Tea blog: the travel bug

I have been working my butt off for the last few months in prep for June, a month which was supposed to be purely full of birthday fun and travel. Although I realise that you have seen very little of it as life, as it tends to do, has decided to throw a few curve balls in my path. So far I have just had to learn to work within my limits and focus on one project at a time- otherwise I may end up putting myself round the twist.

My plan for June was all about about friends and family- and while I have managed to do all these it has not all been as relaxed as I had hoped it would be. I am currently typing this post from a shady sun bed by the pool in Portugal so to say that there has been no relaxing would be an exaggeration. However events at home have made it more difficult to turn off and appreciate where we (as a family) are at.

My birthday was on the 23rd of June and part of my celebration was a visit to friends living in London. Just a few days of hanging out and sight seeing with my girls who I haven’t seen in person since last October. However the highlight of the trip was going to see the two shows of Harry  Potter and the Cursed Child which is currently showing in London on Saturday the 18th of June. Now respecting JK’s wishes and not wanting to ruin it for anyone waiting/wishing to go see it I won’t write a review/spoilers. However I really enjoyed the experience, re-entering the HP universe and the characters we all love. The special affects in particular were amazing. However the plot in my opinion wasn’t what I was expecting – but in agreement with my friends – it is best to view the play as a Christmas special. Something out of the norm, which allows you a special glimpse into the world however the events have no effect on the story or really progress the plot in anyway. Overall, truly worth a visit and really funny.

While in London we also managed to squeeze in a couple of visits to West End live which was happening the same weekend in Trafalgar Square. We saw Wicked, Matilda, Guys and Dolls, Stump, Triller and The Lion King. They each performed a couple of songs from their performance (although it felt like we saw the entire Thriller play) and they were all great. However the stand out by far for me was The Lion King. They performed three song and the music, the performance, the choir were just amazing. I have seen glimpses of the play from tv etc but I would truly love to see the whole thing if they ever tour again or when I manage to get back to London.

After this it was almost time to go, however we squeezed in a cinema date to see the new X-Men Apocalypse which was great, really taking the plot back to the days of the cartoon which is where I developed my love of the series. And quick pop into the udderbelly comedy festival before flying back into Belfast.

After a very quick repack we (as a family this time) flew out to Portugal we landed on the 22nd and the EU referendum for the UK was on the 23rd and waking to hear that the UK had left the EU has been a source of much stress and fear over the last few days, not only for myself but friends and family. This turn of events compounded changes with work which had conspired the week before my holidays began.
I have been forced to relocate or ‘transfer’ with work to a branch were I have had some negative working experiences which is also further/more awkward to reach. And this relocation is almost immediate, as I am to start work there upon my return from annual leave, which is stressing me out quite a bit. I am also returning to work after being out of the loop quite a bit, as the company I work for is an EU based company was branches in the UK and so far, I have not heard what the consequences for Northern Irish companies has or will be, which is just adding to my stress levels. I am only 24 but with job offers, rejections, relocation’s and political upheaval I feel this might be what a quarter life crisis feels like. However I am staying positive, continuing to work on my c.v., applying to jobs where I can use my skills more and working on myself mentally and physically.

Thank you for taking the time to share in my mental debrief.

Sincerely,

Maebhe

Tea Blog: Sewing adventures

So the blog has been quite for a couple of weeks now because i have attempted a couple of big projects as part of my sewing adventures and as creative fodder for the blog. One turned out quite well, not quite perfect but i am very happy with it. Another was completed but didn’t turn out as well as i hoped and it was this project which swallowed up the majority of my time. These projects were a kimono/cardigan and a huge tulle skirt- none of these designs were my own i took a lot of advice from an awesome blog/Youtuber called WithWendy as well as an amalgamation of advice from numerous Pinterest posts.

