A Different Weekend

During September and May of every year for more years than I can remember I would spend my weekends officiating Basketball games.  This has led to me being selected to officiate at the Paralympics in my home town of London, I am so honoured, excited and nervous.  So when I get asked what I am doing at the weekend my answer is usually “Basketball”.

Not this weekend, I was lucky enough to win two tickets to the Fashion Embroidery & Stitch, Hobbycrafts, and Sewing for Pleasure shows at the NEC courtesy of Making Magazine on Facebook.

I posted on my Facebook page if anyone wanted to come with me & the lovely PaisleyImmy came back first. After tweeting our excitement off we went to the NEC.

These shows are like a crafters sweetshop and the two of us were extremely excited big kids.  After attending a Business Development Workshop at the Birmingham Small Business Centre, I got organised and wrote a list of the stands I wanted to visit and specific items I needed. Some of my friends and creative peers will be proud to know I stuck to my lists.

I got some lovely fabric and beads and have already made a pair of earrings and a necklace.

I have made this necklace for myself and the earrings are for a friend.  I will be getting some more of these beads as I think they are pretty and each one is not the exactly the same.

The fabric is for some project bags


The Russian dolls fabric wasn’t from the shows but from Fibre Flurry in Hall Green.  As the weather this weekend has been glorious I thought I would get outside to top up my vitamin D and take some photos of my show stash.

I Went to the Peace Gardens
I hopefully took some good pictures as a fantastic photographer told me lighting is so important.  The Peace Gardens are a little haven in the middle of Birmingham and have given me some lovely backdrops to capture my creativity.


Happy Mothers Day

This morning I’m sat at the side of a Basketball court thinking of my mum and all the mothers I know across the world. I have rung my mum who has opened her card and gift and with great excitement. She then proceeded to ask me did I make the card to which I told her yes. She loved the card and wants to take it to her sewing class to show it off. “If people like it will you make some more? They will pay you!”. Too right they will was what I was thinking along with my mum has just entered into my marketing and sales plan without even being asked.

I was more excited by what I’d put in a little white gift box. She opened it whilst I waited on the phone and yet more excitement came from her. “They are lovely, I will wear them to church this morning.” Then she realised the earrings were made from a bracelet she wanted me to fix for her. She did ask where the bracelet was. I told her the earrings were just a taster and the bracelet was on it’s way. When I told a crafting friend what I planned to do they said “That is like giving someone the top half of a finger and not the rest of the hand. ”
Upcycling is really taking off and thats how I see this Mothers day gift to be.

As I watch two women’s teams play Basketball I think to myself which of them will become mothers or masters of industry or both? Back to the knitting, Happy Mothers Day.

Knitting Therapy

Yesterday was Brum Knit Night at Cafe Blend.  It takes place every second and fourth Wednesday of the month.

I have been really grateful for this and the MAC meet-up, especially over the last three weeks.  The others that attend are unique, friendly, funny and talented.  They have also been my focus group when asking crafters their opinion on building my website etc.  They also amuse me when I go on about Basketball & have lived through my Olympic/Paralympic journey.

I always get an honest answer when I ask something craft or non-craft related and that is really appreciated.  One of my knitting resolutions this year is to knit and complete a pair of adult socks.  I thought I was making progress with the sock I had started on numerous occasions oh, how wrong was I?

As you can see in this picture above, it looks like a sock but can you spot the error?  Yes there is no gusset in it and I couldn’t work out what was missing until the experience of Brum Knit Night pointed it out.

I have managed to complete a pair of socks, they just don’t fit or the baby they were made for.  So the adult sock was frogged, there is something therapeutic about ripping all those stitches out but also sad.  But I am trying not to dwell on things that are sad which sometimes is easier said than done.

Again the experience of Brum Knit Night made suggestions of what kind of sock I could knit, toe-up, cuff-down, patterned and I settled with a plain sock.  This will be an excellent travelling project and hope it will grow as I hope I will when writing these blogs.

This is my first blog in two years, so thanks for reading this.

Wake up and smell the coffee


After a week of being overwhelmed I have taken a day off. This has been down to mainly positive things happening, BTW I don't like the smell of coffee!

