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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

The big scary world that is the internet


Hello there! 

I'm going to be honest about something before asking you all for a favour, which I hope you won't think badly of me for.

Fact: the world of the internet is a hard old place to navigate. Now I don't mean typing a quick question into Google and finding an answer to your question, but making your mark on the internet. The internet is central to all of our lives (what would happen to the world if the www went down I wonder?!?), and as a blogger and owner of a small business even more so. The internet is where you promote your work, network, and if you are lucky, make money. Be it through blogs, or one (or many) of the many common socail media networks, the internet must be navigated in order to get anyone to see your work. Ok, so some people may 'stumble across' you. Believe it or not, though I think regular readers will definitely nelieve this, I had a lovely lady comment on my blog, compliment my crochet, and told me that she had found my blog by googling the word 'faffing'! Fair enough, after a quick search myself searching for the word 'faffing' in fact lead to this page of my blog.

So people can stumble across you but how do you spread the word to attract others?  I feel that I am blogging as much as I can fit in around my crochet and full-time day job (and thank you to you all for your views and comments as I am now the top result on Google when you search me!), but other sources of social media I am using to promote my work are just not getting the views they used to get. 

Really what I'm getting at is that I'm really struggling with this whole internet thingy at the moment. I don't want to just sit about and disappear into the ether, which is where you lovely people come in :-)

I know that many will be reading this on your phones where it is a lot more faffy (ha!) to leave comments but for this time only I would really REALLY appreciate a little comment to this post. It doesn't have to be a long one but I was wondering if you could please let me know how you got to see this post....

......perhaps it was via Twitter or Instagram, or even Facebook (I wish! reach is at an all time low...), maybe you saw this post on Bloglovin', or Google Plus.....or maybe you just stumbled across this post by a random internet search or came to me from another site. It would also be great to know whereabouts in the world you are from as I love to know where my readers are!

Thank you :-)




Monday, 30 November 2015

#crafting365 Week 2

If I'm honest I didn't think I would get here but as you can see, here I am! I made it through to week 2. To read about this crafting/photo challenge please read my first post here.

As I thought I am struggling with time if I use my 'big camera' as with my computer being so slow the whole uploading process, just for one photo, really isn't worth the stress! I have resorted to using my phone and to be honest, the pictures aren't too bad (apart from the most boring photo in the world- I'm sure you can guess which!) if you don't look too hard, or blow them up big (essentially they are ok if you look at them on your phone). I've realised that there is no point stressing over this because as much as I would love a beautiful Instagram feed and blog I feel that this challenge is more about documenting my craft and actually getting on and doing it rather than worrying about producing perfectly presented images. 

So, here is my week in craft.....


1) So I managed the first couple of rounds of the 'sockhead hat' by Kelly McClure and am satisfied that yes, I can still knit.......

2) ......and I made a bit of progress, just a couple of rows of an evening once everything else I wanted to do was complete

3) I started on another large wreath. You will have to wait til next week to see it in its full glory though (unless you follow me on Instagram- Sal_Strawbs).

4) Now this was fun. I am a member of a small local craft group and we meet every couple of weeks, taking it in turns to lead an activity. This week was peg fairies, and allowed me to relive my childhood and let myself go creatively, as you can probably tell!

5) THE most boring photo on the internet? It was an essential piece of kit- a template for cutting out fabric for bunting.

6) Sockhead hat again- Saturday was a bit of a nightmare.....though it meant 3 and a half hours of knitting time on a train and then a coach. I'd forgotten just how slow knitting in 4ply is, though I managed to almost finish the turn-up brim.

7) So I cut out the fabric for the bunting, using the template in the most boring photo in the world and GOT SEWING!!!! I have just posted my finished picture on Instagram now so head on over :-)

Hands up if you think I'll make it to week 3.....