Kimono/Cardigan

So…. sensible Maebhe went out the window when it came to experimenting with my new sewing machine and i went straight to a huge project with many complicated seams and techniques. Now it was eventually able to complete the cardigan ( this is project 2 mentioned above) however the shape, fit and look of the overall piece is a little rough and unpolished & therefore isn’t something i will probably ever wear. However i am proud of how much i learned in the process and would genuinely feel less intimidated when it comes to taking on another big project in the future. I also learned that velvet is one of the worst fabrics to try and learn to sew on. It sheds while being cut, it sticks to itself constantly when you put the right sides together to try and measure any templates out and is super slidie when the satin side is down.

However since completing the cardigan i have been thinking on how to use it as i don’t want it to go to waste. So i’m thinking since i heading to London in June to see the Harry Potter theater show i am going to purchase a Gryffindor patch to attach and make it a Gryffindor…. dressing gown…? 🙂 I will be wearing potter stuff from head to toe with my besties so i doubt anyone will judge but its an idea, we will see.

 It’s Sunday which means no make up and therefore my face ain’t made for the blog right now.

Tulle Skirt 

I was really happy with how this project turned out despite losing an entire weekend sewing layers of tulle together. Now before you judge, i realise its not perfect – the waistband needs a little work, and its very puffy therefore making me look a little bit like a Gothic cupcake but i really love it.


Like i mentioned in the intro- i got a lot of the basic skills from WithWendy and she tutorial are awesome but i still felt like her work was a little advanced for myself (see project 1) so when i came to creating this project i adjusted the foundation for the skirt by skipping the creation of an underskirt and used a body-con skirt that i never wear (it was a random purchase during high school). And then created the rows and rows and ROWS of tulle. Running two single stitch rows along the top of each of the rows and then pulling the opposite end of each row to create scrunching and then attached the accumulated layers to the skirt in a slightly tiered design.

9 layers of fine tulle in 3 rows / 4 layers of course tulle in 2 rows

 This ultimately resulted in a huge puffy skirt which i adore – which totally gave me flash backs to high school and my My Chemical Romance days and Helena – leave me a comment if you see it! And my Nike tee is probably not the best combo but who cares, because after all the rows of stitches i had used to attach the tulle it had affected how stretchy the skirt was, so it was a small miracle that i was able to get it on over my more than generous butt. And i loved my Princess Leia hair buns this day, they totally haven’t turned out this well since.

Please check out Wendy’s blog she can properly advise how to do something like this compare to me who depend on rough doodles example above.

I hope you enjoy and i will hopefully take you on my next fabric shopping trip and keep you up to date on my sew adventures.

Maebhe

 

 

The Secret Anime Lover

So something i haven’t spoken about a lot on my blog is my love of anime. And this is something that has grown in recent years, even more than i was when i was younger and it was maybe slightly more acceptable to watch cartoons. Compared to now when i am watching anime and someone walks in and all they can hear is Japanese coming out of the laptop and then cast a questioning stare at me and all the decisions i have made so far in my life… 🙂

However genuinely i have have renewed my love of anime in the last year as i have re-watched old favourites from university, caught out with follow up seasons and discovering some new favs!

Old Favourites

So as you will soon be able to tell my taste in anime as changed a little recently. However my original love was ALL about the romance, fantasy, non-fantasy, didn’t matter as long as it was all about the romance.

One of the first anime i found (after all the studio ghibli of course) is Kaichou-wa Maid Sama, a high school romance drama which is unique because kick ass heroine, Misaki, works at a maid cafe (a uniquely Japanese situation, these are a brand of cafes where the employees dress up as the stereotypical french maid and have a cosplay like attitude when serving customers). Sounds weird but its really funny in the situation and it works for enhancing the drama between the protagonist and her romance Usui, he enjoys teasing her about her employment way too much. But it is all very lighthearted and pg13, so its sweet to go back and watch.

