Gardening

 

How many of you, like me, spent your bank holiday weekend gardening rather than facing the traffic and crowds to head to the coast?  I spent a few hours weeding, tidying and planting in the sunshine then sat back, enjoyed the sun and viewed my efforts with a cold drink in hand.

I made use of lots of our gardening products, some old favourites and some of our newer products and I have to tell you I’m loving our new tree and cabbage protector mats.  The cabbage plant root protectors go around the base of the plants to protect them from weeds, root fly, slugs and snails.  They are so easy to pop on and are re-usable so after the current season’s crops have been harvested they can be cleaned and stored for the next time.  The tree protectors stop the growth of grass and weeds around the base of trees which means you don’t have to use the strimer around the trunk, just mow around the protector – so much easier!  I’m also hoping to get some metal stamping done for plant/herb labels, I’ve seen a few ideas on Pinterest and Instagram and some of them look great and so easy to make, and again these can be saved and re-used.

We also sell fence caps and finials, hose reels and seed trays.  Why not pop over to our gardening section and have a look at our products.

Here’s hoping the sun is here to stay for a while.  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week!

Isobel

DIY Disaster?

Are you a DIY disaster?  Maybe you just need the right tools for the job.  Why not check out our range of tools to help you with lots of DIY jobs around the house, whether it’s wallpapering, plastering and tiling or just hanging a picture we’ve got tools to make the job easier.  Pop over to our DIY and Gardening section and have a look.

Most of our DIY tools are made right here in our factory by our parent company Linic Plastics and where possible are made using recycled plastic.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week.

Isobel

About time …..

 

Are you a time-keeper? I rarely ever wear a watch these days for the purposes of telling time.  I wear watches more as a piece of jewellery when I am going out.  I usually use my phone for checking the time or there is always a clock around, though these days watches can do everything from keeping track of your steps to notifiying you of your emails and text messages so keeping track of the time is just a bonus!

If you are a watch or clock enthusiast we’ve got you covered, as well as more general jewellery tools and modelling tools, we have a range of specific tools for clock and watchmakers available in our shop.  Why not pop over and take a look.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you have a great week.

Isobel

Woodworking Tools


 

We sell  a range of tools for woodworking including a selection of Sheffield made scrapers and chisels with lovely wooden handles.  Thinking ahead, some of these would make a great Fathers Day gift for your dad, grandad or husband.   These tools are also brilliant for dolls house and miniature work.  We also stock a range of cabinet scrapers and bevels.  Why not pop over to our website and take a look.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week.

Isobel

 

Burning Ambition

 

 

I thought I might have a little look at pyrography this week.  Pyrography, also known as wood burning, is the art of decorating wood or other materials with burn marks from a heated object. This form of art has been around practically since fire itself when early man used the charred embers from their fires to draw.  Modern techniques are a little more refined, usually done using a burner similar in design to a soldering iron.  The brass tip is heated by electricity and it is possible to vary the colour of ‘burn’ to create a range of tones and shades for more intricate designs.  Almost any kind of wood can be used as well as leather, though you should not use woods and leathers which have been treated with chemicals as they may release toxins when the heat is applied.

If you are looking for a new hobby, pyrography is inexpensive and easy to learn.  Once you have your ‘Pen’, all you need is some wood and a design.  If like me you lack a little in drawing skills, there are lots of free printable designs available on the internet which can be transferred onto the wood using tracing or carbon paper.  As a beginner it is probably best to use a more basic design at first.  There are lots of YouTube tutorials available and plenty of design inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram.  This is a great way to create individual items for the garden, home and gifts.

We have a few pyrography kits available on our website.  Pop over and have a look.  As always, we’d love to see your creations or hear any tips you may have for anyone new to this area of design.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week.

Isobel

 

St Patrick’s Day

May the sun always shine on your windowpane, may a rainbow be certain to follow the rain. (Irish Blessing)

 

It’s St Patrick’s Day this weekend which conjures up images of leprechauns, pots of gold and shamrocks.  Well unfortunately we don’t have the leprechauns or the pots of gold but we do have the shamrocks in the shape of our shamrock disc cutter!

