Monthly Archives: September 2016

Crochet Therapy – hook your way to mindfulness

If you are a hooker like me, you won’t find the idea of crochet therapy the least bit unusual.  I’ve been using it for a looong time without even realising it.

However, the gorgeous new book by Betsan Corkhill, Crochet Therapy, made me look at what I was doing in a whole new light.  Crochet TherapyMindfulness has been about for a little while now, I have an app on my phone and I really do find it helpful.  However sometimes its quite hard to empty your mind, especially if you are the creative type.Filling it with yarn means there really isn’t room for anything else!

Betsan Corkhill gives us the chance to find an oasis of calm in our hectic lives with step-by-step wellness exercises and beautiful crochet patterns.  There are cushions and throws, mandalas and coasters, wall hangings and bunting.  I also love the idea of a Friendship quilt, getting together to make lots of individual small flowers which are knotted together as a symbol of friendship.friendship flowers - Crochet Therapy

And if you haven’t yet mastered the art of crochet, the instructions at the back of the book for getting started are clear and concise, perfect for a beginner.

These are a few of my favourite patterns from the book…Mandalas - crochet therapybracelets - Crochet Therapybunting - crochet therapyAnd I made … No-Stress Balls, just what I need…!No Stress Balls - Crochet Therapy…and a soothing mandala.

I’d love you to have the chance to share a spot of yarny mindfulness, so there’s not one but  two copies of Crochet Therapy waiting to be won by one of you lovelies out there.

Just leave a comment below sharing your favourite ways of de-stressing with us all.  I’ll put all of your names into the proverbial hat and draw out the winners and the nice people at Quarto will send a copy on it’s way to the lucky recipient.   The closing date is Friday 7th October.

And if this isn’t exciting enough, I’ll be back again at the end of the week with another freebie!  See you soon …x

Finding the pattern…

Planet Penny has been about pattern making for a while, what with mice, and bunting and other colourful things.  However I have long hankered after learning a different sort of pattern making, surface pattern design.

I’ve always been fascinated by fabrics and wallpapers.  I used to lie in bed as a very small child finding faces in the flowers in the curtains, and trying to spot identical areas and wondering how on earth it could go on and on repeating.

So that’s why, some time ago I signed up to Pattern Camp, run by Jessica Swift, the painter, surface pattern designer and author.  This has meant a lot of time sitting in front of the computer, waaay out of my comfort zone, learning how to use Adobe Illustrator.  And although I’ve been using Photoshop for years, I’ve had to discover an awful lot of stuff I didn’t know!

Because I haven’t had my brain in gear for a lot of this year I ground to a halt a couple of months ago and with the course over I hit a brick wall of frustration.  But a couple of weeks ago the lovely Jessica announced two free weeks of access for previous campers, exactly what I needed to get me going again.

This time, it all started to click into place, and I’ve had so much fun, especially now I can not only tile a pattern, but make half drop repeats too!  (I’m even learning the lingo!)

So, here are my very first attempts…Pink and Gold pattern by Penny GJPainted flowers pattern by Penny GJAutumn Colours Bold Flower Pattern - Penny GJPurple flowers pattern - PennyGJI only ever wanted to try this out of curiosity, but I love it!

These designs are all about the process, a learning curve, but I really want to push it further.  I keep thinking about what I could sew…and wrapping paper!  It’s very exciting.

And, in case you are wondering, I haven’t given up on knitting or crochet.  There are a couple of posts in the pipeline guaranteed to hit the spot, a different sort of pattern altogether!

See you soon…x

That September Term Feeling…

The start of the September Term… (Higgins…who chewed my pencil case?)

September Term - back to school for Higgins the dachshund!That September term feeling.  It never goes away really.  By the time you’ve done umpteen years at school yourself, and then however many with children buying shoes and sewing on name tapes then it’s sort of ingrained in one’s psyche.  (I DO need a new pencil case!)

So it’s a good time to start something new and inspiring, to make something happen.

To that end I have signed up to the Business Bakery’s 100 Day Goal which started on 1st September.   If you’ve not heard of it, the 100 day Goal is a fantastic way of giving procrastinators like me some much needed oomph and focus instead of just drifting along.  I’ve been adrift for sometime!

So, my goal is to give Planet Penny a bit of spit and polish, and possibly a sprinkle of glitter.  I’ve been blogging since 2007, definitely time for a spring clean.  You might find my 100 days of actions just a teensy bit tedious if I list them, but I hope as the weeks go by you will notice some differences, and spot a few sparkles!  And of course, any feedback will be gratefully received.

Do you get that September term feeling?  It’s much easier to make new plans at this time of year whilst you’re still shaking sand out of your shoes.  Not during the dank days of January when you are trying to eat the remains of the Christmas cake and left over toffees in the Quality Street tin!  (or maybe that’s just me!)

See you soon…x

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