Another fav that i genuinely have watched in a very long time but loved is Inuyasha. I’ll be honest this anime is probably the longest anime i have every watched all the way through and i doubt i ever be able to watch it again because of the length but it is great, and is an important mention as it inspired me to watch one of my new picks coming up. In comparison Inuyasha doesn’t have the same romance focus as Maid-sama but it is prevalent throughout. My only pet peeve was how long it took to conclude their romance, however the adventure fantasy element of this anime is what held my attention more than romance. Inuyasha, who is also our main character, is a feudal fairy tale where our female protagonist Kagome falls through a portal into the past and collides with Inuyasha who is a fox demon and goes on many adventures! (without getting into the nitty-gritty of the plot). It is also a really funny which is another element which i find essential in any show i want to watch regularly.

New Content 

  Junjo Romantica is a “storm of romance” (quote taken from myanimelist.com) and this really is the best way to describe it. As there are three couples/romances taken place during one season and while each episode is dedicated to one at a time, you can spot the links throughout. An important note is that this is a Yaoi or ‘boys love’ romance but i believe that love is love, therefore i don’t need my romances to hetero to enjoy them, but i realise not everyone is this way and that’s okay. Again this is another really funny anime in between all the romance content as all the characters are a little cookie. There is also a spin off series called Sekaiichi Hatsukoi which is all based around a manga publishing company and the publishing graduate in my adore this aspect of it. However there is book, publishing references throughout both series, yeah!

The first season of Junjou was release on 2008 and season two in 2012, with seasons one and two of Sekaiichi being released in 2011. I can remember binge watching all of these in 2012 and then scarring the internet looking for news or rumours of a follow up season and got diddly! Everything said there was no nope, and every now and then following a re-watch i would search again and still nothing…until this year! When i went searching for Junjou on youtube i also discover Joujou Romantica 3!! I had heard nothing about, somehow seen nothing online, and consequently lost a whole weekend with very little sleep watching the whole season which was thankfully out. Now i need season 3 of Sekaiichi.

New Series

I have three series i am in love with this year!

First is Kamisama Hajimemashita, it’s not brand new, being in  its second season however i feel that it is slightly less well known and under appreciated. I mentioned that one of my new animes was discovered through a classic and its this one. This anime ties back to Inuyasha as they both has a strong focus on Japanese Folklore and tradition, with gods, demons and adventure. However unlike Inuyasha, KH has much stronger romantic and humorous elements, and this is why i feel that this anime is really worth a watch.

Next is Ore Monogatari or in english, My Love Story is a high school romance but with a bit of a twist. Gouda our lead is a huge dude, great at sport and heroics but not so much with the ladies. Until he rescues the teeny tiny Rinko and its is love at first sight, following which humour ensues as Gouda tries to understand the world of romance. Now it did take a few episodes for this series to grow on me but it is a really light and fluffy watch.

The best has been saved until last: Haiykuu!! Sports anime has never been something i had really watched but i have learned to love it. However i had heard good things about Haiykuu!! so i decided to give it a shot and it is absolutely amazing!

Haiykuu is all about a high school Volleyball team and their battle to reach the championships – sounds like a basic plot right? – but it takes sports to another level. Our lead Hinata is shorter than average player who joins a team alongside his archenemy Kageyama, an incredibly skilled setter, and these two form a unusual duo as their skills combine and bring their school to success. They are able to combine sports and competition with a lot of humour and this is what keeps you coming back every week.

Another couple of great examples of sports anime are Kuroko No Basket, Free! and Yowamushi No Pedal (love them all).

End

I don’t want to get into every anime i have ever watched and liked but i hope this gives people who are new to anime a few ideas and possibly encourage people to give it a try! If you have any recommendations please leave them below, i love hearing from you guys.

Thank you,

Maebhe

 

 

Craftie: Sewing for beginners

Hellos!

