Posted in My Journey, The Bookshelf, Woolly Wonders

April Wrap Up 2018

April was a month I spent doing a lot of day dreaming. It was a very relaxed month and I didn’t really feel like I’d done much until I came to write this blog. πŸ˜… However, it appears I was wrong to think that….

I booked a family holiday!

At the beginning of the year I wrote myself a little bucket list. On said list I included places I’d like to visit and holidays I’d love to book. In amongst was the dream of living in a cabin in the woods for a week, switching off from the world and just taking a breather. Well last month I took the bull by the horns and booked that dream escape for me and all those I love. It was rather spontaneous and the first time I’ve booked up a trip for a group of this size. But the website promises an amazing getaway and I literally cannot wait! 😁

I started knitting again!

I do truly wish there were more hours in a day. Actually let me rephrase that; I do truly wish there were more leisure hours in a day. πŸ˜‚ I love my hobbies, all of them. But I do find myself having fads and flirtations with each at different times. (I’d love to be able to commit to a long term relationship with them all sometime. Maybe a few more years practice at allocating my time and I’ll get there! #goals). However this month I picked up my knitting needles again and loved it. Maybe it’s to do with the fact I’m wielding those Knit Pro Zings 😍😍😍 or maybe it’s my infactuation with the colour mustard. Either way, I’m back to knitting again and I’m determined to finish this project. πŸ’ͺ

I got very nostalgic over Pop-Punk.

The boyf treated me to this MTV Pop-Punk album in early April and it just gave me all of the feels. Although we grew up miles apart we were definitely meant to find each other purely because of moments like this. I ended up starting a full iPod over haul due to this. I’m a strong believer that music speaks to the soul. I also like listening to music when I’m looking for writing inspo, so it maybe it’s a sign…

I conquered my reading slump.

I suppose this is something I’ve been a little hush hush about, but given that it’s over now and also the fact that my plan has always been to be genuine with all, I’m going to say it. I’ve just not fancied reading these last few months. It wasn’t even like it was my choice of book, Throne of Glass is AMAZING!, or necessarily my schedule. I just didn’t want too, which was a very sad state of affairs. But that’s okay, because with a little motivation from one of my besties getting back into books, I’m back on that reading train and I’ve already finished that novel and started a new one! You see, it’s okay to be an writer and take reading breaks. I feel there is so much pressure on aspiring authors to be avid readers. Don’t get me wrong, you should definitely read, but it’s okay to have slumps and breaks. Nobody’s perfect.

I picked a pattern for my holiday.

I spent most of April trawling the internet for a knitting/ crocheted garment pattern that I’d want to make to take away with me on holiday. I must admit this took me ages. The spectrum ranged from huntress cowls to boho bikinis. πŸ˜‚ In the end I settled for a granny square crop top by Beautiful Crochet Stuff. However, because it took me so long to decide I’m now having a race against time to see if I can get it done before we go away!

The Temperature CAL gained new colours!

April was a great month for my AIYSO Temperature CAL blanket. We had the introduction of not one, not two but three new colours! We seem to have very swiftly taken a hot tropical vibe and I love it! Here comes summer! πŸ•ΆπŸ‘™πŸ

What did you get up to in April? Let me know in the comments. (Oh and if you’ve ever stay in a cabin in the woods send me your tips and tricks! πŸ˜‚)

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, Woolly Wonders

March Wrap Up.

Sooo it’s wrap up time again! πŸ˜ƒ

Doing these wrap up posts this year has made me realise just how quickly a month can fly by, it’s kinda scary! But I also love compiling my list across the month and being able to look back, and really appreciate what I’ve done with my month. It gives me that feeling of fulfilment, like a little cheerleader inside my head chanting: “You go girl!” It’s very satisfying. I highly recommend starting a monthly achievements list on your phone.

