Bullet Journalling, Colour

Taking Notes; Adding Embellishments

Wherever I end up in a meeting or listening to something, I can’t help but take notes. As soon as I add little pictures, tags, colour, etc. (the little embellishments), I am able to recall what I’ve been hearing more easily. I also find that this allows for threading the overall theme together later.

Embellishments can be simple doodles, but rather than a point of distracted absence, they serve a purpose. These embellishments can be anchor points; how often have we all searched through lots of words looking for THAT point? Why not have a little colour in your notes? Maybe that highlight will make it easier to find/catch the thread of the meeting more vividly.

I’ll confess here, although I love the concept of bullet journalling, I’m not great at the ‘bullet’ part in this context. I haven’t figured out how to reduce what I’m hearing/thinking to simple bullets.. however, when I write notes, I love colour. As demonstrated below:

WJEC Chemistry A-Level Modules
Notes in my journal – colours to capture separate modules
🐝 Beelong

My experience, after much trial and error I hasten to add, is that I need colour or pictures to recall my feelings and/or the essential principles of what I was listening to or learning at the time (e.g. the little honeycomb and bee in the picture above).

I’d encourage you to think about what is useful for you when taking notes:-

  1. What do you want to remember -recollection of details or broad strokes? This will define the amount you write. Consider if a picture to depict the setting, or your interpretation of the theme will help to map your notes more effectively; this doesn’t need to be elaborate or pretty and could even be a logo or picture stuck into your notes.
  2. Consider how do you best learn/ understand – if you’re a visual learner (use pictures), if you learn best by reading (use colour to separate chunks of text), if you learn best simply listening (note down quotes and bullets for anything essential, but focus on what’s being said, primarily)
  3. Finally look back to your previous notes; do they help you recollect what was said /done? If not… Think about taking them a different way, don’t be afraid to adopt several methods in one meeting 😊

I hope this overview of how embellishments could support your note taking is useful, let me know any thoughts in comments below.

Colour, Ponderings

Visit North Wales!

After approximately 10 weeks of almost non-stop, sunshine, it rained when I visited North Wales a few days ago! I hasten to add the whole of the UK had similar weather and North Wales (despite the rumours) didn’t have a climate of its own. πŸ˜‰

We stayed in a beautiful country house hotel (Sygun Fawr); nestled in the country side, with magnificent views in all directions, this was one of the most peaceful places my husband and I have ever stayed.

The mountain view in the picture above offered hours of enjoyment as the clouds billowed around the landscape. Within a few minutes we saw the picturesque view disappear under clouds, reappear in a haze and then highlighted to full colour by glorious sunshine. Near Beddgelert, these types of views are seen often. There are several walking routes available, including a climb up Snowdon Mountain,which is only a few miles away.

We wanted a restful weekend, so no climbing for us; however we did visit a spectacular copper mine (Sygun Copper Mine). My love of chemistry and my husband’s love of history were indulged, as well as both our love of art and colour.

The mine tour is self-guided, following signs to various stations, listening (via speakers) to the story of a miner describing the conditions and offering an insight into the process of mining copper. We climbed through the mountain, up metal steps; the highlight being several stalegmite/stalegmite formations and ‘the light at the end of the tunnel’; the stunning views at the top (bottom left of the above picture).We spent a good while taking pictures and then meandered down the path back to our car, where we drove to a nearby lake.

The second day was spent in Portmeirion. This village, known as the ‘little Italy’ of North Wales, was designed by Clough Williams Ellis; he wanted to show that it was possible to place buildings within a beautiful landscape, without ruining the atmosphere. He also loved Italy, therefore there is colour, pattern and stunning architecture whichever way you look in the area. Also worth noting, Williams Ellis often saw buildings elsewhere and when possible and only when he felt they would add to the village’s unique outlook, they were imported into the structure. For example this Bristolian columnar structure:

The colours and the playfulness of the architecture are nothing like I’ve seen elsewhere. There may well be some art or crochet piece in the future completely inspired by Portmeirion.

As an example, in the picture above, the stores for the garden area, painted to blend in (bricks and what appears to be arches) are really made of wood and metal.

I honestly think we could have spent an inordinate amount of time in Portmeirion and we are sure to return.

Our short trip has given us a taste of this beautiful part of the world and I hope it has inspired you to visit. Be assured, you won’t be disappointed!

Thanks for reading, wishing you safe travels wherever you journey this summer.

If you’d like to see some more pictures of the mine or Portmeirion, please check out my Instagram πŸ™‚

Colour, Ponderings

I Decided to Follow a Prompt….

I’ve never heard of it before, but today I came across a word prompt to aid inspiration in content for a blog post.

The word was Fabric.

