30 July 2014

What's it all about anyway?

Hello Lovelies!

I've been thinking a lot about this little blog lately. About why I blog, what I want to blog about, how I wish I had more time to spend on the blog, about other fantastic bloggers, about the type of blogs I read and why I read them.

A lot of thinking about things you'll agree!

I was talking to two of my fellow Cumbrian Bloggers yesterday over lunch - Jo and Anna - about some of these things. I always said that I never wanted to do a 'sorry I haven't updated the blog in forever!' style post, because a) I don't think that many people would even realise that I hadn't been blogging and b) you get all kinds of guilty feelings when you start to think like that.

Jo asked me yesterday "Do you ever not post for ages and then just feel like quitting?" - I know exactly what she means, although I don't feel like quitting. I try my hardest not to feel pressure to blog, but the fact that I actually have a blog is pressure itself, even if that pressure only comes from me.

In all aspects of my life, I seem to want to do everything. At work, I'm the one who volunteers for everything. Martin has said to me recently that I shouldn't start any new hobbies as I have enough stuff going on already. He was talking about loom bands, which to be honest, I lost interest in after about a week.

So what is the point of this (actually pretty random and rambly) post?

I guess it's to say to any of my readers (if I have any) that I'm still about, even though it's like the Marie Celeste over here. I'm enjoying spending time with my family, and enjoying the sunny weather (which now seems to have disappeared), I'm enjoying reading books in bed with Martin, and I'm enjoying spending (some of) my evenings exercising (yes - that's right - me! Exercise! Ha!).

I'm sure that at some point I'll pop back on over - I have lots of posts in my drafts folder (including some Woolfest related ones). They aren't going to go anywhere though, they will still be sitting there patiently waiting for me to sit down in front of my laptop with a cup of tea.

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4 July 2014

Woolfest 2014

Hello Lovelies!

Last Friday I went to Woolfest in Cockermouth (no giggling please!). I met up with my wonderful Godmother Penny and we had a day filled with yarny goodness, chatting and catching up, and spending money! This is a pretty picture heavy post - just to warn you!!

I've been trying to get to Woolfest for the last 3 years or so, and have been thwarted each year - but not this year!! I was determined to go, so booked the day off work and organised childcare for Zoe (thanks Diane!). And I am so glad that I did.

woolfest survival kit - or - what's in my bag for woolfest
My Woolfest survival kit - peanut M&M's - standard. Camera, business cards, fancy phone camera lenses, notebook and penil, pennies, lippy, juice. Ready to go! Not pictured: phone, map, excitement, plan of attack.

fleece sale at woolfest
While I was waiting for Penny to arrive I went to check out the fleece sale - it was very strange - people were buying and selling these sacks of fleece, straight of the sheep - it all seemed very interesting, with people bartering and cash changing hands like they were dealing!! 

alpacas at woolfest
I also went to check out the alpacas which I think are me new favourite animal - well apart from owls!! Look at these cuties!!

We started off with a coffee while working out a plan of action using the programme, then we had a 'structured wander' around, before I pootled off to do a workshop on Tunisian crochet. After I learned my new skill we had the yummiest lunch followed by a bit more wander, spending of money and chatting to some of the stall holders.

buttons at woolfest
Buttons! Hundreds of buttons! (I didn't get the name of this stall unfortunately)

Thread of Life crochet stand at Woolfest demonstrating Tunisian Crochet
This is the lovely Helen from the Thread of Life stand teaching us all how to do Tunisian Crochet - I picked it up super fast and was showing some of the other people there how to do it! Check out that crochet skirt!

my sample of tunisian crochet from thread of life workshop
And here is my sample of Tunisian Crochet - not too bad! I bought the hook so I can do some more at home, I just need to find some patterns now!

I definitely had my favourite stalls that I have been stalking online since I got back. I wish I had more pennies to spend on wool and stuff! It would be very easy to spend hundreds of pounds at Woolfest! What I will do so as not to bombard you with another three million photos is do separate posts on each of these stands:

easyknits.co.uk stand at woolfest - bright colours of yarn and wool
I couldn't believe how colourful the Easyknits stand was - it was a riot of rainbow colours! I bought one of the varigated yarns in this photo - can you guess which one?

H-anne-MADE textile art stand at woolfest
I was initially attracted to the H-anne-MADE stand because of Anne's use of maps in her art, but to be honest everything on this stand was beautiful! And Anne herself is the loveliest lady!

the natural dye studio - a wall of colourful wool silk yarn
 The beautiful examples of crochet shawls and blankets on The Natural Dye Studio's stand is what caught my attention initially, but the yarn was so pretty and squishy and all made with natural dyes (hence the name!). 