Monday, 23 November 2015

#crafting365 week 1

As some of you may have gleaned from Instagram (I'm Sal_Strawbs over there!) I am taking part in a #crafting365 challenge initiated by Vicki Brown. You can read Vicki's words about it here. Yep, 365 days of craft......pretty easy really, as I do craft most days (however small), though the photography, and posting a photo a day is a bit of a challenge to me. I'm still using my 'big camera' as I'm frankly embarrassed at the quality of the photos from my phone camera. This, coupled with an incredibly slow laptop has thoroughly tested my patience! However I am pleased to say I have completed my first week! 


So what have I been up to then?

1. I am very excited to have a design accepted into one of my favourite crochet magazines! Here I was starting to crochet up my samples. These have now been photographed ready for publication new year :-)

2. I'm working on a new design and was doing a bit of swatching. I have gone back to the drawing board on this on....

3. Better but not there yet. Still a work in progress.....

4. A sprinkling of crochet stars I have strung into bunting as a gift for my boyfriends' mum

5. Some Christmas hats I have crocheted up for colleagues at work to give as gifts.

6. I spent a fantastic morning at Kirstie's Handmade Christmas Fair in Manchester at the weekend. I tried my hand at paper cutting and lino printing. I was a bit naughty and have treated myself to some lino cutting tools so expect to see some poorly executed prints over the next few weeks! I also bumped into Vicki Brown herself in the toilet queue!

7. Checking that I can still knit.......This is the 'Sockhead hat' by Kelly McClure and the yarn in Lanagrassa in India. Fourth time lucky on this cast on!

Anyone else joining in?

p.s massive apologies for making my picture background the same colour as my blog background! It took over half an hour just to put the photos together so will leave it for now and make a better choice next week :-)

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Currently.......

........crocheting for Christmas.....




........crocheting star bunting (you can find the button under my patterns tab at the top!)......




......deciding which crochet hook I like the best.....


What have you been up to recently?


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

A visit to Fabrications in Hackney, London



When I was asked to be bridesmaid for one of my oldest school friends I was over the moon to say the least. My friend and husband-to-be are the perfect match and I cannot wait to see them happily married in a couple of months. One of the main bridesmaid duties is organising the hen do. If any of you have organised a hen-do before you will know it is pretty daunting......will people come, what shall we organise, I hope no-one gets bored, and most importantly, will the bride-to-be like it and enjoy herself?! 

There were three of us bridesmaids on the organising committee and you know what, I think we did a great job. Once reason for this was our brilliant morning activity at Fabrications in London. Fabrications is located on Broadway Market in Hackney, a street dedicated to independent traders (and delicious coffee!). Fabrications is an independent gallery, shop and studio, dedicated to textiles and design. 

We had a session booked to make vintage fascinators for our night out that evening. Barley, the founder of Fabrications, was incredibly warm and welcoming, providing a relaxing atmosphere for us to unleash our creative side. Some of us hadn't sewn since school and Barley was wonderfully patient and we all left with stylish (in our opinion!), wearable (and we did wear them- all evening!) fascinators. 

Here are a few pictures of Barley's studio and beautiful shop. I would highly recommend a visit if you are in the area. 







Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Blogging in Autumn



Exactly a month ago to this day I posted my 'Ideas for Autumn' which you can read here. Looking back on it this evening I think I've done pretty bloody well, which if you have been reading my blog a while will know that my crochet and blogging is littered with unfulfilled promises (I won't say empty, I really do want to do these things), both to myself and you readers. Keeping up a blog, crochet designing and making to sell on top of working a full-time day job is really really hard work. I always have the best of intentions, I truly do but sometimes I just cannot fit it all in. I get back from work, go to the gym, eat and am sat down at my computer or working on some crochet from about 7.30 til bed time. I know a lot of other bloggers do all of this, plus have kids or other dependants so I can't really moan one bit. However, it does mean that some things inevitably fall by the wayside. In Autumn this tends to be blogging.

