ScrapHappy December 2021: Repair, Reuse, REVIEW

As we approach the shortest day and the turning of the year, I thought I would write a quick review of my ScrapHappy activities (and not just because, here at Chez Snail, we are more than halfway through our Solstice calendar which has a small but perfectly drinkable bottle of wine behind every door and therefore means I may not be as creative as normal).

As my regular reader will know, I am not skilled enough to start ScrapHappying with fabrics and other soft scrap, so I go for the hard ScrapHappying. Occasionally, the two overlap as they did in October and November

There was a definite lamp theme by the time I used a bit of one in October. I had already repurposed an old set-top box in January to ensure the Snail’s craft light kept shining, and converted a pair of electrickery-powered lights back to good old candle power in May

Of course, the hugest news in the ScrapHappy Universe, and by that I mean in my head, was the rebirth of Palletgate in July…

There was ScrapHappy component creation going on in June and August

There was a ScrapHappy makeover for the water butt stand in March

Some scrapped telecom cable (retrieved from the side of the road) was used to keep the raspberries off the ground in April

And there was an old scythe to restore in September


Eh voila! Another ScrapHappy year done with! I hope you all have a very ScrapHappy 2022 and, indeed, a very Happy 2022 in general! See you next year for more ScrapHappiness and maybe even a new ScrapHappy top-of-the-blog post image (maybe)!

Many other people contribute to Kate and Gun’s wonderful ScrapHappy every month – check out what they have been up to too!

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, 
JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnGwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera, Edith
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol, Preeti,
Amo, AlissaLynn, Tierney and Hannah


Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy, Sewing, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , , | 16 Comments

Mend It Monday: Achieving Speedweaving

Holey sock, Batman!

Holey sock, Batman!

I know that I don’t treat my socks well, they have a hard life and then go to pieces or, like Cobbler Bob*, end up with a hole in their sole. The Snail tried out one of the new-fangled** Speedweve devices a while ago (see here for the gory details) and it worked very well.

With another inevitable hole or two appearing in one of my socks, it was time to see if the idea that “any fool can use it” was true.

Enter one fool…

The Snail showed me the ropes, well, the yarn and the hooks.

The Snail showed me the ropes, well, the yarn and the hooks.

Now it was my turn... gulp...

Now it was my turn… gulp…

First hole woven closed

First hole woven closed

So, now it was time to go it alone… tea was definitely required…

So, now it was time to go it alone… tea was definitely required…

Here we go, no help (The Snail had fled the building), no safety net...

Here we go, no help (The Snail had fled the building), no safety net…

All done!

Both holes mended and there was no swearing! IS this a DIY first?

Both holes mended and there was no swearing! IS this a DIY first?

So, yes, a Speedweve IS so easy, a fool can use it.

Did I just darn my first sock ever? Yes, I did!

Am I ridiculously pleased with myself for having done it? Yes. Yes, I am.


* Comedian Adam Buxton did a Lego reconstruction (and the voices) of David Bowie planning his next character after Ziggy Stardust. It’s here and it’s brilliant.

** Actually old-fangled.

Categories: repair, Sewing | Tags: , , | 16 Comments

ScrapHappy July 2020: Threading the Needle


So, what’s this pile of old scrap for?

It’s a rare thing when the two sides of the same coin can be bridged but this is one of those times – I give you the Hard ScrapHappy needle threader for Soft Scraphappyness.

The wire has to be thin enough to pass through the eye of a needle (oh, the irony if camel hair worked) but thick enough to hold its shape. The handle just has to be, you know, handleable.

The two bits needed come from an old hard disk drive – the handle in this case is a memory chip and the wire is from the sense coil of the read/write head. In English, these are a funny rectangular bit with tiny legs and a bit of wire from something that looks like it belongs in a juke box. There are plenty other leggy quadrilaterals and bits of wire that can be used from a single hard drive to make needle threaders and, while I don’t think you could run a business making threaders from hard drives and thus help save the planet, well, every little helps as at least one supermarket with a sense of irony likes to state.



I soldered the wire onto the top few legs that were still attached to the chip, and cut the other legs off flush with the body so that there weren’t any pointy bits. The wire can be made more pointy to taste by just squeezing the end with pliers.

I made some earlier using connecting wire (from an old reel of wire I bought as part of my electronics hobby), sugru and old buttons.


One I made out of (slightly) more conventional materials


Ready to thread…

Eh, voila! Hard and soft scraphappiness in perfect harmony!


This is a wonderful idea from the equally wonderful Kate and Gun. Lots of other people now join in, so check their sites too for more ScrapHappyness!

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin and Vera


Categories: computers, recycling, ScrapHappy, Sewing | Tags: , , | 17 Comments

ScrapHappy April 2020: Face Time


Optimistically, it says “Man” on the pattern…

Ah, another “soft” ScrapHappy – I promise I’ll be all power tools and hammers next time*! The Snail found an “easy” pattern for face masks on t’interweb and, like the fool I am, I said I would have a go at making my own. AND there were scraps of material left from my first sewing exploit (see here for, frankly, way too many details), making it a perfect subject for a ScrapHappy post…

Hover over the pictures for the captions, by the way (like you didn’t already know that). I cut things out, only one of them incorrectly. There are three layers – an outer, an inner (both regular material) and a middle bit made of vilene, which is ironed onto one of the other layers and acts as a filter. Now for the sewing bit… I fired up the trusty Singer and, with huge amounts of guidance from The Snail, managed to make a face mask (well two in fact)!

It wasn’t easy easy, but it wasn’t too bad either. The top stitching was difficult as it was really hard to see the seam and therefore the path of the stitches, but I managed that with minimal swearing. I found using the Singer much easier than before, so I guess I am becoming used to it!

You can read The Snail’s take on this project here.


A distinct improvement to my face!


* Depends, but next month’s might be a bit electronicky…

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: ScrapHappy, Sewing | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

Make it Sew… again


Here I go again…

After the unqualified success of my first attempt at sewing (“unqualified” being an apposite word here), I decided to make another pair of boxers, to prove that the first time wasn’t a complete fluke.

The Snail had some fabric (see? I know these technical terms now) that would be perfect so I set about cutting that out with the pattern pieces I made last time. This was much quicker than before, of course. However, the Snail thought it would be good to modify the recipe, I mean pattern, a little. As these boxers are for sleeping in*, they don’t need the complication of the fly but could benefit from slightly longer legs (there has to be a Tom Cruise joke in there somewhere).


I’ve been overlocked

The Snail overlocked the edges (the overlocker is a way too scary machine for me to use) and then I sewed all the bits together, using the family Singer. It all went really quickly, despite a little jiggery-pokery required for fitting the elastic waistband. There was almost no swearing.

Eh, voila! Another sewing success. At this rate, I’ll have new set of sleepy-in clothes by 2042!


* I don’t mean as a substitute for a bed, they’re not that big.


Categories: Sewing | Tags: , | 8 Comments

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