Posted in My Journey, News & Events

End of Year Wrap Up, New Year’s Resolutions And Blogversary! πŸŽ‰

Hello, hello, hello and welcome to 2019 everyone! πŸŽ‰

I hope this new year finds you all well and raring to go with the adventures this year will bring.

However, before I get fully stuck into 2019, I want to tie up a few loose ends, let you know my resolutions and celebrate another blogversary! 😱 πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

The end of 2018 was such a whirlwind of awesomeness that I ran out of time to do my wrap ups! πŸ˜‚ Therefore on reflection I don’t think they’ll be something I’ll be carrying on with in 2019. However, for those of you who have a good memory will remember, one of my resolutions from last year was the finish what I started. So here I am, doing just that…

SEPTEMBER

I went on holiday.

The annual family holiday was pure bliss. β˜€οΈ Taking little Bobby away with us too was just perfect. It’s lovely to get away just as summer fades to autumn.

I also managed to crochet a top in two days whilst on this holiday and I purchased a lot of wool. 🀫 (What can I say? My Mother is a bad influence. πŸ˜‰)

I went to Yarndale!

I know I’ve already blogged about this, but my wrap up wouldn’t be complete without mentioning it. What a wonderful day it was! I’m already planning my trip for next year. Who’s with me? If you’re a yarnivore and you’ve never been to Yarndale, I definitely recommend it!

OCTOBER

It was my birthday!

And I was treated like a princess! πŸ‘‘ Afternoon tea at the RSC, incredibly thoughtful gifts and lots and lots of love. Getting older isn’t so bad when it comes with days like that. πŸ’• Thank you to everyone who played a part in making my day so special.

I got my first tattoo!

Ever since I signed my publishing contract I knew I wanted a book tattoo. Books have always been a huge part of my life and Unravelled just sealed the deal. However fear had been putting me off for the best part of year. However, with some forward thinking from one of my bestest babes, I was booked in and well, I am utterly in love with the end result. It’s everything I ever wanted and more. ❀️

I finished my second pattern test.

The Grecian Top I crocheted for the lovely homemadebymarcie. πŸ’• Never have I had such lovely compliments about my body whilst modelling anything. πŸ˜‚ It was a definitely a confidence booster! You can purchase the pattern for this top now from Marcie’s Etsy store.

I went pumpkin picking!

I ticked another thing off of the bucket list last October by finally going pumpkin picking! It was fun activity gearing up toHalloween and I had a great time picking and then carving a ghost pumpkin!

NOVEMBER

I had my ebook launch!

Again, something I know I posted about already, but this was a fun one. I had a great time celebrating the launch of Unravelled as an ebook during our online party across Facebook and Instagram! Thanks again if you tuned in, we had such a giggle. And remember, if you haven’t got your copy already, Unravelled in ebook format is a bargain price of just Β£3.99. Available now from the Amazon Kindle Store!

I won NaNoWriMo!!!!

Again this is something I’ve already blogged about but it was such a personal achievement for me that I had to give it another shout out. I wrote a novel in a month. Yes it’s a mess, yes it’s no where near publishable but it exists. It’s on paper, I have a first draft and it’s longer than Unravelled. Now I know what the whole thing entails, I’m not sure it will be an annual affair, but for anyone wanting to give National Novel Writing Month a go I advise a month of dedication! You’ve got to be prepared to write every day. Because I know if I’d have fallen even just one full day behind, I would have been toast! If you fancy reading a bit more about my NaNoWriMo novel, the synopsis and an excerpt are still available on my NaNoWriMo profile.

I completed my Doctor Strange cosplay!

A year’s worth of crochet paid off on the 25th November as I attended the MCM Comicbook Convention in Birmingham in full Doctor Strange crocheted cosplay! I was so proud of myself putting it all on together and I had some really lovely comments on the day. πŸ’•

DECEMBER

December is always a crazy month for me. The Christmas madness kicks in and I always end up disappearing of the radar for a little while. This year was no different, however, I did try my best to fully embrace the festive season as best as I could so here we are…

I crocheted a peacock!

A bit of bizarre project for the time of year, but it was a special request. However, he went down a treat. The pattern I used was from Moji Moji Designs on Etsy, I definitely recommend checking out her store for super cute crochet!

I visited a German Christmas Market.

I had a lovely evening full of yummy food and drink and even picked up a really cute pair of mistletoe earrings. Which swiftly became my staple jewellery piece for the rest of the festive season!

I made a festive door hanging!

I took a couple years away from my annual festive foliage night, however I went back this Christmas, but was terrified I forgotten everything! However, apart from an unfortunate instance of the bottom falling out, I was proud as punch with the result. It’s actually still on the door! It’s just too pretty to take down straight away…

I went to see Elf on stage.

