January Blues ….. and Yellows and Reds and Greens

 

I hope the first week of the year has been kind to you and you are easing back into your routines.  Have you all made lots of resolutions and plans for 2018?  I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, it’s too depressing when the diet fails or the bad habits restart before I’ve gotten through my first full week back in the office and sometimes those bad habits are the only things which get me through the long days of January – it really is my least favourite month, dark and cold and summer holidays seem a long, long way off.

I have been cheering myself up with some lovely bright colours here in the office in the shape of our new macrame rings.  We are now producing these in blue, green, yellow and red and they can be used for loads of crafting projects other than macrame.  They are also great for young children for stacking, sorting and for use in heuristic or treasure baskets.  As they are made from plastic, they are easy to wipe clean and there are no sharp edges or danger of splinters to hurt small fingers and mouths.   Pop over to our craft section and have a look, they are sure to cheer up a dull day!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week.

 

Isobel

We wish you a Merry Christmas ……

 

The  presents are all wrapped and under the Christmas tree here at Proops and we are almost ready for Christmas.   We are all feeling very festive after having our annual Christmas Jumper Day in aid of Loros and the Linic and Proops Christmas Dinner and Skittles Championship!

Christmas Jumper day in aid of Loros, everyone got into the spirit and gave a donation to wear their jumpers!

We had a great staff night out with a meal and a game of skittles at our local pub.  It did get quite competitive during the skittles game but thankfully everyone is still on speaking terms!!

Presenting the Winners Trophy to the Champion ‘Skittler’, Darren who scooped the prize after scoring a perfect strike on his last throw!

We are working right up until Friday 22nd December and will be processing orders until 11am when the post leaves.  Unfortunately we cannot guarantee any delivery dates on orders placed this week as we are in the hands of Royal Mail and the courier companies and as both are so busy at this time of year, combined with holidays this inevitably results in everything taking a little longer to get to it’s destination.  Orders placed between Christmas and New Year will be processed, however, there could be a delay in dispatching over the bank holidays.

This has been a fantastic year and we would like to thank all of our customers for their support. We have more new products to list for 2018 and some new candle moulds in the pipeline so do come back and visit the website at the beginning of the year.

Our New Year’s resolutions are to continue to provide good customer care and quality products at a reasonable price.  We hope you will continue to shop with us.

Thanks for stopping by.  We hope you have a lovely Christmas and a very happy New Year.  See you all in 2018.

Isobel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fat Ball Bird Feeders

It’s that time of year when the birds may need a little extra nourishment and they love fat ball feeders. I use our sphere candle moulds to make mine, it’s the perfect shape and size and the wick hole is ideal to put the hanging string through, saves messing about cutting holes in yogurt pots or getting your hands covered with the greasy mixture.

I use the fat ball recipe from Gardener’s World.

What you will need:

  • Proops Sphere Candle Mould
  • Saucepan
  • Spoon
  • String or Twine
  • Lard
  • Bird Seed Mix (you could also use raisins, currents, oats or peanuts – this is what I used)

Method:

Melt the lard in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the bird seed mix (or alternative), two parts bird seed to one part lard. Stir until all the mixture has been absorbed and the mixture sticks together.  Place a piece of string or twine through the hole in the bottom of the candle mould, long enough to hang the finished ball up with.  Pack both halves of the candle mould with the lard mixture then join the two halves together and place into the fridge overnight to set or for a quicker result put in the freezer. When set, remove the mould and hang your bird feeder in the garden.

  

Enjoy watching the birds with a cup of hot coffee, or better still a glass of mulled wine!

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week.

 

Isobel

 

 

 

Visit from The Old Clock Club

Rowley’s Time Clock, 1890-1900

 

We had a visit at the end of last week from The Old Clock Club, Earl Shilton.  We began the evening with a hot drink and a browse around Proops shop while waiting for everyone to arrive.  Around 18 members of the Club came along for the evening.

The members were given a tour of the Linic factory and tool room with a stop off first to look at our very own old clock – a Rowley’s Time Clock dating from 1890-1900.

      

Lewis, our Shift Supervisor, explained the processes of the different machines in the factory and answered questions from the Club members.  It was interesting to hear the exchange of knowledge from such a diverse skill set, with many members having engineering backgrounds.

Following the factory tour, we returned to Proops shop for coffee and mince pies and a chance for the Club members to stock up on tools.

The Old Clock Club meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month in Elmersthorpe Village Hall. They describe themselves as “a social club for those having an interest in old clocks and watches” and members of the Club range from beginners to the more knowledgeable.  Each meeting has a speaker and/or a demonstration and there are usually a few trips to places of horological interest throughout the year.  Just some of the events planned in 2018 are a Victorian Lantern Show, a talk on Carriage Clocks and a Club outing to the BHI museum.  The Club welcomes anyone with an interest in clocks and watches.

