Friday, 13 November 2015

Friday Post - giveaway draw

Hello everyone hope you are having a lovely Friday.  I've had a busy week of crochet, starting with my club night and then it was the second week of my beginners crochet course, the second workshop is always my favourite as I love teaching treble crochets and then we move on to make a simple granny square. The look of achievement on everyone's face is so rewarding I love granny squares.
I've been busy finishing projects and have also started a few new Christmas crochet makes. My favourite has been bunting and I have fallen in love with making little crochet houses, they have been designed by the amazingly talented Aki, she has written a beautiful pattern for the houses which you can find here you will love it. I have booked a table next weekend at a Christmas Craft Fair, it sounded a good idea a few months ago but now I'm getting worried about my lack of stock, hence all the busy project finishing. I find it such a hard thing to gauge how many things I will need, but my new philosophy is to only make items that I love and would gladly keep for myself or items that I would happily give away for Christmas presents. I'm planning to have much more of a handmade Christmas this year so if I have things that I don't manage to sell they will still come in useful. I am going to find it hard to part with my blankets and little houses, although I'm not sure my young grandsons will appreciate a crochet creation when Minecraft is firmly on the top of the Christmas present lists. 
It has felt great to be back blogging again and the idea of a Friday post feels good and much less pressure. I have been looking forward to announcing the winner of my giveaway and it has been really lovely receiving comments on my blog, face book page and Instagram from people wanting to enter. As promised everyone had an entry for each of the different social media entries and now drum roll please - the lucky winner of the Stylecraft Special Edition yarn pack is Sofia Quaresma who entered via Face book, thank you so much for entering Sofia I will be in touch soon to arrange delivery of your yarn. 
I'm sorry that my post has been lacking in photographs, I am away from home at the moment and have had trouble loading up any images - sorry you missed my prize draw photo Jake adjudicated and helped me choose the winner.

I promise a more colourful post next week.

Talk soon x

Friday, 6 November 2015

Friday post ......................

As promised my weekly Friday Post - I thought I would start with my October montage as it gives a flavour of my busy month. 

We had a lovely week away in Rhodes with Kate and her little family. It was so nice to spend time with the children and of course the added bonus of lovely sunshine. Nothing beats the warmth of the sun on your skin, the chance to relax, nice food and of course great company, we had such a good week.

On my return home it was straight back into running crochet workshops and organising the refugee blanket project. You will remember that back in September I had asked local women to support me with making blankets to help the plight of Syrian refugees. The response has been incredible so many women have been busy making knitted or crochet squares which have all been sewn together to produce some amazing blankets. I really appreciate my friends and the members of my crochet club who have helped me assemble the blankets, they are mini works of community art. I had anticipated being able to donate half a dozen blankets if I was lucky but the number of blankets that have been lovingly made has been extraordinary. I have had parcels of squares mailed to me, hand delivered, squares popped through my letterbox, a WI group dropped off a carrier bag full, a local yarn shop also collected a large number, it has been so heart warming.

Last week I was delighted to take 38 completed blankets and a large number of cosy hats and scarf’s to my local Town Hall where donations could be dropped off. Stockport Council had joined forces with a Syrian Relief Charity and was coordinating local initiatives to help provide support for the 12 million Syrian people in such desperate need. It was a lovely feeling handing over the blankets which to me were such a powerful symbol of warmth and community spirit. Watching the dreadful scenes in the media had made me feel so powerless but in this small way a group of women have had the opportunity to do something practical, showing how much we care. Hopefully it won't be long before the blankets are shipped to the areas of greatest need. 

It feels good to be back in blogland and it was so nice to receive comments from you, it was lovely to feel that I hadn’t been forgotten. I have been thinking about doing something special and thought I would organise a little giveaway to help me relaunch my blog and invite you to visit my Face book page and Instagram.

I'm going to give away the Stylecraft Yarn limited Edition Pack; it contains 10 x 50 gram balls of the new DK colours. Since starting my mini crochet business I have become a Stylecraft supplier as I find the quality of the Special DK great for my workshops. This isn't a sponsored post I am just sharing my own personal view as I find it a really good budget yarn. The Special Edition pack has some lovely new colours.

