Sunday, 29 November 2015

Watching, reading, listening

Watching

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Brooklyn
Beautifully shot and acted. Slightly different in tone towards the end than the book but I still liked it.

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Jessica Jones
I loved it. Much better than Daredevil. David Tennant was perfectly creepy but it's great seeing so many great female characters.

Reading

Ship of Brides
Historically war fiction about Australian war brides coming over to the UK. Interesting read, cute romance - just horrible how some of the women were treated.

Listening



Thursday, 26 November 2015

Experiments in blogging: Branding



Full disclosure - I work in marketing. That said, I know little about marketing my own stuff & I feel a bit weird about it.

So branding... where to start! Most brand guidelines will contain the following items outlining options and how they can and cannot be used.
  • Names
  • Colours
  • Fonts
  • Logos
  • Design elements
  • Descriptions


I have none of these things.

As a non professional blogger I only have my own money to spend on this stuff so I haven't bought font packages or logo designs or any of that stuff. I feel like where it's only me I don't have to worry about laying down the law and worrying about people miss using things.

At some point I'll get a designer to make me a logo and sort out all the other bits. In the meantime everything is evolving with me and I'm starting to see some consistency. So I've had a think and here's an outline of what I do have:
  • Names - My name is just an old nickname and I have variations of it for my shop, blog and social media
  • Colours - I kind of have this one! This has evolved mainly because I like the colours...
  • Fonts - nope
  • Logos - I do not have these... I have a few images that I've used on social media and I try to keep them consistent  and my labels of course
  • Design elements - nope (why are none of my friends artists or designers :/ )
  • Descriptions - just my bio at the moment

Resources:
Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Cable knit rope cushion


New cushion cover! For this I used WI aran and 4mm needles. Rough Pattern is:

Start by casting on 76 stitches
K3, P2, *K2, P2 (repeat from * to final 3), K3
P3, K2, *P2, K2 (repeat from * to final 3), P3
Repeat two rows until 10 are completed.

K3, P2, KCable 6, P2, K2, *P2, Cable 6, P2, K2 (repeat from * to final 1), K1
P2, K2, PCable 6, K2, P2, *K2, Cable 6, K2, P2 (repeat from * to final 1), P1
Repeat rows to fit cushion.
(For Cable, C6F every 5th row)

Complete by repeating first two stitches 4 times each.



Sunday, 22 November 2015

Watching, reading, listening

Watching

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Master of None - It's cute and funny and clever and then about 3 episodes in you realise it's brilliant and amazing and by the end you are done.

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The Lobster - just amazing. It's ridiculously funny and I don't want to tell you much about it in case I ruin it. I would be an Orca I think so long as I could guarantee I would be in the wild.

Reading


High Rise - because apparently I wanted to be depressed about human nature. It's a really good book but I am now not sure I can handle the film when it comes out.

Listening


Also The Punch Brothers were on Nerdist and they were awesome (yes, I like bluegrass).
Thursday, 19 November 2015

Experiments in blogging: post schedules


So a big thing in lots of the research I've been doing is posting regularly on set days at set times.
As you may notice I have not been doing this.

They also suggest having a bank of posts that can cover a few weeks and plans for a few months. This I have also not been doing...

Regular posts
  1. Watching, reading, listening - Sundays - as a round up post of my week this seems like a good fit, they don't really lend themselves to advanced writing and scheduling though.
  2. Craft posts - Tuesdays - again these I can plan ahead with they only issue is posting new things each week so they are a potential at the moment but as I tend to make things it seems like a good call to have regular updates on what I'm making...
  3. Experiments in Blogging - Thursdays - luckily these I can plan ahead with and Thursday spreads things out nicely.
I am starting to build up a set of draft posts now which I can then edit and schedule. Having posts around key events and holidays would be great too! 

