77. How to Upcycle a Pair of Flip Flops

Upcycle a pair of flip flops - turn them from scruffy to pretty with a few supplies from your sewing and craft stash

If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to upcycle a pair of flip flops into some pretty footwear for the summer then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below.salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's paw

This episode is subtitled: ‘What was all that about…?’

‘Why don’t you wear that lovely summer dress you got last year?’ said Kim on Thursday night, in preparation for my lunch with Shaun the next day.

It’s a V-necked sleeveless sundress with a bold design in fuchsia and spring green.

‘It’s just not me,’ I said.

‘Nonsense!’ she replied, ‘you look lovely in that. And wear those strappy sandals – it’ll be worth a bit of pain to get the inside knowledge from Shaun.’

I reluctantly agreed to wear the uncomfortable shoes and the sundress, knowing that I’d add a cardigan to cover up a lot of the bare skin.

‘And go on – push the boat out – put some make-up on,’ she pleaded.

Read more

76. How to Make a Peg Bag

How to make a peg bag from an old plastic hanger

If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to make a peg bag then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below.salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's paw

This episode is subtitled: ‘I made a sale…!’

‘What do you think?’ asked Kim, evidently very pleased with the sketched cake design she was showing me.

‘Ooh, Kim, it’s beautiful!’ I had to admit she had excelled. The understated splendour of this ruby wedding celebration cake was stunning. She’d taken on board my plans to use red calla lilies in the flower displays and come up with something that I was sure my client, Mr Jones, would be delighted with.

Now all I had to do was persuade him to order the cake without Kim realising I didn’t have it in the bag already, and without Mr Jones realising I was trusting Kim to deliver when his only encounter with her so far was the unfortunate chaos during the local Open Gardens event.

Read more

75. How to Make a Reed Diffuser

How to make a reed diffuser

If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to make a reed diffuser using an old jar then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below.salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's paw

This episode is subtitled: ‘That’s another fine mess…’

‘Oh, Jenny, it was awful,’ said Kim. ‘After all that preparation it was spoiled by an over-excited dog.’ She was reliving the pain she’d felt in her garden the previous day when her attempt to promote Teacups & Tulips during our local Open Gardens event had gone badly wrong. Karma, I thought, for turning a charity day into a publicity opportunity.

She continued, ‘Beryl was a complete embarrassment when she fell.’

‘Oh dear, was she hurt?’ I enquired.

‘I don’t think so. But wait ‘til you hear what she was wearing. I’d told all the waitresses to dress properly for the occasion – clean Teacups aprons, no bare legs etc. But when she fell, she flung her legs in the air revealing pop socks! But that’s not all – she’d been wearing flip flops and one of them shot off and hit someone on the back of the leg!’

‘Who wears pop socks with flip flops?’ I said.

Read more

74. How to Make a Fidget Spinner

Make a fidget spinner from cardboard and loose change

If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to make a fidget spinner then look out for Blue’s paw lower down in this post.salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's paw

This episode is subtitled: ‘An Eventful Open Gardens Event…’

‘You haven’t moaned about the supermarket for 24 hours,’ I heard Beryl say to Kim. ‘You given up your fight to stop it opening now?’

‘No!’ cried Kim, indignantly. ‘It’s just that I’ve got to focus on getting all this Teacups & Tulips publicity material sorted for the Open Gardens event this weekend. Anyway, Jenny knows the guy on the planning committee so I’ve asked her to work on him in the meantime.’

I winced. Firstly, I didn’t want to try and manipulate Shaun on the planning committee and secondly, I had a lot of preparation to do in my garden too. I was keen to help raise some money for charity but I was scared my little patch of heaven wasn’t going to be to good enough for visitors. The supermarket campaign would have to wait.

Read more

73. How to Make a Dog Lead from Fabric

Make a dog lead from fabric

If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to make a dog lead from fabric then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below.salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's paw

This episode is subtitled: ‘Wish I was glamorous…’

So there we were at the public meeting, keen to have our little protest about the proposed new supermarket. Kim was looking radiant, I was looking like I’d walked through a waterfall and out into a gale, and who should be hosting the meeting but Shaun McArthur.

‘Let’s nab him at the end and call in a few favours,’ said Kim, excited by this new opportunity.

