How to crochet an African flower

I’ve had my eye out for a tutorial on how to crochet an African flower for a while; the one I ended up using didn’t seem quite right and I quickly realised the instructions didn’t match the pictures! I managed to figure it out after a bit of trial and error and now that I’ve cracked this particular crochet code, I thought I’d share this little how to with you. 

African flowers are a fun alternative to the traditional granny square and I’ve seen some gorgeous things made out of them (check out this amazing stegosaurus on Holly Pips!). I’m planning to use mine for a simple cushion for our bedroom and have chosen these pastel colours to complement our mint green feature wall.

So here’s how to make one for yourself. Happy hooking!

Hook: 3.5mm
Wool: assortment of stylecraft DK 

Abbreviations (pattern uses UK terms):
Chain – ch
Treble crochet – tc
Slipstitch – sl st

To start: chain 6 and slip stitch to make a circle.

Round one
Colour one. Ch3, 1tc, ch1, *2tc, ch1* repeat until you have six spaces and six 2tc, then sl st into the third chain of the beginning of the round.

Round two
Colour two. Start in one of the six ch1 spaces. Ch3 then in the same space 1tc, ch1, 2tc. *ch2, 2tc, ch1, 2tc* in next space, repeat *until you have six 4tc. Sl st into the third chain of the beginning of the round. But do not cut or change colour (which I totally did the first time, d'oh).

Round three
Keeping the same colour (you could change if you wish, but this is the more traditional way), sl st 2 to reach the next ch1 space from the previous round. Ch3 then 6tc in the same ch1 space, ch1. *7tc in next ch1 space, ch1, repeat *until you have six 7tc.

Round four
Colour three. Start anywhere and ch1, dc around and make a long stitch down to round 2 between each flower petal. End with a sl st into ch1. 

Round five 
Colour four. Join anywhere and ch3, tc around and place 2tc into the top dc of each petal. Sl st into third chain of beginning of round and fasten off.

Let me know if you have any questions and I’d love to see any you make!



Five ways to relax on a beach holiday

So here's the situation, one minute your rushing through traffic, juggling work, personal life and a blog and the next you're lying on a beach with your fingers twitching and unable to just 'be'. Sound familiar? City breaks are different as you often have such as packed schedule you don't have time to sit and worry, but by the beach and by the pool you can easily get caught up in all the things you should be doing, forgetting to take an all important break.

With that in mind I put a bit of thought into how I'd relax on our beach holiday this year and now that I'm home (and it worked) I thought I'd share it with you. Although it's not really ground breaking stuff, these little reminders certainly helped me.

1. Have a social media break. Or even better leave your phone at home completely (which I did, shock, horror!). But if you do have to take it leave it switched off and only use for photographs or emergencies. You can still share all the #holidayspam pictures when you get home, but this way you get to enjoy some good old fashioned, quality no internet time too.   

2. Plan what you are going to do with your sudden free time. This might sound like an oxymoron when we are talking about trying to relax. But sitting on a sun lounger thinking of all the things you should be doing isn't exactly a recipe for relaxation either. Take books, magazines a notepad pad and paper and of course a craft project!

3. And if you run out of books and crafts - people watch. You can learn so much about different cultures just by soaking up some of the atmosphere. Thinking up fun background stories for people is a great way to distract yourself from wondering if you replied to your boss' last email.

4. Don't wear a watch. Aside from the obvious no tan line benefit, it means you can escape your routine and do what you want when you want - essential for a bit of chill time.

5. Start a beach finds collection. Beaches are the perfect place to go hunting for little treasures; my personal favourites are sea shells, sea glass and feathers. When I struggled to sit still during our first few days in Barbados two years ago, I collected lots of sea glass from the shoreline and now it sits in a little glass jar on our windowsill. Fun to do and a free souvenir. 

Do you have any top holiday relaxation tips? 



Holidaying in Menorca - all the sunshine

'Tis the season we all become jet-setters, eh? While Menorca may not be the most exotic holiday destination, if you're looking for a bit of a break, a lot of sunshine and some stunning Mediterranean scenery - start packing your bags now. No really, just writing that has me longing to sit and dip my toes into their crystal clear waters once again... *sobs*

Anyway, back to the task at hand. "Why Menorca?" I hear you ask (well, let's pretend you did anyway), we knew we were after somewhere quiet, hot (obviously!) and where beaches and towns would be in walking distance. Mainland Spain always feels busier to me, Italy is somewhere I'd like to go on a city break and last time we went to the south of France there was a mini hurricane. So Menorca quickly entered the running. I only remembered after we'd booked it that I had actually been to the same town on a family holiday years ago! 

We stayed in S'Algar on the south east coast of the island. It's a small purpose built resort town with several hotels, bars and restaurants, a rocky beach, swimming pool and diving school. Despite being purpose built it didn't feel touristy (that could change once the summer holidays start though) and had plenty of character and traditional Menorcan style. About 10 minutes walk along the rocky coast is the small town of Cala Alcaufar, which has the most gorgeous sandy beach hidden in a little cove.The water here was crystal clear, if a little chilly, but perfect for snorkelling.  

Where we stayed: S’Algar Hotel / Where we ate: S’Algar Hotel, Reina Isabel (S'Algar) and Piccolo Mondo (Cala Alcaufar) / What we did: walked to Alcaufar tower, snorkelled at Cala Alcaufar beach, relaxed by S’Algar pool, dipped our toes in the sea at S'Algar beach. 

Have you been to Menorca before?



Inspired by | the swallow

This month’s ‘inspired by’ is all about a bird that reminds me of hazy summer days and long walks through fields. Watching swallows joyfully swooping through the air and almost skimming the tops of crops as they fly is something I’ll never tire of. I’m not sure if they are actually swallows or swifts, or even house martins, they move too darn fast but nevertheless they are a joy to watch. We saw some very similar birds while exploring on holiday in Menorca last week; they were flying around the cliff edge with amazing grace and speed, suggesting they shared our excitement at being carefree (for those few days!).

Swallow cyanotype candle holder | The Way to Blue | Folksy

Vinyl swallow wall stickers | Vinyl Impression | Etsy

Wooden swallow brooch | Twiggd | Not on the high street

Swallow print dress | Stella McCartney

Which is your favourite?



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