Posts Tagged ‘Books’

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

Regular viewers of this blog will have noticed that I have taken quite a liking to Grunge board in the last few weeks. I decided to experiment and see if grunge board was a suitable weight for a book cover, it was a success and today I’d like to share some pictures of the results.

Grunge Board Book 1

Grunge Board Book 1

I painted the Grungeboard using the same techniques as I showed in the garland tutorial last friday. The board does distort as you heat it, but if you are careful and pin it flat while it is still warm and hold it flat till it dries it is possible to minimise the effect. I coloured natural linen thread with dye ink to match the colours on the covers. The exposed stitching on the spine really stands out well against the darker edges of the covers. The book opens completely flat, which makes it a joy to write in.

Inside covers of Grung Board Book 1

Inside covers of Grunge Board Book 1

Here you can see that I painted the inside of the covers in a similar way but used a text stamp in the background. I love this effect. The stamp is made by Hero Arts, I believe it is called ‘Old French Writing’. I’m really pleased with how this turned out. It’s hard to show how antique this looks in a photograph, in real life it looks like antique brass.

Front & Back covers of my Grunge Board Book

Front & Back covers of my Grunge Board Book

Here is a view of the book, to show the front and back covers together. The stamps on the cover were from Creative Expressions ‘Holly’ plate. This is the same plate that had the small holly and poinsettia designs which were used in my Grunge Paper Garland tutorial, last friday. I used Fluid Acrylic paint by Golden for this project, the Interference Gold fine mixed into the red and green paint, gave them an iridescent look too. It is very versatile paint and well worth the investment.

Modify the stamps used on the cover and select a watercolour paper and this would make the perfect art Journal for a creative friend. The Coptic stitch binding, means the book lies completely flat in use, making it perfect to paint or write in. Make sure you wax your thread well and it will seal in the colour if you died the thread. Waxing the thread also means it will resist paint etc, when the book is used as a journal.


For suppliers of these Golden’s paints in the UK, go to Jackson’s Art supplies. There details are listed in the Art links area of the side bar of this blog. There is also a direct link to the manufacturers of Golden paints in the side bar, you will be able to find a colour chart of available colours in the Fluid Acrylic range on that site. I adore these paints.

Grunge Board is made by Ranger, under the Tim Holtz ‘Idea ology’ line. Check out the Stamping Links in the side bar, for the link to Ranger.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie 🙂

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