Anyways March…

March for me was a very crafty month and I LOVED it. Looking back I wish I’d taken part in the #marchmeetthemaker tag on Instagram, as I would have easily had enough to post about in hindsight. However, for those of you whose feeds I follow, I loved seeing all your posts. There are some very inspiring people out there, let me tell you. #goals

So what did I get up to last month? Well…

I had a week away from my day job.

Being a self proclaimed “Girl Boss” with a full-time day job, author responsibilities and a hundred and one hobbies, it can be a little overwhelming at times! (Although I absolutely wouldn’t change it for the world!) So to be able to take a week out and just chill was an absolute dream. That week mainly consisted of knitting, crochet, puppy cuddles, good company, coffee and cake. Bliss.

I had my podcast interview with The Slow Knitter.

March was the month I got to meet Rena, the lovely lady behind The Slow Knitter podcast on YouTube. In the month of March not only did we meet via video calling, but we also got to know each other , recorded our interview, recorded my WIPs and she edited and then uploaded the full interview to her email channel! If you look back through my blog posts you can read all about this adventure. It was very exciting!

I learnt to graphgan!

Speaking of YouTube… last month I taught myself to graphgan! (With the much needed help and advice of The Crochet Crowd and their fabulous YouTube channel. πŸ’– Honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you guys!)

For this of you who don’t know, graphganing is the art of using a chart to change the colour of stitches within a crochet project to create a picture or words. I must admit, when I first looked at the chart from One Dog Woof I was slightly terrified. I fell in love with her Get Some Zzz Blanket as soon as I stumbled across it on Pinterest 😍, but having never tackled anything like this before it was a little bit daunting. However, I am so proud with how this turned out. I definitely recommend you watch The Crochet Crowd’s video before attempting anything like this as it was that video that gave me the confidence to get stuck right in.

I think someone is a little protective over their new blankie. πŸ˜‚

I finished my first ever shawl!

The new year’s resolution I’ve been sticking to the most so far in 2018 has to be “Finish What You Started.” I started my Seems Like Old Times shawl in the summer last year. The summer ended and so did my shawl… or so it seemed… until this March.

To jazz things up, I was unconventional, and created this beautiful traditional shawl in the gorgeous rainbow variegated 4ply by the Women’s Institute. I love love love it!

I went to the ICHF Craft Show.

Back when snow was the in thing, my Mom, my bestie and I braved the elements and attended the ICHF Craft Show in Birmingham. The things purchased that day were the stuff of dreams. 😍

  • TOFT wool in the correct colours to make a mini Bobby 🐾❀️ (With complimentary puppy tote bag!)
  • Brittany shawl pin to adorn my brand new shawl! (I love Brittany needles, hooks and accessories because they remind me of wands!⚑️)
  • Free tote bag from Create & Craft! (Very nice of them.)
  • Felt Piggies Brooch kit. (I love piggies, they’re one of my favourite animals. 🐷 Fun fact!)
  • Beaded Dragon Earring Kit. 🐲 (I just fell in love with these at the stand. Never tried the craft before but they were just so vivid! Can’t wait to have a go!)
  • Scheepjes Yarn Ball House. πŸ’– (To stop your ball of wool from getting dirty/ being chewed to death by a certain little puppy!)

I also wandered around flashing my Unravelled tote bag for some causal self promotion. πŸ˜‚ All in all it was a wonderful day and I’m looking forward to using all my new pretties!

I made a pair of tassel earrings.

Statement earrings look set to be the fashion trend of Spring/Summer 2018 and I’m loving it! Anything bold, bright and a little bit extra, I’m all over it. However after finished my rainbow shawl and having a ball or two of wool left over, I had a craving to make my own.

I debating whether or not to post the pattern for these on the blog at some point. All supplies are easily available from hobbycraft and are super affordable. So be sure to let me know in the comments if this is something you’d be interested in.

I did lots of easter crafting!

