Summer Shades in all shapes and sizes!

We are all enjoying this lovely sunshine but in true British style we are still looking for a bit of shade! In the last few months various upcycled sailcloth awnings and interior sail shades have been leaving our workshop to have a new life in homes and gardens across the South West. Here’s some pics and messages from some happy customers…

Thanks to the S&C Crew for a great job in making our conservatory blinds with the sail cloths. They work really well keeping the glare out and look great. Really good quality products backed up with a really good service.

Thank you

Morris family from Budleigh

Hi, Now that the sun has come out we have fitted our new blinds!!
We are very pleased with them, especially as they are so light and easy to handle.
Attached are some photos for you.
 Once again
Thank you very much,
Dave and Mags Miller




Back on the main stage at Darts Farm!

Darts 2

Whilst you are queuing for your lunch take a look to your right….Sails and Canvas are this months featured gifts supplier with a full range of upcycled sailcloth and marine canvas goodies!


From Gales to Whales – and a bit of important soapbox action

 

It’s such a British thing to talk about the weather but we’re all at it, especially as storm season grabbed the headlines at the end of last month. Our lovely Welsh seamstress went to Murrayfield to watch the six nations rugby, a mere 10 hour drive from Devon, travelling up with Doris and back with Ewan and don’t even mention the score (sorry Ang!) We tried to capture the noise the wind was making as it blew through the masts in the boatyard next to the S&C sail loft…it’s such an amazing sound but on our video attempt all you could hear was Doris blowing a hooley.  It’s only since November 2015 that the MET office starting naming severe Winter storms that hit the UK and the general public get to choose their names by email or social media – so get your votes in for next years poll…I don’t see a Storm Mandi or Juliette on the list 😉

 

It was also the Autumn of 2015 that the government introduced the 5p charge for all single-use carrier bags in an attempt to reduce the billions of these environmentally damaging bags being used every year. We love that our bags are upcycled from old sails and our shoppers really are a great alternative to plastic carriers – much more than a bag for life, this bag has also had a former life on an ocean wave! Whenever we get colourful sails come into the workshop there’s always a new shopper in the making, although we love the classic white sailcloth too.

Shoppers with pockets

 

But single-use plastic isn’t only about carrier bags…As you may know we are part of the re-fill Devon campaign, where anyone coming into Sails and Canvas with a drinking bottle or cup can have a top up of water from our tap. It is another simple way to reduce the plastic pollution being caused by disposable bottles and one of the many campaigns running across the country such as #OneLess for London, #Refillbristol

 

Around eight million tonnes of plastic makes its way into oceans each year, posing a serious threat to our natural and marine environment – experts estimate that plastic is ingested by 31 species of marine mammals and over 100 species of seabirds. With warnings that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 and scientists recent claim that seafood eaters ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every year as a result of this pollution entering the food chain, it really is time to make a change. The negative impact of single use plastic is huge but we can all do our bit to combat our throw-away habits – Here’s Less Plastic UK’s 9 tips for living with less plastic

less plastic


Wet February – thank heavens we’ve got that door!

 

Dry January is officially over, we beat the bluest Monday, toasted the haggis and have made it beyond pay day…is this the start of wet February then (in more ways than the miserable rain)?

 

Actually January had a “wet” blip – we managed to get out for our S&C Christmas party, better late than never..for those who haven’t yet been, we thoroughly recommend the Namaste Himalaya restaurant in Exmouth namastehimalayaexmouth.co.uk for delicious nepalese food and a couple of cocktails in Oddfellows before hand just for good measure.

Namaste

But less of the social chat and back to business…during the crazy Christmas present buying frenzy (love it) we had quite a few requests for laptops and iPad cases, inspired by the already popular document wallets…which got us thinking.  So we have been trying out various different designs. And having discovered that an iPad reacts to touch through the clear material we use in our porthole pocket shoppers, we are well on our way to adding a new range to our collection – we will keep you posted!

 

We have also introduced a number of limited edition colours in the flight bag range, a really striking coral and rich royal blue – the flight bag, as well as being the perfect size for a cabin carry on, is great for the gym and generally a all-round good egg kinda bag if you know what I mean…have a look on our website and grab one of these beauties before they sell out.

coral bags

Btw, the pinch punch first of the month thing (for those of you who follow our fabulous social media 😉 had an interesting response on one of the websites I read, originating from the West Country…apparently the reply down these parts is “A flick and a kick for being too quick”…will have to remember that when we’re out and about in Topsham when the 1st of March rolls around!

 

So hurrah for February, the nights are pulling out and a 12th of the year is already done…and there’s pancakes to look forward to 🙂


 

It’s that time of year…The Christmas craziness is over, the turkey’s just about finished and it’s been a diet of leftovers and cheese for days…. its officially Chrimbo Limbo or Twixmas. And it’s an opportunity to look back at what’s happened during the last 12 months….

January, busier than we expected

February, brrrrrr, the marquee heater isn’t really having much effect as the wind whistles through our canvas tent door!!

March, so is this going to be our quiet time of year?…at least it gives us a chance to re-stock ready for Spring.

