Archive of ‘Me’ category

Coming soon… Fred & Bell!

Hello! I thought I’d drop by with some exciting news… I’m opening an Etsy shop selling planner stickers. The shop will be called Fred & Bell and I’m busy working away on getting everything ready for launch at the beginning of July.

The idea with Fred & Bell is very much to sell high quality, functional stickers that are bright and colourful and will keep you happy and organised. I’ve loved using my Erin Condren Life Planner over the last year and to be now making my own stickers for me, and hopefully future customers, is super exciting!

I’ve wanted to start my own ‘thing’ for a long while, it was one of my New Year’s resolutions in fact, and with a long-standing love of stationery I thought I’d jump onboard and go for it! Some things are planned out, some things are yet to be decided. I’m learning something new every day, facing obstacles, learning how to work past them, and constantly thinking how I can offer the best possible product.

If you’d like to keep up to date on progress I’ve set up an Instagram page for now, though more is coming soon. Pop over if you can and help spread the word.

Oh and if you’re coming to Blogtacular next week I’m hoping to have a few samplers to show off, so be sure to find me!


Fred and Bell - a new UK planner sticker shop coming soon!


Blog wise, I’d like to keep everything the same, though it may be that things slow a little. Posts may drop down to 2 a week, but the idea with that would only be to ensure I’m still publishing high quality content and not… dribble, let’s say, just to keep up with 3 posts a week. I’ll be taking a blog break over August, that’s already planned, but back in September with new and exciting content.

I’ll keep you posted on how Fred & Bell is progressing and hope you’ll follow me along for the journey!

Thanks for reading!

Leanne x

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A look back at May 2016

Hello! I hope you’re having a good week. I’m back today with a look back at May, all with a little help from photos from my Instagram feed.


A look back at May 2016 - This Little Space of Mine


Oh May, where do I even begin? It was the month of fundraising for the Stroke Association’s ‘Make May Purple’ campaign and I wrote a little about why I wanted to raise awareness here. Through the month I was crocheting flowers and in the end sold over 100 and raised just over £650 for the charity. To say I’m overwhelmed by the amount raised is an understatement; I had no idea I’d be able to raise that much, or that my crochet flowers would be in such demand. Everyone says I should be proud, and I guess I should be. It’s been good to have a focus and feel I’ve made a difference. Other crafts kind of took a back seat, but I did manage to finish the ripple blanket I started a year ago.

May was sadly the month we lost my Grandad. I knew it was coming, but it didn’t lessen the pain and the grief we’ve all felt. While I’m pleased he’s at peace and free of pain, I’m going to miss him a lot and I haven’t quite got my head around the fact I won’t see him again. Grief is a funny old thing and has been coming in waves at unexpected moments. I hope to be able to put it all in its place this month. My memories of him include his wonderful knitting and I wrote a little about this just after he died.

We also celebrated a year in our home! Wowee, the time has flown! But what wonderful memories we’re building in our lovely home; I wouldn’t change it for the world. We’re starting to get more into gardening (well, Stu is), we’re making progress on getting some curtains replaced and I’m hoping we can get some garden furniture soon, in time for summer (if it ever arrives!).

I also made some good progress on a new (and super exciting!) project, which I’ll be sharing more about with you next week. I’m finally listening to some of those day dreams I’ve had for the last year and working on something that’s making me really happy. Can’t wait to share with you!

So next month… could be quite big actually! It’s certainly busy. We had a baby shower for my friend Victoria on Monday and her baby is due this month (unless he’s late of course). Eeeek! I cannot wait to meet him. It’s also my friend Hollie’s hen do next weekend and the following weekend I’ll be at Blogtacular too. I love Blogtacular and I’m looking forward to being in a room with a lot of my blogging pals – messaging via email just isn’t the same. I wrote here about last year’s event if you fancy a read. It’s also Wimbledon and Glastonbury, two things that’ll have me glued to the telly.

Do you have anything exciting planned for this month?

Thanks for reading, hope you have a good start to the month! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for all the latest.

Leanne x

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What it means to make

I’m joining in with Kate from A Playful Day and her prompt “What It Means To Make” for today’s post.