Why is this? As I alluded to on my Facebook page earlier this evening, one word. Christmas. This seems to be a recurring theme for me- this being my third Christmas in the blogosphere-blogging in the run-up to Christmas just doesn't happen. One reason for this is that as a crocheter who makes to sell, Christmas is huge. And I mean huge! I can make more in one week in the run up to Christmas than in 3 months in Spring time. Therefore running out of stock is not an option. I start making Christmas items late July, early August. Ideally it would be earlier but I really really don't want to be crocheting wreaths in February! Do you want to see blog post full of Christmas decorations in August? I don' t think so. Neither do I, which results in another problem- a lack of photos of my work. Then onto another- I just don't have the time this time of year with all the crochet......but I also need photos to promote my work.......but if I spend time on this I won't have the crochet done............a viscous cycle that if I let it gets me as stressed as anything!

So to tie this jumbled-up-bordering-on-an-essay-post, I'll go back to my Autumn ideas....


  • Make 'enough' Christmas items to stock 2 shops and also sell on Facebook- yup! maybe not at the Facebook stage though yet but still have a little time
  • Draw up 3 crochet submissions- DONE :-) fingers crossed they like my designs
  • Take photos of all my designs/makes as I go- Mmmmmm
  • Design and release the pattern for a sister hat to go with my recently released 'Alice Hat'- definitely still a 'thought in progress' but still hanging in there....
  • Update/tidy up this blog (with photos mentioned above)- another mmmmmm


Not too bad, though you can definitely see the areas that are lacking i.e. this old blog of mine here. All I can say is that I'm doing my best, and will be back shortly with a few snippets of what I have been up to. 

SSxx

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Visit to the Toft Alpaca farm



As I mentioned a couple of posts ago I was given the opportunity to review Kerry Lord's new book Edwards Menagerie: birds. You can read my post over here but the short of it is that I loved it.

As I eluded to in that same post  I got to visit the Toft Farm and shop for the book launch. The farm is owned by Kerry's parents and the shop, yarn company and designs were masterminded by Kerry. You go girl!

So, what you have all been waiting for no? Cuteness overload.....you have been warned!

Alpacas Toft yarn SallyStrawberry

Alpacas Toft yarn SallyStrawberry

Alpacas Toft yarn SallyStrawberry


Alpacas Toft yarn SallyStrawberry

Yep, I saw babies too! Baby alpacas are called Cria. Some other Alpaca facts I learned whilst visiting the farm:

  • Alpaca's are pregnant for 11 months. They also nearly always give birth in the morning. This is from when they lived in South America where it is very cold at night. They wanted their babies to be all dry and warm before night set in!
  • They provide one fleece a year
  • As they get older their fleece gets coarser and are no longer suitable for yarn (although great for duvets!)
  • Alpacas do not spit at humans, they spit at each other to settle disputes and assert their authority- sometimes humans just get caught in the crossfire!

Now for the shop. Wow, just wow. It is the shop I always wish I had had. Piles of sumptuous yarn, all of eds animals crocheted up for admiration, cracking food, the most delicious cake and coffee (the bakewell slice was awesome!). Want to have a look?





I would definitely recommend paying the shop and farm a visit, even just for a squidge of the yarn and a slice of cake. 

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Ideas for Autumn






As we say goodbye to summer my brain has been bursting with ideas of crochet designs and makes for the next couple of months. I can be pretty scatty (an understatement!) so sometimes having lots of ideas is not always a good thing.....what to do first? Will I get bored before I finish? What if I get a better idea?

I'm good with lists. They always calm me down a bit and focus my attention. So, these are my plans:

  • Make 'enough' Christmas items to stock 2 shops and also sell on Facebook
  • Draw up 3 crochet submissions
  • Take photos of all my designs/makes as I go
  • Design and release the pattern for a sister hat to go with my recently released 'Alice Hat'
  • Update/tidy up this blog (with photos mentioned above) as today I purchesed my ticket for Blogtacular and I am overcome with excitement!! 

Lets see how I get on.....

