Life as a crafter: my current works in progress – November 2016

Hello! I’m back today sharing my current works in progress. I’d plan to post this a lot sooner, but in between other bits and pieces it took a back seat. The good news is I’ve tweaked this post a few times because I’ve finally finished a few projects – hurray!

So, in case you’re new to this post, throughout the year I’ve kept a spreadsheet of notes that I update on a regular basis to see where I am with what I’d like to make. There’s been something about honestly writing out all those projects I have stashed away in my room, that’s made me actually get stuff done. And that’s a great feeling!

Life as a crafter - my current works in progress - This Little Space of Mine

So without further ado, here’s what I’m making at the moment.

  • Teddy bear lovey. Yay I finished this! OK, I really didn’t love how his face turned out, but it was my first attempt at amigurumi and given it’s for my friends four month old baby, I think he’ll still love it! The granny square was the easy bit and actually, I’m quite surprised how well I took on amigurumi – it’s motivating me to do more in the future.
  • Stash busting granny square blanket. As the 100 days of crochet didn’t feel like it was stash busting quickly enough for my impatient little mind, made one big granny square blanket. Boy is it stash busting! My scrap basket is depleating rappidly, hurray! I wasn’t expecting to have it finished so quickly, but with a stinking cold last week this was an easy one to work up.
  • The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery ‘Let’s go on an adventure’ stitch-along. Last month I really didn’t feel the urge to work on October’s Australia pattern. I don’t know why, perhaps because I didn’t immediately love the pattern? November’s Peru pattern is also done and next weekend the final pattern arrives!
  • San Francisco tapestry cushion. I haven’t picked this up in a while, which really sucks. I feel like it might be a project for the Christmas holidays, when I’m hoping to have some downtime. You can see the kit I bought here.
  • Secret Christmas project. I’m going to do that annoying thing and tell you I’m making something, but not tell you what it is. It’s a gooden and I’ll share it once it’s been given as a Christmas gift.
  • 100 days of crochet blanket. Inspired by #the100dayproject on Instagram I’ve decided it’s the perfect way to crochet another scrap granny square blanket before the end of the year. Crocheting a square a day, by the 3rd December (excluding the border) I’ll have a blanket ready to give to our local Cats Protection group – plus I’m stash busting. I’m posting regular pictures over on my Instagram feed if you fancy a look.
  • Sew La Di Da dress. I started this around May 2014 and haven’t finished it. To make matters worse there’s not much more to do. I will get this Sew La Di Da make finished one day.
On my radar
  • Socks! My Mum bought me everything I need to start, right back at the beginning of the year, so there’s no excuse not to learn how to make them for myself. Plus I’ve got my eye on some indie dyer shops on Etsy, so there’s really no excuse.
  • Tilly and the Button’s Françoise dress. My friend bought me this shift dress pattern for Christmas. I love the style of the dress, so perfect for me.
  • Weekender blanket with Stylecraft’s newest colours. I’ve wanted to make Cherry Heart’s blanket for a while and the newest colours from Stylecraft would be a great colour combination for it – plus when it was limited edition I bought two packs and have now idea what to do with them! I’ve found an alternative way to join the hexagons and, depending on how quickly I do other bits, I may take this on as a Christmas project for myself.

If you fancy seeing my previous month’s WIPs and progress, I’ve created a page collating all previous projects.

What’s on your list? Are you working on anything now it’s a bit colder (aka time to snuggle up on the sofa!)? If you are looking for any inspiration I’ve shared 5 crochet blanket ideas that I think you’ll like.

Before the end of the year I’m certainly hoping to wrap up a few projects and have a few makes and new crafts I’d really like to try in 2017 – alongside wedding planning!

Leanne x

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Starting small, taking action

Hello, how are you? It’s been a bit quiet around here; I hadn’t realised it’d been a few weeks since I’ve posted. As well as enjoying more downtime and time with loved ones, I’ll also be starting a new job in January so I’m currently tidying things up in my current role ready for a new adventure.

