My week in photos 

For some time I have been choosing 9 photos I took in the previous week.  Then I post the collage on social media and wish everyone a lovely weekend.

Today I thought I would share the meaning behind the photos.


Last Saturday I met up with my friend Imogen and went to the seasonal markets at the Bond Company.

Poppybead Creative

I took this photo as I love routemaster buses.  Growing up in London they were everywhere and they remind me of being a child.

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Being gluten free going food events does make me anxious.  So when I saw The English Indian stall and it was clearly marked gluten free I squealed.  I went for half and half which was a piece of fish, a piece of halloumi, chips and spiced mushy peas.  Oh my goodness, it tasted great and I would definitely recommend it.

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Also at the seasonal markets was Pip and her hot sauces.  She makes great sauces if you want to add some spice to your food.  Check her out.
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Wheelchair basketball and basketball have played a major part of my life and my officiating season started last week.  So there will be many weekends spent in sport halls around the country between now and May.

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A friend asked if I would take some profile photos for her.  The location was beautiful and autumnal, hopefully she was happy with photos.

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I have been sewing a fair bit and I didn’t have any Tilly and the buttons patterns so to cheer myself up I treated myself to the Bettine dress pattern.  Unlike commercial patterns there is only a dress pattern with 2 options and generally it’s a summery dress, I am looking forward to cutting this out.

I love drinking tea and a few years ago I was introduced to Yogi tea.  Each tea bag label has something meaningful on it.  There can be a lot of hate and that can take up a lot of energy so I posted this on my Instagram feed.

I caught a cold during the week and all I wanted was soup.  So I made some chicken and vegetable soup from scratch, it was just what the doctor ordered.

I love knitting it’s like my zen and I don’t knit to sell.  So taking myself out of my knitting comfort zone, I have joined a knit along organised by Sitting Knitting in the West Midlands.  As a dyslexic I find reading patterns really challenging but I managed to crack this one.
This was the meaning behind my collage of photos.  I hope you had a good weekend and have a good week ahead.


Birmingham Online Seller Meetup 

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After my listing some of my stock on Ebay and not doing very well at all, I decided I need to do some research.

I got some really honest feedback from my previous post about Ebay.  Also the realisation that the amount of items I have to sell at any one time makes me a very little fish in huge pond.  For some time I have participated in online networking hours across the West Midlands.

A week last Sunday I came across an online sellers meetup event in Birmingham via #BrumHour.  I headed over to eventbrite and signed up.  The event was free and so had nothing to lose.

The weather in the evening was very different and I did think about going home to be dry and warm.  There was an opportunity to network before the presentations.  First was Abdullah from Plentymarkets and then Prabhat from Online Seller UK who organised the event.

Another realisation I made was I don’t know much about online retail.  I spoke with a guy who does drop shipping and yes I did Google it when I got home.  I spoke to another man who sold headscarves and a couple who sell body stickers. I did speak to some other people and I was prepared with my business cards.  I was able to pull up some of my product shots and got some nice feedback.  I was also asked by a lady who does video production how do I manage what I do alongside my day job?  I don’t know!  I think if you enjoy what are doing, you will make time.

I learnt a lot about selling on Ebay and Amazon and at this point in time they are not selling platforms for me. I will revisit them in the future. For now I will go into the sunset with my 105mm lens to take more photos.

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Ebay items for sale, that don’t sell.

I was meant to post this blog last week and never got around to it.  In the meantime the following items expired and didn’t sell.  So I want to ask the question, what makes you buy a handmade item?

Skull stitch markers were listed at £5

Heart shaped stitch markers were listed at £2 as they are slightly marked.

Poppybead blog - earrings

Blue & brown earrings were listed at £2

Red beaded drop earrings were listed at  £2

Is Ebay the right place to sell?

Do you pay attention to the description of an item?

How important are the quality of the photos?

Please leave some feedback and help me out.



My Current Crafting Project 

I am well known for starting and working on lots of projects at the same time. 

At the moment I’m working on a crochet baby blanket for some friends.  I have become a monogamous crafter and thought I would give flat lay photography a go.

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In this first photo I used a patterned fabric as the background.  It seems too busy so I tried again.  

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In this second photo I used a plainer background, what do you think? 

Yarningham – Birmingham’s New Yarn Festival

This weekend Stirchley Baths were hosting a new yarn festival called Yarningham.  It has been organised Stiches and Hos.


I will be honest, I didn’t look at who had stalls and I don’t need any yarn. Famous last words from any crafter.  I wanted to go with an open mind as this was a new festival and the first in Birmingham for sometime. 

