ScrapHappy September 2022

Last month I showed you the start of the latest scrappy crochet bunting. With all the donated scraps it was easy to find enough so that each of the flags was a different colour and so that I had enough to stretch across the width of the shop. Since each triangle tends to curl a little, I decided to counter this by sewing a couple of metal beads (from a pre-loved collection) on the point of each.

My other scrappy activity in the shop this month has been to put together some texture packs from lots of odds and ends of yarn. I came across a few such packs in a stash that I bought and they proved popular with customers, so now I’ve started to make my own. Each one contains a minimum of 30 m (and generally much more) of yarn in lengths of about 3m (plus some extra shorter bits if there are scraps left over). I select interesting mixes of textures and put them together in colour-themed packs. The packaging is all reused: cardboard from boxes and polythene wrap from packs of wool or fabric. They get bought for use in embroidery, weaving and macramé amongst other things, giving crafters a range of interesting yarn without having to buy lots of balls that would mostly go unused.

So, I’m not just making things with scraps myself, I also feel like I’m spreading the love of scraps to a wider audience.

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folk often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

Kate,  Gun, Eva,  Sue, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys, ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol, Preeti, DebbieroseNóilin and Viv

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

ScrapHappy August 2022

Last month’s ScrapHappy bollard covers have proved very popular, but they weren’t my only ScrapHappy make related to the Eisteddfod. Lots of people and businesses were putting up Welsh dragon bunting, or bunting in the colours of the flag – white, green and red. Since I’d already unearthed a pile of scrap yarn in these colours, it was a relatively quick job to knock up some bunting:

However, I like to ring the changes, and now the Eisteddfod is over, I thought it would be nice to have some multi-coloured bunting. The thing about this is that I can use absolutely any scraps, so I had a rummage through some of the bags of left-overs that I have upstairs in the shop and found a whole lot of colours that I probably wouldn’t have chosen, but that should make some cheerful decorations. I started on Wednesday, so I haven’t got very far yet, but it shouldn’t be too long before I have enough to make a useable string:

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folk often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Jan (me), Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 , Bear, Noreen, Preeti, Edith and Jule

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

Blooming bollard

My Welsh dragon crochet is proving very popular, so I wanted to quickly produce a cover for the second bollard outside the shop. The “sock” is pretty straightforward now I have created a pattern and I managed to find some suitable leftover yarn in fairly neutral colours. However, embellishments take much longer. Fortunately, my appeal a few months ago for items with which to decorate the shop meant that I had a bag of crochet flowers from Sandra (Wild Daffodil) just waiting to be used. Small amounts of scrap green yarn were all I needed for the chain stitch stems and here it is:

I will probably make a snail to go on top of it eventually, but I’m pretty happy with it for now. So, big thanks to Sandra, without whom I would still be crocheting flowers.

ScrapHappy July 2022

I never had a shortage of scraps, but with the opening of the shop I have access to all sorts of scrappy items that simply weren’t in my stash. Many people very generously give me things that are left over from their own projects and which they don’t envisage a use for. In the future, this is likely to lead to all sorts of projects that are out of my usual comfort zone, but this month I’ve made just the sort of thing you would expect from me, albeit with a combination of my own and other people’s scrap yarn…. a crochet bollard cover.

Outside the shop are two wooden bollards to stop vehicles from parking on the pavement. You probably haven’t even noticed them in the pictures of the shop exterior, which is precisely why I thought that they might need brightening up. So here is the first of what is likely to be many…

It’s the Eisteddfod in Tregaron (i.e. up the road) at the end of the month, so Welsh flag decorations are all the rage around the area, and this is my contribution. I’m bringing it in every night as I really don’t want to lose it, but it’s getting a lot of public admiration and has been much-photographed over the few days it’s been out.

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folk often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Jan (me), Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 , Bear, Noreen, Preeti, Edith and Jule

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

ScrapHappy June 2022

My friends have been very generous when it has come to setting up the shop, both from the perspective of fittings and stock, but that hasn’t been all. Gloria, a Knit Night pal, having seen me making decorations for the shop, kindly gave me several unwanted kits to make use of for this purpose.  One of these was a large heart pincushion, which looked like it might make a fun addition to the decor.

When I investigated, I discovered that the main ball of yarn was missing,  but that’s not a problem when you have plenty of scraps. I think that the original was red, but I found half a ball of dark pink that looked suitable and set to work. The instructions suggested embroidering the word “LOVE” on it, but Mr Snail came up with “MAKE” as an alternative.

Looking through what I had used for the first heart, I was quite taken aback with how little of the yarn had been used from some of the little balls of the secondary colours, so there were plenty of scraps to be had. Mr Snail, therefore suggested a second one, this time with the word “MEND”. I dug out some purple yarn from a previously abandoned project for the main part and created #2. Because this one represents mending, rather than crocheting flowers to decorate it like the first, I used a 10-hook Speedweve and played around with some fancy darning.

And so we have a pair of (mostly) ScrapHappy hearts, including a slightly uneven, but nevertheless effective, example of what is possible with a Speedweve.

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folk often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Jan (me), Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 , Bear, Noreen, Preeti, Edith and Jule

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

Fun with paper

I don’t do a whole lot of paper crafting, but have been really inspired by the ScrapHappy cards that Alys makes (check out her blog here). It is rather nice, therefore, that the pre-loved craft supplies I have acquired for the shop include dies and embossing folders as well as a “Big Shot” machine in which to use these (all things I’ve seen Alys mention). Being a complete novice in this respect, I drafted in my friend Annette to have a play and show me the ropes, and we were joined by Judith (owner of the sadly missed Red Apple Yarn).

