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Welcome Back

Taking one day at a time. Trying to rebuild my life from the tattered shards of grief and loss. This sums it up rather well;

I hope to post something craft related again at some point. Right now I’m working on breathing in and out.

My new favourite author is Pema Chodron:

Amazon

Pema Chodron Quotes

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

Welcome Back

Many thanks to all of you loyal readers who are still visiting. Anyone visiting my Pinterest boards will have seen some new ones. I am a reluctant gardener, its not a choice I would choose, I am to plants what Kryptonite is to Superman. I am looking into the possibility of creating a meditation garden, with a Japanese feel. The garden is already divided by some nice trellis with arches here and there. Mowing the lawn is beyond me as is a lot of weeding so I’m trying to research something that will be low maintenance.

Mini Zen Garden indoors

I have a sand  Zen garden that I made on a tray, which I like the idea of but in the UK and with a lot of neighbours with cats it would not work with sand outdoors! (OK the gloves are NOT needed for this garden, they were just a cheerful colour and when you are gardening under tolerance rather than choice pretty gloves help). {strop much! heheh}

Mini Zen Garden

Mini Zen Garden

I’d like to try something with varying sizes of stones in boarders, would LOVE a wooden bridge, can you get them 12″ high, just a short one?

I keep finding quotes I like and saw quotes written on stones on Pinterest which looked fab, so I’ve started making my own.

Thought Stones/ Meditation stones

Thought Stones/ Meditation stones

I will try to share pics of quotes I like, and of the ones I’ve put on stones in the coming year.

Processing

I am still processing my loss so creative writing in great measure is beyond me at the moment. I am exploring a number of different things, here is my reading list;

  • I wasn’t ready to say Goodbye. For anyone else how has suffered the sudden unexpected loss of someone close, this is a good companion.
  • Grieving Mindfully. If you are trying to find ways to live in your ‘new world’ this is also very helpful. Its a different way to see what has happened ‘to’ you and really helps with processing loss. It helps you realise you can’t get round, past or over loss, you get through it, and here are ways to learn to do so that will help ease the pain. Really helps.
  • The Mindful Way Workbook; An 8 week program to Free yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress. Now if you are recently bereaved, forget the time scale, really forget it BUT although this book is nothing to do with bereavement the meditation exercises on the MP3 CD that come with this book REALLY help!

I would not recommend Seven Choices: Finding Daylight after loss Shatters your world. Everyone’s journey through grief is unique to them but although this book is helpful if you want to read LOTS of other peoples stories of tragic loss, so you realise you are not alone, it happens to everyone at some point,  if what you are looking for is more of a hand to hold to keep you company to reassure you that you aren’t going crazy but one day you will feel better than you do right now, this didn’t do that for me, it wasn’t reassuring and me feel worse.

This isn’t the place for me to talk about this loss, so you won’t see his picture here or his name. He was my world and my heart is broken without him, I am struggling to find a reason to go on. The Japanese garden will be my way of honouring our love and the time we spent together.

Links

So who wants to see garden pictures on this blog? or shall I just stick to quotes I like till the mojo makes a reappearance. Say if you want a tutorial on the Zen garden its so easy you could do it in moments.

Best wishes and thanks for reading and sticking by me, see you soon

Billie

Welcome Back

I have an excellent reason for not blogging in a while, but its not one I’m ready to share with the world as its too painful to talk about yet. The short version is that I am processing something huge and its gonna take time to heal and recover.

A dear friend sent me something that sums things up rather neatly.

FB_20141127_05_22_34_Saved_Picture

Getting by one step at a time

When times get tough sometimes we need help;

Take a pen, in your left palm write ‘Breathe in, look at other hand’. in your right palm write; ‘Breathe out, look at other hand’ Right now I’m just about getting by with just doing that.

 

Sorry for the lack of headings, can’t seem to find them and haven’t the capacity to work it out at the moment. I went back to the old version of WP rather than the new format but boggled.

I’ll post again when I can, thanks for being patient with me.

Welcome Back

I’d like to share a before picture of the chair I’m hoping to repaint into a shabby chic style.

Before pic of chair I'd like to paint up.

Before pic of chair I’d like to paint up.

After years of perching on a laundry basket to my dressing table I decided I’d like a chair. This is mainly because my bad back isn’t keen on staying anywhere unsupported for long and also because I’d like to use the table with a sewing machine as a creative space to save having to ask DH to get the machine out for me, every time I want to sew.

It started with a drool round sewing rooms on Pinterest- bad idea so many beautiful spaces I couldn’t begin to achieve. Then ‘of course’ I had a nose round Ebay, some lovely thing chairs on there! Pre painted or just pre-loved and looking ideal to ‘alter’. Getting them sent in the post sounded a bit risky for damage and going to collect any from a way a way was an issue too. So I decided to try a local charity which re sells donated furniture. Nothing at ground level looked quite right but the very helpful man working there spied a real gem up on a shelf, he happily climbed up to retrieve it for us and it was wonderful and as Goldilocks would say ‘Just right!’ The perfect dimensions for the space it would be used in, and a comfortable back too.

Before pic of chair I'd like to paint up.

Before pic of chair I’d like to paint up.

DH isn’t getting the love for the pre-loved furniture nor shabby chic but I’d much rather give a lovely wooden chair like this a new lease of life than have a charmless modern one. At first I was thinking white with blue shabby chic distressing but I’m not so sure now. I’m currently leaning towards clean white but still in a matt finish.

If I can get to grips with stencilled lettering ‘nicely’ then on the inside of the top curve I’d like to have the word ‘Create’ and on the back edge the word ‘Dream’. I am a bit of a perfectionist though so rather than faffing about trying to line individual letters up, if I go that route for having words on the chair I’m hoping to be able to commission someone to cut me a doflex stencil with the words pre cut so they line up with each other nicely.

This was a daft time of year to think of all this as my hands lock up in cold wet weather DOH!!! So don’t expect to see finished pictures any time soon but I’ll take pictures along the way and let you know how it goes. Has anyone else done a project like this with chairs? I’d love to see some finished pictures of what you made. In a really ideal world I’d like to add a bird image to the chair back too, but not to have a shiny edge of a decal, so not sure that will be a starter. If anyone knows of people who will custom make stencils or know any projects like this one I can have a look at do leave me a comment, I’d love to learn and see some inspiration.

Well the weather has shut down now, so this project is somewhat moth balled till next summer when I hope to get the use of my hands back again. In the meantime I’ve thrown some fabric over the chair as DH isn’t loving the ‘pre loved’ look as much as me.

Lovely layers on the chair.

Lovely layers on the chair.

I’ve seen mention of Annie Sloan paint for shabby chic-ing furniture. Has anyone use it and what did you think? This chair will be well used rather than something just to look decorative. I’m rather tempted by doing a ‘quick n dirty’ attempt with this Annie Sloan paint if I could do the whole chair with one of the little tester pots, rather than a 1 litre can. But it sounds like you have to wax it after painting so quite labour intensive when you hands don’t work in wet cold weather.

I’d be happy just to paint it plain white but stripping all the layers off either with sandpaper or even paint stripper sound quite a lot of work that my hands won’t manage. ( Me thinks the ‘throw’ will on a LONG time), but it was a nice lilac chenille piece from the remnant , which I’ve been ‘saving’ for ages ;)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie xx

 

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 :)

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