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

Preparing To Blog

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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.

Christmas content

With 19 days until Christmas day there are lots of advent calendars, prompt challenges and vlogs in my social media feeds.

I started posting about #MeetTheMakerWeek by Joanne Hawker and then got busy so didn’t finish all of the prompts.  This challenge was a short one of six day.  Taking part in this challenge gave me the chance to check out the feeds on Instagram of other makers.

 I joined a group on Facebook called Brum Bloggers and they are running #brumblogmas.  I got apprehensive about finding the time to produce content for 24 days in a row.  Then I re-read the post and it said you could dip in and mix up the order of the prompts.  I have signed up and will post some content based on the prompts. 

 Finally, an Instagram challenge from the Blurt Foundation called #blurtmerrycalmness.  Again I will dip in and out of this challenge.  I the Blurt Foundation has some interesting and inspiring articles and merchandise relating to mental health. 

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 With that in mind I have decided not to put my big tree up this year and I will leave you with a shot from last year.  I want the festive season to be a time of reflection, rest and gratitude. 

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An Inspired Morning

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Here we are again, the week has flown by and Saturday is done and dusted.  So is Sunday for that matter.

Yesterday morning I was awake and out of the house to meet up with another photographer who has had an idea.  When they put their idea to me I wasn’t entirely sure but then started thinking about it I thought this could be rather exciting.

We sat and talked about photography and other things.

It also made me think about the format of my blog & the direction of it.  So over the next few months I am going to try and be more consistent with posting content and will look at the format of the blog.

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Keep checking back for the changes and follow me on

Instagram

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Twitter

Facebook

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.

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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.