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Greenhouse by Richard Bulch of Hackney U3A

Greenhouse by Richard Bulch of Hackney U3A

I was replacing my garden shed prior to lock down and decided to recycle it into a small greenhouse type structure, i managed to obtain some double glazed units which someone was throwing away i replaced the roof, put one into the side and made a glass shelf to allow plants to be placed below, everything in it is now thriving.

Embroidered Bag by Karin Slade of Saltburn District U3A

Embroidered Bag by Karin Slade of Saltburn District U3A

Going through some old craft magazines I came across this scene in the from of an outline. I traced the drawing, transferred it onto a scrap piece of linen and used simple stitches to add colour. I then added more fabric to make a draw string bag for my Aunt's birthday. I often use simple outlines as the starting point of an embroidery - clip art pages are a great starting point and you can combine images to make a pleasing whole.

Knitted Squares by Gill Dowling of Norwood U3A

Knitted Squares by Gill Dowling of Norwood U3A

These are small knitted squares for patients with dementia in hospital. They are for their laps with many different surfaces to keep their hands occupied. At this time with no visitors the dementia patients are in need of something to “fiddle” with.

Draught Excluder by Cheryl Gordon of Norwood U3A

Draught Excluder by Cheryl Gordon of Norwood U3A

Having received the pattern and basic material before lockdown I decided that now was the time to tackle this large project of a draught excluder. While I followed the instructions I needed to improvise as I am a hand stitcher/sewer. I used material from my own supplies to make the doors/windows and roofs. I also added my own embellishments, such as a 'For Sale' sign (outside number 71!) and birds and shrubs. If others wanted to have a go making something similar I would recommend it as it has been an enjoyable learning experience and I am very pleased with the end result.

Scrub bags, Mask supports & hair bands by Jacqueline Sharp of Leigh on Sea U3A

Scrub bags, Mask supports & hair bands by Jacqueline Sharp of Leigh on Sea U3A

Being housebound and wanting to be useful. at the request of my Daughter who is a UHS Emergency nurse in Maidstone, I set to work making scrub bags, mask supports, and special hair bands that keep their hair out of there eyes and have buttons at the back. She tells me that their ears are raw as the masks rub, so could i help. The scrubs have to be safely brought home and washed and the idea is that the scrubs go in the bags, and. Then when she returns home they can go straight into the wash, without the need to dispose of plastic bags safely. I really enjoyed raiding my mother's button tin and, spent an enjoyable afternoon reliving memories of buttons from my childhood and beyond.. It is lovely to think that although my mother is no longer with us, she is still helping. Keep. Safe all. Xxxx

'Garden - before and after' by Michael Ainley of Pershore & District U3A

'Garden - before and after' by Michael Ainley of Pershore & District U3A

This has been an ongoing project since we moved in - nearly 10 years ago. The house had been empty for nearly a year and consequently the garden was overgrown. Trying to find our way around when we first visited the house was like a journey of exploration - a bit like the Lost Gardens of Heligan, only on a smaller scale. The estate agent was very happy to show us round the house, but declined to venture in the jungle that the garden had become. As we fought our way through bushes that had turned into trees, climbing roses that barred our way and knee length grass we found a shed complete with chair and table, clearly set up to catch the afternoon sun for tea. Then in the distance we came across another shed, but we were unable to get there. We made an offer as soon as we fought our way back to the house. The first task having moved in was to relay the patio outside the back door, as we had built an extension that now meant the raised beds were too close to the house. They came out and the pond was dug. Behind the pond still had some large trees that we left in place, as the before picture shows. Last autumn we had to replace the fence to the right and took the opportunity to have the trees removed revealing an extensive part of the garden we had not been able to get to before, but too late in the year to do anything about it at the time, thinking this will be a job for the spring. So come the lockdown I set to and built the patio area in the corner, as you can see with the lighter (cleaner) shade of stones.

Carrickmacross Lace by Maureen Marshall of Beckenham U3A

Carrickmacross Lace by Maureen Marshall of Beckenham U3A

This is Carrickmacross lace, which is a type of needlelace. Traditionally, this is worked in white on white fabric but I tried fabric painting the background fabric and embroidering in coloured threads. It is worked using several layers. At the base is a padded layer, then there is the outline of the pattern, then a clear hard, shiny layer traditionally, this was a type of very fine stiffened linen but today you can use a plastic sheet; this is covered by a fine cotton net and finally a layer of organza. You work closely around the outline couching a thread. When all the outline has been sewn, a looped stitch is applied closely to the outside edge. Then parts of the organza are cut away and the net beneath is embroidered. In this example the background organza was trimmed and a dotted background stitch applied. If you live in or around Bromley and are interested in learning to make all sorts of lace, tatting, cross-stitch or even knitting, please contact me and I can put you in touch with a local group.

'Rattle' by Wyn Jones of Flintshire U3A

'Rattle' by Wyn Jones of Flintshire U3A

"Baby's rattle. Made from a rare wood; Tanbutt.
Carefully sized; not too big to hold and not too small to eat.
The marking out is important, the rings are made in situ from the blank; not added later as you might think. Sycamore or maple would be safer for use."

Plant Pot by Jacqui	Osley of Crouch End & District U3A

Plant Pot by Jacqui Osley of Crouch End & District U3A

I covered an old plant pot with broken tile mosaic to brighten up our lockdown lives. Any one can do it using any ceramic tiles they have left from d.i.y projects. Just put them in a bag, smash with a hammer and then use in a jigsaw formation using tile adhesive available from hardware stores (which are currently open)

'Reading Pillow' by Sue Shannon-Jones of  Swansea U3A

'Reading Pillow' by Sue Shannon-Jones of Swansea U3A

I've had an embroidery/sewing machine for some years now. After much deliberation I decided to upgrade it to the latest model. It was delivered from a local shop the day before Lockdown! One of my grandchildren has a birthday coming up and ever one to encourage learning I've made her a reading pillow. She loves unicorns so choosing a pattern was easy! She will be able to read while resting on the pillow which has a pocket to keep her book in.