11 Nov 2013

Mandala Fun!

When my visitor was here we decided to have a little crochet-a-long with our online Facebook group. Mandalas were the order of the day and we hooked like crazy to get them done in time for the first post!

I decided on some cheerful bright Rowan hand knit cotton to make mine with. The idea being to use them in the guest room when they were finished!

For the first mandala i used a free pattern by the lovely Wink which can be found here.
Nice and easy for a novice mandala maker like me and some fab instructions!

This is how my mandala turned out....

And then I decided to be a little adventurous and try a more lacy pattern....

Forgive the wonky shape....it's trickier than you think to block circles! All in all not a bad first attempt I thought. 
Next came the challenge of producing some styled shots of the completed mandalas.

I'm the first to admit that when taking photos I tend not to think about the scene and how the finished shots turn out. I just plop them on my blog and think nothing more of it! Well, having trawled a fair few blogs and seeing some beautifully styled shots I have decided that from now on I shall pay attention to my photography efforts and try and style the photos...

Achieved with a white quilt cover (freshly ironed!) laid over the carpet! How effective is that?

Next came a few props to enhance the mandalas...

Isn't it amazing what a difference a few props and some carefully taken photos can make? 

We also spent a little time taking some amazing photos of my finished blankets. A trip to the seaside in the glorious sunshine proved to be the perfect backdrop!

Join me next time for a peek at how those photos turned out!

10 Nov 2013


Doesn't time fly when you're having fun? Ok fun isn't exactly how I would describe the last two weeks but one thing's for sure....it certainly has flown by!

I had a lovely, lovely 10 days with my visitor. We chilled, we shopped, we ate....and we even took in a gig!

Of course no visit is complete without a visit to a yarn store or two ;-) My local yarn store is in Whitley Bay, not too far away but far enough to avoid popping in every day!!!! It's called Ring a Rosie and is packed with a great range of yarn. There's something for everyone and every budget. The owner hand dyes yarn to sell in the store and also spins! Now spinning is something I've always wanted to have a bash at. I've watched a zillion You Tube clips and whilst not convinced my co-ordination is quite up to the challenge I'd love to have a go! Well, what do you know....they have a spinning club!!! Once a month spinners of the North unite and spin to their hearts content. It's on my list and am determined to have a go.

On Monday we headed into Newcastle. A little window shopping in the town centre...

All the way through the shopping centre there were Elephants on parade! All individually decorated and pretty darn stunning! This was my favourite one....isn't she gorgeous?
After our browse we had a yummy meal before heading over to the Sage to see The Feeling. Boy they were good! And what it made it even better was that we were in the smaller of the halls so were really really close.

We sang our heads off and danced to our hearts content. A good night was had by both of us!

On Tuesday we headed off to the lovely market town of Hexham. It has the most lovely yarn store called Woolaballoo....isn't that a fabulous name? We spent a fair time in there chatting to the lovely lady there and came away with a couple of modest purchases. 

I got a skein of this gorgeous yarn. I just fell in love with the colours. And it's so so soft! I think a nice lacy scarf is the plan for this purchase. 
I also picked up a lovely wooden stool from the Antiques store there. I've been after one for a long time so was very pleased with it. It's pretty battered and needs a makeover but it's perfect to use as a bedside table in the guest room.
*note to self* TAKE A PHOTO OF THE STOOL!!!!!

A fair bit of hooky was done that week. My lovely visitor brought me some gorgeous Icelandic yarn to play with. Well... what's a girl to do????
Yes, that's right.....abandon the granny stripe blanket finishing in favour of playing with the new yarn!

The colours are warm and autumnal and the squares are BIG! Like 7 1/2 inches with the border added to them. I'm making a winter snuggle throw for over the back of the sofa. It's on the blocking board as we speak. Just the joining to go and then the fun part of adding a lovely deep lacy border. I think this may just be one of my quickest projects yet! Which is just as well as I seem to have managed to gather another 4 WIPs!!!!

Join me next time to have a peek at the Mandalas we made during the week and some styled photos!
Til then...