The Crafty Mummy http://thecraftymummy.com Crafts. Sewing. Quilting. Crochet. Tutorials. Mon, 25 May 2015 23:51:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Coschedule Tip for Pinterest http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/05/coschedule-tip-for-pinterest/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/05/coschedule-tip-for-pinterest/#respond Mon, 25 May 2015 23:45:30 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=21209 I’m a huge fan of Coschedule – especially recently when I’ve gone back to part-time work outside the home and I have less time to devote to this website each day! Coschedule is a tool that helps me to organise my posts to social media. I’ve been writing here for a few years now so...

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Coschedule Tip - record your Pinterest URL to share

I’m a huge fan of Coschedule – especially recently when I’ve gone back to part-time work outside the home and I have less time to devote to this website each day!

Coschedule is a tool that helps me to organise my posts to social media. I’ve been writing here for a few years now so even when I don’t write new articles there are heaps of great posts in my archives that I want to share with readers. However it takes time to be on social media sharing all of these and I simply don’t have that time any more.

That’s where Coschedule is helping me. In my WordPress dashboard under each post that I write or edit there is a special Coschedule box where I can schedule sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.  For example, I can go into any post and set up a share to my Facebook page. I can choose whether it will show an image and which one. I can write the words and format them. The link to the post is automatically added and shortened with my URL shortener of choice – Bit.ly – and I can add other links as well if I wish. I usually add a link to Pinterest with my posts so that readers can easily pin my posts if they want to save them for later. (Look for my tip on this below.) Then when I’m happy with the content of the share, I can pick a date and time for it to be sent out. This is the bit that is invaluable for someone who is not at their computer all the time. I can set up a post to share today, next week and next month and not need to go back to that post again for weeks. Perfect! You can schedule multiple shares to multiple platforms all in one sitting then get on with other things.

CoSchedule-Calendar

In another tab I can see a Coschedule Calendar showing me when I have posts scheduled as well as what articles are planned for the weeks ahead. This helps me plan both blog posts and social media posts all in one place. (This screenshot isn’t mine but it gives you an idea of how the calendar looks.)

Yes, a service this powerful does cost money, but that $10 a month is a very small price to pay for something that helps me so much.

If you work with a team of writers on your blog then Coschedule gets even better for you. You can have a team use this to plan, create tasks, and get an overview of where everything is at, all in the WordPress dashboard. You can discuss items with your team, assign tasks to team members, see whether the tasks have been checked off and finished, and then schedule all the social media tasks as well. This is invaluable if your team are all working from different locations as often happens with websites and online businesses.

My Coschedule Tip for Pinterest

One of things I always try to do when I share my articles on Facebook and Google+ is to include a link to the pin on Pinterest. This makes it easier for readers to pin the article themselves, it gives them a clear way to save something to read later, and it allows me to see how many people have pinned that article from my pin easily as well. I will pin my article to Pinterest then go to the pin and copy the URL. Then I share this URL in my social media update.

But with Coschedule I often share articles multiple times over a period of time so to save myself going to find the pin each time, I have found an easy place to save the pin URL right there in Coschedule. I use the Comments section for the post and write a comment to myself then save. Next time I want to share this post, the pin URL is there in the comment where I can copy it again and use it in my social media share. Tip: If the URL is shortened or cut off in the comment, just hit “edit” on the comment, copy the URL, then save the comment again.

Coschedule Tip Pinterest

 

If you’d like to learn more about Coschedule, check out their video. To sign up for a 14 day free trial, click here.

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Saturday Night Craft Along http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/05/saturday-night-craft-along/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/05/saturday-night-craft-along/#respond Sun, 24 May 2015 23:20:34 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=21195 Have you found the Saturday Night Craft Along on Instagram yet? Saturday night’s often mean football on the TV if hubby is home so I keep him company but I’m not that interested. Instead I usually work on my computer or craft while I half listen to the commentray and we chat about our week...

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saturdaynightcraftalong

Have you found the Saturday Night Craft Along on Instagram yet? Saturday night’s often mean football on the TV if hubby is home so I keep him company but I’m not that interested. Instead I usually work on my computer or craft while I half listen to the commentray and we chat about our week in the breaks. Plus I try to share whatever I’m working on Instagram.

I’ve been loving this little community of crafters sharing each week and I discovered that it has just celebrated its one year anniversary.

The hashtag #SaturdayNightCraftAlong was started by Rachel from Barefoot Crafter. She’s in Australia and also part of the fabulous team that I work with over at And Sew We Craft blog. With the time difference, Saturday night in the States falls a little later so the party is coordinated by Meg from My Tea & Brie for the U.S. participants. I love popping back in to see what they have shared on a Sunday!