Everything seems to be happening really early this year and although Easter isn’t until April, it’s the 1st April! (Us crafters really have to be prepared this year!) So during the month of March I made sure to dedicate some time to easter crafting and dreaming about longer, warmer brighter days.🌸🐰🐣

My achievement list consists of:

  • Faux grass bunny and egg ornaments, which I accessorised with daisies.
  • Super cute creme egg cosies from a pattern I found on Pinterest.
  • Mini Emma the Bunny from TOFT, whose colour way I changed to suit the eastery theme.
  • Yummy Chocolate Nest Cakes made with Shredded Wheat to give them more of a nest-like texture.

The easter treat table looked so cute!

Temperature Blanket update.

I only took this one picture of my temperature blanket throughout the whole of March (and even that was taken quite early on!) In short, I spent most of the month playing catch up until right at the end, when I finally felt like I was getting somewhere, I ran out of wool! 😩 I’m determined to make April a better delicious blanket month, as a little birdie told me there may be new colours on the horizon. πŸ˜‰

B xo

Posted in My Journey, News & Events, Unravelled, Woolly Wonders

Belated January Wrap Up 2018

Not many people I meet are a fan of January, in fact I know quite a few people who were very glad to see the back of it this year. But besides catching the flu and struggling against wisdom tooth pain that had me wanting to chop my own head off, I had a pretty fantastic January. So I thought today I’d share my January with you all and I’d like to encourage you to do the same in the comments. Go on, show January some love. πŸ’–

I started my AIYSO Temperature CAL.

know I mentioned this in a previous post but I thought this wrap up would be a good way to show you my progress. My blanket has already grown so much and it’s only been a month, it’s going to be huuuuuge!

I started jotting down ideas for a sequel. < /strong><

I don't want to get anybody too excited with this one but, along with the "new year new start" marlakee, I made myself a promise to start working on another novel this year. We're still in the very early stages of ideas right now but definitely something that happened that I thought was worth a mention. ❀️

I received my second delivery of Unravelled. πŸ“¦

I am aware that I’m just posting a picture of three cardboard boxes here, but for me this was such an exciting moment. I’m already on my second print of Unravelled!!! Thank you to everyone who’s already got their copies, you’re all a part of making dreams happen.

I received my first piece of hand written fan mail.

There’s just something nostalgically beautiful about hand written letters. Receiving this card really touched my heart. How lovely. ❀️ So far I’ve heard nothing but wonderful feedback about Unravelled. Thank you and please keep that feedback coming!

I was featured in Simply Knitting Magazine! This is another of those pinch me moments. Unravelled continues to offer me some truly amazing opportunities, just like this one. Haven’t got your copy yet? Find it here. (Issue 169)

I took part in the second ever Wolverhampton Literature Festival. And the festival as a whole was a huge success! In fact I am happy to announce that the festival has been awarded funding for next four years! πŸŽ‰

I learnt how to C2C crochet. I’m always up for a challenge, especially if it’s for a good cause. Last month I heard the story of a brave little girl called Grace and the amazing guys at littleheartsforgrace who were trying to make a difference. Grace is only three and she’s already undergone open heart surgery… more than once! Friends of the family asked crocheters from around the world if they’d help raise money for the charities that helped this little girl by crocheting hearts themed squares. You can read more about their story here. I instantly wanted to help out and grabbed my hook and wool. One of the patterns was for a C2C heart square and well, I set about teaching myself a new skill with the aid of YouTube! My square may not be perfect by any means, but I really enjoyed doing it and I can’t wait to see what the blankets will look like when all the squares are put together.

Crocheted Face Scrubbies.

January for me is home to a couple of birthdays. So I set myself the challenge of giving my gifts the personal touch and hand making a little something. Online I found the pattern for these cute, eco friendly, face scrubbies. The perfect re-washable alternative to cotton pads. What lady doesn’t love a nice pamper session? I had great fun making these, even if I did break my hook doing that puff stitch! πŸ˜‚

And that’s a wrap!

