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Welcome Back

I’ve been looking for years for this style of patterned fabric, with the vintage postcard, and the bird the music is a nice extra too. Then when we were out the other day I spotted this bedspread.

Vintage postcard Bedspread

Vintage postcard Bedspread

Although I’d have loved the full set including duvet cover and matching pillow cases there just wasn’t the budget and I’m really pleased with the bedspread. The front side has the postcard images on and on the back its pale blue with a darker blue pattern of roses on. I also like the quilting is just squares of stitching, my eyes don’t cope well with the free motion wiggles often seen on these styles of quilt/bedspread. I’ve always wanted a traditional quilt like this so I’m pleased as punch to have one in such lovely designed fabric too. When the going gets tough, try to create a beautiful space, however small that you can retreat to and know its full of things that will make you smile, feel loved and happy.

Have had to go to over to just weekly posting as the WIFI issue still isn’t resolved and getting a turn on the wired connection isn’t easy to beg!

Having now lived with the bedspread in place, I’m please I only went for that rather than the whole collection. I love the bedspread but it would be a bit of a busy pattern to have it on duvet and pillow cases as well.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

R.I.P Charlie

Welcome Back

On the 4th of July two beautiful rainbow budgies came to live with us, Charlie and Sunshine. They were born 1 May this year. Charlie developed breathing problems the following Wednesday and we rushed them both to the vets, the vet kept them in and it wasn’t until the 13th that we could bring them home. We had to continue giving them oral meds for a few weeks but they made a full recovery.

Sunshine (yellow face) and Charlie my two Rainbow budgies. Just over 2 months old.

Sunshine (yellow face) and Charlie my two Rainbow budgies. Just over 2 months old.

In August Charlie stared his first moult, all was going well, Sunshine joined him in her first moult a couple of weeks later and they came out for their first fly at the end of that month. Charlie was the more nervous but she mostly covered it and would be first to any toys which she would claim and hers and the same with food. There weren’t any big fights but a fair few sqabbles. her favourite thing is the world was to throw things, the bigger and louder the crash the better. Possibly this was coz I would invariably reply ‘Oh Charlie’ whenever she did so. I gave them a pot of wood and acrylic toys and she would throw them one at a time out of the pot for me to pick back up.

With the weather warm Charlie was also first in the bath! She took to the bath really well and would get in there with Sunshine. They both love veggies and Charlie’s latest thing was to grab mouthfuls of food and wander around the cage and spit them out somewhere else. This  started after I put them back on regular seed after a while on ‘budgie rocket fuel.’ so we joked it was in protest but she got a reaction so would do it with any food in the end. I had to take them off the high energy stuff as they are in a Ferplast Record 3 cage as they were still on quarantine and it was making them far too bouncy for the space the cage allowed.

This week was coming to the end of 8 weeks quarantine after the extra month to be sure they were clear of the infection they had caught. I was hoping to get them side by side with Robin this week, I fed them before I had my breakfast and Charlie hopped on my arm as I put the food pot in, the were eating and drinking and chattering as normal. I had my breakfast and sat about 3 feet from them with a cup of tea, to catch up on a programme I recorded. I looked over and saw only Sunny on a perch but sitting tall as they do when they were scared. I called ‘Where’s Charlie?’ which if she was playing out of sight on the floor would normally bring her up to a perch to see what was going on but nothing happened, all quiet. I went over to look and my poor baby had died and was lying on the floor of the cage. I couldn’t believe it, there had been no sneezing no sickness, nothing to suggest she wasn’t in perfect health, only the day before she had been out for a fly. She was still warm so it must have only just happened.

Rest in Peace Charlie

Rest In Peace Charlie budgie. This was taken after she came back from the vets.

If you have birds and want to help them through the loss of a partner bird Please read on.

After taking Charile out to check she had indeed passed on I put her body back in the cage. I’ve kept birds for over 40 years and its traumatic for everyone when a loved bird dies but if there is a partner bird and you just take one away, its even more heart-breaking to hear them call and call for the lost bird. I have found if you let them see the body and be with it for a while they settle afterwards much quicker.

At first Sunshine ignored Charlie, then he looked and called, next he went down to the floor of the cage and ate the sand sheet for a while getting gradually closer and closer to Charlie. After a while of this he nuzzled her, preened her, called to her and later came back to the perch and went back to ignoring her. Wait a little while longer but once the partner bird starts ignoring again, take the body out.

If you had to have your bird put to sleep or he/she died of an infection don’t put the body back in the cage but do leave it near the cage in sight of the partner bird. They will still call and investigate after the initial ignoring, it seems to help them.

We have another bird, Robin who is 5 years old in a much bigger cage but he was aggressive toward a previous bird (Tiny) so I’m nervous of trying to introduce Sunshine to him but Sunshine has gone quite timid with being alone as he’s always had Charlie with him. Health issues mean its not going to be possible to get any other bird for quite some time so I’ve started to put Sunshine’s cage near Robins just for a little while so they get used to being around each other.

Poor Charlie she was feisty, bity and bad tempered but I still loved her, even if she did take chunks out of me, I can’t believe she died, she was so young! I can only think it must have been a heart attack as she was showing no signs of illness nor made any sound before she died.

This is a picture of her with Sunshine, taken in July before their moult. Charlie is the blue one. She was only with us for 90 days and one morning.

Charlie and Sunshine 2014

Charlie and Sunshine 2014

Rest in peace Charlie, I hope you find the rest of our flock at Rainbow bridge and we can all be together again one day.

Welcome Back

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

Free calendar page: November 2014

Free 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 :)

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 :)

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