Anyone can join in on Instagram. Just search the hashtag “#saturdaynightcraftalong” to see what people have been sharing and use the hashtag when you share your own Saturday night crafting pictures. Also tag @barefootcrafter and @myteaandbrie so that they know you’re around.

I usually take a break to grab a cup of tea at some point and check out what everyone has posted. I’ve found some lovely new accounts to follow this way so it is more than just a Saturday night thing.

Last weekend I shared progress on my rainbow heart crochet blanket but previously I have shared my sashiko stitching too.

I’d love to see what you’re working on next Saturday night! And tag me to say “Hi” too.

red rainbow heart

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Dotted Painted Canvas http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/05/dotted-painted-canvas/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/05/dotted-painted-canvas/#respond Mon, 18 May 2015 06:59:48 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=20471 I’m going to show you something a little different today – a project that no longer exists. Yes, this project is gone. I made it. I finished it. I sat it in my living room for a few days to ponder it. And I REALLY didn’t love it. So I painted over it! Now this...

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close spotted canvas

I’m going to show you something a little different today – a project that no longer exists.

Yes, this project is gone.

canvas prep-001

I made it.

I finished it.

I sat it in my living room for a few days to ponder it.

And I REALLY didn’t love it.

So I painted over it!

spotted canvas

Now this canvas is a plain black canvas waiting for me to create something else.

But I thought I’d share it anyway.

Perhaps you will love it and be inspired to create something yourself.

spotted canvas dots

The concept was really simple. Mark out dots evenly spaced all over the canvas with a ruler and pencil. Then paint dots – or in my case “splotches” – on each mark to create an evenly spaced pattern.

I’ve seen similar art ideas around that looked great so it should have worked, but somehow it just… didn’t.

I added some gold lines but it still was just… meh.

So it is gone. All black.

But I have lots more ideas over on Pinterest so my little stash of canvasses will eventually become art that I’m willing to share.

Check out my Canvas Art Ideas board here:

Canvas Art Ideas Pinterest Board

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Quick Tip: Mend a Necklace http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/05/quick-tip-mend-a-necklace/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/05/quick-tip-mend-a-necklace/#comments Sun, 10 May 2015 07:59:14 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=20062 Have you ever caught a long necklace on the edge of your desk and pulled the pendant off? Maybe hooked the beads on a drawer handle accidentally or somehow gotten the lot wrapped around your handbag? I managed to catch this long necklace on a desk as I stood up a couple of weeks ago before...

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How to Mend a Necklace with a Paperclip

Have you ever caught a long necklace on the edge of your desk and pulled the pendant off? Maybe hooked the beads on a drawer handle accidentally or somehow gotten the lot wrapped around your handbag?

managed to catch this long necklace on a desk as I stood up a couple of weeks ago before I even made it to work. I didn’t have time to go home and grab another one – and I didn’t really want to wear the chain with two lone beads all day.

mend necklace

The answer to this dilemma?

A paperclip, of course!

Silver like my necklace and easy to slide onto the remaining loops.

mend necklace paperclip

Just open one side of the paperclip gently and slide the chain around the loops until it sits in the curved section. Then do the same thing with a loop of the pendant section – in my case a bunch of beads and pretty dangles – and slide them around until they sit in the opposite curved end.

All set to look lovely for the day!

No one will even notice unless you point it out to them.

paperclip heart join

In the longer term you might go and find some bead fixings from the local craft store or Amazon and fix the necklace. These slip rings would do the trick: Small silver plated split rings on Amazon (affiliate link)

Instead I opted for the more creative paperclip option.

I bent my paperclip a little and played with the shape. I was aiming for a heart shape, but in the end I was happier with the triple loop version.

What do you think? I think it now just looks like part of the necklace!

necklace mend heart paperclip

 

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Crochet: Rainbow Heart Blanket http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/05/crochet-rainbow-heart-blanket/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/05/crochet-rainbow-heart-blanket/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 21:27:33 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=21072 Rainbow Yarn. I couldn’t resist. It was just so soft and squishy and lovely! This is a new range at Spotlight this year from MyBoshi and it is super thick yarn in 50g balls. It is 30% wool and 70% polyacrylic. (I wish this was sponsored and I could say they gave me the yarn,...

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rainbow yarn myboshi

Rainbow Yarn.

I couldn’t resist.

It was just so soft and squishy and lovely!