And I got so enthralled in it all that I forgot to take any pictures! πŸ€ͺ However, it was a magical experience and really helped me get into the festive spirit. I also got to watch Martine McCutcheon perform live during the festive season. Bonus.

Bobby thoroughly enjoyed his first Christmas and I got spoilt rotten.

Another tradition I’ll be skipping on the blog this year is my Christmas haul. I was absolutely spoilt rotten and a) I think I’d actually make my phone explode with all the pictures but also b) I had such a lovely quiet one that I don’t want to take away from anything by splashing it all over social media and having other people judge. (However, I’m sure inevitably things will crop up on my Instagram feed, so if you genuinely are interested, keep an eye out on there.) All in all it though it was a lovely, super cosy day and I’m actually kinda gutted it’s all over and done with now, if I’m honest. Again, thank you to everyone who played a part in making my Christmas a special one, you’re all angels worthy of sitting a top a tree. ⭐️

And there we have it, all up to date and ready for 2019!

And with the New Year came my 4th Blogversary! Honestly, I don’t know where the time goes. But it’s been amazing to look back and watch my journey unfold through these blogs. πŸ’• And with another exciting year ahead, I determined to keep it up.

So what can we expect from brionymarshallauthor in 2019?

Well…

As I mentioned earlier, I’m going to scrap the monthly wrap ups this year and instead just blog about something when it’s fresh and happening to keep you all more in the loop.

I also have two New Year’s resolutions that will most likely shape my content for 2019:

    Read more Chick Lit! – The hobby that suffered the most in 2018 was definitely my reading. Plus I definitely feel I could be more well read in my own genre, so I’ve given myself the aim this year of reading six chick lit books. Any recommendations? Be sure to send them my way!
    Write the first draft of book 2! – NaNoWriMo was definitely me joining the writer gym for a month. I knew a new manuscript was on the horizon but I was scared to jump right in after having such a long break from novel writing. However, after my NaNoWriMo success I’m ready to bring it on!

And there was go. I hope you enjoyed this mammoth post! And if you stayed with me all the way to the end then you definitely deserve a brownie point! πŸ˜‚

So once again Happy New Year everyone and if you have any resolutions of your own I’d love to hear all about them in the comments. πŸ₯³

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, Unravelled

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas Everyone! πŸŽ„πŸŽ‰I hope you’re all having a wonderful time. πŸ’•

Our little Bobby is having the time of his life, with it being his first Christmas and all. He was especially excited to see that Santa Paws had been! πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸΎ (Making his stocking this year was just the cutest thing!)

I was spoilt yet again this year. πŸ’• A big thank you to everyone who played a part in making my Christmas so special. πŸ₯° One particular gift that I wasn’t expecting at all was the boyf treating me to a new Amazon Fire! 😱 It was such a lovely surprise!

If like me, you were treated to a new tablet or e-reader this year, don’t forget Unravelled is available now on the Amazon ebook store for the bargain price of Β£3.99!And what better time of year to snuggle up with a cosy chick lit than right now!

Just click the link below to purchase your copy today. 😊

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unravelled-Briony-Marshall/dp/1999866908

And whatever traditions you hold for the festive season, relax and enjoy! I’ll most likely catch up with you all again at new year!

Seasons Greetings. πŸŽ„

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, News & Events

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder…

Hey guys, I am still here! πŸ‘‹ πŸ˜‚

The Pre-Christmas madness is well underway, so sorry if I’m seem a bit quiet. Normal service shall resume shortly!

In the meantime, here’s a picture of the Christmas Door arrangement I made at my annual foliage night this week. Nothing like crafting with some real holly and evergreen to get you in the festive mood.

How’s everyone’s festive preparations going? πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸŽ‰

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, Woolly Wonders

Review: TOFT Advent Calendar

Last year I was one of the few lucky people who managed to get their hands on the first ever TOFT Advent Calendar! And well, before we completely get into the swing of 2018, I wanted to fill you all in on how that went. So can we embrace the Christmas spirit (and just pretend like it’s still January) for just a teensy little bit longer whilst I bring you this review? πŸ˜‡

What is a TOFT Advent Calendar?<<<
he TOFT advent calendar was every crocheters dream. ❀️ Behind each door was an adorable skein of TOFT's signature wool which, when used every day with the accompanying pattern, would create a mystery animal toy. The pattern was broken down into twenty four manageable chunks, which were emailed to me daily from TOFT themselves. This meant that you couldn't skip ahead and spoil the fun and kept the project a surprise for as long as possible. In short, you were given all the materials you needed to crochet everyday on the run up to Christmas, but you didn't have a clue what you were making until Christmas Day. πŸ˜‚ A festive themed crochet-a-long, pitched at crocheters of all abilities.

