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'CAL-time' seems quicker than 'real-time' and the Last Dance on the Beach patterns are coming out faster than I can make them - we are officially half way through the motifs now, and I'm officially falling behind! However we are heading towards a bank holiday weekend and a school break, so I'm hoping for the opportunity to sit in the garden with the kids and some crochet. In the meantime let me tell you a little about today's instalment and the lovely designer behind it. 

THE MOTIF:

This week's motif is worked corner-to-corner or 'c2c' - another technique I haven't tried yet - and looks like it should be another fairly relaxing square. I'm really enjoying the chance to learn all these new things via the crochet-along, are you? (I am still working on Atty's waves from week 4 - they are taking me a long time despite being straight forwards, but are certainly worth the effort). 

THE DESIGNER:

The design has been contributed by Carmen Jorissen of Crafty Queens blog. By the time I first met Carmen last summer, I already knew of her from her patterns and her Youth Award from Mollie Makes. In her early 20s and with a love of handcrafts (she knits, crochets and embroiders, amongst other things), she is certainly one to watch!


As well as being a talented maker and designer, Carmen is a recent linguistics graduate and speaks Chinese (like the animal designs she is well known for, she is also incredibly sweet and adorable). If you haven't already, you should check her work out - there are some lovely free patterns on her blog, and can also follow her current projects on Facebook and Instagram. Read the blog post about her inspiration for this design here.

THE PATTERN:

- Download both English and Dutch versions of the PDF pattern here
- Find videos in both languages and for right- and left-handed crocheters here
- The official Facebook CAL groups are a great place to post pictures and any questions you may have - find them here: languages are English and Dutch.
- Tag your social media photos with #lastdanceonthebeach and #scheepjescal2016. 
- Official CAL yarn packs, or individual balls of yarn - to make your own colourway - can be ordered from Wool Warehouse*, Deramores*, and other Scheepjes stockists. 

*Affiliate links

Last Dance on the Beach Crochet-along - Week 6

'CAL-time' seems quicker than 'real-time' and the Last Dance on the Beach patterns are coming out faster than I can make them - we are officially half way through the motifs now, and I'm officially falling behind! However we are heading towards a bank holiday weekend and a school break, so I'm hoping for the opportunity to sit in the garden with the kids and some crochet. In the meantime let me tell you a little about today's instalment and the lovely designer behind it. 

THE MOTIF:

This week's motif is worked corner-to-corner or 'c2c' - another technique I haven't tried yet - and looks like it should be another fairly relaxing square. I'm really enjoying the chance to learn all these new things via the crochet-along, are you? (I am still working on Atty's waves from week 4 - they are taking me a long time despite being straight forwards, but are certainly worth the effort). 

THE DESIGNER:

The design has been contributed by Carmen Jorissen of Crafty Queens blog. By the time I first met Carmen last summer, I already knew of her from her patterns and her Youth Award from Mollie Makes. In her early 20s and with a love of handcrafts (she knits, crochets and embroiders, amongst other things), she is certainly one to watch!


As well as being a talented maker and designer, Carmen is a recent linguistics graduate and speaks Chinese (like the animal designs she is well known for, she is also incredibly sweet and adorable). If you haven't already, you should check her work out - there are some lovely free patterns on her blog, and can also follow her current projects on Facebook and Instagram. Read the blog post about her inspiration for this design here.

THE PATTERN:

- Download both English and Dutch versions of the PDF pattern here
- Find videos in both languages and for right- and left-handed crocheters here
- The official Facebook CAL groups are a great place to post pictures and any questions you may have - find them here: languages are English and Dutch.
- Tag your social media photos with #lastdanceonthebeach and #scheepjescal2016. 
- Official CAL yarn packs, or individual balls of yarn - to make your own colourway - can be ordered from Wool Warehouse*, Deramores*, and other Scheepjes stockists. 

*Affiliate links
"Your life is made of two dates and a dash. Make the most of the dash." Such was the wisdom I found on Twitter this morning*. It struck a chord - when I read it I was feeling tired and uninspired - the day was due to be full of the mind-numbing chores that are a necessary part of running a home and family. Hardly making the most of the dash! 


