Sunday, May 29

Bike maintenance workshop and stuff I've been upcycling/sewing

A bit about the bike workshop I attended. 

It was given by Lew Lawton of at nearby Shrivenham. This event was organised by Sustainable Wantage at The Wantage Mix. It was a mere £10 for 6 hours tuition. There were 5 ladies and 1 man! We did a bit of looking at stuff on a screen in the morning then and then it was all hands on deck doing the actual stuff. We had to take off the back wheel (I was the only one there with wheelnuts... everyone else had quick release), remove the inner tube and replace it and the wheel (all of which I knew how to do but it was good to repeat it). After learning about what wheels and tyres we all had, we had to pick out the correct size and type of inner tube from a selection. We also learnt about adjusting brakes, fitting new brake pads (I'm going to do that on mine this week), and adjusting gears (I must admit that didn't really sink in), and a thing called the M safety check.  And cleaning and lubricating. The word Teflon came into the conversation which it does with sewing machines as well! Lew is doing another workshop on July 23rd, so if you're local and reading this, then go for it! There was a waiting list for the one I did.

I have to give credit to my Husband here, after all it was he who taught me how to mend a puncture, but sometimes, as indeed some of the other ladies said, it's a good idea to learn from someone else as well as one's other half.......

I must admit I'd like a workshop stand and have looked up the two types and how much they are. 

This type - less dosh


this type, the "proper" one - more dosh

Has anyone out there got any kind of workshop stand, and if so how do you rate it?

Workshop pics

Thank you to Jo Harvey of Sustainable Wantage for letting me use your photos.

My bike gets its brakes looked at (that's me in the cream jumper).

Two roadies doing something to one of their bikes.

My bike again. Well, it is lovely.....

The road bike again. Gear talk this time.

 I cycled home in the rain, but had borrowed Husband's (expensive...) waterproof trousers so arrived home nice and dry. They are Rab, not cycling specific but very comfortable for cycling in, very breathable.

On to another subject, "this week I have been mostly doing" getting ready for a sale in my shed. I call it my shed but actually it is rather posher than a shed, and used to be my sewing room when all the children still lived at home. I no longer use it to sew in as it makes more economical sense (regarding heating) to sew in the house, now that we have the space. I don't really use my shed at the moment, but it's coming into its own tomorrow (Bank Holiday Monday) as I am having a sale in it, of stuff we don't want any more, some bags I made, and furniture I've been upcycling. Here's some pics:

Before - ordinary but solid pine bedside cabinet

After - painted with satinwood, old brass effect knobs replaced with wooden ones, which I painted and oiled.

This was a bathroom cabinet which I painted and decoupaged with flour bags. I was intending to use it in our kitchen but have now changed my mind on future colour schemes, so the bright blue had to go!

Is it my camera or am I just lousy at taking good quality photos? This was a rather boring mahogany veneer table. I covered it in plain thick cotton fabric to give an interesting texture, then painted it and oiled it.

I'm told these are thimble shelves. I started priming them then remembered to take a photo!

Primed, painted, decoupaged and varnished.
By the way, I do find that Waitrose Kitchen magazine, and John Lewis Editions magazine, are just the right weight for decoupage! The blue bits on the thimble shelves were from the "blue" Editions mag that came out earlier this year with really beautiful colours in.

Bum bag made from this pattern

Bags made from old jeans and remnants from other projects.

Well, that's it for now. Let's hope that lots of people come to my sale then maybe I'll be able to afford a workshop stand......



  1. Really lovely makeovers! How did the sale go? Thank goodness you kept your shed!!! xx

    1. Thanks Emma. Had quite a lot of viewers but didn't sell much....Might open up again another day - at least I haven't had to put all the stuff "away". You can still buy my shed though!!

  2. Hi Lizzie, there is a girl in our village who paints furniture and uses Facebook buy swop and sell, I don't do facebook so haven't a clue about it. She is doing really well, sells loads. She said that she puts sensible prices on them and they fly out. Sharon x

    1. Yes I am on Facebook and am a member of one of these groups. I haven't used it to sell anything but you've made me think again about using it. Sold the cabinet through Gumtree today though!

  3. Hi there - I've come to this post rather late!
    I bought a repair stand from Aldi, for $40 some years ago. It is good for home repairs and folds up neatly for storage. Can happily recommend.

    1. Oh thank you - this is really useful. Aldi does some very good bike stuff and I get their regular emails so hopefully they might do one of these in the future.


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