When I got to Bournville station I noticed some lost looking faces and I asked if you were going to Yarningham and the answer was yes. These ladies had travelled from Lincoln and Hull.

Once the queue on the door had passed I was in and thought this was small but I think this is more because I used to going to larger shows. 

Myself and a friend made be line for the button stall and I got the following buttons to make necklaces. 

As I already mentioned I didn’t need any yarn and saw so many things I wanted but didn’t need.   I was rather restrained and got some mini skeins for the sock yarn blanket. 

It was nice to see and feel yarn from different dyers. It was also lovely to have something on my doorstep.  The vendors were very friendly and attentive, even though it was busy. 

This shawl pattern is by Anniken Anni on the Fab Funky Fibres stall. 

The People Shop

The people shop - Poppybead blog

Do you ever walk around with your head in the clouds?  Well I do, then the sun shines through and something exciting and positive happens.  Over on Instagram I have been following Allison Sadler for a while and she posted that her shop was 16 years old.  How did I miss that the People shop has been around for so long?

So after my fortnightly knitting  meet up I trundled up Popular Road to be welcomed by some music outside.

The people shop - Poppybead blog

Even though the shop was busy I got a really friendly welcome and a cocktail, which was lovely.  When I last went to a shop celebration with cocktails I ended up buying something.

There was too many beautiful things to look at and my eyes were darting everywhere.  The chandelier, the flowers, the cake and of course the stock.

The people shop - Poppybead blog

The people shop - Poppybead blog

The people shop - Poppybead blog


Selina Lake was in the shop to sign her latest book Botanical Style: Inspirational decorating with nature, plants and florals.  


I was inspired by Selina’s book and bought this lovely cushion from the shop.  Thanks Mr C for making it.

The people shop - Poppybead blog

I left the shop feeling very positive and inspired to get making things again.


Learning at work week 2016

Poppybead blog - Learning at Work Week 2016

The week before last was learning at work week, an opportunity to learn and try new things.  In previous years I have facilitated sewing sessions, knitting and jewellery making with beads.


This year I facilitated craft and chat session.  I didn’t want to stand up in front of my colleagues and say this is how to knit or crochet?
Poppybead blog - Learning at Work Week 2016

So I asked some colleagues to help and some people wanted to learn about crochet and some knitting.  The picture above gave examples of different yarn types, some of my projects and completed dolls by my colleagues.

Later on in the week I attended a session on photography, everyone had different equipment.  I was inspired to go out and some shots.

Poppybead blog - Learning at Work Week 2016


Poppybead blog - Learning at Work Week 2016





One thing I wanted to practice was using the shutter speed on my camera.  In the photo below I managed to capture some of the water droplets.


You can see more of the shots I took here on my Flickr feed.

Yarn Shop Day 2016

Saturday 30th April was the third Yarn Shop Day, an opportunity to celebrate bricks and mortar yarn shops.  This initiative was started by Let’s Knit magazine.

This year I spent my day at Sitting Knitting in Mere Green, West Midlands.  Rachel kindly allowed me to take photos of the day.






Of course I didn’t leave empty handed.  IMG_0731

I got some Malabrigo Arroyo in the “Reflecting Pool” colourway and some hand dyed yarn.


I got to meet some new knitters and catch up with others.  Thanks for a lovely day & yarn.

Demo Day at Cooksongold

A letter came through the post telling me about two days of demonstrations at Cooksongold in the Jewellery Quarter.


Photographing jewellery  and fimo polymer clay were the demonstrations that really reached out to me.

So off I went, the first demo had already started as I missed my bus.  People were attentively listening to the demonstrator Lana.  The products on show were a bit out of my price range but did make me think more about lighting and the use of smart phones to take photos.  Once the talking was finished, people were able to ask questions and try out the light boxes.  Here are a couple of shots.

Version 2

Version 2

Yes I did take some of my stitch markers with me and I am glad I did.  I am always looking to improve my photography so I will take any opportunity.

In the afternoon I went back for the fimo polymer clay demo.  I had been talking to Jayne Rozario earlier that day about what she was going to cover in her demo.  Also asked about using a pasta machine to condition the clay.



Jayne covered making canes and she had designed a lovely pattern based on on the outside of the Birmingham library.


She made it look so easy and used a clay extruder tool, which I need to have in my life.  Both demonstrators were friendly and approachable to ask questions.  Cooksongold thank you so much for organising this free event.