I write this post at a time of grief; last week my Grandad passed away after being back and forth in hospital for the best part of a year. We didn’t want him to suffer anymore and while there is relief that he’s at peace, my heart feels heavy and I’m so sad I’ll never get to sit in an armchair in their living room and show him my knitting, or photographs or just wait for him to say something cheeky that he shouldn’t say.


What it means to make - This Little Space of Mine


As I hold onto my memories and think about saying my final goodbyes soon, it’s the knitted blanket he made me when I was a little girl that I hold onto. He knitted them for all of the grandchildren and my sister and I always refer to it as ‘Grandad’s blanket’. It’s barely left my side in the last week. Grandad always knitted; my Nan and him have knitted for the WI and for charities for as long as I can remember – blankets, clothing, toys etc. – I can picture their living room now, lined up with teddy bears ready to be sent to children in need of comfort. They gave me one of those teddy bears when I went travelling in 2008; ‘Baz’. The blanket, especially, is incredibly special to me; I’ve travelled with it, slept on it, cuddled it in bad times, wrapped up our various pets in it (even if they didn’t want me to) and it now sits proudly on our yellow armchair in the living room (when it’s not on my lap). Stu says it probably needs a wash, but I like it just the way it is. Note: it has been washed over the years, I just can’t remember the last time that was!

When I think about the blanket, my Grandad and what it means to me to make, I guess eventually it’s the things we make that can be left behind – for our children, grandchildren, family, it’s a piece of us that remains. It’s a piece of my Grandad that can stay with me even though he’s gone. Maybe my sky blanket will be a heirloom, who knows. I’d like to hope so.


What it means to make - This Little Space of Mine


Recently my Nan gave me a bag of squares Grandad had knitted and she hadn’t got round to sewing together. How’s that for teamwork? He’d knit them, she’d sew them together. When I asked her last weekend about his knitting she said she could never keep up with him, that he’d knit morning, noon and night. They’re certainly the memories I have too. She gave the squares to me knowing they’d be loved and they currently sit in my craft room in pride of place. I want to sew them together in hope that one day I’ll be able to give a blanket to my child; they’ll have something special from their Great Grandfather that I hope they’ll love dearly.

So what does it mean to me to make? I guess it’s beyond what it means, it’s entwined in my memories and my family and I don’t think making will ever leave me. It’s not a fad or novelty and there’s barely a day that passes where I’m not using my hands to make something. I have my Grandad, my Nan and my Mum to thank for that, for inspiring and teaching me how to knit.

Sleep well Grandad, I love you xxx

Leanne x

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Why I’m raising funds for Stroke Association’s ‘Make May Purple’ campaign

I’ve been a little nervous about sharing this post and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve written it and then binned it. What’s to be scared of? Well, putting into words what happened is hard, but publishing it online has made me anxious about the reaction I’d get; would people care, would they comment, would they think I was being over the top? And with any of those, how would I feel as a result? Silence can be the worst sometimes, so those fears put me off. But time has gone on and I feel braver and more confident that sharing is a good thing. I want to share what happened to Dad and I hope that even if just one person reads it and digests what happens it means they may one day save someone’s life or improve their chance of recovery should (and I hope not) a stroke happen.

I’ve broken this post into two – should you want to skip a part; 1) how I’m raising funds by crocheting purple flowers, and why and 2) what happened to Dad at the beginning of the year, and how it could so easily have happened to anyone at any age.


A look back at April 2016 - This Little Space of Mine


Handmade purple flower badges for Make May Purple

The month of May is Stroke Association‘s annual fundraising month, Make May Purple, and to help raise funds for the charity I am making and selling these pretty flower crochet badges for a £3 donation, all you have to do is pop over to my JustGiving page to make a donation and I’ll put one in the post to you. All donations go directly to the charity and a big thank you to Lucy from Attic 24 for allowing me to use her flower pattern.

The idea with these flowers is to wear them throughout May and hopefully it’ll prompt conversation and raise awareness. I’ve worn pins on my coat before and often people in shops and the likes comment, so I really hope that happens with these flowers.

At the time of writing this I’ve raised just over £300(!) and hope to raise lots more throughout May. I’ll be busy crocheting these flowers now and until the end of May and I hope this money will help the wonderful work Stroke Association are doing; their website was a great support to my family and me and continues to be as Dad recovers.


