ScrapHappy May 2023

One of the problems that I have with bollard covers is that I tend to be prompted to make them because of seasonal festivities. This means that in the gaps between such events, I’m at a bit of a loss about what to put out… generally resorting to the floral ones or the Welsh dragon. I’m very reluctant to make something for a one-off event because I’ll never have the opportunity to use it again, so my nod to the coronation involved an oddment of gold yarn…

As to more non-seasonal subjects, what could be more timeless and popular than dinosaurs? And by complete coincidence this week contains International Dinosaur Day (apparently). Mr Snail decided to join in with the fun, but here are my two… one on a bollard and one guarding the sweeties on the counter… not surprising they have not needed replenishing recently! Both dinosaurs were made from scrap yarn, as was the bollard cover and it’s leafy decorations. There is never a shortage of scrap yarn in the shop, as bags of it seem to arrive on a weekly basis… I just need to find a use for all that eyelash yarn that people buy and never make anything from!

The patterns for both the Raptor and the Triceratops are from Kelly of Little Green Bear; the crown, bollard cover and leaves are all out of my own head!

-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, Edi, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jan (me), Moira, SandraChrisAlys, ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol, Preeti, DebbieroseNóilinViv, Lynn and Tierney

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 April 2023 – Rabbit, Rabbit

Finally, a year after opening the shop, we’ve managed to get round to starting our long-planned stitching club. Once a month we’re meeting up to work on some projects using textiles. The last day in March saw our inaugural meeting of Textile Club. For our first get-together, we wanted a simple project that would allow us to chat about our interests, discuss future projects and get to know each other a bit. My friend and collaborator, Annette, found a simple template to work from and I collected together fabric, ribbons and beads from the shop’s huge collection of scraps. Everyone could then choose the fabric and embellishments that appealed and stitch by hand or on a sewing machine (electric or hand) to create their own Easter bunny. I chose a to make a sunny bunny, but there was a wide variety in the final line up:

Future sessions will also use scraps, so there should be plenty scrappy creations to share in coming months.

Back to the crochet and I also felt the need for a bollard bunny, so here he is:

All the yarn was scrap – the little chest piece and the insides of the ears used up a tiny oddment of Jacob’s wool and I think the grey may be pure wool too. The cover itself was made by Mr Snail, using an unloved ball that made its way to the shop. The pattern is Rodney Rabbit from one of my favourite designers, Kelly of Little Green Bear – do check out her shop if you are looking for animals to make.

-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, Edi, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jan (me), Moira, SandraChrisAlys, ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol, Preeti, DebbieroseNóilinViv, Lynn and Tierney

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 March 2023

This month most of my scrap use was related to a new window display for the shop, to celebrate St David’s Day. The window was a joint effort and you can read about Mr Snail’s contributions here.

Our aim was to make a cosy scene including a whole range of items that you might find in a Welsh home. We already had blankets made from Cambrian wool, some sheep and dragon-themed bits and bobs and an ancient Welsh wool rug, but we wanted to add cushions and pictures, amongst other things.

I dug out some uninspiring bits of fabric – two were scraps of furnishing fabric, and one was a half-finished skirt that had arrived at the shop from goodness knows where. I used these to make cushion covers with a Welsh words theme. The two beige ones (Hiraeth and Cwtch) are pillow case style and the green one (Hwyl) has a zip – also rescued from an abandoned project. The cushion inners are old and had been lurking up in our loft for about two decades.

Then to a picture for Mr Snail’s mantlepiece. When we acquired the shop, it contained some random items. Some went to the charity shop down the road and some were put to one side for us to use (possibly). One of these was a faded print in a very battered frame. The print was removed and I used my (secondhand) die-cutter and dies and some pre-loved paper to cut out letters and mount them on to spell out a corruption of part of the Welsh national anthem:

The original is “Gwlad” (country), but “Gwlân” means wool… hence the tiny bit of knitting (cocktail stick and old beads for the needles; scrap yarn for the knitting). So, we are pledging loyalty to our wool! We also wanted a nod to St David and so I found an old frame in the loft at home, removed the tatty picture from that and used more scrap paper to create a very relevant quote attributed to Wales’ patron saint:

It means ‘Do the small things’ in the original context, but from our perspective it can also mean ‘Make the small things’.

You may have also noticed the crocheted daffodils – those were made from scrap cotton yarn, some random flower wires that were in a box of unwanted bits and some green paper tape from the same source. Of course we also had to make a suitable bollard cover for outdoors. Mr Snail made the cover from an unwanted ball that arrived in the shop and I made the flowers from scraps left over from a recent commission. I embroidered the stems from more scrap yarn.

So, all in all, a very scrappy window display.

-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, Edi, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jan (me), Moira, 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 February 2023

There’s been a lot of ScrapHappiness at The Snail of Happiness this month.

The lovely Sew Social ladies who came for a class at the end of January really enjoyed experimenting with some sashiko. We used new sashiko thread, but all the stitching was on the same cream-coloured scrap fabric that I mentioned in last month’s post. Anyway, everyone seemed to have fun and I hope I’ve inspired future use of scraps.

Back in the land of crochet, there had to be bollard covers for Dydd Santes Dwynwen and Valentines day. As usual, these were made entirely from scrap yarn…

During the first covid lockdown I made some curtains for our bathroom out of a saree. The remaining fabric has been languishing in my scrap collection ever since. I use a small amount of it to make a gift bag last year, but in the past month I have finally got around to some more curtains for two small windows in the shop.