This is a new range at Spotlight this year from MyBoshi and it is super thick yarn in 50g balls. It is 30% wool and 70% polyacrylic. (I wish this was sponsored and I could say they gave me the yarn, but, alas, I spent my hard earned cash on it – just love to share stuff I love!)

crochet rainbow blanket white start

I’ve been dreaming of making another rainbow crochet blanket with lots of white after seeing some gorgeous ones on Pinterest and Instagram so when I saw this yarn I had to have it. I’ve bought 3 balls each of 8 colours – red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, royal blue, navy  and purple. Not exactly a rainbow but the extra blues were so lovely I couldn’t resist. I’m actually tempted to go back and add some turquoise too – just because it is my favourite colour right now. There are 27 colours in the range online and my local store had about 20 of them, which I thought was pretty good.

I’m planning to alternate the colours with white so I bought as many balls of white as I bought of the colours.

crochet rainbow blanket start

I’ve chosen a pattern on MyPicot. It has no name there but I think it looks like hearts so I’m calling this my Rainbow Heart Blanket. Here’s the first couple of progress shots from Instagram over the weekend, but look out for more.

Do you have a crochet project on the go at the moment? Tell me more!

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Hello Monday: What I’m Working On http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/05/hello-monday-what-im-working-on/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/05/hello-monday-what-im-working-on/#comments Sun, 03 May 2015 23:51:33 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=21074 It has been a little while since I shared some of the projects I have “on the go” so let’s gear up for the week by saying “Hello Monday!” and thinking about what we might do this week. Crochet I still need to finish the edging on this blanket – read more here. I started...

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HELLO MONDAY

It has been a little while since I shared some of the projects I have “on the go” so let’s gear up for the week by saying “Hello Monday!” and thinking about what we might do this week.

Crochet

crochet blanket green brown

I still need to finish the edging on this blanket – read more here.

crochet base heart

I started this blanket but I don’t like the stitch in this yarn so it is waiting for me to unravel it. I always think it is better to abandon a project then persevere with something that I’m just not loving.

crochet rainbow blanket start

I started something new! You may have seen the pics on Instagram. More on this one tomorrow.

Stitching

sashiko start

I’m still working on my sashiko project. I love it! The colours are so very ‘me’ and it is not going to take forever to get finished which I love. See more pictures in this post.

What about you?

What are you working on lately? What are you hoping to get done this week?

Playing along with Cate for #EveryDayinMay

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Reader Question: Napkins http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/04/reader-question-napkins/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/04/reader-question-napkins/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 00:16:44 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=20112 Reader Question Thanks to Joy for this question: Hi, My step daughter asked me to make 2 simple waist down aprons in hot pink and bright lime green.   I want to make a couple of place mats and napkins for her. My question is: the fabrics are 100% quilting cotton but they are printed and...

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Sewing Napkins

Reader Question

Thanks to Joy for this question:

Hi,
My step daughter asked me to make 2 simple waist down aprons in hot pink and bright lime green.   I want to make a couple of place mats
and napkins for her.

My question is: the fabrics are 100% quilting cotton but they are printed and the other side is blank white. Should I make them 2 layers so the blank white will not show?

I usually do 1 layer napkins with the roll hem stitch and woolly nylon thread.

Crafty Answer

I think I would definitely leave napkins as only one layer of fabric. I feel like they would be too thick and heavy with two layers. If the back is plain white then they should look fine.

I love the idea of using wooly nylon thread! I saw it used when I did my overlocker class but I have not bought any to play with yet. It is on my list though.

What do you think? Would you have used one layer of fabric or two?

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Help with a Ripple Crochet Blanket http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/04/help-with-ripple-crochet-blanket/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/04/help-with-ripple-crochet-blanket/#respond Fri, 24 Apr 2015 10:01:36 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=20504 Reader Crafty Question: Hi there. What a fantastic page you have. I am trying to start a ripple (chevron) crocheted blanket and I’ve tried 3 different styles – hook into loop (like a granny square), hook into back top loop & hook into top full loop. My edges seem to get wider & wider &...