Why I'm raising funds for Stroke Association's 'Make May Purple' campaign


What happened to Dad

Back at the very start of January my Dad had two strokes, one around New Year’s Eve and one on the 4th January. Between those two dates we’d had a family meal for my 30th birthday and all said separately how Dad had behaved a little oddly, but put it down to the fact he had a heavy cold and may have taken a bit too much Lemsip. How I wish I’d known. The second stroke, on the 4th, was more severe and caused him to fall at home. When he didn’t turn up for work his boss raised the alarm and called my sister. I’ll never forget the moment my sister called us and said “something’s wrong with Dad”. Thinking he had concussion, to then hear he’d been rushed to hospital after a suspected stroke was terrifying.

A day later and an MRI scan confirmed he’d had 2 strokes and that the reason for this was due to a perforated artery in his neck – most likely caused when he had a fall while walking in the Lake District the previous April. By this point Dad was walking, talking, eating and his face had return to normal, but cognitively there was damage and he’d lost some of his vision.

After a week in hospital Dad was allowed home to the care of a community team. The community team were there to help him in his recovery for 12 weeks, visiting him on average about 3 times a week. During this time they also helped with doctor’s appointments, advised on how he’d return to work and provided a general support. He thankfully passed his visual test and was allowed to return to driving 2 months after the stroke and the follow up MRI showed his artery has healed, so the chance of another stroke is minimal. In April he begun slowly returning to work, for a few hours every other day.

While the headlines are really great news, Dad’s recovery continues and will do for a long time yet. The brain is a funny old thing and is taking its time to heal. He’s getting there and I’m so proud at how determined he’s been to get back to his old self. He tells me he plans to beat this and live on to 100 now. If anyone can do it, he can.

The point I have to mention is that Dad was 58 when it happened, healthy, eating well and regularly exercising. There are a set of risk factors behind why a stroke might happen, but the reality is they can happen for any reason to anyone at any age. The consultant told us the damage Dad did to his neck could have happened to someone turning their neck funny, which is so scary. We largely can’t prevent a stroke happening, but what we can do is be aware of the signs when one happens – that’s what ensures our loved ones are kept safe and they have the best chances at full recovery. Please head over to this webpage to see those signs and understand them. That’s my hope from this post, that you’ll just take 2 minutes to familiarise yourself with the signs.

All that I’d like to do now is say a big thank you to everyone who sent my family and me kind messages when it happened, and to people who continue to provide a support to Dad and all of us. It’s not been the easiest of times, but we’ll get there. Raising funds is helping me to feel like I’m turning this situation into a positive.

Thank you for reading and, if you can, please donate £3 to my JustGiving page and wear a purple flower badge this month to raise awareness.

Leanne x

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A look back at April 2016

Hello! How was your bank holiday weekend? I normally post on a Monday but thought I’d enjoy the long weekend and get back into blogging today. This weekend I got cracking on an exciting project, saw some friends and did some baking… as well as enjoyed a bit of downtime.


A look back at April 2016 - This Little Space of Mine


So onto blogging… I’m back today with my final post for the week –  a look back at April, all with a little help from photos from my Instagram feed.

If you remember last month’s post, March was a little bumpy, but I feel like April has been better. It hasn’t been without it’s tricky bits, but I’ve generally felt better in myself and a corner has been turned. I’ve started a new project, begun fundraising for Stroke Association, whose website was full of useful information when my Dad was taken ill at the beginning of the year, crafted ’til my hearts content and hung out with friends and enjoyed the outdoors a bit more. It feels like I’ve finally come out of hibernation and I’m ready for summer… though my wardrobe most definitely isn’t!

As I’m sharing pictures from my Instagram feed in this post, I should mention my new found love for Instagram in April. I joined in with two photo-alongs, thanks to Lazy Daisy Jones and Crochet Now and Elliebeth Designs UK prompts, and found some great new accounts to follow, felt a bit more confident in the pictures I was posting and generally felt a bit more inspired. Instagram remains my favourite social media channel, though I really do need to get to grips with Snapchat this month. On the subject of Lazy Daisy Jones and Crochet Now’s photo-along, I shared the first 16 days of photos in a post in the middle of last month.

