Posts Tagged ‘blog’

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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3 years of Blogtacular – and why this year was the best!

I’ve been lucky enough to attend all three Blogtacular events, with the 17th/18th June 2016 event being the latest. I’d wrote a spontaneous post a couple of weeks back about the things to do post-Blogtacular, if you’d attended, but today I kind of want to take a moment to reflect back on the weekend and why this year was the best event.

So what is Blogtacular? I appreciate you might be reading this wondering what the heck it is. While I could recite what it says on their website, about “Blogtacular being the place for bloggers whose hearts beat with creativity to come together to meet, share and inspire.”, I’d like to add a personal spin to it. Blogtacular is the one day of my year where I get to step out of my day to day routine to really spend a day on me and my creativity. For that reason, it’s a real treat day and a day I countdown to. I feel pretty fortunate have that opportunity and to have something in the diary that I know will keep me happy and creative… plus a chance to meet up with fellow creative folk, some of whom I class as friends and others are most likely friends in the making!

3 years of attending Blogtacular - and why this year was the best!

I’d probably struggle to put into words what I took from the day, so for now here are my five reasons why this year was the best.

1. I full threw myself into it. What’s the phrase? You’ll get out what you put in? That. This year I booked myself into a hotel for the Friday night, instead of rushing to get there on the Saturday morning. That meant I arrived before the doors opened and was able to enjoy breakfast and time to natter to people in a relaxed fashion before it all kicked off. It also meant I got to go to the welcome party at West Elm. On the day itself I also made a conscious effect to look at the marketplace, go to the creative genius bar to talk to Allison Sadler and to do some crafting with the ladies from The New Craft House. I knew the more I got involved in, the more I would take from the day and it really worked!

2. Everything ran like clockwork. I mention this because it’s one of those things where if it runs smoothly you don’t tend to notice, but if it goes to pot you really notice. I cannot complement Kat and the team enough on how smoothly everything ran on the day; everyone was well informed, we knew where everything was and the timings were spot on. So, yes, I did notice and kudos to team Blogtacular for a smoothly running day, allowing everyone to fully relax.

3. Fantastic speakers. Every year Blogtacular pull it out of the bag with a fab line up of speakers, and every year I wonder how they’ll top it next time. Lisa Congdon‘s keynote speech made me really think about what I was expected to do in life vs. what I really want to do, Kate at A Playful Day made me step back and give thought to telling a story and Laura at Superlatively Rude made me think about my writing and how I could been a bit more bold like Laura. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

4. A real sense of community and friendship. A friend recently told me about a blogging event she went to where she ended up having lunch on her own because no one talked to her. I was shocked. Hand on heart, I could never imagine that happening at Blogtacular. Everyone is friendly and looking out for each other. If you end up standing on your own, it won’t be for too long before someone comes over to say hello, and if you go to a talk on your own you’ll be talking to the person sitting next to you in no time.

5. Space and time to talk, chill, eat and be inspired! Going to an event like Blogtacular can be a big deal. Being in a room with lots of people who you’re perhaps intimidated by, or simply don’t know, can be quite nerve wracking, but the environment for Blogtacular was spacious, with teas, coffees etc. on tap and several breaks where you could fuel up on food and drink (including an incredibly delicious lunch!). In my opinion, having space eases nerves and allows you to break away if you just need a five minute breather.

A huge thank you to Kat and team Blogtacular for a wonderful day! And a big hello to all the Blogtacular attendees!

Leanne x

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Photo credit: A big thank you to Mollie Makes and Will Ireland for the photo used in this post.

5 things to do after Blogtacular

Wowee, what a weekend that was! I grabbed myself a ticket to this weekend’s Blogtacular event, booked a hotel on Brick Lane and spent a couple of days with a group of incredibly inspiring creative folk. It made my heart happy and I’m still buzzing from all I learned, the friends I spent time with, new people I met and goodies I came back with. I feel inspired to do more, stick to my goals, create new ones and… just keep going! Sometimes we can all fall into lulls, but Blogtacular will (and has in the past) 100% lifted me out of any slumps.