If you are planning a St Patrick’s Day celebration with children, these glue spreaders would be great for arts and crafts activities and the vibrant green colour would fit perfectly with the theme.

If you are celebrating St Patrick’s day have a great time and good luck finding the pot of gold, I may just raise a glass of Guinness myself to cheers the leprechauns who guard it!

Thanks for stopping by.

Isobel

PS We have lots of other shaped disc cutters available, follow the link and take a little look.

Steampunk

I found a few bits and pieces in with my beads and trinkets which I thought would be perfect for a Steampunk inspired piece.  Are you a fan of Steampunk?   I have been looking for ideas on Pinterest and Instagram and some of the creations are fabulous.  If you have created anything I’d love to see it.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week.

Isobel

 

Tool Maintenance

Where do you keep your tools? Do you go for practicality with different compartments for different tools or do you have something a little more unusual.  I store my tools in this old wooden display box, it’s something I’ve had for a long time.  I’m not sure how old it is but it was squirreled away at the bottom of our warehouse on an old pallet from years ago . While it may not be as practical as some of the new metal or plastic tool boxes, I love the wood of the box and the age/history behind it.  If you don’t have separate compartments in your tool box to keep everything neat, the tools may need a little more maintenance to keep them nice and shiny so, if they are all bumping along together in one box, I have put together a little guide for tool cleaning and maintenance.

The biggest problem for most metal tools if they are in contact with any moisture is rust.  If they are very rusty you can soak them in some white distilled vinegar to loosen the rust then use a wire brush, Garryflex block or some steel wool to remove the rest.  Tools you don’t use very often can be stored in a zip lock bag with a silica gel pack.  You get these little gel packs in the packaging of lots of products that you buy and they are great to throw into your tool box to keep your tools moisture free.

Hammers

If the head of your hammer has become dull and dirty, use a piece of unused sandpaper or use a small sanding block or a Garryflex block 120/240 for a few seconds to buff off any dirt and re-shine the head. If the handle is wooden, use a damp cloth to remove any dirt of dust then dry with a clean cloth.

Pliers

Try to keep your pliers clean and dry.  Every so often, use a little oil/WD40 on the pivot point to keep the opening/closing movement smooth.

Mandrels

Clean your mandrel with a soft dry cloth before storing each time you use it and this should prevent any rust occurring however if you do find your mandrel has got some rust on it, you can again use a fine Garryflex to sand it off.  Some people lightly oil their mandrels to keep them free from rust, however, this can get messy and means cleaning the oil off each time before you use it.

Scissors

Don’t put your scissors in the dishwasher or leave the blades wet after cleaning. A great tip for keeping your scissors sharp is to cut some aluminium foil with them.  Wipe the blade clean with a dry cloth, stack about 6 or 7 pieces of foil together and cut through with the scissors.

 

These are just a few tips to help prolong the life of your tools which means you can use your hard earned pennies to buy something different rather than having to continually replace the tools you have already bought.  Do you have any other tips for storing or cleaning your tools, we’d love to pass them on to our community of tool users.  We’d also love to see any unusual toolboxes you may use.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week.

Isobel

 

The Beast from the East ……

 

 

We are gearing up for some bad weather in the area over the next few days. This is the view from my office window this morning, not quite  the prediced 15cm of snow they are forecasting yet but we are expecting a lot more later this week.  One of the advantages of being based in a village which supplies more than 90% of our workforce is that most of our staff walk to work and can still get here in bad weather. We may be a little chilly and snow-covered when we arrive but we are a dedicated bunch here at Proops and it takes more than a little snow to stop us processing your orders.  Now all we need is the post van to make it through the blizzards!  We will keep you informed if we are notified by our couriers or Royal Mail if there are any delays to deliveries.

If you are in the path of the ‘Beast from the East’ stay safe and warm.  Thanks for stopping by.

Isobel