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crochet ripple

Reader Crafty Question:

Hi there.
What a fantastic page you have.
I am trying to start a ripple (chevron) crocheted blanket and I’ve tried 3 different styles – hook into loop (like a granny square), hook into back top loop & hook into top full loop.
My edges seem to get wider & wider & where my hills & valleys are keeps changing.
I’m doing trbl x 10, 2 into one space, trbl x 10, miss 2, trbl 10.
This is driving me crazy. Can you help please?
I cannot read patterns. I taught myself 20 years ago by watching a woman on a bus :). I’ve made a gazillion blankets but never done ripple before.
Cheers
Sue

Crafty Answer:

Hi Sue,

I love ripple crochet blankets! I learnt to make them from the pictures and instructions over at Attic 24.
She does 4 trebles between the waves but you could easily increase that to 10. Hooking two into the same stitch is perfect at the top of the ripple but look at how she does the bottom of the ripple – she doesn’t just skip two but kind of joins two stitches. (That sounds tricky but don’t worry she explains it well and the photos are super clear!)
I found after a while I could see where the peaks and troughs were so I didn’t have to count the in between stitches.
The ends of the rows are super tricky! Again she has great photos of the ends of the rows and turning – plus I found with practise I got better.
Maybe try making a small sample of only 3 or four repeats of the pattern and 10 rows or so to practice.
Hope that helps,
Tonya

See my Ripple Blankets

crochet ripple blanket  crochet ripple 2  crochet ripple blanket more

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Mini Weaving Project http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/04/mini-weaving-project/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/04/mini-weaving-project/#respond Wed, 22 Apr 2015 07:31:39 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=20470 If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen a little tiny weaving project come together a little while ago. I’ve been wanting to try some weaving after seeing lots around the Net recently, and I also needed to replace the fob on my keys so I created a tiny woven piece that will...

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Mini Weaving Key Fob

If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen a little tiny weaving project come together a little while ago. I’ve been wanting to try some weaving after seeing lots around the Net recently, and I also needed to replace the fob on my keys so I created a tiny woven piece that will hang off my keys and help me keep track of them.

weaving stuff

What I Used:

  • Piece of cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Stranded embroidery thread (DMC 3765)
  • Yarn from my stash: Flurry from Moda Vera and matching 8 ply yarn
  • Large yarn needle

weaving start

What I Did:

I started by cutting little slots in my cardboard about 1mm apart. I cut 15 slots on each side.

Then I wrapped my embroidery thread around the card into each slot to create the base threads for my weaving.

weaving progress

I started weaving with my plain yarn leaving a tail of an inch or so and using my yarn needle to help me go under every second thread in my base. At the end of each row I gently pushed the yarn towards the top so there were no gaps between rows.

weaving almost done

After a block of plain yarn I left the tail hanging and started weaving the flurry “fluffy” yarn, again leaving a short tail. This yarn was a little trickier to weave with because the fluffy ends made it harder to see what I was doing but it looks so cute done.

Finally I switched back to the plain yarn to finished the block.

With the weaving finished I just had to work out what to do with the ends and how to remove it from my cardboard “loom”.

Where I switched yarns I had tails hanging. these I simply tied together and trimmed. The knots are hidden by the fluffy yarn. The finishing and ending tails I carefully wove down the side of the block of weaving so they were hidden and wouldn’t unravel.

weaving back

Here’s what the back of my weaving looked like. I cut all the thread in about the middle. Then I took two threads at a time beside each other, slipped them out of the slots in the cardboard and tied them together in a simple knot. (See picture below)

After I had done this to all the threads on each end, it went back and tied alternating pairs of threads together. My goal was really to stop it all unravelling. This seemed to be enough.

I had originally imagined that the ends would be like fringing, but I realise that they weren’t quite long enough to give that effect. Next time I would make my cardboard loom larger so that the ends would create fringing when I got to this stage.

weaving tie off

With my mini weaving fairly secure and unlikely to unravel, I attached a tiny safety pin and a slip ring so that I could hang it on my keys. It is a pretty little thing but it is making me smile when I grab the keys each morning.

Now I’m itching to try a bigger piece of weaving! Any tips or tricks for me?

weaving done

 

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Life: We Are All Homemakers http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/04/homemaking-bundle/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/04/homemaking-bundle/#respond Mon, 20 Apr 2015 06:52:46 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=20515 Let’s face it: we are all “homemakers” in some sense of the word. We all live in a home and try to make it a place that is comfortable and even beautiful for ourselves and our families. It is a place where we want to invite friends and family to visit. It could be a...

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We areAll Homemakers (3)

Let’s face it: we are all “homemakers” in some sense of the word.

We all live in a home and try to make it a place that is comfortable and even beautiful for ourselves and our families. It is a place where we want to invite friends and family to visit. It could be a place where we spend a lot of time if we’re in a season of life that find us at home – perhaps raising small children or in retirement. Or it could be the haven that we come back to after a long day at work.

In any case, there are things we have to do to maintain our homes, and some of those things can be not so fun!

I’m the first to raise my hand and tell you I don’t love cleaning or cooking. I don’t love the repetitive nature of being a stay at home mum – washing clothes that get dirty again, creating meals that get eaten and need to be cleaned up – and later created again, picking up seemingly endless stuff that has been used and left around the house, even the need to go grocery shopping again and again and again! These have all been things that have frustrated me at times and made me feel like my job was kind of pointless.

