Category Archives: chronicling ellen

Printables in PowerPoint – an awesome link!

I have been watching a few Youtube videos lately about blogging and this one caught my eye.

I am terrible at the actual graphic design element of blogging, which has always been a struggle for me so when I saw this I thought “I could do that!”.

I had a play around on PowerPoint and I could!

It’s from a Youtube channel called Start a Mom Blog, if you search for it in Youtube you’ll find it. She has lots of videos on the how-to parts of blogging, so definitely have a look. In the link below she shows you how to make some really easy printables that she uses as part of her email marketing to promote her blog. I think she uses them as freebie giveaways to entice her readers to either sign up for her newsletter or as free perks within the newsletter itself.

I had a go and here is what I managed in about 45 minutes of messing with colours and seeng how it works.

Powerpoint Printables Try

I did 2 sheets on blogging (because I have been watching so much lately on Youtube that it just sort of absorbed into my brain) and 1 random one on knitting which I was just trying out the colours. Have a look and see what you think, I am sure you can do something much much better than me, but it’s a really good idea to make more professional looking images than faff around in Microsoft Word for ages trying to make something look special.

If only I had known this for university! Oh how my presentations would have been prettified! Not to mention my note-taking in general!

Have a good evening! x


Knitted Hat

The most awesome and snuggly and warm hat I have made yet.

The pattern was from Let’s Knit magazine ssue 111 XMAS 2016 and I threw away the wool label so I can’t tell you what wool…but it’s very snuggly! [EDIT: Stylecraft Mosaic shade 3622 Graffiti, Super Chunky!]

I started it in December and then had a month off knitting completely for some strange reason. (I think it was because all my ongoing projects seemed to bore me to death and I needed a break!).

Here’s a photo of it…

And another quick make was a tape measure cover which was free with a magazine called Simply Knitting issue 169.

And the first bracelet I have ever made…recognise the beads Lizzie?!

Now what should I make?

Works In Progress are:

  • Lizzie’s blanket (sorry it’s taking more than a year lol!)
  • Knitted cowl
  • Knitted second sock (how does it take 6 months to make a pair of socks?)
  • A crochet ripple blanket
  • A stormtrooper crochet squares blanket
  • A crochet scraps blanket

And I have ideas for more projects…oh so many possibilities and oh so little time and money to do them!

More updates later…watching The Goldbergs and parents have just come in with treats for me lol!!!!! 🙂

This is Brigman back on the air!

[And if you get what the title of this post is referring to you are officially as awesome as me!]

Hello peeps and a belated Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Imbolg to you all!

I just checked and it’s been a good few months since I posted, well, ANYTHING! August in fact was my last post. Oops! Here is where I would normally post an excuse or two, but mostly I have just been in a bit of a blogging slump to be honest. Or, as Austin Powers would say “Crikey! I’ve lost my Mojo!”

But I have decided to get back to it and actually, you know, write something, so here’s a quick round up of stuff.

I have been getting into jewellery making lately, I’m not great and I’m still practising the various techniques, and there aren’t many pics yet, but I will post later about that new hobby.

I didn’t do a single stitch in January. Whether crocheted, knitted or sewn. Not one! But…today and yesterday I have more than made up for it lol! I finished an outstanding WIP which was a knitted hat and did a quick make yesterday which was a knitted tape measure cover – a free gift with a knitting magazine.

I made just the one decoration over Christmas…a knitted heart.

And I have been buying crafty books like crazy.

A new crochet ripple blanket is on the go…

And a trip to London meant a visit to John Lewis’s haberdashery section (I so rarely get to use that word these days…haberdashery) and of course along with the purchases of needles and notions there was sock wool!

The crochet stormtrooper blanket is coming along I dont have an exact number of squares out of 625 but i think it’s around the 130 mark…so a while to go yet!

And books…I finished my reading list for 2017 except for 3 (Anna Karenina, War and Peace and Vanity Fair), which was to read all outstanding books on my shelf. I think I did pretty well considering I must have read about 3 or 4 times as many books as I went to the library and keep getting sidetracked after work in places like Waterstones and WHSmith!

I’m still on the go with Anna Karenina at the mo, but have just finished Hag -Seed by Margaret Atwood which is a re-working of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, I really enjoyed it and as I didn’t know the plot beforehand, I can safely say I do now!

I have the next couple of weeks off work…more work done on my foot…gah! Just chop it off already and give me a fake one like Forest Whitaker’s character in Rogue One!