I’ve got lots to write about Blogtacular, and many, many thank you’s to say (Kat & co, I’m looking at you!), but today I want to kick off with 5 things to do after Blogtacular; this year was my 3rd time attending and in these past three years I’ve learned a lot about how to get the best from blogging events. It’s what we do afterwards that really counts.

So if you’re feeling those post-Blogtacular blues, I hope this post will help!

5 things to do after Blogtacular. Blogtacular 2016 has been and gone, but it's now the next steps that count! I've shared 5 things we can all be doing to make sure we get the very best from Blogtacular and all it has to offer! Post from This Little Space of Mine

  1. Write a list. And another. And another. Write as many as you need to. My list has consisted (so far) of emailing those people I want to talk more to, taking photos of things I want to share on Instagram (like our amazing goody bag!) and little tweaks and prompts I want to think about for my blog and Fred and Bell. Some of them are what I call ‘quick wins’ and some will take me longer to figure out, but this is the best way for me to keep on track and make sure I take everything I possibly can from Blogtacular.
  2. Make connections! Top of the list, just say hello. At the very least, give those new friends or speakers a follow on Instagram, Twitter and the likes, but don’t be afraid to send an email or a private message to thank them, continue the chat or arrange to see them again. It’s easy to walk away from Blogtacular, knowing you had a good time but doing nothing with it. What you do after Blogtacular is what counts, and those connections are hugely important. Don’t forget the Blogtacular Facebook group for attendees too!
  3. Write down those good feelings you felt. After the first Blogtacular in 2014 I walked away on this huge high, but slowly as “real life” creeped back in I forgot those good thoughts and goals I’d promised myself I’d work towards. After last year (and this year’s event) I always write down the goals, feelings and good vibes that make me smile and aim high. Putting them in a prominent place, like a notice board or on a wall, is a good way of keeping them in your mind too.
  4. Look up those topics and bloggers you didn’t know about. Did you have a Joey from Friends moment where you nodded along when someone talked about something you’d never heard of? Now is the best time to look it up and get in the know. Those little snippets are golden and will elevate your blogging/creative knowledge in no time. This year’s Blogtacular has made me want to give Snapchat another go and I’ve already spent hours reading Laura’s Superlatively Rude blog after her FAB workshop. Side note: have you listened to Laura’s podcast? It’s my new must-listen.
  5. Share stories and pictures. Those post-Blogtacular blues are horrible, so scrolling through the #Blogtacular hashtag on Instagram and Twitter has kept me going and I love seeing everyone’s pictures and memories from the weekend gone. Say hello or comment on the pictures you love – it’s all about making connections with the things we have in common with each other.

Were you at Blogtacular this year? I’d love to say hello to you! You can pop a comment to me below or reach me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or drop me an email. I was the one handing out sticker samples for Fred and Bell – which were received so incredibly well (hurrah!). But more on that soon.

I’ll end with this post with a picture taken of me and Allison having a hug. I met Allison at the first Blogtacular and we’ve kept in touch ever since; I only ever see her at Blogtacular, but it’s always the best… she has the best advice and gives wonderful hugs.

5 things to do after Blogtacular. Blogtacular 2016 has been and gone, but it's now the next steps that count! I've shared 5 things we can all be doing to make sure we get the very best from Blogtacular and all it has to offer! Post from This Little Space of Mine

Let’s keep those connections going!

Leanne x

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Photo credit: A big thank you to Mollie Makes and Will Ireland for the photos used in this post.

5 tools that will help keep your blog organised

Hello! It’s been a while, but I’m back today with another marketing themed blog post, this time looking a 5 tools that will help keep your blog organised – all tools I use on a regular basis. If you fancy catching a previous marketing post, here are a couple of links for you:

5 tools that will help keep your blog organised - including Trello, Dropbox, Hootsuite and more! Post from This Little Space of Mine

5 tools that will help keep your blog organised

So here are 5 tools that I’m using to help keep my blog organised; everyone is different and has their own way of keeping organised, but these are all tried and tested and tools I use on a regular basis. Love to hear if you have any other tools you use and love.