Onto crafts, making crochet flowers for Make May Purple is taking up a lot of my time, but I’m so pleased with how they’re looking – plus I’ve sold over 70 flowers and raised over £200 and it’s only just the beginning of May! If you’d like one too, donate £3 on my JustGiving page and I’ll pop one in the post to you. I also finished the granny square scrap buster blanket I was making for Freds, loved how it turned out, and carried on with my love of cross stitch. I’d imagine May is going to be all about the flowers, but hopefully I can squeeze in some work on my ripple blanket which I really must finish. Pretty sure I started that a year ago this month.

So onto May and this month I’m hoping to enjoy the outdoors even more, keep organising fun things with friends and family and keep enjoying my love of being creative. My best friend has her baby shower at the end of the month and my other best friend has her hen do next month, so there’s a few bits of fun things to organise for them and I’ll keep making flowers too!

How was your April? Any exciting plans for May? Oh I should also add that my May newsletter arrives later today, so add your email address here if you fancy receiving some exclusive sneak peaks at what’s to come this month on This Little Space of Mine.

Thanks for reading, hope you have a good start to the month! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for all the latest.

Leanne x

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5 happy things – 22nd April 2016

Hello! Hope you’re well. I thought I’d drop by with 5 things that have been making me happy this past week. The idea with this post is to focus on the positives; even if sometimes things may seem bad, there’s always a lot of good things around. If you’ve never given it a go yourself, have a think today about what’s making you happy – it’ll put a smile on your face.


5 happy things - 22nd April 2016


5 happy things
  1. Game of Thrones is back NEXT WEEK. Sorry not sorry for the capitals, I’m so excited for it to be back.
  2. Spending last Sunday afternoon with Kate from The Homemakery setting up our planners together.
  3. Raising £170 (so far) for Stroke Association for their annual fundraising month, Make May Purple, by crocheting flowers. Find out more and buy one here.
  4. Kikki K’s Vanskap collection. Kitty stationery will always be a winner.
  5. Booking my ticket to Blogtacular. A part of me didn’t think I’d go, but thankfully Stu reminded me about just how much I love blogging and the blogging community.

What’s been making you happy this week?

Thanks for reading and have a good weekend!

Leanne x

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A look back at March 2016

Hello! Friday already – hurray for that! We’re having a movie night tonight with friends and then Stu has the weekend off so I’m looking forward to a bit of time together. Any exciting plans for the weekend? So onto blogging… I’m back today with my final post for the week –  a look back at March, all with a little help from photos from my Instagram feed. In case you missed my earlier posts this week I’ve been talking about journalling to keep organised and what I’ve been reading this month.


A look back at March 2016 - This Little Space of Mine


So March… how was your month? I’ve been back and forth on sharing this post and wondering how much to say, to hide, to talk about etc. and I’ve come to the conclusion that I should just be honest – isn’t that what blogging is all about? Things have been a bit up and down through March and I’ve struggled at points with bad news and seeing family members struggle through illness. Some days I’ve really had to put on a brave face, even if I’ve felt like hiding under the duvet for the day. Other days have been brighter. Things will absolutely get better, I know that, but sometimes life can throw some cruel punches, can’t it?

Because of that – and all the talk of Instagram changes, looking too much at Google Analytics and traffic ups and downs – I felt a bit lost with blogging in the middle of the month. Definitely feeling better now, but sometimes I think you have to switch off from it all, step away, go outside, be with loved ones and come back to it when you feel better. I had one bad week where I had lower traffic then normal, and got disheartened. But I needn’t have; it was one week. Just one and I got too caught up in it. So no more; I’m going to keep posting the content I love and saying thank you to you for taking the time to read, comment, share my posts.

Enough of the heart on my sleeve stuff… craft wise I finished making something for my best friend’s baby and I’m so pleased with it. I can’t wait to share it with you. I also continued to work on cross stitch, treated myself to my first tapestry project – with a San Francisco map from Hannah Bass tapestry and made my first ever weave courtesy of my We Make Collective kit. I’ll be sharing more on that next week.

And now we’re into April and I am loving the brighter days and seeing the light come into our home more; we bought our home at the end of spring and I remember falling in love with how much light came into it; it’s only when I see that light again do I realise how dark winter can be. This month will also be my sister’s birthday, Stu has a feel more weekends off and I’m getting stuck into my latest read – All The Light We Cannot See.

