The Farm Animal Sanctuary

Easter event unfortunately cancelled. A reminder that the Farm Animal Sanctuary are hosting their first event of the year – their Hoppy Easter Fun Day on Friday 7th April, 11am until 3pm. The event will include the Farm Animal Sanctuary hoppy explorer’s trail, Easter games, colouring, quiz and decorate an egg competition! Wear an Easter bonnet to be in with the chance of winning an extra special prize!   A great way to meet the animals and help to raise much needed funds for the sanctuary. 

Because the event was cancelled the link below is to their standard events page to see other upcoming events

They also have an Amazon Wish list

However if you are a UK taxpayer the best route is to donate to either their running costs or the fund to purchase the land the farm sanctuary is on and tick the Gift Aid option.  Then for every £1.00 you donate they will receive an extra 25p without any cost to you 😊- those extra 25p’s will help. 

You could also sponsor an animal 😊.

Link to Hope

The Link to Hope theme for March is Craft Gifts – their calendar suggests Handmade headbands, Pencil and glass cases, lavender bags, craft kits, puppets and craft kits.

If you can knit basic stitches, knit, purl, cast on and cast off then you can easily knit a beanie hat.  If you are filling family boxes then within reason whichever size you decide to knit it is going to fit someone in a family, and then you can adjust the number of stitches, or needle and wool size to make the next one bigger or smaller. 

If you are new to knitting and think a hat is a step too far just knit a headband.  Maybe start with 15 stitches and just knit each row until you have a length that feels right, some patterns recommend 45 – 50 cm for a child and 50 – 56cm for an adult. 

There are lots of suggestions on Pinterest for finger puppets made from felt or knitted puppets – just remember that they can’t contain any stuffing or they can’t go inside the shoebox – only padded toys with a CE label can go in the shoebox, anything without a CE label needs to be kept separate and Link to Hope use them to fill any gaps in the outer boxes and are then hand them out with the shoeboxes.   

I’ve previously added kits to make beaded bracelets – either add thin shearing elastic or you can buy specialist beading thread that has a slight stretch and then add sufficient beads in a small bag.  Simple and quick to put together. 

Lavender bags are also easy to make – for a very simple one fold a rectangle of cotton fabric in half – right sides facing.  Stitch around 2 sides and part way along the third, leaving enough room to pull the fabric through so the right side is on the outside.  After carefully turning the fabric the right way out – partially fill with dried lavender- if you don’t have much lavender you could add some polyester stuffing, but the more dried lavender the stronger the scent. Then stitch up the remaining gap.  

Scrunchies are also easy to make, just cut out a long rectangle of soft fabric (45-50cm by 10-13cm). You can either fold in the cut edges of the long side and stitch along that edge or have right sides facing and stitch along the long edge then turn right side out.  Then thread through some narrow elastic (15-18cm).  Tie or securely stitch the ends of the elastic together.  Then turn under one end of the fabric tube and tuck the other end inside that and stitch the fabric so that they stay tucked inside – hiding the elastic. 

I’ve got some of the small sewing kits you sometimes find in hotels, (below top left) but I add an extra sewing needle, extra buttons and some safety pins, and in the picture top right I’ve added some extra cotton to a strip of cardboard and put them in a craft bag.  It’s quite easy to make something similar with some cardboard (bottom left) and a small craft bag (bottom right). 

This month’s Bargains.

Poundstretcher have men’s socks on offer at the moment – 3 pairs of sports socks for £1.25, 5 pairs of suit socks for £1.75 and 5 pairs of thick work socks for £2.50.  I also bought an enamel mug for 75p and a fold up bag for 75p.  The bags do have ladies names on them but once opened up the name forms the base of the bag.  The fabric is quite thick and has the added bonus of a zipped top to the bag. 

Sainsbury’s had some Christmas canvas shopping bags reduced to £1.00 with either Daschunds and hearts, or the Grinch. I also found a box of 10 HB pencils with eraser tops for 30p but they only had one box left.  (They work out cheaper than Poundland where you now only get 24 pencils for £1.25 so about 5p per pencil.)

Sainsbury’s basic toothpaste was 50p for 100ml (the same as Tesco.)  Tesco didn’t have any of their cheap toothbrushes, and the soap has gone up again it is now 25p per bar (it went up from 15p to 20p in January, so I was surprised to see it’s gone up again so quickly.)  Next had 5 pairs of children’s Christmas socks for £2.00 – 40p per pair.

I may fill some Bags of Education again this year – the charity Door of Hope works with Link to Hope, and sends small backpacks filled with essential school materials, plus a couple of optional extras.  A couple of the more unusual requirements are for a water bottle and a slim A4 plastic folder (not a ring binder).   B&M had 3 water bottles for £3.00 and 4 document folders for £2.00.  The other item from B&M that was good value was a set of 8 wooden utensils for 3.00 so roughly 38p each – there were 6 wooden spoons and 2 wooden spatulas.

The real bargains were packs of 3 pairs of sparkle gloves for £1.00, 3 pairs of mittens for £1.00 and 3 beanie hats for £1.00 – so all roughly 33p each.  They had some fluffy/chenille gloves with initials on for 50p and matching hats which I think were £1.00, but I didn’t buy any of those. The ladies gloves weren’t marked as reduced so I took them to the till to check the price and they were also reduced to £1.00.

My local children’s hospice shop has a bargain box of small furry toys, so on my last two visits I’ve picked up 4 toys for 50p each.  They all had the CE labels – I did pass on one which was lovely but didn’t have the label. 

Poundland had some girls pink slightly fluffy beanie hats reduced to 50p in a wire cage near the till. 

Till next month – happy crafting, shopping and fund raising.

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