Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Welcome Back

Just popped into wish you all a Merry ‘whatever’ and may the season be as kind to you as possible. Please know its always OK to say NO especially if your health or sanity depends on it. The expectations of others are THEIRS, not a to do list….just saying.

Christmas or Yule card 2019

Winter wishes, you choose your celebration.

To all those I forgot to send cards too ‘Sorry, brain fog’.

To all those I have lost contact with, I send you love, wish you well and hope the coming year is as kind to you as possible.

Thank you to everyone still reading this blog, even though it gets neglected. I have plans for some more videos, taking that You Tube channel in a new direction in the coming years. Expect Crystals and card decks and maybe some bullet journalling as I figure out ways to cope with high pain levels, anxiety and depression etc.

I started a new blog for the crystals and card deck stuff its called The Willow Tree Retreat, I had hoped it could have the same layout as this one but this theme has been retired now and I need to spend more time tidying it up and adding more stuff but its a work in progress and like this one, dependant on health limitations but I’m doing the best that I can, like all of us.


The Willow Tree Retreat

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you when I can

Billie x

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Welcome Back

Gee no posts for month then two in one day. I’ve been so stressed about the COPPA changes on You Tube n what to do or not do that I made a response video. You can see it here

Its very different to my usual style of video. This is my first chat on YT vlog. In the past I had a computer that had editing software on it, I no longer have that option on the new one, so had to wing it. I had every light on in the room but being winter it still looks dark. You might need to turn the sound up at the start, as I was talking to the camera from behind so its a bit quiet in places.

You can probably hear the depression, it makes it hard to think n make sentances n I was trying to hold it together long enough to say what I wanted to. Please share the video, there are so many kind lovely crafters online n the changes to You Tube have massive implications and lots of ppl are either unaware or ignoring it.

Please also see my earlier post on this subject as I have included links to legal advice interview on one channel and also to the latest (at time of writing) FTC update.

COPPA update 22 november 2019

Best wishes and thanks for reading and watching, Pls share the link on social media, more ppl need to be aware of this and its possible impacts for art n craft channels.

Billie x

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Welcome Back

There has been an update to the COPPA rules, new version released 22 November 2019. Here is the link to the document https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSEpnG7eBKA If you create content for You Tube or have done in the past, please DON’T ignore the COPPA thing. I have put a channel update post on the community tab of my You Tube channel.

I will be uploading more on this in the coming weeks. TBH I was going to come on here this morning with news that I will be setting my YT channel videos to private to prevent the possibility of the extensive fines if their bots decide my content is aimed at kids. Its NOT it never was, but the rules that had been listed previously had said even if content ‘could be appealing to kids’

TBH at this point its still so up in the air, that I’m seriously thinking to setting it to private, n seeing what happens and deciding from there. I don’t want to loose my YT channel. I don’t monetise the videos (I don’t get paid n never have) if YT can’t put ads by your videos and don’t make money from them they can delete yr channel 😦 If you set your channel to kids content that means No comments, ppl can’t put them on playlists n yr videos aren’t searchable.

Its all so wooley

This is a panic response post soz. just saw a latest update video that may mean more of us are ok but really not sure crafters and artists will be protected during this.

Do your research on COPPA and how it may effect content you have uploaded to YT

Please watch these videos if you have uploaded content to You Tube. Keep an eye on the date stamps on videos, this seems to be an evolving topic.

Leggo creators post that includes the latest COPPA update https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSEpnG7eBKA


My first COPPA video: https://youtu.be/4kNlLpRe1B8 Ian Corzine’s most recent video about COPPA:

What the FTC Commissioners Told My Attorney about COPPA

UPDATE 11/25 Part TWO: https://youtu.be/wIhZAfmQqt4 UPDATE 11/29 Ian Corzine’s most recent update: https://tinyurl.com/s2vwqbk UPDATE 11/23 Keep

Good luck everyone, if you have the option for legal advice this is a good time to use it.

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Welcome Back

My creative Muse has been calling me back to my inks. I feel called to mixed media but now the craft studio is no longer habitable its limiting what and where I can create. Turns out while I’ve been at the back of the cave hibernating, my fave Adirondack inks are no more 😦 that makes me sad.

The story so far. The studio space (part of the shed outside) is no longer habitable, it hasn’t been for a long time but the time has come for me to admit that to myself and release to the world what was in there. I rescued the stamps that were most precious to me, un-mounted them and left the rest to the fates. They are now going to be rehomed.

The pencils I’m very thankful I brought indoors when I did as now even inside the cupboards the mould that covers the ceiling and walls is also creating a lot of damp in there too, even stuff inside a cupboard inside a box has a layer of dusty green mould.

A lot has happened, I no longer feel called to make cards, my heart just isn’t in it. I would love a messy space where I could keep drawers of paint,easy to hand, and space to throw ink and paint around n not have to worry if it hit the wall or floor, but that is no longer my story. I am finding the process sad and painful, but its not worse than knowing it HAS to be done and stressing about the how.