For me this time of year is very much about spring cleaning and tidying things up, ready for that fresh start feeling. Yes there’s all the Christmas shopping etc. to do, but really it’s hibernation period and an opportunity to tie up loose ends. Last year I didn’t even think about any of that until Christmas Eve, so ended up busying myself a bit too much in the Christmas break. This year, as well as finishing up at work early, I’m getting on things early and tidying up everything and anything – from spring cleaning, to tidying up shops I follow on Etsy, through to tidying away/unsubscribing from emails I’m no longer interested in. I love that new year, new start feeling, it’s one I always find gives me a bit umph to start the year with.

In the last couple of weeks it’s been hard to stomach the political world we’re living in; the divisions and actions of some political figures in incomprehensible. It’s felt like a huge step backwards and I know from speaking to others, along with my own feelings, the world has started to feel like a scary place for both us now and our future generation. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the best at saying the right words in situations like these, so I’d like to direct you to my friend Kate’s post about social action for everyone. Essentially, it’s up to us to show kindness. We can’t, largely, control what’s happening out there at the moment, but kindness starts at home and how we treat others. I’m certainly holding that close to me in my daily actions.

I’ve found I’m already beginning to take action… not necessarily deliberate, but I think it struck a chord with me. Just this week I was tidying up my craft space and, as any crafter will know, we tend to collect a large amount of crafty bits over the years. Magazine freebies, excess supplies, new crafts we’ll actually never try and the odd book or two (dozen). They’ve all been sitting there cluttering up the space and I’ve found myself looking at them knowing I didn’t have a use for them, but equally not wanting to bin them. I messaged a few crafty blogger friends and before I knew it I had two bags of goodies going to a local community charity, where kids will use the materials I’ve donated. All those magazine freebies are going to a family in a difficult personal situation, with children in need of distraction, and l’ve got at least one bag going to our local charity shop.

Alongside this I contacted our local Cats Protection group this week and they were delighted to hear I have a couple of crochet blankets to give to them for their rescue kitties. Seeing Freds cuddle up on his gave me that lightbulb moment of trying to help kitties who were lonely and waiting for a home. Forgeting cats for a moment, as an adult I find huge comfort in cuddling up in a blanket. So it makes me happy to know my scrap stash of yarn is being made into something I know will give warmth and comfort.

So in no way am I blowing my own trumpet; I think of that scene in Friends where they talk about there being no selfless good deed. It’s true, these actions make me feel good. But they’re also going to make others happy. As Kate talks about in her post, “we are as individually responsible as the next person to make this world feel like a safe home to everyone”. If I can bring a bit of safety, joy and maybe distraction through craft and sharing, then that’s what I’m going to do. It’s not all I can, and it might not fix those bigger problems, but it’s a start.

If you’re planning to have a spring clean, have a think about who might able to enjoy the things you no longer want, think twice about putting anything in the bin and contact some charities or places local to you – you never know where one conversation might lead.

So I’ll love and leave you with this quote that I found on Pinterest – view the original source here.

Big things often have small beginnings

Sending big love to all.

Leanne x

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Happy 2nd birthday This Little Space of Mine!

Today marks 2 years since I launched This Little Space of Mine! After closing my previous blog in September 2014, I took a couple of months out to plan this very blog and here we are two years later, a whole lot of content written and a lot learnt. I’ve loved blogging here, I don’t feel tired of it like I had previously and by expanding out to allow me to talk about lifestyle, as well as crafting, it feels like I’ve got a good balance. The audience has grown and, along with it, I’ve made new friends, learnt new skills and written content I feel proud of.

Where will the next 12 months take me? Well, no one knows that, but with a wedding to plan there may be some wedding crafts featured. I’m also still working out a balance between This Little Space of Mine and Fred & Bell. More than anything, I hope to keep making and being creative – that’s always been at the heart of this small corner of the internet.

So to celebrate today, I thought I’d share the five post popular posts from the last 12 months. I did the same last year, and just one post features again.

Making a cosy stripe blanket. I knew this would feature top of the list, I have no idea how but it’s one that’s gone viral on Pinterest; I’ve even had friends message me to say they’ve searched “crochet blanket” and up has come this make. The original pattern is from Attic 24, but I chose these colours. What’s even more special is that I made this for my best friends’ baby in the spring and seeing him using makes my heart happy every time.