1. Dropbox

I’d be a little lost without Dropbox. I use Dropbox to store all images and WordPress back ups of my website (which I do on the 1st of every month). I’ve got Dropbox connected to my laptop too, so everything is in two places pretty much. I have a folder for each post, so I can quickly flick back to an old post if I need to grab a particular image, style or wording. I pay for Dropbox on a monthly basis, but given that I use it for my personal photos too, I think it’s well worth the money. Definitely a great back up system that can be reached when you’re on the move; I use it sometimes to grab photos for Instagram, as one example.

2. Trello

I’ve talked about Trello a lot, I feel like I could be an ambassador of Trello (I would love that), but seriously I would be a little lost without having Trello there to help me plan my content, keep on track with deadlines and make sure I have everything covered in good time. It feels like Trello was made for bloggers and you can read a little bit more about how I use it to organise my blog (and life) here.

3. Keep

The idea for this post came to me while I was sat in traffic on my way to work. I quickly noted down the key points in Keep and off I went. Keep, or any form of notes app on a smartphone feels like an essential for a blogger. There are so many times, at the most unexpected of places, that ideas come to me, or I’m reminded of something I need to do. Keep lets me quickly note it down without a further thought, ready for me to come back to later. Plus, with Keep you can colour code notes, add them to folders, add labels and a whole lot more. Keep is also available on desktop.

4. Hootsuite

If you want to spread the word and attract new visitors to your blog, sometimes scheduling posts and social media updates is the best way – especially if you have a full time job or a busy schedule. Hootsuite is one of the best; I use it for scheduling tweets only – but it can be used for scheduling Facebook messages and as a prompt for your Instagram posts. The reason I post Facebook separately – on Facebook directly in fact – is because you’ll apparently keep their algorithms happy by scheduling directly on Facebook. Anyone else heard that too?

5. Pen and paper

As much as I love technology, for so many things, you can never beat old fashioned pen and paper. I use my Erin Condren planner to note down the things I need to do, and would like to do that week. Sometimes blogging can feel overwhelming but by breaking it down into small manageable chunks it keeps it enjoyable. There’s something hugely rewarding about having a hand written list that you tick off through a day, evening or lunch break (if you’re like me).

I could’ve included so many more – Facebook, Drive, Slack, WordPress calendar are just a few off the top of my head. This gives a good starting point though. What tools do you use to manage your blog that you wouldn’t be without? I’d love to hear; love finding new web apps especially.

I hope you found this post useful; I’ve also got lots more ideas over on my Marketing and Blogging Pinterest board, so do pop over for further reads. You can also email or tweet me if you need a helping hand with any blogging questions.

Follow Leanne | This Little Space’s board Marketing and blogging on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading!

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Photo credit: DTTSP

5 common blog obstacles and how to overcome them

Hello! I’m back today with another marketing themed blog post, this time looking a 5 common blog obstacles a lot of bloggers seem to face and notes on how to overcome them.

Before I talk about blog obstacles I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who took the time to read the Trello post I published last month. I was so nervous about putting it out there and annoying readers, as it’s not really craft or home related, but the response was great and I’ve even got a few new people using Trello and seeing the benefits. That’s a huge win and makes the time I spent putting that post together totally worthwhile. So, onto today’s post…

5 common blog obstacles (and how to overcome them!) - Post via This Little Space of Mine

5 common blog obstacles and how to overcome them

I’ve picked and discussed 5 common blog obstacles below; these are ones I’ve come across or know there’s been a lot of discussion on. We all face our own unique battles and I hope this will help guide you if you’re new to blogging or been blogging for a while and are finding yourself getting ‘stuck’. I’m happy to answer further questions in a follow up post, so your feedback would be wonderful. You can also email or tweet me if you need a helping hand with anything blogging related. So let’s go –

1. No one is reading my blog, what’s the point?

I include this one because it’s been a bug bear of mine over the years. Ultimately I always come to the conclusion that you’ve got to be blogging for yourself. Yes remember your audience, but stick to your guns, stick to posting about what you’re genuinely interested in and your tribe will find you eventually (with a little help from self-promotion on social media). The point has to be it’s for you and if it’s not, perhaps blogging isn’t the right avenue for you.

