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Tuesday, 28 April 2015


Today I was lacking in inspiration. Last Friday I could feel I was getting ill. I had a sore throat, I felt tired and a bit weak and wobbly. Saturday morning I felt a bit better so had a bit of a day of it. I went for a run, visited Liverpool for the day with my parents sister and stayed up late with friends. Sunday I wasn't feeling too great, yesterday worse, and today not good at all. I'm off work today, keeping hydrated and dosing up on paracetamol with the hope that with rest I'll be ok for work tomorrow.  I have no energy and even getting of the sofa is an effort. Therefore, you can imagine that I really didn't have the inspiration to blog. 

However, this all changed when I was having a little flick through my phone and came across an interview by Kate of A Playful Day of Kat Molesworth's (of Housewife Confidential), and one half of the Kat and Kat behind Blogtacular. Kat was talking about creativity in blogging, the benefits of practice and just going for it! I know I'm not the best writer (when I was writing up my PhD my boss said on a number of occasions that I wrote like an undergraduate- good job I am not easily offended and that I'm not writing about science here). I also know I'm not the best photographer (but I do try pretty hard so I guess that counts for something). The beauty of this however is that there is scope for improvement, and Kat's interview has inspired me to sit down and write this today, when otherwise I would have been moping and feeling sorry for myself (and watching back-to-back episodes of Escape to the Country and Homes under the Hammer). 

Kat made another point that really resonated with me, which is to surround yourself with creative people. I said in a recent post that I really felt that 'creativity breeds creativity' and I maintain this still. When surrounded by creative people (and I don't just mean crocheters, but people who enjoy making things of any kind, people who are into DIY, design, books and art, brewing, sewing, painting, writing, photography......etc) I find my creative juices flowing and I get itching to pick up my hook and work up a design, or write a blog post such as now! What I *should* really do is harness this creativity to write-up my patterns, and advertise my pieces for sale, but I feel that unless I make any drastic changes to my lifestyle I will forever be that girl who flits from one project to the next, to whatever takes my fancy, usually leaving behind me an aftermath of chaos. I'm not going to apologise for this as it's me down to a T, but is probably why I really struggled to make SallyStrawberry a full-time business when I was unemployed last year. 

Anyhow, what I'm getting at is that I feel that I need to be immersed in creativity to be creative myself. Living here in Wales during the week I feel quite isolated from my creative communities back in Manchester and Norwich. Whilst I still hope to set up a craft group in my local area (you can visit this post for a little list of current goals and ideas), maybe podcasts are the way forward for the time-being.  

You can listen to Kat's interview here, and I strongly recommend you do! This has also made me more keen to go to Blogtacular this year where there will be creativity in bounds!

Other snippets I have enjoyed listening to recently include the podcasts by Claire of The Girl Means Business. These are full of useful information but also short enough to satisfy my short attention span!

Do you have any podcasts to recommend to me? Maybe you make your own? Is so I would lvoe to hear from you.

Back to the daytime TV, my brain feels like it may burst....


Thursday, 23 April 2015

Bit of silliness to end the week

Last week I had a massive clearout. I found a couple of half-finished projects from years ago that I had totally forgotten about. I found a couple of hats that only needed a couple of rows adding. To be honest they are both pretty silly (but great at the same time I say!). I thought as it's nearly Friday I would show you the first. Its is a pattern by Sarah of RepeatCrafterMe. I started it a coupe of years ago to make for a friends' little girl, but the first size I made practically fitted me! All I needed was to untangle the yarn, add a couple of rows and hey presto! Don't think it would win any prizes on the catwalk but its crocheted in Rowan 100% wool so is lovely and soft and warm....

I would also like to say thanks very much for your kind comments on my last post, I think I;ll got for that Etsy shop ya know, especially now there are more hours in the daylight for taking photos!

Have a great weekend,


Monday, 20 April 2015

Re-stocking and taking stock

yellow white red cute crochet flower bunting  handmade

Phew, so I survived my exams. The relief was enormous to say the least. After a sleepless night dominated by sciencey words whizzing around my head, and anxiety about my performance I immersed myself in my little yarny, crochety world for a couple of days and it was AMAZING to say the least. I made a few new pieces for the CAM Hub Shop in Chorlton, Manchester,  where I stock some of my crochet bits and bobs. What do you think? 

yellow white red cute crochet flower bunting  handmade

I think I have a new favourite crochet colour combination......burnt orange and mustard yellow all the way. I also quite like the pink ones too! I've just sat down to write this post and to crochet another set but can I find the yarn? Can I heck! Must have left it in Manchester....

Crochet Retro Coaster yellow orange purple blue pink trendy vintage

In the last few days after my exams I've had many a transient thought about where I want this blog and SallyStrawberry to go. Obviously I can't devote as much time as I would like due to working full time and doing a lot of travelling but if I put everything into it then perhaps. These transient thoughts are becoming less and less transient and more and more permanent so you never know. Here are a few of the things I have been thinking of doing.....

  • Set up an Etsy shop for some of the pieces I'm happy to make over and over (mostly the above!)
  • Do a couple of markets. I LOVE doing markets, chatting to customers and other traders. I don't even mind getting a bit cold. It's really hard with all the travelling to fit them in though so may just try and do a couple nearer Christmas. 
  • Set up my website. I've had the domain for an age, just need to bite the bullet and do it (likely with a bit of help from Pete).
  • Join/set up a craft group in Merthyr. I really miss a bit of communal crafting. I've tried to find a craft group over Twitter but to no avail. If anyone reading this is from the Merthyr Tydfil area of South Wales and into crochet/knitting/sewing/anyothercrafting then please please get in touch, I would love to meet you. I may even try and get back into teaching crochet if the demand is there. 
For now, that's it, but knowing me there's probably plenty more to come, likely in the middle of the night when I have an early start the next morning. 

Take care,


Saturday, 11 April 2015

Life right now

As some of you may have gleaned from Facebook I'm in the the midst of a revision nightmare. I have 5 exams over Monday and Tuesday and am definitely not loving it. Roll on Tuesday afternoon when I can relax and have a drink. 

This is my dining room table right now.....coffee, tea, papers, nail varnish (for when I'm really procrastinating), phone (for the odd Google search, and yes, more procrastination) and most excitedly, the newly vegetarian Party Rings! These are my favourite biscuits by far and they have just made them vegetarian :-)

On another (much better) note I went to a hand embroidery workshop this afternoon to have a bit of a break from the science and did this! I'm thrilled with it! The workshop was run by the hugely talented Katy of Pixiecraft. Check out her work and be amazed.

Early night and back to work tomorrow. See you on the other side. 


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Easter weekend

This weekend I made the most of living minutes from the Brecon Beacons (Wales) and went on a 9 mile walk with friends. The stunning views made up for the gail-force winds at the top of Pen-y-fan. We also spent most of the walk up in the clouds! 

Wales is a bit underrated I think....