Making a cosy stripe baby blanket - pattern from Attic 24 and made using Stylecraft Special DK. Post from This Little Space of Mine

Making Sincerely Louise’s fox slippers from Mollie Makes. As a big fan of foxes I instantly fell in love with this slipper pattern I found in Mollie Makes. After getting my sizings wrong to start with, I had great fun making this, practicing my intarsia skills and seeing the fox features come together. Plus Sincerely Louise loved them and named me her maker of the week, not long after the post went live.

Making Sincerely Louise's fox slippers - pattern from Mollie Makes - using Bergere De France Ideal yarn to knit these slippers. Post via This Little Space of Mine

5 stash busting crochet blanket patterns. Yay for stash busting, it’s something I’m on a mission with at the moment, so I’m glad this came up as a popular post – a good little reminder! Cherry Heart’s ‘Weekender’ blanket is still my favourite idea. I had great fun putting together this post and exploring various blanket ideas; in fact I might have to do another one soon!

5 stash busting crochet blanket patterns - Cherry Heart's Weekender Blanket via This Little Space of Mine

Colour scheme ideas for Stylecraft Yarn’s Special DK collection (part 1) and Colour scheme ideas for Stylecraft Yarn’s Special DK collection (part 2). So it was actually the 1st of these posts in the top 5, but I couldn’t resist including the second. It felt like these two posts were a turning point for my blog; I found a concept that worked and the feedback on my ideas was a huge confidence boost and has led to further colour concept posts this year.

Colour scheme ideas for Stylecraft Yarn's Special DK collection - This Little Space of Mine

The story of the knitted sky blanket. The only post to feature both last year and today, boy oh boy was this one heck of a make. I made this over the course of 14 months, recording the colour of the sky at midday every day during 2014. I worked super hard on this and there was blood, sweat and tears, but it’s by far my proudest make to date.

The story of the sky blanket - This Little Space of Mine

So again, a big thank you for reading – whether that’s been one post, a few posts or everything I’ve written, it’s noted and much appreciated!

Here’s to another year of blogging!

Leanne x

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A month in the life: October 2016

Hello! I thought I’d kick off a new post, a monthly summary from me with bitesize nuggets of information. It’s not a particularly lengthy post, but it’s a fun exercise to sum up how the month looked with 5 headers. I might mix and match these headers, depending on what I’ve been up to.

So October. October was the month we celebrated our engagement with friends and family; we’ve received so many lovely cards and presents and have felt super loved. October was also Stu’s birthday, so I took him to Brighton for a night – nothing like a bit of sea air and sunshine by the coast! Work was super busy and I’m now ending the month having launched a new series of stickers for Fred & Bell. I’m also busy crocheting and thinking about what to make for our wedding. I love this time of year; while I’m not loving the darker mornings, I do love the cosy feel and cuddling up on the sofa to keep warm, while binging on TV. It feels like our home is geared more to the colder months and we love it that way!

A month in the life - October 2016

Enjoying: How the change in weather is making Freds want to snuggle up with me in the evenings, under a blanket.

Making: I’m in full-on stash busting mode, so I’ve got not one but two crochet blankets on the go (the first you can see more of here). Both will be going to a local cat charity once finished.

Planning: Our wedding! After getting engaged at the end of September we haven’t hung around and have set the date. We’ve got just over a year to go and we’re full to the brim with ideas and things to do.

Watching: I finished Gilmore Girls this month and I feel like there’s a void in my life. I’d love to say I’m joking, but I felt like a lost soul for the first couple of days. Gilmore Girls arrived on Netflix in July and I’ve pretty much watched that, and only that, since. I’m all ready for the 4 new episodes that arrive at the end of November… they can’t come soon enough!

Visiting: Brighton. I took Stu there for his birthday this month and had a fab weekend exploring the Lanes, eating far too much food and going up the i360 tower. So fun to have a weekend away together.

Thanks for reading – let’s see what November has in store…

Leanne x

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5 crochet blankets to make over the winter months

Having decided to opt for an autumn/winter wedding next year, we’re now turning our thoughts to how to make our wedding feel cosy – lots of lights, colour and warmth is the aim of the game of us. My thinking hat is well and truly on and today I thought I’d share some crochet blanket patterns I’ve seen… ones I’m thinking about making for our wedding. There’s a sofa/chill out area at our venue and, if it’s a dry day, people might want to sit outside for evening food. We may well end up buying blankets for IKEA, but I do love the idea of making them in our chosen wedding colours.