2. My blog isn’t as good as x, y or z and it’s dragging me down.

Oh self-doubt and comparison is a horrible thing. We’ve all been there and we’re all critical of our own work – I know I am. But remember your journey and where you are in your story; the likelihood is that you’re comparing yourself to someone who has been blogging for a long time, does it for a full time job, has a team of collaborators etc. The reasons are endless. The point is you have your own story to tell; sure, be inspired by what others are doing to push you further, but don’t let it drag you down. If it is, stop looking at them.

3. I don’t even know what to write about anymore.

Have you thought about having a blog break? I did it last summer for 6 weeks (and plan to do it again this year) and it was a great opportunity to have a rest and re-charge the creative batteries. Sometimes you can be “too in it” to see objectively, so a break could give you a chance to rest, plan and re-focus. If that’s not an option, how about creating a series of small posts to space out content? Or there are lots of posts on my Marketing and Blogging Pinterest board designed to give content ideas.

4. I’m struggling to find the time to blog.

I work full time and totally understand this, but I’m always of the opinion that you’ll make time if it’s something you really enjoy. I plan/prep blog posts during my lunch break, in the evenings and over the weekend. I have to think about my time carefully and I’d be lost without my Trello board (check out my post on organising your blog calendar with Trello), my Erin Condren Planner and scheduling tools on Hootsuite and Facebook. Scheduling and forward thinking is key here, but always think about what’s realistic for you; I know I physically couldn’t blog every day (nor do I want to), but I’ve found my groove with 3 times a week.

5. There are so many social media channels out there – which ones should I be using?

It’s true, there are! Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Periscope, the list goes on! The best thing you can do is spend time on the channels you enjoy the most; while I love the idea of YouTube I don’t know if I have the time or energy to really give it the attention it deserves to produce great content. It’s much better to give the best you possibly can on a handful of channels then spread yourself too thinly on all. I’d definitely recommend setting up profiles on these channels (if nothing else, to own the username!) but pick a couple and work to build engagement on those and then expand if you feel comfortable. My favourites are Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

I hope you’ve found this useful; do you agree or disagree with any of my points? I’d love to hear your feedback. I’ve also got lots more ideas over on my Marketing and Blogging Pinterest board, so do pop over for further reads. You can also email or tweet me if you need a helping hand with any blogging questions.

Follow Leanne | This Little Space’s board Marketing and blogging on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a good Wednesday!

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Photo credit: DTTSP

How I use Trello to organise my blog (and my life!)

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, probably a good year in fact. It’s a concept I’ve been mulling over; while I talk a lot about crafts on here, my day to day job isn’t something I really share online too much. In fact, I don’t think many blogs I read talk about their day to day lives, so I’m kind of curious. So before I start talking about Trello and I use it organise my blog, I hope you don’t mind me giving you a little background.

I work in marketing and have done since I graduated with a Business Management degree in 2007. I started in field marketing before moving to email marketing about six and a half years ago. I’ve worked with lots of great clients and love seeing how businesses operate and grow, as well as seeing the success they have in email and wider marketing. The field keeps me learning and that’s one of the best things about my job.

So I’m going to do something brave and challenge myself to posting a monthly blog about marketing; I’ll keep it fairly broad and always aim to bring it back to blogging and being creative, so hopefully you’ll stick with me. Even if you’re not in marketing or are a blogger, I’d hope there’s still something you can take from it.

Today I’m excited to share with you my love of Trello and how useful I think it can be to organising your blog and your blog editorial calendar. So let’s get stuck in…

How to use Trello to organise your blog (and your life!). Post and top tips via This Little Space of Mine

How I use Trello to organise my blog (and my life!)

Trello is a project management board where you can have lists, cards, due dates, labels, checklists, calendar views etc. You can move things around and build a board how it works for you – so there’s lots of flexibility. It’s primarily web based, but they also have an app for Apple and Android. I love Trello and I have done for years; it was introduced to me by a work colleague and it’s a tool I use for work, blogging and organising my personal life – so this post isn’t just for bloggers, I promise!

Here’s a snapshot of how my February blogging board looked:

How I use Trello to organise my blog. This Little Space of Mine

You’ll see I have lists for each week of February – which I run from Monday to Sunday, and then there are what they call cards for each blog post. I also have cards for my social media scheduling and monthly newsletter. Here’s a closer look at the first two weeks of February.