What are your tips for coping with idea overload? Do you write lists too?


Saturday, 5 September 2015

Edwards Menagerie: Birds by Kerry Lord - a review






If there was one crochet book I had been hankering after it was Edwards Menagerie by Kerry Lord. The loved the adorable designs, the natural colour scheme and the general aesthetic of the book. As often happens time passed, I got bogged down in my full time job and crochet (and blogging) very much fell by the wayside. In recent weeks however I have felt that I have really got my act together.....I published a new design, got cracking with my Christmas crochet (sorry about the mention of the 'C' word, although to a crocheter being only 3 1/2 months away feels like its a terrifyingly near prospect!) so when an email pinged up in my inbox asking me to review Kerry's new crochet book, 'Edward's Menagerie: Birds' there was no way I could decline!

There is so much more to this book than your bog standard crochet toy book.

First impressions: the birds oh the birds! A beautiful, cohesive collection of colourful, original, birds, full of character. I was getting drawn in.....

Delving further: Kerry writes a brilliant preface to her book explaining the story behind the menagerie. I loved to read about how the menagerie are inspired by and made for her young son Edward. Delving even further I discovered the back story to this book, and it is a truly inspiring tale of entrepreneurship, a family run business giving opportunities to aspiring designer makers and crocheters, self-sufficiency, alpaca farming and stunning yarns. I really urge you to take the time to visit the Toft website and peruse their gorgeous yarns and incredibly cute Alpacas (see their blog for this)! I will write more on this in another post as I also got to visit the farm and meet Kerry herself. For now I will just stick to a review of the book. 

Getting down to business- the patterns: There are over 40 birds to crochet in this book (if you buy direct from their website there are some bonus patterns included), which have all been given their own names and personalities (many of which are based on Toft employees who were heavily involved in the development of this book). As Kerry mentioned when I visited the Toft Farm this book is a slight step-up skill-wise from their first book, but still suitable for beginners. The book is separated into three levels, based on their difficulty. The most difficult patterns include more complex colour changes, but nothing that cannot be tackled with a bit of practice and perseverance. 

What is fantastic, especially if you wanted to crochet the whole menagerie (if only I had the time!), is that all the birds are based on the same standard body form. For one this means that you can quickly memorise the increases and decreases making for a quick and relatively easy project, and secondly that all the birds look great together as a collection. Another  positive selling point is that  the birds can be crocheted in a range of wool weights, making for a tiny intricate 4ply bird to a big chunky bird such as Elizabeth the Dodo pictured below. 




Most importantly when reviewing a crochet book is the clarity of the instructions, and whether the finished article resembles what it should or whether it ends up looking like a wonky creature not out of place on planet Zog (I know this from experience). I have to say however that I had absolutely no problem crocheting up Ina the Stork. Ina is a level 1 bird, making her one of the simplest. This is no way whatsoever takes away from the final look of this bird. What do you think? I've become quite attached and she is sitting atop my sewing box next to me as I type! The only thing I would say, and which is why the birds are a step up from the first animal book, is that the legs and feet are pretty fiddly- lots of rounds with only a few stitches per round requires concentration and a bit of perseverance. 



A note on my version of Ina: sadly she was not crocheted in the gorgeous Toft Alpaca yarns the book was designed in. I just used what I had to hand, namely some double knit acrylic. I have now indulged in some of this yarn of squishy delectable loveliness so watch this space for some more of #edsanimals. Any yarn will work with this project though, and as they are small only use scraps for the colourwork section. 

Another note: I sewed poor Ina up in the half-light in a caravan after a good few beers- her poor legs are a bit wonky!

Verdict on this book: If you haven't picked it up yet then do. You will not be disappointed and will quickly become addicted. This is a beautiful book with clear written patterns, and I can guarantee that if you have kids they will love these birds. Evidence for this comes from my day at the Toft farm where young children were coming in with arms of these birds their parents and grandparents had lovingly crocheted for them. 

