Mr. Lookatwhatimade and I celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary on the 5th. Because of this, I decided not to go to Yarnporium, but after a very chaotic morning in Ikea, I decided to go after all (only for a couple of hours), taking my 8-year old with me for a bit of London sight-seeing there and back. I am so glad we went, because I got to meet (and take a selfie with) Stephen West! While there, Pieter and I also managed to squeeze in a catch-up with my friends, Sarah Knight from Crafts from the Cwtch and Daisy from Devon Sun Yarns, Daisy and I will be hosting another yarn retreat in December and there is still one space left. You can find the details HERE.
Three of my friends asked if they could drop around on the Monday to bring me a 'surprise gift'. When they arrived, they did so bearing a huge box filled with individually wrapped mandalas from all around the world. Remember when I oohed and aahed about the mandala wall at Yarndale? Well, a mandala fairy called Boa secretly recruited some mandala elves to make me my very own mandala wall.
I cannot tell you how touched I was by this colourful gift, and by the beautiful notes that accompanied it! It took me absolutely ages to photograph and catalogue all of them! Now I just have to edit the photos and then I can show you all my beautiful mandalas. In the meantime you can see some of them on Instagram under #dreamingofmandalas. I think I have found a way to attach them to the wall without giving the landlord a heart-attack, so fingers crossed.
Below you can see the mandalas 'the Swedish ladies' made. They used Wink's Spoke Mandala pattern for their mandalas, and that makes them all the more special.
Last Wednesday, I had the honour of hosting a charity workshop for Knit for Peace with the lovely Jane Crowfoot. We had a wonderful day filled with crochet, chatting, and cake (to celebrate my friend Lynnette's birthday). I have nicked the photo below from Jo Navin's Instagram feed (she won't mind). Kay and Bex (right and middle in the top photo) were two of the mandala-delivery elves I spoke about above, and Maxine (left) made me a gorgeous Gerbera mandala :)
I have recently written two posts about the charities close to my heart: Movember and Smile of Joy. Movember is a charity that focuses on raising awareness about male health (both physical and mental). You can read more about it HERE.
Smile of Joy aims to provide HIV-infected and HIV-affected children in South Africa with total oral health. They host Christmas parties for these children each year, and gratefully receive donations of money, clothes, broken toys, and crochet and knit items (among other things). My aunt and granny support this charity by making/fixing, so it is very dear to me. You can read more about it HERE.
People sometimes ask me why I don't have a Paypal donate button for my website so that they can 'support' it and the work I do. The simple fact is that I do what I do because I want to share what I know, not because I want money for it. The website is financed through ads and affiliate links and I am most grateful for that. If you DID want to show your appreciation in some way, and I must stress that I do not expect this at all, you can do so by supporting one of these two charities.
Following on from my Flower Christmas Lights, I have posted a pattern for some Floral Crochet Snowflakes. They are made in Scheepjes Maxi Bonbon and would look brilliant fixed to the front of a home-made Christmas card. You can find the pattern HERE.
Yarn packs for Charlotte's Dream are in stock again in my Wool Warehouse Shop and include the printed pattern. If you want to use your own yarn/colour combination, you can find the free pattern HERE.
I hope you have a wonderful, colourful week!
Ps. If you read my post about the Tea Cozy I designed for Little Box of Crochet, you will have seen that I am smitten with Tea Shirt Tea. My favourite used to be their Lapsang, but yesterday I tasted their Ginger and Lemon tea, and it is SO yummy!
Pps. I got my camera back from South Africa!!!!