I did it! I Braved the Shave for Macmillan Cancer Support!


Today, I did something I’ve never done before – I shaved my head down to a #1 all over!

Why did I do this? For charity, of course! My hair is being sent off to Little Princess Trust to make wigs for kids who have lost their hair through chemo, and all the sponsorship money is going to Macmillan Cancer Support.

You can still sponsor me, if you like – every little helps! You can find my Brave the Shave page HERE.

Hair today, gone tomorrow!


June 2016 - MeToday is my last day if having long hair!

It’s my 13th wedding anniversary tomorrow, and I’m going out for a meal and theatre trip in the evening, but in the morning, I’ll be getting my hair put into plaits, cut off, bagged up to send off to Little Princess Trust, and then my head will be shaved all over to a #1!

If you’d like to sponsor me, you can do so via my Brave the Shave page, and if you’d like to spread the word too, I’d be very grateful – the more people who know about it, the more money is raised for Macmillan Cancer Support, which is a very worthy cause.

Every little helps! Thanks in advance.

Kell’s Brave the Shave page HERE

Catching up…


Well, it’s been a while! Things have been busy, busy, busy here at Kincavel Korner!

12.07.16 aThe school year is now well and truly over, and Tadpole is now finished with Key Stage 1 – how did he get so big so fast? He did so well at his school sports day, coming first in not one, not two, but three races, and also gaining a second and a third place in two other events. He also got a glowing school report which told us he’s ahead of where he’s expected to be in almost every area, and he came home with both academic and sporting achievement awards at the end of the year. We are so proud we could burst!

06.07.16 aChoochie has finally taken to potty training like a duck to water. He took some persuading, but we finally got him to agree to saying goodbye to nappies, and jumped in at the deep end, tackling both day time and night time at the same time. It’s been a week now, with only a couple of little “accidents” that were barely accidents at all – and that includes at night! Again, we’re so proud we would dance about with glee if we weren’t so tired!

I’m now deep in rehearsals for a production of Sister Act, which will be performed in October. It’s only a very small non-speaking part, but as it’s my first show in fifteen years, it’s serving as a nice reintroduction to theatre I’ll be auditioning for a part in Annie later in the year (I’m hoping to get a slightly larger role in that!), and I have applied to possibly audition for a professional Christmas show – we’ll see if I even get an audition at all, but it will be nice to try!

09.07.16 cThe best bunch of strong, independent women you have ever seen all went out to have a meal together to celebrate my Mum’s freedom (the divorce isn’t quite final yet, but it will be very soon!), and had a fantastic meal at Pronto, a local Greek/Italian restaurant. A fantastic night was had by all, and I got chatted up by a gorgeous younger man when we went out for drinks afterwards, which was a major ego boost!

23.07.16 aI went out for afternoon tea with my Mum and step sister, at The Running Fox at Felton, and it was such a delicious feast! Honestly, I could barely manage everything, but I forced myself (oh, so reluctantly – not!) to finish every delicious morsel. Seriously, if you’re into the idea of High Tea, and you’re in Northumberland, go along to The Running Fox, and they’ll treat you like royalty!

We also went for a family day out at Woodhorn Museum during Invasion 7, when all manner of sci-fi characters came out to play. It was a total blast! We took a little ride on the narrow guage railway, had a picnic, and played spot the character. I was so pleased to see a the Firefly crew represented by Kaylee and Wash (no Captain Tight Pants though, much to my sorrow!), as well as a plethora of characters from the Star Wars franchise, and various other sci fi favourites.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

09.07.16 aAnd finally, this will be the last weekend I have hair! I will be doing Brave the Shave in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support on Monday 1st August. I will be sending my hair off to Little Princess Trust to make wigs for children who have lost their hair during chemotherapy, and then shaving down to a #1 all over! I’m actually rather looking forward to it. To top it off, 1st August is also my 13th wedding anniversary, and I’ll be going out for dinner and a trip to the theatre (to see Chicago) that evening too.

If you’d like to sponsor me, you can do so via my Brave the Shave page HERE. Every little helps – thanks in advance!

And now we’re into the summer holidays, and although we have no plans to go away anywhere this year, we are planning several nice day trips and also attending several local events, which will no doubt be a lot of fun. So, on that note, I’ll disappear again, although I’m sure I’ll get back to check in every now and then!

Have a fantastic summer!