So instead of the scheduled tasks, I hopped in the car for a very-much-unscheduled 'Me Morning' at Nymans House and Gardens. Forgetting the laundry, ironing, and cleaning up after everyone, I enjoyed a few hours filled with colour, the most amazing fragrance and just the gentle sound of bees to keep me company.






When I had pre-schoolers we spent a lot of time outdoors, at places like this. In fair weather it's where we'd meet up with our friends - the children could run about in fresh air while us 'mums' had a coffee and a natter. With the children at school, and just a few hours between drop-off and pick-up to get everything else done, we only seem to visit during the holidays and I never go alone. I hadn't realised quite how much I missed it. Of course, I still had to come back to the mundane but it didn't seem so bad - and our house, while not very grand and with considerably less impressive wisteria, does at least have a roof and windows! 

There are lots more pictures from Nymans on my camera roll, if you want to see some of them be sure to follow me on Instagram where you'll also find the official feed for the property: @NymansNT.

So tell me, did you do anything memorable today? Did you make the most of your Dash? 

Making the most of The Dash

"Your life is made of two dates and a dash. Make the most of the dash." Such was the wisdom I found on Twitter this morning*. It struck a chord - when I read it I was feeling tired and uninspired - the day was due to be full of the mind-numbing chores that are a necessary part of running a home and family. Hardly making the most of the dash! 


So instead of the scheduled tasks, I hopped in the car for a very-much-unscheduled 'Me Morning' at Nymans House and Gardens. Forgetting the laundry, ironing, and cleaning up after everyone, I enjoyed a few hours filled with colour, the most amazing fragrance and just the gentle sound of bees to keep me company.






When I had pre-schoolers we spent a lot of time outdoors, at places like this. In fair weather it's where we'd meet up with our friends - the children could run about in fresh air while us 'mums' had a coffee and a natter. With the children at school, and just a few hours between drop-off and pick-up to get everything else done, we only seem to visit during the holidays and I never go alone. I hadn't realised quite how much I missed it. Of course, I still had to come back to the mundane but it didn't seem so bad - and our house, while not very grand and with considerably less impressive wisteria, does at least have a roof and windows! 

There are lots more pictures from Nymans on my camera roll, if you want to see some of them be sure to follow me on Instagram where you'll also find the official feed for the property: @NymansNT.

So tell me, did you do anything memorable today? Did you make the most of your Dash? 

There are few things better than a quick simple project for a Monday morning - something you can finish in minutes and wear (or gift) immediately. After a busy weekend, Little Miss was feeling jaded this morning and before she went to school, I pulled a few supplies from my shelf to made her a quick 'pick-me-up'. Sparkly, and including her favourite shade of blue, it was guaranteed to bring a smile to her face and worked a treat - well worth the five minutes it took to make! It was so simple, she will be able to try it herself when she gets home. If you also have that 'Monday feeling' and would like a quick fix, or you have a child who can crochet a chain, this is for you. The same method can also be used to make necklaces, little adornments to tie around jars of flowers, and many other things.


Materials


Method

1. Start by threading a selection of seed beads onto the yarn, using the needle. (I used only 7 beads on the child-sized bracelet but threaded more as I'm going to make something else later.)
2. Push the beads a little way along the yarn, so you have some yarn free to work with. 
3. Start by placing a slip knot on the hook (pictured below).
4. Make a chain stitch by putting the yarn over the hook and pulling the hook (and yarn) through the slip knot (pictured below).
  
5. Repeat the chain stitch until you would like to place the first bead - this will depend on the size you are making as well as your personal taste. I worked 16 stitches. 
6. Slide one of the pre-threaded beads along the yarn until it reaches the last chain stitch you made, and then continue with the next stitch (pictured below).


7. Chain one or more stitches before adding the next bead, again this is dependent on the size and style you would like to make - I used two stitches between each bead. 


8. Continue in this way until you have the desired number of beads/ chain stitches. I placed seven beads and then continued with 16 chain stitches (being equal to the number of stitches before the first bead).
9. Leaving a small tail, cut the yarn (being careful not to loose any pre-threaded beads that may remain on it!) and pull through the last stitch to close.
10. You can simply tie the bracelet on (as we did), or if you have more time, you may like to sew a small button onto one side and make a loop with the yarn tail on the other side to use as a fastener. 


