So here we are again! Another week gone already. This summer is whizzing by and I want it to stop or the Little Postcards will be back to school and the leaves will be falling and we’ll be heading back into winter – nooo!
It’s been a big week in our house – we were awaiting A-Level results and I’m thrilled to say they were favourable and all is well. I’m hugely grateful that’s over and done with but am all too well aware it hasn’t been the best week for some.
Day 22 : Saturday 13th August 2022
Just look at that fabulous texture as the summer sun shines on the slub base yarn from @the_yarnwhisperer – making progress on my Dragonfly River MAL.
Day 23 : Sunday 14th August 2022
Sunny weather brings out the daisies in the garden! Trying to get something whipped up in time for #grannysquareday2022 tomorrow…
Pattern is the Flora square by Lucy from Attic24 and it’s really fun to make!
Day 25 : Monday 15th August 2022
I was so caught up in the excitement of Granny Square Day that I couldn’t stop making them! Here’s Day 24 of my #summercraftchallenge2022 and it’s all about the grannies!
All of these Grannies are evolving into a cushion cover I think… I’m in love with the Daisy centres to the squares and they work up so fast too! Granny Square appreciation isn’t just for Granny Square Day you know! 😂
Day 26 : Tuesday 16th August2022
And that’s them all joined up. I joined them initially, decided against my colour choices and placement, so frogged part of it, made another square and swapped the red one out. I’m chuffed with how it’s growing!
Day 27 : Wednesday 17th August 2022
So that red square which got jettisoned yesterday hasn’t gone to waste! Here it is surrounded by more granny clusters. Not sure whether it will be the back of a cushion or become a second cushion cover… I had been at sixes and sevens all day as I did a bit of this, then went off to do something else – I just couldn’t settle knowing that A-Level results were due the next day.
Day 28 : Thursday 18th August 2022
After the drama and excitement of an early morning trip to school to get some good news (thank goodness) I was back onto my Dragonfly River MAL. Getting closer to the end of part one… I’m itching to get cracking on part 2 – not long to go….
Day 29 : Friday 19th August 2022
Excuse the straggly ends… I promise I will weave them all in once I’m finished on this section of the Dragonfly River MAL! Those of you familiar with the MAL will be able to spot the mistake I made early on but decided I could live with… If my calculations are correct I’ve just got 7 rows left to go!
Thanks for stopping by to share my Summer Craft Challenge – it really is a lot of fun and keeps me busy making during the holidays when there are so many other distractions.
I hope it’s been a good week for you. See you next time!
Hello there, how are we at Saturday already? This was meant to be published last Saturday but there’s something about the school holidays when routine goes out of the window and I completely lose track of what’s going on! I have a feeling I may not be alone in this!
Here’s what I’ve been up to craft-wise lately…
Day 15 : Saturday 6th August 2022
Day 15 of my #summercraftchallenge2022 and thankfully I found some time for crochet at the end of the day! Progress is being made on this lovely #dragonflyrivermal project. I’m loving it! 💙💚🤍
Day 16 : Sunday 7th August 2022
You know when you realise you are only 2 rows off finishing a project but you can’t find the pattern so decide to wing it?! Well about to frog the last 2 rows for the second time… I’m off to look for the pattern! 😂
Day 17 : Monday 8th August 2022
There are days when football training is pretty bleak and miserable, but there are also days when it’s brill. Today was one of those days, sunshine, lovely parents to chat to and a spot of crochet in the evening sunshine ☀️. Making progress on my #dragonflyrivermal – I reckon I’m about a quarter of the way through. Still loving it!
Day 18 : Tuesday 9th August 2022
More alfresco crochet today! Our annual picnic at Marbury Park in Cheshire… I even saw a couple of dragonflies although they were too fast to photograph.
Day 18 of my #summercraftchallenge2022 was very pleasant working on my #dragonflyrivermal from @kcaco.uk & @the_yarnwhisperer in the sunshine & dappled shade of the Northwich Woodland.
Day 19 : Wednesday 10th August 2022
No time for crochet today… it’s be a day filled of utility sewing – name tapes and school trouser hems. I did give the neighbours a treat though as I dragged the ironing board out into the sunshine in the back garden so my long standing WIP and finally finished scarf/shawl could block in the sun! They’re used to watching me pose amigurumi dolls about the place, but they must’ve thought I’d gone properly bonkers to be contemplating ironing in the hot sun ☀️ 😂.