So i mentioned in a recent post that i had signed up for a beginners sewing class in Belfast, inspired by my recent sewing machine purchase. I have always loved crafting but sewing is something i have only ever made the MOST basic attempts at i.e sewing on a button or sewing up a rip. However i love vintage clothes, and part of the shopping for vintage clothes is keeping an eye out for a great find rather than shopping for a size.

So far the idea of altering a piece of clothing has been daunting. Now, i do have a few pieces i’ve purchased that didn’t fit and paid someone to alter for me, often paying more than the purchase price to have it altered. My favourite vintage find is a gorgeous real silk, Chinese style dress which still had the tags on it which i found in a charity shop in Antrim of all places, for a fiver (£5)!! Then paying a small fortune to have it altered from a UK size 14 to a UK size 8 but i adore it, although totally haven’t been able to find the right venue to show it off at yet.

I know altering clothes is a long way off but I had to start somewhere and this class really did set a good foundation to learn from.

The Class


The class was at Lizzie Agnew’s studio on Queens Street Belfast. She is an award winning bridal designer from Northern Ireland, creating gorgeous vintage inspired gowns. I discovered The Lizzie Agnew School of Dressmaking through an evening of google hunting for some local basic sewing classes.

Lizzie was lovely, and there were only 4 girls in the class (myself included) which meant that we were able to get the personal time and assistance necessary when learning a new skill. Even though in the class i was working on a much older, industrial model of a sewing machine i was able to develop a basic understanding of sewing machines. So when it came to starting up my machine, for example threading the bobbin, even when i came across difficulties i was able to take me time and fix the problem rather than panic.


  In the class we were taught how to hand sew buttons and hems, basic machine use, machine hemming, and reverse stitch. Using the reverse stitch was honestly the most difficult part and demonstrated something i didn’t know was such a necessary skill for any basic sewing project.

  Lizzie Agnew’s School of Dressmaking offers a ranging of sewing classes from this one day course, to 8 week foundation dressmaking courses through to a bridal dressmaking course for sewing pros at varying prices. Anything beyond the absolute beginners class is a bit pricey for me right now, but maybe in the future once I’ve had some practice. I have made some basic sewing attempts on my machine now, but I am going to make a separate update post 

  More sewing updates to come soon.

Maebhe x

Tea Blog: Life Reboot

So hello to a new year!

I took some time out before Christmas for stress reasons as work was absolutely bananas and completely killed any writing inspiration/imagination my body held. However the world has calmed down thankfully and i have felt the writing void return, Yayyyy!

And i know i have written New Years resolution posts and their ilk before but i don’t want to go back there as i have learned that my tendency to set ‘goals’, sets me up for failure rather than aspiring to achieve as much as i can. They hover above my head like vultures  waiting for me to give up…and something i have learned in the last year is that my life in N.I. and current career, does not always accommodate a regular posting schedule as much as i wish i could. So as much i have been revitalised by the new year, my ambition is simply to write content which is as good as it possibly can be, as regularly as possible, and to take new challenges by diversifying my content.

In regards to reading I’m not goin near any (insert no. of books here) challenges. I have tried the fifty book challenges before & it has taken the love out of reading while I try to read anything quick & easy for numbers. So instead I am just going to focus on authors I love as well as reading so more classics and diversifying to read more factual books, my first being the biography of Vivienne Westwood, which is really interesting. And maybe investigate some more comic books if u can find somewhere to start, any advise or recommendations in the comments are welcome!

This is while i continue to job hunt for my next challenge. I realise i have only finished my probation period, which is truly the most depressing part of job hunting, voluntarily re-entering that ‘no-mans land’ of employment where i get to tell people, “Yes i did get a new job” while my insides turn into jellied snakes at the continuous fear of spontaneous firing, even while my inner cheerleader screams, “You can do this!”. I have my qualifications i just need more experience and to continue looking for those opportunities that will challenge me and allow me to grow. So, NO SETTLING.