Bangladesh hand embroidery sophie pattinson
 I just wanted to talk about this fantastic woman - Sophie Pattinson - who runs Bangladesh Hand Embroidery. This stand had the most beautiful hand embroidered throws, cushions and little lavender pouches. They are all designed by Sophie and then hand embroidered by women in Bangladesh as part of an income generating project to support women living in remote areas of Bangladesh.

So I will add in links to the more in detail posts above when I've posted them. If you stayed with me this long then well done, that was a big post!! 

But if I haven't bored you to tears with Woolfest talk, you can go and have a look at Amanda's post on her blog over here [click].

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1 July 2014

Sticky9 Giveaway Winner!!

Hello Lovelies!

This morning I put all of the names in a hat a spreadsheet and used the random number generator to pick a winner at random. Here's the spreadsheet:

 - and that winner is ........

*drum roll

The Lovely Jo from The Perfect Hiding Place!! You were lucky number 5!!

Yay! Congratulations Jo! Hope you enjoy your Instagram magnets!

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17 June 2014

32 before 32

Hello Lovelies!

So last week I shared my 31 before 31 list wherein I managed to do 12 out of 31 things! I asked you lovely lot to suggest some things to add to my 32 before 32 list, and I've carried over a few from the 31 before 31 list as well, plus a few random new ones too!!

1. Make a dress for Zoe
2. Bake one of my Gran's recipes
3. Make a video of my Gran telling me how to bake one of her lovely cakes
4. Climb Snowdon
5. Climb Ben Nevis
6. Climb Hellvelyn
7. Climb Blencathra
8. Finish crocheting the rainbow granny square blanket
9. Finish of the crochet bunting for Zoe's room
10. Finish the crochet socks I started in May
11. Walk around Buttermere
12. Go to Woolfest
13. Go to Yarndale
14. Visit Glasgow
15. Visit Bruges
16. Visit Wales
17. Start making a patchwork quilt
18. Start a crochet ripple blanket
19. Find a nice pattern and crochet a shawl with lovely wool
20. Make 20 sales, either on Etsy, Folksy or in real life
21. Update the branding for The Dusty Attic
22. Meet some new fellow bloggers in real life
23. Interact more on-line (commenting and twitter are the main 2)
24. Take more film photos on all my film cameras (and get them developed)
25. Cook a Tagine. From scratch.
26. Make a wedding photo album/photo book
27. Put other photos in photo albums
28. Re-decorate the kitchen
29. Re-decorate our bedroom
30. Expand my shop's product range
31. Go on a craft course
32. Do a life drawing class

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12 June 2014

31 before 31 - How did I do?

Hello Lovelies!

Remember I (belatedly) posted my list of 31 things that I wanted to do before I turned 31 (if not you can go and have a read here). Well I sort of forgot about them a bit, so I didn't do all that many of them. But I did do some of them!

1. Make a dress for Zoe - Nope, I have patterns and some fabric I could probably use, and a sewing machine and overlocker, but not the time!!
2. Make a dress for me - Nope - see above!!
3. Bake one of my Gran's recipes - chocolate cake or cherry cake - Nope, I think my Aunty has copied them down for me, but I need to get them off her.
4. Make a video of my Gran telling me how to make her cakes - Nope, I saw her this last weekend but it was way too noisy to try to make a recording!
5. Climb Scafell Pike - Yes, I did it!! The day before my birthday, you can read about it in this post.
6. Climb Snowdon - Nope
7. Climb Ben Nevis - Nope
8. Climb Hellvelyn - Nope
9. Finish crocheting the rainbow granny square blanket - Nope, still not finished, I need to order some more wool as I have almost ran out, hopefully I can still get it and the colours won't be too different.
10. Visit York again - Yes, I went in November 2013 with Martin, Zoe, Gene and Diane. I don't think I wrote a blog post about it though. Hmm.
11. Walk around Buttermere - Nope
12. Take more photos on film - Yes, some in Whitby, York and Keswick, and round Carlisle too. And I got the film developed! I'll scan them in and do a little post about it soon!
13. Use my film cameras more - Yes, I've just realised that this is almost the same as number 12, but I have been using my Pentax, my Lomo and an old 35mm camera that belonged to my great-uncle too.
14. Get some digital photos printed - Yep! I've been using an app on my phone where you get 40 free prints a month, you just have to pay postage - pretty awesome!!
15. Visit Glasgow - Nope
16. Go to a craft fair - I think I went to a couple, but I didn't go to one as a seller, which I do want to do this year.
17. Make some crochet or felt bunting for Zoe's room - I've made the triangles but need to crochet it all together, so I'm calling this one not done, I'll put it on 32 in 32.
18. Make a patchwork quilt (or at least start to make it) - Nope, I have some fabric though :)
19. Go to a networking event - Yes, I've been to quite a few, and also arranged one for work!
20. Make 20 sales in my Etsy shop - Nope, only made 8 sales. Sigh. Must Try Harder!!
21. Visit Bruges - Nope - and no I don't have a passport this one is even trickier!
22. Go to my godmother's house for coffee - Even better than going for a coffee, I went to spend her birthday with her and went out for a meal and stayed over! Woop! I mentioned it in this post.
23. Have something published in a magazine - Yes, I was in our local Carlisle Living magazine, for an event I organised at work, along with Jo from The Perfect Hiding Place
24. Learn how to use LinkedIn effectively - Yes! Thank you work!
25. Go bowling - Nope
26. Go to Wasdale for a picnic with Martin and Zoe - Sort of. We went to Wasdale and had food in the car, so it was sort of a picnic. Blogged about in this post.
27. Find all of my baby photos at my Dad's house - Nope, they are still missing - booo!!
28. Crochet a bunny or bear for Zoe - Yes! I made her a little crochet bunny, no blog post about that yet!
29. Re-decorate our bedroom. Because it is U.G.L.Y! - Nope, I've started in the kitchen though!
30. Expand my shop's product range - Not yet, but I have started planning some new products, just need to make them and photograph them and add them to the shop...
31. Learn how to wet felt - Nope - I actually know how to wet felt, I did it at Uni, but I want to go and do a little course to refresh my memory!