Yarn by @woollywumpkins Shawl Pattern : Easy One Skein Crochet Shawl by @anniedesigncrochet
Day 20 : Thursday 11th August 2022
Nocturnal crochet for me this evening and back to the #dragonflyrivermal – Day 20 of my #summercraftchallenge2022
Day 21 : Friday 12th August 2022
Crochet in the garden this evening whilst admiring my new solar fairy lights… Day 21 of my #summercraftchallenge2022
And that’s last week’s crochet adventures complete! I’m off now to write the latest installment!
Well folks it’s that time of year again when I challenge myself to do something crafty every day of the school summer holidays, take a photo of it and share it. It’s become a bit of an institution round here. Being a stay-at-home Mum, and especially when we stayed in Gibraltar where they have longer school summer holidays (8+ weeks some years) I clung to my craft as a little routine to get me through!
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my children, but often the things I like to do would get cast aside in favour of family stuff. But by carving out as little as 5 minutes some days meant I had a little slice of time in the day to focus on my hands and unknot my brain.
So, last weekend was the first of this summer’s break and I thought I’d pick up the summer craft challenge baton again and run with it… here goes:
Day 1 : Saturday 23rd July 2022
Why not start with a WIP I was working on in last year’s summer craft challenge? This Daisy hexie blanket was a kit from Yarn Lane. The pattern and most of the yarn is by Marriner Yarns but I’ve decided it looked too samey so am alternating the penultimate round with varying pastel shades from my own stash (predominately Stylecraft Special DK). We’ll see if my plan works in about six years’ time when I finish! 😂
Day 2 : Sunday 24th July
More hexies today, but done with bleary eyes. Do you spot the balloon? It was Youngest’s birthday very recently but as it was very hectic with end of term excitement on the big day, his party was last night – including a ‘not-very-much-sleep… over’. I managed to find a few moments before dropping off after the post party clear up for a bit of crochet!
Day 3 : Monday 25th July
Just before the end of term, youngest was invested into one of the local scout groups. I had been putting off sewing the new badges on for a couple of weeks but decided to crack on before the new school uniform began arriving with all the required name tapes and hem alterations. Not exactly ‘fun’ sewing, more untility sewing but more colourful than what lies ahead!
Day 4 : Tuesday 26th July
An odd day with appointments and shopping, but still time to begin another project! A little head for another school child to be gifted.
Day 5 : Wednesday 27th July 2022
Leg number one done after a busy day chasing round on the hunt for new school uniform!
Day 6 : Thursday 28th July 2022
And then there were two!
Day 7 : Friday 29th July 2022
And finally a body! Just needs his head, hair, tie & jumper….
I’m feeling rather pleased that I haven’t fallen at the first hurdle and have managed a complete week! Here goes for week 2…..,
Hello, hello, hello! Only one week into April, and here’s my Postcard from March. I’m feeling rather pleased with myself that I managed to pull this one off before the end of the month!
How are you doing? I hope you are ok. It’s a worrying world we are living in at the moment, and the over-riding feelings of being utterly helpless to make a difference is something I think a lot of us are feeling at the moment. Whilst this postcard focuses on the more frivolous aspects of life for me, I hope you are ok with that. I feel I have to look at the positives whilst being all to aware of what’s going on in the world too.
Here’s what I’ve been getting up to recently then…
At the beginning of March, to mark St David’s Day, I launched the next of my series of Up the Garden Path amigurumi crochet patterns on my Etsy shop. Again, fabulously assisted by my childhood friend and super-talented artist, Emma Jackson, the pattern looks lovely, full of process photos and the most gorgeous illustrations of Cariad & Dave the Daffodils.
However, Dave and Cariad aren’t the only new patterns to appear in my shop. I decided I simply had to do something to raise funds for Ukraine, so sticking with the floral theme I set to work creating a sunflower doll seeing as sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine.
Meet Sophia the Sunflower, named after St Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv.
The PDF pattern to make Sophia the Sunflower is available in my Etsy shop here . All the profits from the sale of this pattern are being donated to the UNHCR appeal to support refugees affected by the war in Ukraine. So far £65 has been sent to the appeal thanks to sales of Sophia. Thank you to everyone who has bought one!
In other crochet news I joined in with an appeal to make crochet squares for blankets to raise funds for Ukraine through the DEC appeal. The Blanket of Hugs Ukraine is the brain child of lovely Amanda Bloom from Little Box of Crochet. She’s asking for crocheted squares to be sent to her and then she’s joining them into blankets which are being ‘raffled off’ to raise funds. The last time I checked there had been donations of £3,500 already! Well done Amanda. You can find all the information for the appeal here if you would like to get involved too.
Also can you spot my Ukraine button badge too? Made by the lovely Mrs G Makes.