We would like to thank the members of the Club for coming along, we very much enjoyed meeting them.  We would also like to thank them for their kind donation to Nic’s Charity Concert in aid of Loros.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week.

 

Isobel

 

 

New Tools

 

We always love when we get a new shipment of tools here at Proops, it’s like Christmas has come early and we have just had a delivery arrive this week.  Here’s a sneak peak at some of the things we will be photographing and listing this week.  Keep checking our New Product section to see what we have, you never know you might find a great Christmas present for someone, or even a treat for yourself!

Thanks for stopping by.

Isobel

Macrame

One of our most popular lines is the Macrame rings we manufacture here on site at Linic Plastics.  I have already done a blog post on macrame last year for Halloween but I was having a look on Pinterest the other day and found lots of lovely Christmas decorations and jewellery made using macrame and it sparked my interest in how trends change in crafting over the years.

Believe it or not, macrame has been around since the 13th century and was used by Arabic weavers to make decorative fringes for their horses and camels to keep the flies away.

The craft spread to Spain with the Moors and then though the rest of Europe arriving in England in the 17th century.  It gained most popularity in this country in Victorian times and was used to make shawls, table covers, bedspreads and curtains until tastes changed again and it wasn’t until the 1970s that it regained some of its popularity.  I’m sure most of you will remember seeing the macrame plant holders which hung in bathrooms particularly.  It was usually a double act with the crochet toilet roll cover with the doll inside it.

 

 

 

 

 

(Photos courtesy of Pinterest, click photo for link)

 

Much like the current trend for 70s fashion, macrame has also become popular again.  Have a look on Pinterest for some fabulous ideas, or if you have some made some things yourself, send us a photo, we’d love to see.   We also often wonder what people use macrame rings for if for anything other than macrame.  Again, we’d love to hear from you if you have found another use for these rings.

Later this week we are hosting the Old Clock Club from Earl Shilton here at Proops. If you are coming along, we are looking foward to meeting you.  A blog post on the evening will follow next week.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week.

Isobel.

 

 

All I want for Christmas ……….

Have you started Christmas shopping yet?  I know, I know its still only November but it seems to get foisted on us earlier and earlier each year by the supermarkets and department stores.  I have already seen the eagerly anticipated Christmas adverts for most of the big stores and negotiated my way passed the miles (okay slight exaggeration here) of aisles of wrapping paper, cards and decorations in the local Co-op just to pick up some bread or milk.  Is it any wonder we get a little jaded and fed up by the time the day itself arrives.

I know I am sounding more than a little like the Grinch who stole Christmas and I’m truly not, I absolutely love Christmas…. the decorations, the food, the atmosphere, the presents. What I don’t enjoy is the crush of frantic people loading their trolleys with every loaf of bread in the shop just in case they run out in the one day that the shop actually closes or practically body slamming me out of the way to grab that jumper or scarf they just have to have for their loved ones. I also don’t enjoy having to perform a striptease in every shop I go into because otherwise I’m likely to pass out from heat exhaustion in my layers of thermals and woollies before I make it through the cosmetic counters, since I’ve dressed for the freezing temperatures outside and not the tropical temperatures inside.  It’s the one time of year that online shopping is truly a blessing and once I have all the big or difficult to carry presents nailed and delivered to the door, I can enjoy wandering around the Christmas markets with a cup of mulled wine picking up little extras for everyone without any pressure and then I stop feeling like the Grinch and start feeling like Mrs Santa Claus (I even have the outfit!!).

If you are looking for tools for gifts, we will be processing orders right up until the Friday before Christmas with deliveries until Saturday 23rd (though we are in the hands of Royal Mail and the courier here) and our standard no quibble returns applies to anything you buy so if it turns out it’s not the perfect present for them or they already have one, it can be returned to us for a full refund or exchange.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week.

Isobel

 

 

 

Northhampton Society of Model Engineers Club Visit

 

Last night we attended the Northampton Society of Model Engineers club meeting to give a little talk about the history of Proops and to take along some of our tools.  We were met by Andrew with a welcoming cup of tea and after unloading the car and setting up we spent some time chatting with the members before the presentation got underway.

              

The club has over 100 members and is situated in Delapre Park, which is around 800 acres of beautiful parkland in Northampton. The park has a miniature railway which is owned and maintained by the Northampton Model Engineers Society. A regular group of around 20 members meet on a Tuesday evening and a Sunday morning although the clubhouse is used most days.  A lot of the club activities are centred around railways of 7¼”, 5″ and 3½” gauge plus 32 mm and 45 mm gauge railways, however, the society embraces all branches of model engineering, including model traction engines, boats, stationary engines and clocks. No area of model engineering is excluded including the tools and equipment used in model engineering.

