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Welcome Back

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

 

 

 

Resin Family 2019

Hi All

Spending today with my resin family of ball jointed dolls.

Here are my ball jointed doll family as of 2019

I’ll list them by Name I gave them, size, brand, sculpt, body type, company name for their skin colour, then clothing

Ellie Grace: Yosd: RosenLied Tuesdays Child; Pansy wearing the red dress

Willow: MSD: Myou Delia. 3 part girl body1. Wearing grey jumper

Oscar: YoSD: Illusion Spirit; Qu Xiao. 2 part body normal skin. Wearing blue cardicoat

Billie: MSD. Blue Fairy Tiny Fairy. Sarang.  Beige jumper

Fern: 1/8. Myou Feng Linger, 2 part body normal skin. Pink skirt

Arthur (Edward Arthur Green): MSD Myou Arthur, 3 part boy body v2, normal skin. White shirt

 

I hope you find a safe place to rest, and can find safe gentle ways through each day as best you can.

Thankfully its sunny and there are lots of things to watch on tv so Lucello the canary and I will hunker down n watch some of that with the resin family. I have some Gorjuss stamps by Santoro due soon and a few in the cupboard so the pencils may come out for some of that too, if my hands allow.

Hope today is as kind to you as possible

Billie x

Seasons Greetings

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.

Links

The Willow Tree Retreat

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

Billie x

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

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

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

Welcome Back

HAD to come on and share my experience with Craft Artist Mica Magic because its been THE best mica experience I’ve ever had. They are the Galaxy chocolate of the mica/pastel world. (Please DO NOT eat them!) What sold me on them as a concept was the fact they were cream based so would not need sealing. They had good storage boxes that looked like they would stack, they blended and with various applicators could be good for so many different techniques. I only saw a few minutes of them demo’d on craft tv and I was IN.

I had been considering Jane Davenports powdered pigments but they too would need fixing. Just a heads up, the colours in both of the Craft Artist Mica Magic contain some colours which are pearly and some which are matt. So I was able to use the matt ones in the Autumn set to create skin tones. There is a good range of colours in there, so you could create various and diverse skin tones from this set. Add a set of the Summer ones and you can create so much more for so many projects.

Craft Artist Mica Magic Summer and Autumn

Craft Artist Mica Magic Summer and Autumn

Craft Artist Mica Magic, feel as smooth as melted chocolate and are a joy to use.

Now I’ve been crafting for around 10 years and have tried a few things. I find chalk pastels and pencils gritty and tough to work with. Messy to use, with clouds of dust, not easy to blend and stinky toxic sealants are required to keep them on a finished piece. I have tried various kinds of chalk in pallets before and again been put off by the need to use fixative. As I have a bird in the house, I didn’t even try pan pastels because like the others, they need fixing after use and the chemicals in the fixatives are not good to be around if you are human and for birds are even more toxic. I don’t enjoy using oil pastels because I’ve never got the hang of them. So pastels I have, sit in the cupboard.

NOT so these new Craft Artist Mica Magics. The mica and pigments are ground so fine, it feels nothing like chalk, there is a little powder to them, but used gently, there isn’t any floofing of it as you pick it up from the pallete (so no dust clouds) and very little left after its applied as it blends into the applicator and then the paper surface perfectly.

The Craft Artist Mica magic, feel as smooth as melted chocolate, as you apply them to the paper, its a heavenly experience. They are an absolute joy to use and for the first time, with this kind of product, my mind is just exploding with all the projects I could use them with. I WANT to create more with them, they were not being ‘over sold’ as is sometimes they case, when you see things on tv. This product does do what it says on the tin, and sooo much more. I LOVE them.

I used them on WHSmith Sketch pad with has 135gsm paper weight, is acid free and almost no key ie its very smooth and they adhered and blended beautifully. (Key is the term for a rough surface that dry pigments usually need to grab on to, to adhere the colour to your paper, but would usually need a fixative to be permanent there). I applied Mica Magic to my drawing with Jane Davenport Baton blenders, which are long handled double ended versions of the kind of applicators you might use for eye make up. These have been perfect for fine detail work and as I have minimal dexterity fiddly little matchstick sized sticks would have caused my hands too much pain.

I found that you can remove the powder that gets in the wrong place with a kneedable eraser. Although I’ll dedicate one to only this process, because of the cream content. I was a bit worried about using pen over the top of the mica as it has the creame base and I was worried it might mess up my pen so I inked first and let it dry. I had applied a good few layers of the mica, and in places when it had toned down the blackness of the pen, from a more opaque pigment, I risked just scratching firmly over the inked lines with my nail, and the colour did lift off, so the ink became clear again.

I sketched in pencil, then used a kneedable eraser to remove most of the pencil, went over areas with pen, left that to totally dry for a few days (mainly because the parcel with these in had not yet arrived and I was SO keen to play with them, that I used a sketch I had already started,for Inktober, to use them on).

Here is a close up of the sketch I used them on, this is the first time I’ve used any kind of pastel for this kind of project and I’m delighted with the result. I wasn’t able to get the larger finger bob kind of blenders at the time I got them, but will save up for some that John sells in boxes, as they will be better suited for larger background areas. I have intentionally left white areas in the hair, the pigment goes on perfectly smooth, the light levels are not good today and this computer doesn’t have photoshop to punch up the brightness of this photo.

Craft Artist Mica Magic pigments on Inktober Davy 14 Sketch 2019

Inktober Day 14 2019. Over grown. Coloured with Mica Magic pigments

Are Mica Magic for me?

If you can say yes to any of the following, go for them.

You like the look of pastel, but hate the mess,

You don’t want to use fixatives on your finished piece and want something that is perfect

You don’t have the dexterity for pencils or paints, this is a superb choice especially when partnered with FInger dabubers that sit on the ends of your fingers or with Jane Davenport Batton blenders as they have longer handles.

I highly recommend Craft Artist Mica Magic to everyone. Best art product I’ve tried in a long time.

Links

These mica magic pigments, don’t just look good, they FEEL good too, no that’s an understatement they feel amazing as you apply them to paper. Get some, you really, really need to try these.

I look forward to using these in a variety of creative projects. They seem just so versatile.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

Welcome Back

Just a heads up to all those who love art challenges, there is a drawing challenge started by Jake Parker called #inktober As the title suggests there is a daily drawing prompt for each day in October, and this years prompts are now live, for anyone who would like to know what the prompts are in advance, I’ve linked to them below and also to a few videos for anyone new. Later I’ll talk about how I’ll be modifying the challenge to make it work for me and my limited dexterity.

First time for Inktober?

Not sure what to expect or what you might need? Here are a few volgers takes on the inktober challenge

Making Inktober your own

Please know that you can follow along to the set prompts, and draw each day if you can and wish to. But for those of us with minimal dexterity, its also fine to write the prompts out and dip in and out as ability allows. You can also choose to make up your own prompts and use whatever materials you choose. Taking the challenge as a jumping off point, n adapt it to what every makes your heart sing.

I’d like to play along with the prompts but it will depends if my hands let me, my pain levels are high n dexterity low. I have been enjoying Peggy Dean book about drawing leaves and flowers called Botanical drawing, which shows how to draw sketchy flowers n the like, so I may aim for one little doodle here n there, when I can. So I’ll be writing out the official Inktober prompts to play along at my own very slow pace. And go with Peggy Dean doodles as a more achieveable challenge.

 

Will you be joining in with Inktober this year, what will that look like for you. Please let me know in your comments

Best wishes and thanks for reading see you soon

BIllie x