There’s been quite a lot of yellow yarn on my hooks this month… an appeal locally for crocheters to make sunflowers came my way so I made some as part of a charity virtual bike ride from where I live in Manchester to Kyiv last Saturday. Those amazing cyclists managed to ride the distance between the cities raising £8,000+ at the last count. Well done everyone!
In other news, I had a lovely day trip to Skipton in March to celebrate my Mum’s birthday. The weather was exceptionally kind to us and we had a lovely wander around the town.
It was such a lovely treat to leave the usual jobs for the day and jump into the car to go somewhere different. It felt like a mini holiday!
And thanks to the lovely Cathy at Dear Emma Designs we had a tip off of where to avoid the crowds and enjoy a lovely lunch. Thank you Cathy!
Spring in the garden
Garden-wise, spring has definitely sprung, although as I’m writing this there are hail stones battering the window next to me and I had to rescue my little green house which had broken free from it’s moorings and was half way up the garden along with a pot of compost!
The prunus (above) which looked like a stick when we moved in in October 2020 has been covered in beautiful pale pink blossom for a couple of weeks now – I just hope the current weather doesn’t bash it to bits.
And this Pieris (below) was destined for the compost bin as it was a wash out last year. It may well have redeemed itself!
One day a couple of weeks ago I was able to hop on a train into the city centre in order to record an interview for a forthcoming episode of Making Stitches. It was a stunningly sunny day.
It was such a joy to be able to mooch about in the city after the interview was done. It felt like a window into another world watching the office workers sitting out on any patch of grass or bench to eat their lunches! I’m really looking forward to being able to share the interview with you soon – it was truly fascinating!
My guest for the latest episode of Making Stitches and the first of the new 5th series was Ukrainian textile artist Olesya Lebedenko. Olesya, who is now based in Canada, makes the most beautiful quilt blocks and appliquéd pieces.
It was a joy to get to know her a little over the last few weeks. In the episode as well as talking about her craft, she spoke about her fears for her friends and family back at home in Ukraine and the online abuse she and other Ukrainian artists are facing since the war began.
I’m thrilled that another of my articles have appeared in Simply Crochet Magazine. This one looks at how designers can get their designs in print and featured in books and magazines. It was a fascinating piece to work on and a thrill to be able to speak to so many truly inspirational designers. Thank you Simply Crochet for giving me the opportunity to write again!
And that’s just about it for my Postcard from March. I hope you enjoyed it. I’m off now to finish getting my next podcast episode sorted in time for tomorrow – and in keeping with the last month I’ve had it’s crochet-tastic! If you haven’t already subscribed to or followed Making Stitches Podcast on your podcast app of choice, please do – it means you’ll be able to hear the latest episodes as soon as they are released.
Hello there! I hope you’re doing ok. I kept meaning to post my postcard from January throughout the beginning of February but there seemed to be so many other things which needed my attention, so I was rubbish and let things slide. We are now on the cusp of another month though, and I’ve decided that it’s time to take the bull by the horns and stop procrastinating. So here you go, two for the price of one, a postcard from January AND February rolled into one.
I deliberated about whether I should even post at all, there is so much going on in the world at the moment that things like this seem very frivolous, but I think it’s important to keep going, as burying my head in the sand and veering between trying to block the outside world out and being glued to the news updates and fretting about the helplessness I feel about the plight of so many innocent people isn’t actually helping anyone. I thought it better to try to put some sunshine and positivity out into the world, so here goes, and if you have been affected by the terrible actions taken against Ukraine, please know that you are very much in my thoughts.
A New Year and a continued fitness quest…
Back in November I began my quest to get my weight down to a healthy number and get a bit fitter and began the Couch to 5K programme for the third time in the last couple of years. This time though, I managed to see it through. I am now over a stone lighter and I managed to complete the whole Couch to 5K programme. Not only that, I’ve kept going and am now running just over 5K in 35 minutes. I don’t want to sound like I’m blowing my own trumpet too much or that I’m building myself up for a fall, but I’m really rather proud of how far I have come.
I haven’t found the process too arduous and in fact have quite enjoyed getting out and pounding the streets and enjoying the beauty of sunshine and nature on my way around the neighbourhood. Who knows where it might lead me?
