Hello again,

I hope you are all enjoying the website.  I am slowly getting into my groove a bit now and it is feeling like this is a real thing!!  Does that sound a bit weird? It’s hard to explain what I mean and how I am feeling about it! I am loving it for sure. I guess it’s a little bit like preparing for your first baby. You have an idea in your head about what it will be like. About how you will be in your new role. Sometimes it is hard to see past the birth itself, to the next bit when you actually have to take care of the baby….forever more!

Well, it certainly took me months of preparation to get ready to launch this business. It was hard for me to see past the launch date too! But after I had put it out into the world for the first time, I did have a little moment when I realised that now I had to nurture it and help it to grow and become what it wanted to be, to find it’s place in the world.

My role has changed too. I have become a business-owner. I am more than just someone’s mother, wife, daughter, friend. Of course, all of those things are still valuable to me, but I have something in my life now that I have created for myself. Something that fulfils a  part of me that didn’t know it was yearning for something more.

I think that wanting to create something more in our lives is often why we, as women, make such great entrepreneurs. We are determined to be successful in our own right, through our own hard work and dedication. We bring a passion to our business.

I see that passion when I go to chat with creatives to feature in the Conversations section of the website. It is joyful and infectious. I love meeting them and I am honoured that they allow me to tell their stories and share them with you all.

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you Julie Lealand’s story.  Her business, Threadbear Cottage, came about after she suffered a nasty accident which left her with a broken neck.  I don’t suggest that you have a nasty accident in order to launch into business, but it does go to show that even from adversity something good can be created.  If you missed it, you can read my conversation with Julie here.

This week’s Conversation featured Louise McLennan and her lovely candle-making business Lulala. Louise’s handmade soy candles smell good enough to eat and the beautiful glass vessels she uses for them really add a special touch to any room. I have a few at home in my cottage and I love them.  When I met with Louise one of the things she told me was that she wanted to increase the number of stockists that were selling her candles. I know that she has been successful in achieving this goal. Her hard work and determination has resulted in a growth in her business of which she can be proud.  You can read Louise’s story here.

The little cardigan I am knitting for the new baby due to be born in our family in early July is nearing completion. I can’t show you yet, as I want to post it to my sister-in-law first.

I have needed a little help as it’s the first time I have used a pattern that is worked from the top down on a circular needle. It means there is no sewing up required at the end of the knitting, which I am very pleased about as that is my least favourite part of making a knitted garment. The tricky part comes when you have to pick up stitches and create the sleeve using four double-pointed needles!

I’ve been really lucky and I’m so grateful that one of the ladies in my weekly craft group is a knitting whiz.  She has kindly started me off on that part, knitting the first few rows of each sleeve for me, to get me going.

Unfortunately, I misread the instructions while knitting the first sleeve and decreased too quickly which resulted in a rather skinny, oddly-shaped sleeve. After I had knitted the second sleeve I realised my mistake, as they looked quite different, so I unpicked the first one and did it again….properly the next time, though. So poor Tania has had to start off three sleeves for me, but I assure you there are only two on the cardigan now!

The next thing will be to choose some buttons.  I’m trying to decide whether to go and buy some or just to have a little rummage around in my studio in my button stash. Will I have enough of one kind of button in there though? Or will it be ok to have mis-matching buttons to add a quirky touch? Should I just go and buy a set from the local wool shop? So many questions to ponder!

At the moment it’s pouring down with rain, so the prospect of going out in it doesn’t particularly appeal. I think I will go and make another cup of tea to help with the decision making….and the warming up!

Leave me a comment below to let me know if you vote for upcycled mis-matched buttons or a shiny new set.

Until next time,

Maria x