Spread the word!!!


I just ordered a bunch of flyers to publicize my Brave the Shave efforts for Macmillan Cancer Support. I thought it might help if I highlighted the fact that I’m not just cutting off my hair – I’m SHAVING it all off – all gone!

This is what they’ll look like:

Kell's Brave the Shave flyer

I should have the flyers in early July!

I’m hoping that they’ll help bring in a little more notice and sponsorship. In the meantime, if you’d like to sponsor me, you can do so online at my Brave the Shave page HERE. Every little helps, and you will have my eternal gratitude.

And if you spread the word too, I’ll be your Best Friend Forever!

Catching up with everything…


13413071_10156918602195386_2363525944641298150_n
Snickerdoodles for the coffee morning

Crikey, it’s been a good fortnight since I last posted anything – I’ve just been so busy!

I’ve bagged myself a bunch of new pen pals. so there has been letter writing and crafting going on there. I’ve also been in rehearsals for Sister Act, which is challenging, but highly enjoyable. It turns out Nun #11 (or Sister Sara of the Two Mules, as I have dubbed her) has a few tricky things to do, such as performing Latin tongue twisters, repeatedly, at speed, to a tune; or where other nuns have one note to sing, Sister Sara has eight of them, and has to sustain them. I am enjoying it immensely!

13445825_10156918606645386_1551354915428509785_n
Little white chocolate mice with strawberry lace tails for the coffee morning

Then there was a fundraising coffee morning for the Beaconsfield Operatic Society, so I baked snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, and cheese scones, as well as making white chocolate mice with strawberry lace tails. Of course, I had to taste-test the goodies too, so several went into my own gob (naughty, I know, but so worth it!). We also had Grom round for Sunday dinner – she comes round every few weeks for that, and we always look forward to it. It means a flurry of activity in the kitchen, though, as when she comes, we eat our main meal at midday, instead of in the evening.

On top of all that, Choochie isn’t very well at the moment, so he requires extra hugs and kisses and general Mummy time.

And throughout all this, I have completed and added another row on my Sky Blanket. That’s thirteen rows now finished – one more and we’ll be at the half way mark!

13433151_10156932173990386_6452975627549244785_o
Thirteen rows of Sky Blanket completed!

20.06.16 - Brunette KellAnd then I dyed my hair brown in preparation for shaving it all off in August for Macmillan Cancer Support and sending to Little Princess Trust to be made into wigs for kids who have lost their hair to cancer treatment. My cousin’s fiance will be doing the honours, and to be honest, I can hardly wait to have it all taken off! For the record, I will be having my head SHAVED, not just having my hair cut short!

Incidentally, if you’d like to sponsor me in my Brave the Shave efforts, you can do so at my Brave the Shave page HERE. Every little helps! Thanks in advance. 🙂

The “other” yo-yo blankets – plural!


You already know I’m making a Sky Blanket with two yo-yos for every day, right? And you already know I’m using up all my little odds and ends of yarn to make a blanket to auction to raise funds for my eldest son’s school? Well, there’s been a little change of plan…

I was just going to make a random, riot-of-colour blanket, and I had already joined four rows, but I just didn’t like how it was looking this time round. So I’ve decided to separate out the colours into groups to make themed blankets.

The result is that I’m now going to be making not one, not two, but three blankets – not including the Sky Blanket!

The first will be “Autumn Forest” all in shades of green, gold, orange, and russet. The second will be “Pretty As A Princess” using all the prettiest shades of pink, purple, and peach. And the third will be “Under the Sea” using shades of blue, turquoise, aqua, and grey.

The Under the Sea blanket will be the last completed, as I’ll probably be using a lot of leftover yarn from the Sky Blanket. I may transfer the sparkly green yo-yos from the Autumn Forest collection to the Under the Sea collection – I have plenty of time to decide though, so I’ll play around with it a little bit more before making the final decision.

Looking at the collections of colours, I’m a lot happier, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy the projects a lot more if I like the colour schemes.

The “other” yo-yo blanket


10313731_10156292873640386_6092867319125783203_n
My project bag of multi-coloured yo-yos for the blanket to auction

In addition to my Sky Blanket (for which I am making two yo-yos each day based on the colour of the sky in the morning and afternoon), I am making another, multi-coloured yo-yo blanket, to use up all my little odds and ends of yarn from other projects. When it is completed, the blanket will be donated to Tadpole’s school to auction off at their next fundraising drive (last year they had a couple of granny square blankets and I thought to myself, “Hey, I could easily make something to donate next time!”).

