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Happy Lammas. The wonderful Stephannie Burrows, over on Three Trees Tarot, is doing a pre launch, of the mini deck version of the stunning Oak Ash and Thorn Tarot deck, often known as OAT. The prelaunch starts 7pm (UK time) on 1st August 2022. Here are a few images, of some of the OAT cards, from the full size deck and more information on where to get the decks is later in the post. ❀ This is my soul deck❀

A selction of cards from Oak Ash and Thorn Tarot deck.

The prelaunch for the mini deck is on for all of August and there is also a discount sale across the rest of the shop for the month too. This is my soul deck, its inspired a lot of poetry. If you want the full size decks of Oak Ash and Thorn or the second deck in the series Smoke Ash and Embers, I’ve put some links in below for where to find out more about them and where to buy.

This is the belly band from around the tarot deck Oak Ash and Thorn
This is the belly band from around the tarot deck Oak Ash and Thorn, showing the back of the band with deck information on.
Here is the side of the box wrap around from Oak Ash and Thorn Tarot deck, showing the author Stephanie Burrows and the artist name Adfam Oehlers

To find out more here are some links

Video Links You Tube from The Hermits Cave

  • Walk throughs of the full size Oak Ash and Thorn deck, from Simon over on The Hermits Cave You Tube channel: Oak, Ash & Thorn – Unboxing & Walkthrough https://youtu.be/GSKhM2qlDBs
  • Smoke Ash and Embers x this is their second deck; Smoke, Ash & Embers Tarot ~ First Look https://youtu.be/v–I4MmMI2A
  • Oak Ash and Thorn MINI deck preview of the ‘draft copy’ of the deck to see sizing and how images look Mini Oak, Ash & Thorn…. Coming Soon! https://youtu.be/fTVX_RVCLp0

I’m not on commission or anything, just genuinly love this deck. See what you think, if its one you love too. Do you have any of the full size decks already? What do you think of them, do you have a favorite card perhaps? Let me know in the comments, if you wish to.

Make the week ahead be as kind to you as possible

Thanks for reading

Billie

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Welcome Back

Long time no post, health not in a great place. Today sharing some soothing, gentle, You Tube channels, for you to explore. There is so much stress and distress inthe world right now. I thought I would share places that are kind and gentle and soothing. A diverse mix of channels, see what you fancy.

For those missing creative content check out

Art

The Unexpected Gypsy https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzk20sJQ2gq_XB9oCgOWrQA/featured Art studio vlogs. Art by Wendy Robinson

Bookbinding

Sea Lemon for bookbinding https://www.youtube.com/c/SeaLemonDIY

Bitter Melon Bindery ASMR bookbinding https://www.youtube.com/c/bittermelonbindery/featured

DAS Bookbinding https://www.youtube.com/c/DASBookbinding/featured

Fabric

Din Life sewing fabrics and also books https://www.youtube.com/c/DinLife

Furoshiki, seriously research this, on You Tube! Its amazing. Practice with a bandana if thats all u have. I’m bundling book and kind things together for when things are tough. Self care september soon, so its good to gather stuff u love togther. Its the Japanese art of wrapping with cloth. So sustainable, you can also make a bag in many variations, ditch the plastic and try this

How to turn Linens and shawls into bags https://youtu.be/pnLZOj5V-f8

Kakefuda Kyoto – Famous Furoshiki Store https://youtu.be/NC7MH3EzBWM

If its tempting u to shop there is a store in the UK called Kindly Yarn. Here is their website and they have videos on the basics https://www.kindlyyarn.co.uk

How about getting some fabric and stop with the excessive paper and selotape? There are so many nice fabrics around. You can practice with a table cloth or bandana etc to play along as u watch.

Simplistic living

The Cottage Fairy https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCottageFairy/featured

ASMR

The Lune INNATE https://www.youtube.com/c/LuneINNATEASMRenergy β€πŸ™ Gillian and her Reiki ASMR, sooo soothing. Reiki Master and energy worker. Thanks for helping me groumd and sleep Gillian.

Holistic Mystic Ysania https://www.youtube.com/c/HolisticMysticYsaniaASMR Galactic Reiki. Helping u soothe and settle.

Guided Vibrations https://www.youtube.com/c/GuidedVibrations Sound baths etc if u prefer without the narration their other channel Healing vibrations has no talking https://www.youtube.com/c/HealingVibrationsMedia

Books

These are the books that are holding safe space for me at the moment. Yey for the kindle reading them out to me. Im crashing now, so can’t link them all, copy n paste them into searches in ur fave store.

Depression Recovery Letters James Withey is brilliant from this project I found his other books;

How to Anxiety to sod off

How to tell depression to f off

Thanks for sticking with me, when I post so rarely. I think about the blog, just don’t have the health to allow me to write or create as much as I’d like too.