A New Year and a new hedge
You might remember last year that I said goodbye to our old ‘fake’ plastic hedge which we inherited when we moved into our home the year before. Well, the intention was always to replace it with something else, of a more natural variety. It took me a while to decide what to do for the best, but in December I realised that winter was the perfect time to plant a hedge, so I did my research and ordered my new privet hedge which arrived early in January. Then came the hard work…
Our front garden is more of a carpark than a garden, we inherited an area covered in small stones which lie on top of black weed suppressing fabric. After a lot of scraping away of stones, and the lifting of not one, but two layers of fabric which had several inches of compacted dirt between them I was ready to dig the holes ready for the baby hedge plants.
It was quite a job. Fortunately the weather was favourable – it was cold, but the ground wasn’t frozen, and it stayed dry for most of the two days it took for me to plant these 22 specimens. Plus my very helpful neighbour offered me the use of this rather nifty device (on the right of the picture below) for digging holes.
They are in, and I’m really chuffed that I managed to do this – single-handedly! How many years it will be before it’s an actual hedge is anyone’s guess but it’s a vast improvement on what we had before! My next project is a flower bed out front, but I may wait a while before beginning that.
A lovely walk and coffee by the river
In the middle of January, the weather was being very kind to us indeed, so a really good friend and I decided to leave the jobs which needed doing one afternoon and put our muddy hiking boots on for a wander along the River Mersey and a coffee at the Riverside Café. It was such fun, and just what we both needed to have a chat and mull over stuff which was going on before heading back home in time for the school run.
Getting the garden kickstarted
I so enjoyed having sweet peas in my back garden last summer, so decided to have a go at planting them again. I had quite a few seeds left over from last year’s attempts so I went ahead and planted them up in loo rolls again like last year. Fingers crossed this year’s crop will be as successful!
A Sunday walk
I don’t know if it’s because of memories of lockdown and being restricted on where we can go, but I often find that it’s suddenly Sunday afternoon and apart from going to Littlest’s football match and perhaps the shops, our weekends are passing without heading out of the house as a family. I decided to change that and am trying to get us out and about if the weather & teenagers allow!
Fortunately, the lovely National Trust property; Dunham Massey is a short drive from our home and once the youths are corralled into the car, we can be in amongst the deer within half an hour. As long as there’s the promise of ice cream or hot chocolate involved in the outing, it’s generally a goer!
Another WIP begun…
Back in September last year, you may remember that I made the trip across the Pennines to the Yarndale festival in Skipton – it was a truly amazing day which you can read about here. While I was there I bought some lovely hand dyed yarn from Michelle at Woolly Wumpkins. I’ve been debating what to make with it; another pair of hand-knitted socks? A bobble hat? I settled on a shawl/scarf as that is the item of woolly clothing I wear most of all.
Unlike in my previous experience of winding a skein, this time it was a painless experience (perhaps because It hadn’t been sitting in my stash for years first) and I got to work on this pattern for a one skein crochet shawl which I bought from Annie Design on Etsy. I’m rather happy with the colours and look forward to enjoying wearing it when I eventually finish it. I have a feeling it will be something I dip in and out of while working on other things.
Llanita’s Travels continue…
Long time readers of Postcard from Gibraltar may remember my little friend Llanita the Yarndale Sheep. I made her back in 2016 for that year’s Yarndale charity appeal. You can read all about Llanita’s adventures with me here.
Well when Llanita arrived at Yarndale back in 2016, she was bought by Karen (aka WakeyMakes on Instagram). Karen’s sisters have recently been to Gibraltar on holiday and they took Llanita back to her homeland for a visit!
I had a lovely treat when I logged into Instagram one day to see that Llanita was back in the sun!!
We got off rather lightly when Storms Eunice and Franklin came to town. Just a couple of wobbly fence panels which are rather worse for wear and this one almost bit the dust. Thankfully my lovely Dad came round with his bag of tricks and some timber to patch it up until it can be replaced.
A sunny seaside walk
Crosby beach beckoned on Sunday when the sun came out and I found myself with an empty diary. The ironing and housework could wait, living back in Manchester makes you realise that you need to grab sunny days by the hand and make the most of them. I got the Little Postcards in the car and headed off west to Crosby on the Merseyside Coast.
We first visited Crosby last year after it was recommended to me by my lovely friend across the road. It’s pretty much the nearest beach to where we live and it takes under an hour to drive there. Plus the beach is home to a load of Antony Gormley statues so that makes it even more special. It’s a favourite with the Little Postcards – as is the ice cream reward at the end of the walk.
And that just about brings this postcard to an end. Thank you so much for stopping by. Where ever you are in the world and whatever you are facing, I hope that you can find some positivity in the days ahead.
Hello everyone, happy New Year! I know it’s a bit late but you know how it is, post Christmas and New Year business got in the way of planning this post. Better late than never – at least I managed this while it’s still January…….just!