I'm pretty sure Little Miss will be making these for her friends - they look much nicer than loom band bracelets, but are no more difficult to make. I'd better order some more beads!!!!

*affilliate links

Beginner's Beaded Bracelet (10 Step Tutorial)

There are few things better than a quick simple project for a Monday morning - something you can finish in minutes and wear (or gift) immediately. After a busy weekend, Little Miss was feeling jaded this morning and before she went to school, I pulled a few supplies from my shelf to made her a quick 'pick-me-up'. Sparkly, and including her favourite shade of blue, it was guaranteed to bring a smile to her face and worked a treat - well worth the five minutes it took to make! It was so simple, she will be able to try it herself when she gets home. If you also have that 'Monday feeling' and would like a quick fix, or you have a child who can crochet a chain, this is for you. The same method can also be used to make necklaces, little adornments to tie around jars of flowers, and many other things.


Materials


Method

1. Start by threading a selection of seed beads onto the yarn, using the needle. (I used only 7 beads on the child-sized bracelet but threaded more as I'm going to make something else later.)
2. Push the beads a little way along the yarn, so you have some yarn free to work with. 
3. Start by placing a slip knot on the hook (pictured below).
4. Make a chain stitch by putting the yarn over the hook and pulling the hook (and yarn) through the slip knot (pictured below).
  
5. Repeat the chain stitch until you would like to place the first bead - this will depend on the size you are making as well as your personal taste. I worked 16 stitches. 
6. Slide one of the pre-threaded beads along the yarn until it reaches the last chain stitch you made, and then continue with the next stitch (pictured below).


7. Chain one or more stitches before adding the next bead, again this is dependent on the size and style you would like to make - I used two stitches between each bead. 


8. Continue in this way until you have the desired number of beads/ chain stitches. I placed seven beads and then continued with 16 chain stitches (being equal to the number of stitches before the first bead).
9. Leaving a small tail, cut the yarn (being careful not to loose any pre-threaded beads that may remain on it!) and pull through the last stitch to close.
10. You can simply tie the bracelet on (as we did), or if you have more time, you may like to sew a small button onto one side and make a loop with the yarn tail on the other side to use as a fastener. 


I'm pretty sure Little Miss will be making these for her friends - they look much nicer than loom band bracelets, but are no more difficult to make. I'd better order some more beads!!!!

*affilliate links
Some exciting events are happening over the next few months - they are London-centric but universal in appeal so if you live further afield, they are a good excuse to make a weekend of it. I'm planning to attend all of these and it would be lovely to see you there, so grab your diaries, because the first one is just a few weeks away and the tickets are on 'red alert' status. 

FOR BLOGGERS

Blogtacular is a conference for bloggers from all niches, taking place on 17th and 18th June in St. Paul's, London. It doesn't matter how long you've been blogging for, or indeed whether you've even started your blog yet - there will be plenty of talks and activities to inspire you. With a stellar line-up of speakers (including my friend Kate (A Playful Day), my artist crush LISA CONGDON and many more!!!) there are going to be tips-aplenty as well as the opportunity to be part of this creative community, led by the marvellous Kat Molesworth

Kat Molesworth (C) Xanthe Berkely for Blogtacular
The environment is supportive, not competitive - it's all about sharing (and celebrating) what works, and understanding the themes that are common to all blogs - fresh content, great photography, business, technology and so on. You can read all about it on the Blogtacular website, and once you have a ticket you can also join the private Facebook group for ticket holders. For anyone who has yet to decide about coming, I've put together a simple infographic which I hope will help:


As you can probably tell, I am really excited about it! For many of us, blogging is a solitary activity and I always find it incredibly helpful (and fun) to be around others who 'get it'. Due to clashing commitments, I've been unable to attend for the first two years, so this time I bought an early bird ticket as soon as they were launched. Some of my friends are coming too which will make it even more fun! If you want to attend, you can still book standard price tickets now - be aware that  the prices go up to the 'last minute' rate on May 30th if there are still any left at that point. As the Friday evening party RSVPs are already being returned and the photo-walk and video-walk lotteries are open, I wouldn't hang about! 


