Tag Archives: charity shop

Vintage Pinking Shears

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I enjoyed a lovely pre birthday lunch with my eldest child. He gave me these vintage pinking shears as a surprise ( not a birthday present) He said that he found them when trawling through charity shops.I was delighted with the thought and the gift. They are truly vintage, perfect condition and in their original box. They made me think of other vintage sewing items that I have. More about them later!

No Room At The Inn?

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I recently visited Chester Cathedral with the intention of seeing a knitting exhibition. There was a display of knitted Bible stories, Hand crafted and lovely.

There was a “side” show of knitting hats and scarves for the homeless. Very admirable and kind idea.

The cathedral is a beautiful, large church, warm and cosy. What I couldn’t understand was why ?

Why Heat the lovely space to such an extent when all the visitors are warmly wrapped up in scarves and good coats?

Why have such a large attractive space open to the public when some of the public are homeless ( for whatever reason) and sleeping rough in doorways?

Why close the doors at night to keep the Church warm when some are shivering with no bed to sleep in?

I know that the homeless is a complex issue. Many people do help and do their best. Maybe I’m doing Churches in the UK a disservice . Maybe they do open their doors at night. Just maybe a little more could be done?

I must give full credit to the Chester shareshop and all their hard work for the homeless people of Chester and elsewhere. When I shop in Chester I always buy myself a coffee. It costs me only a little to buy another coffee for someone out there.

WIP? PhD?

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As seems to be a frequent occurrence I had the idea that 2019 will be the year of project completion. Then I remembered that I have this idea every year!

WIP= Work in progress

PhD = Projects half done

Current WIP ( that I can recall)

  1. Bee Keepers Quilt
  2. Knitted squares Afghan-all one colour
  3. Patchwork Quilt (three quarters done)
  4. Skirt-nearly done for Christmas
  5. Hitchhiker scarf
  6. Beaded bracelet ( nearly complete cruise project)
  7. Zippered pouch ( years old)
  8. Quillow
  9. Crochet shawl kit (never started)
  1. Two tunic tops (not started but required for trip in February

And the list goes on………

When I am brave enough to adventure towards the bottom of my stash I am sure that there are many more projects jut waiting to be finished.

I’m also thinking of starting a one woman campaign for sustainability

“A jumper is for ever not just for Christmas”

Apparently Charity (thrift) shops are swamped with old/ nearly new Christmas sweaters. Come on guys get off this bandwagon. Refined reuse recycle and more importantly don’t waste your money!

Cruise Crafts Silk Ties

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Hi lovely readers! I have talked a lot about the destinations on my recent,wonderful cruise but not about the crafts! The very reason for me being on the cruise in the first place is that I was actually teaching crafts! And what a great time we had!

One of the very popular crafts that we made was silk purses. We used silk ties to make these simple colourful make up pouches. I did start buying ties from charity shops but was not very happy. Silk ties in charity shops are quite expensive. They are often not too clean! They do not wash very well ( my Mother was right) I ended up buying lots of silk ties from China. These are sold as wedding ties and are colourful, good quality and nice to work with.

The purses are quite simple to make and the only other requirement is a zip. If you place the tie longways and use the zip as a measure, you can wind the tie round and round until the length is used. Pin and then slip stitch as you go. Slip stitch the base and insert the zip. Job done!

These are a small collection of the finished purses that were in our final Exhibition of Crafts. Didn’t we do well?

Money, money, money

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Last year I bought a kit from Scheepjes to make a “crochet along shawl”. The kit, when it arrived, was a delight of yarn squishiness. It contained delightful jewel colours and small extras. It was like receiving a lovely gift ( even though I’d paid for it)

Well I missed the crochet along (CAL) by months so Darling Daughter printed the patterns off for me.

I decided to take the kit away with me and start. No crochet hook ( I have dozens at home) OK, I found a local knitting shop and treated myself to a hook with a lovely handle ( not cheap). I started the shawl very half heartedly as I couldn’t work out when I would wear it! So I thought I’d use the kit to knit a jumper which I am more likely to wear.

I found the perfect sweater on line. Sadly it was published in a book and together with postage was unreasonably expensive. So I resisted the purchase and found a nice, free, pattern in a magazine which I had.

Guess what? No Knitting needles! Dozens at home so I went to the local charity shops which all appeared shut for the royal wedding. Next day I found anther yarn shop and “treated” myself to some high end bamboo needles. I can always justify spending by telling myself that I deserve this treat!

Trying hard, I knit a tension square which suggested that I needed larger needles. Oh no! I think I will wait until I get home.

Birthday Bunting

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You might remember that I was making Bunting for my super step granddaughters birthday BBQ on my last blog. Well job done and I was really pleased with the result.

