Posted in My Journey

July/ August Wrap Up 2018

It’s definitely been a summer of creativity for me. So much so, that pretty much everything that happened in July carried through to August. So I decided, again, to put my wrap ups together.

Double the fun!

Enjoy!

JULY

The UK heatwave continued throughout July. β˜€οΈ I loved it, spending most of my time out in the garden, wearing playsuits and sunnies. The only negative really was not having much motivation to work with wool! All my projects at the time were big, heavy and warm. However, what I did instead made me just as happy…

I did some writing in the garden.

I took my laptop outside and did some writing in the garden. This writing in particular was a synopsis for a chick-lit that has nothing to do with any of my current projects. πŸ˜‚ However, it was an idea I just couldn’t get out of my head, unless I wrote it down. And well, Nanowrimo is just around the corner…

I started reading Unravelled. ❀️

This is something I have wanted to do for a long time, but also something I absurdly kept putting off because of what it might look like to outsiders. There is so much pressure on people these days that derives from what other’s think. With social media literally being a window into our lives it’s easy to get caught up in it all. However, this July I decided to push that all to the side and sit down and enjoy my own work and be damn proud of it too! This book took me ten years to create, so what if my neighbour’s, brother’s, cousin’s dog spots me reading it in Starbucks and deems me self indulgent? More fool them.

I got a haircut!

Okay, okay, so I’ve had a couple of haircuts and hair changes over the years I’ve been doing brionymarshallauthor, however this one was a first… I went short!!! Never, to my memory, have I had short hair but well, the heat just got too much and I decided to take the plunge and …

I love it!

What do you think? Should I keep it short for Autumn/ Winter or let it grow back a little?

I started reading Patrick Melrose.

During the month of July I had a couple of solo train journeys to embark upon and if there is one thing I love about solo train journeys, it’s audiobooks. ❀️ After developing a little CumberCrush recently, I opted for the Patrick Melrose books. Plus, with the DVD on my birthday list, I wanted to try and get a head of the game. Edmund St Aubryn’s writing style is so vivid and his use of imagery is something I aspire to. Although at times his work is a little uncomfortable to digest, it all makes for a story I can’t leave alone.

I visited Northampton.

So about those solo train journeys… I travelled down to visit my friends in their new home in Northampton and what a wonderful couple of days I had. πŸ’• Not only was I treated to amazing food, shown some really cute places and visited every wool shop in the area, I also got to talk to a lovely group of ladies about Unravelled, after accidentally walking into their Knit and Knatter. The woolly community really is like a secret club, once you know the handshake your in, no matter where in the world you may be. 🀝

I had a day at the seaside and left Unravelled behind.

If you don’t know about the Book Fairies, then I think you better click that link I just left. I’ve loved this idea ever since I first heard about it, so when I was given the opportunity to do a similar thing of my very own, I jumped at the chance. Thus came the birth of #unravelledontour.

On a random day I will take a copy of Unravelled out into the big wide world and leave it somewhere as a present for a stranger to find. Using the power of social media, I will leave hints across my platforms as to where Unravelled may be, but really whoever finds it first will be a mystery to me. I hope that whoever finds it will carry on to document the books’s journey online and we get to see how far Unravelled will roam all using the hashtag: #unravelledontour

Drop number one was a great success! I left Unravelled in a cafe right on the sea front in Wales.❀️ The next day, I was connected with the lovely Michelle, who picked up my book the same evening and after reading my note, thought she’d give it a go. Her story was so lovely to read. It’s amazing what the gift of words can do. I believe she’s planning to pop Unravelled back out into the wild soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that. I’m also planning another drop of my very own, so watch this space. πŸ‘€

I became a pattern tester.

As the temperature started to cool, I threw myself back into woolcraft by applying to be a pattern tester. I got in touch with Becs of becspaddockdesign to test her Granny Square Bardot Jumper and she picked me! I was so happy to be picked as I fell in love with the jumper as soon as I saw it and well, it was a huge compliment to my own crochet skill to be picked for my first pattern test! I am so happy with my finished jumper, so much so, that I’m going to wear it to Yarndale later next month. 😁 Thanks again to Becs for picking me to be a part of this jumper’s journey. πŸ’• If you love the jumper as much as I do, you can now purchase the pattern from Becs’s Etsy Store.

I tired (and failed) to make another crop top.

Do remember the disaster crop top from my previous wrap up? Well it happened again guys! This time my top didn’t look all that bad. it just came out huuuuuuge! (Despite me using the correct brand of yarn and the right hook for my size!) I don’t know what’s going on. I’m definitely going to have to blog about this at some point though. It’s kind of becoming a running theme. πŸ˜‚

AUGUST

Unravelled went on holiday!

At the end of July/ beginning of August I received some lovely photos from you guys of Unravelled on holiday. On the back of my own #unravelledontour experience, it was great to see so many pics of Unravelled by the sea. The truth is out guys, Unravelled is the must-have holiday read!

