10. Painted Egg Decorations

salvagebox.co.uk - painted eggs

This episode is subtitled: ‘Yellow…’

After the gloomy winter, with so much wind and rain (was it like that for you, too?), suddenly everything is spring-like and…..yellow. The daffodils are bursting into colour on the roundabouts and grass verges, Easter chicks are everywhere (in magazines, anyway!) and even the sun was shining earlier this week.

I’m going with the spring theme myself for this post, hoping to get you inspired and prepared for Easter. Yes, you could buy your friend a chocolate egg, but why not put a little bit of effort in and paint a real egg instead? It’s much less fattening.

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9. Découpage by a Complete Beginner

salvagebox.co.uk - découpage letter

This episode is subtitled: ‘Blue to the Rescue…’

Ever wanted to try découpage? I’ve been keen to try it for ages but firstly I couldn’t think of anything I actually wanted to découpage and secondly I was slightly worried that once I’d started, I’d get the bug and start gluing paper to everything in sight.

I got my opportunity when we had our first ‘Companions’ session in Teacups. Remember a couple of weeks ago I floated the idea with Kim that we set aside a table or two at a particular time each week that was reserved for people on their own who wanted a bit of company? The first session was yesterday so about a week in advance I bought some cardboard letter Cs from Hobbycraft and had a go at pasting some (salvaged) birthday wrapping paper to them. Each letter C designated a table reserved for ‘Companions’. I’ve now découpaged seven items, but more about that starting at the paw print below.

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8. Make a Needle Felted Pin Cushion

salvagebox.co.uk - needle felted pin cushions

This episode is subtitled: ‘The wrinkles are here…’

Yes, the wrinkles have very definitely arrived. They must have been coming for ages but I’ve been meaning to replace the dead bulb above the bathroom mirror for a while (probably about two years if I’m being totally honest about how lax I’ve been) and when I did put a new bulb in this week it turns out I’ve been living in blissful ignorance.

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7. Make Quick Brandy Truffles

salvagebox.co.uk - truffles for Lily

This episode is subtitled: ‘Planning a little companionship…’

I was childishly proud last Saturday afternoon. It was time for the weekly meeting where Kim and I discuss Teacups & Tulips (what’s going well, what’s coming up next week, ideas for the future etc) and eat up the leftover cake in Teacups.

I was armed with my beautiful notebook (which I’d created to keep a record of my ideas for the business) and this week it actually had an entry in it!

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6. Decorate a Hat (or Three)

salvagebox.co.uk - hat, gloves and chocolates

This episode is subtitled: ‘Three cheers for the staff…’

We were busy preparing for Valentine’s Day yesterday when the lovely bride from the anemone/Sharpie wedding popped in. I can’t believe it’s nearly a month since the big day. She came in to say thank you and bring us a box of chocolates, which was a boost for the staff since they don’t always get to hear the appreciation directly from customers. Mr Saunders had also popped in that morning to order a posy for his wife’s grave so he joined us for the treat as well.

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5. Make New Candles from Old

salvagebox.co.uk - candles and wine

This episode is subtitled: ‘Dinner at the big house…’

I’m so unsuited to wild nights out in the city. Am I too old or just a bit boring? It was a relief when Kim and I managed to escape early last week from the Teacups & Tulips post-Christmas party, leaving the young ones to enjoy themselves.

This week I’ve been to Kim and Gary’s for dinner, which was lovely, but I wish she wouldn’t go to so much trouble just for me. Mind you, I go to a lot of trouble myself, deliberating over which bottle of wine will be acceptable, whether I should take a gift, whether to dress up or dress down. Actually, I’d never dream of arriving for an evening at their house in jeans so the choice was either my Whitestuff pinafore (casual but expensive enough to meet with approval, I think) or slinky black trousers and sequined top (glamorous, as long as I can hide the thigh bulges with a cushion when I’m sitting on the sofa). The pinafore won.

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4. Indulge in Bread and Butter Pudding

salvagebox.co.uk - party gear

This episode is subtitled: ‘Ready to party…?’

‘Would you like beef?’ asked a waiter with a thick accent (authentic Brazilian, presumably, since we were in a very meaty Brazilian restaurant, chosen by the staff, for our post-Christmas night out).

We’re too busy on the run up to Christmas to have a party so Teacups & Tulips tends to hit the big city sometime in January – a treat from Kim and me for all their hard work during the year.

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3. Sew a Book Cover

salvagebox.co.uk - tea and lists

This episode is subtitled: ‘Love your lists…’

Thursday and Friday last week were frantic while we created everything for the big wedding and got it delivered to the groom’s house, the bride’s house, the church and the venue. The trauma of the preparation is well documented in last week’s episode, but the good news is that we were delighted with how everything looked in the end, the bride was happy, and no Sharpie was needed (phew!).

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2. Revamp a Scruffy Pair of Gloves

salvagebox.co.uk - gloves and Sharpie

This episode is subtitled: ‘Sharpie at the ready…’

Good morning everyone. It’s going to be a very busy day ahead so I’ve had to get up extra early to write this week’s post for you. It will be all hands on deck from 8.30 as we prepare most of the flowers for tomorrow’s big wedding. I don’t think there will be much time for food so thank goodness for coffee. The smell from my steaming cup is just starting to dance in my nostrils and is beginning to wake up my brain.

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1. Make Beads From Old Magazines

salvagebox.co.uk - salvaged items

Welcome to Salvage Box…

50. How did that happen? I know it’s a cliché but I do still feel like I did in my twenties, although back then I was a willowy 5’7” natural dark brunette. I can still boast the height (for now, anyway) but the willow is tending towards oak and the brunette is classed as ‘Dark Chocolate Brown’ or number 4.35 for a more snappy description.

I hope someone lets me know when my face is too old for my ‘natural’ colour, or my dress sense hasn’t kept pace or…..blimey, maybe I’ve been behaving like I’m 20 for the last 30 years and nobody’s told me! Surely Kim would. She’s my straight talking best friend and business partner who I share Teacups & Tulips with. I manage the flower side of the business and Kim manages the tea room – two things that bring joy to our customers (almost all of the time).

We both hate waste. This is a great attitude to have when you’re in business, especially with the livelihoods of several staff at stake, but I also get a bit obsessive at home, constantly wondering what I can create with old jam jars or left over scraps of fabric. They can be recycled eventually but I like to breathe new life into things in the meantime. That’s what Salvage Box is about. From now on I plan to bring you a bit of inspiration for creating something each week. I might use fabric, glass, paper, or anything else that I come across, the only criteria is that each project will contain at least one element that has been salvaged. It might only be an old button used to embellish something but there will always be a component that’s had a former life. This week I’ve used pages of an old magazine to make some quirky paper beads (instructions start at the paw print below).

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