I hope your festive period was ok. I know it’s still not completely how it used to be and for many people in particular it will have been difficult.
Here’s what I got up to at the end of last year…
New pattern releases
Following on from my patterns for Flora the Gardener and Hope the Snowdrop, in December I published the next two patterns in my Up the Garden Path collection. They are ‘Holly’ and ‘Ivy’.
They are both available to buy from my ETSY shop….
… and feature more beautiful illustrations by my very talented friend Emma – aren’t they adorable?!
I think Ivy has a look of Rula Lenska don’t you think?
Start as you mean to go on…
Last year’s New Year’s resolution was to try and design my own crochet patterns for the first time – which I’m thrilled that I managed to see through.
This time though, I don’t want to risk failing or setting the bar too high, so I haven’t made any resolutions as such. However, in late November I reacquainted myself with my Couch to 5K app. Throughout December I carried on with my thrice weekly runs, and was lucky enough to enjoy some beautiful, sunny mornings.
I’ve now (in January) completed all 9 weeks and am running 30 mins without stopping, which I’m thrilled about – I was built for crochet not speed!!
December also meant booster time for me. The previous time I visited this vaccination Centre, there were daffodils around the place. It was funny to be back again with the leaves which had just begun appearing last time now on the floor.
Podcast Christmas Special
My guests for the first Making Stitches Christmas Special (Clockwise from top left: Heather Griffith from HG Designs Crochet, Sara Huntington, Editor at Simply Crochet Magazine, some of the staff from Black Sheep Wools in Warrington, Kate Blackburn from WhatKatieDidUK, Louise Armitage aka Gini from Gini’s Dorset Buttons, Adam Brooks from Great British Sewing Bee & Louise Murray from Hooked by Lou.
You can find the podcast episode webpage here if you want to find out more.
Christmas crochet makes
As always it was a busy time for my hooks in the run up to Christmas… I made a couple of gifts and a new top for myself.
And… you know when you set yourself a slightly unrealistic target and have to burn the midnight oil to get it done? Well I decided at the last minute to make a Christmassy tank top…. I did get it finished in time, but the ends weren’t woven in in time for the day in question…. I hope no one noticed!
Tank Top modelled on the Vintage Granny Stripe cardigan by Fran Morgan from Simply Crochet Magazine.
I bought myself a little early Christmas present in the form of this gorgeous book by Sarah Corbett all about the Canary Craftivist movement which got under way last summer. It even includes a photo I took of the Manchester Flock working on crafting their canaries sitting next to the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst in the centre of Manchester back in July.
A Festive Walk
It was lovely to be able to return to Dunham Massey National Trust park and gardens over Christmas. It’s a fab place and just a short drive from where we live. It’s a place which instantly takes me back to my childhood and I love taking the Little Postcards there for a walk on a weekend or during the school holidays.
We got a great view of the resident deer and even spotted a couple of pure white ones.
Podcast New Year Special
I ended the year podcast-wise with a second Christmas Special which was released on New Year’s Eve. It featured my chats with Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective, as well as Gemma and Evie from the Manchester Flock of Canary Craftivists, Mary Jane Baxter also made an appearance speaking about her epic trip around Europe in a camper van called Bambi stitching as she went. I looked back at my visit to the Crochet Sanctuary in Spring and to Yarndale in September last year, and heard from some of the staff at Black Sheep Wools in Warrington. I also included chats with two new friends of mine who I met last year; Christine Perry aka Winwick Mum who helped me on my sock-making adventure and Amanada from Mrs G Makes.
You can find the podcast web page here if you want to take a listen.
New Year’s Eve walk
We were treated to a stunningly beautiful and warm day on New Years’ Eve, and made the trip to Wigan to visit my brother and his wife. Just a short walk from their home is open countryside and it made for a very picturesque walk.
It was just the perfect way to end the year. In lovely company and enjoying lovely weather in the fresh air.
And that brings this rather late December round-up to an end. I promise I won’t be as tardy with my January post!
Thank you so much for stopping by and making it to the end of this rather epic post. I promise I’ll be back again soon!
Well, here we are in November already. I really don’t know where the past month has gone. October has been such a busy month with day to day, nose to the grindstone kinds of things that I feel like I blinked and missed it. It’s only when I looked back at the photos on my phone that I realised what I had done and achieved – sadly I can’t share all of that with you, but before too much longer I will be able to – hurrah!
So here goes, here’s my postcard from October!