Lets start at the beginning where I went off to Fibre Flurry with knitting pals from London. We went off to Kings Norton and my lack of direction came into force and we missed the bus stop, luckily pigeon and the gang were understanding. Once we got inside this lovely 
building there was so much to look at, touch and buy. I had one thing to buy and that was yarn for a hat for my mum. I was given specific colour choices of cream, navy or grey my mum doesn't do black partly for cultural reasons and it's relationship with death. I finally came away with a silk/merino grey sparkly skein from Fyberspates. I also got some other stuff from Fyberspates and will more than likely buy from them again. 
I also broke my Knitpro cherry and got my first double pointed needles, this meant or was just a good excuse to buy some sock yarn. I got this from Martina who I've been following on twitter and am using her sock pattern, how weird? I got to meet other tweeters and Ravelry people, everyone was friendly as well as kind about my knitting. 
After a day of yarn (some fabric) we went off to Stitch Perfect you guessed it a yarn shop in the Custard factory. The owner Alice is really nice and accommodating, she liked my beaded stitch markers so I might be able to sell them through her shop. Along with my project bags OMG people like what I'm making and doing!

As the week went on I got lots of great feedback on the "poppybead identity", I can't thank Luke enough for his illustrations which are delicate and beautiful.  Then Mr F has been ever so helpful regarding the setting up of my website. There is many a pint with your name on:-).  By the end of the week I was totally overwhelmed the kindness of others, this has made me wake up and smell the coffee. To know not everyone you come across is going to like you but appreciate the ones who do.

A few mentions Kenda, Socrates, Plato, Liz, Anne-Marie from Neros.  Jose, Al and Terry.   Luke, Steve, A Crafty Beer, Debs, Pam & Emma.

It’s nearly Christmas

Well it is in knitting terms, just around the corner!!

I have managed to knit three scarves ready for Christmas and convince my mum to have a knitted hat for Christmas, what a result.  This also means I can spend on some luscious yarn for my ma.  Roll on Fibre Flurry



I have been to my first knitting and stitching show at Ally Pally.  OMG there was so much to look at and be inspired by.  However I didn’t know women from crafting circles can be so vicious over being able to sit down, once I did get to sit down I spoke with some lovely people from Wiltshire, South Africa & the States.

Inspiring others is such an honour, whether it be with Rico can can or sharing at the crafting network at work.  Knitting, beading, card making, crochet, sewing and maybe spinning all make me happy and want to share the love of crafting.

Running before you can walk

After feeling sorry for myself today I made myself go to Brum Knit Night, I am so glad that I did.  I took simple knitting projects as my concentration levels today were nil.

I got to meet a lovely little girl who was making a pom pom and drawing pictures, oh to be really young again.  Also Jael showed me some spinning and I have started my homework!!

I don’t think I need anymore crafts or hobbies to try but I am going to keep all the scraps of material from the grab bags I am making and maybe make a quilt but as with my knitting I shouldn’t be running before I can walk.

Today’s picture shows my merino tops and the material for my next grab bag.  I think it’s time to grab some sleep.


Crafty weekend

Why does the weekend go so fast?

After spending a lovely Friday evening listening to salsa with great company.  I managed to get to the post office to pick up my goodies from Texere Yarns, it is always so exciting when craft stuff comes through the post.  It is also nice to be able to open my parcel with like minded people who share my excitement for yarn etc, the ladies of Stitch and Bitch are good fun when it comes to yarn.

I have managed to finish a baby scarf and will cast on the baby hat soon, maybe at lunch time.

I have also managed to complete another grab bag, it is smaller than I would of liked but that’s what you get for using quilting quarters.  I have noticed they are called “Fat quarters” but no fat enough for my pattern!!

I might cut out another grab bag tomorrow, now I have got the hang of it.  I have so many thing I would like to do but work does get in the way, night night.

First blog entry

I can’t believe I have actually got round to setting up this blog.  I am currently working on some jewellery for a special friend who’s milestone birthday is tomorrow.  I am also really happy that I have also finished my first lace shawl.