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Welcome Back

Oscar met Holly today, Holly is the beagle dog that lives with them. They had a wonderful time playing in the woods. Now they are just hanging out and relaxing at home.

Oscar meets Holly.

Oscar meets Holly the dog.

 

Sculpt info

  • Oscar is Illusion Spirit; Qi Xiao
  • Holly is Ipplehouse Beagle.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

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Welcome Back

Much as I still would love to be making art, rubber stamping etc, my dexterity isn’t allowing much of that these days. I would love to post on the art n craft stuff again, when hands allow but that just isn’t possible right now. Rather than abandon this blog, which I don’t want to do. I hope you will join me in a bit of a diversion, an adventure in a new direction. We will be traveling to the wonderful world of bjds.

Some time back I was taking a class with Jane Davenport and she was talking about ball jointed dolls and getting one to ‘alter’, to repaint the face so it can become your artist muse. These dolls are really pose-able so they are great artist models. Oh dear me, typing ‘ball jointed doll’ also know as bjd, into a search engine was fatal, SOOO many pretty dolls, alter them, no thanks they are far too lovely to alter.

One came home, and then another and then… well you get the idea.

I found myself in BJD Land

I fell down the bjd rabbit hole n haven’t seen daylight in a while. They are so addictive and my hording/collecting button is often pressed by them. BUT I am not sorry, they help on so many levels and they are fun.

Its not easy when you live with a lot of pain that limits what you can do, when u live in your head coz your body isn’t playing. These dolls have become therapy, instead of getting so caught up in the pain and what I can’t do, I’ve been reaching for these dolls, imagining the adventures they have and it helps it really helps.

Play really matters, and it really helps. When you are stuck in bed or on the sofa and everything is and feels impossible, then at least I can look over at them and be thinking of their adventures instead. When I can I swap their clothes around n they can look so different they can be someone new. Its just as much fun doing this as it was when I was a kid, whoever said ‘Time to put all that away now’ was a fool. Sometimes play, going to a place where whatever u can imagine can be real, just for a little while can really, really help. Especially when your reality isn’t so pretty.

Would I love to be drawing them, yes but again the body isn’t playing, so instead, I will post some pictures of them and a few lines about their adventures. They are brilliant for provoking story ideas, character ideas.

My life lessons of the recent years are about meeting myself on the page I’m on, doing the best I can with the skills and energy I have and trying, trying so hard to forgive myself for what I cannot do. I may not be able to rid myself of the ‘black dog’, or the chronic pain, but I can do whatever I can to make right now, this moment, feel softer and a little safer. I hope, if you find yourself on a similar page, that you find whatever u can to make the journey just a little bit softer and kinder.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

Welcome Back

Its been a while, I wanted to share my resin family with you. These are all ball jointed dolls.

Family picture of the ball jointed dolls I have

Willow, Oscar, Billie, and little Fern, my bjd dolls.

Its traditional to refer to them by name (chosen by me) Brand, Sculpt (ie model) and then size, so I think I covered all the bases here. Worry about the spelling on Oscar’s sculpt name but will figure that out n update it.

The tall one in the big dress, is Willow; she is Myou Delia MSD and is 44 cm tall she’s the Mummy.

Oscar Jake, who arrived today is Illusion Spirit Qi Xiao; Yosd 27cm tall

Billie: Blue Fairy Tiny Fairy Sarang (MSD) at 40cm tall

Fern: Myou Feng Linger, 1/8 doll at 17cm tall.

The Dad is on order 😉 still figuring the family out, so dynamics with the little boy may change a bit.

Oh you should have seen Oscar when he arrived, this morning. Taking him out of his shipping box he looked so grumpy. He literally came out of his pillows looking like this, bless him.

Oscar Arrives

Oscar arrived looking a bit grumpy. but after something to eat and meeting his new family he settled down and is happy.

Oscar had something to eat, met his new sisters and new Mum Willow and is now very happy, he can’t wait to make a den in the tree house. Fern is a bit miffed that I didn’t wait to post this till her wig arrived. We both hate the wig she shipped with, you could see the wig cap through it and it falls off a lot so she had a crochet hat instead. Lets just say this hobby is ALL about the waiting.

