Lock, stock and Barry

Whilst the rest of you have been immersed in seasonal festivities, here in the Snail household, we’ve had other things on our minds… many of them nowhere near as enjoyable. The final purchase of our shop meant that the week before Christmas (when we knew many of the businesses we wanted to interact with would be closed) was spent sorting out utilities, insurance and practical aspects of owning a new building. Some things we managed – finding the stop tap, reading the electricity, gas and water meters, arranging insurance – and some we didn’t – working out how to stop the burglar alarm beeping (no one gave us a code, but it doesn’t seem to set off the actual alarm), determining the purpose of the strange additional electricity meter. Eventually everything will be sorted out, but it feels like there’s such a lot to do right now and deciding what to prioritise is a bit of a challenge.

We were concerned, initially, about the security of the shop, because we had only been give a key to the rather flimsy Yale lock on the front door, but then more keys were delivered and the two much more robust locks at the top and bottom of the door could be used, so that felt much safer. In addition, Mr Snail managed to get the insurance sorted out on Christmas eve, so it felt ok to start moving some of the stock from our house into the storage area in the shop. We still have many more boxes here at home, but we are making progress; plus, there’s now a kettle at the shop. At least our living room no longer looks like this:

So that’s the lock and the stock, but what about the Barry? Well, he’s the man who should be able to help us with getting a grant from the Council to do some improvement work, but of course, he’s not going to be working for a few days yet and so he will have to wait until the new year.

On a more exciting note, however, we have tickets to visit a trade fair in February, so I’m hoping to be able to find good sources for all the haberdashery and mending items that I want to stock. In addition, I have found a supplier of Speedweves and I’m just about to place an order for those*.

The “To Do” list is long, but we are making progress. Next week, we may be removing a wall…

-oOo-

* If you want one, I will have all three sizes available in a month or so.

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31 Comments

  1. Fantastic – wishing you a healthy and successful 2022! I’ll look forward to seeing how it all goes and who knows maybe ordering some supplies from you some time – my focus for 2022 will be ‘mending’.

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    • Do let me know if there are any particular mending supplies that you plan to use. I am compiling a list of things to stock and am looking for inspiration… I’m sure that there will be things I have forgotten to put on my list, or that I simply don’t know about.

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  2. A busy but exciting time!

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  3. When I was 40, I bought a cottage in Rondebosch and turned it into a yarn/needlework shop. Apart from the “small” stuff, I also had the interior remodelled. You are extremely fortunate not to be having to sort out all this stuff on your own. Congratulations to both of you – and who knows, maybe one day I’ll get to come and visit… just renewed my British passport and, hey, someone’s got to win the lottery one day, right? 😉

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  4. How exciting even if a little nerve racking – and of course most countries in the world – go AWOL at this time of the year – holiday time beckons whatever the season.

    We look forward to more photos as times goes on and hearing about your adventure…

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  5. i am so excited for you

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  6. Wow -this is very exciting indeed! We are really hoping to be back visiting in your area once things settle down a bit more covid-wise -hopefully later this year- and I really look forward to being able to pop in to your new shop! What a wonderful idea!
    I’m wondering if you will also be selling these things (speedweves etc) on your Etsy shop? I’d like to get one in the meantime as I’m trying to get back in to mending (I’ve been a bit resistant and lazy lately and the pile is growing 😬😔).
    Wishing you both a wonderful (if rather busy!) winter solstice/Christmas time. Love, Lorna

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  7. This is such an exciting project, might I suggest adding vintage fabrics, lacy bits, buttons, curtain rings for Dorset buttons, maybe even make up little kits for them. Don’t suppose you’d like some school trouser patches, left over from back in the day when my boys were honour bound to wreck their trousers playing footie in the playground?

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  8. If I wore socks or woollies more than about a week a year, I’d be ordering a Speedweve… It’s such a great idea, I wish there was something I could do to contribute. If you think of anything, let me know.

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    • Thanks Kate. I’ve been looking at some great mends of cotton items using a Speedweve, but I haven’t got round to experimenting yet… so much to do!
      The best thing anyone can do to help is to spread the word once we are up and running.
      We must have a chat sometime… it’s been too long (I always say that).

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  9. It’s exciting chaos! And all that organizational energy it requires. I couldn’t get along without needle threaders. Just those little cheap things that stick through the eye and are easy to put a thread through, which can then be pulled back through the eye… Good luck. This is an exciting time. Happy new year!!!

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  10. Going Batty in Wales

     /  December 30, 2021

    I am so pleased to hear that progress is being made and you know I will be a customer once you open. Good luck with all the preparations.

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  11. Catching up with you Jan. I left a comment on your FB but just wanted to add here that I’m so happy for you both and I love the have -a- bashery utterly brilliant! Wishing you much luck, love and happiness, a lot of folk will really benefit from your knowledge and enthusiasm xx

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  12. Every good wish for this new venture!

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  13. So much to do! It must be overwhelming at times. Are you familiar with the wonderful Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald and her book, Modern Mending? She’s based here in Melbourne and does wonderful things with visible repairs. https://modernmending.com/

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  14. I use quite a bit of good old fashioned button hole thread – much more sturdy than ordinary cotton for sewing buttons on. I beleive it comes in black and white but I use black. My other mending standby is very thin iron-on vilene. I iron this on the the back of a torn fabric and it gives me something solid to do a zig zag repair on. The mend is almost invisible from the front. There used to be a product called ‘Wundaweb’ which was a double sided iron on strip. I used it for mending hems that had come astray. My daughter is interested in visible repairs and I have recently provided her with darning yarn in lots of bright colours.
    Will you be doing mail order do you think?

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    • We will certainly be doing mail order.
      Do you know I was thinking about buttonhole thread just the other day and wondering if it still exists, so you have answered that question for me. We are going to a trade show next month, so I will be looking out for it there.

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  15. It might be good to contact all the schools in the area and for those on teacher training about supplies they might need or things they have left over for your stock. Trysordy of Johnstown, Carmarthen used to supply a bag of all the necessary parts to make a scrap puppet or decoration for a set price, with instructions. That way it was park, pop in, grab a few bags, then out again with the stuff to do at home. Carmarthen has a “Carmarthen Civic Society” and wonder if Lampeter does? W.I. perhaps? Oh, sorry, am I sounding excited about your new project?

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  1. ScrapHappy January 2022: Talkin’ ‘bout scrap generation | writinghouse

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