Public running days for the steam train start on May Bank Holiday Monday each year and continue monthly on the first Sunday of the month until October and is open from 14.00 – 1700. The trains are pulled by steam, petrol or battery powered model locomotives. Most of the model locomotives are based on modern and historic full size locomotives. Entry to the park itself is free and there is a small charge for rides on the train.

      

We had a lovely evening finding out a little more about the Model Engineers and discussing the tools they use. As we don’t attend many Model Engineering shows now, it was nice to reconnect with some of the people we had seen in past years at these events. Some of them have been buying from Proops since it’s days in Tottenham Court Road… now that’s loyal customers – we must be doing something right!

Our thanks to the Northampton Society of Model Engineers for inviting us along.

If you live near to Northampton do pop along to the park in the spring and check out the miniature railway, it’s well worth a visit.  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week.

 

Isobel

Story of a Candle Mould

I think most of you know by now that we design and manufacture all our candle moulds on site here at our parent company Linic Plastics but I thought you might like a little insight into the process, so today’s post is the story of our latest candle mould from design through production to the warehouse shelves ready for dispatch.  Our latest design is for a 12 pattern, Christmas theme wax melt mould.

Richard, our designer, has worked with the company for 22 years. He designs all the moulds that we make.  Richard takes the idea for the new candle and begins with a series of pencil sketches of the mould.  He transfers these 2-D sketches onto CAD to make a 3-D image.

 

Richard working on the candle mould design.

 

The finished designs go to Gary, our Toolroom Manager who uses them to make the tooling for the mould.  This involves milling and shaping aluminium on a CNC machine.

                        

Gary at the milling machine                                  The finished aluminium mould.  

 

The next step is the manufacturing process where the aluminium mould is used to form the polypropelene moulds.

The polypropelene moulds being made.

 

And the final stage in the process, the finished moulds are passed along to our warehouse ready for dispatch.

The wax melt mould is now available to buy on our Website.

I hope you found this little look behind the scenes interesting.  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week.

 

Isobel

Shining a Light on our Product of the Week – Magnification Lamps


                                                

V5100                                               V5200

A magnification lamp is an essential piece of equipment for anyone doing precision work.  These lamps illuminate and magnify to allow you to view smaller details and help reduce eye strain.  The lamps have a daylight bulb so no harsh light or distorted colours on your work either. The lamps we sell here at Proops are available in two different magnifications, 3 diopter and 5 diopter.  You can purchase the lamps either with or without a stand and you can also buy the stand and spare bulbs separately.  The lamps are priced at just £36 and £42 respectively.

These are an invaluable piece of equipment for so many different tasks for everyone from jewellers, modellers, beauticians, seamstress, dentists, or even  for small repair jobs or doing the crossword!  Don’t just take our word for it, take a look at some of our reviews. Lamps are available on all of our selling sites.  Follow the link below the photographs to take you directly to the page on our Website.

REVIEWS

Bargain

Great lamp / magnifier. cheapest and best of all the lamps I looked at available on Amazon at the time. Very sturdy perfect balance and flexibility. Absolute bargain at around £42 compared to similar ones.

Great Lamp

Very pleased with this lamp. I’m a mobile beauty therapist and I use it mainly for lashes as the light in people’s houses can be shocking. It clamps on to my couch, it’s lightweight and because it has a daylight bulb I can place it directly over my clients face without causing them any discomfort. Would recommend this product.

Five Stars

Excellent product for what I need. Scale modelling and electronics.

 So much better than I expected!

This is a hefty piece of kit but once clamped to the table, unlike so many anglepoise-type lamps, it can be extended, swung, raised and their reverse to every mm in between. And the light needs its own praise, bright white, takes a second to come on, but it’s excellent
Which brings me onto the magnifying element: No more screwing the eyes (how does that help anyhow????) just pull down in front of you, flip the lid and the dust free lens instantly illuminates that hard to find splinter, and the removal operation is so much easier too, with the full cooperation of the patient… providing they are allowed a glimpse now and then.
Since then it’s been used for mending clothes, a watch, glasses, as well as tying good knots for fishing, reading the small print and a bit of soldering.
We have this permanently assembled, wouldn’t want to keep fixing it up for a special task, and there’s a good firm base for the clamp – a flimsy side table wouldn’t be enough.
It is just fit for purpose, and an excellent price too
And it arrived VERY quickly

 

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week.

Isobel