If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to make a ring tidy then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below.
This episode is subtitled: ‘What’s Kim not telling me…?’
‘How was Shetland?’ Kim asked breezily on my first day back at work after the trip.
I blushed uncontrollably, said it was great, and quickly changed the subject.
‘How was the charity dinner with Shaun?’ I asked.
‘Fine,’ she said and clammed up.
I was thrilled when he asked me to accompany him – it had been a while since we’d had lunch together – but disappointed it clashed with my Shetland trip. Kim was very quick to offer to go in my place though, and secretly I was desperate for her to say she’d been bored and couldn’t wait to leave.
‘Did you make any useful business contacts?’ I asked; after all, it was the reason she was there.
‘Yes, I might have.’ And she waltzed off to continue her work in Teacups. Hmmm… what was she not telling me?
I spent the morning making up the bouquets and arrangements we needed to fulfil the orders. It’s a good job Jaz was on the ball. ‘Jenny! You’ve just made a pink bouquet to welcome baby Oscar and the order says white arrangement in a blue ceramic bowl.’
‘Has Kim said anything to you about Saturday night?’ I asked her as I started to gather some white flowers from the display.
‘No,’ she replied, and then continued, ‘I know I shouldn’t be telling the boss what to do but shouldn’t you get the greenery in the bowl before you take the flowers out of water? I thought you were going to Shetland to recharge your batteries but you’ve come back in a complete daze. You must have been partying hard!’
The rest of the day continued in a similar vein while my mind grappled with Kim’s furtiveness over Saturday night with Shaun. She’s my business partner and one of my oldest friends and I hate it when things aren’t running smoothly between us. But I have to admit I felt like a teenager whose best friend was making a play for her boyfriend. And Shaun isn’t even my boyfriend. He only asked me to go with him because his wife couldn’t make it. Oh Jenny, pull yourself together!
I was shaken back to reality when I heard Kim shout, ‘What’s that anti-fracking poster doing sellotaped to my shop window?’
Our shop window, I thought, but I let it pass. The person who’d be behind anti-anything is Jaz, but it was Beryl who piped up, ‘Jenny told Jaz she could put it up.’
‘What?’ I said in disbelief.
‘It’s completely off-brand,’ barked Kim, pulling it off the window and dumping it on our counter as she flounced back to Teacups at the rear of the shop.
‘Sorry Jen,’ said Jaz, ‘I did ask you but I should have realised your mind hasn’t really been here today.’
Later on I realised Kim had left her phone on our counter because it started to vibrate under the poster. I picked it up to take it to her but saw the name Shaun McArthur on the display. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach as the evidence of their liaison buzzed in my hand.
I placed the phone on the counter again, picked up the poster and sauntered over to the window to put the poster back up. It was childish but it was my own little protest.
Actually, I thought, I am interested in this. It was advertising an anti-fracking march that was taking place in a couple of days and the march was leaving from this very spot. Could be interesting. ◊
How to Make a Ring Tidy
After a long day of uncomfortable day dreaming I turned to my typical therapy when I got home – crafting something out of nothing.
My rings are usually in a pot but I thought it would be useful to be able to open my drawer and select the ones I wanted at a glance. I wear stacking rings and interchange them often so this is a great solution for me.
I pulled out an old cereal box from the recycling and a 10cm x 10cm template from my collection. (It looks like this template was used for the walls of a house in a previous project.) Two squares of cardboard will make your basic box if you divide one of them into four equal strips for the sides.
Tape the sides into position. It doesn’t matter which side of the cardboard you tape.
Fold the sides up and tape across each corner to hold them in place. It’s best to have the plain side of the cardboard on the outside in case the pattern shows through your fabric.
If your box is 10cm x 10cm like mine then you’ll need to cut a piece of fabric 20cm x 20cm. I used a scrap left over from the laundry bag project. I bought two pieces of matching felt for the rolls in the middle.
You’ll need to place the box in the very centre of the piece of fabric and draw round it. Do this on the wrong side of the fabric and use a pencil or an air-erasable pen. Then you need to extend the lines right to the edge on two opposite sides of the drawn square.
Cut these extended lines from the edge of the fabric to each corner.
Paste the bottom of the box and place it in the centre of the fabric, on the square that you drew.
Bring one of the long sides of fabric up the side of the box. Paste it into place, extending it around to the adjacent sides. Make sure the fabric is smooth and taut against the cardboard as you go. Repeat with the opposite side.
Paste the short sides to the other two sides of the box, over the top of the extended strips.
Check whether your fabric is thin enough to lie flat when you fold it inside the box. If it is then paste it into place. If not, you’ll need to cut it, at least at the corners, before you paste it down.
Now give it three or four thin layers of Mod Podge to seal it. If you prefer to keep the natural feel of the fabric then you might find it fraying at the corners. The following two photographs show before and after I applied my gloss Mod Podge.
I added a piece of corrugated card to the bottom to give it a bit more weight. It also gave me some height, which worked well, but it’s not essential. I cut eight squares of felt (10cm x 10cm just to keep things simple!) although at this point I wasn’t sure how many I’d need.
I rolled each piece round a pencil and secured the edge with some dabs of glue from my glue gun. Roll carefully so the width remains 10cm. The pencil should pull out quite easily ready for the next roll.
When you’ve got a pile of ‘cigars’ try them in your box to check how many you need. I needed seven.
Use the glue gun to glue each cigar in, making sure the long edge of each one is out of sight at the bottom. I glued mine a few at a time. Why didn’t I use my spare square of blue felt on the bottom? It would have been a good use for it.
And here it is with them all glued in securely.
Does it work? Yes of course it does!
- I wish I’d added a square of felt to the bottom of the box before gluing the rolls in.
- Cardboard from an old cereal packet
- Fabric scrap
This is now a pretty accessory in my room. I can open my drawer and choose my combination of stacking rings easily. Why don’t you have a go?
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