And finally, I’ve started work on another rag rug. For this one I’m using an old coffee sack kindly sourced for me by Conti’s Ice Cream. Their coffee supplier will send boxes of coffee sacks for re-use. I selected one with a lovely bird design on which to base my latest rag rug. I dug out lots of bits of beige/brown fabric and some bright blue and am making a simplified version of the bird in the original colours.

We are continuing to encourage the love of scraps and there are several more projects in the pipeline. Watch this space!

-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, Edi, 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 January 2023

You may be starting to think that my entire life is taken up with crocheting bollard covers from scrap, but actually I am finding time for a little other scrappy action. Whilst the shop is closed (we don’t reopen until 25 January), I’ve been sorting through boxes of scraps that have been passed on to me by various people and these are going to be used in some of our courses this year.

My own scrappy creations have extended to sashiko and boro. I love the simplicity of the concept – decorative running stitches – and the practicality of the technique – layering and stitching for strength and insulation. For the sashiko, I’ve started off with some templates to get me going on some traditional designs, but am looking forward to exploring other ideas from the various books I have and also doing some free-form stitching. The straight lines of running stitches associated with boro (which is all about repair and using scraps) are a great way to reinforce and mend. Here are some of my practice bits:

As you can see, I’m playing about with pieces of scrap fabric on an old cloth shopping bag that is long past its best. The dark piece in the middle is a scrap from some old jeans (part of which was used in a past scraphappy post in combination with the cover from a discarded body board) and the cream fabric is mill scraps that I bought over 30 years ago!

I started experimenting with embroidery floss and a household sewing needle. I soon found that my needle was too short and too flexible, so I’m now using proper Japanese sashiko needles (and stocking these in the shop). They are very sharp, have a large eye and don’t flex, making it very much easier to get your stitches even (unlike mine in the boro you can see in the middle of the three pieces, which was done using a crewel needle). I’m also now using proper Japanese sashiko thread, which is very strong and smooth and is much easier to draw through the layers of fabric (again, I now stock this in the shop). The plan is that my bag will form a sampler with various traditional and non-traditional designs and, no doubt, demonstrating my improved stitching!

-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 December 2022

The Snail of Happiness shop is keeping us very busy, but we are working hard to keep our ScrapHappy ethos firmly at the forefront – literally.

My most public display of ScrapHappiness has been the bollards outside the front of the shop – my yarnbombing activities having been mainly fueled by yarn left over from my own projects or gifted as unwanted by others. As the months have gone on there has been increasing interest, and I’m now getting asked by other people with shops in Lampeter if I might make something for them. My first commission was from the shop next door – Y Becws. A couple of months ago I made them a (ScrapHappy) bollard cover as a gift:

Owen, you see, is very well-known for his doughnuts (and his sourdough, but doughnuts are easier to crochet… or at least to make them look like what they are supposed to be) and so, once I’d thought of it, I just had to make this one.

Anyway, they were so pleased with the result, that they asked for a couple of festive ones. I stopped any other creative endeavours because I still hadn’t finished either of my own festive creations and off I went. You saw some ‘in progress’ pictures in my November ScrapHappy, but here are the final finished four (we have two bollards each outside our shops):

Every single scrap of yarn in these was a left-over from a previous project or was an unwanted ball from one of my very kind supporters. Even the stuffing was a part bag that was dropped off, unwanted, at the shop. The candy canes contain nose pieces from no-longer required mask-making kits, bent to shape. The little stockings were given to me; they are previously used decorations, knitted by past Knit-Nighters at the old Red Apple Yarn shop, alas no more. Rudolph’s eyes are left-over vintage buttons that I’ve had hanging around for ages having bought a card of them for a past project (there’s never the exact number that you need on a card, is there?). So, all-in-all a very public display of ScrapHappiness.

But just to add extra-special festive cheer, here are mine in the snow (Owen decided to keep his all warm and safe indoors!):

Oh, and that’s some new ScrapHappy bunting in the window – made from a bit of an old waterproof tablecloth that I bought secondhand… it’s all about the scraps!

-oOo-

Rudolph is from a pattern by Little Green Bear, which you can find here.

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 November 2022

This month I have been busy on several scrappy projects, but the ones I had intended to post about today will have to wait a month or two because I completely failed to take any photographs and I’ve left them at the shop (I’m writing this at home). Anyway, I have an on-going mission to decorate the bollards outside my shop throughout the year, so I’m currently working on my winter offering… not just the two outside my shop, though, but the two outside Y Becws next door. All of them are works in progress, so there’s only a sneak peek this month, but all of them are made from scrap yarn, given to me by some very kind friends. Well, all that is except the little stockings, which were left over from a previous Christmas display in Red Apple Yarn (now sadly closed) and which I am re-purposing.

Finally, I’ve managed to find a use for some of the eyelash yarn that so many people buy and then decide that they hate!

Hopefully next month, you’ll get to see four finished creations… wish me luck!

-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 October 2022

After the success of the decorated bollards over the summer, it seemed a good idea to ring the changes and make some for autumn.

These two are not entirely scrappy, as I did have to use some new yarn for the little witch, but her hair, stuffing and the buttons on her hat and wand and for her eyes are all scraps. All the rest is either from my scrap collection or is other people’s unwanted (unloved) yarn.

I think these are my most photographed creations ever… do look out for them on social media and let me know if they crop up.

-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 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.

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