Thursday, 26 December 2013

Review of 2013

With regards to Poppybead it has been a quiet year.  Mainly down to health reasons and not being able to stand up or walk for too long.  I injured my medial collateral ligament in my knee and this has caused some tissue called the plica to flare and cause pain.

I have been doing other things that don't require my legs as much.  Firstly my website is live again and I am hosting it on a site that is easier to use, manage and adapt.  I am happy with the look of the website items can be bought through my Etsy shop.

98% of the photography is my own and I am learning all the time.  With that in mind I got involved with a photography project called Lost Stories which is part of a larger project called INSIDE OUT. Being involved with this project has been a steep learning curve when it comes to taking photos.  However I am very proud of my photos and hope my photography will lead to other things.  In the meantime you can see some of my shots on Flickr and Instagram.

I have been sewing a fair bit and this has given me a chance to create for myself and frequent a lovely new haberdashery in Birmingham.  Guthrie and Ghani is a family run business which brings something new to crafting in the West Midlands.  I have also found a wonderful yarn shop in North Birmingham called Sitting Knitting.  SK is a friendly environment for yarn lovers and they also have some great workshops lined up for 2014.  There are some other small businesses Stitch Solihull like I hope to visit in 2014.

I have also got presence on Pinterest and Tumblr, these have more personal aspects but Poppybead is part of me so I hope the creativity shine through.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

My first ever bunting attempt.

After a passing comment at my day job about getting out the bunting I realised I have never made any bunting.
Then I was chatting at Saturday knits about fabric as well as quilting.  So I looked at what I already had and this was the outcome.

What do you think?

The fabric and bias binding was purchased from Guthrie & Ghani in Moseley.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Poppybead: My day out in the countryside

Poppybead: My day out in the countryside: I thought I would start this blog with a bit of history.  My friend Imogen who makes great gluten free cake introduced me to a group called...

My day out in the countryside

I thought I would start this blog with a bit of history.  My friend Imogen who makes great gluten free cake introduced me to a group called Handmade is Hot on Facebook.  This group has become a valuable resource in my journey through crafting as a business.  

After meeting other members of the group at my first craft fair,  I met some more members on my birthday. 
Sometimes it's easy to hide behind a computer and forget about interaction with others and possible customers.  Each time I have met other "hotties" everyone has been really nice and honest. 
I can't remember exactly when the discussion started but I wanted to join in with making a blanket for a picnic.   With all good intentions I started a crochet granny square blanket.  Over 6 months later the blanket hasn't grown much so I thought I sew one, that was an epic fail.  
I managed to find something I had already made and off I went to the countryside of Lichfield. 
You can see the house reflected in this picture.

I am very much a city girl and can't drive so don't get out to the countryside very often.  But yesterday I made the effort to go Hottie organised event at Curborough crafts and antiques centre.  With my hottie badge, blanket, picnic and camera off I went.  I took the cross city train line to Lichfield Trent Valley and thought maybe I should of got off the station before.  I was given a number for a taxi and I shared it with a lady called Kiki who was going to play the violin at a wedding, how random?

When I got to the venue I wanted to have my hair done in a vintage up do.  It's something I have never done before.  I really liked it and think I would do it again. 

There was loads to see and so I started exploring and taking 
pictures. So here is a link to my Flickr photostream

There was lots of Hottie badges around and I was really pleased to put some faces to names/wellies.  One conversation that sticks in my head was about social media.      I have got presence on Instagram and Pinterest as I thought they would be useful to my brand and I am rather addicted to Instagram.  House of Harrie Hattie if you want some help let me know.

I had a lovely day networking with other crafters, hotties and even ran into a colleague from my day job.  The music was great and the weather was fantastic.

I have got some inspiration and renewed motivation from going to this event.  Great job Lucy.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

A crafty Saturday

Time is flying and here in the UK there was another public holiday.  I started my extended weekend with a visit to Saturday Knits, a new group who meet at Loco Lounge in Kings Heath.

I worked on my Camelile shawl until I got t a point where I need to concentrate on the lace edging. 

Then I went onto Moseley Arts Markets which runs alongside the Moseley Farmers market.

A dear friend was selling her wares & she kindly let take some pictures of her stall.  Karen of The Sheppard's Flock makes some beautiful dolls, decorations & bunting.


Monday, 6 May 2013

May bank holiday 1

I thought would take a break from my knitting to blog over this bank holiday weekend.  I am still contemplating what to do regarding a website and am not much further forward.  I have however been working with different photographers to get a different look to the pieces I make.

I am not always good at asking for help but when this friend offered to take pictures I snapped his hand off.  Just like when another photographer friend from the the day job took amazing shots of my pieces.

These are two of my favourites shots from Saol Photography.  My other friend has put a different slant on my pieces.

I feel really blessed to know such talented and creative people who have the ability to my pieces look amazing.

I also have some things in the pipeline with these cufflinks which are made to order from my Etsy shop.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Taking photos

When an email went round at my day job saying there was going to be a photography club I got really quite excited as I thought I would be able to learn more about taking better pictures of my jewellery.  Nearly a year on I can honestly say I have learned loads about taking photos and how important a good photo helps sell a product.  Here are a series of photos I have taken of a pair of earrings that I have made.

This picture has been filtered with Instagram
Before I go through my earring photos this picture was was the original photo I took with a Canon Powershot A400 (3.2MP, 5.9-13.2mm 1:3.8).  This was given to me by a dear friend and I will always appreciate this.

 I was then given another point and shoot by a family member, this was a Nikon Coolpix S210 (8MP, 6.3-18.9mm 1:3.1-5.9).  The following photos were taken with my Nikon.

This was taken outside.

I am not entirely happy with these photos, but they are not the worst one I took.

 Then just before the Olympics I made the decision to buy a more powerful camera.  I had the chance to hold and use a DSLR from Saol Photography and know I wasn't ready for a DSLR and settled for a bridge camera.  I am now owner of a Fuji Finepix S4400 (14mp
f=4.3-120.4 1:3.1-5.9)  What sold this to me was the macro settings of 2cm and the 28x zoom.  The next set of photos were taken with my Fuji.

I am happier with these photos as I think they are clearer, the detail is more prominent & they look more professional.  The best piece of advice I have been given is to use as much natural light as you can, along with a tripod.
There is still a lot of learning to be done but I am really enjoying my photography journey.

Monday, 18 February 2013


Hello there.

I have been deciding what to do with a number of things.  The first decision I made was to get an accountant to do my self assessment.  Some crafters probably think the money could be spent elsewhere but as a dyslexic it's was one less thing to think about.

Another decision I have made was to cancel my current Eshop website, this was for financial reasons.  I can't believe it has been a year since I set it up.  It has been good experience to learn about html, taking good clear photos, selling online & what doesn't work.

Before Christmas I bit the bullet and did my first craft fair.  It was good fun, successful and a learning process.  It was a big decision for me to make but I am glad I did.

Another thing I decided is to incorporate my love of Basketball with crafting and made some cufflinks.  I also have been experimenting with Polymer clay, so watch this space for more handmade beads. will be back as soon as I make a decision I am happy with.