Who are TOFT? TOFT are a British wool brand who specialise in luxury yarn. They are based on an alpaca farm on the border of Warwickshire. TOFT are well known for their cute animal patterns, which are designed by founder Kerry Lord, and are known within the brand as “Ed’s Animals”. You can find out more by visiting their website. I’ve been a fan of TOFT for a few years now and I always keep up to date with their new releases. So it was no surprise when I announced to my family I would be taking part in their advent calendar. You may have heard me talk about TOFT in some of my previous posts. Purchasing their kits or visiting their HQ is always a treat for me and this advent calendar was no exception.

First Thoughts: All I remember feeling when I found out about the TOFT advent calendar was excitement. I’d been looking for an advent calendar with a difference that year and TOFT completely fit the bill. In all honesty, I didn’t really think too much about the difficulty of the project, which in hindsight may have been a little silly. But TOFT always give such confidence to novice and beginner crocheters when facing a TOFT project that the thought never crossed my mind. I had a few amigurumis under my belt by this point too, so I felt like I was good to go. I also hazarded a guess that the mystery creature may be something of a festive theme. Like a reindeer or a turkey. The only thing giving me second thoughts was that TOFT told us early on that Gloria, whatever she may be, was an exclusive, never been done before, pattern especially for the advent calendar. And well TOFT had already done a reindeer and turkey pattern. But I thought maybe there was a specific breed…

My Experience: I remember going to bed on November 30th and being so super excited about this project! I’d already packed my project bag with all the essentials and couldn’t wait to get started! The next day I woke up to the pattern already in my inbox and a cute skein of cocoa wool.

Over the first couple of days we made Gloria’s legs. This was all crochet territory I was used to and so I happily got to work on these. I think this was the perfect start to this project as it would have eased beginners in gently and was a nice and easy start for more experienced crocheters.

Next came the body and this is where my crochet learning curve began. The body was made out of three different colours of yarn; cocoa, chestnut and fudge. I’d changed colour during crochet before, but only when making a granny square, so this time was rather different. I figured out how to colour change whilst crocheting in the amigurumi style and how to carry the yarn across as you work you way up the rounds, still colour changing throughout.

However, it was good I took to this new skill so quickly, because straight after the body came Gloria’s tail. The tail in question was stripey and loopy. Never had I attempted a loop stitch before in crochet! However, after watching the video tutorial on TOFT’s website I was soon popping those loops into stitches like nobody’s business.

By the time it got to Gloria’s head, I was prepared. More loops, more colour changes and decreasing! I loved how the head took shape. At this point I was still none the wiser about what animal Gloria was. I know on social media a few people had made a few guesses. If asked, I still would have said she was a Scandinavian Reindeer, like Sven from Frozen. Only the tail was making me doubt myself.

Now, can we just take a second to really, truly appreciate these ears. These ears were probably the biggest crochet hurdle I’ve had to jump since getting my head around how to hold a hook! Colour changes, loops and decreasing something that wasn’t even that big to begin with… but I love them. They are a visual representation of how far I’ve come on my crochet journey and they make me so super proud to look at them. I’m not gonna lie here, the ears started on day nineteen and this was the place I fell behind on my advent calendar. Trying to do all that twiddley crochet and coupe with Christmas in retail, something had to give. So the photographs of this parts progress don’t exist. But I got there in the end and they may not be perfect, but I’m so proud of them.

I think after the stress of those ears, Kerry let us wind down gently with Gloria’s arms. The arms were exactly the same as the legs so these got whipped up in no time at all. (I almost managed to catch up at this point.)

The final couple of days were reserved for putting Gloria together. I always get super nervous at this part and of any project. I always think of it as the “make or break” moment. You’ve worked so hard on something, yet this can still be the moment where it all goes wrong. But to be honest, there wasn’t that much sewing up to be done with Gloria and the same goes for many of Ed’s Animals. The simplicity of their designs in this sense is one of my favourite things about TOFT projects and this is what I ended doing Christmas Day afternoon.

My Gloria’s nose may not be perfect and cutting those loops to make her tufty ears and brows was terrifying but I absolutely love her and I’m so proud of my finished project.

For those of you who haven’t guessed it yet, Gloria turned out to be a Red Panda. I remember googling these early on in the CAL after someone posted this as a guess on the Ed’s Advent Instagram,!but for some unknown reason I didn’t completely believe it until I finished those ears!

Conclusion: Overall, I really enjoyed making Gloria. It tested my skills as a crocheter and it was great to face some new and exciting stitches along the way! I feel it was probably a challenge but also very clever of TOFT to devise a pattern that had both basic but also intricate levels of crochet in order to incorporate something for everyone. So although at times I found Gloria to be a bit of a challenge, she is also a project that I came away feeling immensely proud of.

