For the Love of Writing

A few nights ago I was melancholy. There were various events over the last week that left me listless, dissatisfied and a little emotionally raw. In the past I kept a journal which I poured my soul into but having stopped the habit years ago, picking up a pen now feels overwhelming.  I felt like that was what I needed though and while the blog helps my urge to write and tell tales, I don't have that same release any more.  

I started at an empty page wondering where to start. I needed to work through, cataloguing things to find a pattern, a catalyst and hopefully reach a resolution. I didn't know how to any more though. I was overwhelmed by the words I suddenly didn't have and still, there was this noise in the background, making it hard to focus. I wanted it out so I could move on. Nothing BIG was wrong. I was just blue and struggling to move on. 

So I put out a plea via Twitter, Instagram and Ravelry and found others who kept journals. A few different systems were suggested:

- Bullet Journalling (I NEED this in my life too, also I need something reflective too though..... how to incorporate?)
- One thousand Gifts. (while not religious myself, I found the idea of finding joy in each day interesting.... this could easily be included in the Bullet Journal format)
- Every few days, writing highlights and notes, collecting pages, adding details through tickets or photographs (note: I would love a polaroid for just this reason)
- 5 year diaries. A small note each day that you return to year after year. My grandfather has done this for decades. I hope to inherit these as I understand the preciousness of the daily act. 
- A journal with additional clips and sticky notes, colour coded for different types of note such as knitting, anxiety and shopping lists. I liked this idea a lot. 
- Doodles, yarn swatches and a visual index of things that have provoked a reaction. 
- Journals with prompts such as quotes or images already on the pages.
- Describing your immediate setting as a way to launch a meditative entry. 

I've been left with lots of ideas that I like so I wanted to share them with you. I might try and develop a 'system' and share it again, inviting you to join me. 

Do you write? And if so, how? Come tell us over in the group. There's more than just me who'd appreciate the inspiration I can assure you!

I Heart Knitters

I swear I have gushed about knitters and those I work with so many times on Twitter, my podcast and this blog that I am becoming a broken record but I mean it: knitters and crafters are amazing. 

It's not really that big a secret that the last month has been hell on toast between buying a house, the last minute negotiations (and the tantrums of those we're buying from), the packing, the organising and the ENDLESS, endless hospital trips for me. I am not known for crying unless I'm angry but I was at that point where I'd hit my limit and was gulping big sobs on the phone to my sister who was alarmed to say the least. She knows that if I'm crying and not fighting anymore, things are bad indeed. 

I have flinched everytime someone has asked 'Are you excited about your new house?' or I bet you're nesting right?' Each time it was a heavy reminder that I should be excitedly preparing a family home for the soon to arrive Playful Baby and yet I wasn't. I felt so worn down. 

But then knitters happened. 

I work with designers, yarnies, tech editors and other such wonderful people. My podcast and blog have connected me to a community I respect, admire and adore and they brought me back into a happy space through their love and contact. Over the last few weeks I've been fortunate enough to have a trickle of mother and baby presents that brought a tear to my eye for all the right reasons. 

Knitters and crafty types understand the love and care that goes into creating a finished object and that's why each item I'm about to share means the world to the giant and I. They were created by wonderful friends who I am connected to simply through knitting. I understand the thoughts that poured into them as they were worked and when my little one is wrapped in them, I will know that they are the luckiest baby in the world because they are wrapped in the love of knitters and crafters. That beats all the crap of the last few months hands down and I wanted to share the power of handmade gifts with you too. 

I won't name gift givers as it feels that I then remove the personal touch with which they were gifted but I will say that as knitting aunties go, Playful Baby is one blessed child and I for one hope to keep these ladies in my life for years to come. Thank you xxx

Giveaway Palooza

In the sprit of the season and all things playful I have a smashing giveaway for you all. To say thank you for all the support for both the blog and the podcast, I've pulled together some of my favourite people in order to bring you a giveaway of epic proportions. 

Please listen to this week's podcast in order to find out how to enter. I'm going to give you multiple ways to enter which means multiple entries. There's lots to be won so don't be shy, come and play!

So what can you win? Well I'm glad you asked. In no particular order:
A copy of the stunning Be Mine Collection by Rose Beck

A copy of The Uncommon Clouds collection from Lisa Mutch, along with a fabulous skein of fingering weight BFL/ Silk in the colourway 'nocturne'. 

A yummy skein of British Merino and Silk 4 ply Sock yarn in the colourway Ruby Ruby from travelknitter.

A beautiful handmade Riverstone Bracelet from imake

A fantastic handmade yarn and notions pouch from The Lollipop Stop

An amazing A3 print from the very talented Tillyflop designs

3 patterns from Robin Ulrich to take you into 2012 with a bang: the Bosc scarf, Katriel Shawl and Fontane. 

A cute handmade tea wallet from Mooncalf Makes for all those tea perfectionists out there.

A set of small but perfectly formed stitchmarkers from Stephcuddles.

And last but not least, from the talent that is The Uncommon Thread, a skein of Super Sock in the colourway 'Into Dust'.

Stay tuned....


How do you like them apples?

Since I was little, I have loved story telling. I come from a family of story tellers and while we avidly read, the tradition of on the spot story telling and crafting something without a text has been a longstanding one. My grandfather's regular character was Jerry the Goblin, a naughty goblin I've gone on to share time and time again.

My stories tend to be whimsical, shocking from a blogger dubbed 'Aplayfulday' I'm sure. On Friday I went to an event that reminded me of this love having not practiced for so long. Sure, I inflict stories on the giant, often just before sleep kicks in but I've not crafted for a while. On Friday we went to see one of our favourite spoken word artists and he impressed upon the audience the importance of not losing story telling.

When our audience participation did not win the prize, I remembered the devil was in the detail and I found words littering my head. I wrote them down until I found somewhere to speak them. 

So in the way Polar Bear taught me:

What story did you tell today?