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As someone who is housebound, who struggles with dexterity I rely on online food deliveries. In the current situaution with COvid 19, lockdowns and no online food slots unless the site already has you listed as vulnearble, its hard to access food. And harder still to find out how to get classified to access these vulnearble people slots. We are al in this together and we need information in one place as much as possible, so after lots of research I’ve found the following.

How to register as Extremely vulnerable person. .Gov online form

There is a .gov site to register as Extremely vulnerable https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable I link direct to the site as criterior may change as things are moving so fast with all this. The local foodstore I use will only offer slots to those on their own vulnerable person list. and now points people to that .gov site to register. Please read this blog section Disability rights, for lots of helpful resorces.

I started this, and the first question was ‘have you recived a letter from the NHS as being recognised as extremely vulnerable.?’ eek no, I can’t go out, struggle to lift thingshold things or carry things. Couldn’t possibly gather food, in trolly, unpack it at check out, re pack it, get it to a car to load, nor carry it back in the house and that is why home delivery is vital to me but in purest terms no I haven’t had a letter and I was scared that if I said no now, that it might hex it and prevent me being able to use that site again, if their terms changed in the coming weeks.

Sample of NHS England letter sent to Vulnerable people

Off for research for the criterior for being extremely vulnerable. At time of writting 27 March 2020 I found this sample of the letter which is the one the NHS are sending to those ppl they currenlty consider at risk. Here is the PDF I found on NHS Englands website. https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/at-risk-patient-letter-march-2020.pdf

SO currently hoping that a friend who is going to try to get food, when she can is able too, and stays well. If she can’t the does it mean no letter= no chance? The online food shop I use says they are getting the vulnerable persons list from the .gov in the next week, so it sounds like, if you aren’t on that list forget it.

Disability Rights UK

https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/

I did find the Disability RIghts UK website has this page re CV19 its impact and lots of helpful links on there too https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/coronavirus Totally brilliant website for resources and information

Also useful to know was the page Disability rights linked to on the 3 month delay on any face to face assesments for various benefits during governments delay phase https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2020/march/face-face-benefits-appointments-cancelled

Where as I fully understand how difficult this is for the .gov and the shops to mange, as it has happend so fast and SO many pp need help. It also feels that those most vulnerable, who can’t use phones, who struggle with forms, who have no internet and no advocates are going to be at great risk, not just from covid 19 but the impact of not being able to access food and help.

Even if you can use a phone, the lines are so overwhelmed its said to be near impossible to get through.

Websites of food shops are unstable at best and finding the help information isn’t easy. Have a good look at the Disability rights site, it was WAY more helpful for what is where.

Notes through your door offering help?

Its hard to know who to trust. If a stranger puts their number through your letter box, are they amazing ppl, heros do you feel safe to give them all your details? Are you someone who doesn’t trust facebook, or online apps, even if you have the tech to access them. We are told all the time not to put our information online, if you share it with others there is no way of knowing their privacy settings, who can see their contacts lists? Friends of theirs (who you don’t know) friends of friends? As someone who is vulnerable this is terrifying! Its not about being paranoid, its just that though there are absolute heros out there, there are also those less kind, who are ready willing and able to take advantage of someone who is less able n if they are asking a stranger for help, clearly has limited other support. Watch your backs, and stay safe.

I hope this blog post is useful to you. Please share it with those you know who are struggling to access help.

Best wishes and thanks for reading. Stay safe and see you soon

Billie x

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 26 March 2020, at 8pm, the UK is coming together to applaud those in the NHS for all their hard work during the Covid 19 virus pandemic. But I would like to thank them not just for right now but for every day, every night, every missed family occassion they have put their own needs asside to help others. You are the often unsung heros of the land. Thank you so much for all you do.

Thank You

Now more than ever its vital to say thank you to those still out there, risking their health, their lives to helping us.

I will also make a version of this for the window, and show it to everyone who is still out there; delivering post, emptying the bins, bringing food, supplies. you are heros too.

All too often these heros are facing verbal abuse just for doing their very best. Working long hours, driving miles and miles, often without the needed protection in the current virus crisis.

Lots of us are scared, for ourselves and our families, for the world.

THEY are too, and they are STILL out there, still HELPING YOU.

SO before you moan, or rant or rage from a place of fear, at those who are just trying to help. Take a breath, and if you can’t be kind, be quiet.

Please make your own versions of this for your windows, show those still out there, you care, you see them and their hard work, effort and appreciate them.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

PS. Turns out this is the 1000th post on this blog. I’m glad its a special one.

Thank you everyone who has visited this blog, left a comment or found this blog and is posts n links useful.

