January photos over the years

I have delved into my photographic vaults and picked some photos taken in January over the years.

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I had some of my stitch markers featured in a magazine.
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I went to Dublin and was shown this amazing sculpture.
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Tea and cake at my local yarn shop, the plate is awesome.
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I made these earrings and they didn’t sell, so I have given them to a charity.
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I went walking along the canal with a group of lovely people.
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I made myself an epic breakfast for my birthday.
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The blossom had bloomed early and took this shot with a 105mm macro lens.
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I gave stop motion a try in 2018 and really enjoyed it.
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I still make cards every now and again.
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I still make stitch markers.
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I printed this shot of an orchid onto a card & they sold out.

I am hoping to go through the vaults again next month so watch this space.

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Linden sweatshirt by Grainline Studios

Some time ago whilst scrolling through social media I came across the Linden sweatshirt by Grainline Studios.

I thought it was going to be difficult sewing with jersey and stretch fabrics so avoided it. Then last year after speaking with other sewers that had made it, I bit the bullet and purchased the pattern. I got it as part of a kit from Guthrie and Ghani at the knitting and Stitching show in London. They tend to only do the kits at shows so I thought why not?

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The fabric in the kit was too nice to cut straight into, so I used some jersey fabric I purchased from the Birmingham Rag market.

This was a baptism of fire in my sewing journey and being dyslexic. I didn’t read the pattern properly and only cut out one piece for the hemband. I couldn’t workout why the whole sweatshirt wouldn’t fit until I re-read the pattern. So I unpicked this toile quite a few times. Unpicking was horrible as I had been using a zigzag stitch, which is recommended when sewing with stretch fabric.

I finally made the sweatshirt look like a wearable garment, but I still wasn’t ready to cut the fabric from the kit.

Instead, I used more fabric purchased from the Birmingham Rag market.

I used my overlocker on my second Linden attempt. This gave the opportunity to tidy the inside of the garment. I struggled with the neckband on both attempts, so started researching what others had done. The majority had made the neckband longer, either sizing up by one or adding 1.5cm.

Another visit to Guthrie and Ghani brought some purchases of their cosy colours bolt ends. I thought there would be enough to make a two tone version but not quite. I got creative and asked some dear friends for help. This was all I needed to start sewing my ‘sunshine’ sweatshirt.

I am so pleased with this sweatshirt and have received lots of positive feedback online and in person.

Full of confidence I was ready to cut the fabric from the kit. Then disaster strikes! I broke my thumb shielding my face from a ball whilst officiating a basketball game. Gutted was an understatement, as I couldn’t sew for just over six weeks.

I have been lucky and my thumb healed really well. So I thought I’d just go for it and cut into the kit fabric.

I didn’t feel this fabric needed the insides overlocking or a zigzag stitch, so I didn’t bother. All of a sudden I now have 4 Linden sweatshirts.

I find this pattern doesn’t use up much fabric so I cut the body from the scraps of another project to start Linden sweatshirt number five.

This latest sweatshirt has been made from scraps in my fabric stash. I am really happy with how it has turned out.

If any novice or nervous sewers are thinking about making this pattern, just do it. It’s a great pattern to introduce you stretch and jersey fabric.

Who am I?….

I have been thinking about writing this post for some time.

Who am I?

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Photo credit: Nick George

Well I have an About page on my blog, is that enough? Maybe not!

Here we go, I am a dyslexic London born creative who creates in the West Midlands.

I am in my early forties and before you say it, no I don’t look my age. But should age ever matter?

Currently I take loads of photos with my phone and cameras. I knit, make beaded jewellery and get excited by creating content. I also like to share tips on taking better photos, ways to connect with other like minded people.

I started this blog to help with my writing and let people know about the things I make and sometimes sell, other creatives living their best lives and gluten free food options.

Regarding food I set up a separate Instagram feed and have neglected writing about my food finds. I am hope to get back on track with that soon.

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Photo credit: Nick George

Instagram is my social media platform of choice and can get lost in watching Insta stories for ages. Like all platforms there’s good and bad so try and be aware of that all of the time. My feed isn’t perfectly manicured, it shows what I want to share. I do share things I am selling and events I go to so watch out.

So who am I? Again am I a maker, an artisan, a blogger, a lifestyle blogger, a photographer, a creative or just me who doesn’t fit into one thing?