So I have done 12 out of 31 things - pretty rubbish!!

I'm working on my 32 before 32 post at the moment, I'm aiming to post it next week, and I want you all to suggest things for me to put on it in the comments! Go!!

THANKS photo thanks-signature_zps76499913.jpg

9 June 2014

A Sticky9 Review and a Giveaway for you!

Hello Lovelies!

A while ago I won a giveaway over on the lovely Leona's blog to win a set of Sticky9 Instagram magnets. I'd seen Sticky9 (which used to be called Stickygram) all over blog land, but hadn't really thought about using them (even though we collect fridge magnets!!). I'd had a few Instagram photos printed from various other places, and had always been a bit under-awed at the quality.

But not with Sticky9! I tell you, I was a bit dubious about the quality, I wasn't sure if they would print true to colour, and I've also found some prints tend to come out a bit 'flat' looking.

These magnets are fantastic though! The print quality is top-notch, with a lovely smooooth matte finish (I much prefer a matte finish, don't you?). The colours really popped and were really true to the image - they didn't look flat or dull at all.

The process is super simple too - just link Sticky9 to your Instagram account and upload the photos you want - bingo! Super simple, just like me haha!!

They don't just do the magnets in the photo - they have different sizes, and you can select to have 9 different prints, or one big 'jigsaw' print if you want. And they also do phone cases and iPad cases too! You can view their full range of products on their website at sticky9.com

The magnets I won cost £9.99 (bargain!!) and they do free shipping too which totally sweetens the deal!

Now for the good bit!

Sticky9 have said that they would love to give one of my lovely readers the chance to win a pack of 9 Instagram magnets, and it is super easy to enter! All you need to do is go and visit their website (sticky9.com) and then let me know in the comments what snaps you would get printed.

Will you go for a load of pictures of your loved ones (including the cat), or maybe you'd like to get 9 of your fave #wiwt snaps printed so you can recreate that awesome outfit when you are half asleep of a morning!

The giveaway is open until midnight on Monday 30 June, it's one entry per person and it's open internationally! Remember to leave me a way to contact you if you win!

Good luck!

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6 June 2014

All the lovely things

Hello Lovelies!

Just a quick one today to show you some of the lovely things I have found in my internet-ting this week!

These pretty photos of Katie from Skunkboy Blog are whimsical and fairy-tale like - won't someone come and take photos of me like this, pretty please?!

Gah! Such pretty colours from the ever-so-lovely Color 'n' Cream (who I featured in my last Blogger of Note post) - she's making them into garlands, brooches, hair clips - eee! I can see them adorning pretty crochet or felt bunting - sweet!

I read this lovely interview with Sallytangle over on Jo's blog Adventures and Tea Parties (link) I love to get a 'behind the scenes' peek at my fave bloggers, and sally is one of my all-time best bloggers ever!

Look at this amazing idea from Heart Handmade - cross stitch canvas art!! (link) I'm totally going to give this a go - I have the cross stitch pattern already! Bonus!!

What have you found this week on t'interwebs? Link me up in the comments!!

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