FOR MAKERS AND SHOPPERS

If you're not a blogger, but you love yarn and crafts (let's be honest - if you're reading this, it's a given) there are some other things coming up for you. Tickets for the Great London Yarn Crawl go on sale on July 1st - the event is on Saturday September 10th 2016, and you can sign up for the newsletter by following the links here

There is also a brand new event by the Yarn in the City team which will take place in November. The Yarnporium is a two-day yarn show which will take place at King's College London on November 5th and 6th 2016 (to coincide with Wovember). The event will showcase over 30 makers from London and the UK, and will also include a selection of workshops. 

Co-founder Rachel Brown said "We're really excited by the opportunity to showcase some of the amazing indie dyers, yarn-folk and makers within the UK fibre community" she added "we've often thought it was a shame that the smaller yarn shows across the country have mostly finished by the time the weather is truly cool enough for jumpers and other woollies." If you'd like to be considered as an exhibitor, you have until May 31st to apply - email the organisers for details. Workshop announcements and ticket details will follow later in the summer and I'll post more details at the time. 

Calling Bloggers, Makers and Shoppers - Dates for your Diary (aka Let's Meet!)

Some exciting events are happening over the next few months - they are London-centric but universal in appeal so if you live further afield, they are a good excuse to make a weekend of it. I'm planning to attend all of these and it would be lovely to see you there, so grab your diaries, because the first one is just a few weeks away and the tickets are on 'red alert' status. 

FOR BLOGGERS

Blogtacular is a conference for bloggers from all niches, taking place on 17th and 18th June in St. Paul's, London. It doesn't matter how long you've been blogging for, or indeed whether you've even started your blog yet - there will be plenty of talks and activities to inspire you. With a stellar line-up of speakers (including my friend Kate (A Playful Day), my artist crush LISA CONGDON and many more!!!) there are going to be tips-aplenty as well as the opportunity to be part of this creative community, led by the marvellous Kat Molesworth

Kat Molesworth (C) Xanthe Berkely for Blogtacular
The environment is supportive, not competitive - it's all about sharing (and celebrating) what works, and understanding the themes that are common to all blogs - fresh content, great photography, business, technology and so on. You can read all about it on the Blogtacular website, and once you have a ticket you can also join the private Facebook group for ticket holders. For anyone who has yet to decide about coming, I've put together a simple infographic which I hope will help:


As you can probably tell, I am really excited about it! For many of us, blogging is a solitary activity and I always find it incredibly helpful (and fun) to be around others who 'get it'. Due to clashing commitments, I've been unable to attend for the first two years, so this time I bought an early bird ticket as soon as they were launched. Some of my friends are coming too which will make it even more fun! If you want to attend, you can still book standard price tickets now - be aware that  the prices go up to the 'last minute' rate on May 30th if there are still any left at that point. As the Friday evening party RSVPs are already being returned and the photo-walk and video-walk lotteries are open, I wouldn't hang about! 


FOR MAKERS AND SHOPPERS

If you're not a blogger, but you love yarn and crafts (let's be honest - if you're reading this, it's a given) there are some other things coming up for you. Tickets for the Great London Yarn Crawl go on sale on July 1st - the event is on Saturday September 10th 2016, and you can sign up for the newsletter by following the links here

There is also a brand new event by the Yarn in the City team which will take place in November. The Yarnporium is a two-day yarn show which will take place at King's College London on November 5th and 6th 2016 (to coincide with Wovember). The event will showcase over 30 makers from London and the UK, and will also include a selection of workshops. 

Co-founder Rachel Brown said "We're really excited by the opportunity to showcase some of the amazing indie dyers, yarn-folk and makers within the UK fibre community" she added "we've often thought it was a shame that the smaller yarn shows across the country have mostly finished by the time the weather is truly cool enough for jumpers and other woollies." If you'd like to be considered as an exhibitor, you have until May 31st to apply - email the organisers for details. Workshop announcements and ticket details will follow later in the summer and I'll post more details at the time. 

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