ScrapHappy January 2020: Mirror Bawl

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Seven years bad luck for the courier

First off, I hope you all have a good 2020, and much ScrapHappiness!

Sorry – this ScrapHappy post is a bit angranty*!

A friend of mine is doing up a house, by which I mean he has been living in a building site for two years because doing a full-time job and renovating an old property are two largely incompatible tasks. As part of this, he bought himself a mirror to go in his bathroom, when he has actually put in the important stuff like a bath, or a wall. This mirror was a really fancy one, with LED lights around the frame and a de-mister heating pad on the glass itself.

As you can see, the first delivery was not as successful as it might have been. The company my friend bought it from did replace it and instructed him to bin the defunct one. So I offered to take that and see if I could replace the glass, as that was the only thing broken (as far as I could tell). What I discovered was that:

With the exception of the box of electronics, every single component in this mirror had been glued, with something that appeared to turn into concrete once set.

This means that replacing the glass or, indeed, the LEDs or the heater pad, is effectively impossible! And it wasn’t as if this product was manufactured just after WWII, when the world went “yay, we’re-off-rations” crazy and the throwaway society was born. This was made about six months ago, when to deny that climate change is a real thing happening now meant you were leader of a country.

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Everything stuck to everything else

Like I said, a ranty post. I managed to salvage the power supplies (for the LEDs and the heater) but couldn’t remove the LEDs, the heater pad or the polycarbonate surround because of the weld-like glue the manufacturers used.

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What I managed to rescue from landfill

Grr. A very angry Grr.

oOo

* Angranty (adj): Part angry, part ranty as in, er, <thinks of example> “this ScrapHappy post is a bit angranty”.

These ScrapHappy posts are curated by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. I have sneaked a non-fabric-based ScrapHappy in when no one was looking!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out: KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie and Bekki

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

Make it Sew! Part 2…

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Moments before I realised I had sewn the fabric to my leg…

Previously on “Make it Sew!”: I drew around things then cut them out, before retiring to my bed with a large bottle of fine single malt. Questions? No? Excellent…

And now the conclusion:

Having (just about) come through the trauma of tracing the pattern and cutting the cloth, there now loomed the potential nightmare of actually sewing the pieces together.

As mentioned in Part 1, I tried the Snail’s Sewing-with-electrickery machine – turns out it isn’t like driving a car on my PS4 with a steering wheel and pedals because a) the machine doesn’t corner well and b) you can’t sew your thumb to the steering wheel using a PS4. Instead, I was to sew together my fabric pieces with the family hand sewing machine (because it is driven by hand rather than it sews hands, although I am pretty sure it could if push came to unfortunately timed shove).

This Singer machine is about 100 years old and has been in the Snail family (of which I am now honoured to be considered a part of) since it was new. Four generations have used this machine, but none have brought anything like the level of incompetence to its operation as I proudly have.

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Turns out, I hadn’t sewed it to my leg. Just my fingers.

With some Snail-based help, I followed the instructions, backstitching seams (I actually know what that means!) and generally enjoying the whole experience. And the result? Pants. Well, I didn’t think it was that bad. No, I mean the result was a pair of boxer shorts, with an elasticated waist and everything…

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Eh, voila! A pair of boxers in just under three weeks!

Modesty does not allow me to show a picture of me modelling them… oh, alright then, if you insist…

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oOo

Categories: Sewing | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Make it Sew! Part 1…

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Learning to sew my finger to some fabricy stuff

This all started when the Snail received two interesting packages through the post.  They were sewing kits, containing fabric, patterns and instructions, that she wanted to try out. “How complicated are they?”, I asked, meaning “Will I understand how to open the box, let alone the instructions within?”

When I was at primary school, about 173 years ago, I was taught sewing with a needle, thread and a very brave teacher. Needless to say, I have been needle-less ever since (in fact, I hate the surgical type of needles with an anti-passion bordering on actual phobia).

“Could I use the electric sewing machine doohickey thing?”, I would have asked if I lived in the States. “It can’t be much different from using the steering wheel and pedals to drive virtual cars on my PS4, can it?” This may come up again later…

The Snail decided that one of the kits was indeed suitable for someone who probably put the “dent” in “student”, and embarked on what, for her, was a very long afternoon of showing me what to do and stopping me from doing silly things like eat the tailor’s chalk or bleed over the fabric.

Before the sewing came cutting out the fabric from the pattern. This involved tracing the correct bit of the pattern so that the end product would fit me (and we could re-use the pattern), and then, scarier still, cutting out the fabric to that pattern. One slip and that would be curtains, which is definitely not what the kit was for.

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Pinning the thing onto the fabricy stuff*

 

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Cutting out the fabricy stuff*

 

After that, I had four pieces of fabric, cut to size to make… well, what? All will be revealed (but, unless a seam comes unstitched, only in a good way)…

oOo

* Stop me if this is getting too technical.

Categories: Sewing | Tags: , | Leave a comment

ScrapHappy November 2019: Nothing to see here

As the title says, no ScrapHappy news from the writinghouse this month (well, I found an M6 nut on the pavement but that is safely in a pocket somewhere awaiting the call) but do check out all these fabulous ScrapHappyers, Scrappyers, er, you know what I mean!

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie and Bekki

Here is a lovely butterfly by way of absolutely nothing:

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Leopard Lacewing

These ScrapHappy posts are curated by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. I have sneaked a non-fabric-based ScrapHappy in when no one was looking!

oOo

Categories: repair, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , | 3 Comments

ScrapHappy October 2019:

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Deconstructed guitar

Some scrappy projects seem to last a very, very long time. This one stretches back to a time before the internet – I kid you not – when surfing meant getting wet and web pages were books about spiders*.

My first guitar, when I was 13, was a Jedson Telecaster, which was a cheap knock-off (I mean copyright-ignoring) of the Fender with the same name. I loved it, even though it was rubbish. Many years on, and I decided to rebuild it so that it actually worked properly. Where I was working at the time (as part of my uni course), someone brought me a piece of a Land Rover body panel to form the new frontplate, on which would be mounted a new pickup and controls.

And so, with the energy that one has in one’s youth, I launched myself into the project. I sprayed the original body black and the frontplate gold. I scavenged switches (from the same source as those used on the two-minute timer) and a volume control and knob from a radio someone left in a skip.

Thirty-five years later and I have since acquired a new neck (for the guitar, not for me) – actually, also technically a scrap that was sold off when the Shergold guitar factory closed. The new tremolo arm and assembly is, in fact, salvaged from another guitar by a nice man in Denmark Street in London, who sold it to me for twenty-five quid.

A ScrapHappy guitar, just waiting for that moment when I put it all together.

One day.

Honest.

[If you want to see guitars that are actually made from scrap, as opposed to one that is currently a pile of scrap, have a look at this WordPress site: Grot Guitars. There are some amazing instruments built out of all sorts of scrappy things.]

oOo

* Sorry, couldn’t resist that.

These ScrapHappy posts are curated by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. I have sneaked a non-fabric-based ScrapHappy in when no one was looking!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out: KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie and Bekki

Categories: recycling, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , | 10 Comments

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