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The Wren poem

Welcome Back

Today, I want to share the poem I wrote, when I saw a wren in the garden To me this one feels empowering and uplifting. Nature has a wonderful way of companioning us. It can be good to stand still, look out the window and tune into the natural world for a while.

The Wren

You think I’m small and fragile

But you couldn’t be, more wrong,

Although my lungs, are tiny,

I have a mighty song.

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I flitter, flutter here and there,

I’m rarely, ever still.

Defending a terrirory

Or looking for a meal.

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So yes, I’m small in stature,

And not always, easy to see,

Yet I’m fiesty and I’m mighty,

And life doesn’t crush me.

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by Billie @billiescraftroom

About

The wren in the UK, is a tiny bird, barely the size of a small egg. I’ll link to RSPB page about them, which includes a clip of their song.

The Wren https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/wren/

You don’t always see them as they are fast and tend to lurk in the undergrowth, but they have a loud powerful song, in comparison to their size.

Walk slowly around trees and in forest areas, keep your eyes out for this amazing bird, and if you don’t see it, try learning its song as you are more likely to hear them than see them.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

Luccello Poem

Welcome Back

Today Im sharing the poem I wrote in 2016 for my canary Luccello.

Yellow bird, so soft and round

Never known to cause a frown

How tall he sits, when he does sing,

Brings joy and light to everything.

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A bird so small and yet so bold

Never one to make you scold

He loves to perch, to fly and sing

Brings joy and light to everything.

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My darling bird, your song so pure,

An angels voice, I am sure

Come sit a while and hear his song

And in your heart, he does belong.

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Such joyous notes, bring tears to eyes,

Pure pleasure at his warbling cries

Of such delight and without measure

This darling bird, he brings such pleasure.

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by Billie @billiescraftroom

RIP Luccello 5 January 2016 – 6 January 2022

Luccello went to Rainbow Bridge 6 January 2022. I will link to a previous post where I put a video of him singing in.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

Welcome Back

Here is the book for February, its called Big Panda and Tiny Dragon

This is Amazons picture of the book Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury

Author: James Norbury

ISBN: 978-0-241-52932-4

About this book

As the title suggests, it is about a year in the life of a big panda and a Tiny Dragon, who journey together. The book followes the seasons as well as their journey. They share wisdom and experiences with each other along the way. The author found a book on Buddhism, when he was in a difficult place and later joined the Samaritans, taking calls from people reaching out with anxiety depression and loneliness. Later he was inspired to create the images to help illustrate the ideas that have helped him through difficult times in the hope they would help others too.

My experience of this book

The book is full of brush paintings and wonderful wise words, though it can be read quickly. Take your time, savor those words and those images. Take what you need and be present in the moment.

I love the hardbacked version as I like hardbacked books, feel they are easier to prop open, as my dexterity isn’t great.

The illustrations show up well on the white smooth paper, though the paper is quite light in gsm. The font style looks like Times New Roman so it has serifs and the print is quite small.

Snap the ruler of comparison

I have and adore a book called The Boy the mole the fox and the horse. Before I got this book, I was worried I would compare it too much to that book, which I didn’t want to do. There are similarities, but it stands up well on its own as a different book. There are a nice mix of black and while illustrations and others with more colour.

Here is a link to Amazon UK for details about the book. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Panda-Tiny-Dragon-James-Norbury

Personally I found this book comforting and uplifting. See what you think. Do leave me a comment if you enjoy this book. I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Best wishes and see you soon

Billie

In memory of all those who lost their lives during the holcaust, and to those who live on, with the memories. Spoken or unspoken. You are remembered 🕯

You Are Remembered

You saw, you heard, you smelt, you saw.

You felt things, nobody should go through.

When somebody’s anger, turned to hate

Decided anothers life, does not rate.

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Yet some survived, and some they spoke,

Its documented, its no joke.

Teach your child, learn from the past

Never repeat, the holocaust.