So that means more time for crafting, reading and writing. I have discovered 2 magazines in UK called Writer’s Forum and Writing Magazine which have inspired me to get writing again, even if it’s only for me. I’m thinking of entering a few competitions so watch this space (of course that means I actually have to get the ideas from my head to paper or screen sometime…but it’s a goal and it’s out there now).

Right, that’s it for now. It’s getting late and I have things to make!

More crafty stuff soon, have a good night and a better weekend 🙂 x

Books of the moment

Lots of crafting done last week and the week before that was my reading week lol! There have been some days recently when I have come in from work and read a whole book in one night. Sometimes it’s inspiration and other times it’s because I have had enough of crafting and wanted a change (or intellectual challenge considering the titles of some of the books!).

You can tell from the titles alone I have been into the reference/ informative books lately. Something to get my chops round you know?! I still have a list of fiction books to read, which has grown a little recently, but sometimes you have to go ‘off-list’!

In no particular order, this is what I have been reading in late July/ early August:

The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

This book is about finding the one thing you need to do to become more successful and happier in your life. It was OK, the whole thing seemed too general and vague for me, I suppose a lot of these books are as they don’t know your exact individual circumstance. But the basic premise seems logical really – narrow down your to do lists to find the most pressing, important thing that needs to be done in order for positive change to happen and do it. A good idea, but more of a coffee table read for me than one which I would make notes from.


The No Spend Year: How I Spent Less and Lived More by Michelle McGagh

This book leapt out at me because it is the kind of thing I could see myself doing and it’s interesting to read about other people’s experiments doing things like this. I liked her style of writing, but there seemed to be a jumbled layout of things, with random bits of information in tiny chapters that I didn’t overly love. The information was good and the points important, but totally randomly spaced out. Also, I thought she could have done more activities and ‘things’ and maybe could have broadened the scope of her little project, perhaps by looking at more ethical and eco-friendly things to do? I’m not sure what it was missing but it was lacking something, maybe pictures? But a good read nevertheless.


The Million Dollar Blog by Natasha Courtenay-Smith

I loved this book, I loved the tips and the layout and the style in which it was written, and I even scribbled some notes and underlined stuff in pink in the book. The trouble with lots books about blogging is that they are too samey, but this had lots of good case studies – which actually answered questions and not just gave a biography. On one case study, a question was asked on how to find content to publish and the guy who was being questioned said 50% what was happening (in his niche) at the moment and 50% on keyword searches (i.e. via Google), which was what people were currently looking for, and that was something that had never occurred to me. Definitely worth a read for those serious bloggers out there!


She Means Business by Carrie Green

Carrie Green was one of the case studies in the book above which is how I first came across her and when I saw this book in WHSmiths I thought I’d give it a go. It’s written for women who are thinking of starting up an online business and reads more like a general self-help kind of book. Again, it can be quite vague, but the overall message is, if you are thinking about making money online, then why aren’t you taking steps to do so? It’s a good read, with the more useful stuff in the second half of the book. I think it could do with some more examples as she tends to use the same ones a lot, but overall not bad as it focuses more on the inspirational and creative side of things.


Craft, Show and Sell by Torie Jayne

Definitely a coffee table book this one albeit one with pretty pictures. This one is so vague and general and I suppose, again, it has to be as the author doesn’t know your personal circumstances, but it could have done with a bit more substance to it. Although, saying that, I did like the formula for how to price your crafts on page 79 – that was good. The case studies especially were a missed opportunity as the book focuses on the visual side of things, which means each case study gets a short biography and a short description of their business and that’s it. Perhaps doing a double spread at the end of each chapter with some useful questions answered would have been more useful? I don’t know…if you want pretty pics and something to kick start your research then this is the book for you.

Some food for thought – happy reading!

Yorkshire Life is a Good Life!

I love Yorkshire!

There, I said it, it’s out there, I’m not going to take it back – although let’s be clear, people. When I say Yorkshire I mean NORTH YORKSHIRE!

You know, the posh and all round better Yorkshire lol!

Where I live is right in between 2 National Parks – The North York Moors and The Yorkshire Dales. Both beautiful. Both different.

The Moors have a bit of a barren feel to them. Sometimes on the top of the moors, it’s like walking on a different planet. But down in the vales and valleys it’s quite cosy.

The Dales are just cosy. They’re snug and the walks are really pretty (and easy – no GIANT HILLS like in the Lake District!). The hills are small, the villages are quaint and the countryside is, perhaps not COMPLETELY untouched, but still rural and remote.

One of my favourite places in the Dales is Aysgarth Falls, where I have been recently with 2 friends called Katrina! It’s quite a small walk unless you decide to walk across to Bolton Castle in Wensleydale. This has a slight claim to fame as it is where Mary Queen of Scots was held for 6 months during the reign of Elizabeth I and also if you watch Game of Thrones, you can imagine it’s where the Bolton family live!