Happy crocheting!



Disclaimer: I was not paid in any way to review this book, I was invited to the farm for the book launch, but this event was publicised and open to all. All opinions are my own and 100% honest, I truly think it is great!









Tuesday, 25 August 2015

"Look Daddy, it's a pretty tent!"



We spent a very wet, although fabulous weekend at the Green Man festival in South Wales. I couldn't pitch a tent at a festival without even a little bit of crochet, but as we put up our tents up in the rain Thursday evening I felt that my decorations may not make it out of the rucksack. BUT, Friday morning, standing in the drizzle eating beans straight from the pan I thought, why not? 

After my second sleepless night (how can people snore so much?!) and tetchy from the aforementioned I was getting pretty fed up with every person trampling past the tent, chatting full volume....shouting at their mates across the camping field..... then I heard a little voice...."look Daddy, it's a pretty tent" as they weaved there way past our tents. It made my day :-)





Tuesday, 18 August 2015

NEW PATTERN: Alice Hat

Well hello!

I would like to announce that I have FINALLY published my Alice Hat pattern. You may have seen this floating around on my Facebook page, oh, maybe a year ago but it is finally available for download from Ravelry NOW


A few more details about this hat:


  • Its is amazingly soft and warm mostly due to the amazing yarn, Fine Aran by Libby Summers (easily my favourite yarn!) but also due to the colourwork technique. This hat uses stranded colourwork meaning that when a yarn is not in use it is carried across the back of the work. This adds extra thickness (and therefore warmth!) to this hat.
  • Most of the hat is crocheted into the back loop only. I hope to produce a tutorial on this soon.
  • This hat is named after my sister, I think she knows about it.......

So, if you would like to have a go at this hat head on over here for the full pattern.

Happy crocheting :-)

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

5 minutes with Fiona of fizzy~jayne makes



Hello, I would like to introduce you to Fiona of fizzi~jayne makes. Take it away Fiona....

Hi, how are you today?


Hi! It’s great to be here on your blog, thank you for having me Sally.

Let me introduce myself, I’m Fiona also known as fizzi~jayne, I live with my hubby in a pretty village in Hertfordshire.  I am a crafter, blogger,  co-host of #CraftBlogClub and I'm also the designer, and owner of a creative small business called fizzi~jayne makes….

fizzi~jayne makesis a craft and handmade brand selling greeting cards and home d├ęcor.

Everything is designed and made by me. My inspiration comes from my love of the beach, uplifting quotes, pretty fonts and yummy food.  I also have an obsessionwith buttons and I get very excited about Christmas!

I write a blog which is a place to share my experiences of running a creative, small business along with demonstrating my favourite craft techniques and to share with you what goes on in fizzi~jayne's world!

You did a number of markets and craft fairs last year. How did you find them? I found markets a very steep learning curve, what would be your one top tip for surviving your first market/craft fair?

It’s difficult to choose just one top tip so I have a blog post with lots of tips to help you prepare and survive a craft fair.

If you have been thinking about attending a craft fair as a stall holder my tip is to just do it! You don’t know what success you could have unless you try. I have spoken to a few crafters who want to sell at fairs but have concerns and doubts.  Last year I did a variety of events, some were a success and some I didn't even cover the cost of my stall, but I learnt from all of them.  By trying lots of different markets I have found out which products sell well and which craft fairs are the ones for me.

I have recently written a blog post about how success at craft fairs isn't always measured in sales (which you can find here).  They are great places to advertise
and let people know who you are, meet customers, test new products and meet other stall holders.

Most of all enjoy them!  A well organised event should be fun.





Tell us about a normal working day for you at fizzi~jayne makes HQ

The day can’t start properly until I have coffee! Whilst having my morning coffee I will check emails, schedule social media posts and respond to any comments on my blog or social sites.  I love reading comments and getting to know my customers and followers.If I've planned to do a run I’ll do that in the morning, otherwise I’ll talk myself out of it during the day.