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IF we let this, slip from view,

Could history, repeat anew?

We like to think it wouldn’t, but…

Who’s to say, if we forgot.

by Billie @billiescraftroom

About this poem.

I was brought up in an era, where the events of the holocaust were taught in school, but not everyone is. Some secretly wrote about their expriences at the time, and afterwards. Others have spoken of their experiences. Many, would never find the words to describe the undescribable, and boure their scars silently.

Technology has helped the experiences, of those who lived through those times, to be recorded for future generations. There are still those alive today who were there, who had the lived experience. They have families who have lived experiences, of how that affected the lives of their loved ones, and them.

Please don’t let lies, fear and hate be your guides

When someone states an opionion as if its a fact, spreads lies and hate and anger. That can spread through generation to generation.

That poison, that anger, those lies, that one persons life, is more valuable than anothers, is sadly for many, still in the world today. What words do you use about others? What are you teaching, the next generation?

With open hearts and minds, we can learn about the past and FROM the past.

I feel, It is important to remember, these events. Those who suffered, those who died, and the reasons given for taking those lives and those actions. The world seems to be moving faster and faster, events slip from the now, into the past at an ever increasing speed.

We hope, we pray, that these things never happen again. Yet we need to remember they happened, to learn what happened before them, which led the world to that place.

❤ How others stepped in and showed that not all of humanity, shares that hateful view.

In memory of all who suffered and still suffer due to hate. To all those who died, you are remembered 🕯

Welcome Back

This post is to remember the life, of my wonderful canary Luccello. He had the voice and heart of an angel.

5 January 2016- 6 January 2022

Its hard to find enough words to describe this wonderful bird and how much he means to me. I will share a poem next week, that I wrote some time ago as that sums his character up well

About his name Luccello

I wanted a beautiful name, some thing a little different. I looked up bird, in other languages and found Ucello which is Italian. In the dictionary it said, L’uccello, for the bird. I liked the sound of it so thats what I chose.

That said, he also had lots of other ‘at home names; ‘Mr Licky Lu, as he LOVED to lick pretty much anything and everything, he could get his beak on. When he had out of cage fly rounds, he would fly to the top of the bookshelf and make out with glasswear, singing them quiet love songs. He was ‘in a relationship’ with; a bottle, a decanter, and picture. I mostly called him Lu.

Luccello’s favorite things

Aside from the objects he visited to chat up, see above, he loved to sit on the back of the sofa, watching the world go by. On top of a lampshade (not lit!) and yes I did frequently try to stop him.

He loved sitting in a patch of sunshine on the windowsill, catching some rays. He would spread out his wings, and tail and bliss out.

Another object he was very into, was a peacock feather. Though the top ‘eye’ section of the long feather, had broken off, I had kept it. Lu must have thought it would be a great prize, for one of his suitors and would try to fly with it. Since canaries are not that big and only weigh about 18 grams it was a tall ask. In the words of Forest Gump ‘God loves a tryer’ and he would keep on trying to fly with it. Once he made it a couple of feet, from bookshelf to table, but skidded to a flop so he gave up with it after a while.

He also loved carrying his own feathers around. Didn’t feather pluck but I saved some of his feathers from when he moulted, so he could have those n not feather pluck, if he wanted one to carry around.

At home

Pretty sure, Lu must have come from an aivery as he didn’t love the Record 3 cage I had for him during quaranteen (his not c19 as this was 2016). I also have a large aivery cage, which he later went in, but though he loved it during the day, he would pace the floor as light dropped and I took to ofering him the small cage to sleep in. He loved this, my dexterity didn’t. I had to have the smaller cage on table next to the big cage so he could go in as I struggled to lift the cage. I later got him to jump on a flat hand and took him from cage to cage that way. I would say ‘Taxi for Lucello’ and he’d hop on. In later years he did settle in the big cage.