A few other favourite things this month have included making Easter nest cakes with our nieces, picking up my new car, going to the Knitting and Stitching show with my Mum and sister for Mother’s day, finally (13 years late) finishing Buffy, reading Caboodle Magazine and completing a kitty jigsaw puzzle. Hey, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

How was your March? Any exciting plans for April? Here’s hoping for a positive month!

Last but by no means least… my April newsletter arrives tomorrow, so add your email address here if you fancy receiving some exclusive sneak peaks at what’s to come this month.

Thanks for reading, hope you have a good start to the month! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for all the latest.

Leanne x

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5 happy things – 18th March 2016

Hello! Hope you’re well. I thought I’d drop by with 5 things that have been making me happy this past week. The idea with this post is to focus on the positives; even if sometimes things may seem bad, there’s always a lot of good things around.


5 happy things - 18th March 2016


5 happy things
  1. Planning my meals for the week (and sticking to it!) – I’ve eaten so much healthier for it.
  2. Celebrating Dad’s birthday with him. I’m so thankful for how well he’s been recovering since January.
  3. Working on something for my friends’ baby. It’s bugging me I can’t share how beautiful it’s looking.
  4. How much brighter it is in the morning.
  5. Enjoying our new dining table and not eating meals on our lap every night.

What’s been making you happy this week?

Thanks for reading and have a good weekend!

Leanne x

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A look back at February 2016

Hello, how are you? Welcome to March, hurray! Today I thought I’d share with you a look back at my February, all with a little help from photos from my Instagram feed.


A look back at February 2016 - This Little Space of Mine


As a stark contrast to January, February was a lot calmer. Thank goodness. Dad is getting better – thank you for all your continued well wishes. Last Thursday we all went out for a long walk in the Surrey hills together – it was cold, but sunny and we had a great day.

February has felt like a month of progress on our home too; we both took last week off, timed a big IKEA order to arrive and are now armed with a dining table and finished under stairs cupboard/utility room. We also put up mirrors, shelves, bought a big plant, cleaned the house from top to toe and Stu started work on tidying our garden. It feels so good to see our home come together and all those things have made a big difference. Eight months on and I still love our home so much.

On our week off we also spent time with family, went to London for the day, had sushi for lunch at Feng Sushi and visited the Imperial War Museum – the Holocaust exhibition is humbling to say the least. Freddie celebrated his 6th birthday, I got us tickets to see Jurassic Park at The Royal Albert Hall in November (can’t wait!) and my friend found out she’s expecting a little boy in June. Aww. I also continued on with #theyearinbooks challenge – reading three books in total, and saw my blog traffic and engagement continue to grow, a big big thank you for stopping by and reading!

Craft wise I started (and finished) The Frosted Pumpkin February location, Paris. March’s pattern arrived this morning and I want to get cracking on that as soon as I can. February was also the month I made my very own fox slippers (and knickers!). I’m also loving sharing my weekly Erin Condren planner layouts on Instagram.

And now we head into March, we’re through those bleaker couple of months and spring is just around the corner (though saying that the weather is so gloomy this morning!). It might be my favourite time of year and already I’m noticing it’s still light gone 5pm; I can’t wait for the day I’m driving home from work and it’s still light. March also brings Dad’s birthday, Easter and this coming weekend Ali and I are taking our Mum to the Knitting and Stitching show for Mother’s day. I didn’t go to any craft shows last year so I’m really looking forward to Saturday.

How was your February? Any exciting plans for March?

Thanks for reading, hope you have a good start to the month! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for all the latest.

Leanne x

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5 happy things – 26th February 2016

Hello! Hope you’re well, I’ve been enjoying a week off work this week (and loving it!). I thought I’d drop by with 5 things that have been making me happy this past week. The idea with this post is to focus on the positives; even if sometimes things may seem bad, there’s always a lot of good things around.


5 things making me happy this week - This Little Space of Mine


5 happy things
  1. A week off work and time with Stuart.
  2. Making plans for my best friends’ hen do and wedding and my other best friends’ baby shower.
  3. Playing with yarn pegs. I might do another post on this soon.
  4. Watching the final series of Buffy. I was always a huge fan of Buffy, yet for some reason I never watched the final series.
  5. Pancakes with bacon and maple syrup – it’s a revelation!

What’s been making you happy this week?

Thanks for reading and have a good weekend!

Leanne x

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