Aysgarth Falls is a small set of waterfalls near the village Aysgarth and is popular with tourists and walkers. It’s also where Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (the Kevin Costner version) filmed the river scene, in the upper and middle falls I believe.

If you are ever up North in the UK, you should definitely make time for the Yorkshire Dales – in Wenseydale they have cheese – what do you think Wallace and Gromit eat? Wensleydale! 🙂 x

WIPs and Stuff

Good afternoon peeps!

Sorry for the loooooong absence, I haven’t blogged or even been online really in about 6 weeks. What happiness!

Work has been tiring, and frankly, sometimes after a long day the last thing you want to do is spend ages faffing around on the interweb! Also, been doing lots of reading and crafting and going places and seeing people and planning things and trying new things, so it’s not all bad right?!

But, first a crafty catch up. I had a long list of things to finish and I managed to get a few done which was good. 🙂

    The crochet hook holder is done, just need to add either a button or some ribbon and maybe tidy up a few loose ends and things. I knitted the cover back in either January or February (or possibly earlier) and that and the fabric have been lying around since then.

It isn’t the best thing I have ever made – mostly because I didn’t really measure it! Oops! I can already hear some of you sewists cringing and tutting. I know, I know, it’s the whole ‘MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE’ old maxim, but I was impatient and didn’t want to spend hours and hours on this so I sort of guessed it, which is why it only sort of works. But it’s not terrible, just needs another few minutes of tidying up like I say.

The second thing I did recently was learn how to knit socks, which has been on my wish list for a looooong time. It took me 3 weeks to knit this one sock (ha!) on and off I might add, so maybe that explains why there is still only ONE SOCK! But the other is coming, once I get a couple more projects out of the way.

It was made with Stylecraft’s Head Over Heels range, the kilimajaro colourway I think and I really like the colours as they remind me of Nepalese prayer flags (which I have long had a strange fascination with). The only thing I’m not sure I like with this wool is on some parts where there is a colour change, it looks like the Stylecraft Wool Gnome has missed a few spots so it’s still the base white. It kind of makes me want to get a felt tip marker and colour it in myself!

I made quite a few mistakes, but i am well chuffed with myself (thanks Youtube!).

(It’s the same sock btw, just from a different angle!) And I have massive clown sized feet…lol!

What else?

Ah yes, a friend has just adopted the cutest baby girl ever in the history of baby girls so I had to make SOMETHING for her. I opted for a cute little pink loom knitted hat and with the leftover wool I crocheted a little bag and filled it with Mr Men books. And added a cuddly toy too. 🙂

I have also made some headway with a crocheted blanket which is nearly finished just need a few more rounds. The trouble is, the bigger it gets, the longer it takes just to do a single round!

James C Brett Marble Cunky range was used for this, they stopped doing the brown colour which is sad, so the last few rounds have just been red and purple.

And here is a montage of them all below, because that is a word I rarely get to use these days so here you go…montage!

I have also finised a loom knitted bright scarf which I forgot to take a picture of, but as I have a gorgeous autumn loom knit scarf on the go as well now, I might as well wait and post them together.

I have bought an awful lot of wool and yarny gooess lately, but again that’s for another time. As are the many books I have bought and read. I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any more until I had read the rest of what was leftover on my shelf still to read, well, I got paid last Thursday and I just had a book blowout, what can I say?! I don’t even feel guilty as they are some nerdy bloody books and there is room to put them now that I have been decluttering!

Have a good Sunday and it’s good to be back! 🙂 Ellen xx

Loom Knitting

Last week I bought a set of circular knitting looms from my local yarn shop. I’ve always wondered how to use them and after watching a video on Youtube I have it all figured out (at least the knit stitch – haven’t tried the purl yet).

And it is so QUICK to knit on. I made the smaller hat in an hour and a half and the larger one over 2 evenings. They both use 2 strands of yarn, the smaller hat using aran weight and the larger one chunky weight yarn.

The smaller hat was made on a 36 peg size loom and the larger one on a 41 peg size loom.

I followed this tutorial on Youtube. She’s really good and has a website, just google Loomahat and see what comes up.

Have a go and see how quick and easy it is to knit things in the round! The looms are not expensive at all to buy and you will wonder why you didn’t try it earlier! 🙂

There were no seams to weave in, it was all knitted in one piece with no increases or decreases and the only thing I had to sew in was when I gathered it all at the top at the end.

P.S. you can add a pom pom to the top if you want to finish it off properly.