Repurpose: a question

Before sending your unwanted, probably un-sale-able item to landfill ask yourself a question: can it be repurposed?

I just love the support I get from my friends and family who are always on the look out for the raw materials for my projects. 
This little stack arrived from the lovely Paula. She’s made sure that these polystyrene foam bodyboards didn’t make it into the skip at the campsite.

She makes a collection of them and periodically delivers a car load. 

Guess what I’ll be making next week!





Repurpose: ask yourself the question


Much Ado About Sunday

I love seeing a live performance of a Shakespeare play, it makes the language a whole lot easier to understand when someone else has whittled out the meaning and put it in context for you, but I had not seen or read Much Ado About Nothing and now I’ve seen it twice.

My first experience was a Sunday night at Lewes Castle, a ruined castle in the middle of the town of Lewes near Brighton on the south coast of England. 

An outdoor experience from the Brighton Shakespeare Company, (bring your own chair, thermos and waterproofs). Considering I live in Cornwall you may consider this a little excessive travelling for a play. Truthfully, I wouldn’t normally travel any where near this far but for one reason; My 18 year old daughter (the original Sprigasaurus- she who we named our business after) was stage manager and technician for this one. She had just done a week with them at the Brighton Open Air Theatre and this was their last night ‘on tour’ out of the city. An amazing venue as a backdrop, and even the persistent mizzle didn’t stop the enjoyment. Proud mum moment! 😁

We came back to Cornwall the next day and the following Saturday she and I headed to Penzance to see a steam punk musical version of Macbeth (you didn’t know that was possible did you!) a play I have mixed feelings about having studied it for O’level back in the day. Again an outdoor performance, this time in Penlee Park Open Air Theatre (chairs provided, hot food and drinks on sale). This is a permanent venue with a summer long programme of events. It was great being back here as the Sprig’s grandfather, my father in law, was part of the players there back in the 1980s. 
We spent quite some time checking out the set, lights and technical features. 

The Oddsocks company that performed Macbeth were staging another play the next night… Much Ado About Nothing! So we went back. Again presented as a musical it brought the story to life and I’m extremely impressed by their ability to hold it together even while interacting with the crowd. For quite a small touring group they gave us a very professional experience. Loved it. A lot.

This Sunday night was a bit of a disappointment in comparison… more like much to do about nothing. Not a bit of Shakespeare in sight… 

Crafting and Glamping

What’s not to like. 

Well, unfortunately, actually I didn’t do either the actual glamping or even any crafting. 

Let me explain… 

There are some very lovely folks near me who own the Coastal Valley camp and crafts camp site. They tick plenty of eco boxes for me, are properly friendly and very welcoming. The lovely Tanya is one of my bodyboard ‘suppliers’. She rescues broken bodyboards left by her campers and saves them for me. She also always has time for a cup of tea or coffee. 

I made a visit this morning to collect a couple more snapped boards and to take a bag of textiles for upcycling. (I know… This is surely the wrong way around?)

One of crafting sessions that happen regularly in the marquee involves hand cranked sewing machines and sacks of discarded bedding. I got to meet the leaders this morning of the local Morsbags pod and handed over a sack of bedding that had arrived at mine but it wasn’t suitable for my upcycling.

I’ve checked out the website… This is international, and there are ‘pods’ all over. Check out how many there are in just Cornwall.

 I love the idea behind the morsbags and love the green ethics behind their enterprise. Sociable Guerrilla Bagging. 

Running errands with a Win win all round

This is my free bag from Morsbags. I’ve already used it when I popped into the supermarket on the way home.

Art and craft fair

This week my Sprigasaurus stock of items made from upcycled textiles and repurposed objects are in Lobb’s Farm Shop at the Lost Gardens of Heligan

This is the second time I’ve been invited to join the art and crafters who are showing their products there. All the products have to have been handmade in Cornwall by local artists and designers. 
It’s the kind of event that suits me as the group host the event as if it was a shop, rather than a craft fair, taking in turns to man the checkout rather than ten people giving up seven days each. I believe it also gives the potential customers an opportunity to browse all the stalls without having to interact with all the different makers and they can just make one purchase at the end. 

The venue is excellent as it’s in the ‘barn’ adjacent to the farm shop which is well supported by visiting tourists and regular locals alike. 

My stock ranges from pin cushions and keyrings, through cushions and clocks, peg bags and tote bags, to noticeboards and duffel bags. All include upcycled textiles along with repurposed frames, baskets or pallet wood. Some things you can identify their original use such as bodyboards or jeans but some of the items I have taken smaller parts of to utilise such as the fruity motifs from a vintage tea stained tablecloth to make jamjars pincushions.  

The Sprigasaurus stand, featuring upcycled textiles saved from landfill and given new life as cushions, clocks, keyrings, storage baskets, peg bags etc
Duffel bags in three sizes and noticeboards from discarded bodyboards, upcycled coffee sack and pallet wood.