To enter please leave a comment on my blog, Face book page or Instagram then you will be entered into the draw, 1 entry per comment and an extra entry if you decide to follow any of my accounts. I will make the draw next Friday – fingers crossed xxx

See you all next week

Talk soon

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Good morning

Good morning everyone - I'm feeling bright, breezy and inspired this morning hope you are too. The reason I’m feeling uplifted is that I have made some decisions. I have spent the last few weeks contemplating where I am at, which sounds very profound but my mind has been in overdrive thinking about the way forward for my business.

Over the last few months I have spent such a lot of time thinking about the future should I be offering more workshops and lessons, should I have a website built, should I advertise more, do I need to improve my blog, expand my understanding and use of social media. In fact I exhaust myself as I seem to think a little too much and my list of things I should or should not do is immense.

What I hadn’t really factored into all of this was my health limitations, the reason I no longer work full time in the Health Service is due to my ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The challenge is that my mini crochet business has proven to be a success and a big part of how I think and function is to look at ways of improving, expanding, perfecting and refining things, hence all the brain activity.

The reason I am feeling as though a weight has been lifted is that I have decided to do “nothing” well not really nothing but mainly not to expand. I don’t have the capacity to add to what I currently offer and if I’m not careful it will have a detrimental impact on my health and well being.  My decision has been not to expand but to improve on what I already have. I don’t need a website or to advertise as I am already fully booked until the New Year, advertising could just add extra pressure for me to find extra capacity.

My aim is to improve my systems to help me do what I currently do better. I want to improve the quality of the information I share through my Blog, Face Book and Instagram. I recently went on a one day course run by Emily Quinton. Emily is an amazing photographer and she was running a course especially for Knitters and Crocheters to help them improve their photography skills, taking photos of finished projects can be really difficult. My daughter Kate had spotted the course and enrolled me onto it for a special treat. It was a great day and Emily shared lots of hints, tricks and guidance about setting up our photo shoots. The day also included help in using camera phones as well as standalone cameras to create beautiful images.

I have really noticed a difference in my images and I have fallen in love with Instagram even more, probably to the detriment of my Blog. One of the things I took away from the day is that it is much better to do something well once a week or once a month rather than producing photos or posts just for the sake of it. I used to be a prolific blogger and was posting most days. I don’t think I ever posted just for the sake of it but I did feel stressed and under pressure when I didn’t post. The problem I have since found is how to get back into posting again,

With my new found freedom I have decided that along with my Instagram which is a much quicker in the moment form of communication I am also going to blog once a week on a specific day. I haven’t decided on the day yet but it may be a Friday in future.

I have lots to share as always so thought I would just add a few images today as a way of a catch up.

busy making crochet hearts for a craft fair 
preparing for a workshop
all set to crochet a mandala 
my lovely new stool cover using one of Susan Pinner's Patterns.
a little bit of granny striping
don't think you have met Posy Clementine - my new grandaughter xxx
a new good read
a cup of coffee and Emily Quintons new book  - bliss
my new add to my prop box
still loving a spot of baking - yummy Hummingbird brownie recipe 
baby cupcakes 
shortbread  biscuits for one of my crochet workshops

 Hope you enjoyed the catch up 

            talk soon xxx

Monday, 7 September 2015

The Power of Community Spirit

I've just been sitting at the computer catching up with correspondence and thought it would be lovely to catch up in blogland. I have a busy day ahead so it's nice to have five minutes’ thinking through the last few days and sharing my thoughts and feelings with you. Like you all I am sure you have been affected by all of the heartbreaking refugee media attention. As a mother and grandmother I am used to helping alleviate upset and I am good at making things betters but this global crisis leaves me feeling powerless. 

Whilst I was wondering what I could do to help, one of my friends put a link onto my Crochet Club  Facebook page to a charity called Knit for Peace who were asking for knitted and crochet blankets to help the refugees in Kurdistan where there are 1.8 million refugees. Most have fled civil war and ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Last winter more than 6000 of these refugees died from the cold. This inspired me into thinking about making squares and donating blankets, something practical and tangible that I could do, the same morning I opened my newspaper and saw the tragic image of the little boy washed up onto the Turkish shore. An image that will never leave me, I realised then that just me alone couldn't produce many blankets so I asked my crochet group to help and also posted onto my local Crafter's Face Book page, this was only last week and the help support and kindness has been overwhelming.  