This one isn’t limited to two yo-yos each day. Instead, whenever I get a few minutes, I crochet a few yo-yos, then pop them in the bag and set it aside till I have a few more minutes.

It’s a great take-along project, because even the smallest handbag has enough room for a couple of little balls of yarn and a 4mm hook, and I can do the weaving in when I get home if I forget to take a needle along. Really, some of the yarn balls are of only a few yards of yarn – enough for one or two yo-yos at a push, so this project really will use up the smallest of oddments, giving the largest range of colours throughout the blanket.

In case anyone is interested in making one as well, here is how you make the yo-yos:

R1. Chain 4, and join with a slip stitch to form a ring
R2. Chain 3 (first double crochet), and work 15 double crochets into the ring, then join with a slip stitch and fasten off (16 stitches)

When I get to joining them, I’ll post how to do that too, so you can join your yo-yos.

This is a lovely project to do with the kids too – you can easily teach them how to make the yo-yos and then when you put them all together, it will have been made by all the family together.

Hair today, gone tomorrow…


22.05.15 - World Goth Day 1 (1)
These lovely locks are coming off!

My Great Grandad died when I was six months old. He was diagnosed with cancer and told he had weeks to live, but he hung on in there to meet his first great grandchild. I never knew him, but I knew ABOUT him. A couple of years ago my Uncle Cas died of pancreatic cancer. It was sudden – very unexpected – we hadn’t even known he was ill. It was a shocking loss. He’d been there all my life and then suddenly, he wasn’t.

In recent years, my Auntie has beaten breast cancer, Grom has beaten skin cancer twice, and my Dad has beaten prostate cancer too. You could say cancer kind of runs in my family.

It’s a scary thought, but I don’t think I know ANYONE who hasn’t either had cancer or knows someone who has fought it or died of it.

So, I’m taking part in the BRAVE THE SHAVE challenge.

A year from now, I will have all my hair shaved off.

This is for all those who have fought and won, for those who are still fighting, for those who lost their battles, and for all the families who have to watch their loved ones go through it.

I’ll also be donating my hair to Little Princess Trust, a charity that makes wigs from donated hair for those who have none of their own for whatever reason, hence I’m growing it for a year beforehand (it’s currently almost a foot long, but I’d like to really give it my all and have another five or six inches extra to give!).

My target is £365 – £1 for every day I’ll be growing my hair. £1 for each day between now and the day it all comes off! Of course, I’d LOVE to smash that target, but it’s a place to start, right?!

My locks will be lopped on 2nd August 2016.

If you’d like to sponsor me,
you can do so at my
BRAVE THE SHAVE page.

All money goes directly to
Macmillan Cancer Support.

(2015) 52 things in 52 weeks update


52 things in 52 weeksI won’t promise to do a monthly update, as life often gets in the way of such things, but here we are at the end of January and I find myself with a few minutes to spare, so I’ll do a quick round-up of how my challenges are going so far.

Surprisingly, I have now completed TEN of the 52 challenges:

2. Watch 5 films nominated for awards in the 87th Academy Awards
I’ve actually now watched seven films this year that have been nominated for various Oscars, and several of the films I watched last year have also been nominated for Academy Awards. You can check out all the films I’ve seen HERE (and there are sometimes links to reviews I’ve written if you click on them!)

4. Post predictions of Oscar winners
Click the link above to be taken to my predictions post.

8. Apply to be a giver for World Book Night (fourth year running!)
I actually applied at the tail end of last year as I didn’t want to risk being late, so I started the year with one challenge completed. A teensy bit of a cheat, perhaps, but for a good reason. I really hope to get chosen again as I love taking part in this!

9. Drink no alcohol for 4 weeks (28 / 28)
Not one drop of alcohol has passed my lips during the whole month of January. It wasn’t particularly difficult, as I’m not really a big drinker, but I do tend to have a few drinks over the course of the festive period, and I have occasionally been tempted to crack open one of the bottles left over from the end of last year!

32. Make a summer holidays bucket list
You can see my list for this summer HERE. It’ll be a work in progress, as I’m sure I’ll hear of various events being held locally nearer to the summer holidays.