The beginning of the month began much as September ended, with children in school and me busily trying to get my ducks in a row for a deadline of the end of the month. As the calendar flipped into October the realisation dawned that by the end of the month, we would have been living in our ‘new’ home for exactly a year. It was Halloween last year that I hired a van, and with the help of two very strong friends, we moved from our rented temporary house into our very own home. That meant that twelve months had passed and there were still quite a lot of boxes sitting around the place hiding under crochet blankets….. they have many uses! I set myself the target of getting rid of the boxes by the end of the month. Did I manage it? Well, I’ll reveal all at the end!
There has been a definite autumnal chill in the air this month, and in case the changing colours and falling leaves didn’t give us a clue about the season, our neighbourhood squirrel (or maybe even squirrels) certainly let me know as they planted my newly cleared pots with all sorts of treats to sustain them through the winter!
Stepping far outside my comfort zone!
Early in the month, I was invited to do something utterly terrifying. I was asked to speak to a my local group of the WI about my podcast and crafts in general. Blimey it was a nerve wracking thing to do. I’m very happy to speak into a microphone in a room on my own but to speak to a room with about 100 pairs of eyes staring back at you – that’s quite another thing!! I debated long and hard about whether I should do it or not, but friends encouraged me to and I’m so glad I did. The ladies were lovely and didn’t bite! Not sure I’d do it again in a hurry but it was a bit of a high to know I’d managed it!
A lovely trip out
Back in September I interviewed the lovely Christine Perry from Winwick Mum for Making Stitches Podcast (You can hear the episode here). While we were chatting online we realised that we are actually not that far apart geographically so we arranged to meet at one of my favourite places for a chat and a brew – Black Sheep Wools. It was so lovely to speak to Christine and get to know her a bit better, and she has helped me get over my fear of knitting in the round. As the ‘Queen of Socks’ (I hope she doesn’t mind me giving her that title!) she has helped thousands of people learn how to successfully knit socks with her ‘sockalong’ which you can find on her blog. At the last count, over 15,000 pairs of socks have been knitted by people using her technique and that’s just the ones she knows about. Incidentally Christine has just completed a whole month of daily blogging – phew what a feat! The above photo features in one of her posts!
Christine guided me (and another lady who happened to be in the shop at the same time) on what yarn to buy and what needles were needed to get started. So using her blog and her brilliant book, I have set off on a sock-making adventure. My initial momentum has been dulled by some necessary work on some crochet related items, but I’m back on it, and about to begin decreasing on my first toe!
In crochet news, my Making Stitches wreath which I made from a pattern in issue 96 of Simply Crochet Magazine actually got featured in the magazine itself. What a total honour! Thank you Simply Crochet!
I’ve opened a shop!
Also this month, I launched my Etsy shop called the “Making Stitches Shop’. I decided to try and see if I could sell a few bits and bobs to help support my podcast activities. Whilst I would not want to put the podcast behind a pay wall, it does cost quite a bit to keep going with hosting fees and other things and I thought that if I could raise some money via the shop, it would help me keep going. In the summer I bought a custom made screen with my podcast logo on it, and began screen printing cotton tote bags. It took a lot of trial and error and advice from others, but in the end I successfully printed enough bags to open the shop.
The wonderful Amanda from Mrs G Makes also helped me with advice on running the shop and postage etc. Then, she became not only my first ever customer, she also gave me a glowing review and showed the world her new bag in an episode of her Vlogtober YouTube series. Thanks so much Amanda!
In that first month of being open, my shop completely sold out! Thank you to everyone who supported me! I had to get my screen back out and print a load more on a sunny day just before the Little Postcards finished school for half term!
Half term holidays
Half term was a bit of an odd one for us this year, Littlest had soccer school for most of the week and Eldest was away most of the time on work experience too, so it was just me and Middle Postcard for a lot of the time. Being a teenager, most of that time was spent in his bedroom and I made the most of the peace and quiet by beavering away on something special I’m working on for this month…. (I will reveal all very soon!).
In amongst the hard work, we had a trip to the Etihad campus in Manchester for a teenaged Covid jab. So that’s all bar Littlest done. I feel a lot happier about that now.
Anniversary of moving
As we were celebrating our first anniversary in our home, I decided to have a soirée to celebrate our first year on Saturday evening with the two families who helped us with our move a year ago. As it was Halloween weekend, we had to make the house look the part, so we had a go at pumpkin carving. I think we did pretty well.
I even had a go at carving a squash myself and crocheted one too for good measure!
The innards were used along with some Butternut Squash to make some spiced soup for our soirée and the pumpkins are now out in the garden so the birds and other creatures can enjoy them.