‘What favours does he owe us?’ I said, pointing out the obvious flaw in her suggestion.

‘Well, having a friend on the planning committee’s got to be worth something,’ she replied.

Friend? I had one slow dance with him over 30 years ago, which Kim probably doesn’t even know about. And I bet she’s never spoken to him in her life. My mind was whirring. Friend. I would love to be his friend but I’d like to be in fresh dry clothes with my hair not plastered to my face for my next encounter. Talking to him tonight was out of the question.

Read more

72. How to Make a Reusable Tissue Box to Match Your Room

How to make a reusable tissue box to match your room

If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to make a reusable tissue box to match your room then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below.salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's paw

This episode is subtitled: ‘Ground, please swallow me up…’

‘That’s great, Sandra. Well done,’ said Kim, congratulating the manager of the chemist for getting her head office on board with our protest.

Meanwhile, Jaz had her head in a flower arrangement she was making and there was a faint rhythmic murmuring coming from her direction, ‘Yaaay to independents. Nooo to multinationals. Yaaay to independents…’ I don’t think she was conscious she was doing it.

Read more

71. How to Make an Infinity Scarf from Old T-Shirts

How to make an infinity scarf from old t-shirts

If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to make an infinity scarf from old t-shirts then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below. salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's paw

This episode is subtitled: ‘Another one joins the cause…’

‘He’s as stubborn as ever!’

Jaz was exasperated at not being able to persuade Old George in the hardware shop to show a bit of solidarity with the rest of us. We’re trying to get all the shops along Linnet Row to oppose the plans for a Skolkensson supermarket in the old pub building opposite but I think George likes to be awkward for awkward’s sake.

‘I hope you have more luck with Colette,’ she said. ‘Kim won’t be happy if we fail to get the hardware shop and the beauty salon on board.’ 

Read more

70. How to Make a Trinket Jar from an Old Face Cream Pot

How to make a trinket jar from an old face cream pot

If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to make a trinket jar from an old face cream pot then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below.salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's paw

This episode is subtitled: ‘Kim, ready for action…’

‘Hi Kim. Nice trip?’

‘Hi Jaz. What’s this news about the pub?’

‘It’s going to be a Skolkensson supermarket unless we can find a way to stop it,’ said Jaz enthusiastically.

Jaz hadn’t stopped going on about global capitalism and fair trade since we first heard that the Scandinavian supermarket was interested in buying the old pub building opposite. She’d been itching to get out there and march for the small independents. I’d told her that Kim would spring into action when she got back from her short break. I knew she would be on a mission to make sure Teacups & Tulips remained a viable business.

‘Let’s rally the troops!’ shouted Kim, more to herself than anyone else, and she disappeared out of the shop to talk to the other shop owners along Linnet Row.

Read more

69. How to Make a Necklace from an Old Tie

Make a necklace from an old tie

If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to make a necklace from an old tie then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below.salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's paw

This episode is subtitled: ‘Where’s Kim when I need her…?’

‘My garden’s not looking too bad,’ I said, ‘now that the leaves are coming through on the shrubs and my miniature rhododendrons are starting to show signs of colour. Oh, and my Clematis Montana is so pretty, winding up over the roof of my neighbour’s pergola.’

Jaz wasn’t captivated by my chit-chat but I prattled on, nonetheless. I’d been feeling calmer about the Open Gardens event in May, thinking that I might not be too embarrassed when visitors arrive after all. I was just telling her about my idea for tubs of bedding plants for a splash of colour when Beryl bustled in, a bit late, taking advantage of the fact that Kim was away for a couple of days.

Read more

68. How to Revamp a Set of Dining Chairs

Revamp a set of dining chairs

If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to revamp a set of dining chairs then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below. salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's paw

This episode is subtitled: ‘Will my garden be good enough…?’

‘Ooh, I’d love to see your garden, Jenny,’ said Mrs Lucas. She was delighted that I’d volunteered to be included in our local Open Gardens event next month.

Why do customers naturally assume that florists are good gardeners? We work with cut flowers that have been grown by someone else – an expert!

‘It’s a very small garden,’ I responded, suddenly unsure that I wanted a stream of locals judging my mediocre efforts. I’d signed up to the event to get into the community spirit and help raise some money for charity.

Read more