35. Make a family photo book/album of last year’s (2014) pictures
My photo book arrived a couple of weeks ago and I love it! It’s sitting with the previous two on the shelf in the living room. If you’d like to make one, I highly recommend Vistaprint – it’s a very easy to use system and a very professional finish.

39. Not shout at my kids for 4 weeks straight (28 / 28)
This was perhaps the most challenging of my challenges. I’m not a partiularly angry person, but I do have a six year old son who likes to push the boundaries! Nevertheless, I have managed not to shout at my kids all month, and I intend to continue as long as possible, I have raised my voice to call out to them from another room or over some distance, but I have not raised my voice in anger. I may have lowered my voice and spoken slightly forcibly through gritted teeth once or twice, but I have not shouted, and of that I am incredibly proud. I have once or twice gone into another room (or even a cupboard) and given out a short, sharp scream to vent some frustrations, but never in the same room as my children. And it hasn’t gone un-noticed. Tadpole has commented on it several times and seems quite pleased. We’re also trying to work on how he vents and expresses himself, so hopefully we will soon have a harmonious and peaceful home where nobody shouts. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?

43. Continue breastfeeding Choochie to the age of 15 months (10 January)
We made it past this milestone and he’s still going strong. Honestly, Choochie is a total boob-monster! He no longer nurses at night, but wakes around 4.30am for a feed and a cuddle, then a couple of times through the day he climbs up on my knee for his Milkies, but mostly when he’s feeling tired and wants to nap. He does, however, usually stop before he falls asleep and will now go to bed while still awake and settle himself down. He’s also started sleeping a little bit longer (most of the time, anyway), which is making a huge difference to me and my quality of sleep!

48. Make / contribute three items for charity (3 / 3)
I’ve actually made about 40 items now! I’m taking part in the Be Aware, Make a Square charity drive to raise awareness and money for a meningitis charity. The squares will be made into various items which will be auctioned off.

52. Make a new list of 52 things in 52 weeks for 2016
I’ve already made my list! It won’t be posted until the end of the year, so I may well tweak it a little bit, but it’s got 52 challenges on it ready to go!

I also have quite a few challenges ongoing and partially completed:

1. Watch 52 films in 52 weeks (17 / 52)
5. Read 2 books each month (2 / 24)
18. Lose 14lbs (9 / 14)
27. Split all my coppers between Tadpole’s and Choochie’s piggy banks each month (1/12)
28. Save all £2 coins into the Xmas fund each month (1/12)
29. Save all silver up to the value of 20p into the Xmas fund each month (1/12)
30. Put aside £2 for each challenge completed into Xmas fund (£20/£104)
31. Save £10 per week (£50 / £520)
34. Visit family in Scotland
36. Take the kids to the library once a month (1 / 12)
41. Share a photo of my kids and me each month (1 / 12) (see the photos HERE)
44. Continue breastfeeding Choochie to the age of 18 months (10 April)
45. Write 12 letters (total, between them) to my various pen pals (3 / 12)
49. Make six gifts /Xmas decorations (3 / 6)
50. Release twelve new cross stitch charts (1 / 12)

And these ones will be started in February:

10. Eat no chocolate for 4 weeks (0 / 28)
11. Drink a green smoothie every day for 4 weeks (0 / 28)
16. Try out 6 recipes I’ve never tried before (0/6)
17. Try 6 foods I’ve never tried before (0 / 6)

So, quite a lot of progress made, and I’m well on my way towards fulfilling my list of challenges!

Be Aware, Make a Square


Be Aware Make a Square

For my fellow yarn-crafters, if you fancy doing a little something for charity, but have only a very small amount of time, you might consider crocheting or knitting a 5-inch square for Be Aware, Make a Square.

All you have to do is get hold of some of the yarn in the chosen colours (Stylecraft DK Special in Spice, Lime, Petrol, Gold, Plum, Teal and/or Bright Pink) and send it in by 28th February 2015.

The squares will be made into an afghan (or more than one, depending on how many squares are sent in) which will then be auctioned to raise awareness of meningitis, and money to help families with children suffering from this dangerous, and sometimes fatal, illness.

All the details are on the Facebook group HERE, so nip along and take a look, and if you fancy joining in or spreading the word among your crafty friends, all the better!

Here are the squares I’ve made so far. I’ve not blocked them or anything, but they are all 5″ squares: