Feeds:
Posts
Comments

There are likely be, a lot of shooting stars around in the coming days, as fireworks are popular in the UK on November the 5th. I started to write this poem and decided to turn it into the Wish Upon A Star Spread. You can use this with your favorite tarot or oracle deck.

Here is my first tarot/oracle spread, inspired by wishing upon the stars.

Wish Upon A Star spread

I send a flair to future me

And ask them for some help.

I feel a need for news today,

And maybe you could help?

Card 1

Did the thing Im most afraid of,

work out, fine in the end?

Card 2

Was the thing, I think, I really want,

All glitter and devine?

Card 3

Or was all that just fake news.

And its best to leave behind.

If you came and sat beside me

Card 4

What would you tell me now

About how I got through this

Card 5

And on what I need to dwell.

Your Turn

Give it a try, and I’d love to hear how you got on with it. This is my first spread so please be kind.

Try reading it as a poem first, and then come back to it as a spread.

What deck are you going to use for this?

Do leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Just remember this is just for fun and entertainment purpsoses only.

We all have free will and the cards are reflections of how we are feeling in this moment. By changing our actions now, we can alter how the future unfolds.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

Welcome back

Forget about how many …does it take to change a light bulb? The question actually is; ‘What do I need to know to buy a light bulb?’ Try buying a new one! You need a GSCE to work out what u need! Turns out its WAY more complicated than you would think, especially if your bulbs were really long lasting ones and you have had them a long time. I’m going to link to a wonderful site, that walks you through what you need to know, with no prior knowledge needed. Firstly most important, if you read no further than this first paragraph..To save your sanity, if your light bulb dies DO NOT DISPOSE OF IT, until you get a new one! You will need the information on the light bulb and to be able to look at your light bulb to help you choose a new suitable one. Also DO NOT TAKE the ‘What bulb this needs’ stickers off your LAMPS!

Links

Here is where I found really useful information, about what you need to know about your light bulb, to be able to get a new one. Its from Moonlight Design blog and blog post is called; which-light-bulb-should-i-buy-the-ultimate-guide-to-choosing-light-bulbs/ Thank you Moonlight Design, your blog post does just what it says on the title.

Choosing your lightbulb

For those who like the story behind the post, here we go. Firstly, I’m not a totally clueless adult, I did the basics, its just when what I wanted was discontinued, it all got a bit complicated. The makers site wasn’t helpful, I couldn’t even find the fitting type there so the search began for ‘what do I need to know to buy a light bulb?’.

  • I unplugged the lamp from the mains, removed the lightbulb, (if u have been using the lamp at the time, let it go COLD first too coz lit bulbs get very very HOT)
  • I read brand information from the side of the bulb
  • Checked the wattage
  • And did what u do if you’re housebound, I went to Amazon to order another

BUT it had been discontinued, ahh, rats, now what. Well, I tried searching, sticking with the same brand n when I couldn’t find exactly the same I went for larger wattage. I wanted to read by the light so brighter the better right. err NO as it goes. Lovely delivery person delivered the parcel, I opened it, relieved bulb not broken and went to install it, then, saw the sticker on the lamps fitting that said … ‘maximum wattage 60 watts’. *Groan*

I went to the brand’s site to see what the options were. As by now I realised I had no useful language to even ask the right questions. I didn’t understand which eco wattage was for the old school language of watts and was getting more and more confused, and cross and at the point of giving up.

I did a search and found the blog post I link to above and at last, somewhere that was taking me step by step from the beginning, so I could understand the terminology, and work out what words to use and search for based on the light bulb on the desk beside me. *does happy dance*

I remembered that my wonderful late hubby was very forward thinking and had always made sure that as soon as a bulb went and we used the ‘spare’ from the cupboard that a new one was put back as a spare for next time, while u had the box to reference it from. Also since he was doing the whole Kon Marie thing, before that sweet soul was even born, there were spares together in the ‘light bulb cupboard’. Sadly maybe he had bought in haste on this size, as although they were the same in many ways, the two spares for this size, were screw in, not with the two arms out to the side called Bayonett fitting. It means I have a pile of bulbs I don’t know where they go! Well some I do but read on…

Inventory

So as of right now I am still continuing the learning process, and I’m still trying to figure out what lightbulb I need, more reading needed.