Here is the big cage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUJqiChSJGc sadly this was from 2020 when he couldn’t fly and was having balance issues, and was filmed to show the vet. That’s why the perches are so low. Later I had to take the perches out as although he coudn’t fly, he didn’t get the memo and would try and then fall. 😭

Frizzy wings

Canaries LOVE a bath. When Lu wanted a bath he would shake his wings, vibrating them. If I didn’t offer a dish of water for him to wash in quickly, I would find him dunking his head in a drinking water dish, n come out looking like a punk rocker.

When I photographed him, he would litterally glow white. Lu was deep yellow but the top layer of feathers on his wings and back had white flecks, his tail and primary feathers (long ones on his wings) were also white. When I photographed him, he would look like a ball of white light.

Rest in Peace my beautiful friend

I miss my canary Luccello so very much, he was my world. My heart is broken. He will be my last bird. I burried him at home, in a meditation space, in a sunny spot. It has a covering of white gravel and a Buddha statue.

I lit candle, burned incence, placed a holly twig for protection, gave the space Reiki and called in angelic protection to keep cats n foxes off the space. It is a beautiful space, where I can come to remember all the flock. This is an old photo, there is a different, lighter, statue of Buddha there now and pebbles have mellowed.

This is the meditaiton space.

Spiritual connection

Before he passed, I said ‘I will watch sunrise and sunset and think of you. When I feel the sun on my face, I send that love, to you too. Sunrise will be our thing. At Rainbow Bridge you will find your voice, have strong legs and wings and be able to go anywhere you want. Fly free, from pain’. The morning after his passing, I sat eating breakfast watching the sunrise. I said ‘I hope you made it to Rainbow Bridge ok?’ Then I saw a starling on the roof, flicking its wings, a bit like when Lu did when he wanted a bath. Lu sending a message, I got my wings!

I asked ‘Did you find the flock ok?’ and the startling flew over to a group of starlings. Then one of them flew down to the fence at the bottom of the garden and sang. I took that to mean, he found his voice again!!

Starlings stayed close when I burried him, and a blackbird sang softly from the hedge as I sat in that space with the candle and incense. Starlings have been visiting at sunset, when they gather in groups before flying off to roost. I hadn’t even thought of that when I had said to Lu, ‘If you want to visit from Rainbow Bridge I’ll look out for signs.’ Now I see them sunrise and sunset, in later days there have been bigger flocks visiting and flying as a group. My flock dropping by to let me know they are still around and OK. Its bringing a lot of peace and comfort, thinking of the birds visiting like this.

The next day, I saw a wren close to the house. Words of poetry came to me and I wrote them down. (I’ll share it another time) Later a swan flew over, now that is really rare here. I looked up their connection and among other things, it says it links to poets.

I am devistated, that I won’t be able to have birds indoors going forwards. But all this has reminded me that there are lots of fam in spirit who have been using birds as mesengers to let me know they are thinking of me. Its a reminder that although there are no longer birds indoors, there are still birds in the world and I can see them through the window and hear their beautiful songs.

Another day, I went through all the bird supplies I had. Kept some and put others asside ready for the bin. Bin not donate, in case what gave Lu the liver disease was contageous. I wasn’t ready to put it in the bin yet.

When I woke up to Classic FM, I said ‘Please can u send me a song, to help me put that stuff in the bin? Ride of the Valceries came on, my late hubbies song of choice, when he was on his way to a competition. I said ‘thanks, not my fave but I see where ur coming from and thanks hun’ Next came the theme song to a detective show we used to watch together, Inspector Montlebano. Appropriate as its an Itallian show adn Lucellos name is Itallian for the bird.

If u have access to candle icons to leave in his memory in the comments that would be kind.

Thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

Welcome Back

I think this may be what they call Blue Monday? Perhaps its the perfect time to share this art concept with you. You Tube did that, ‘you may like this’ recomendation the other night and BOY were they right. If you are really stressed, over think, have that 3am and brain won’t shut up, or are giving yourself a hard time today, grab a pen and paper and read on. I found making this art soo soothing. Its definately all about the process of making it, its soo soothing. If you like colouring in and zentangle, maybe you will like this too. If you found zentangle hard going on hands and eyes, this one is a great alternative.

Here is my first try with Neurographic art, January 2022.

About this art style.

  1. Its called Neuro Grapic art
  2. You don’t need lots of art supplies to do it
  3. Regular pen or pencil and sheet of any paper will do, to get started
  4. If you like colouring in, it takes your brain to that same zen space
  5. Its easier on the hands (and eyes) than Zen tangle
  6. Please watch the videos in the links section for the how too, and background of it.
  7. For me, I found it helpful to ease racing and distressing thoughts
  8. Its about the process, rather than the final piece of art. Its the process of creating it, that gives the brain a softer place to be for a while.
  9. There is some science behind this and has been used in therapy, see videos who go into the detail of some of that. but short version, to quote Ruby Wax ‘Brains are not great at multi tasking’. So if you are in a distressing headspace, if you can give them something soothing to focus on, and are able to send all your attention to that, they drop the other stuff.

I’m not trained in any of this, so can’t make claims as to what it will or won’t do for you. I am someone who struggles with anxiety, depression, and the over thinking racing thoughts that come with that and I did find making this art, took my head to softer safer kinder places.

As a child I used to scribble and later come back in and colour in the gaps, this seems to be taking it to another level. I can see it being a helpful tool for my anxiety managing tool box. I can use this just as a doodling distraction in and of itself. I can also use it around times when Im really stuck in the over thinking, rumination and 3am brain won’t turn off, by doing the advice in the first video, of writing the thing I’m stressing about, on the back of the paper, turn paper over, and then scribble a few seconds. Then let brain drift to kinder places as I focus just on finding the connections and curving those lines.

In looking up the links for this post, I have now found a certified trainer in this and linked her videos below. Take your pic as to where your interest and current head space allows.

Rather than writing it all out, its much easier to watch than to explain. These first two are the you might like this ones that You Tube showed me, simple to get you started. The later ones are from a certified instructor in the method and are more indepth, especially toward the theraputic side of the method.

  1. You Tube channel: Bethany Thiele, Art Teacher
    Video name: Neurographic Art Tutorial : Mindfulness In Art https://youtu.be/NoIgdt-uQR0 This is a good one as it walks you through the process more slowly.
  2. You Tube channel name Emmanuel School of Fine ArtsVideo name neurographic drawing art lesson https://youtu.be/XZf4Fbr6dU0 This was the first one I saw, but its been listed as ‘you tube kids’ so you can’t add it to favorites, which is a shame.

These next ones are more indepth and focused on the therapy side of this from a certified teacher, Anna Romanenko

  1. You Tube channel NeuroGraphic Academy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzaHdD70WRnL6rprZVVbaBw
  2. YouTube channel NeurographicaAcademy. Video name Neurographica online class. NeuroTree of my Health https://youtu.be/ei-AxcAYXvk This one is is indepth, coming at it from the therapy side of things.
  3. NeuroGraphica Introduction Class. Basic elements and steps. Lifting Inner Constraints. For Beginners https://youtu.be/UaphPkS9fYQ

Oops another really long post. I got really excited about this last night and my first go with it went very well. My aim with the blog, is to share ideas and tips that have helped my in my journey. I hope they help you too, however what helps or does not, is a very individual thing. It is not my intention to say, this will work for you in the same way. You do you, always.

Being honest, on the page I’m on right now, which is early grief, and very stressed out. I can’t process the more indepth videos, that Anna has posted. The first two I posted, are enough for getting started and the other links, will be more useful for reasearch and education, when I’m on firmer ground.