To be honest, I’ve published one post only yesterday after a month+ of hiatus, feeling like I had nothing to say. This prompt made me laugh since I read it just after completing a draft version of blog post ideas in my bullet journal. I had literally just written down “Fabric”.

So here goes:

For me, there are two threads that immediately spring to mind with the word ” Fabric”:

1. ‘Fabric of life’

2. ‘Fabric to make something’ i.e the thing sewn together to make garments, covers etc.

When I initially wrote it down in the web of ideas above, I was thinking of it as part of my theme about Colour. As you know if you’ve read Adventure Begins (my first post), one of my aims of the blog is to celebrate colour and pattern in life. This view in my bed earlier today was the source of inspiration for the word Fabric in my blog post web:

I love the pattern of the owls on the fabric, but also the brightness of colour. It got me to thinking, how does someone go about printing fabric like this? How did they choose this combination of colour? What made them choose red and white?

This also reminded me that I have another one of these duvet sets with the same pattern, but with completely different colours and I love it just as much:

As you can see, they are completely different, but are linked by the pattern. That led me to think about the fabric of life. I think of the fabric of life as the richness of life, the threads and patterns that run through. I find it fascinating that from day to day we’re able to see our life from a different perspective – see my last post. In the example of the duvet sets, even the type of cloth itself; a simple cotton fabric is the same, the detail is the same (the hearts and flowers on the chests of the owls, as an example), but the way the colour is applied is completely different.

This leads me to ask: What makes up the fabric of my life, what colour can I add, what do I miss when I only see that the pattern is the same? These seem to be questions at the forefront of my mind given yesterday’s post too. To be honest I haven’t got any coherent answers yet, but I think it’s worthwhile pondering.

Also, depending on your outlook, one could perceive the red and white set as boring or dull in comparison to the tartan pattern and several colours of the other set. But I think that’s the key; I wonder if the killer to inspiration, the one that steals joy is the very act of comparison?

In my eyes, both duvet sets are beautiful, in their own right.

However, I often see myself playing a comparison game in my life, thinking that someone else’s life looks better; someone speaks more eloquently, etc. What if they’re both beautiful in their own right? What if my life is as beautiful as theirs, but my trying to line up the pattern and compare the colour actually leads me to think of it as dull, when it’s bright and powerful just as it is? Life is rarely dull I’ve realised, but my perceptions can lead me to think that way. So my hope is that I’ll choose to see the colour and beauty in my life more often and wish you the same opportunity.

That’s my thoughts on the word, “Fabric”. Out of interest, what would your thoughts be if your prompt was “fabric”?

Thanks to Ben Huberman @The Daily Post for the prompt today – it’s served me well.

Comment below with your thoughts and follow me for the next update. Thanks again for reading πŸ˜„


Snow! When Everything Has New Perspective

As I woke on Thursday morning this week past, everything around me had a taken a new hue. The sillouettes of my normal view were visible, but the details were missing.

I’ve often thought that snowy scenes offer some kind of magic; but these last few days I realised that their beauty comes from hiding the familiar edges of what I know and offering a renewed perspective.

It can be so easy to slip in to feeling like life is a bit dreary, dull and monotonous; to be honest there have been many moments when I’ve felt like this. Today, however I realised that sometimes this comes only because we focus so much on the minor, insignificant details that we miss the outlines of our lives.

If I’m honest I forget that each day I have the privilege of being able to read and write, running water, a beautiful home, a car, family- I could go on. The reality is I am so familiar with these things that they take a back seat quite often and the stresses and strains of work, busyness of life and worry take precedence.

The snow however afforded me the joy of going for an impromptu walk; discovery of a deserted, snowy, children’s park; watching a duck skim along a river and listening to birds sing. I suddenly noticed the pops of colour that are so easily lost in my normal observations. The vantage of my locality covered in snow also highlighted the colour that’s normally missed. I also managed to work on a crochet project and to top it all off I had an enormous amount of time with my loved ones. For me, that’s the magic of snow.

I guess my biggest perspective shift is to understand the sillouettes of my life are consistent; but they’re not going to be looking like this forever. What will I do to make sure that I don’t miss the joys of life around me in my everyday? How will I see the beauty and listen to the melodies of life more clearly -even without the snow?

I think it would be wise to make a concerted effort to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of life and remember to shift perspective; embrace the here and now and see the precious things in life today.

The snow is an inconvenience for sure, but it’s also a pace-changer. What has the snow revealed for you and what will you do to help you to recall this in a few weeks time? Comment below, I’d love to know your thoughts.

I’m hoping to write again soon; the intention is to write as inspiration strikes. If you’d like to follow me to read the next update, click follow below.


