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.

Open for business

It’s been a hectic few weeks, hence the lack of posts, but I just wanted to let you know that we are now open.


Dydd LlunMonday
Dydd MawrthTuesday
Dydd Mercher10.30 – 3.30Wednesday
Dydd Iau10.00 – 3.30Thursday
Dydd Gwener10.00 – 3.30Friday
Dydd Sadwrn10.00 – 3.30Saturday
Dydd SulSunday

Do come and say hello if you are visiting Lampeter, we are at 10 College Street, SA48 7DY.

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.

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.

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…


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

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