Hope you enjoy the process of this art style. Either trying it yourself or with more research on the video sites, maybe watching others create it. Looks like there are a few variations on the theme, so have fun exploring all that. I think this is one I’ll try for a while, it was less painful on my limited dexterity than zentangle was. I liked how it looked a bit like marbled paper or inkblot tests. Mostly though, I enjoyed the process and how it took my brain to softer place for a while

Best wishes, thanks for reading, See you soon

Billie x

Welcome Back

If 2022, did not start in a happy way for you and you too are grieving, this one is for you. Are all the Happy New year greetings, making you want to crawl under a blanket? Here is my poem and we’ll talk afterwards.

Early Grief

This is the path to peace,

Through the river of snot and tears,

Through the primal screams of loss,

Throught the primal screams of fears.

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I’ve walked this path before,

Feeling numb, confused and lost,

So I leave these words as a map,

To help me feel, less lost.

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For when your hungry, but cannot eat,

So tired, but cannot sleep,

When you sleep and sleep all day,

And still cannot see the way.

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Time to rest and cry it out.

Drink lots of water, helps you out.

Not listen to anyone

Just doing, what can be done.

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Take each second at a time,

More than that, fries your mind,

These are the ways, that have been kind

When your are lost, in space and time.

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by Billie @billiescraftroom

About grief

Grief is tough, its messy, it knows nothing of time, space and special days, holidays. Weather you lost your special someone just before or during the holiday periods or at any other time, it can be especially hard when you see others expressing joy, when you are not on that page.

There is so much expectation around grief, I found I was bombarded with ‘suggestions’, the sentances that start with; ‘you should, you must, why don’t you.’ worst of all the ‘… wouldn’t want you to…’ Though the person saying that, may be sending it from a place of love, that sure isn’t how it lands. It can feel like, your pain is socially unacceptable, makes them uncomfortable and the message you can be getting is, just don’t do this around me!

Thing is in early grief, its not always possible to control thoughts, feelings and emotions. The smallest thing can cause a tsunami of emotions and the river of tears arrives. It takes all that you have, to stop from flopping to the floor, to join them. I hope you are given the time and space to process in your own way, in your own time.

Often though, pressures from all sides prevent that. Just know that what ever you are doing, that is helping you get through second by second, is the very best you can do right now.

Others opionions and expectations are theirs not a to do list, not yours.

In the early days when you can barely process the basics, fending off those expectations, suggestions, or trying to defend your need, to be doing what you are doing, is just too exhausting. Feeling the need to appoligise for your thoughts, feelings and actions. Horrible isn’t it.

  • If you are supporting someone through grief please take a moment to watch Megan Devine’s video on You Tube called, How do you help a greiving friend. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2zLCCRT-nE
  • Here is a list of supportive sites if it is you who is grieving and feel you might like some external support https://aspacetoheal.wordpress.com/healing/peaceful-place/
  • Rainbows Bridge is a site discussing Pet Loss. https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/ They have advice on end of life care for your beloved pet, memorial space options, candle rememberance days. Its a kind space. Rainbows Bridge is a virtual memorial home and grief support community for your departed fur baby. Whether furry, feathered or scaled, all are welcome.

I’m so sorry for you loss, you do you, my post wasn’t about telling anyone what to do, think or feel. It was an expression of my own grief, I’m posting it as I know I’m not the only one grieving and perhaps the links later in the post, will be of use to you or someone you know.

If you are going to offer ideas to someone grieving, please ASK THEM first.

Sometimes, someone does want ideas and suggestions, but only when they are able to process, that information. Go in with that advice too soon and its tmi. Also PLEASE don’t offer anything you are not willing or able to come good on. Its a difficult time that is hard to navigate, its exhausting. Takes a lot of courage to reach out to someone, so please be mindful about what you offer someone who is grieving.

Each loss is unique depending on who or what you are grieving, can be person, pet, place, the old you and old situation. It also can differ depending on your relationship to that, as well how things ended.

Holding safe space for you while you navigate this difficult time.

Billie