And that pretty much brings my October ramblings to a close. Apart from those boxes. Do you think I managed to get rid of them all?
Well no, but my excuse is that I need a new cupboard to store some of this stuff in, and I can’t find the right one, in the right colour and the right dimensions to fit in the space I want it to go in…. is that a good enough excuse?! I did get rid of about 12 others though – so it wasn’t a complete failure!
I hope October was good for you and that November is even better!
Hello there, it’s come to my attention of late that I’m no longer very good at maintaining momentum with my weekly Sunday Postcards. I miss posting stuff but just can’t churn posts out anymore with such frequency as I fear they will become just that – churned out and be pretty rubbish.
So, instead I’m going to have a go a publishing a monthly Postcard looking back at some of the highlights of my month just gone. If you’re up for it, here’s my Postcard from September 2021…
Last days of summer
We woke up on 1st September in beautiful Whitby but it was our last few moments of our trip and we had to pack up and be off on our way by 9am – eek! We managed it and were soon pootling along the road back to Manchester. Bye bye Whitby, thanks for having us!
You can read all about our stay on the Yorkshire coast here.
We had just a quick few days turn around before everyone returned to school for a new academic year. Everyone stayed at the same schools this time so the whole uniform thing has been far easier this summer than last year!
The return to school and the empty house gave me the freedom to get on with some things I just couldn’t do with a house full of young men….
I have been trying to find a way to financially support my podcast and hit on the idea of screen printing some bags to sell on Etsy to help pay for the hosting fees etc. I got a custom screen made by Hunt the Moon and set off on my screen printing adventure. It’s not as easy as it looks! After many attempts I managed to produce some semi-decent prints on old clothes which weren’t fit for the charity bag and started on some bags.
Here they are…. What do you think?
They are available for sale on my Etsy shop if you fancy a look. I’m hoping to add to them with some more podcast merchandise very soon plus I will be putting up some crochet patterns for sale too which I have been working on behind the scenes and I just can’t wait to share with you.
We were blessed with some truly lovely sunny days in September which meant not only could I screen print in the back garden, I could also enjoy a bit of a potter. There’s been so much wildlife in our little patch of late from foxes and squirrels, all manner of birds including a lovely Robin and this gorgeous butterfly stopped by for a visit.
I’ve really enjoyed having a go at growing some of our own food this year during our first summer in our new garden. I managed to harvest loads of cherry tomatoes, enough potatoes for one dinner including several potatoes about the size of a large pea (!), strawberries, loads and loads of kale for Diamond (our bunny) and one measly broad bean! I think I’ll give the beans a miss next year!
A crocheted thank you
The schools where we live now are selective at secondary level and in order to get Littlest ready for the impending exams he’s been visiting a lovely lady called Emma. The exams are now done (what a relief) we won’t know the outcome for a while yet but we have said goodbye and thank you to Emma for all her hard work. I made her a mini Emma to have on her desk in her tutoring uniform as a little thank you. She was really pleased with it. (I made it using the Crochet Iconic Women pattern book by Carla Mitrani).
You may remember the Manchester Flock of Canary Craftivists I was a part of in the summer? Well the start of September marked the time to send our canaries off to our local MPs with a handwritten letter asking for them to do all they can to support action to stop the Climate Crisis ahead of COP26 in November. Charlie the canary flew off to my MP who later wrote back to thank me.
On 25th September I was lucky enough to be able to go to Yarndale. It was such a thrill to go back to Skipton after my last visit in 2016. the first person I bumped into once I was in the auction mart was Yvonne from Bonnie’s Little Crafts who I met on that previous visit when she ran a campaign for knitters & crocheters to make 7000 woolly hearts for Yarndale. She told me all the about the story of this blanket, which you will be able to hear by tuning into Making Stitches when it gets published.
I took my microphone with me and recorded loads of material for my latest episode of Making Stitches Podcast which will be out on Friday. I stayed literally to the end as you can see below! It was lovely to be able to enjoy all the beautiful decorations without the crowds of folk standing in the way!
I also left with a bit more than I arrived with….
I enjoyed my day in Skipton for Yarndale so much I actually felt like I’d been away on holiday for about a week! It was just what the Dr ordered.
That’s just about all my news for September, I hope it was a good month for you. Thanks for stopping by!
I won’t say it’s gone by in a flash, it has in some ways but in others it’s gone slowly. The school summer holidays are over (two of my three are back in school today, Number 3 goes tomorrow) and that means this year’s Summer Craft Challenge is over too.
