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.

ORIAU AGOR ~ OPENING HOURS

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.

ScrapHappy March 2022

I’ve been so busy this month that there hasn’t been much time to write, but some of the busy time has been spent making scrappy things. I’ve been crocheting more flowers for wreaths and garlands to decorate the shop, but none of these have actually been transformed into a finished object yet. All the yarn is scraps left over from other projects and where stuffing is required, I’ve used tiny yarn ends.

Away from the shop, poor Sammy has been feeling the cold a bit overnight, so I have managed to find time to knit a woolly coat for him out of yarn left over from a jumper I knitted for myself quite a few years ago. Becuase I changed my mind about the pattern for my jumper, I ended up with rather a lot of left-over yarn – enough to make a very snuggly coat for a chilly hound!

Next month there should be lots of finished stuff to share!

-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.

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

With the opening of the shop getting closer, I have been concentrating my creativity on making examples of what it’s possible to do with scraps. As I’ve mentioned previously, our first window display is going to be “ScrapHappy”. One of my aims is to demonstrate how beautiful the things we make from scraps can be – even if our starting point is less than inspiring.

When we moved into the shop we found three plastic packets, each containing a polycotton pillow case. Two were cream coloured and one was an uninspiring brown. In all cases, the fabric did not feel very nice and so I had no desire to use them as pillow cases, and the brown one had a frill around it, which did absolutely nothing to make is any less unattractive. I spent quite some time, therefore, deconstructing all three and this yielded quite a lot of fabric. I had a plan for the cream material (that’s coming in a later post), but it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that inspiration struck about the brown. You may remember that some time ago I made a wreath from scraps, which was mounted on a polystyrene ring that I had been given. Having just acquired a lovely book by Kate Eastwood about crocheting garlands and wreaths, I was in the mood for another wreath. However, I was determined to make the base from something better than polystyrene. I hate weaving willow, so that was out and so I turned to that brown pillowcase. I made three long sausages, which I stuffed with tiny scraps of yarn and fabric that I had put aside for just such a purpose. I experimented with plaiting these and found that they made a very acceptable, but floppy ring. So, I started again and intertwined the plait around a metal hoop that I had salvaged from a lampshade that my mum was throwing out. The result was absolutely perfect.

Then, I fished around for some suitable yarn scraps and set about making a toadstool wreath because I had suitable colours. In the book, the author suggests attaching the crocheted leaves, acorns and toadstools onto a willow wreath base using a hot glue gun, but because my base was stuffed fabric, I was able to stitch them on.

Apart from the thread, this creation is 100% scrap, and I am very happy with the result. It’s not quite the season for it right now, but I don’t think that matters.

-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.

One becomes two

You never know what you might find in a property that you buy… our shop being a case in point. As well as loads of old suitcases in the loft (each one containing at least one smaller suitcase), some very dated pillowcases, a pair of “jeggings” (Mr Snail is still shuddering at the word), six dining chairs, a microwave oven, a desk, an engraved knife and some picture frames with broken glass, there was a big, free-standing broom cupboard with orange doors. Originally this was attached to the wall with a bracket, but it was freed from its shackles during the work day our friends helped with and has been looming over the upstairs room ever since.

On Tuesday this week, Sue (Going Batty in Wales) arrived with her friend Lindy to help out. Over coffee I mentioned how much I dislike this cupboard and asked for suggestions about how to dispose of it. Lindy, however, had much more vision than me and came up with the idea of splitting it into two… which she duly did. Of course, the horrid orange doors are still there, but those can be covered over (paint, decoupage, fabric) and actually, I may now have the beginnings of storage for the sewing machines… at least if we add stronger shelf supports. We could put a work surface between the two, using them as pedestals, so that we have a counter separating the two areas upstairs, which would be useful. I have to confess, that they are currently still unappealing to me, but I can see potential now and all this does fit with the make do and mend ethos of the shop.

Sue very generously offered to do some work at home for me, so she went off with one of the old dining chairs to have a go at making some sort of cover to hide the rather dirty and worn seat pads. Again, we are trying to minimise buying new and hoping that, by demonstrating what is possible, we will inspire others to have a go at improving what they already have. It would, of course, be much quicker just to go out and purchase all the things we need for the shop from Ikea, but this is so much more satisfying and environmentally friendly.

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.

All hands

We are very lucky to have good friends… the sort of people who, when they offer to help, actually mean it. In recent weeks, Mr Snail has slowly been removing the partition wall upstairs in the shop and dismantling the old changing room downstairs. The latter seemed to have been over-engineered and was taking some serious work to get it apart. So, I put the call out and, on Saturday afternoon, four friends turned up to help… and one of them even brought her parents along too!

I had plans for keeping households separate on different jobs (covid, you know), but somehow that didn’t work out and everybody pitched in. In just one afternoon the dismantling was complete, a cupboard had been removed, a bookshelf had been sanded and partly painted (until the paint ran out) and paint had been stripped off the interesting sticky-out bits of concrete on the front of the shop (we have not the first clue what they might be called, but perhaps one of you knows). In addition, tea and coffee had been drunk and cake consumed.

Now we have a big heap of reclaimed timber with which to build a counter and it’s all construction from here on. The shelves we have been offered are ready to be collected (once the owner gets over his bout of covid), so a trip to Manchester is on the cards. It’s all very exciting, because it really feels like we are progressing towards actually being able to open the shop… I really do need to order the stock now for the mendery part of the shop.

Mend-It Monday #28

After the departure into needle felting last week, this time I’m afraid we’re returning to darning. I guess having so many garments that I have knitted or crocheted, it’s inevitable that lots of my mending will involve this technique.

I have quite a few pairs of fingerless mittens to wear for dog walking – you’d think one pair would be enough, but they get wet and they get dirty and often there’s a pair or two hanging up to dry. Because of holding a dog lead, they also wear in particular places and thus need mending. The subject of this week’s mend did have one of the pair repaired with a speedweve darn in November, but the repaired one needed some more work in a different place and the other had also worn through. So, two thumb holes have been reinforced and one area at the base of the index finger has been repaired and reinforced. Unlike the last time, I decided to make these mends visible and found an oddment of heather-coloured wool, which I think looks rather nice.

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