The only trick I feel TOFT missed was that a Red Panda isn’t very Christmassy considering she came out of an advent calendar. But then Gloria is still sat on my desk as I type this and I suppose a festive themed animal would have been retired with the rest of my Christmas decorations well over a month ago now. So at least this way I get to appreciate Gloria every day of the week!

I really hope after the success of last year’s calendar, TOFT will do another this year. And if they do, I highly recommend you try and get yourself one. But you’ll have to be quick, I know last year very sold out almost instantly!

I hope you enjoyed this review, something a little different for the blog. Be sure to give this post a like if you did and I hope to see you joining in with Ed’s Advent this year, if it goes ahead.

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, The Bookshelf, Woolly Wonders

Christmas Haul 2017πŸŽ„πŸŽ

Hi everyone! I hope this post finds you well, that you all had a lovely Christmas and that you’re now lounging on the sofa, tucking into what’s left of those Christmas choccies. At this point I feel like my Christmas Haul post has become a kind of post-Christmas tradition on my blog. πŸ˜‚ But I also like to see it as a virtual version of my Christmas thank you letters.

Once again I have been absolutely spoilt by my loved ones (thank you everyone! ❀️) and I had a wonderful, cosy Christmas spent at home with my little family. ❀️ I can’t wait to show you what I got this year and how, thanks to friends and family, I’m ready for the new year ahead!

So let’s get cracking! πŸŽ‰ (Cracking, Cracker, Christmas… get it?…. Moving on…)

Crafty Kits & Woolly Supplies Let’s be honest, no haul of mine would be complete without wool! πŸ˜‚ My passion for crafting has led me to where I am today and I’m so happy that people still want to fuel the habit. ❀️ I’m absolutely loving the variety this year. We have some old favourites there with TOFT and Brittany making an appearance, but I do have to say I am very impressed with Aldi’s So Crafty range. Also that Hygge CAL kit is absolutely lush. 😍 I cannot wait to give these a go! #notspon

Pug Measuring Tape With all that knitting to do I’m very happy I’ll have this little guy to keep me company and tell me how well I’m doing.

Handmade Decoration How sweet is this little gingerbread house decoration? It was handcrafted for me and my family by my boyfriend’s mum and I just love it. Knowing the time and effort that goes into making something like this makes me appreciate it even more.

Books Another staple of a Briony present haul. I’m very excited for Boys Don’t Knit (In Public).

Supplies! Next year I’m hoping to get back to writing and therefore treats and cappuccinos at home are just the perfect gift! However I’ve got to try and resist eating all these over just the next couple of days! (Disclaimer 1: These treats aren’t all mine. Disclaimer 2: But this picture isn’t all of them. 🀫)

Notebook Speaking of getting back into writing, I’m going to need somewhere to jot down my new ideas and I can think of no where more beautiful than this notebook. With it’s silver leaf pages and gorgeous cover it would be a scandal to leave it blank.

Calendar & Diary 2018 is looking to be a busy year for me so these tools to keep me organised and motivated are invaluable.

Tripod I think this mini tripod come vlogging handle is trying to tell me something, don’t you? πŸ˜‰

Book Blouse Isn’t this blouse just the cutest? I think I’m going to save it for my next event. So excited to finally own a piece of Joanie Clothing. ❀️

Fantastic Beasts Lego Dimensions However, when I’m not doing author things, I’m looking forward to relaxing with mini Newt. I’ve loved what I’ve played of the Lego Dimensions series so far and I think the addition of Fantastic Beasts can only make it more awesome. Thank you to my boyfriend for this one, I knew he’d get me a Niffler for Christmas eventually. πŸ˜‰

Secret Santa And last but by no means least I need to tell you about my secret santa present. Every year me and my friends take part in a secret santa present swap. We’ve all known each other for years, so the present game is always pretty strong, but this year for me was extra special. In fact, when I opened my gift I very nearly cried! Reading this post you may not have yet noticed the change to the blog. It’s something very small, but to me it meant so very much. For Christmas Santa bought me a domain name… Welcome everyone to brionymarshall.co.uk! ❀️❀️❀️
Thank you
girl very happy. πŸŽ…πŸ»

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, News & Events, Unravelled

The Christmas Clock is ticking! β°

But don’t worry, you still have time to get your hands on a copy of Unravelled this Christmas!πŸŽ„ (Just like the lovely Ellesse from Prime Beauty did today!) ⬇️⬇️⬇️

Head over to www.hallgoodbooks.com now and don’t forget you can choose to gift Unravelled or The Ultimate Unravelled Kit! ❀️

Happy Shopping Everyone! Only 9 sleeps to go!

– B xo