Next, I am going to craft more. While i have struggled to find time write and make myself sit down at a internet device after sitting at a pc all day in work, i have been able to take time to craft (crochet) more. I have found that this is one way to get my brain to relax, especially after a rubbishy work day. As it takes all my focus and stops my brain wondering and going down the rabbit hole. As part of this aspiration i recently bought myself a sewing machine. I have never used a sewing machine…never touched one before mine came in the post. So its a entirely new challenge but is something i have always wanted to try, especially when it comes to altering vintage clothes and maybe one day creating something entirely by myself. So i bought my machine, have booked myself a beginners class and have overloaded a Pinterest board with sewing ideas and templates.

Let me stick in the obligatory ‘be healthier’, but only in the most general sense. Mainly because my current job has me stuck in a little room all day compared to my previous retail job which involved a lot of running around, meaning that the exercise i used to do everyday has been lost. So i simply want to take more time in the evenings to get my little Buddy out on more walks and get myself moving more. This is also a great way to air out my brain and allow myself to digitally detox between work and blog.

It was too wet today so here is an old beach photo

 

I have already started by taking a drive up the coast and having a morning walking the beaches with my fluffy companion, despite the freezing weather conditions in Northern Ireland at the mo, but its progress. A all it really takes is a cuppa tea in the car afterwards to fix the cold.

p.s im not driving

All these aspiration are purely with the aim of achieving happiness. Not to say that every second is going to be fun or easy, but simply working to make myself happier by doing thing and spending time with people who have a positive impact on my life and filtering out as much of the negativity that we all have to put up with in our lives.

I would love to hear your aspirations for this year and hope that regardless what you plan to take on or give up, that happiness comes your way this year.

Maebhe

 

Tea Blog: Changes

 So that tired old cliche that “life is like a roller coaster” has taken over my life recently. Although, it has been a combination of good and bad…

  •  Firstly I managed to get a new job a couple of months ago now. So I have left the world of retail (& working weekends) to join the 9-5 which is an improvement in someways but it also means a lot less time off & I can feel it eating into my reading & writing time.
  •   There has also been some turmoil and mourning in my household, as we tragically lost our long love family pet, Friday, to a road accident in June. The circumstances are unclear however, emotionally I have been in a sensitive place for the last month, although I can honestly say I am recovering as this is the first time I have been able write about her passing.  

This is one of a series of photos my aunt took of Friday, sitting outside my house waiting greet people. She loved to sit here however I could never manage to grab a photo as she would always toddle over whenever I came outside. My garden, which is one of my sources of recovery due to an ongoing project, still does feel quite right without her and little visits for cuddles.

****

  •   Some of this sadness was tapered by a family holiday soon after, something which hasn’t happened in 5 years now and was greatly enjoyed by all.
  •   However on my return home I was asked to work in a different location to help cover holidays which was fine, however during this week, the when and where being uncertain, I came down with food poisoning and have been suffering for the past few days……

So to say that life has been a little tumultuous for the last few months would be accurate. But I am hoping that July is a turning point and that things will begin to settle down and I can begin to assimilate all the changes. I also have a number of post ideas I want to write so I need to figure out a new schedule to fit around work ( even if it means dragging my poor iPad everywhere with me!). 

  New week and new beginning – wish me luck.

Maebhe

Tea Blog: The Antrim Garden Show

My little blog has taken a decidedly green tinge this month! As a follow up to my terrarium DIY, I went to the first Antrim Garden Show a few weekends ago now and it was very fun event however in typical Irish fashion the Sunday was also a total wash out – rain rain and more rain. But rain has never stopped me from enjoying something – especially when you are walking through a marquee surrounded by beautiful floral displays and quirky little shops and food stalls.

  
I had planned on going on the Saturday when gardening guru Monty Don was speaking, however things obviously didn’t work out that way. However Sunday turned out to be a great day as all the vendors were happy to see people milling about and very interested in getting rid of product rather than drag everything back with them after the events of there were deals to be had!!   