So without further ado, let’s look at some crochet blankets…

5 crochet blankets to make over the winter months
1. C2C

I first came across C2C, or corner to corner, when Holly created Repeat Crafter Me’s crochet Christmas character afghan. It’s not necessarily a new technique, and I haven’t found the origin of it, but I know this to be a great stash buster if nothing else. Unlike most patterns, this one starts in the corner and works out. The photo below is from Holly’s Instagram feed and shows you how it looks in detail. To learn more about how to make it, do have a look at The Crochet Crowd‘s handy guide.

Crochet blankets to make over the winter months - c2c, or corner to corner.

2. V stitch

V stitch is one of those techniques that instantly catches my eye whenever I see it; I love the detailed stripes and depth of each stitch. Similar to the ripple blanket, I think this could be equally as addictive and, given the winter months, I feel like the depth of the stitch could make for a super snuggly blanket that I can make and show off our wedding colours with. There are lots of pattern options on Ravelry, and I liked The Patchwork Heart‘s write up too.

Crochet blankets to make over the winter months - v stitch.

3. As we go stripey

This blanket pattern is slightly different to the rest, as it’s a combination of various stitches. I came across this on Instagram and the blanket was created by Hannah at Not Your Average Crochet. Stitches include granny Stripe, Catharine wheel, star stitch, bobbles and ripple, so it’s the variety that really caught my eye here. Variety is so important when working on big projects, like blankets, so I don’t think you’d get bored making this!

Crochet blankets to make over the winter months - as we go sripey.

4. Waffle stitch

If we’re talking about winter blankets, having something thick and cosy has got to be top of the agenda. The waffle stitch totally fits the bill for that criteria, just look at how deep each stitch is. Team the stitch with a chunky wool and I’d imagine it wouldn’t take too long to work up something really cosy for the colder months. Plus a quick project, win win! Bella Coco has a great video tutorial up to help learn this technique.

Crochet blankets to make over the winter months - waffle stitch.

5. Harlequin

Last but by no means least, the Harlequin blanket. Another one I found from Holly’s Instagram feed, it was the colours that caught my attention. I love the block colours (whichever shades you use) and geometric feel to this make, plus I’m curious about how this stitch works. I found the pattern over on Ravelry and if you want something bold, that’s going to stand out, I feel like this pattern is the one to go for.

Crochet blankets to make over the winter months - harlequin.

Any favourites that jump out at you? I think the waffle stitch is my favourite and would certainly teach me a new technique, but then I’ve heard corner to corner is great for stash busting. But then again, the as we go stripey has some great techniques and variety to it. Decisions, decisions!

Thanks for reading and happy crocheting – let me know if you do make, or have made, any of these in the past.

Leanne x

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Photo credit: holly_pipsThe Patchwork HeartNot Your Average Crochet and Lu North, Strong & Free

5 podcasts to download today (part 2)

Oh podcasts, listening to you keeps me company as I drive the M3 to work. Those long journeys can be so dull, but since listening to podcasts and audio books it’s changed my life. Before I’d listen to the radio or music and I’d be constantly flicking or waiting until the next song and time would drag. Nowadays I can be happily listening to a podcast, only to be disappointed when I arrive at work and have to turn it off.

So this post is a follow up to the first, with 5 more podcasts to download and listen to today. The best part? There are even more podcasts I love and I feel like some kind of addictive collector, asking people and seeking new listens all the time!

5 podcasts to download today - featuring Elise Gets Crafty, Blogtacular, Pomcast, Mortified and Adam Buxton. This Little Space of Mine

My Dad Wrote a Porno

The title is a giveaway, but this podcast is definitely not for everyone. Also be prepared to laugh a lot and wretch at some of the details. The premise of this podcast is that Jamie Morton found out his dad wrote an erotic novel about the adventures of Belinda Blumenthal and how she succeeds in the world of ‘business’. Jamie is sharing the story chapter by chapter with friends James Cooper and Alice Levine. It is a highlight of my week and now the 2nd series has finished my Monday just isn’t the same!