In the meantime I have also been sorting through my stash of “stuff”. A local charity shop in Chester, The Share Shop Chester, had put out an appeal for fabrics, sewing patterns and notions. Three sewing machines had generously been donated and are scheduled to go abroad to enable refugees to make their own clothes. I had a good sort out and have sent over forty sewing patterns for them, some dress length fabrics and a pile of threads.   It’s great to know that they are going to a good cause. Not only that but I have actually made some space in my craft room.

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Last Cruise Project!

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Finally! Last project for my forthcoming craft cruise.

img_0936This project is decoupage. I’ve got lots of wooden boxes, shiny glue and various papers. I have used a Winny The Pooh book that I picked up in a charity shop last year for the demo project. The result is really attractive. I lined the inside of the box with a contrasting paper and have sealed it with three layers of shiny glue. Had I had more time I would have done more coats as this then gives you the ability to finely sand the surface producing a better result.

A lesson learned from this cruise is to choose smaller projects next time! I have packed the craft case but there is a considerable overflow. At least we are not flying so we can have the remainder in our hand luggage.

img_0941Overflow project!

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How not to sort out!

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Remember the big sort I was telling you about last week? Well the project continues but with chaos abounding.

1) We had to buy a new bed for our spare room. After MUCH discussion Hubs refused to buy a new mattress as well so I ordered one anyway

2) Whilst we are sorting out the new bed I virtually threw out all my clothes from the spare room wardrobe. I feel cleansed but maybe I will have to organise something for the Winter! We took seven bags of clothes to the charity shops.

3) Its amazing how much I had stored under the old spare room bed.

4) As we were buying a new bed it seemed sensible to decorate the room. Hubs agreed after some gentle persuasion.

5) The bulb had fused in the spare room so Hubs sort of removed the shade to replace the bulb. The light fitting broke so now we need a new light fitting and an electrician to fit it.

6) The TV in the lounge died so we are off to buy a new one tomorrow.

7) Because we are expecting a new bed and re decorating I have bought new bedding. Well you can’t use old quilt covers on a new bed can you?

8) It seemed a good idea to buy curtains to match the new quilt.

9) The electric kettle gave up so we need to buy a new one! I guess we’ve made too much calming tea with the other kettle.

10) Maybe I will sort out our master bedroom next! Maybe not as I don’t want a divorce!

Pause for thought:

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What’s Normal?

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Life is assuming a normal rhythm after a difficult summer. But what is normal? Mum has gone, summer is waning, Hubs has gone walking and Benji Dog has a sore head! I seem to be overcome with the urge to sort out everything. Now this is NOT normal! I have discarded most of my clothes, no not the ones I’m wearing!. I have sent six bags of older clothes to local charity shops. The ( spare ) wardrobe can now breath. I haven’t even started on the main wardrobe.

Hubs has gone on a long planned holiday with the ” boys” I use that word in the loosest sense. He has been lovely this summer whilst I retired to my cave to mourn. He even bought a new spare bed when the Grand children found it didn’t work as a trampoline. This is maybe what has given me the urge to sort everything out or maybe it’s a reaction to loosing Mum.

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Benji dog had a visit to the vet yesterday at vast expense. It’s seems that whilst running through undergrowth up the hill he has torn the skin on his forehead and got an infection. He’s very sad but I’m not sure if that’s because Hubs has left him behind or he feels sorry for himself.

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I have been looking for my craft mojo and think that I might have found it, probably hiding under the broken bed. I have found mountains of wool. Well not found it, I always knew it was there. I have collected it all together and sorted out a new project for when the current one is finished. I have put it all into one of those bags where you suck the air out for storage. OK the Hoover sucks it out!

Whilst clearing out the wardrobe and looking for my craft mojo I accidentally weighed myself. I will say now more just bring on the lettuce. Now THAT is normal!

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Lake District Sojourn

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Hubs, Benji dog and I have travelled to The Lake District, Cumbria in Damnvan. We are trying to make the most of the weather but British weather is notoriously unpredictable. At this moment it is warm and dry-always a bonus.
Yesterday we went to Grasmere ( yummy Gingerbread there! Oh and the home of William Wordsworth!) We walked up to Eskdale Tarn from Grasmere, around the head of the valley and back to Grasmere. This is not a very long walk but particularly hard underfoot. It certainly made me determined to improve my fitness somewhat. The views were lovely, the picnic good and Benji loved it.
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We visited Ambleside, which is a Lakeland town full of outdoor kit shops and hiking fashion items that it is hard to live without! We did have a nice day as I found a charity shop and a couple of textile bargains.
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These two items cost me the grand total of £1.50p They are destined to be upcycled into various “useful” items which I will brag-sorry blog about, at some point in the future. The charity shop in which I found them was The British Heart Foundation, a worthy cause.