Jane Davenport is to blame for all this, in one of her classes she posted about creating your own muse with dolls. I’m not ready to do face ups (where u take off the painted face on a doll and create your own version on there), these dolls are far too beautiful to do that with. But when my first looked up BJD it was love at first sight. I only wanted one to help me with my sketching. But its addictive and I fell down the slippery slope, down the rabbit hole and here we are. ‘Dad’ is on order, he will be Myou Arthur but they take many months to arrive after you order them because they are made to order and come all the way from China or Korea.

I like to imagine stories about their lives and write those stories when my hands allow, (which isn’t often) but its just as much fun playing with dolls now as it was when I was a kid. File it all under ‘sorry not sorry’. Life is tough and these dolls are therapy on so many levels.

In other news, computer is still low on memor which makes taking photos is limited for me. I will reply to comments eventually, so please bear with  me if it takes me a while. I don’t have much use of my hands, so things take as long as they take.

Thanks for dropping by and if you still follow this blog, thanks because I haven’t posted in AGES.

Billie x

Welcome Back

So I’ve been under a rock, at the back of the cave n have totally missed the whole Bullet journalling craze, but if you will still have me, I’m IN! As a stationary junkie it doesn’t just call to me it positively screams. Pens, pencils, planners mmmmm nom nom nom.

Being Present

Winter is hell on wheels for my anxiety and depression and I’m trying to approach this season with a little more TLC, and some stash to keep me company under the purple fleece blanket fort. What better than a mug of tea, a mug of pencils, a mug of pens and a journal? 1st November also starts PAD (Poem a Day) challenge over on Writers Digest blog. So my moleskine will be there for that too.

It still is all about the stash, isn’t it. Oops!

I’ve been tracking what I eat and activity in the day to try to manage anxiety and depression, seeing what foods make it worse or what helps. I have a bit of a mixed view on mindfulness BUT I’ve just been investing in Lou Collins pens and last night some of Kelly Creates pens and stamps and some other planner stamps. Amazon UK currently have a book called How to bullet Plan: Everything you need to know about journalling with bullet points by Rachel Wilkerson Miller I got the Kindle version for 99p last, its good but not easy to see the illustrations, I’ll try looking at it on the laptop reader n see if they show up better.I think I’ll be getting this book in paperback too. I treated myself to a Morsler Bullet journal stencil set from Amazon too. I have a collection of fine liners and a stash of various brush pens to play with once I get the hang of it.

Planners?????

Hmm, I can see the appeal of the dots, for precision lining up, and lickable smooth paper (soz I don’t really lick paper but there are pen and paper combos which are like Galaxy chocolate n make me want to) That said my dyslexia would have a melt down with all those dots! With a line of text my eyes already do pinball rally between words, anything patterned or like these dots repeated and my eyes would be all over the place! No don’t think dots will be where I’ll start. I have a lush, truly LUSH Filofax in A5, Malden in the Teal LOVE it, its so smooth and because the leather is soft it lays flat. So while I learn how all this works me thinks, some printer paper and Malden to see how I go, I’m not going out so I don’t have to haul it anywhere and if a page goes awful it will be easier to remove it. I can imagine makeing lettering pages in different sections with quotes on them, like in the Peace planner of Kelly’s. I love that so much but didn’t go for it only because I struggle with dexterity to open ringbinders, at least Filofax has a release mechanism. It also means I can add in various types of papers. Turns out dear Filofax might have noticed their planners being used this way and for those tempted, they also sell dotted paper for the binders. Here is a link to the A5 Filofax dot paper.

Do you have any planner favorites? I’m thinking A5 and smooth paper that won’t bleed through with water based fine liners and brush lettering. Has anyone got a Webster’s Pages colour crush binder in A5? I’m in love with the soft lilac {swoons} Does it lay flat on the desk? I have limited dexterity and don’t want to be fighting with it. Told you I was a stationary junkie.

Blogs n You Tube channels

A change for me, usually I share them this time I’m asking for any of your favorite Bullet Journal You Tube channels and blogs. Please leave details in the comments.

I’m in stationary heaven, I don’t want rescuing but a food parcel would be welcome, I just found the website for Webster’s Pages. Woahhhhhhh! I want to live there.

Thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

 

 

Brush Lettering

Welcome Back

Ohh sign me up, I love a bit of lettering when my hands allow, do you? I pounced on Lou Collins Brush Lettering set on C&C yesterday and have found more inspiration about this on You Tube n Twitter, so here are some brush lettering artists and links for us to enjoy.

Lou Collins

Ohh I got so excited seeing her brush lettering on C&C yesterday, and went for the big kit, which was a bit daft for me, only in that being dyslexic, means that if letters change too much from how I expect to see them, then I can’t read the words BUT she said once the method has been learnt, then you can apply it to whatever style you like. So I’m in and very excited.

Here are a few places you can find Lou’s lettering.

At the time of writing Create and Craft was the only place where you can purchase her product line.

Extra supplies

I have Tombow Art and Graphic pens and other brush markers by Kuretake Zig to play with, like Clean Color Real Brush pens to do this longer term and watercolours so for once, I’ve got half the kit needed to progress. I hadn’t got on too well in the past when I tried brush lettering because like Lou said on the show, I had also used lots of papers practicing and not getting far because the pens and papers I was using weren’t compatible. I like how her practice sheets are wipe clean so you can practice as much as you like without hitting the trees too hard. I love the watercolour backgrounds and would love to use my watercolours and Lou’s markers to create pieces or journal pages with words or phrases that mean something to me. In later show’s she said her markers are pigment ink so you can emboss them if you wish, it also means once dry, they won’t move so I can add watercolour ‘backgrounds’ after I’ve done lettering 🙂 versatile n great for mixed media pieces then. This is going to be fun. I also invested in the smooth cardstock they had on the show for this and so I can see if it will play nicely with getting back to a little Ranger inky action.

Can’t wait to have a play with this brush lettering idea. I can see me putting a sheet of clear acetate over a calligraphy book I have, to learn more alphabet styles this way too.

The lettering style Lou was showing yesterday reminded me of a stylised version of copperplate which gives the thin thick strokes like this. Lou’s pens look easy to use too, less scary than a bottle of ink and a nib you are scared might snap if you press too hard. The other great thing is that you can do this with minimal supplies so if you want to do this when out and about then a small notebook and a pencil case and you are good to go.

Kelly Creates

Kelly Creates Kelly Klapstein is a Canadian artist, can’t tell you more only just found her and want to investigate this too. but sounds like Art from the heart is where you can soon get her products. Ohh yes just had a quick look, bullet journalling and brush lettering this will be a website that will have me reading for hours. Wish I had ink for the printer. Quick tip, if you want to save money on lamination sheets, lay a sheet of acetate over your print outs so you can reuse them. Don’t have acetate, how about those pockets sold for ringbinders 🙂 long as you are using pigment or waterbased pens they will wash off ok. Kelly has You Tube channel too

Best wishes and thanks for reading

Billie

 

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

Welcome Back

The classes with Jane Davenport have been going REALLY well, I need to get some pictures on here don’t I. Today I dug out my Zig Art n Graphic Markers to see how they went colouring in my sketches. Here are the results

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Zig Art & Graphic markers, with Faber Castell Artist Pitt Pens on WHSmiths paper

Its not the best photo sorry uploading from a tablet as laptop low on memory. The paper is WHSmiths 135 gsm and to be fair its not for wet media, it took one layer of pen fine but the additional layers of pen did pull up the surface. But what was a worry was the fact that the Faber Castell Pitt Artist pen which is India ink and waterproof; moved and smudged when I got the Zig Marker near it, this was a surprise as the Zig pens are waterbased so should have had no effect on the marker.

 

I quickly scribbled on a different area of the page and also used my nail to carefully move the black ink of the rubber nib of the Zig pen, since the Pitt pen ink is waterproof I didn’t want it to dry on the Zig pen. Luckily it did come off.

I am new to the world of markers, and know enough that regular papers are not ideal for them. I used to use a very nice paper by Rey but they don’t seem to be around any more, I used to get it in Staples. If anyone reading this can recommend a good paper for water based markesrs I would really apreciate it.

These sketches were from the class ‘Express Yourself’, I had previously taken Jane’s Supplies me class which is all about which kinds of products work the best for her style of art. I also enjoyed Beautiful Faces and the book of the class too. I need to put up some more photos of sketches in a while. In the meantime do check out my previous post where you can find details of Jane’s classes.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie 🙂