Find out more and listen to the podcast here.


I love Gretchen Ruben, I’ve read her books and back in the summer I was delighted to find she has a podcast (in fact she’s had it for quite a while!) with her sister, Elizabeth Craft. The podcast is all about about how to be happier, with every day steps and practical tips from a wealth of sources, that we can all learn something from. Episodes are around 40 minutes and there’s something really comfy about this podcast; I love the insight Gretchen and Elizabeth give us into their lives and I completely and utterly binged on the podcast when I first found it.

Find out more and listen to the podcast here.

Switched on Pop

This podcast is all about pop – or popular music – and the ins and outs of a song and what makes it a hit (or not). Hosted by Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding, these two know their stuff and I’ve found it really interesting to hear them talk about and break down the composition and lyrics of songs I’ve probably listened to hundreds of times and never really thought about. They reference on their website how they help listeners find “a-ha” moments in the music and it’s so true! Episodes have included Taylor Swift, Adele, Drake, Sia and so many more. Great podcast if you love your pop music as much as I do!

Find out more and listen to the podcast here.

Ctrl Alt Delete

From the book with the same name, Ctrl Alt Delete is hosted by writer Emma Gannon. A new listen for me, Emma interviews guests who have stories to tell about growing up online and how the internet and social media plays a part in their lives. Emma always comes across as friendly and you feel like you’re in the room when she’s interviewing guests. I find listening to Ctrl Alt Delete always inspires me to keep doing what I’m doing, and to not be afraid to be me. The episodes with Elizabeth Gilbert, Dawn O’Porter and Mara Wilson have been three highlights so far so far.

Find out more and listen to the podcast here.

A Playful Day

Last but by no means least comes A Playful Day, my weekly hug from creative pal Kate. Kate explores a specific subject area and how it links to creativity in each season of her podcast, with the latest being family. It’s an emotive listen at times, but one that warms my heart and makes me feel less alone when the chips are down and inspires to make and challenge myself creatively when the chips are up (is that a thing? it should be). You know you enjoy a podcast when you look forward to the next episode; A Playful Day fits that bill.

Find out more and listen to the podcast here.

So what are you listening to? If you have a podcast you’re loving, let me know!

Thanks for reading.

Leanne x

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Photo credit: DTTSP

A chat with Teri from The Lovely Drawer

Doing something creative is at the heart of my every day; whether it’s stealing 10 minutes to do some crafting, writing a blog post, designing stickers or working with my clients, at work, on a new concept, it’s what keeps me happy. On the days where I’m in a slump, days we all struggle with from time to time, it’s other creatives that keep me going; just last week I was listening to Emma Gannon’s podcast and I felt more inspired to write than I had done in months! The ‘A chat with…’ series gives me a chance to gain insight and celebrate fellow creatives’ work.

So with all that in mind, today I’m back having a chat with Teri from The Lovely Drawer. I’ve met Teri a few times now and she also designed a postcard for Fred & Bell in the summer; working with Teri was easy peasy and she completely understood what I wanted from the get go. Teri is a designer, illustrator, stylist, crafter; her style is instantly recognisable and always has a clean and crisp feel to it. Today we talk small business, juggling workloads and keeping creative. I especially loved Teri’s mentioned of Trello, a girl after my own heart!

A chat with Teri from The Lovely Drawer on freelance life, creativity and keeping organised.

Hey Teri, it’s so great to have you here. Let’s kick things off with a little introduction to who you are…

My name’s Teri, I’m 29 and I’m a Christian, wife, designer and blogger. I live in Shepherds Bush in London, residing in a cosy Victorian terrace flat where I also work. I’ve always been a creative through and through so there’s never been any doubt on anybody’s mind that I would end up doing something along those lines.

For readers who haven’t heard about The Lovely Drawer, could you tell us all about it and how it came to life?

The Lovely Drawer came about because my husband nagged me to start a blog. He thought it was a shame that I didn’t document any of my little projects and felt it would be a great online portfolio for the future. I kept on resisting, using the excuse that I didn’t have time. I was working as an in house designer for a greetings card company at the time and as I started to feel less and less creatively stimulated I thought he might just be right. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing but it served as a creative outlet and gave me a space to push myself to try new things and improve my skills. I kind of forgot anyone read it most of the time and in the beginning I’m pretty sure no one did. The name came from my final project at uni which was all about our attic and the drawers that mum would hoard with all sorts of crafty bits and pieces. It was always fun to root around and think up new projects from what I found.