I rummaged through boxes, whilst Annette set up the Big Shot and refreshed her memory of how to use it with a quick online tutorial. A few interesting dies were extracted and we had a little play.

We loved those elephants – that’s a die that I’m definitely going to keep to use in classes. We had a go with some embossing too, but I couldn’t quickly put my hand on all the folders, so that’s a game for another day.

Now I’ve seen some of what is possible, I have lots of ideas for themed card-making workshops. Hopefully we can encourage people to bring “scraps” along to make their cards unique and to encourage the whole ethos of beauty from waste.

ScrapHappy February 2022 plus one

It’s really all been about scrap this month, so here is a third ScrapHappy make to share with you… finally the rag rug is finished, with the back possibly more interesting than the front:

Every bit of fabric except the hessian backing was scrap – bits left over from projects or worn out clothes (two whole dresses in there, amongst other things), so I think this may be my most scrappy project ever – it certainly is weight-wise. It’s really thick and heavy, and will be lovely and warm under the feet. The edges are curling under a bit, so I might have to add something to hold them flat (thick felt perhaps – ideas welcome), but at least the hard work is done now

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folk often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan (me), Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 , Bear, Noreen, Preeti, Edith and Jule

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

ScrapHappy February 2022 minus one

Scrappy Valentines day to all my blogging friends out there…

Crochet hearts made from oddments of cotton yarn

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and tomorrow’s) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folk often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan (me), Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 , Bear, Noreen, Preeti, Edith and Jule

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

Would you like to join in?

Life Chez Snail is currently very much focused on the shop… we’ve now finished dismantling things and have started constructing, which feels like quite a big step. We want to make a big impact when we open up and so I’m very busily making things with which to decorate the shop. The big window will need filling and we intend to have a monthly/six weekly change of display. For the grand opening I’m planning a ScrapHappy window, with all sorts of examples of what you can make with scraps… thank goodness for all those ScrapHappy blog posts I can look back on for inspiration! As well as the window, I want the shop to be a riot of colour, both in terms of the stock and with lovely decorations.

So I’m wondering if you would like to help? Sandra (Wild Daffodil) contacted me and offered to donate some decorations and suggested that others might also like to do the same. Before her email I hadn’t even thought of asking for contributions, but since you are so encouraging about this project, perhaps you would like to add something tangible too? I’d love to have things to put in my ScrapHappy display, or decorations for the shop – garlands, bunting, pictures, wall hangings, mandalas, mobiles – anything that fits with the making and mending ethos of the shop. All crafts are welcome: textiles, yarn, spinning, weaving, paper, printing, dyeing, painting, woodwork… whatever takes your fancy.

I’m keeping several of my recent makes under my hat so that I can share them in future ScrapHappy posts (I don’t want to steal my own thunder), but here’s one example of a decoration that I have completed. This crochet chandelier was from an unwanted kit (from the Little Box of Crochet, alas no more) that I acquired from a friend.

If you would like to add to my collection, I’d love to hear from you.

A New Chapter

A while ago I hinted that we were hatching new plans and finally I can reveal a little of what we have been up to for the past few months. Basically, this:

The Shop of Happiness

Back in May this year, as I was on my way to Knit Night, I noticed a shop for sale in Lampeter. It made me start thinking… and what I thought was “I’d like to run a shop… something crafty”. I came home and mentioned it to Mr Snail, who said “Let’s go and look at it”. Unfortunately, when he called the estate agent he was told that an offer had already been accepted on this particular shop. However, I kept thinking about it. A bit of discussion and we decided that we’d go and look at some other commercial properties. We viewed several, but none was quite right. Every week I passed the original shop that had got me thinking and every week it still had a For Sale sign in the window. Then one Knit Night, someone looked it up on the internet and discovered that it was actually still on the market. The following morning I contacted the estate agent, was told that the original purchaser had pulled out, and arranged a viewing. The next day we put in an offer. Today, we got the keys and it is ours.

Over the months we have refined our ideas about what we are going to do and I’m delighted to announce that in 2022 The Snail of Happiness Shop will open it’s doors to sell mending supplies and pre-loved craft materials, tools and equipment. We’ll also be running courses on making and mending in our Have-a-bashery. Eventually we hope to have a purpose-built workshop out the back for running the courses, but in the meantime they will be held in the room above the shop.

Many, many people accumulate craft supplies that they never use, which is bad for the planet. In addition, many people inherit someone else’s stash and aren’t sure what to do with it. Charity shops often have no idea of the value (or even purpose) of craft materials and so donating them means that they won’t necessarily be valued and may even be disposed of. What we want to do is make sure that unwanted, good quality materials and tools find their way to people who will use them. In addition, we also want to encourage a culture of mending, so the shop will sell mending equipment: things like needles, darning wool, Sugru, glues… I’ve got a big list!

It’s going to take a few months to get things sorted, but hopefully we’ll be up and running by the Spring Equinox. So, if you are in the UK and having a destash, or have crafting supplies that you no longer want, or are dealing with an inherited stash, do get in touch. We will consider buying any craft supplies, although we won’t be able to give you the price you originally paid for them.

Shop Dogs

Watch this space for more news.

%d bloggers like this: