Imagination, Free Elves and FREEING YOURSELF

Meet Dobby, the latest creation to tumble out of the BumbleandBeMakes fireplace... it was his first time using flu powder, so he was very nervous! Nevertheless, he found his inner Gryffindor courage and lived to tell the tale! What's more, less than 24 hours later he has found a forever-friend; he is saying farewell to his fellow Elves as we speak, along with a couple of Nifflers, Dougal Demiguise and a three-legged Hippogriff (note to self: replenish stocks of fluffy grey wool!)

After reading this, you may think I've gone completely mad. You may be wondering how on earth you stumbled across this post, or wanting to suggest that I crochet a Mad Hatter instead. Perhaps you're right; I'll admit that I really want to crochet a mad hatter right now (I made an Alice over a year ago, so it's a long time coming!)   Yet I promise you, there is a method to my magical madness and it's this: I want to tell a story.

Ever since I was little, I've loved telling stories, writing stories, dreaming of stories and inventing back stories for all my toys. When I saw Bonnie in Toy Story 3, it was like looking into a mirror of 7-year-old me! I even had my own triceratops, along with Norbert the Dragon and a field of Julip/Breyer ponies. Did anyone else ever play with these!? There was enough drama in the Stable Yard for a whole episode of Eastenders, minus the PG content (I was still making an Elf House every Christmas, until the age of 11). 
I've always wanted to tell stories and - to quote the incomparable JK Rowling (obviously) - I truly believe in the "power to imagine better". Stories made the world feel a little less terrifying; it helped me escape the 24/7 pressures of Diabetes and, later, my mental health. However, it's only in the past year that I've acknowledged her preceding words: "we have all the power we need inside ourselves". If this is true, perhaps stories can go beyond escapism and actually BE? 

So this is what I am trying to do doing, even if it takes time and I give Esio Trot a run dawdle for his money! In reference to the crossed-out words above, I've drawn inspiration from Melanie Murphy and her "don't try, just do it" outlook. (If you haven't discovered Melanie, her channel is golden!), and I couldn't have done this change without my therapist. Through identifying my core values, we've explored the kind of story I want to read and I finally feel like I'm writing it. 

My recent video for World Mental Health Day. was all about Primary Teaching, but I've also opened my Etsy Store, chosen my dissertation topic and committed to cruelty-free living for animals and myself (recovery). Moreover, I no longer simply 'imagine better'... I  am considering the possibly that I could be better. My hand is far from stable and, sometimes, there are more blots on a page than legible words. Yet every morning, I pick up that pen and keep writing. I keep trying and remind myself that *someday* can be today, as long as I turn the page. 
Harry Potter Priorities - the first HP-inspired print to arrive on BumbleandBeMakes
As per usual, this post probably contain more waffles than caramel week.... how did we go from Floo Powder to this?! So if you're still here and not writing me out of the main show (as much as I'd love to meet Jo Brand on An Extra Slice), then you've made me a very happy Elf. On that note... the Elf does actually have a point in all of this! There and back again, as the Hobbits say. 

The little guy in this post was my 3rd creation to go on Etsy. While he may have been made with the same yarn as his siblings, no two are the same - Ollivander may have talked about wands, but he really meant crochet elves. Just like Bonnie and 7-year-me with her ponies, I imagined his story and this wasn't hard to do! I don't know if it's the bobble hat, the smile or the gold-rimmed eyes (CelloExpress is my go-to for amigurumi accessories), but the photos are so expressive and may be some of my favourite ever taken. 

Yes, my head is admonishing me for saying this, but that is the blot of anxiety and not my story.  After all, my favourite Harry Potter character is Luna and it's because of her self-belief; the fact she is unashamed to create her own plot, despite what others may think. So in tribute to Luna and telling our own stories, all my Etsy creatures include an AUTObiography in the description and Mr Dobby wanted to share his with you on here. Thank merlin for crochet hand tutorials, because typing is tough when you're made out of yarn... 
"I can be a little timid, but I have a heart of gold and am ALWAYS loyal. My favourite Harry Potter character is Hermione, as she shares my love of books and getting the answers right - you can spot my eager hand in the photo below! I also asked mum to use the illustrated  edition of Philosopher's Stone, as the backdrop to my photoshoot. How talented is Jim Kay? If only Art was a subject at Hogwarts!
"My favourite season is Winter and I adore christmas lights, along with the limited edition "Queenie's Hot Coco". If any Muggles are reading this, it is the Pumpkin Spiced Latte of the Magical World! Apparently the original recipe comes from New York, but is now a staple in Honeydukes, The Three Broomsticks and any cafe with their priorities sorted. Move over Butterbeer...  

"Despite mum's insistence that we use Pumpkins in our photoshoot, I am terrified of Halloween and may need some reassurance. Unlike Hermione, I'm not actually a Gryffindor... or trained in the art of Troll-spotting. Nevertheless, I solemnly swear that I will stay SPECTACULARLY dressed and not drop puddings on people... unless their name is Goyle, or they are mean to my friends. No one will harm Dobby's friends!

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