April, Darts Farm welcomed us on board, a relationship that has continued to grow during the year, their ethos of supporting local businesses has benefitted Sails and Canvas and we have enjoyed working with the team

May, two words…County Show, OMG hard work but with great results, it certainly helped put us in people’s minds and on the map, we had lots of visitors at the sail loft from people who’d seen us there.

June, a fair on Cathedral Green gave up a chance for a pop up in Exeter City centre and we celebrated our first year in business.

Cathedral Green

July, starting to look at designs for new bags and finding a supplier for leather!

August, holiday time and the sail loft was busy with Topsham tourists, beach bags ahoy!

September, the Autumn/Winter range is getting underway, inspired by a supply of orange, red and blue sails from Exmouth Sea Cadets

October, The shops at Dartington agreed to take some of our Sails and Canvas products for their various outlets, it’s great to be associated with such a quality destination.

November, you were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off! Sorry don’t know why that quote popped into my head, must have been the excitement of finally being warm at the sail loft…thanks to the very talented Ben, we now have a double glazed shop front and a door!!! and all in time for our open evening – it was so lovely to be able to invite friends who also have small local businesses to join us on 30th November. It became a collective of talent! With Rear Pear’s beautiful leather bags and purses, Lara’s handmade lavender eye masks, the recycled candle company (speaks for itself!), Anthi Kay ceramics, Caroline’s Wallpaper boats and Angies Ganzys and of course our Sails and Canvas collection – it was a great evening with around 100 people coming to say hi and get a bit of Christmas shopping done (and enjoying a mince pie and glass of wine, or two 🙂

December, busy busy busy…we could have given the elves a run for their money this month! We really hope there were happy faces when people opened their Sails and Canvas goodies on Christmas Day.

As for 2017, we’ve been accepted by Amazon Handmade, yay and yikes!! This could be the start of something really big :))) watch this space….and have a very Happy New Year


When the boats come in!

 

Sitting in the workshop with a slight chill in the air, watching the boats being lifted out of the water makes you realise that Summer is finally over…we’ve had a good one though!  Since our last post, (oops was that really July!) we have holidayed in le mobile home in France, chilled in a hip-boutique hotel in Portugal, stayed in the coolest Airstream in Cornwall and juggled the kids while trying to keep up with the needs of Sails and Canvas, which at just over a year old is about as demanding as a toddler! – not that we are complaining of course, because we absolutely love what we are doing and it seems that other people do too!  Beach bags with blingy gold and silver stars; shoppers with pockets, colourful canvas washbags and dozens of doorstops have been flying off shelves all Summer long…upcycled sailcloth and the ever-popular stars seem to have been a winning combo. Our fabulous display at Darts Farm Village has proved to be popular with locals and visitors alike, big thanks to them for the opportunity to spread the upcycling word.www.dartsfarm.co.uk

 

Talking of which, in September we joined forces with Recycle Devon www.recycledevon.org and donated a wash bucket to be given as a prize in their Love your Clothes campaign, part of a nationwide initiative to reduced waste and encourage people to update and revamp their clothes rather than throw them away…what a great idea.

img_3584img_3585

 

And now our attention at Sails and Canvas HQ has been focused on the new Autumn/Winter range…and we’re pleased to say that it is almost ready to go.  We will be introducing a couple of beautiful handbags, one in marine suede lined with upcycled spinnaker and another classic sailcloth with leather straps…watch this space 🙂

 



Devon County Show 2016

It’s that time of year again…celebrating the best that Devon has to offer in the County Show at Westpoint. We have been helping out Liz Oram of Love Local www.love-local.com with her fantastic showcase of local artisan businesses with whom she has created living spaces for inside and outside the home in the huge craft and garden marquee.

In the marquee entrance, we created a beach scene with deckchairs, bunting and a windbreak made from our upcycled sailcloth and marine canvas range…life’s a beach!

Devon county show

You are then drawn into a beautiful garden, the inspiration of Jacquie Michelmore of Lookout Landscapes (jm@lookoutlandscapes.co.uk) centred around a Blackdown shepherd hut, complete with sheep! The trees have come from the South Hams www.newwoodtrees.co.uk and wildflowers from Plantlife finish the scene.

Devon county show

 

The rest of the Love Local rooms have been built in the last few days and show a kitchen from Barnes of Ashburton, living room with sofas by Woodbrooke Ltd www.woodbrooke.co.uk, hand-made furniture by Nick Gant www.facebook.com/NickGanFurnitureMaker and a bedroom with double and day bed from the Cornish Bed Company www.cornishbeds.co.uk. All of the room scenes are dressed with art, ceramics, soft furnishings and lamps by local artisans who support the Live Local, Love Local, Buy Local ethos at the centre of Liz’s campaign to champion the West Country. Devon county show 2016imageimage

Liz has had an exciting year with an entry as “Local Hero” in the official coffee table book to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday and a relaunch of her website. It’s been a pleasure helping Liz to set up at the show and we will be manning the Love Local stand in the craft and garden marquee for the next few days…we also have a great display space for all things Sails and Canvas on the stand too, so come and say hello when you visit the Devon County Show! Marquee open 20th, 21st and 22nd May 2016 from 9am til 6.30pm….let’s hope the sun shines 🙂