Mini pincushions in espresso cups and individual portion jamjars plus pencil cases or make up pouches made from upcycled upholstery textile offcuts.

Have a look at some of the other products on offer this week. Whether you are looking for a memento of you Cornish holiday or gifts for birthdays and that mid winter event it’s way too early to mention you’re sure to get a good choice here. 

Glass from Carlyon Design Studio, also available from the
Craft Kiln in Charlestown.

Cornish GranKnits
Birdhouses and bug hotels by Hazel White
Art and furniture by Dee Ann McCoull, and can also be found in ‘Winifred and Mabel‘ in Wadebridge.

Fabric flower brooches, hair accessories and bouquets from Pascoe’s Petals, and can also be found in Winifred and Mabel in Wadebridge
Beautiful handmade baskets made in the traditional style of Breton Baskets
Candles, soaps and handmade toiletries made by Karen, also available from Winifred and Mabel in Wadebridge
A lovely selection of Ceramics including lots of cute animals.
Art, cards and teatowels. The favourite is the puffin with a beak full of sand eels.

I shall be enjoying this week without the anxiety usually associated with public events, and I shall be relaxed about my rota day on Tuesday. If you are in the area pop in and say hello; the shop is in the carpark to Heligan so you don’t need to pay an entry to the gardens unless you fancy making a day of it. 

Dinosaur Day Out

Three generations and some dinosaurs.

The sister, brother in law and offspring are visiting from Brighton (that’s why I’m always going there), and we went for a family day out with our parents to the Eden Project. A day isn’t actually enough time to do the whole thing which means you can keep going back. They’re very good as they offer local’s passes and season tickets too. 

Whenever we are there I take loads of photographs: usually of plants and views, but with the new camera and lens I found other things to take and I’m pretty pleased with the results.

We visited the tropical rainforest in the largest Biome

Part of the joy of the visit was finding small creatures living in the rainforest… I have to say I would have missed them but there were some eagle eyed members of the public staring into the undergrowth giving large hints where to look.

There was a well camouflaged female and young near this spectacular bird

Three of these tiny birds were hopping around the branches above our heads.

The camera has also opened up the possibility of taking half decent family pics.

My sister’s new profile pic?

Well, almost. Let’s try that again

And our visit into the temperate Biome required a short rest.

It’s completely unheard of for me to get good pics of folks so I’m a bit delighted with this crop especially of Mum and Dad as I don’t normally carry the camera while I visit them. 

One of the summer highlights at Eden is the dinosaur visits. There are more this year and we managed to catch a couple in their enclosure.

They are pretty big and loud too. Small kids appeared to love them and there were suitable amounts of screaming and mooing. (Herbivore is a herd animal and feels most comfortable amongst other mooers)

One of the things we didn’t have time for was a mooch around the Eden shop. A place where sustainability is of prime concern. One day I’m going to have enough courage to approach them with some of my upcycled textile and coffee sack products. 

A garden of oranges and lemons.

We are still learning about our new camera lens which means I have to take regular tea breaks to try and capture a bit of the summer. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it) 

Earlier in the year it was all blues, purples and lilacs around one of the ponds but now we are firing up for a mass of bright colours. 

The lens I used for these shots was a Nikon 55-300mm auto focus lens. I don’t know all the technical terms but I just love how it really pops different parts of the picture into focus. 

At some point, funds and time allowing, I’m planning to attend a course to discover what all the settings on the camera are actually capable of! 

Nasturtiums self seeded around the pond: they make a great addition to salads

You can eat the fresh young leaves or the flowers to add amazing colour.
The Crocosmia takes over every year but looks so bright on dull August days when we get proper Cornish mizzle.
We reckon our gold fish are about 15 years old now. They love the waterfall oxygenating the pond. This waterfall is made with layers of upcycled roof slates.
Water Hyacinth gives the fish shade and protects them from view when a heron occasionally appears.
I have no idea what this is! Its a shrub that self seeded under the bench. It had great bright yellow flowers that looked like sunshine. Now these seeds have taken over and are sculpturally pleasing.

Leave only footprints

Sun, sand, sea, surfers, seaweed, gulls, wrecks and rubbish. 

We leave the beach taking more than we arrived with #2minutebeachclean

Lifeguard having to leave the main lifeguarded area to ‘supervise’ these folks who chose to ignore the patrolled area.

This is why there are designated safe swim and surf areas
Solid rusty metal remains of ship

The other end of the ship wreck.

You don’t even know it’s there when it’s submerged.

Even at the far end of the beach a gul swoops in with a pasty crust

Evidence of history
Leave only footprints
A bag full of plastic rubbish we collected on the beach: pieces of broken rubber off lobster pots, plastic bottle fragments etc