How I use Trello to organise my blog. This Little Space of Mine

A few key features that I find really useful:

Labels. You’ll see just above the blog post titles various colours, which I’ve set up to tell me where I am in the process of completing the post:

  • Green: To research/make/read/bake/visit
  • Yellow: To photograph
  • Orange: To edit photographs
  • Red: To write
  • Purple: Scheduled
  • Blue: Social updates scheduled

Due dates. Beneath the blog post title you’ll see a date, which you can set and adjust as you need. As the date approaches the colour changes to let you know it’s pending (you can also set up email notifications). There’s also a calendar view to show you more visually how your blog schedule looks – similar to the WordPress plugin.

How I use Trello to organise my blog. This Little Space of Mine

Checklists. The checklist feature is incredibly helpful and ensures I cover everything I need to for a given post. You’re able to copy cards, so once you’ve set up one blog card with checklists you can copy it as many times as you need – no need to repeat yourself (so keeping it nice and efficient). For me I’ve tried to stay away from lots of lists in the past, but ultimately it makes me more likely to get 1) stressed and 2) forget something, so the checklist feature is one of my favourite things about Trello. Here’s an example checklist I use when writing a post.

How I use Trello to organise my blog. This Little Space of Mine

My checklists cover photography, writing the post, scheduling and organising social media posts.

You can also see how you’re progressing through a checklist when you look at a card on the board (meaning you don’t have to click into each and every card to double check).

Adding images. You’ll notice on a couple of cards that I’ve added images; with Trello you can upload as many images and attachments as you need. I use images to make the board more visual for me, but more so to tell me that I’ve finished creating the photographs I need to for that particular post. You can also attach from URLs, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and more.

Customising. As well as labels, you can also add stickers and change the background. I tend not to use stickers (as it makes it a bit too busy for me!) but I’ve customised the background to something relevant to my branding. It’s worth adding here that Trello is free, with an option to upgrade to Trello Business Class. The paid for option gives you a lot more options to customise, as well as integrations with other platforms, and I uploaded my own background when they ran a free trial. The standard background options are from a palette of colours.

Multiple users. While not relevant to my blog at the moment, at work a team of us use Trello and work from the same board; we all have access and can assign ourselves to cards and @ mention each other if there’s something we need to alert them to. When Stu and I moved house we also set up a board for things we need to do and buy and would assign each other tasks. This makes it a great tool if you’re collaborating with someone or a group of people on a project.

Setting up an ideas board

I used to have a list on this board where I’d add blog post ideas, but found the board was starting to get messy and I wasn’t able to clearly see my ideas and how they fit with the Create, Home and Lifestyle themes of my blog. I’ve recently set up a second Trello board (you can have as many as you need) and so far it seems to be working. I thought having two boards would be a bit daunting, but breaking it down is a theme that works well for me. Here’s a snapshot of my ideas board as it looked at the beginning of February – some of these ideas may never come to light, but you never know!

How I use Trello to organise my blog. This Little Space of Mine

Beyond Trello – using pen and paper

While I use Trello on a daily basis, I still like to use pen and paper to help keep me organised – this applies to my blog and work life. For my blog I have this pad of paper from OhNoRachio’s shop where I filter what I need to do and what would be nice to do in a week, which is paper clipped to my Erin Condren planner. That way Trello never gets too overwhelming for me and allows me to breakdown posts and progress I’ve made.

So what do you think – could this help you with your blogging, work or personal life? I use Trello for so much in my life and I can’t now imagine not using it – I even used it for organising Christmas presents last year!

If you’re looking for more information on how to get started with Trello, they’ve got a great selection of guides that’ll help you, as well as some interesting user stories over on their blog. As a company I really support them and enjoy their brand. I hope you’ll love them as much as me.

If you have any questions on Trello, or feedback on this new post and marketing feature drop me a comment below or tweet me – be great to hear from you.

Leanne x

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Photo credit: DTTSP

Happy 1st birthday This Little Space of Mine!

Today marks one year since I launched This Little Space of Mine! Happy birthday to… me, I guess! What a year it’s been; with long holidays, weddings and a house move this year has been non-stop but I’ve loved developing This Little Space of Mine and, in the last couple of months, I feel more focused then ever and full of exciting plans.