NOT wanting to repeat this very time consuming process each time a bulb goes, I am doing something hubby would do and maybe its on his computer somewhere but I’m doing inventory of all the lightbulbs in the cupboard, going mad doing it so reminded myself to start with what I do know.

Start with the facts, with what you know

  • What do I have now: Writing down all the information from each light bulb box. So I have a point of reference.
  • Write down how many I have of that kind
  • Go round the house and list every light in the house, list where it is, what its maximum wattage is and what bulb it has now
  • Comparing that to the ‘instock list’ I just made.
  • Putting a piece of paper in the light bulb box for which lamp in which room its for. (I could also have taped the list to the back of the door in the cupboard they are in, that would work too)
  • After this I’ll know what I need and where it is without the need for tiptoes and a step ladder!

Over the top you may say.. after an afternoon of chasing my tail and NOT wanting to do this again NO. That way no tiptoeing and trying to guess which one I need from the top cupboard. I will be able to look in the notebook and say, its this room, this lamp, its max wattage is this and this is the bulb it has now. I have this many instock. Yes its a faff, yes it will take some time but then next time I’ll know, not have to guess.

If you forgive the obvious pun, I am having a ‘light bulb moment’ for why hubby had so many inventories, like for everything, though they lived on his computer. I too love a system too and love how there was a place for everything and everything in its place. I see where I have muddled things a bit since he passed, but a lot of the sort by type is already there from how he had things, so it makes it quicker. I am in the process of my own Kon Maire journey, its an emotional process and takes a while, pruning and changing things feels both challenging in good and not so good ways but the afterwards is SO SO worth it. I am starting to see areas I have done and they are softer, safer kinder.

SO short version, Save the box from your light bulb and write which room and which lamp it was for, even if you can’t afford spares, this will help you shop for your replacement bulb with less stress than Im having.

Sharing this tale so that you don’t have to invent the wheel from scratch for yourself, I can’t be the only one going nuts trying to figure out the new systems and terms used for lighting now. BTW they are discontinuing incandesent and halogen bulbs, so get em while you can if they are important to you. They are also selling by LUMENS not the old school watts or the watts LED. Another good reason to keep your old packaging or make a note of it somewhere you can find the information again.

OK rant over, I’m off to put light bulbs that don’t fit, back in the cupboard, and work all this shizell out another day.

I wish you luck and success with your light bulb journey and thanks to the wonderful people at Moonlight design for having a wonderful blog post written in plain english in a way that is easy to follow. THANK YOU xx

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

Welcome Back

Well here we are, September already and the helterskelter slip slide into that thing in December. Before the madness ensues, there are some wonderful things to look forward to; Self Care September, Artober, PAD Challenge (Poem A Day) in November. So grab a cup of something you enjoy and lets have a chat about the first on the list, Self Care September. A great pencil case/handbag size companion for Self Care September is Lottie doll, ‘Be Kind’, here she is with a card from Goddess Love oracle deck by Wendy Andrew, the card I pulled for the overall energy for Self Care September was; Self Discovery; Dive Deep. Sounds good doesn’t it.

‘Be Kind’ Lottie doll seemed the perfect companion for Self Care September

In previous years I have taken this time to hunker down n circle the preverbial wagons, blanket fort and try to find a still point of rest, as I struggle with anxiety, depression and choronic pain. Self care is important but one I often forget during survival 101 (just trying to basic things, like eat, hydrate and try to sleep!). In the past I’ve bought books, courses or other ‘stuff’ to help parent myself though life’s challenges I’ve shared some in the video below. Susannah Conway had an amazing course The Sacred Alone, all about different ways of taking care of yourself and I’m going to be coming back to that practice with crystals, card decks, meditation. Coming back to Reiki, singing bowls n koshi chimes. Reminding myself of the good things I have in my environment, right here right now. I’ll be sharing great sites where I’ve found wonderful Meditations and ASMR stuff that helps me sleep. Hands up who hasn’t been able to sleep?

Here is a video of the sort of books I’ll be taking time with and always help me feel companioned. If you are looking for some ideas for kind books for unkind days to companion you through Self Care September and the darker evenings, I offer you this video of my favorite books.