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I was awake this morning at 4.30am, its not unusual. My brain whirring away, all the things I wanted to post about the current situation. Eventually I got back to sleep, then Classic FM woke me at 8am, and it has played soothing sounds all day, THANK YOU!!! So instead of a long list of to dos, instead I share links to safe spaces, to kind folkes on the internet who have online classes as reduced prices and other things that have helped me in the past and I want to share with you, we may have to stay apart from each other but online we are together. Here we go with a list of SAFE PLACES online

we are all in this together by Kelly Rae Roberts

Kelly Rae Roberts Created this and asked ppl to share it, so thats me doing that. Credit to the creator https://www.kellyraeroberts.com/

As this is an art blog, lets start there.

Jane Davenport who is awesome and encouraging as an art teacher, has some great videos on You tube and courses on her website. The classes have demos, so if you want to get a feel for her teaching style do pop over for a look.

Journal baby, journal.

When the going gets tough, I love me a journal! I can tell it how it is, learn stuff, vent, whatever is needed. There is no judgement, correction, blame or shame in my journal.

Susannah Conway Ohh let me count the ways I love Susannah Conway. When my hubby passed, her Sacred Alone course helped me find little pieces of quiet among the noise of grief. Not that this course is aimed at grief, and she has lots of courses on different topics. Currently though she is offering her Sacred Alone course half price, so rush over now to sign up for 14 days of emails, bring a journal, a pen and an open heart and let her hold your hand, while you navigate in the Sacred Alone time, and how to sink into it, appreciate it and explore it.

Class starts today 23 March 2020. The half price is £47 but its SOOOOO worth it, journal along and you find out what makes you feel safe in alone times. Creating your own road map/ self help book, for what works for you. That is priceless.

If pennies are tight and that is too much, do sign up for her newsletters, she calls them Love Letters they will get you access to a lot of free content on the site like meditaions.

 

Connect to nature from your window

Are you taking time to connect to nature from your window? Are you wondering what type of tree that is, what the bird is that’s sitting there? https://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/spotting-sheets will help you identify all kinds of different birds, trees and other wildlife that you may be taking more time to notice.

Mental health support sites

If you are already struggling with mental health issues, the current situation may well be making it feel worse. Here are some places that may help.

If you are new to staying indoors and finding it tough, I will be posting more ideas in the coming weeks. Do try the websites above which may help, and Blurt shown here is also brilliant for coping stratgies.

Please use phonelines responsibly. If you have the option of family and friends at the end of a phone line, or email, please consider reaching out to them first, if that feels safe to you. There are lots of us who don’t have that support and rely on these other options.

Blurt

Do you wish you had something to look forward too? Want to send a friend a self care parcel of love n kindness? Blurt is the place to go.

BLURT are fantastic, please, pretty please if you are finding right now hard going, do consider signing up to their newsletters, they are soo encouraging and supportive https://www.blurtitout.org/

Blurt have a blog, which will give you a feel for the topics and tone of the newsletters. A shop which; heads up, right now has special offers on their self help card packs https://www.blurtitout.org/product-category/self-helpful/card-packs/ so if you like the idea of having a thought for the day kind of thing, they are brilliant.

Blurt also has something called Buddy Boxes, these are to help you connect to your sences, so there are things like chocolate or tea in there, something for the bath or a lip balm perhaps. They are non gender specific and you can buy them as a one off box, a monthly subscription, and after the month the box was live, there are often the items from the box that you can buy individually. Perfect as a self care parcel for a friend, you can buy from them and have them sent to a different address. Perfect for yourself too.

See you another day, with ways I am stepping gently with myself through these uncertain times.

Be gentle and kind to yourself and others.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

 

*******************Trigger warning ******* That thing in the news

ONE mention of that thing in the news, Blurt also have ahub page for tips for managing what infomation you read about and from where, and helping with the emotions that may be bringing up for you. Blurt CV hub page

How I’m doing this, checking in ONCE a day on the official announcement, then turn it off. Going round n round, over and over it, istn’t helpful and creates more fear. I then take time to process, brain dump on paper if needed to quieten my brain, and then do something that feels KIND and soothing to my soul, to help my system recover from the triggers. That marathon not a sprint quote is spot on, listening to news 24/7 would freak anyone out. Its hard to process that level of information and if you fry you head in week one, how are you going to get through the long haul. DISCERNMENT is what is needed.

You do you, always. x

 

 

 

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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.

Links

The Willow Tree Retreat

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

Billie x

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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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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

COPPA Update / Plans for MY CRAFT CHANNEL

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.
Billie

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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

BUT

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

Billie

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