Best wishes and thanks for reading

Billie

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Welcome Back

Today, a picture of the doll pal I watched the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee thing on tv with. His name is Max. Congratulations your magesty, for 70 years of dedication. Many thanks for all you do.

Maxy Muffin boy Doll Gotz
Here is Max, my Maxy Muffin boy doll, by Gotz.

Max is a doll by Gotz, he is a Maxy Muffin boy doll 42 cm. Max has closing eyes, when you lay him down, which open when he sits up. He has rooted hair, the upper arms, legs and torso are softly padded. but the lower limbs and head are all vinyl, so he looks great in clothes.

Thankfully he is not a scented doll, as those kinds give me migrains. He is really well made and well finished and the vinyl is matt, firm and feels pleasant to handle. Max has some weight in the base, so if you get him at just the right spot, he can sit up by himself, on the edge of a chair or table for example.

I love my other dolls too, but this one is for cuddling. He is in the play line of dolls.

If you love him too, here is where you can find him. I put the shop name in as well as the listing itself as sometimes pages move, this way you can still go to the main shop page, to search for them.

Links

UK

πŸ˜” Im hunkered down, as my mh isn’t great. So closed curtains, blanket and my doll pal for me. Its hard to find words, n make sentances, so not posting much, thanks for sticking with me. Lots of old posts for you to explore.

🌞 If you are out and about celebrating, have a great time and I hope the weather is great for your events.

Best wishes and thanks for reading

Billie

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Welcome Back

I have a confession, I LOVE books. I was very lucky as a child that my Mum surrounded me with books and paper and crayons. Now these books were not always new, a lot were pre loved by others she knew and handed round to us to enjoy, keep or pass along.

My dyslexia makes reading novels difficult, so its all in the font as to weather I can read it or not. Kindle was a breakthrough from that point of view, as I was able to make the font larger, spaces between the lines larger, and even have it read aloud to me, so I admit thats the way I go for novels.

Why is this a new kind of book club?

There are lots of book clubs about novels, so this book club is a bit different, this one will be for art themed books, kind books, self care books, empowering books that kind of thing.

The sort of books that make you want to grab your art supplies and get creating. The kind of books you can dip into as and when you have a few moments spare, because not everyone has big blocks of time or capacity to read long posts, or long books.

I know in the past my posts have been really indepth reviews, but honestly, my health issues are making that kind of post difficult now. Instead and to keep posts short n sweet (that’s a first eh!) I’ll keep it minimal. Title, author, ISBN, where to buy and maybe a line or two about why I like it. Then an invitation for you to share your thoughts on the book, if you have it too.

Do you like this idea? Shall I start writting some of these?

Would love some feed back on this, so thought I’d ask while people are maybe not back at work yet.

As a spoonie, I have to plan ahead and write when I can, as I can’t post to order. This will need to be written ahead of time so they can go out in something like a regular slot.

I have some more ideas for the blog, so keep checking back in the coming days to find out more.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

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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

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Welcome Back

Just wanted to thank everyone for visiting this blog, and for all your kind comments. The topics have been evolving this year, my limited dexterity means it affects what I do how much and when, so I have been exploring new areas. Like the ball jointed dolls and recently starting to share my poetry and interest in card decks. I still love all the hobbies that I started this blog to talk about, its just that my body isn’t allowing me to do them as much any more. I wanted to keep this blog rather than starting new one, so I hope you will stick with me and see where the coming years take us with the creativity. Here is a card I made, its so rare for me to make cards now I thought you might like to see it.

Seasons Greetings
Seasons Greetings

The card features a Santoro Gorguss stamp which I coloured in with Faber Castel Polychromos pencils. Around the edges I used Adirondak inks by Ranger and Rubber Stamp Tapestry stamps to create the Christmas tree foliage and baubles.

Times are difficult for us all, hunkering down and doing our best to get by moment to moment has been the underlying theme of the year. When so much is uncertain and uncontrolable, turning back to simpler things like reading books, listeing to music, making art with the supplies we have can make a big difference.

This year I started to draw more, I discovered Kawaii art style cute faces on everyday shapes or objects and there is a You Tube channel called Pic Candle who has some wonderful illustrations on to draw along with. I got several of her books. I am finding Kate Allan books very reasuring in scary times too. Her books feature sweet animal sketches and then quotes of encouragement. I love her to the moon and back for not only ‘getting’ what is like to have anxiety but that she is owning the fact its a work in progress and something she walks WITH rather than having fixed. There is a lot of pressure from society to ‘fix’ but access to help was very difficult before the pandemic and its not getting easier now. Some books that are all ‘rainbows n butterflies’ have felt like its dismissing the reality that yeah on good days u can get by, butignoring the fact that on other days the reality is very different and Im NOT failing when I need to stay under a blanket with the curtains closed ‘just to stay alive’.