The awards for best of show had already been given out. And the pictures included show some of the winners but mostly these are simply little displays that caught my eye! So many pretty displays and I was so sad to discover that the few pictures I took of a lovely little display full of little succulents in teapots and teacups didn’t turn out well – they were too dark to use but they have inspired some new projects so maybe soon…

    

While at the show there was a second marquee full of local produce and while I am not really a drinker (of alcohol) I discovered this little stall selling cider which was really lovely and very good value. There were two options – the medium shown below and a sweet version (red bottle in the background). Ultimately I bought three bottles (2green, 1 red) – the red was the winner but there were both really delicious.

If cider is your kind of thing definitely check them out: http://www.longmeadowcider.com

    

I also made two little purchases, these adorable initial mugs for my mum and the floral/bird handbag for myself.      

I also received a free gift from a kind shop owner, who have me this cute chair which I plan to restore either as a functioning seat or into a flower display of some kind… We shall see.

  
Sorry this post is so short and soooo late but this have been a little cray lately but things seem to be heading back to normal. So hopefully I will be back to my semi regular schedule soon.

Maebhe

Tea blog: The Publishers Revamp

In my last post, I discussed a campaign called the Dark Hunters Re-read which is being organised (to the best of my knowledge) by Sherrilyn Kenyons American publisher MacMillian & St. Martins Press. And this got myself thinking about publishers use of marketing and communications to revive a long running series such as the dark hunter series and it’s possible use for other series.

Case: Sherrilyn Kenyons, Dark Hunters Series

Sherrilyn Kenyons Dark Hunter series has 23 publications to date with 6 in the associated YA series The Chronicles  of Nick. The first book in the series, Fantasy Lover, which admittedly isn’t directly associated with the plot but is a really good book and creates a great introduction to the over all series, was first published in 2002. That’s 13 years, with over 29 books! As this figure does not include ebooks, the associated mangas or her sci-if or romance publications. So collectively that’s a whole lot of books!

I started reading her books while in high school. This means that for myself being reintroduced to the series is not such a big on taking . I already have an understanding of their series and general plot.


Discussion

However for new readers – this must be a pretty daunting series to approach. I have suffered this fear myself with other long running series with examples including George RR Martin, Terry Pratchett, and others. The idea of a organised, community lead re-read which utilises the community sites like for this series: the Offical Sanctuary (click to visit the site and find out more about the re-read and the books) – is an idea which really appeals to myself as a reader and prospective publisher!

The ability to break down a series to a single book, creating a book/reading club feel to allow new readers to discover books from long standing series with the support of established fans. While also allowing existing readers to rediscover books they love.

For the Dark Hunter Re-read I personally feel that this campaign is in need of a significantly increased social media presence. As beyond Sherrilyn Kenyons own site it is hard to find. A simple Google search brought up more of my own sites than Kenyons which is a little disappointing as this seems like such a good opportunity to interact with the digital community. I have recommended this series to numerous friends and colleagues who had never heard of Kenyons – there are always new readers to interact with. And as someone invested in the use of digital marketing and social media, I wish this community marketing campaign had been expanded upon. This might just be an international issue as it seems that this promotion is only being promoted by the U.S. publishers and hopefully this is an idea which will only continue to grow and possibly be used by other series and other authors on a bigger scale.

Thank you for listening to my little publishing rant and I would live to hear what you think about organised rereads and whether you have ever discovered a new author this way?

Maebhe

 

Tea Blog: #DearMe

My various social media sites have been taken over by the Hashtag #DearMe – originally an academic study and a book supported by a number of famous individuals including J. k. Rowling, created to fuel the discussion on what advice you would give your younger (16 year old) self regarding life, work and self confidence. The tag has been revitalised by a the queens of YouTube stars including Felicia Day and Grace Helbig through to Bunny Meyer and many others.

