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.

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65. How to Make a Cushion Cover from an Old Jumper

How to make a cushion cover from an old jumper

If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to make a cushion cover from an old jumper, scroll down to find Blue’s paw print below.salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's paw

This episode is subtitled: ‘Pull yourself together, Jenny…’

‘No Beryl, not like that,’ I said exasperatedly for the umpteenth time that morning. She’d been loaned to us from Teacups to help with the Mothers’ Day preparations and, whilst she was very keen, I was just wondering whether we’d be faster without her when Guus, our lovely Dutch flower supplier, came in with a mountain of new stock for our busy weekend orders.

‘This place is looking better every day!’ he said.

‘I know. I just wish we hadn’t still got two extra bodies and a set of tools in here with all these flowers to contend with,’ I whispered, with a little nod towards Joe and Barry, the builders. Every day they’d promised they were nearly finished.

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62. How to Make a Doorstop

How to make a doorstop

If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to make a doorstop, scroll down to find Blue’s paw print below.salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's paw

This episode is subtitled: ‘I’m glad I’m single…’

The builders were here bright and early on Tuesday morning, cheerfully cracking on with their work at the back of the shop. Then I did a double take. Then I looked at Joe, the leader of the group.

‘Beryl said it would be fine,’ he said, looking a bit guilty.

They’d propped a door open with Blue’s basket and Blue was still in it! Blue in his basket from salavebox.co.ukI reluctantly gave them one of my new doorstops to use instead, unsure whether it would survive the day. But that would be better than Blue not surviving the day. They aren’t a bad bunch of guys but builders are builders, used to working in a mess.

Kim stomped in late and in a foul mood. The new Teacups’ cupboards were looking great but she could see at a distance the handles were not the ones she’d ordered. She marched to the back of the shop to have it out with them.

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55. How to Revamp a T-shirt with Bleach

Revamp a t-shirt with bleach

This episode is subtitled: ‘Hang onto your hats…Beryl’s coming!’

‘You’re up early, Kim,’ I said.

I had been just about to open up when I noticed Kim through the tea room window. It was an unusually early hour for her to be at work.

‘Couldn’t sleep,’ she said so I took my coat off and sat down. Then she added, ‘Oh dear, what’s happened to your top?’

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54. How to Make Hand Warmers

Make some reusable hand warmers to heat up in the microwave

This episode is subtitled: ‘Who is Jaz’s new man…?’

The business felt like it was getting back to normal this week. Our customer numbers in Tulips have gone back up after the post-Christmas lull and it’s calmed down a bit in Teacups now that most people are back at work. The only complaint is that us florists have had to add a layer or two to cope with the drop in temperature and the biting wind that’s been whistling through the open door, whilst our colleagues in the tea room have just closed their door and turned their heating up a notch to keep everyone cosy. January and February are very testing months for florists.

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46. How to Make a Draught Excluder

Make this shabby chic draught excluder from an old curtain and some fabric scraps

This episode is subtitled: ‘Hannah’s first sewing lesson…’

‘Auntie Jennyeee?’

‘Hello Hannah! How nice to hear from you.’ It was lovely to get a call from my eight-year-old niece but it’s not normal for her to ring me up – we’re usually either thrust together through my baby-sitting duties or else I get withdrawal symptoms and arrange to pick her up when I’m taking Blue on a long walk so we can enjoy some time together, studying nature along the way.

‘Will you help me to make a birthday present for Mummy, please?’

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44. How to Make a Simple Bath Mat

How to make a simple bath mat from an old towel

This episode is subtitled: ‘Too early for Christmas…?’

‘Morning, ladies!’ I looked up from the floral arrangement I was working on at the cheerful voice of Margery, a customer who pops in from time to time to take in the heady scent of flowers and to see what new homeware items we have in.

‘I’ve been keeping an eye on your window, hoping to see your Christmas stock,’ she continued, ‘I’d have thought you’d have that on display by now.’

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41. How to Make a Backpack from an Old T-shirt

Make a backpack out of an old t-shirt

This episode is subtitled: ‘October, yay…!’

The weather has been very kind to us the last couple of weeks with the west of the county being sunnier than the east for a change. This has made me want to spend longer outside (much to Blue’s delight) Blue with lead collecting conkers to ward off spiders (does that really work?), exploring routes we’ve not tried before, and generally soaking up October in all it’s blazing glory. Actually, I know I’m a bit ahead of myself because the best colours are yet to come, but it might be raining by then!

In the winter I stuff the pockets of my walking coat with all that I need – ball, poo bags, phone, tissues etc but it’s a bit more tricky when it’s not cold enough for the coat and I end up cramming things into the pocket of my jeans and tying a cardigan or thin waterproof (sometimes both) around my waist in case I need them. I’ve thought for a while that a little drawstring backpack is what I need, whatever the weather, to carry my (and Blue’s) paraphernalia so I picked out an old t-shirt that my brother-in-law, Ray, had given me and made it into a backpack. Details of how I made it begin at Blue’s paw print.

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36. How to Turn a Pair of Jeans into a Skirt

Create a skirt from a pair of jeans!

This episode is subtitled: ‘Just act normal…’

We have a few widows and widowers who come into the shop. Sometimes they want to buy flowers or a birthday card but other times they just want a bit of company. I always think it’s best not to go overboard with sympathy and not avoid mentioning the loved one they’ve lost. But who knows whether this is the right thing to do? Oh dear, I hope I’m not adding to their suffering!

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31. How to Remodel a Pair of Jeans

Remodel a pair of jeans by shortening them and adding a button on the back pocket for interchangeable motifs.

This episode is subtitled: ‘A few kind words…’

With a glass of wine in one hand and Blue’s bowl of food in the other, we were just about to settle down for a quiet Saturday night at home after a busy day at the shop when I happened to glance at the phone and saw I had a message. It was from Laura (why doesn’t she just text, then I’d definitely see it?) inviting me to lunch on Sunday.

‘Did you hear that, Blue? We’re going to see Jake and Hannah tomorrow!’

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