– Bxo

Posted in My Journey, Woolly Wonders

Resolutions, Blogversary & Crochet Alongs

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2018! πŸΎπŸŽ‰ I hope you all had a lovely New Years Eve. Mine was the perfect cosy night in, spent with my family, drinking prosecco and playing Trivial Pursuit. ❀️

Where do I even start with 2017? I went into last year with the sole goal of making it a year to remember and well, I certainly managed that! πŸŽ‰ 2017 was a year of a lot of amazing firsts. I had my first author event (and then did another and another and another!) I had my first official radio interview with Jason Forrest. I became a publisher author. ❀️ I signed my first ever autograph. I had a launch party! I designed my first ever knitting pattern. I got to see the joy on other peoples faces when then held a copy of book for the first time. I got to see my Momma get emotional at her dedication. 😘 And I got my first lot of lovely feedback on my story. ❀️

I was actually sad to see 2017 leave. But I’d like to think we shook hands on our departure and I’ve turned to welcome to 2018 with open arms. There’s so much already in the pipeline for this year that I literally cannot wait to start!

So, looking forward to 2018, my resolutions are:

  • Craft more wearables

I feel like my skills in both knitting and crochet have excelled greatly since the start of this journey. However the cuteness of toy making has got the better of me and I really don’t have many things I can wear to show my woolly pride. So this year I aim to change that.

  • Work on a new novel

Last year was all about Unravelled and I loved that. ❀️ But my creative input ended on that manuscript ended a while ago now. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the whirlwind that was publication but I’m starting to miss my laptop and my pen, so this year I’ve made not only a resolution but a promise to myself that I will start work on a new novel this year. (Exciting!!!)

  • Read at least one book a month

This one is a bit of a faux pas from me. 🀭 I did not complete my reading challenge last year in fact… *small voice* I’m still reading Throne of Glass which I started on my holiday last July. 😳 After I got back from that holiday everything just seemed to take off and well my reading took a back seat, but I’m back on it now and this year I aim to read at least twelve books!

  • Finish what you start

This is a biggie for me. As a person I get very excited about everything. So I start things with every intention to finish them but then get distracted by something that comes along and put my current thing down to pick back up at a later date and start the new thing that I’m equally excited about and in that well, the cycle begins. Don’t get me wrong, I do go back to the things that I put down, (the novel I’m still reading, the presents I finished crafting on Christmas Eve!) but it could be months, it could be years in between. Now remember I’m a writer, knitter, crocheter, blogger, and vlogger… This has got to stop.

However just to contradict myself…

I’ve decided to kick off another year of craft by taking part in the AYISO’s Temperature Blanket CAL.

The Association Of Independent Yarn Shop Owners are running their first crochet/ knit along that will run throughout 2018. The idea of the Temperature Blanket is every day you add a row to your blanket in a different colour depending what temperature it is near you. The blanket pattern you do is your choice, the colours you use and your temperature scale are your choice. But together we will share the journey of creating a beautiful unique piece.

I’ve planned to crochet my blanket in granny stripe, with guidance from Attic24’s pattern. I’m using DK wool on a 3.5mm hook and below you can see my chosen colours; pink being the hottest of days and white the coldest. (I made the picture of the white slightly larger so you can see the sparkle.✨)

I’m hoping to post updates across the year to show my blanket’s progress and if any of my lovely readers fancy giving it a go, I’d love to see your progress too! You can find out more about the CAL by joining the Facebook Group or reading Magnolia Tree Crafts’s blog.

And last, but by no means least, January the first is also my blogversary! 🎈And this year I’ve reached the magical three years! My website is something that continues to blossom and grow. It’s one of my favourite hobbies and it makes me so proud to see it evolve and take shape every year. So thank you to all of you for taking the time to be a part of it. ❀️

I’ll leave you now to enjoy the rest of your New Year’s Day because otherwise I feel this blog may go on forever! πŸ˜‚

Take care and I wish you all health and happiness for 2018!

– B xo