Circling the wagons

Life laundry. Do I use it…no. Do I need it..no, do I want it? Parts of me do but not in its current state, it all holds so many memories of what WAS but can no longer be. 4 years ago, when (it) first happened, I had a desire to burn the lot, dump the lot, I just couldn’t be around it. I left the studio closed, unloved, forgotten but not forgotten. The irony, now I feel called back to it, time has moved on in there, nature has reclaimed an unused space and now a lot of it is unusable.

I am not the person I used to be, I journal, I write poems, I have been exploring Jane Davenport classes, they can be done with less supplies when your energies are low. I got by on a pencil case with a pencil, putty eraser, a few fine liners and a sketchbook. Gradually the water colours called so there is a box of those and a water brush. They tempted me back to my many and varied coloured pencil collection. The acrylics call but they feel a step too far, tangling with a box to get them out, the clear up before I can eat on the table. So yeah, they sit in the box and wait for me.

Watching a craft TV show, my first in ages, I saw Tim Holtz n Ranger stuff, I was sad, remembering all the cut n dry foam I had carefully mounted onto the wooden blocks I had found in a craft store and that they too had gone rotten. I decided to invest in a few of Rangers ink pad handles and the show sent free Tim Holtz book. It called me back, the nylon back on the foam was ok to remove from the blocks, I had 3 so I wouldn’t have to swap them too much during a certain project. I made a background and used the Tim Holtz stamp platform I had bought earlier in the year. I need better card stock, what I used wasn’t perfect. But I remembered the joy of the inks and colours.

The Tim Holtz Stamp platform by Ranger has been great, my fine motor skills are worse so blocks have been a bit much but this platform means the bigger stamps are now possible. Maybe one day I’ll have the strength to gradually go through the stamps I saved and re mount them again. I feel more called to mixed media and journalling and adding sketches to my words.

Its been about ten years since I started to make cards, I just don’t have the heart, dexterity or energy for it now. I was just watching Sara from Crafters companion on C&C, tempted me to rebuy the eneloper and box making board but I’ve sat on my hands. I have a Scor It board that lets me easily score card, and the card stock stash I had, is also in the process of going. I’m trying to avoid landfill as much as possible. so donating to charities that can reuse things with kids groups, or sell on to raise their funds.

My heart hurts in this process, but there comes a time when that saying  about ‘staying tight in the bud is more painfull than opening up.’ A wise man Stephen Baker told me once, ‘You never have to have this day again’. He also said ‘Its ok to try’. I know the process is going to be hard, painful on many levels and involve many tears. Evolution takes a lot of time and energy, a lot of processing


Lessons noticed

I can’t say learned, this lesson will be repeated until its understood, it has been repeated to me more times than I care to share.

I did save the most precious things to me, at the start. The lesson was, showing me how much I had ‘saved’ out there in the past, because it was too nice, too special to use and that when you do that, and wait too long, the moment passes. Now I am not running after every pretty shiny thing that comes on TV. I have no where to put it and no real need for it. Now I come to this hobby with discernment. I am trying to look at where I am right now. Who I am right now, what I make and who I make it for, then and only then do I consider if what is show will fit with that and help it or is just the latest flower and not for me. I buy artist quality paint because I know it will be a more pleasant experience than the student quality, that by doing so, I will want to use it.

It is Autumn, the leaves are falling, the nights drawing in, it is the season of endings, the lesson in all this is change. It is the way of the world, I can hate change as much as I want but it won’t stop it happening. Like my Dad used to say ‘There is a time for everything’, I won’t finish that quote it makes me cry. He was very stoic about his terminal illness, ‘a time to be born’ and all that. Last week would have been his birthday and was also another anniversary of my husbands passing. I HATE this time of year with a passion, too many anniversaires of those who have passed. Colour for me right now, is a way to express the thoughts feelings and emotions that are beyond words but need to be expressed. Screaming in colour on the page, scribbling in pencils, crayons is very therapeutic.

This is the page that I’m on. I want to blog, to create, to make and will do so, as and when pain levels allow. Usually at this point I would apologize profusely for this not being a happy positive post. But it is what it is, the world isn’t all puppies, kittens etc. Sometimes its necessary to be truthful for how your world is for you, and if we all did that, maybe we would see a need in each other, and be kinder to each other along the way. Faking isn’t helping anyone, pretending you are ok when inside you are crying means no one knows you could do with a hand. The world needs us to be honest with each other. There is way more fake than just fake news.

May you find the thing that makes you smile, and may you find others who share your journey with kindness love and respect.

Sending you peace love and light


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Welcome Back


Haven’t posted in ages, well haven’t crafted in ages either TBH. I made the rag doll Matilda and still need to show you pictures of that.

Have watched a few shows on C&C. Still loving Craft Artist but haven’t had the energy to do that, but have just bought their adorable oriental digikit so hope to have a play with that.

In other news, I have been having a go a poetry. Its been a way to heal, seems my soul has a lot to say and is very angry. Most of it is quite personal stuff, so not for on here.

I still think of you and want to come back and write this blog again, so I’m going to post now and then as energy allows. So its worth keeping me on your readers, honest.

Some stuff just needs a lot of time to process and find ways to deal with and heal from and that’s what I’m doing and why I’ve not been posting here.

I wish you all joy peace and happiness and will return as soon as I am able too.


Best wishes and thanks for reading


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I have a good reason

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.


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.

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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.

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