I have more faves now, but don’t wanna give you all the content for September in one day eh. I’ll post when I can, pain levels permitting. (Previously I’d have prepped this months ago and just have it all set to go live on certain days but well, life got in the way).

This isn’t gonna be a time of bringing new stuff in for me

I have fed that over the years, I’m doing some Marie Kondo, or should that be Kon Maire on my stuff, as and when I can, so its a bit of a different feel this time round. This year, Self Care September, is more about connecting with my environment and what I have already. Pacing is something I really need to work on, I keep rushing at things when pain levels allow me too and then sprain something and end up back not able to do anything for so long. Boom n bust. So thats something I defo need to get better at. Being kinder to myself when that happens, with the Sacred Alone Practice. File me under #processing. Physical, mental and emotional, so trying to find kind ways to process a lot.

PLAY is gonna be a part of it

You have probably noticed that due to lack of dexterity, making art, cards n books has had to take a back seat on the blog and in my life. I’m sad about that, but saving ‘spoons’ for essentails. As a kid, I used to enjoy dolls and the bjds n Schildkrot dolls are wonderful company and pose great for drawing (when I have dexterity to do that) but the simple pleasure of swapping outfits on some dolls has been just too expensive on those dolls, so I’ve invested in some… what are known in the doll hobby, as play line dolls. Thats dolls like barbie, etc. I’d share more on You Tube but don’t want to get the channel designated for kids coz then no comments! The robots that decide that are not very chatty n rules are forever changing.

My fave playline dolls at the present are Lottie dolls, more about them in the coming posts. I have a couple of Matel Creatable World dolls. I like how they are gender neutral and very posable, those also come with a selection of outfits which scratches my itch to change clothes on the dolls. There are three made to move Barbies in my toy box too, thankfully they have more ethnic diverstity in that range now, but I prefer Lottie dolls. Not a fan of the less than human proportions on Barbies, poor girls would need a corset for that waistline.

Poetry and writing

Staying on the creative side, if you scroll back a bit, you will see the crochet collection of animals I have collected. These are characters in a book of stories I’m writing. So far the stories about them have come out in verse. I don’t specifically sit to write poems, my poems just come to me. I’ll be making sarnie and a line comes into my head and another and I have to get a notebook n pen to write it down before I forget it. Thats fun. Then I write them up into a nice book and illustrate it another day and colour the illustrations antothe day again. Then on the weeks when I can’t create, I hang out with the dolls n characters n read the journal.

What about Art

I’ve definately fallen back in love with art, and thanks to Jane Davenport classes it can be just me and a sketch book. Pic candle is brilliant and exploring Kawaii. Art that doesn’t need a lot of supplies and can be picked up n put down without a lot of getting stuff out or putting stuff away. A sketch pad n pencil case level of art is the way to go atm. I’ll share more in coming posts.

This all comes back to pacing, what pain levels and the weather allow. Its not a choice I choose to make. Its life triage, what do I most need to do to stay alive, then what is most urgent, then how long do I need to recover from that. If I can hold a pen, I like to draw on really good days I like to write. But any of these things take their toll so its down to pacing as to what I can get away with and still have dexterity to eat a bit, even if thats just cereal.

It is what it is, we all have our challenges don’t we.

But I’ll write when I can, and even if its not all in September I’ll share some lovely sites with you, as soon as I can.

Links

  • Susannah Conway Susanah Conway, do sign up for her wonderful newsletters, she calls them love letters n they are so amazing. Doing so also gets u access to secret parts of the site which have all kinds of wonderful things to join in with, watch or listen to. (no spoilers)
  • Lottie Dolls https://uk.lottie.com/ They have lots of ethnic diversity in the range, love these dolls. One word, NICE, not to disrepsect other brands but these are just really nice dolls. But I’ll do a post specifically on them soon, so watch this space.

How about you, will you be doing Self Care September and what will that look like for you? Do let me know in the comments.

This blog is going in a few new directions isn’t it, but keeps the spirit and heart I created it with. A joy of creating and a wish to share that journey. I hope you will stick with me, and thanks to everyone who has read this blog over the years. Do keep an eye on the You Tube channel, Sometimes when I can’t write, I make a video instead.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

Welcome Back

Today I’m going to share my research on alcohol markers. I have seen others get wonderful results with this kind of pen but when I tried to use them some years ago, the fumes from the alcohol gave me such bad headaches, that I gave up on them. The brand I had been using was Letraset Promarkers. That brand is now owned by Winsor and Newton. I have been drawing some chibi style charcters and its going so well that I wanted to give alcohol markers another try, so lets have a look at the options I was looking at.

Typo Markers

Given my poor results in the past I didn’t want to go for a large set straight off. I had an email from WHSmith with 3 for 2 type stuff and had a look at some markers there. Typo was one listed a set of 36 pens for £30. https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/typo-artists-dual-nib-marker-pen-36-pack/9357067236486.html (correct at time of writing 2021) but no mention of what type of nibs they have so off I went to You Tube to find out more. The video I found was

Jasmin O’Grady’s Typo markers vs Copic markers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqkH8PBJWSY

Ohuhu Alcohol Markers

Makers site: Ohuhu https://www.ohuhu.com/ USA site but for the most up to date info check here first. Looks like on their own site there are now individual markers available and a colourless blender.

Buying hints, at the time of writing I found sets of Ohuhu on Amazon UK, not individual pens. (keep an eye on the description on your set of choice, there are different nib options so check carefully to get the nib combination you really want. Some sets are BRUSH and CHISEL others are Fine and chisel.

Review, this video is by DrawingWiffWaffles, called A big bucket of 120 Ohuhu Brush markers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCAG3ctMxKg its a good one as it also has a review of a sketch book by the same brand. Keep an eye on the dates listed on the videos, information correct at time of creation but over time, the range available has changed and what nib types and the makers site in 2021 lists individual pens as now available.

Review, The Fruigal Crafter Lindsay Weirich has a video form 2019 called New Ohuhu Brush tip alcohol Marker and she also describes how to refil them with ink from other brands https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMgfJ2KZIvk

Tutorial for how to blend alcohol markers by Lucid Neema https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbZQFRE8wCk

Alcohol marker comparison, Kasey Golden shows 10 brands of alcohol markers compaired here. title Which alcohol marker is the best, testing 10 brands. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OG8RNbUt8c Useful comparison for price, colour (number of colours available) brush nib, refillable, single, availability, swatch, smudge, layer, blend. Products compaired Ohuhu Markers Arrtx Markers Illo Hue Markers Spectrum Noir Markers Artist’s Loft Markers Spectra AD Markers Prismacolor Markers Master’s Touch Markers Winsor & Newton Promarkers Copic Markers Strathmore® Marker Paper.

Copic markers

I didn’t research this in depth, due to the cost, but Im aware that these are loved by many alcohol marker users, so I have included some information here.

Copic official site in Japan https://copic.jp/en/

Where to buy Though they are available in many high street retailers and online art stores too. I link to MAIN makers site as information on blogs n forums and review videos can date and no longer be the current information, so going direct to a makers site, will allow you to find out what is currently true whenever you read this.

ALL about Copic, Here is a 2014 video from Pop Sketcher visiting the Copic marker stand at Comicon. Lots of useful info about choosing paper type based on what you are creating and your style and so much more. MUST SEE Copic markers mega product tour by Pop Sketcher https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgMhTvuSLNo This really was a well titled and well made video. Id definately recommend you start here, and then research out from there for what is available in your price budget once you understand all this a little better.

Wow really learnt a lot from that video by Pop Sketcher, I like that Copic’s are from Japan, coz Japan KNOWS ink and paper. I’m gonna have to try these at some point. Ciao are same ink, same nibs as the sketch but just smaller barrels so they are a little cheaper to try out, but the smaller size means you will need to refill them more often. but so much to learn on here. If ur brand new to markers even if you don’t go with this brand, this video is amazing for all the technical info to help you choose and understand the products n numbering system.

Which did I go for?

