Throwback Tuesday: Black and White Photo Challenge

Poppybead Creative Blog

Over the last few weeks I have had a number of nominations for the black & white photography challenge.  5 or 7 days and you take and post a black and white photo on social media.  Then you nominate someone else.
Well thank you for the nominations but I have decided not to participate this year.  Mainly, because I have done it before 3 years ago.

Instead I thought I would share my photos from 3 years ago.


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Knitting: One of the things I love doing & challenges every part of me.

I still love knitting and the process of knitting.  I mentioned in a previous post why I knit and that hasn’t changed.

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Armistice day: Crochet, beads & buttons.

A couple of weeks ago I posted about why I made all of the crochet poppies.  I am not a big charity crafter as I find it stressful.  This happened when I made these poppy brooches, but maybe with some planning it won’t be so bad.

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Basketball plays a large part in my life and the person I have become.

Basketball has kept me off the streets as a child, given me structure and the opportunity to make friends across the world.


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A book I need to finish and was put back on my radar.

I still haven’t finished this book.  I don’t read enough, even though I have the help of my talking kindle.


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Nail varnish, I think I have a slight problem. When I get to 200 bottles I might stop!

I don’t wear make up, but I do paint my nails.  A bottle of nail varnish would be a nice treat, then I realised there was rather a lot.

Thank you for coming down memory lane with me.  I am will re-visit photos, previous posts and remember what has brough me to this point in my life.




Social media and technology reminds us of what has happened in previous years.

In years gone by I have frantically been crocheting poppy brooches to raise money for the Poppy appeal.  Unfortunately this year I won’t be able to.

This fundraising all started after visiting an ice sculpture installation in Birmingham city centre.  I thought it would be an interesting opportunity to capture some photos.

Minimum monument

This experience was really emotive and wanted to do something creative to raise money.



I also visted the poppies at the Tower of London and that was when I started to make poppies.

At my old day job, some colleagues helped by knitting and crocheting poppies alongside me.  I would be up until the early hours of this morning making poppy brooches, as I would hand stitch beads on.  This made each poppy unique and personal.


This became really stressful & so I only made a few the following year as seen in the photo above.  This year I haven’t made any due to changing my day job at the same time as I would of started making the poppies.

I hope people who still have their poppies will still make a contribution to the appeal.



World Mental Health Day.

As I think about going to bed tonight my mind goes back to the fact today was World Mental Health Day.  Lots of friends have shared their struggle with mental health.  There always seems to be an assumption that other people have got their lives together but no.  A hidden fight is going on in their lives.

My mental health is why I knit and crochet.  At a point in my life where I couldn’t make sense of who I was I found knitting.  I struggled with insomnia and still have sleep issues but at it’s worst I learnt to crochet from videos on YouTube.   I don’t knit to sell as I find the pressure crippling.  If I decide to knit something for someone, it’s my choice and it’s not as stressful.

Over the last year I have had the opportunity to learn about pain management, pacing and self care.  This has given me a fresh outlook on my life and how to stop shrinking.

I still have a long way to go but have already made small positive steps.  Tonight I took some time to knit and it felt good.

Poppybead creative

Poppybead creative

Poppybead creative

Poppybead creative

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. 

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.