The rest of the day depends on what orders and craft fairs I have coming up but you will always find
me in my craft den (our spare room) with my music on.  My priority is making and packing up orders for my lovely customers, then I will make and develop new products. If I have any orders to post that day I’ll pop to the post office in the afternoon.  It gives me some fresh air and I can pop to the coffee shop next door, yes more coffee!

At the end of the day I will respond to the emails I've received as well as any comments made on my social media sites and blog. I tend to work on my blog and do any admin in the evenings and weekends.  I have been known to work quite late so I don’t stick to a traditional 9-5. The advantage of working from home is I can work the hours when I am at my most productive.

Every so often I do try and get out of the craft den to be inspired. This can just be a change of
scenery by working on my blog in a coffee shop or going to a gallery. I am lucky that I can get into
London easily and visit one of the many exhibits going on.  I also like to meet up with fellow
crafters/small business owners at events or for a cuppa and a chat.

What is your favourite craft and how did you learn it?  

I love many crafts and my Mum taught me to sew and knit as a child but my favourite has to be Papercraft.  My favourite technique is stamping, I'm a stamping addict! When I came across stamps it catapulted me into the world of papercraft.





I can draw but I don’t enjoy it as much as colouring so stamping allows me to get on with the fun bit. I love giving a 2D image dimension and texture to make it look 3D.  Stamping also allows me to create my own backgrounds, all I need is white card, ink, some stamps and I’m happy!

I don't just use stamping techniques in papercraft, I use the same skills for my range of coasters.





Most of what I know is self-taught through trial and error but I did go to a Scrapbooking class a few years ago where I picked up hints and tips. I’ve also picked up techniques from various papercraft and stamping magazines as well as Pinterest and blogs.  My favourite blogs for techniques are Barbara Gray from Clarity Stamps and Hels Sheridan's blog, Inky fingers 

What current crafty project(s) are you working on? 

Customised orders have been popular for me so I am working on a range of cards ready to be
personalised based on the popular designs I have sold.




I am also working on a new range based on my love of the beach and the south coast which can be seen in my shop now.



#CraftBlogClub has regular challenges and I am taking part in the current one
which is to give old clothes (or anything in your wardrobe) a new lease of life, you 
can find out more about this here.

There is a lot going on in my craft den at the moment!


Is there anything in the pipeline for fizzi~jayne makes?

2014 was a huge and exciting learning curve and I had great success with bespoke orders. My focus this year is to relaunch my online shops and grow that side of my business.  A part of this is a new website that I have designed myself and I am excited to have just launched it! Please check it out at it - www.fizzijaynemakes.com

Now I am working on new product ranges and getting ready for Christmas! I don’t want to mention the C word but I need to start early so it is ready for my busiest,
and my favourite, time of year.


You can also find me in all these places….

Blog – Folksy Shop – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Pinterest

Thank you Sally for inviting me to spend five minutes with your readers, I hope you have enjoyed it!

Thanks so much Fiona, I've loved getting to know a about more about you and see more of your lovely work. Congratulations on your website- it looks great! Do go and have a look :-)

To celebrate opening her shop and her spangly new website Fiona has very kindly offered SallyStrawberry readers 10% discount when you use the code STRAWBS10 at the checkout. Go take her up on this amazing offer :-)


Until next time,


SSxx

P.S you can read "5 minutes with Emma" from EmmaMade here

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Craft is in the air....

Well hello July! As I write this I have had to move my laptop from my lap to the arm of my sofa as it was making me boiling. I hate to complain but it is times like these where I wish I didn't work 9-5 so I could enjoy this hot weather rather than sweltering in a 30 degree lab all day (its always good when the air con is pumping out hot air!). 

Anyway, these last few weeks have been pretty productive for me.

1. I finally blocked my Northmoor Lock shawl


I cannot wait for it to cool down so that I can actually wear it. 