Thankfully there have been other times when I have been able to feel like my work in our home was creating a haven for my hard-working husband to retreat to where he would find relaxation and order. I have been able to be thankful that those repetitive chores would not even be there if I didn’t have our home and our children, and I’ve been able to see my kids develop skills and responsibility as they’ve watched and started to learn how to run a household one day.

Much of the way I run my home is the way my mother ran her home. I watched and learnt from her over my years at home, and I do many things exactly the way she taught me without even thinking about it.

But there are things that I learnt from other sources. There are tricks that I picked up from friends or reading books. I’ve read tips via Pinterest, and sometimes gone searching for information on particular aspects of my homemaking to find out how others do it.

So when I saw the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle coming up I had a mixed response. Part of me feels like our home runs just fine and I don’t want to change things – that takes effort! Another part of me wondered whether there would be some wisdom in there to help me tweak things now that I’m back at work part-time and still juggling my online job as well?

So as an affiliate I grabbed an early copy and checked it out. There are 100 eBooks, eCourses and Bonuses in this bundle so I have not had a chance to review them all. But those I have reviewed have made me feel like it was well worth my money.

4 simple steps stress-free homemaking

I’m only going to talk about two items today but I assure you there are plenty more that are worth looking at.

The 4 Simple Steps to Stress-free Homemaking mini video eCourse was a quick way to check out the calibre of this bundle and I liked it. The 4 videos are fairly short. I watched them as I was cooking dinner one evening. They are easy listening and not all earth-shattering content but they made sense to me.

What I Took Away: I have changed the way I am doing the washing (you might call it “laundry” where you live {wink}). I’ve always been pretty good at keeping up with washing and drying clothes but ironing is the part I put off. I even have a designated “ironing basket” to store the stuff waiting for me to iron it! That basket is the one I want to hide and ignore, but which also makes me feel guilty. It kind of hangs over me… waiting… sigh. But after watching these videos I am trying out the idea of completing an entire load before I move on – yes, all the way to ironing and putting away in drawers. So far? Awesome. Nowhere near as hard as I expected. Phew! My ironing basket is now empty except for he couple of hours between when I fold the load of the day and toss the couple of ironing items into it and when I iron in front of the TV in the evening for 10 minutes.

Must Watch: The last video talks about some simple 5 minute things to do each and every night to set yourself up for coping with the next day. So simple but for me a “lightbulb moment”! I’m not going to share the details here, but if you decide to grab these, don’t miss that last video.

But what else will you find in the bundle?

Here’s some collections to give you an idea:


While many of the items in the bundle are eBooks, there is also a collection of audio files and eCourses. I’ve been finding these are great to listen to when I’m doing chores, especially folding, washing up and cooking. I like feeling like that time doing something a bit boring is also time when I’m learning something by listening.


With the back to work thing happening to me this year,  I’ve had to really think more about dinners. I’ve never been one to plan a week or more of dinners ahead of time, preferring to see what I feel like on the day. But I can’t continue to do that. It is causing me stress each day when I realise that I have nothing planned and have to make a quick decision late in the afternoon! So I’m looking forward to spending some time reading about meal planning and hoping to get inspired.


Having a family at any stage of life requires organising in your home, so these titles have got to be “must reads”. I’m thinking that “one bite at a time” sounds like the way for me to start.

There also these categories:

  • Self-care
  • Pregnancy & Baby
  • Planners & Printables
  • Motherhood
  • Marriage
  • Homeschooling
  • Holidays
  • Cookbooks
  • Finances
  • Faith
  • Faith for Kids
  • DIY & Homemade
  • Cleaning

 

In this last group is the one book that I have actually read most of already – in only a couple of days. Ruth Soukup’s How to Blog for Profit without Selling your Soul has been on my “must read” list for a while now but I hadn’t gotten to it. When I saw it in this set it was the first thing I downloaded and read. In fact I was so inspired by it that I went and signed up to her online blog academy! But that’s probably a tale for another day.

For now, if you’re looking for a bundle of books (and more) that is great value for money and comes recommended, then take a look at these. Yes, I am an affiliate so I will get a small commission if you buy through my links – at no extra expense to you, of course – but I only become affiliates for things that I feel are worthwhile and valuable to my readers. There have been other Ultimate Bundles that I have not written about because I didn’t feel they were going to be of interest to you, but I think this one will be. It is only available for a limited time – that’s just how these bundles work – so take a look and enjoy!


Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

 

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