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Archive for the ‘Self Care’ Category

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

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 πŸŒˆπŸ™πŸ¦“

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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

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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

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