Posts Tagged With: reusing

Mend it Monday: On the phone(s)

Mend it Monday is an occasional post inspired by thesnailofhappiness


Headphones – comfortable but broken

I have had these headphones for about 15 years now – they were quite expensive in their day and I have used them in what I lovingly (and slightly inaccurately) called my “recording studio”. They are great headphones and, when the rubber earpiece things disintegrated, the Snail made me new coverings that are largely acoustically transparent (that is, sound goes through them like they aren’t there).

Like all these things with moulded plugs on the ends of their wires, something starts to break/come loose in the plug. I have spent the better part of the last three years carefully bending the wire near the plug just enough to get the headphones to work properly.

Well, even that stopped working yesterday, so I was forced to mend them. The wires on headphones are always thin and pretty difficult to work with, and these were no exception. Fortunately, I had an old working plug (from a broken something-or-other) to use, and it all seems to have worked!

Mended and back in action – now back to doing important things such as watching this (which just makes me laugh and cheers me up every time I see it):



Categories: repair, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

ScrapHappy October 2019:


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.


[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.]


* 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

ScrapHappy January 2019


My wallet – in a previous life, it was a…?

First, a Scrappy New Year to everyone – I hope 2019 sees you more ScrapHappy than you thought possible!

This month, my non-fabric-based (“soft scrapping”) offering (so-called “hard scrapping”) is: my wallet.

The moths were relocated especially for the occasion. Actually, they haven’t had a lot of time to settle in as this is a very new wallet, replacing my old one of 300 years. So, why am I mentioning my new wallet here?

Well, I was in a local shop (the Risc World Shop) to me in my other life in Reading (Chez Snail, where I rest my shell, is nowhere near there) that sells many excellent things made in faraway places by people trying to survive against some pretty tall odds. Hiding in these treasures, I discovered this wallet, made in Cambodia for the Lost in Samsara group. Have a look at what it is made of:


I know, inner tubes! Now that’s a cool piece of ScrapHappiness!


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!


Categories: recycling, ScrapHappy | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Dodging the Landfill


Waste Generated by this Exercise

The choices for my (t)rusty old PC were pretty clear: replace or reuse. The former was the easy option, although there was the small matter of a new hard drive and a new graphics card fitted 18 months and 6 months ago, respectively. The latter was hard to believe as being even possible – after all, operating systems are made obsolete to make you buy a new machine, right?

I like my desktop machine. It has two screens attached to allow me to write and research simultaneously (and by that, I mean gaze half the time at a blank page and the other half at social media), something that isn’t quite possible with a laptop. Its Vista operating system worked well enough.

Not for long. Vista will be ditched completely by Microsoft in  April and most browsers no longer work properly with it anyway (I had put up with Firefox’s shenanigans for the last year but only just. I have less hair as a result.).


So, my delight at discovering that I could upgrade for fifteen quid to Windows 7, still supported until 2020, was more than it should have been for so mundane a reason. And after about 9 hours, the upgrade worked and my beloved desktop PC was once more running, albeit with a Chrome browser rather than Firefox (which seemed to just collapse under the regime of a new operating system).

No waste to trouble landfill, no energy needed to produce new hardware, no packaging to recycle.

This is how technology is supposed to be in the 21st century, isn’t it?


Categories: computers, recycling, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making History – 2

All the tools needed for a precision job - note the hammer

All the tools needed for a precision job – note the hammer

Way back in the mists of time (well, the 13th of January this year to be exact) I wrote about the wonderful mosaic tiles created from the remains of a bowl that once belonged to my Dad (Making History post here). One of the Snail’s talented nieces made four fantastic works of art from the shards. The question was where to hang them – and the answer was, eventually – “Blimery! In the Limery!” (or words to that effect).

Eight holes, eight screws, eight rawlplugs. This meant one thing, of course – DIY.

Other tools required for a precision job - note the cup of tea

Other tools required for a precision job – note the cup of tea

I know what you’re thinking, at least I do if you are a regular reader – cue language as blue as the Limery walls and a tale of disaster that can only be as a result of a drill, rawlplugs and sheer incompetence. But you would be wrong. Almost. Give or take.

It only took about 45 minutes to put up

It only took about 45 minutes to put up

Note how the top one is falling off, er, leaning forwards in a jaunty way

Note how the top one is falling off, er, leaning forwards in a jaunty way

The screws were reused from some other project that fell apart, er, was re-purposed. Judging by the surface rust on the screws, it was once an outdoor project. The rawlplugs were from a few things we have bought over the years that include them but are never needed (telephone brackets, extra shelf supports, that sort of thing). The holes came with the drill.

The handmade hooks we commissioned from the nice man in the People’s market and were just that – made by hand. So, some variation was to be expected. I matched pairs of hooks that were similar and set about fixing the first two in place. I measured once and cut about three times – I mean, I measured twice and then took an average.

Success! On to the second one… ah, a slight wrinkle as it were. The arms are inclined to be too inclined, meaning that the tile won’t sit safely on the hooks. Time to give up for now…

That was yesterday afternoon. This morning I fixed the other two tiles up, safe in the knowledge that there is a solution – modelling clay and blu-tack. The modelling clay (you can just see it, it’s very blue) sits in the crook of the arms to even out the slope and helps to lean the tile backwards slightly. The blu-tack sits at the top against the wall to help stop any movement. No sudden movements now anyone…

A job well done...

A job well done…

... and by that I mean a job, well, done.

… and by that I mean a job, well, done.

All up and looking really good – and all before morning coffee!


Categories: General silliness, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

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