Favourites from Four Years of Crochet, Part 3

InΒ Part 2Β I mentioned that the practise Owl Obsession motif spurred me on to try another pattern. This was also the first Crochet-A-Long (CAL) that I had decided to join. CAL parts are usually released once a week, with a group of people each making the same project, finishing the complete project at theΒ  same time. In my case, the CAL was hosted by a Facebook group I follow,Β Official CCC Social Group.

The pattern was designed by Dedri Uys ofΒ Look at What I MadeΒ and is called Sophie’s Universe. It’s a stunning, large blanket made with intricate stitches and lots of texture. The beauty of the pattern is that each part is set up as a tutorial. Therefore, despite starting the pattern having never done anything as complicated, I have been able to make the blanket fairly easily.

As usual for yarn selection and particularly following the number of ends I had to weave in for the Owl Obsession, I wanted an option that meant the least sewing! Therefore, I selected a long variegated yarn that I found in Aldi. It’s a beautiful blue, yellow and grey, Aran yarn that is very easy to work.


Despite my best intentions, having started this project in January 2015 (when the pattern was first released), I have to confess that it is not yet finished. It has become a go to project in between several others. I want to mention here that there are crocheters that have completed the pattern in a few weeks; for me it’s a relaxing, eye-opening project so I’ve chosen to slow down and take as long as I need – there have been times when I’ve chastised myself for the pace, but I’ve grown to understand it’s become a familiar friend on my crochet journey, so I’ve welcomed the warmth (it’s now as large as a lap blanket, approx. 4.5ft by 4.5ft) and comfort it provides.

This is a pattern I would recommend to anyone who wants to expand their crochet skills; it has really widened my range and helped me to understand the anatomy of stitches much better. It has also helped me be far more fearless when picking projects. When you’re learning, you suddenly are happier to learn more! πŸ˜ƒ

I have also recently bought the pattern book and continue to work on it when I can, however most of my yarn is currently packed as we’re about to move house. So, as she (Sophie) has been a long-enduring friend, so she will continue a little longer… I suppose she’ll be a life-long companion once complete, as she’s made for myself and my family – you’ll notice most of my projects are given away, so this is rather special.

I hope this post has inspired you to take on projects that are beyond your current capacity, knowing that you will grow, much as I have done.

Next time, I’ll be writing about the project that made me most emotionally anxious, but also the one I’ve been most privileged to give away.

Again, if you’d like to follow, please click the button below and please leave a comment – I’d love to know what you think about the series so far. Thank for reading, until next time 😊!


Favourites from Four Years of Crochet, Part 2

In my last post, Part 1 of this series, I started by looking back at the first ‘big’ project I’d ever made. 

The second is a baby blanket made for another set of dear friends. This time round I was looking for more of a challenge, having grown in my ability and the realisation that I can become easily bored by continually repeated patterns!

The Owl Obsession pattern by the The Hat & I caught my eye. It’s full of colour and required me to explore new skills, as I’d made little that required joining motifs at that point.

The pattern is brilliantly written, with a lot of pictures, which helped immensely given that I was a relative newbie. The blanket is made by making several different shaped motifs and joining them to eventually create a square. 

I recall doing a practise octagon/owl motif at my sister’s house over the Christmas period. I used some stash yarn, while I waited for the Stylecraft Merry-go-round yarn I had ordered to make the rainbow section. 

I chose Stylecraft yarn as it was relatively inexpensive, the merry-go-round had the rainbow colours I desired, as well as long colour changes. I knew it would be soft as it was called ‘Wondersoft’ yarn. Stylecraft is also known for its softness and durability in the standard range, so I expected no difference in the Wondersoft. I also wanted something easy to wash and this was ideal as it was on acrylic base.

I found at the time that the gradient-type yarn suggested in the pattern was hard to find in the UK, however several different options are available now. In the blanket below you can see some harsh colour changes which the gradient yarn suggested would avoid. 

Once I’d made all the motifs, I now discovered the challenge of weaving in all those ends and joining several pieces together! I found this the most difficult part of the project, since I didn’t have that much confidence in my sewing skills. I pushed through the fear that I would ruin the project, and if I say so myself, I triumphed! πŸ˜ƒ

I often add unique elements to each project, giving a personal touch to a widely available pattern. Here, I wanted to have a little fun with the embroidery on the eyes, creating some with sleepy expressions, looking sideways, etc. I decided to embroider the eyes rather than use buttons, for safety’s sake.

The blanket, as above, took about two months to make, with me working on it on and off between work and other projects. 

All in all, this was a difficult project, but again spurred me on (following my Christmas practise) to try the pattern I’ll discuss in Part 3. 

If you’d like to know when the next post is up, click follow below. Comment to let me know what you think of the series so far. πŸ˜ƒ