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Focus

Last post was my big back to it post...and then I never really got back to it!
I feel like I've been waiting on something, but not quite sure what it is?

A couple of months ago I had an accident at work... I flew into the steel edged wall during the show and managed to tear the ligaments in my leg and foot. All is good now, but I've been out of action for some months. I had a lot of time on the sofa, which has resulted in gaining a few pounds and getting out of shape with my dancing (and apparently my mind).

It's been a real struggle for me to get motivated and get back to it, as my body is feeling all sorts of weirdness. I guess this feeling had spread to my head as I just haven't been able to focus and achieve anything at all, I'm really not exaggerating!
My apartment has been half tidy for weeks, my laundry has been half put away, the washing up is always half done...I just can't seem to finish anything! I feel like it's all part of the "quarter life crisis" I apparently have been experiencing over the past six months!!! I'm just waiting for some epiphany and my goals and ambitions to become clear.

Last night I went to bed late at around 02.00am, not so odd for me as I don't get in from work until 11.30 each evening. I tried to sleep but just couldn't calm my thoughts, I ended up drifting to sleep probably an hour later.
05.00am I was awake. As in WIDE awake!
I led in bed thinking of all the things I needed to do, I considered staying in bed until my alarm went off at 09.00, but instead told myself "now is the moment, GET IT TOGETHER"

I got out of bed and started frantically cleaning my apartment, I took the laundry off the close horse that had been dry for the best part of a week and finally put it away. I put another fresh load in the machine, took the rubbish out, swept and mopped the floor. Made some breakfast and prepared some healths snacks (carrot and celery sticks) for the day ahead.

I then went to the shops, did some grocery shopping and made sure to buy nothing bad. No sweets, no crisps, no icecream. Just fresh fruit, veg and some meat. I've learnt that I can't be rational with "bad" food. If it's there in my cupboards,  I 'll eat it all. That's been a bad eating habit of mine since my dance school days. I'm an all or nothing sort of guy and so today I decided on nothing, No "bad" food in the house!

Along with the food I treated myself to some bunches of flowers that were on offer.

I got home and gathered the flowers vases that I have around the apartment..


The flowers that I bought were all kinds of gorgeous! Bright and vibrant the perfect finishing touch to a nicely cleaned apartment.  
 

I took my time unwrapping the flowers, snipping off the ends and preparing them to place in the jugs. It felt some what meditative as I went stem by stem preparing them for their new homes.


I was almost robotic as I repeated the process on each flower. I noticed that this calm ritual was giving my mind a moment of stillness. It was giving me a chance to bring my thoughts together and focus, on what I wanted/ or needed to do. I took my time and enjoyed the ritual.


The satisfaction that I felt as I organised the flowers was bliss.
Somewhat symbolic to the organisation of my thoughts.


I placed these beauties around the apartment. Adding splurges of colour to the fresh and newly organised rooms.


I know that I sound hugely dramatic, but for the first time in weeks I felt like "I can do this", whatever "this" is?
I feel optimistic and somewhat ready, not sure what for, but I'm ready.


Never before have I been through a period of my life that I've felt so scatty and unfocussed. Have any of you guys experienced that?
I'm hoping the feeling that I have will last, the feeling of focus is a really positive one.
I'm hoping I can really get beck into blogging and work on my crafting. Crafting for myself and sharing the experience with you all.

Here's to finding FOCUS and hoping that it sticks!
Happy Sunday...speak soon,

Back to it

Hello lovelies!
Gosh it's been a while since we last had a chit chat!
I've wanted to come pop by and say hello for many weeks now, the crazy thing is I didn't know where to start, and so I kept putting it off.
I always find it a tad overwhelming getting back into blogging after an absence. I feel almost like I've let you guys down for not being consistent with my posts.
Then there's always the question of how do I get back into my Blogging? Do I fill you in on all the weeks that I haven't blogged, or just continue as if I never had a break?
I decided on a half way point....move forward and over the next posts if I feel like sharing something from the previous weeks, then I will....I guess there are no rules.

So not much has been happening on the blog front, but backstage things have been busy....
I've been working on projects, trying hard to finesse a few pattern ideas and work on new designs.
It's my goal for this year!

I have so many ideas floating around in my head, I do struggle to make them a reality though. Often its that I'm being a little too harsh on my judgement and not letting my projects have a moment to live before I decide that it doesn't work and frog the whole thing. 
I'm going to keep at it though, as I'm hoping the penny will drop and with some perseverance I'll make the ideas in my head become a reality. A reality that (hopefully) I'll be proud/happy enough to share with you guys. 