I started getting freelance design work from it soon enough and so juggled that alongside my full time job for about a year. It brought me to breaking point and I decided I needed to reduce my days to four at my day job, which was a relief. Six months later I made the jump and left my job to brave starting my own business for real. I’ve been doing it full time for just over 2 and a half years now.

A chat with Teri from The Lovely Drawer on freelance life, creativity and keeping organised.

As well as blogging at The Lovely Drawer, you sell wedding stationery and prints and run brush lettering workshops. How do you go about juggling them and keeping yourself organised?

With difficulty is the answer. I frequently feel overwhelmed but at the same time I love the variety that doing lots of different things gives me. This year I actually started using Trello for online organising so that I have a clear idea of work flow and events, as well as getting reminders. I quite often panic that I haven’t ordered enough materials for a workshop or missed a print deadline for a client but it’s usually fine. My blog is probably the most fluid and least organised part of what I do to be honest. Unless I have a sponsored post I’m working on, all the other content is just created in and around my other commissions. Sometimes I get frustrated I don’t have more time to give to it! I also took on two interns at different points this summer which was a massive help so I’m hoping to advertise again later this year for a longer stint which may lead to something more permanent.

I didn’t have a clue what I was doing but it served as a creative outlet and gave me a space to push myself to try new things and improve my skills. I kind of forgot anyone read it most of the time and in the beginning I’m pretty sure no one did.

In 2015 you won Best Craft & DIY blog at the Amara Interior Blog Awards; would you be able to share any successes or opportunities that have come about as a result of your win?

I think the main thing I noticed straight away was my inbox filling up with abundant press releases (sigh). Aside from that I think it mainly just got my name out there with other brands which is great. I’ve had many more brands reaching out to work together and more that fit my kind of aesthetic than before too. I’ve also had the opportunity to do more craft workshops aside from brush lettering on top.

A chat with Teri from The Lovely Drawer on freelance life, creativity and keeping organised.

I’ve always admired your Instagram feed and brand styling; how do you go about creating a consistent and fresh look across all channels?

Aww thanks! That’s lovely to hear. I think it’s a case of being very deliberate and doing a lot of curating rather than mindlessly branding and posting. My number one tip is to keep things consistent. Find your general aesthetic, colour palettes, photography style and stick to it. I always keep things simple and clean with lots of white negative space where possible. I use salmon, black, white and grey through all my branding and have tried very hard not to change that so that it’s recognisable.

Stepping away from your busy day-to-day, what’s the key to a happy life for you?

For me it’s God and finding joy in him rather than my situation. Situations change and life goes up and down but he stays the same. My happy place is with my husband and my church family, spending time with people rather than behind a screen. I guess within that is a work / life balance. That’s a tough one that I’m yet to master!

My number one tip is to keep things consistent. Find your general aesthetic, colour palettes, photography style and stick to it.

And finally, who would you invite to your famous person dinner party (dead or alive) and why?

Well firstly Mary Berry so that I could rudely ask her to bake dessert! I would also love to invite Louis Theroux and just listen to him recall stories of all the fascinating people he’s met.

A chat with Teri from The Lovely Drawer on freelance life, creativity and keeping organised.

Thank you Teri for your time!

Teri has also very kindly offered a 20% discount on all paper goods to readers of This Little Space of Mine with the code LOVELY1. Pop over to The Lovely Drawer to enjoy this special offer.

You can also catch Teri on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Thanks for reading – hope you enjoyed the post as much as I enjoyed putting it together!

Leanne x

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Paintbox Yarns – colour combination ideas

It’s been a while since I’ve taken some time out to have a play with colours; often it involves me putting a whole bundle of yarn on our bed and organising them into colours that I think work well. It’s such a fun thing to do, even if there’s no purpose, it’s just fun. Disclaimer: I have to work hard not to just throw myself into all the gorgeous colours, stop whatever else it is I need to do and make something immediately with all the colours. I digress!