Be sure to tag me if you take Unravelled away with you, I’d love to see how far it travels and I’ll be sure to share you pics on my social medias. 😊

I was part of The Quiet Knitter’s Celebration of Indie Publishing.

I did write a full blog post about this here. However, I just wanted to say, upon reflection, Kate wrote a wonderful review of Unravelled and I am so grateful for all of this beautiful, positive feedback. ❀️ I know the internet can be a scary place at times, but I’ve known nothing but love as of late and I’m so thankful. Thank you Kate, thank you everyone, for all your kind words, love and support on this beautiful, crazy journey of mine. ❀️

I celebrated my local wool shop’s birthday! πŸŽ‰

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; if you support a small business, then you’re supporting a dream! And having a wool shop practically on my doorstep has always been a blessing for me. Although I may visit wool shops across the land, I’ll always find my way back home to my local, my roots, the place it all began! So of course I headed on down to join in with the celebrations of Beacon Crafts’s Birthday. And really, do we need more of an excuse to have crochet, coffee and cake? I didn’t think so. πŸ˜‹ Congratulations Helen, nine years of keeping the local community knitted together. πŸ‘Œ

I was asked to pattern test another top!

After the success of my Granny Square Bardot Jumper test, I was so chuffed to be picked again to pattern test. This time it was for the lovely Marcie also known as homemadebymarcie. Currently on my hook is her very lovely Grecian Top. 😍 More on this as it develops.

– B xo

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

I just can’t stop bleating about it! πŸ˜‚

Yarndale
I’m just too excited to keep this to myself any longer, I’ve booked tickets for Yarndale 2018 and I cannot wait! 😁
Yarndale is a celebration of all things woolly! And a craft show I just could not miss again!
There are tickets still available if you’re interested. You can purchase them online at www.yarndale.co.uk.
Be sure to let me know if you’re going too, I’d love to know. 😎
– B xo
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, News & Events, Unravelled, Woolly Wonders

Yarn Shop Day 2018 Exclusives! πŸŽ‰

Yarn Shop Day 2018 is nearly upon us! (Only 2 more sleeps in fact!) So I thought now would be the perfect time to a) Start getting excited πŸ’ƒπŸ» and b) Give you a little sneak peek of how myself and Unravelled are getting involved this year.

For those of you who don’t know what Yarn Shop Day is, it is a celebration of all things wool and local. You get to show your local yarn shop some love, take advantage of some exclusive offers and even do your bit for charity, all whilst having fun!

I was lucky enough to be a special guest last year for my local! (You can read all about my experience in last year’s blog.) However this year, with Unravelled now being with us in all its glory, I’ve got two Yarn Shop Day exclusives for you all!

I’ve teamed up with the lovely Helen from Beacon Crafts to bring you my first Unravelled X YSD exclusive! For one day only, if you come down to Beacon Crafts and join in the celebrations, you can pick up not only a signed copy of Unravelled, but you get my Adrian Scarf Knitting pattern absolutely free! So for those of you in the Midlands area click here for the Beacon Crafts Facebook page, where you’ll be able to find the shop address as well as other sneak peeks of their YSD preparations!

I am also very excited to announce that Unravelled will be a part of Yarn Shop Day in Scotland too this year! Faye from Wool For Ewe will be the first Scottish shop to stock the Unravelled paperback and one lucky winner from her YSD raffle will also have the chance to bag themselves a signed copy! How awesome is that? You can find the Wool For Ewe Facebook Page here.

I would love to see your pictures! Use the tag #unravelledxysd to let me know what you get up to this Yarn Shop Day!

– 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

Yasmin Qureshi Photography πŸ“·

The internet really is an incredible thing. 🌍 πŸ’•

Jump back to over a year ago at my author event debut. As the crowd started to filter into the room my nerves started to stir. I didn’t notice the new face; the one whose eyes were sparkling with interest. (To this day, I’m still a little gutted about that. ) However, I returned home to a tweet that started something amazing. A tweet from that face in the crowd. A message of such joy and appreciation from someone I’d never met. It warmed my heart. ❀️

That was the day I connected with Yasmin, the lovely lady behind Yasmin Qureshi Photography. Ever since that day we’ve been internet buddies and last year she offered me the amazing opportunity to be a part of her photography project, “Your Stories”. Of course I jumped at the chance!

You may have seen me using some of the amazing shots she took across my different platforms (also cropping up in a couple of my event’s marketing and interview articles!) However I am very happy to announce that the article, for which the photographs were originally intended, is live!

You can read the full post here.

This is exactly what I mean when I say that Unravelled has opened up some amazing doors for me. If it wasn’t for my novel I would never have met this amazingly talented lady and I would never have made such a lovely new friend. 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