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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

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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Welcome Back

In today’s post I’d like to share the latest page created for my advent calendar project.

Advent Calendar 2010; Day 24

Advent Calendar 2010; Day 24

Advent Calendar Day 24

  • Stamps Used; Anna Griffin Clear Stamps
  • Inks Used; Adirondack; Bottle
  • Paint Used; Adirondack Acrylic Dabber; Gold
  • Cuttlebug Alphabet; Olivia

I’d love to see your results if you are making daily pages for a similar advent calendar. Hope you have enjoyed this project and I wish you and your loved ones a safe, happy and peaceful Christmas.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Thank you all so much for your continued support of this blog, and for your kind comments. They make all the hard work worth while.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie 🙂

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I’d like to share the latest page created for my advent calendar project.

Advent Calendar 2010; Day 23

Advent Calendar 2010; Day 23

Advent Calendar Day 23

  • Stamps Used; Anna Griffin; Clear stamp border. Inkadinkado; 1103 91283-Y
  • Inks Used; Adirondack; Cranberry. Versafine; Vintage Sepia
  • Paint Used; Adirondack Acrylic Dabber; Gold
  • Cuttlebug Alphabet; Olivia

I’d love to see your results if you are making daily pages for a similar advent calendar. If you missed the tutorial at the start, here’s Part 1, which contained a download for how to create your calendar. Hope you like this project and will join me tomorrow for the next page.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie 🙂

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I’d like to share the latest page created for my advent calendar project.

Advent Calendar 2010; Day 22

Advent Calendar 2010; Day 22

Advent Calendar Day 22

  • Stamps Used; Artylicious; Mistletoe Script UDLGW0067
  • Inks Used; Adirondack; Bottle, Espresso
  • Paint Used; Adirondack Acrylic Dabber; Gold. Twinkling H2Os
  • Cuttlebug Alphabet; Olivia

I’d love to see your results if you are making daily pages for a similar advent calendar. If you missed the tutorial at the start, here’s Part 1, which contained a download for how to create your calendar. Hope you like this project and will join me tomorrow for the next page.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie 🙂

Read Full Post »

Welcome Back

In today’s post I’d like to share the latest page created for my advent calendar project.

Advent Calendar 2010; Day 21

Advent Calendar 2010; Day 21

Advent Calendar; Day 21

  • Stamps Used; Paper Mania; PMA 10043-39157. Penny Black; Snowflake 2181E
  • Inks Used; Distress Ink; Weathered Wood, Broken China
  • Paint Used; Adirondack Acrylic Dabber; Gold
  • Cuttlebug Alphabet; Olivia
  • I’d love to see your results if you are making daily pages for a similar advent calendar. If you missed the tutorial at the start, here’s Part 1, which contained a download for how to create your calendar. Hope you like this project and will join me tomorrow for the next page.

    Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

    Billie 🙂

    Read Full Post »

    Welcome Back

    In today’s post I’d like to share the latest page created for my advent calendar project.

    Advent Calendar 2010; Day 20

    Advent Calendar 2010; Day 20

    Advent Calendar; Day 20

    • Stamps Used; Penny Black; 2800K The Sound of Snow. Anna Griffin; Clear Stamp Border
    • Inks Used; Adirondack; Bottle. Versafine; Vintage Sepia
    • Paint Used; Adirondack Acrylic Dabber; Gold
    • Cuttlebug Alphabet; Olivia

    I’d love to see your results if you are making daily pages for a similar advent calendar. If you missed the tutorial at the start, here’s Part 1, which contained a download for how to create your calendar. Hope you like this project and will join me tomorrow for the next page.

    Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

    Billie 🙂

    Read Full Post »

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