Back in the summer of 2016 I set myself the challenge of doing something crafty, even if it was just for 5 minutes, every day of the school summer holidays. At the time we were living in Gibraltar, far from family in the UK, and although we would fly home to Blighty for a few weeks, the 9-week-long Gibraltarian school break was more than a little bit daunting. By doing something fun and crafty each day, I thought that would break things up for me. Also by blogging about it, it forced me to keep going.
I find it’s so easy (when you’re busy) to forget about crafts. They get put on a back burner and forgotten about as I get consumed with everything else going on. However, the longer I am without a crochet hook or needle in my hand the worse my mood becomes. By setting myself this challenge it reminded me to not forget my crafty projects and also made me consciously plan what I would do ie. Was it portable to take on holiday or for a day out?
I managed to fill that first 9 weeks with fun makes, and every summer holiday since (apart from last year when we moved house and country over the summer back to the UK). This year I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep the momentum going in a new (old) country with fewer days at the beach and lazing about, but I did. I achieved something crafty on every day bar one – as you will see.
Here’s my final installment…
Day 36: Saturday 28th August
Just over a week ago, I packed up the car and drove us all to Whitby for a little holiday. This was the one day all summer that I didn’t manage to do anything crafty (unless packing and unpacking fall into that category). It was a lovely day nonetheless and the sunshine welcomed us to the North Yorkshire coast!
Day 37: Sunday 29th August
After a day exploring Whitby, I had the chance for an evening with a chilled vino and my hook… now that’s what holidays are for!
Day 38: Monday 30th August
I brought my liberty patchwork kit with me on holiday and day 38 meant hexies.
Day 39: Tuesday 31st August
Our last night of the holiday – by the time we were all packed up there was only a little bit of time to sit down and crochet.
Day 40: Wednesday 1st September
Back home again and after all the washing was done I sat down to make a few more hexies.
Day 41: Thursday 2nd September
This is my least favourite sewing job of the year… school trouser hems and name tags. The most monotonous job! It can only be improved to my mind with a decent podcast playing in your ears and a cup of coffee by your side!!
Day 42: Friday 3rd September
Back on the crochet again, playing with amigurumi patterns.
Day 43: Saturday 4th September
Saturday evening in front of the telly gave me the time to work on another seven hexies, in blues & greens this time. I’m really looking forward to joining them all together.
Day 44: Sunday 5th September
I ended this year’s summer craft challenge with a very unremarkable bit of crochet … a mistletoe leaf – well at least that’s what it’s supposed to look like!! It was a busy day yesterday making the most of good dry sunny weather to get to the bottom of the laundry pile and getting the last few bits and pieces sorted ready for returning to school this week. I was almost falling asleep as I did this last night!
So that marks the end of this summer’s challenge, it’s been good fun and just the impetus I needed to keep me going with my crafting when all things family seem to get between me and few moments of craftiness. I managed to either crochet or sew on all but one day of the past 44 days so I’ll take that as a victory.
I also managed to complete a couple of things…
Thanks so much for joining me in this daily quest and thank you for stopping by!
Only on week 2 and I’m late posting this already! Well it is the holidays isn’t it?! Here’s what I got up to in my Summer Craft Challenge this week…
Day 8 : Saturday 30th July
Day 8 of my #summercraftchallenge2021 was all about joining granny squares & making stitches 🧵🪡🧶
Day 9 : Sunday 1st August
A grey cloudy Sunday was perfect weather for staying in and crocheting! Day 9 of my #summercraftchallenge2021 – has anyone seen my ✂️ scissors?! 😉
Day 10 : Monday 2nd August
Day 10 of my #summercraftchallenge2021 was about sewing rather than crochet. 🧵🪡
Day 11 : Tuesday 3rd August
Not much time for ‘real’ craft today – just a paltry hexie round, but I did ‘craft’ a podcast episode – does that count?
Day 12 : Wednesday 4th August
Day 12 of my #summercraftchallenge2021 and the balls are finished and ready to be attached to their final home… can’t wait to share the finished project once it’s completed 😊.
Day 13 : Thursday 5th August
I’ve was playing with festive leaf shapes … feels a bit early for such things but time waits for no one…. Day 13 of my #summercraftchallenge2021 #crochetholly #c
Day 14 : Friday 6th August
It may have been started about a year ago, but I think it’s worth the wait? My Craft Room wreath is finished and ready to go on the wall in @making_stitches_podcast HQ!! I’m rather pleased with how it’s turned out. The pattern is by @sewing_the_seeds_of_love & is from Simoly Crochet Magazine issue 96.
And that brings week 2 to a close, I’m looking forward to seeing what week 3 has in store…