I have tried Spectrum Noir products before and personally I didn’t love the material used on the nibs, I don’t have the funds for Copics, though Im not ruling out trying a few if I get on ok with others. The cautious within me was very tempted by the Typo but not sure on the nibs on those and felt I would be repeating the not enough colours to blend so well. The ohuhu is very tempting and my inner magpie wants ALL the colours, but sensible me also not wanting a million pens; cost plus storage issues, plus not having tried them before to know how intense the smell will be with these.

So after watching a lot of videos I went back to Amazon for another look round. Then I found a brand I hadn’t remebered as somewhere that did markers, Sationary Island. https://stationeryisland.com/ Now if you read this blog a lot you will know I LOVE their journals, I have lots of their dot grid ones and a plain paper one too. The quality has been amazing.

I had a look on You Tube and the only video review I found on the Stationary Island Alcohol Markers, was from Coby Coxen Marker from April 2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AkCumNz9sY

Why did I choose them, firstly as I just said the fantastic quality of their journals, leads me to believe they aren’t gonna put their name on a rubbish product. Also the price, as someone wanting to try this kind of marker out they have just 11 greys for £7.99 and you can really customise which colours you are interested in, with the smaller sets, just skin tones, just the brighter colours, or go all in for the 96. Wish I’d waited till morning. I bought on amazon for £42.99 but on their own site is £34.99 and free delivery over £5. Well there u go, that’s what happens when u research late at night instead of waiting till morning!

Another reason for choosing them is that on Amazon reviews they said they were less smelly than other alcohol marker than the review had from other brands, and for me thats a real big selling point too as I get headaches from the ones I had from Letraset. DOn’t think there is a blender pen in the set so I ordered a Tombow blender pen for alcohol markers and a Ohuhu sketch pad for the paper, because if I have learnt anything with crafting over the years, sometimes its YOU and you need to practice and learn a new skill but it CAN also be about using the right product with the right surface for it.

One last thing, if you are going to use alcohol markers protect the surface UNDER the paper you are working on, Im going to use the teflon sheet that I use for ink blending, its thin and will catch any bleed through to stop it going on the table or the next page on the book. Just know its gonna bleed through to the back of the page you are working on pretty much whatever you do, so if that is gonna bother you, either choose different markers to be ready to paste the next journal page to it to hide that, or glue in some other ‘thing’ to hide it. If you have a look at my video ‘how to make alcoholic baubles, the Ranger Alcohol blending solution will clean up marker residue from glass surface and off the craft sheet. I got my non stick sheet from Lakeland as its same stuff and cheaper on a roll than the art branded ones.

Lakeland magic liner sheet, its non stick so stuff wipes off it and perfect when using alcohol ink place a piece of this under your project to stop the ink bleed through going on your table or the next page in your book. I also use this for papercraft for ink blending with foam with ink applicators works a treatwith this. The one available now is 33cm x 100 cm for 10.99. https://www.lakeland.co.uk/5571/Magic-Reusable-Non-Stick-Baking-Tray-Liner-Sheet-33-x-100cm so you can cut it to any size you need. Its heat resistant so great to use under projects like heat embossing and triple embossing but because HEAT will go THROUGH it, you will want to protect from the heat from your heat gun. When you want to store it either leave it FLAT or ROLL it, don’t fold it or you will break the fibers within it.

Alcoholic Baubles https://billiescraftroom.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/video-tutorial-alcoholic-baubles/

Links

You Tube channel shout outs for videos I’ve linked to in this post.

If you want to know my fave places to buy art supplies check out my

Art tab https://billiescraftroom.wordpress.com/art/

Look for art supplies and retailers https://billiescraftroom.wordpress.com/art/art-supplies-manufacturers/

best wishes and thanks for reading, sorry for lack of pictures but my new markers haven’t arrived yet. So I’ll pop a picture in after they arrive.

Stay safe and make art, or what ever makes you feel softer and safer in times of challenge

Billie.

Welcome Back

Wanted to share some pictures of my new crochet pals, that I bought from Rues Bears on Etsy. There is Oscar the bear, Mr Bamboo the panda, Rae and Cooper the puppies and well I call them; Lilli and Lavender, the grey mice but Rue calles them Sebastian mouse in case you are tempted to buy any of these for yourselves after reading this and seeing them here.

