;
    if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
11 Once God has spoken;
    twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
12     and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.
For you repay to all
    according to their work.
Again and again, the psalmist affirms that he can only get out of whatever pickle he's in if God helps him: anything else is in vain.  In various psalms he notes that there are those whose hope is not in God who seem to be doing well, but he feels certain that their prosperity is only temporary.  God is the only hope, the only source of what we need.

I've found this both an encouraging and challenging thought as I've gone through life these past few months.  Encouraging that God is sufficient.  Challenging in that I often put my hope and trust in more temporal things, rather than "seek[ing] first God's Kingdom".