The other books in a similar encouraging ‘holding your hand with this’ kind of style are You are positivley awesome by Stacie Swift. Everyday Calming Rituals by Tania Ahsan. I have bought 356 days of Art by Lorna Scobie, too. I know my hands won’t let me create every day, but its nice to have a book that I can dip into and just doodle along to whatever prompt or part done image is on the page. SLeep Tight Card deck by Sunny Present has some great tips for getting to sleep.

I’ve also found journalling specifically re mental health has been very helpful. I got a stationary Island dot grid journal and wrote about the panic attacks, what helps what doesn’t, the triggers when I know them and the thoughts n feeling that come up. Over the years I realised that there is a pattern, like I react in certain ways and I started a crisis card to help me remember what helped. As time when on I needed more room so I got the journal. Now when things go wonkey, its very comforting to go get that journal and know what helped me through that situation before. I’ve learnt I have about 6 kinds of panic attacks, no wonder I don’t recognise them, the different triggers side slam me. I think of it as the book of life kinda thing.

I was fed up of buying self help books which had stuff that didn’t help, and were either ‘smug sorteds’ (sorry I wouldn’t wish this on anyone and if you found a way to dig out, all hail to you, but some books come across very ‘you’re not trying hard enough’ if you don’t ‘get over it’ and there is more than enough of that attitude in the world already. I’m a bit marmite on mindfulness, it has its uses but isn’t for everyone and isn’t the one size fits all it is sometimes claimed to be. In the right hands, in the right moment its brilliant, but again, some people have made it sound like, if its not working for you its your fault and back we go on the blame game. Im not bashing anyone just being honest that working out what works for you is a very personal thing and there is a lot of blame, shame correction and gaslighting around anyone ‘not making it’.

Gee I was trying to be supportive n seemed to have slipped into ranty soap box sam moments sorry.

Please be as kind to yourself and others as you can in the moment. Just know if you need to hide in a toilet, cupboard or under the cover for a bloody good cry THAT IS OK!! Its your body’s way of letting out the stress, stopping it or trying to keep going holding it in and you end up with aches pains n all sorts. So you do you, and let others do them. We’re all just trying to muddle along without an istruction book aren’t we.

Sending u so many hugs of support. Do pop over to my You Tube as I’ve been sharing some poetry there, as writing too much or too often hurts the hands. (essay girl today eh!) Billies Craftroom You Tube https://www.youtube.com/user/BilliesCraftRoom

Hunker down with your books, art supplies and what ever makes the moment feel softer safer and more possible. We can get through this, but its not gonna be quick, so forget the sprint finish and plan for the long game and pace yourself taking one day or 5 minutes at a time. All we have is right now, and we are doing the best we can with the skills and energy levels we have in that moment.

When u need a hug n there is no one to hug you, grab the softest nicest blanket you have and wrap it around you closely. Imagin its your fave person, holding you safe. If you don’t have a blanket, maybe you have a favorite jumper or cardigan that might work for this too. If it all gets too much, drink a glass of water n go somewhere as quiet as you can find, rest up and know you can try again another day.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie xxx

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Welcome Back

Late the other night I was scrolling, as u do, and I found the most wonderful crochet creatures on Etsy. They HAD to come home, they have inspired sooo many stories and poems, that I bought a new journal especially for them.

The dolls have dolls! Crochet pals arrive and I have so many stories about them.

Hands are wrecked so can’t write or draw or post atm. but hope to share more, when I can. Until then, here are the dolls holding a few of the new mice characters, who’s stories I’m writting. There is more to share but OWW hands 😦

Would you like some crochet pals for your dolls or yourself?

If you would like mice like these, here the shop I bought them from is on Etsy

ElizaLike; Hand crafted paraphernalia Etsy shop link

I think I bought all her mice, but there are still bears there, I have a bear too and its wonderful. Eliza has assured me there will be more mice when time allows.

I have been writting stories and drawing these cute mice and the bear. I have other crochet items on order will let u know about them when they arrive and I’m in love with a little bunny and a unicorn too but life got expensive so having to sit on my hands. Not litterally they are too sore for that but u get the idea.

Self care project; Connecting to your sences

This all came from the fact that anxiety and depression are really bad atm, especially with the pain and dark nights too, so I house forraged for things that FELT nice and gathered them together in a box. These crochet pals are looking nice so too is a book that I just treated myself too which is called The boy the mole the fox and the horse. OMG LOVE LOVE LOVE that book so much. Its a HUG in a book.

MUST rest hands but yeah, if ur looking to take care of yourself in the unsettling times, gather things close that look good, feel good, taste good and smell good. They don’t have to be all in the same place but when the world gets too much, its great to know where they are, and have a safe place to retreat too.

I’ll be under the purple blanket for a while but will come back when I can. I’d say send food but I have allergies, pls send house elves instead.

Best wishes, thanks for reading

Stay safe

Billie πŸ¦“πŸŒˆπŸ™πŸŒˆ

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