Wonderful local women have been busy making crochet and knitted squares. I have had little parcels of squares dropped off at my house, one package in the post and yesterday I had an open house and over 20 women called in throughout the day to make squares, and help start the job of joining squares together. It was an emotional day for me but an amazing day being with a group of women, many I hadn't met before all striving to help the needs of others. I went to bed last night very tired but feeling just a little less powerless.

Today is a new day and I have my Crochet Club this evening, I am hoping to start to assemble another blanket and I've already had another bag of squares dropped off this morning 

I thought I would share this little montage of our busy day making squares and of course joining them - 

talk soon x

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Good Morning ........................

                                                                 thoughtful image link

Shall I start again! I've been thinking that thought for ages and haven't been able to decide. My Blog writing used to be part of my everyday routine it was always on my mind, thinking of things to share with you, always remembering to take photos and then something changed. It happened slowly and then sort of crept up on me and before I knew it I had stopped having anything to say. I suppose this isn't strictly true as I still shared some things on my Sweetpea Facebook page and I had started to fall in love with Instagram.  I think it just became easier to post on Instagram and Facebook, to write a blog post is more intimate, more about me, much more time and thought is required. Not only did I stop writing I also stopped reading Blog posts, but I have started to miss it. I feel like I have lost lots of close friends, I don't know how people are, what they are doing, I miss your lovely comments, your encouragement your friendship.

I hope you will bear with me as I take baby blog writing steps and start again. We all have busy lives so me saying I've been busy shouldn't really be an excuse for my long departure but I really have. I look forward to sharing things with you again and I'm looking forward to catching up with you all.

So glad I've taken the plunge and I'm really looking forward to writing my next post.

talk soon xxx

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Tea Towel - prize draw

We need a quick drum roll, as promised I have just drawn the lucky winner who will receive two Tea Towels from  All Tea Towels  Such a generous giveaway, thank you Al

The lucky winner is Sara who has chosen the Garden Tools and Bramley Tea Towels - they sound adorable. I am so thrilled Sara I will contact you with the delivery details.

Hope everyone is well, talk soon

Friday, 20 February 2015

Tea Towel treat..............

February is racing along and before we know it we will be into March, where does time go? This has become a bit of a theme, I just don't seem to be able to fit everything in and my blog always seems to suffer. Lots of  things have been happening and I have some exciting things to share with you. The lovely people from Stitch Craft Create are going to give me a copy of the new book Hooked as a special give away prize, more details next week.

Also Al from All Tea Towels has contacted me about his lovely designer Tea Towels. Al had seen my blog and wondered if I would like to review the quality of his Tea Towels. Al has a background in Art and Design and runs his business single handedly. I checked out his website and fell in love with the Greengate Tea towels, especially Phoebe Al sent me one to try and also one of his popular slogan Tea Towels, You Complete Meas a Jerry Maguire fan this was perfect!

The Tea Towels arrived really quickly and were beautifully wrapped in tissue paper, they are sent out by first class post which is free for UK orders. The Tea Towels were very soft and they looked even better in the flesh, my favourite is the Phoebe Tea Towel which looks perfect in my kitchen. Before I used them I popped them into the washing machine, following the washing instructions. The colours stayed bright and fresh and were very absorbent when drying the dishes, a job I hate but I was looking forward to putting them straight to work.

Al has kindly offered two Tea Towels of your choice as a little prize, so to enter my little giveaway pop over to Al's website check out his amazing Tea Towels and then pop back over to my blog and leave me a comment with the names of your two favourite Tea Towels. I will then randomly select a winner on the 26th February (my birthday) If you would like to increase your chance of winning you can also follow me on Facebook and leave a comment. You could also visit me on Instagram, all new followers will be added into the draw.

I'm excited for you all can't wait to do the draw.

talk soon xxx