Mr Bamboo the panda and Oscar the bear. Rues Bears
Mr Bamboo the panda and Oscar the bear.
Crochet puppy dogs, made by Rues Bears
Rae is the chocolate brown puppy dog and Cooper is the one in the copper coloured jumper. Hand made by Rues Bears on Etsy
Two grey crochet mice
I call these two Lilli and Lavendar. Lili wears the pink jumper and Lavender the lavender col jumper. Hand made by Rues Bears.

I have a very busy brain, its hypervigilant and over thinks everything which is hard work but I also notice that sometimes words start to rhyme and thats when the poems happen. I think I posted previously about the crochet mice I collected from another Etsy seller and had been writing stories in verse about them. Later I found someone else and bought a tiny crochet girl and an tiny crochet elephant. THEN I found Rues Bears and now I have a box full.

Crochet animals
Some of my crochet companions for creative writing.

I call it my story box, its been really good for my mental health, as on days when the words flow I write story in verse about an adventure one or the other of them has had. Other days I draw little illustrations along the side, which is making me very very hapy as I’ve always wanted to be able to draw and my drawing is getting a lot better, with the practice. Other days I ink in the drawings and another time I colour them in. On days when my body isn’t playing or I feel awful I can go to the journal and read the stories.

Box of crochet animals
This is the story box, filled with crochet animals from Etsy. I use this to inspire my writing and drawing.

I was the person at school, who loved when you were given a picture and asked to write a story about it. I admired people like Beatrix Potter who would draw from nature around her and write her stories. I also grew up watching the programes from Small Films studios; Noggin the Nog, Ivor the Engine and of course not forgetting the Clangers. I have no desire to get into stop motion filming but thanks to online drawing classes with Jane Davenport, I’m please with how my confidence in drawing is getting better and being able to draw and colour them in on days when I can’t write and on the good days when the words flow write the stories. Its pure joy. Its also good as it takes so few supplies which is good when my energy is so low.

I’m glad I grew up in an era before the internet, where you made up your own games your own entertainment from imagination. Now tech is great, but it can be a mixed blessing and some time away from it can also be a good thing. I’m thankful my parents gave me pens and pencils and paint as well as books handed down from around the family. We didn’t have holidays or spare funds but they made up with that with TIME, and you can’t buy that in any shop, and it means the world.

At times though the world gets so swirly, too fast, too loud to spikey and I fall off in overwhelm, then can’t process anything. I need to take time away from all that sometimes and be still, meditate, cry, it all out. Then after enough rest maybe on good days create. Life sure is a roller coaster of challenges and emotions and sometimes NOT trying to keep up, when it gets too much is a kind thing to do for yourself and your sanity. On those days I turn to the dolls and the crochet animals n just play.

I’ve also found some new channels on You Tube and a few more self help books have come home. But I’m guessing people are on this blog for creative stuff, so I hope you enjoy this post and the photos.

If you are in love with these characters too, here is RuesBears on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RuesBears and you can choose your character and its choice of jumper colour. Rue is a wonderful person and I highly recommend her, and no I’m not paid to write this, in case any one wonders.

Best wishes and thanks for reading. I’ll write again when I can. stay safe

Billie 🌈🙏🦓

Welcome Back

I’d like to share a video I made a while ago, where I share the books that I have found good companions for self care when I am struggling with anxiety and depression.

What helps each of us is as unique as we are. What helps me moment to moment varies too. Sometimes a gentle story on a Kindle reading it outloud to me helps, other times I’m looking for an activity, like the art, journalling and so on. I adore the Kate Allan books they have been wonderful for when I can’t process thoughts feelings and emotions and just want to hear words of ecouragement that one day it will be ok, even if it isn’t right now.

Links

Books mentioned in this film are;

I have included links to these books on Amazon UK, but I am not sponsored in any way for this.

And the one I forgot to add in the film is by Johanna Basford

I also enjoy Johanna Basford books, her drawing inky wonderlands is brilliant here is her video walk though of that book. I forgot to add that one in the video I made, this video is JOHANNA’S.