Happy 1st birthday - This Little Space of Mine

I’d love to say a big thank you to you for reading and for those especially have been around since day one and visited time and time again. I’m a numbers nerd and I love seeing what’s popular and even what’s not; it’s helped me develop and continue to develop my content. Thank you!

What better a way to celebrate then by looking at my five most popular posts from the last year. Which was your favourite post?

The story of the knitted sky blanket – March 2015. This had to feature, didn’t it? The biggest craft project I’ve taken on; over the course of 14 months making a knitted sky blanket had its highs and lows but I love it and it now sits proudly on our sofa.

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

A beautiful summer wedding in Gloucestershire – the day my best friend got married – July 2015. Equally pleased to see this; one of my favourite days of the year gone by, it was truly a special time to stand by my best friend as her bridesmaid. And didn’t she look beautiful?

The one where my best friend got married. A beautiful wedding in a small Gloucestershire village - This Little Space of Mine

Fudge Kitchen experience in Edinburgh – December 2015. Stu and I love the Fudge Kitchen and treated ourselves to their fudge making experience course when in Edinburgh for our anniversary last year. Great fun, plus we got to take loads of it home!

Fudge Kitchen experience - This Little Space of Mine

Learn to knit with Simple Stylish Knitting magazine – March 2015. I remember this post well; I started it by talking about knitting vs. crochet and it certainly generated a bit of discussion! I’ve since learnt how to crochet (hurray!) but knitting will always be my favourite and I love receiving Simple Stylish Knitting through the post once a month.

Learn to knit with Simple Stylish Knitting - This Little Space of Mine

Getting started with Anna Jones’ ‘A Modern Way to Eat’ – May 2015. My favourite cook book these days, I even have Anna Jones’ second book now. I looked at the contents of the book as well as setting myself the challenge of 5 makes from it, back in May. Oops, I really need to make the final one and talk more about it!

A modern way to eat - This Little Space of Mine

Quite interesting to see a variety of posts pop up – craft, home and lifestyle. What kind of posts are your favourite reads?

Thank you so much for reading – here’s to the next 12 months!

Leanne x

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A summer break!

Happy summer holidays! For kids and parents it means no school, maybe a holiday and 6 weeks to entertain the kids. For me it means an easier commute and more kids in town when I pop out to get my lunch. The lessened commute is a big plus!

The one where my best friend got married. A beautiful wedding in a small Gloucestershire village - This Little Space of Mine

With school holidays comes a chance for a break before that final stint of the year and I’ve been thinking about just that for This Little Space of Mine. This year has been insanely busy and instead of just keeping up, I thought I’d take a good month or so off blogging to carry on with home improvements, enjoy some summer sunshine (wishful thinking!) and put into plan some of the ideas I have for my blog.

So I’ll be back in September, ready and rearing to go! In the meantime you can still catch me on all the usual channels…

Enjoy the summer break and I hope you’ll be back when I return!

Leanne x

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Photo credit: Dan Fisher Photography

A day of learning and inspiration at Blogtacular

Taking a day out from the normal is pretty good for the soul, I’ve decided. A moment to step out of the day to day, expectations placed on you (or ones you put on yourself) and find happiness or ideas in an area you wouldn’t expect. Blogging has always given me that, as well as an outlet for creativity, and that’s why I was excited to head to Blogtacular last month.

If you haven’t heard of it, or perhaps you’re not a blogger yourself, Blogtacular is a one day event for bloggers and creatives to come together to meet, share and inspire others. As an attendee it allowed me to listed and learn from creatives and those who are making it on their own, doing what they love. That in itself is pretty inspirational; I’d love to one day work for myself – the how and what I’d do I really don’t know.

Blogtacular - This Little Space of Mine

Before I share the things that stuck with me from the day, I must say thank you to Mollie Makes for taking and allowing me to share the photos on here. Secondly, if you’re already thinking that this might be up your street then get involved with their virtual conference – giving you access to talks from the day. I’ve bought my ticket!

So learnings from the day – there are heaps and heaps, but I’ll just share a few snippets. To read other posts from the day head over to the dedicated Pinterest board.