The stories these amazing women have shared so far have all been amazing, promoting self acceptance, confidence in both body and mind and general positivity when it comes to looking on life. It is simply inspiring to hear women who I aspire to, share stories about their own inadequcies and the struggles that they have overcome in life, so I decided to throw in my thoughts.

Young Maebhe was an incredibly awkward individual. Following an equally awkward start in primary school, the girl who spent most of her life lost inside her own mind, drifting out off windows or with her nose buried in a book (most likely a Harry Potter novel) I had a hard time making new friends. While I had friends and wasn’t bullied in high school, I struggled to adapt to social situations and had the pleasure of being the only member of the Library club in my first year. Growing up my greatest fear was a sense of social invisibility and the lose of self. I wanted to challenge my social anxiety, make more friends and become a more outgoing individual without having to lose myself to fit in. I loved my pink hair, I loved my books and my many other nerdy interests.

Now 22, I am a graduate, job hunting and I still have my pink hair, adore my books and have found many more nerdy loves. However I have grown as a person, I am much more confident in the person I am and my passions. Developing a thick skin against those who would drag me down to their level or encourage us to settle for “little town ambitions”.

#DearMe : I would want to tell younger me to hold strong to my dreams. Don’t let the doubts and differing opinions of others threaten your ambitions so much or discourage you. You will meet your best friends at university. People who will stick with you throughout life, who understand and love you for your bookiness!

As for romantic love – that will come later- stop stressing!


  

  However this is just the beginning we will continue to meet new people and take on more adventures – so I’m sure I’ll be back in a few years time with an update. We will hold on to our favourite mantras;
 Carpe Diem, Thrive & “Life isn’t finding shelter in the storm. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” (From Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron- small hint about my next post)!

  Share your #DearMe story on Twitter on your own blog or below!!

I would love to hear your stories and your advice and ambitions 😄

Maebhe


Tea Blog: Crafting Resolutions

Since the start of the new year I have been so invested in trying to get a new job i .e. Leave my student stage behind and start a ‘career’ – without much success so far. As this can have a rather negative affect on your mental health and attitude. These effects are exasperated by the month joy of hormones.

When my mood is negatively impacted by life I always return to my crafting loves, especially my love of crotchet. I’m not sure if this is something I have ever really discussed on here but I was taught to crotchet by my granny when I was wee, as she looked after me a lot when my parents were working. And since then, following the growth of the Internet & the discovery of a wealth of tutorials and blogs on the topic I have expanded my crotcheting abilities beyond the simple granny squares to include everything from roses to bow headbands (which became quite popular Christmas presents last year).

I know it is late to be discussing resolutions beyond my usual reading resolutions to expand my reading pool & tackle my TBR pile. However I have decided that with the desire to maintain a positive outlook that I will continue to expand upon my crafting skills through the creation of unique and fun items.

As a start of this new resolution I purchased two magazines as inspiration;

2015/01/img_0056.jpg

Magazine One: Simply Crotchet

Magazine Two: Mollie Makes

I believe that these magazines are published by the same publisher and there is a range of magazines involved including Simply Sew and other crafting magazines. However I think I’ll stick with my crotchet for now…. Although I do have plans to buy a sewing machine because I love my vintage finds and would love to be able to alter them myself therefore widening my options (despite as serious loss in the number of vintage fairs in Northern Ireland compared to Scotland).

What drew my attention to both these magazines was their beautiful design and simply layout. But most importantly their crotchet designs were also extremely exciting and already i have been inspired and have started learning a new skill called Amigurumi – taken from the Japanese terms for cute (Kawaii) and yarn. They are little projects made using continuous circle chains rather than rows. And from what I have seen online the options and creations are endless! I can’t wait to learn more.

These magazines both also came with little craft projects! A little needle holder & like heart crotchet pack (they can be made to look like old school American tattoos).

I am excited to see where I can go with this- what I can learn, what I will create and how it will make me feel. I hope you will share your creative outlets and hopefully a new series will come out of my new crafting resolutions.

Maebhe