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Just a heads up that I plan to put some calming ideas on this blog starting in July. Think art books, artists, card decks for inspiration, meditation links that kinda thing. If my hands allows some books that have projects that calm the mind n soul too.

The world sure is loud, shouty, spiky at the moment, so I’ll try to share some gentle things with you to help you through.

I fully respect that what one person finds calming, may well drive another nuts, so as with all things, take what resonates, step away from the rest. I don’t want to use the mindfulness word, as for me I find that devisive. Its a very marmite thing. Personal soap box moment on this topic; like any great idea that is shared, each person tweaks it a bit, adds their own spin and for me there are some parts of what is touted as mindfulness which (to me) feel judgemental. As if, you are failing if you don’t do this or that.

THAT’S not me and not for me. There is far too much of that in the world. Eek did I fall on my own sword there ??? Did I judge others, SORRY. Its simply that Mindfullness stems from Buddhist ideals, ways of life, things to live by, and that’s totally fine. My issue is as its been shared and rebranded as mindfulness it seems to have been modified past the original concept. I have found it being used as a mental health as a tool but in that situation as it was presented badly [to me] it was being used in ways that felt judgemental.  I own my part, I have tried to use it in situations that it turn out not to feel right for me, not at the right time and not in the right situation.

However, personally and for myself I feel surrendering to this current world situation is the way through for me. I have learnt Reiki from You Tube and will share where. Meditated lots, which has helped my anxiety grately.

I have learnt not to try to fix my mental health issues, been TRYING to fix for years and that’s not helped or worked. I have learnt to walk WITH stuff. Allowing it to be what it is, and witnessing it, giving it space to be, doing my best to take care of myself during the worst of times, and then waiting for the gaps in the clouds, the storms to break. When I  realised others can’t, won’t help then it was time to use a different approach. The phrase ‘no one is coming to save you.’ is one that has been repeatedly shown to me in this journey.There are more options that NHS offer, they simply have to stick to budgets and what NICE guidlines allow. It is what it is, not bashing anyone but waiting lists were long and its a circle of pillar to post for precious little of help, things aren’t going to be better with more people in need of help after the c19 situation. We gotta build our own boat here folkes. Work out what works for us, gather that, stick close to those who love and support us, who love us for who and what we are and beilive in. I have learnt that as someone wise also once said; ‘Its better to be alone, than be someone you are not’

So next month I’ll start to share what I’m using right now, see if it helps you too.

Holding safe space for all those struggling right now.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

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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

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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

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Welcome Back

I adore garden birds and we always have feeders up and provide shelter and water for the local birds. There are quite a collection of regulars including; blackbirds, sparrows, blue tits, chaffinches, collard doves, wood pigeons. Occasionally we have a greater spotted woodpecker drop in and in the winter we have been known to see a redwing, if there is snow on the ground and we have put apples out.

The other day I was in the garden and noticed although the large flocks of starlings had come down for the crusts of bread I’d put out (soaked in water, so not a choking hazard to little uns) that once the bread was cleared they start to prod at the grass looking for leather jackets and ants. There was an ant’s nest under the bird bath and I saw one starling delicately picking up single ants and placing them under its wing. It’s known as anting, the ants spray formic acid as a defence and its thought that the birds are using this either as a mite repellent or as a feather conditioner. We get large flocks of starlings, and call them the Dyson Squad as the descend on mass and hoover up any food in the garden. They gather at dusk on the house roofs and leave on mass. We get to see them swirl sometimes, especially if the sparrowhawk comes round as they chase it off.

The sparrows have nested for a third year running in the loft. They are on their third brood this year.

The blackbirds need asbos! They are bonkers! They have decided the bird bath is theirs and chase off anything that comes..but the sparrows come in gangs and the black bird can’t chase a dozen of them, so while he’s chasing one the others nip in the water. There are dedicated ‘wash a starling’ sessions where one bird notices we have a bird bath and the whole crew comes down for a wash, very social birds, they bath with a friend or 3! The sparrows sit just out of reach and enjoy the splashing till the starlings finish then they go in.

Wash a starling day

Wash a starling day

Time Team investigations in the garden

After the ‘Dyson squad’ made a visit at lunch time, I went out to refill the baths for them all and noticed the grass looked like it had been Geo-physed by the Time Team people, the lawn was covered in holes. (Good for aerating the grass though).

Garden Birds do a Time Team Investigation

Garden Birds do a Time Team Investigation

Loads of holes where the starlings beaks had dug in the ground looking for tasty morsels.

Garden Birds do a Time Team Investigation

Garden Birds do a Time Team Investigation

The blackbirds are joining in with the Time Team experiment and have opened up a ‘trench’ in the rockery!

Blackbirds opened up a 'trench' in the rockery

Blackbirds opened up a ‘trench’ in the rockery

All the feathered Time Team are very keen and have been back several time for further investigations.

Haven’t seen the robin for a while, I think he’s hiding out moulting as there was a juvenile robin some weeks back. The pair of dunnocks has gone into hiding after their little un fledged too.

Bless em!

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Welcome Back  

In today’s post a couple of pictures of the snow we had here the other week. My attempt at a snowman didn’t go entirely to plan, the body was a pile of snow. But since we had powdery snow I was unable to make a decent snow ball so couldn’t do his head properly. DH had a go and his snowball is on top…hense Nearly Headless Nick. Fans of Harry Potter will get the joke 😉  

Nearly Headless Nick, the almost headless snowman!

The garden looked very beautiful in the snow  

Billie's Back Garden in the snow, December 2009

This is the heaviest snowfall we have had in SE England in about 20 years and the first before Christmas in 30 years. As ever in the UK, all the snow was gone in a week.

Please send healing thoughts this way though, between playing in the snow and sorting out the birds, I have hurt my back again 😦 Wrecked it Christmas eve. If I sit very still it only aches, moving hurts like hell. I’ll try to keep posting, but if rest will fix my back, then I’ll need to take the time to let it recover. 

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon  

Billie 🙂

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Welcome Back 

Well I must have been a very good girl last year, as I received some lovely pressies for Christmas. Here are a few highlights. 

From my husband, some wonderful stamps from Glenda Waterworth’s Elusive Images range and Black UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel). From my mother in law; a Bind It All, so handy for quick projects. I was a bit naughty and bought myself a few pressies too, some of the snowflake dies from Spellbinders. 

My Creative Christmas pressies for 2009

 

When my back improves I hope to bring you some inspiring projects to tempt you to play too. 

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon 

Billie 🙂

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