So what else have I been working on?
A little while ago I was asked to write for Simple Crochet magazine. A small article on whatever I desired. This week I received the May issue of the magazine in the mail and was delighted to see the article that I had written printed amongst the pages.


I am so completely chuffed to say that Boys & Bunting are featured in this months magazine!!
A couple of pages showing of our projects and an article of me jabbering on about us all being inspirational crochet superheroes.


It was a fun column to write and has been pretty well received, which is always nice.
I've received some lovely comments and lots of support from you guys! 
Thanks for that!
So....now I'm going to have a gander through the rest of the pages, sipping on my coffee, basking in the morning sun before work and letting the other glorious creations in this months edition of the magazine inspire the socks off me!
I'll be back soon promise....we have lots to talk about and I'm feeling more blog inspired than ever!!! Have a glorious weekend!

Love always,

Collar Down Cowl + Sale

Hello everyone!

I hope you're all doing well! I can't believe I'm writing this as the sun is shining again. Winter has been quite miserable and rainy here in Germany. Occasional snow, temperature changes between -8 and +8 degrees. Sometimes almost within one day. It's been very unpredictable but that's pretty common over here. However, I've spotted the first flowers popping up outside and I can definitely feel spring peeking through the winter. It's really exciting to me, as I'm not a big fan of the winter.


Even though the weather is getting better, it's still not warm enough to walk around in a t-shirt, and most days I will still need to wear a scarf or a cowl outside. Since a scarf can be a bit bulky I mostly opt to wear one of my cowls. I've especially grown very fond of my most recent pattern: The Collar Down Cowl.


Now I say most recent, but I actually designed this cowl before I even made the Greystoke Cowl! The idea popped up in my head somewhere in November, and within an hour, it was done. I really enjoyed the look of it, but thought it was maybe a little plain at that time to actually write it up as a pattern. But a couple of weeks ago, I suddenly realised it was one of my most worn items, and I loved how it looked when wearing a coat, or just by itself over a sweater. Bold stitches and an almost 'cable-like' effect without actually having to learn how to make cables in crochet.

This pattern

What I love about cowls, is how fast they are to make, and how they provide warmth without adding too much bulk around the rest of your body. It's also something that easily fits in your bag, when you take it off. It's like a 'pocket scarf' really.


I always like my designs to be aimed at men and women. This cowl is another example of that. I've already had some pictures sent to me of people who finished making the cowl, and it always fills my crafty heart with so much happiness! The idea that someone on the other side of the world sat down with the pattern, some yarn, and made this product that I developed in my head once. I picture these people walking around the streets with their finished item and it makes me want to do a little (big) happy dance.


Since a flat photograph of the cowl is not very interesting, I decided to model the cowl myself. It's really not as glamorous as you might think to 'model' a crochet item. It involves me setting up a tripod in the room, with the camera on top, facing a white wall. I then connect my camera through wifi with my phone (technology these days) and hold the phone in my hand as I take the pictures myself. I'm wearing my pyjama trousers which don't show on the pictures. It also involves deleting about 98% of the photos as they are just ridiculous. Luckily I always manage to find a couple that I'm happy with, especially after a quick little edit in Adobe Lightroom!


Like all my recent patterns, this one also includes a video tutorial. Since the cowl is not too difficult to make, the video tutorial is 'only' 30 minutes. I show you how to make the cowl from start to finish and explain all the stitches very clearly. I always thinks it really helps out those people that might struggle with a written pattern, but feel very confident about copying someone from a video. That's how I learned to crochet myself after all.

The yarn I used in this cowl is a chunky / bulky weight yarn. It's called Rico Essentials Super Super Chunky. It's perfect for this project, as you need only 1 skein to finished the item. The recommended hook size for this yarn is a 10mm hook, but I decided to go with a 9mm hook. You can use any chunky / bulky weight yarn that suggests using somewhere between a 9 and 11 mm hook. Also, the pattern is very easily modified, and I've added instructions in the written pattern as well!


Since the winter is almost over, I've also decided to give you guys a little discount code! Since Etsy doesn't offer discount codes for specific items, feel free to use the code for any item in our shop.
I've just put up a new listing as well, where you can purchase all 4 of my recent patterns (The Greystoke Hat, Greystoke Cowl, Point Made Scarf and the Collar Down Cowl) in one set for a much lower price than buying each one individually (note: this pack is only available on Etsy, as Ravelry doesn't have this option).


The following discount code will give you 25% off on your purchase, on either Ravelry or Etsy:

SPRINGSALE

It's valid until Sunday the 19th at the end of the day (midnight EST). 

I hope you're all experiencing some better weather at the moment, although I've seen a lot of people experiencing lots of snow at the moment! Stay warm, take care and keep on hooking!