Check out her You Tube channel as she often does video tutorials for drawing and its also soothing to watch her colour in. Johanna Basford on You Tube

I hope you find something here that is helpful, for yourself of someone you know. Please share it so others can find it. If you too, are struggling with your mental health, please look at the post I put up yesterday which has links out to sites of support. Some days we can, some days we can for a little while, and somedays we just can’t. Its not great, its not fun, its not a fad or fashion and for a lot of us its not all over in a month or so. Be kind to yourself when you are struggling. The media says a lot and not all of it helpful. Take in what helps and walk away from the rest. Its such a personal thing as to what each of us find helpful in the moment. This post isn’t trying to tell anyone what to do, say or think, its just sharing what was holding me safely in the moment I wrote it or filmed it.

I own the fact its an opion NOT a fact, and not dummping this opinion on anyone. I hope you find what helps you feel softer, safer and makes this moment feel a bit more possible for you. Stay safe and I hope the day is as kind to you as possible x

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

Welcome Back

Continuing the theme of Mental Health Awareness week, there used to be a site called Elefriends. Elefriends was the online community for peer support for mental health issues, run by the charity Mind. Its had a rebrand to Side By Side now. I missed the old elephant logo, and there are a few other features I miss on the new site but they are working on them. My new writing companion Ethan the elephant, is a reminder to do things that take care of my mental health and the creative writing journal is one of them.

Here is todays poem.

Stationary Island A5 journal and Ethan Elephant from Rues Bears
Here is Ethan the Elephant from Rue’s Bears on Etsy next to my A5 Stationary Island journal, where my stories and poems live.

Ethan the elefriend

.

Ethan is my elefriend

He helps me feel alright

I like to hold him close

When I worry or at night.

.

He listens to my worries,

He listens to my woes.

And I know he wouldn’t share them,

With anyone we know.

.

So if your’re feeling worried,

If you’re feeling scared,

Go and look for Ethan

And know he’s always there.

by @billiescraftroom.wordpress.com

Links

If you are struggling with your mental health here is a link to a page of support sites; https://aspacetoheal.wordpress.com/healing/mental-health/

Being honest I’m regretting the titling of that blog, as I’ve since learnt that for me its more about learing to live WITH stuff rather than the constant search for a ‘fix’. But there is a lot on there that could offer support and options for mental health and grief support links to https://aspacetoheal.wordpress.com/healing/peaceful-place/ It was a place to gather information from around the web, so it was in one place. As when you are feeling most unwell, is when you can be least able to search and scroll for assistance.

If you are looking for the new peer support site Side by Side, formally know as Elefriends and run by the Charity Mind, here it is https://sidebyside.mind.org.uk/ For anyone wondering why I’m showing the whole link, rather than making it pretty by hiding it under just the names, its because not everyone feels safe clicking links and this way you can type it into your browswer yourself.

If you can’t do phones, the Samaritans does offer email option and there is another place called Shout who offer text support via mobiles. Text SHOUT to 85258 https://giveusashout.org

Blurt https://www.blurtitout.org/ have wonderful newsletters of support, they sell a Buddy Box which is a monthly subscription box full of a range of items to excite your senses, great for TLC. If you are not into surprises and perfer to choose your own content you can buy many of the items individually to to make your own box, you can also buy them as a one off thing. Or if you are feeling flush and want to do a random act of kindness, how about sending them a donation to help their work or to gift one of their boxes to someone who may not otherwise be able to afford it.

If you are wondering about Ethan the elephant, check out my previous posts and if you would like one for yourself please visit Rues Bears on Etsy. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RuesBears

For clarity this crochet elephant Ethan, is nothing to do with the charity Find or the previous elefriends brand. He is adorable I love him and I made that association in the poem so he reminds me to take care of my mental health.

Please share this page with anyone you know who may be struggling. If you are wondering what to say if someone opens up to you about their mental health, please know the best thing you can do is LISTEN, to BE THERE and although its ok to offer suggestions. PLEASE please ask them first if that is what they want. When you are feeling most unwell, the last thing you have is the energy to fend of suggestions, that may have come from the best of places but you just don’t have the energy to process that. If you find yourself starting a sentance with ‘you should, you must, why don’t you’. JUST STOP. Your opinion is YOURS just like mine is mine and they are based on our OWN experiences and not always helpful to others.

Just saying.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x