Yesterday I was having a conversation with a friend and was getting excited about sharing opportunities for others. They said when you talk about these things you sound like you have a fire in your belly.

This has resonated with me. As long as I have a fire in my belly and don’t hurt anyone or break the law, staying true to my creativity that’s who I am.

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Photo credit: Nick George

The Story of Two Yards of Fabric

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After being introduced to the African fabric stall at the indoor market in Birmingham. I went back to get some fabric to use as headscarves.

They charged £3 for 1 yard pieces and had lots to choose from. So I chose two different pieces.

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When I got home I fell in love with the patterns on the fabric wished that I had bigger amounts.

Anyway I looked at the direction of the pattern on the fabric squeezed out a Sorbetto top.

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I love this top.

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Then I kept seeing videos on YouTube talking satin sheets or pillowcases to protect your afro hair. Then I looked at videos on how to make a satin bonnet.

This is what happened.

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Poppybead Creative blog

I didn’t follow one particular pattern. The satin was purchased from a stall in the rag market. Two nights in and it hasn’t fallen off my head and my hair isn’t so dry.

So there was my story of two yards of fabric.

Colette Sorbetto Top Pattern

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I was introduced to the Sorbetto pattern by a friend nearly 7 years ago. I could sew and follow a pattern but had never used a pdf pattern before. The Sorbetto pattern has been redesigned recently, but all the following tops were made using the old version.

This first photo shows my first version. I found the length of the top quite short.

The fabric was purchased from the indoor market in Birmingham. I still wear it now.

This is the second version of the Sorbetto and my first attempt at making matching bias binding. I lengthened the top and have worn this top to death. The fabric was purchased from the outdoor market in Birmingham.

I move onto my third top and I started to hack the pattern. This was a inverted Sorbetto, due to the amount of fabric I had. Which wasn’t a lot and the direction of the pattern on the fabric. I had to scrape together all of the scraps to make bias binding. This fabric was purchased from House of Fraser or Rackhams to the people of Birmingham.

This Sorbetto is actually a inverted dress hack. I took inspiration from Pinterest. The fabric was purchased from Nest in Crouch End, London with contrasting bias binding from Guthrie and Ghani in Moseley.

My next Sorbetto is another dress hack or maybe a tunic. The fabric was from IKEA many moons ago.

I bought more fabric from House of Fraser and hacked the pattern again. This time I omitted the front pleat and added covered buttons. The buttons were difficult but I liked how they looked.

The Sorbetto above is true to the pattern, but I did add some length to the body. The fabric was from the outdoor market in Birmingham and the bias binding was from Guthrie and Ghani.

Last year I was on another planet and thought I could finish a Sorbetto in less than a day including matching bias binding. I was going to the IgersBirmingham summer social with friends and was determined to make a new top. I was late meeting my friends but I had finished the top and had a lovely evening. I can’t remember exactly where I got the fabric from.

Now we are up to date with my Sorbetto top journey. On a recent fabric buying meetup I was told about a stall at the indoor market in Birmingham. They sell African fabric and I was looking for fabric to cover my hair at night. I chose this blue fabric and a bold green pattern.

I fell in love with these balloons and decided I want to make a top. With some careful cutting I managed to get both pieces out in the right direction. I got some black bias binding but didn’t like it on the outside. I unpicked it and stitched it inside instead. I am really happy with the outcome.

I will give the new version a go at some point, but for now I will enjoy the balloon Sorbetto top.

Thank you – Greeting Cards

I just wanted to thank everyone who has purchased cards from me. I had 50 cards printed using 10 of my photos and have sold 49. I did use one myself.

I am looking into building a simple website and selling from there. I looked at Etsy, Ebay and Folksy. The fees were quite high and would mean putting my costs up more than I wanted.

I am also looking into doing some craft fairs, sets and cards for occasions. My cards all incorporate photos taken by myself.

Thank you again for your kind words and custom. I am just planning some more cards to be printed. When they are ready I will post on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I am looking at possibly setting up a mailing list for exclusive access to new products, let me know what you think.

New cards – I did it!

Hello there

I still buzzing from the deliveries I received last week, I will write about the other delivery in another post. I printed some of my photos as greeting cards. I found a printer who does a small print run of 25. I narrowed down my photos to 6 and asked the opinion of some friends on the photos. They were honest, as always and I sent my order. One photo didn’t make the cut.