Timing
I live in the UK and looking at my blogger stats my readers are split between here and the US and with readers does it really matter as much as social media posts?? I think I'm going to post in the evening UK time for a while and then try switching and see which does better (if it makes any difference at all that is). 

Blog calendar
Building the calendar can be intimidating but I won't beat myself up if I days change and it's comforting to see that I do have ideas and that they are written down so I won't forget!

I use Pinterest, notebooks and notes on my phone to keep track of ideas. I sometimes flesh them out a bit more in a draft blog post, email or notes on my phone.

Once a week sit down look through my ideas, I brainstorm new ones and get rid of rubbish ones. Then I add them to the blog calendar. I can choose the most relevant thing for the coming week and add posts to my schedule later on.


Resources:
Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Flower crown hairband


Excuse the messy desk. For this I used:
To fit the flowers you need to stretch the hairband around a book or something similar otherwise the spacing will be out when you put it on. I positioned the felt underneath.



Using the glue gun, put glue all over the back of the flower and place on the hairband/felt.

 
Once it's all placed and dried trim the felt around each flower. This allows the elastic to stretch and hides the felt when you wear the hairband!

If I had thought about it more I'd cut felt circles and use them to back the flowers but that could be a bit harder to position quickly.

I wore mine for Halloween! Dress from Modcloth

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Watching, reading, listening

Watching
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Spectre - Enjoyable but a bit too long. Great that Q and Moneypenny are in it more.

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Fargo - I finished season 1 of Fargo! It is amazing. The cast is brilliant, the plot has some twists. The only flaw is Freeman's accent.

Reading
Brooklyn, Colm Toibin - One of my grandparents was Irish, like the main characters brothers he moved to the UK to work on building sites to make money and send home. The book is calm and sweet and none of the characters are evil. If I didn't have the family links I'm not sure I would like it as much.

Listening
My new running playlist (I am so close to finishing couch to 5k now)
Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Christmas cards


Yeah it might be a bit early but you these Christmas projects take time! I've been making my Christmas cards this year. It's been messy I won't lie, but it's also been great fun.

I bought the kraft paper cards in a set of 30 with envelopes from Hobby craft and started by using an old tooth brush to splat white paint on them. It was the best. I love projects with a bit of primary school style art involved.


The snowflakes I crocheted using white WI silky yarn from Hobby craft and a 3.5mm hook. You can find the pattern here.

Once the paint dried I stuck them on using my glue! I'm planning on using white or silver pens to write in them!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Experiments in blogging: About me page



This week I've been looking at my 'About me' page. Most of the tips I've found say to start by identifying who you want your audience to be and then what you want your blog to be before you write your 'about' page.

Audience
At the moment it is mainly some of my real life friends that read this (at least i think they do) I'd love it if more people interested in crafts, books and music read it too. I think the main target audience is me...

Blog vision
This is harder. In an ideal world I would spent my time making things for people and

The about page
The key points here seem to be:
  • Honesty
  • Tell a story
  • Say what you are offering
  • Give insight into your life and situation
  • First person
  • Include pics
Photos?? I'll steal some my friends have taken of me from Facebook. I can't take selfies at all. 
It seems weird that I have a blog but struggle with writing about myself but it's true, so while I have updated my 'About Me' page it remains a work in progress...


Resources:

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Watching, reading, listening

Watching:
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From Dusk Till Dawn - getting all Halloweeny with the vampire snake things on Netflix.

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No cinema trip for me this week (shocker) but I did watch Obvious Child for the millionth time. I love Jenny Slate (she of Marcel the Shell with shoes on and other things) so much. Plus Max is the perfect man.

Reading:
The Good Soldier - I was meant to read this at Uni but it was in second year around the time I got ill so I didn't get around to it until now. It's a great example of how first person narrative can work and actually be interesting (I think that's what they said in the lecture...).

Listening:
All the George Harrison on Spotify. I should just nick my dads albums already... All Things Must Pass is my favourite at the moment, If Not for You in particular.