When LoveKnitting sent me a bundle of newly-launched Paintbox Yarns I knew it was the perfect opportunity to have a play. Paintbox Yarns launched with 60 shades in four lines, DK, aran, chunky and cotton. In this post I’ve focused on the DK collection, but note there are a couple of exceptions.

So, without further ado, here are some ideas for how you could combine Paintbox Yarn shades.

Paintbox Yarns colour combination ideas. Post via This Little Space of Mine

1. Dark Aubergine, Pansy Purple, Dusty Lilac, Pale Lilac and Paper White. I’ve changed my mind about purple; while it used to be a colour I wasn’t hugely inspired by, since making these purple flowers I’ve had a change of heart. The contrast of the darker shade versus light brings a cosy warmth to it that works really well. I could see these five shades being made into a gorgeous stripy cardigan, or jumper, for a little girl.

Paintbox Yarns colour combination ideas. Post via This Little Space of Mine

2. Soft Fudge, Melon Sorbet (chunky), Mustard Yellow, Pistachio Green and Paper White. These collective colours spring to mind a meadow for me; you’ve got the harvest light brown, with the Pistachio Green and, to bring it all together, the sunshine warmth from the Melon Sorbet (chunky) and Mustard Yellow shades. I think this could make for a super cosy blanket for that autumn cuddles on the sofa or spring picnic.

Paintbox Yarns colour combination ideas. Post via This Little Space of Mine

3. Coffee Bean, Midnight Blue, Red Wine, Sky Blue and Pure Black. I’m going to call this primary colour madness – and I say that with a smile on my face. The Midnight Blue and Red Wine shades really caught my eye, so I’ve teamed them up with the Coffee Bean and Pure Black to bring it to life. I’ve then added the Sky Blue to soften the colour combinations. I could see these colours being used in a make for a little boy.

Paintbox Yarns colour combination ideas. Post via This Little Space of Mine

4. Slate Grey, Seafoam Blue, Mustard Yellow, Bright Peach (aran) and Banana Cream. Moving on from primary colours, I feel like this is an alternative version with a softer palette. The Slate Grey and Seafoam Blue looks great together and teaming it up with the Mustard Yellow looks great to me. Looking at this again, since photographing it, I think this has more work to be done to get the right combo but there’s definitely something great to work from. What do you think?

Paintbox Yarns colour combination ideas. Post via This Little Space of Mine

5. Stormy Grey, Blush Pink, Pistachio Green, Peach Orange and Banana Cream (chunky). I feel like this is the most feminine of colour collections in this post, what do you think? I built it from the Peach Orange and Banana Cream shades and then muted it with the Stormy Grey, Blush Pink and Pistachio Green to create a soft, spring time feel. I would love to make this into a blanket or similar; the Blush Pink and Pistachio Green especially warm my heart.

What do you think? Any standout colour schemes that catch your eye?

This is just the tip of the iceberg, so definitely go and check out Paintbox Yarns; I feel like there were hundreds more colour combinations I could’ve chosen so I may well be back soon with more ideas!

Thanks for reading, and do let me know if you have a favourite.

Leanne x

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A selection of Paintbox Yarns’ range was sent to me by LoveKnitting, but all opinions and excitement about yarn are my own.

Notes on feeling overwhelmed

Rewinding back to last week for a moment… It’s Friday afternoon, the weekend is about to begin and I’m writing a long list of all the things I need to do. I panic; I know I have a busy weekend ahead and doing everything will be near on impossible. I’ve been here before. It’s a feeling I’ve been carrying with me for the past couple of months, so today I’m writing frankly about feeling overwhelmed and, hopefully, how I’m overcoming it. I’ve written a little about this before, with some helpful tips to help you through (note: I could do with re-reading this!).

Before I go on, I thought this quote I found on Pinterest was quite fitting –

Notes on feeling overwhelmed. Post from This Little Space of Mine

Since our holiday I’ve felt a burden, a need to blog, a need to work on Fred & Bell, a need to make our home as lovely as possible, a need to be able to not look at my phone every 5 seconds, a need to lay on the sofa, craft and binge on Gilmore Girls, a need to be with friends and family, a need to… well, the list goes on and on. As a result I’ve not really given my full attention to anything, meaning everything has felt half-arsed – blog content has been few and far between, our bathroom really needed a good clean and I miss the days of laying on the sofa and crafting. It’s been a vicious circle and in the last week (after a big cry) I feel like I’m starting to break away from it.

