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Welcome Back

Today a book review with a difference. I wanted a book to inspire me, to lift me through strife n stress and perhaps help me to view the world in a different, less negative way. A book to inspire me to create art and heal my heart. This one is working.

365 Tao; Daily Meditations

365 Tao; Daily Meditations

  • Title: 365 Tai; Daily Meditations
  • Author: Deng Ming-Dao
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • ISBN: 978-0-06-250223-0

My Reason for Buying

Do you ever feel like the world spins to fast, do you ever fall off. However fast you go the world just gets faster and its harder and harder to keep up. As I said at the start I wanted a ‘thought for the day’ kind of book, one to inspire me to create and the feel differently about the day to day stresses that I struggle to cope with. I tell you this as often a review is based on how well the book lived up to the expectations of its reader, for their purpose ;)

Content

Each day there is a ‘word for the day’ It has an accompanying poem and explanation along with an ideogram a nice calligraphic touch.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Love the short nature of each page, but there is plenty to contemplate by the words and meanings inferred in each entry.
  • I found the words both supporting and thought provoking
  • Available in Kindle or Paperback so you can choose your format.
  • Easier to understand than some books I’ve looked at on the subject

Cons

Not really a con, just be aware  that if at first you don’t understand the explanation, re read the page a few times during the day. It can feel like a chat with Yoda (No offence meant) and you can be left thinking ‘Whats that about'; but when you mull it over more it sinks in better. Its rather nice that you can take your own inference to what is being said rather than being ‘told’ to do or think a particular way so I very much enjoyed this book.

Value for Money

Excellent

Would I buy it Again?

Yes, I’m finding the print a little small and fine for my dyslexia and I can see me buying this on the Kindle format as well.

Summing up

Highly recommend this book, it is everything I hoped it would be and more. If you are struggling with the modern world, sometimes what you need is not to run harder and faster but to stop and listen. Make a cup of tea etc sit down quietly and read a page a day. If you are stressed out, searching but you know not what for, then this book is for you. I can see this book inspiring art work in the future but for right now I’m enjoying the peace each page is bringing by allowing me to find a different meaning to day to day feelings and circumstances.

De-stress and inspire a new way to look at the world with this book.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Welcome Back

Today a review of; Yoga for the Brain Zentangle cards original Edition. I liked the relaxation mentioned about Zentangle but the book I had just wasn’t fun, nor inspiring. I’d seen these cards on TV so thought I’d try them instead. If you want to learn to Zentangle but don’t have a lot of time and space, these cards might be for you. Here is how I got on with them.

Yoga for your brain, Zentangle cards

Yoga for your brain, Zentangle cards

Product Details

  • Yoga for your Brain Original Edition Tangle Cards
  • Manufacturer/Brand; Design Originals
  • Item number: No 3479. ISBN: 978-1-57421-356-0
  • RRP at time of writing: £7.99

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Compact and portable.
  • I like the size; 6.3 cm W x 8.8 H
  • Self storing within the box
  • I like each design has its own card
  • There is space for you to add a number or letter to the design so you can organize them in a way to suit your needs
  • The design desire is a personal thing, but I really liked the designs on these cards

Cons

  • Haven’t really got any, a niggle perhaps; see Build quality below

Build Quality

The box is superb, sturdy card and glossy. It would last well if you were carrying it around with your or giving it to younger members of the family for them to try Zentangle. The cards are also printed on a sturdy cardstock, I’d have liked rounded corners to be kinder on hands but that’s being picky.

As has been mentioned in reviews on Amazon the cards are not laminated or glazed. This reduces eye strain but given they are a deck of cards, they don’t easily slide over each other like decks of cards usually do. Making them a little tricky to get hold of, but my dexterity isn’t great.

Value for Money

Good. You get 40 designs to copy around the same as in books, there is a book of the same title but I haven’t seen it to say if the content is the same or different. There are about 9 cards at the front with some tips for basic steps for how to Zentangle but nothing too heavy that would put you off.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes, I really like the card deck layout for patterns and would favour collecting designs this way rather than a book.

Summing up

These really worked for me. They are catchy, addictive, portable and the sort of size you could have next to you as you copied the design. I liked them a lot. After my experience with another Zentangle book, I had thought it wasn’t for me, yes the creation of the patterns was very relaxing but I wasn’t in love with any of the designs in the OTHER book and it put me off a bit.

The patterns in this deck I liked, which got me hooked and I can see why people get so excited about it. It IS very relaxing and meditative to create the patterns. If you don’t enjoy the whole ‘card has to be x size, draw dots in each corner, doodle a line then fill in with a different pattern in each section’ rules n regulations that Zentangle has around it, then these cards liberate you from that.

Life’s too short for too many rules, just grab a notebook and copy the patterns on these cards, in a comfy chair with some relaxing music on and you will be a chilled happy bunny in no time. Its engaging enough to stop your mind being distracted by stress and worry and repetitive enough that you quickly get in to the swing of the pattern and just draw. Several of these designs would make great boarders or for bookmarks not just all over page designs.

I highly recommend these cards, even and especially if other Zentangle products haven’t done it for you. Great for long car journeys or while waiting in a waiting room etc or on holiday when  you don’t want to be carrying too much stuff but want to create.