Being brave and asking a question to Grace Bonney

Grace Bonney, founder of Design*Sponge, kicked off the day and wow, she blew me away. Her presence, passion and friendliness was incredible. Grace spoke about fear and change and the words resonated closely with every single person in the room. The key point, for me, was that if you can acknowledge your fears it’ll ‘take the sting out’ – you can watch her talk in full over on Blogtacular’s YouTube channel. So even if you’re not a blogger, or creative or any of the above, we all experience fear and there are ways of handling it.

Blogtacular - This Little Space of Mine

As part of her keynote, Grace asked us all to note down three fears. When it came to questions for Grace I did the most unlike me thing, maybe ever, and asked a question – sharing one of my fears with Grace. I’m normally way too scared to do anything like that, but I’m so glad I did. I asked about the horribleness of comparison, how it can really impact on my confidence and how I might overcome it. And she got it and her answer really gave me food for thought. And hey, people said to me afterwards that it was a good question and I think helpful to others too. Yay me! If you want to hear my question and Grace’s answer, flick to 42:45 in the video.

The energy of Marte Marie Forsberg

Marie ran two sessions at Blogtacular and I got myself along to her food photography and styling workshop in the afternoon. Marie is amazing. There are no other words. Her energy and enthusiasm and heck, even the way she described strawberries and cream was endearing and weirdly mesmerising.

Blogtacular - This Little Space of Mine

Marie’s a food photographer – do have a look at her portfolio – and her session included some useful insights into styling my photographs, but really it’s her energy and passion that’s stayed with me – along with her line about how a photograph should always tell a story. That I need to bring into my photography.

It’s OK to want this

Sometimes I get really excited about blogging. I have a brainwave, bursting with ideas, time to practice my photography, write etc. and I feel really happy. Then life steps in and time and time again I seem to convince myself that it’s not real, it’s a bit of fun, it doesn’t matter to anyone. Well, no more. I walked away from Blogtacular and decided that it is a thing, it’s a thing I enjoy and it’s a thing I want to explore more. I love marketing and if nothing else, blogging and interacting with a creative community is helping me learn new marketing skills.

Of course it’s more than that for me, but the day certainly cemented in my mind that people are earning livings from this, working hard, opening up to new opportunities and the only thing stopping me from going down that road is me. Oh and probably time, but you get where I’m going with it!

Blogtacular - This Little Space of Mine

Bloggers are the friendliest of people

OK, I kind of knew this already, but there’s nothing like an event where people come together to remind me of it. Speaking to fellow bloggers – some I’ve spoken to already, some I hadn’t – was a huge part of the day and it feels like I’ve made some big steps already in the blogging community, because of Blogtacular.

I finally got to meet bloggers I’ve been speaking to for ages – Katie and Claire were a great support on the day and I’m so glad I got to meet them. I got to have a chat with Helena from Mollie Makes about styling, made new blogger friends in Abi and Tessa and got to catch up with Fran and Allison, amongst many others. It made my heart happy to spend time with these amazing ladies.

Time flies way too fast

The one downside of the day is that it all went far too quickly. It felt like I was in a whirlwind and there were so many other people I’d have loved to have spoken to, so many speakers I’d love to have heard and just five minutes to sit down and digest all I was learning. Probably would’ve helped had I gone to the evening event! But there you go; what counts is what I’ve taken away from the day. Plus, the virtual conference is a fab idea and I’m looking forward to the first videos being released.

Blogtacular - This Little Space of Mine

A big big thank you to Kat Molesworth and Kat Goldin for all their hard work in putting the day together; my head was buzzing with ideas and, now more than ever, I’m determined to push forward with my goals and ideas.

If you’re curious about Blogtacular, come along to their Wednesday evening Twitter chat – 9pm (GMT), 4pm (Eastern) or 1pm (Pacific). It’s a great way of learning from each other and getting that support you’ll need to further your blogging or creative lifestyle.

Blogtacular - This Little Space of Mine

Finally… were you there? If I missed you, please say hello below – I wish I could’ve talked to more people so it’d be nice to continue to make those connections.

Thanks for reading!

Leanne x
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Photo credit: Mollie Makes