I don’t need to do anything. I can control this. No one else. No one is expecting me to do that long list of things and, certainly for Stu, he’d much rather I didn’t busy myself every second of the day. It’s something he noted when we first got together and it was almost a light bulb moment to hear him say it again at the weekend. I do keep myself busy (generally I like it that way), but it often means I don’t focus on what I really need in that precise moment. Be it a long hot bath, to cook a nice dinner or just be on my own. I forget it and get swallowed up in that list. When I mentioned to him about the shop not working and closing it, his response was to remind me that it’s meant to be fun and for me. Ah ha! Of course!

At the heart of this, I’m making life harder than it needs to be. I’m not blogging because I have to, or working on the shop because I need the money (though, hello, wedding to pay for)! I’m doing it because I love being creative, and I shouldn’t forget that. I avoid cleaning our house because I think I hate it; when I do tidy up and get stuck into spring cleaning I actually find myself enjoying it. Tidy house, tidy mind, I think the phrase might be. The fun of the shop was taken out by a need to release lots and lots of stickers and get absorbed by what everyone else around me is doing. Actually, what I need to do is remember me in all of this. What are the stickers I want to make and use? They’re the stickers I should be making.

I won’t get started on wedding planning; we’ve viewed venues that seem to think it’s OK to charge thousands and thousands and only give you the option to have a three to five course banquet with all the trimmings. What’s wrong with low key, one/two courses, cake and dancing? That’s what we want. I’ve already noted how easy it would be to lose sight of that… and we won’t be. Even if I lose my way, I know Stu won’t.

So that long list might still exist, it’s better on paper than in my head, but I’m going to try and keep a perspective on things. This is on my terms; I control this and I can work to my own pace when I’m ready to. I think that applies for anyone, anyone reading who feels that overwhelm, let’s remember you and what you need. That’s how we get the best from ourselves. Listening to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast she talks about treating ourselves as children; what do we need? Are we tired? Go to bed. Are we hungry? Eat something. As adults it’s so easy to ignore those basic needs; we forget to stop and think about what we need.

So I’m here and I plan to keep being here. Sometimes that overwhelm might take over, but I’ll get control and all will be OK. I won’t beat myself up for missing Twitter chats, or not using Instagram stories, or not selling that particular sticker set. I’ll keep being me and do what I can, when I’m comfortable.

If you’re reading this and have been feeling that overwhelm of life too – perhaps work, relationships, whatever the case may be… you’re not alone.

Thanks for reading,

Leanne x

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Photo credit: Jen B. Peters

Stash busting – 100 days of crochet challenge

I’m a sucker for punishment; I regularly make myself too busy and then stress out because I have too much to do and want to lay on the sofa watching Gilmore Girls but feel guilty for stopping. So what did I do when I returned from our holiday in Greece in August? I started a new one-a-day project… to keep me super busy!

I’ve called it #100daysofleannescrochet over on Instagram and the idea is quite simply to crochet a granny square a day and join it to a blanket. I made a similar blanket for Freds earlier in the year and this one will be going to a local cat charity. I’ve got far too much wool and stash busting for animal charities feels like a good use of my limited time.

I’m recording the whole thing on Instagram using #100daysofleannescrochet so pop over to see how it’s grown. I haven’t taken on a daily craft project like this since the sky blanket and there have been a mixed bag of days; one where I get it done as soon as I wake up, and others when I’m doing it in bed literally falling asleep as I crochet. This week marks the half way point and I love knowing that by Christmas (providing I get the border done) I’ll have made another blanket.

So if you’re looking for stash busting ideas, this is a pretty good one and by doing it daily makes it really manageable. I’ve also written a previous post on stash busting ideas, should you be on the lookout for project ideas!

Are you working on any interesting craft projects at the moment? I’ve had to restart a Christmas present, which I would be annoyed about, but I’d rather get it right and give a gift I know will be the best it can.

Thanks for reading!

Leanne x

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