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Posts Tagged ‘Creative writing’

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

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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Welcome Back

Grab a cuppa and settle in, this week is Mental Health Awareness Week, so as someone who struggles with a number of mental health issues, I’m gonna share some things that have helped me. Most important of all, is to remember, what helps or doesn’t help us, is a very unique thing.

If you are someone who struggles but keeps quiet coz you don’t have the capacity to fend off all the ‘ideas and suggestions’ when you have either tried them all or can’t access them, then I am totally with you. Often if you find the courage to speak your truth, it goes one of two ways; they look at you as if you have a lurgy and they are afraid they will catch it OR you are bombarded with a list of sentances that start with ‘You should… You must.. Why don’t you…’

My post it not trying to fix anyone, coz not all of us can be fixed or are on a page where advice feels right and I totally resepct that. My post is simply sharing something that is helping me at the moment. What feels possible and impossible is variable moment by moment, no such thing as a straight line for chronic pain n health here.

I live with anxiety depression and chronic pain, and ‘Keep calm carry on’ isn’t helping!

I feel a lot of my anxiety and depression come from chronic pain, which impacts my life greatly and not in good ways. I’m not gonna bore you with the details but its about trying to live WITH stuff, as the condition I have isn’t fixable. Which is a tough one to live with. Its one of those that won’t kill ya just makes your life hell.

Gee this is a cheery post isn’t it! Anyone still reading? Please do, I’ll share happier stuff too but I’m not gonna fake like everything is fine, dandy and sorted coz its not. #justsaying

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.

Creativity is the nemisis of Depression

Now a long time ago, when I was in primary school, I used to love to write stories and poems, and in recent times I have got back to that. I used to love, when you could go choose a picture and then just write a story based on it. I could write pages and pages from that.

As my physical health has suffered, I find it too much to get a load of supplies out to paint or rubber stamp, though high five to Tim Holtz for the stamping platform or I wouldn’t be able to do it at all. But these days its all about minimal, coz if it takes all my energy to get all that out, then I don’t have energy to create.

Art

I got back into drawing thanks to Suzi blu (she’s back on You Tube and is putting up her old videos and ones that used to be her classes so I’ll put a link in if you haven’t seen them yet. Totally awesome) I bought some Jane Davenport online classes some years ago and they really have made the world of difference to my art.

My dream of it being just me and a sketchbook has happend. I got a bit stuck tho and wanted simpler figures too, and found Kawaii (Japanese for cute) like clouds with smiliy faces on, omg so cute! Kawaii is simple to draw and then I found Chibi, its part of the manga style of drawing. I love books that show me the building blocks of how to draw. and these got me doodling away happily in my various journals.

Creative Writing; the poems and stories just flow

Have you found Etsy? Its kinda like Ebay but full of wonderful handmade things by artists of all kinds of genre. I wanted a figure, I could have next to me to draw. To help me with perspective, and found Amigurami.

Amigurumi is cute crochet so I found both Chibi styles and Kawaii within it and was delighted when I found some cute cute mice. The crochet mice came home and from there I got a journal and started writing stories and poems about their adventures.

Here is a picture of the current crew

Crochet animals
Some of my crochet companions for creative writing.

The cute crochet creatures, that inspire my writing and drawing

This is what happens when u can’t sleep and are up late scrolling on Etsy, you find wonderful things. I’ve named each of them and for some reason when inspirations strikes it comes in verse. I have an idea, maybe a line or two then I have to get a pencil quick and start writing before I loose the words.

This was so much fun, I could do this with just a journal and a pen/pencil. Then I started drawing the figures in the book too and another time colouring them in and on days when I can’t hold a pen to write or pencil to colour I can read through the journal and enjoy the stories.

Then I found Rue’s Bears who I was talking about yesterday and that’s where Ethan the elephant came from, he was so wonderful when he arrived that I’ve ordered some more characters from her. (see links at the end of this post).

Next came something I didn’t expect. Sylvanian Families! Now as someone with a collectors kind of nature, I can see this could get addictive so I’m gonna have to sit on my hands. The characters are more affordable than some of the artisan hand made charcters and my reason for getting The Elephant Family, was because they are posable and I’ve been enjoying drawing and want to get the hang of a range of angles for the characters so the Sylvanian fam’s will help me do that.

Confession ‘the milk rabbits also came home, sorry not sorry’ shh I am repeating the mantra ‘Not gonna get lots, not gonna get lots, not gonna get lots!’ But they are SOOO cute!

How is this helping my mental health?

How is all this helping my mental health and not just the fix of ‘buy stuff to feel better’ which only helps short term as today’s happy post is tomorrows, there is nowhere to put this, I should get rid of it but I don’t want to’.

Well, when I look at these characters, all these stories and poems fill my head and it helps me forget the pain in my body. It helps take my mind away from the fears and worries that keep me up all night. It takes me to a softer, kinder gentler place where I can imagine what they are all doing. Its very calming, one day I might write, another draw in the margins, another colour the pictures I drew in. It really is a dream come true.

For me the bottom line is, its not what you choose but how it makes you feel. If its not hurting anyone (including yourself!) and your bills are paid first so you don’t get into debt, then go for it.

FUN matters, play matters, no matter your age. Not all of us can get out and about, and for us life is really small and so the little things become the big things.

Start where you are, use what you have.

If you want to try this, you don’t need a fancy journal, or fancy pens, use what you have to hand. Images are everywhere, just pick one that calls to you and then pick up your pen and write. You don’t have to tell anyone, you don’t have to show anyone. Just see where it takes your mind.

Maybe its a seasonal image, perhaps you enjoy a certain time of the year, see if you have a photo at home or in a book or online, perhaps from a magazine. Stuff rules, just start to write and see where the words take you. I fyou like it keep it, if you don’t, you can shred it, rip it up whatever feels right for you.

This was a way of meeting myself on the page that I’m on, and just trying to make it feel a bit softer, safer and more possible.

Links

Where the characters you see above came from, I didn’t make them, I don’t have the fine motor skills for that.

Etsy shops

  • The mice and bear in this photo were from Eliza Like (check back for when more stock is available)
  • The elephant is from Rues Bears

If you want to know more about Ethan the Elephant, see my previous post Meet Ethan the Elephant

Come back soon and I’ll share the books that have been companioning me on the dark days too.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

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