Friday, 7 March 2014

Happy Crafternoons

image of crocheted spring mandala
I've been doing my best to balance my days of late...trying to pack all that I want to achieve in the six hours the girls are in school is quite a juggling act - a dog walk every morning or an hours run 2-3 times in the week, 1-2 hours max on household chores, grocery shopping, laundry, catching up on my blog and with others, then a quick break for lunch and if I'm lucky, very lucky then I may get to spend the last hour or two with a hook and yarn in my hand. Obviously there are times when this doesn't always work out, but I am trying to be more mindful of how I manage my happy days at home.

I'm also trying to focus on being thankful for everything in my life (yes even when I'm cleaning the toilets!). So for Lent I'm giving up Negativity, and have a 'glass is half full' outlook. This shouldn't be too difficult as Spring is just around the corner - so looking forward to sunnier warmer days. 

When I saw this blog post by Hannapat over at her lovely blog cosmosandcotton I just knew I had to make a mandala too - the timing was perfect for me. She explains the meaning of the mandala and what it symbolises to her in crafting such a beautiful, and complete piece of work. Go take a look - thanks for sharing Hannapat!

So last weekend I spent a blissfull crafternoon making my own beautiful mandalas. The pattern I chose was Barbara's Little Spring Mandala from K-town blog - a beautiful and appropriately named project. It was so easy and quick to make that I made addictive, and relaxing a process. It was so nice not to have to spend time designing my own patterns (which I've been doing a lot lately).
image of crocheted mandala in spring colours
I loved making every stitch of this, and the yarn although slightly splitty was a joy to work with. It now resides on my dining table looking pretty darned nice I tell you! I'm smitten with them. The yarn is Drops Paris which I bought last summer when it was on sale at  woolwarehouse. Here are the range of colours I bought... 
image of Drops Paris yarn
...such fresh, happy colours. I bought it with the sole purpose of making a blanket for the colder months ahead, but I didn't like the pattern after a while so that's on hold for the moment. I'll be turning the squares that I've made into a cushion cover which I'd like to share with you soon. Drops Paris is an aran weight yarn, worked on a 5mm hook so the end result was a more pleasing substantial sized mandala for me (I'm not a classic vintage doily type of gal). The next one had to be completely different so I chose the brighter colours -  inspired by Karin aan de haak's colour work. I love her bright happy colour combinations, so I followed hers with just one colour change...
image of crochet mandala
This one now lives on my bedroom wall. I think I'd like one in every room!

Just one more thing I'd like to share with you before I go is my latest project...
image of crocheted granny square
yes it's the humble granny square. I won't reveal what it is for just yet, but it's not for a blanket, cushion or scarf. Now I'm not big into the whole granny square thing (eek - sorry!), well, that is, until I saw this...
 ann great british sewing bee - Google Search
This is the lovely Ann who won the first series of The Great British Sewing Bee TV competition. The scarf  looks very stylish and gorgeous on her. I love those subdued autumnal and earthy colours, and it's hotch-potch style - this is definitely on my project list for the future.
 I'm off to spend a Happy Crafternoon making some more grannies, so will love you and leave you for the now. Hoping you have some Happy Crafternoon time yourselves this weekend. 

p.s. will be linking up with Chrissie's crochet projects today :-) x


  1. Your mandala's look amazing. what a wonderful idea for lent I always give up chocolates

  2. Yes Yes and YES!!! My life is so busy right now with non-crochet things.. and it will continue to be this busy until my 4th and final child graduates high school in 3 months. I have so so many things on my plate. But if I cannot crochet - I am not happy. So little projects like this are EXACTLY what I will be making to satisfy my need to crochet. This very pattern is right on my to do list. Thank you for your timely inspiration. As I set my flowers and vases about the house the other day, I realized I was truly in need of some doily action to place under them. I'm not really a Lent participator - but my life's goal is to give up my negativity. I always joke with friends that my glass is totally empty while my husband's is brimming over! It's not actually that bad but I have been trying to add water to my personal outlook glass for some time now!

  3. Your mandalas look stunning, the colours are beautiful. I am very jealous of that wool stash. I think it is wonderful thing to focus on being thankful, I am truly thankful that my house is not under water I can always find somebody worse off than I am.

  4. Your mandalas are really gorgeous, I love the colours you have used. I love Ann from GBSB scarf too, it's perfect. Thank you for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment.
    Marianne x

  5. Your mandalas are lovely and will I hope bring you lots of joy. I look forward to seeing what the humble granny square turns into! I have one by my bed as a coaster!! xx

  6. Snap! I'm so excited to make one now, yours are gorgeous! I appreciated your words about using Drops Paris and the ease of mandalas, this will all come in handy when my crochet gang makes them. I am loving that pile of yarn...and I just think life will be complete until I have a granny square scarf! I do have some yarn leftover from my Nordic Shawl...good grief I hope I'm granny chic and not granny ick! ;-) Chrissie x

  7. Gorgeous mandalas ... I have yet to make any, but now I feel inspired to find a gap and create! I popped over to the link and was so moved by the meaning given for mandala, it resonated deeply for me, thank you for that. The power of healing in crochet really works for me. Pat xx

  8. I love your mandalas, you've done a fab job with them and they're really delightful.
    Have you ever had a look directly at 'Wink's' blog - the queen of mandalas - she's at A Creative Being - and was making, (and producing patterns), a mandala a week for ages and they're all there to find if you do a quick browse. And of course she also does a feature on Simply Crochet now and again, which you may have seen.
    I can imagine your next project with the grannie squares will also be a delight, and am looking forward to seeing its progress!
    Thanks so much for your lovely message on mine once again - I have replied there! Joy xo

  9. It's tricky to balance your days, isn't it? I thought it'd be easy once I wasn't working so much, but unsurprisingly having a toddler to chase around and tidy up after means it's nearly as hard as it always was. Practising gratefulness helps me too, to find joy in even the housework (cleaning the toilet is SATISFYING - so I can get joy from that). Your mandalas are beautiful - I especially like the warm one on your bedroom wall. I'll have to read up on them... although then they'd ended up added onto my ever growing crafting wishlist... then I'd struggle to balance my life to fit them in too...

  10. I popped over from Chrissie's lovely blog, your mandalas are gorgeous. Granny squares are abot my limit at the moment, but I'm feeling inspired to keep on crocheting!! Sarah xo

  11. Hello lovely and what a gorgeous Mandala you've created!! I love the colours you chose and like you I think drops is just the thing to use. I'm
    So pleased to hear that you felt inspired and today you've inspired me in turn to find some more time for this blog if mine, so thanks !!!! Thank you for the mention how very lovely of you. I love your lent approach this year, gratitude is so important, enjoy every minute!! Xxxx

  12. Beautiful! Wonderful colour combos!

  13. What lovely crochet, the colours are so vibrant. Being busy helps us to appreciate our hobbies when we have the time to do them does't it?

  14. Love both mandalas, especially the orange one. Isnt it funny how we keep coming back to grannie squares.

  15. Love your mandalas! All that wonderful, happy color! I love hanging them around the house also. Aren't they just the perfect, quick project?!

  16. A woman after my own heart! I also used the Spring Mandala pattern from K Town and I also adore Wool Warehouse - I think they should have me as an honorary member as I seem to spend my life savings there! Love your Mandalas - here are mine - jane xx


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