The only other thing you need is a 0.1 micron pen and some decent paper, but if you haven’t got that a decent fine-liner and a notebook and you are away. For younger kids I’d use a regular pen as the 0.1 pen is so fine they are likely to snap it off with too much hand pressure. If you get into it, add a soft lead pencil and paper stump to add more dimension to your designs with shading.

Links

Yoga for your Brain Amazon UK great price as ever.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share an altered box art project.

Altered art: stamped box

Altered art: stamped box

DH was going to put this in the bin when it was a plain cardboard box. I rescued it and altered it using The Birdsong Collection of stamps from Clear Impressions that were on Creative Stamping magazine.

  • Paints: were W&N Galeria in powder blue
  • Inks: Tsukeniko Versafine in Smokey Grey, Vintage sepia and Black

To tone down the stamping and help it fade into the background I went over it with watered down gesso.

Here is the inside of the box

Altered art: stamped box- the inside

Altered art: stamped box- the inside

Hope you like it as much as I do, it looks very pretty on the desk, waiting to be filled with inspirational quotes or ATCs.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Welcome Back

Today I would like to share a free download with you. A calendar page for October 2014.

Free download Calendar Page November 2014

Free download Calendar Page November 2014

How to Use

  • Click on the image to open the calendar picture to full size.
  • Click on File, then choose landscape option for paper orientation.
  • Click Print

To Change the size of the calendar

  • Click on the image to open the calendar picture to full size.
  • Right Click and choose ‘Save As’ from the list of options.
  • You can print it as, is or open a Word Processing program and insert the image. (Once it is on your machine.) This will give you more control of the final size of the calendar page.

Feel free to tell your friends about this offer and forward them a link to this site. If you missed this month’s calendar page you can find it on the Calendar Downloads page.

Let me know what you think, of these calendar pages. If comments suggest this is popular…it just might become a regular feature.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Hi All

I haven’t given up on the blog honest! I’m having a lot of trouble with internet connection and even more problems with WIFI connection. Its now very rare that I can get online, so I’m reliant on gaps in DHs schedule to get access to a wired connection upstairs.

There was meant to be a calendar here today but… its taking minutes to open pages, then either connection drops out or the computer gets board waiting and times out. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Sorry for the delay!

Best wishes

Billie

Welcome Back

If you like making your own pages for Filofax, these templates will help you punch your pages just right every time. I discovered that the Filofax website has lists for all the pages sizes used in their various planners. I’ll add a link at the end of the article. From here I cut 180 gsm cardstock to the sizes needed for my planners.

To make your Filofax Personal template, you will need

  • Cardstock
  • 80gsm paper
  • Hole punch, either a dedicated one to your planner size or an adjustable one such as Rapesco 66-P
  • Pencil & pen
  • Paper trimmer or ruler & craft knife or if you have to scissors
Filofax Personal Cutting and punching template

Filofax Personal Cutting and punching template

 

Method

  • Cut your cardstock and paper to the same size as your planner pages. Personal: 171 x95 mm
  • Fold your paper in half short sides towards each other to find the centre of the paper.
  • Draw a line on your paper to mark the centre point, draw it across the whole sheet
  • Copy this centre line onto your cardstock and draw a thin line in pen across your card as shown in the picture.
  • Move the punching parts to the spacing correct to your page size; if you are using Rapesco 66-P for personal; move the punches apart to create the widest gap in the centre.
  • Insert your cardstock into the punch lining the drawn line with the centre line of the punch, and punch.

You can save this cardstock template to use with any further pages you want to punch. Just lay your template on top of the page you want to punch and its easy to see where to line up to. Store it in the back of your planner so you don’t have to go on a major hunt of the house to find it.

Links

Hope this makes it easy for you to get your own pages to line up to the commercial ones in your planners. Let me know how you get on.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

 

 

Welcome Back

If you like making your own pages for Filofax, these templates will help you punch your pages just right every time. I discovered that the Filofax website has lists for all the pages sizes used in their various planners. I’ll add a link at the end of the article. From here I cut 180 gsm cardstock to the sizes needed for my planners.

To make your Filofax Mini template, you will need

  • Cardstock cut to Mini planner size; 105 x 67 mm
  • An adjustable one such as Rapesco 66-P
  • Pencil & pen
  • Paper trimmer or ruler & craft knife or if you have to scissors
Filofax Mini: Cutting and punching template

Filofax Mini: Cutting and punching template

Method

  • Cut your cardstock and paper to the same size as your planner pages. for the mini that’s 105 x 67 mm
  • Draw a line on your card 43 mm up from the bottom of the page and the full width of the page as shown on the picture
  • Using Rapesco 66-P move the punching parts to the spacing correct to your page size;  that’s all towards the middle together, with no gap between the punches, for Mini pages.
  • Insert your cardstock into the punch lining the drawn line with the centre line of the punch, and punch.

You can save this cardstock template to use with any further pages you want to punch. Just lay your template on top of the page you want to punch and its easy to see where to line up to. Store it in the back of your planner so you don’t have to go on a major hunt of the house to find it.

Links

Hope this makes it easy for you to get your own pages to line up to the commercial ones in your planners. Let me know how you get on.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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