The size and orientation of the cards was limited, but that didn’t matter. The fact I could choose more than one design in such a small print run won me over.

I chose to include kraft brown envelopes but didn’t arrive. The customer service I received was great and the envelopes should be with me soon.

The cards are on sale locally and will go into my Etsy shop hopefully by the end of the week.

Now here are the cards let me know what you think?

The cards are A6 in size and an envelope will be provided each card. I will let you know when the cards are live for sale.

Thank you for reading.

Preparing To Blog

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Poppbead Creative Blog
Photo credit Nick George Photography

When I started blogging 7 years years ago, yes that long ago. I was blogging on Blogspot and found the platform difficult to navigate unless I used my computer. I even gave Tumblr a go, as well as a hosted blog on my old website. They all have their merits but didn’t work for me at the time.
Fast forward to 2018 and I blog from WordPress. I miagrated my content over from Blogspot. What I did notice was I getting some great blogging ideas and they would languish in my drafts. This includes going to photography meet ups and involvement with Instagram challenges. When I last looked there was 35!

So I am going to look through and see what can be published and delete the rest. These posts won’t be posted on my front page, but I will refer back to them throughout the year.

Now, so this doesn’t continue to happen do you have any tips, tricks or suggestions to help plan my blog posts better? I do have a Pinterest board with blogging tips, but I find there is a lot advice based in the US. There’s nothing wrong with this at all, I am asking with the hope bloggers and readers will reach out.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Top Ten Blog Posts of 2017

20170110211803_img_2979.jpgOn the last day of 2017 I thought I would look back at the top ten viewed posts.

Algorithms, SEO and tags have a lot to answer for.  I don’t understand it enough to improve it at the moment, but I am not too bothered as long I continue to enjoy blogging.

My viewing numbers are not high but here goes.

Ebay items for sale, that don’t sell was posted on 17 January, it had 38 views amd 2 likes.

Street Workshop with Kris Askey & IGersBirmingham was posted on 11 February, it had 35 views and 9 likes.

Super Mini Lemon Meringues was posted 30 May 2015, it had 26 views in 2017 and 4 likes.  I am not quite sure how this older post got some love, but I am not complaining. 

World Mental Health Day was posted on 10 October, it had 25 views and 5 likes.

Throwback Tuesday: Black and White Photo Challenge was posted on 21 November, with 18 views and 6 likes.

Be Inspired – Kizomba, Semba & Ginga Workshops was posted on 19 February, it had 13 views and no likes.

International Women’s Day 2017 was posted on 08 March, with 13 views and 3 likes.  I will probably do something next year IWD2018, watch on my social media channels.

Christmas content was posted on 06 December, it had 12 views and had 5 likes.

My Calendar – My year in photos was posted on 07 December and had no likes.  I will be doing another calendar, it was so soothing and encouraging to be reminded of my photography development. 

Poppies was posted on 02 November, with 11 views and 2 likes.

I would like to thank you for the views and likes.  I won’t be making any resolutions but take small positive steps.  I will also try and post some entries that are still sitting in my drafts.

Happy new year.

#mycosywinter Photo Contest. 

Recently, I purchased a photo board photoboards.org after Jane Kent who had recommended them.  When my board arrived I was impressed with the quality and how my earrings popped in my shots.

Then I noticed a post on Photoboard’s Instagram feed that they were holding a contest with the hashtag #mycosywinter.  So I decided to enter and this is a big thing as I get really anxious about my photography and to sometimes get photographer’s envy.

Below, is my entry called “Mince pies and knitting” The candle holders were a gift from a dear friend and ex work colleague.  The candles were from an endosister and yellow is the colour for Endometriosis.  The yarn is from Rico Design and was purchased from Sitting Knitting in the West Midlands, the pine cone was collected locally.  The baubles were purchased a few years ago from a major supermarket and the gluten free mince pie was from another major supermarket and finally fairy lights were from a discount store.

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Well I would now like to ask for your help in order to get through to the next stage of the contest and I really need your votes.

You can vote here and the closing date is Monday 18th December 2017 at 09.00 GMT.

Thank you for reading this post and hopefully voting for me.