99. How to Make a Wall Planter

How to make a wall planter from a shampoo bottle

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

This episode is subtitled: ‘Here’s to the future…’

‘Your mind’s just not on this, is it Jen?’

‘Oh, sorry Jaz…. Yes, it’s very light and airy. You’ve got a nice view of the park over there. How many bedrooms are there?’

‘Two. Come on, I’ll show you the other one.’

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95. How to Make a Sewing-Lover’s Key Ring

How to make a sewing-lover's key ring

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

This episode is subtitled: ‘The cat’s out of the bag…’

‘But it’s only two weeks away! How will we get everything prepared in time?’

Kim was waving a beautifully elegant wedding invitation at Beryl and panicking. The invitation wasn’t actually addressed to Kim. It was fresh from the box sent to Beryl (at Teacups) from the printers but Kim hadn’t noticed that the package wasn’t addressed to her when she opened it. She was now fully aware that Beryl and Tommy were getting married imminently.

I’d totally understood Beryl’s desire to plan her wedding her way, without the risk of Kim, her daughter-in-law, taking over and turning it into something that suited Kim rather than the bride.

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84. How to Make a Children’s Travel Game

How to make a children's travel game

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

This episode is subtitled: ‘Beryl too, eh?’

‘Here you go Jenny, my treat,’ said Beryl and she put a piece of millionaire’s shortbread in front of me. She looked over at Kim who was sitting at the table with me and said smugly, ‘It’s okay, I’ve put the money in the till.’

I’d slumped into a melancholy that Kim was doing her best to shake me out of. And Beryl was obviously trying to help as well, which was sweet of her.

Kim asked her for a piece of carrot cake and she scooted off to get it.

‘She’s working out okay isn’t she?’ I said.

‘I never thought I’d say this,’ Kim replied, ‘but I don’t know what I’d do without her now. She’s always going to be a bit rough around the edges but the customers love her and, even though she’s a bit clumsy-’

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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.

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63. How to Make an Indoor Spring Planter from an Ice Cream Tub

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

This episode is subtitled: ‘Darren meets the parents…’

When Jaz arrived for work yesterday she was beaming. ‘Morning Jenny! Hello Kim. Oh, didn’t see you there, Beryl, hi.’ Even the builders got an acknowledgement, ‘Hi Joe, Barry. Bet you’ll miss us when you’ve finished this job!’ (Only two more weeks of building work to go, thank goodness, was what I was thinking.)

In dull drizzly weather like this it’s quite common for her to arrive with her head down, mutter a good morning if we’re lucky and get on with the flower orders. But yesterday she was positively giddy.

‘I take it Darren met your parents last night then?’ I asked her.

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52. How to Fill a Large Vase with a Few Flowers

How to fill a large vase with just a few flowers

This episode is subtitled: ‘To the beach and back…’

The week after Christmas is always quiet and, although takings are scarily low, it’s a chance for me to catch my breath and let the staff have some time off – such a contrast to the week before.

I was alone in the shop yesterday morning, getting my hands filthy and sore, stripping leaves and thorns from Maroussia roses. It’s one of my favourite varieties with its big heads of flouncy white petals. My mind started to wander. I was imagining a beach wedding on the edge of the Mediterranean, the bride in a bright white Grecian style dress with her informal posy of Maroussia roses and the groom, bronzed body rippling beneath his unbuttoned crisp white linen shirt. Then a faint squawk of a seabird…….but no, it was Ron’s day for cleaning our windows and his squawking squeegee was working fast across our glass. He cleans all of the shop windows in Linnet Row, although he has to make a point of getting ours and the hardware shop done first – before we fill the pavement with our wares.

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49. How to Make a Fabric Brooch

Make a brooch from fabric scraps and plastic from an old margarine tub

This episode is subtitled: ‘Bespoke is best…’

With my covered notebook tucked under my arm I headed next door to Teacups (the warm side of the shop) for my usual late Saturday afternoon get together with Kim to discuss how things were going in Teacups & Tulips and to focus on any hotspots for the following week or so.

‘I think we should give the staff something handmade for Christmas,’ said Kim, ‘You know, show we’ve put a bit of effort in.’

Was she serious? Kim’s never made anything in her life and we’re on the run up to Christmas which, in a flower shop, is a long hard slog filled with customers wanting grave pots, wreaths, table centres, bouquets, bespoke Christmas decorations as well as off-the-shelf decorations and gifts. I’m not complaining, it’s tiring but we do love it at Christmas, it’s just that there isn’t time to fit anything else in.

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33. How to Improve Your Wardrobe

Decorate your ugly plastic hangers to make your wardrobe prettier

This episode is subtitled: ‘Sooty causes mayhem…’

Last week I told you that you might get a peek into my wardrobe this week, as long as the creative project went okay. Well, it didn’t go too badly so I am able to let you in.

I’m not a great lover of clothes. I don’t like shopping so I don’t have a new outfit for every occasion or endless pairs of shoes; a few cosy favourites is more my style. It suits my life too, which consists mainly of working in a cold flower shop and going on long walks with Blue. So wellies, boots and trainers dominate my footwear selection and my clothes are mainly casual and layer-able, although I do tend to buy one new Whitestuff outfit per year if I manage to get my act together.

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32. How to Make a Trinket Dish

Make a trinket dish with air-drying clay and decorate it with old buttons.

This episode is subtitled: ‘A little kindness goes a long way…’

A few kind words is what I should have had for Caitlin last week. I felt guilty for not having the patience to have a proper conversation with that defiant six-year-old, so since then I’ve been consciously trying to do kind things every day.

I started at an easy place – my next-door neighbour, Lily. Whenever I can, I pick her up for the Companions session at Teacups so she can have a cup of tea and a piece of cake with other people who are looking for a bit of company. But I don’t spend enough time with her myself; so I made a point of popping round on Monday evening and taking her some flowers from Tulips that didn’t have a long enough shelf life for me to sell. She was delighted.

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29. Make a Cupcake Pin Cushion

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

This episode is subtitled: ‘My sister, the domestic queen’

I’d decided to take Laura out for lunch on Monday. It was a rare treat for her to be off work while the children were at school but, if I hadn’t insisted, she would have spent the day at home cooking, cleaning and generally keeping the household wheels turning, without setting aside any time for her.

Lunch with my sister is a treat for me too. The sun was shining and I’d got my legs out for the first time this year. Do you remember me telling you that I’d bought the ‘dark sun-kissed look’ moisturiser instead of the ‘light’ variety by mistake in the spring (episode 14)? Monday was the triumph/tragedy test for that particular mistake and the winner was very definitely……tragedy. After applying it to one leg I decided I’d be better off leaving the other one white and then promptly forgot to change into trousers.

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