2. As some of you may know I've been doing a little bit of hand embroidery and made this for my Dad for Father's Day. Try as I might I just could not get that front wheel completely round but in the end thought 'sod it' and left it as it was. Sorry Dad!



3. I've been working on a ripple blanket!

Here is my first week ofrogress. I did succumb to mild crochet wrist last week so progress is going a bit slower now but I'll get back on it next week I'm sure. I've never done a ripply before and quickly found out why its so popular- its addictive!



4. Last but definitely not least, CRAFTELICIOUS IS BACK OPEN!! This is an amazing craft haven for anyone into pretty much anything. Decoupatch, pottery painting, mixed media arts, crochet. You name it you can do it here! 

You can read about my visit doing some decoupatch here, but I dropped by almost weekly to do some crochet, drink copious amounts of tea and chat to Safina, the owner of this fabulous business and fellow crochet addict. 

Check out their opening times over on their Facebook page

That's it for now (I think..........)

SSxx



Sunday, 21 June 2015

New Year goals revisited



In January I posted some New Year Goals (you can read these in full here).I was keen to call these goals rather than resolutions, as they give me something to aim for, and not something I resolve to do. Resolutions can end in guilt if you can't keep up what you resolve to do, goals can only be achieved, exceeded or worked towards. I've always been the sort of person who likes to exceed goals, but have come to realise over the years that this can cause untold amounts of unnecessary pressure and/or stress, and that really doing all that you can do is enough. As a result, I tried to keep my goals reasonably achievable, with a bit of a challenge thrown in here and there, to give me something to work towards.

I thought that seeing as we are half way through the year, and on the longest day of the year, I'd review these goals and see what I have achieved.

Goal 1: Design something and put out a pattern every 2-3 months

This is something I would really like to work on and will put this at the top of my list of priorities this summer. As you may have noticed I have not released a single pattern this year.

Verdict: working towards

Here is a little sneak peak of something to come.




Goal 2: Blog twice a month and more if I can

Looking at my post archive I've pretty much managed this

Verdict: Goal achieved!! Whilst I would love to post more (maybe get it up to a post a week by the end of the year) this will require better organisation and planning. Best get making use of the longer days.

Goal 3: learn to play the guitar

Verdict: working towards- should definitely be getting some more practice in!




Goal 4: run a half marathon and cycle loads

So as you may know I didn't run my planned half marathon in March due to injury but I did complete the Great Manchester Run last month. You can read about this here. I have also been cycling lots and even went on a cycling holiday which you can read about here. I am currently out of action (as of yesterday) with another running injury at the moment but am still keeping fit. Fingers crossed a week off will do the trick!

Verdict: I would definitely say achieving here. Although my running isn't going too great I'm still trying. I haven't let the injuries get to me too much, and am still keeping up my strength and fitness.


It has actually been a nice little exercise going through these goals, and even though I may not have achieved all I wanted I've still got another 6 months, plus I'm still trying and haven't given up on any of them (yet!).

Did any of you make any goals/resolutions? If so how are you getting on?

SSxx

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Spring embroidery




I'd better get this post in quick before we are in the throes of summer (not being overly optimistic, it is the UK). 

I went on a hand embroidery course in April with the hugely talented Pixiecraft. You can see the hoop I embroidered in this post here. I felt as if sewing could easily take over from the crochet in my life so I have limited myself to sewing one hoop per season. Here is my Spring hoop, and the second piece of hand embroidery I have ever really done!



The backsticth lettering took me AGES, but I patiently kept at it and even undid the odd stitch if I wasn't happy with it. I love the little bee and I loved sewing the running stitch train (is that what you would call it?!)


The flower petals and the leaves are satin stitch. I could really see improvement from petal to petal, but it often got to the point where I was tiring out and my stitches got a bit worse again! 


I can't wait to get going with my summer hoop, I'm thinking buckets, spades, sand, shells, although I'm not sure I'm good enough for that yet! Hopefully I'll have something to show you before 'summer' is out!

SSxx