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Feline Pretty

Hello hello!  A quickie post today…

One of my collaging efforts from the weekend, this pretty little kitty in her fabulous blue dress.  I must admit I have been hammering that brick stencil quite a lot lately – it just gets me out of a fix when I can’t decide on a suitable background.  It always works and always looks good.  I should have positioned “Maddie” a little better, because she looks like she’s floating in mid-air.  But then, in that lovely dress, who wouldn’t be?  I also love her ruby t-bar shoes.  She’s so caught up in how fetching she looks, she isn’t even bothered by that wee mousey by her feet.  I added the little heart brooch to give the outfit some more colour and detail – can’t have a girl looking unaccessorised! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by x

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Millie and the Modern World

Hello everyone and welcome to another week.

This weekend was a busy one, with everything from car crashes to crafting.  My cousin and I were in a minor bingle – no one was hurt, just lots of damage to the cars.  But even a minor bingle can cause major dramas and really shake you up.  We were both a bit stiff and achey afterwards, possibly more from the stress of it rather than any injury or physical issue.  But we consider ourselves lucky that it wasn’t a worse accident and that we didn’t have any of the kids in the car at the time.

It seemed to be a weekend of dealing with dramas, so Sunday afternoon and a few hours free for crafting was a welcome distraction.  I actually got lots done in a really short space of time.  I am still struggling with the crappy weather and its effects on glue-drying time.  I keep getting lots of wrinkled paper and creases where I don’t want creases!  But this is mostly due to my impatience and lack of care taken, so I can’t really blame the weather (though I will continue to do so).

The first piece I finished was this framed collage.  Very simple but I liked how it turned out and I might do some more framed pieces.  For some reason “Thoroughly Modern Millie” kept popping into my head when I looked at this little mousey-girl, even though her style of dress is not of the right era.  She’s definitely a “Millie” though, and ready to take on the world, as a single girl (rather than the original Millie had planned).

Hope your weekend was drama-free and full of creativity and fun.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Just What I Want to Be

Hello everyone.  This painting came together surprisingly quickly and easily.  You know how sometimes things just work?  Doesn’t happen very often, but this one was made with a minimum of swearing and preparation.  Maybe that was the key – just getting stuck in and not worrying too much about anything.
When I think too much, things go wrong 🙂

Not sure what “just what I want to be” means for me – I’m still trying to figure that one out.  I keep hoping for some great epiphany, but it’s very late in coming, so I just muddle along and hope I find my way eventually.

Anyway, I was happy with this little painting. And I’m going to leave it at that 🙂

Thanks for reading.  Have a happy day x

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Cardmaking

Hello everyone.  I have been very slack about posting lately and I apologise.  No real excuse – just life getting in the way.  Plus I am trying not to use my computer too much at home, just to give my eyeballs a break from screen-time.  Which means I have about eight thousand emails waiting for me right now.  There’s probably bills in there.  Oh well.  I will get to them soon enough, possibly when they turn my power off or cut my water supply.

I have been crafting when I can.  The weekends go by so quickly and the evenings after work just don’t seem to be the right time for me to get my art on.  I am tired and squinty and headachey.  And lazy, to be honest.  So I try and utilise my weekends, which isn’t always easy when you have other commitments to take care of.  I don’t include housework in that.  I think we all know that is very much at the bottom of my “to do” list!

I haven’t made any cards for AGES.  Last weekend I decided to make a few, just to get me over my crappy-collage-why-is-nothing-working-phase.  Working on cards means no base-coating or varnishing or anything that takes too much prep.  And working to a nice small scale always feels right to me – I’m not very good at larger projects.  Even most of my collages are less than 8″ x 8″.  Cards are a prefect size.

These are the three I made one afternoon and I am reasonably happy with them.  Especially the octopus (even if cutting out all those legs was a bit migraine-inducing!).

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More of an exercise in “just getting on with it” than an attempt at perfection, I just wanted to makes some quick little pieces that would help me get back into a crafting groove.  Sometimes you need to change things up a little.

Hope you are all having a happy, creative day.

Thank you for stopping by x

 

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Craft as Cure

It’s been a very long week.  Do you ever feel like time is speeding up but somehow there’s more stuff to deal with and fit in to every 24-hour period?  I have been trying desperately to get a grip on my worrying and anxiety and, in particular, my dermotillomania which is just driving me nutty.  Or, more likely, I am already nutty and that’s my I can’t stop destroying my fingers with the constant picking and chewing.  It’s gross.  And I hate it.  And I wish I could stop, but I can’t at the moment.  So, bandaids are my best friend – they cover things up and keep me from being able to do further damage (although, to be honest, I just move on to another finger).

The best thing is to keep busy.  And the best way to keep busy (for me) is to do something creative.  It’s hard to chew your fingers while they’re wrapped around a paintbrush or holding a pair of scissors.  I do try not to sit around doing nothing – watching TV is THE WORST.  Halfway through an episode of Masterchef and I’ve decimated several fingers on one hand and am thinking of moving on to the other.

Anyway, being creative is a good way to put those fingers to better use.  I haven’t had a lot of free time this month so my craft room has been very neglected (the painting below was done weeks ago…)  But I am determined this weekend will have a few hours set aside for me to shut myself away from the world and all the worries it contains and do some painting, collaging, drawing and making.

That’s my wish anyway – things don’t always go to plan 🙂

Thank you for reading.  Hope your weekend is wonderful and that a few special wishes come true for you x

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Never Mind the Rest (Collage)

A post-Easter bunny for you today, with a quote from Beatrix Potter.  This collage came together so quickly, with a minimum of fuss.  I panicked a bit, towards the end, thinking I was going to get all the words on.  But I managed to just fit them all in (I really need to get better at mapping these things out before I start them…).  I love the vintage bunny, and it was a change to work with the pink tones too.

Have a good day – thanks for stopping by 🙂

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Bee Happy (and a bit about Laughter Yoga)

Hello, everyone 🙂  I was back at work this week after having an extended Easter break.  Can’t say I was overjoyed at the thought of returning to work, but very grateful to have a job to return to (the current economic climate being what it is, every extra day of employment is a bonus).  It took a while to get back into the swing of things, and I was horribly nervous when people came in to ask questions about our services etc ; after just a week off, I was a bit brain-dead and stupid.  But I got through it ok and people seemed happy with my responses.  It’s probably just me who thought I was useless!

One of my tasks today was to write a book review.  The book, “Love Laughter and Longevity : the Art and Science of Wellbeing” by Janni Goss, talks about laughter and its positive effects on our health, longevity, and quality of life.  As my organisation assists people with dementia, and encourages positive thinking and celebrating the small joys in life, this book could benefit many people who are dealing with the difficulties that dementia inevitably brings.  But laughter is a well-documented medicine for many of the things that ail us, whether we are experiencing illness or not.

There are physical changes that occur when we laugh : blood flow increases, endorphins are released, cortisol levels are lowered and the immune response is improved.  Intense laughter (whether faked or not – the brain can’t tell the difference) also provides aerobic exercise, which is far more enjoyable than time spent at the gym.

Janni is an advocate for Laughter Yoga and its benefits.  Over 100 countries around the world have Laughter Yoga groups, and its positive effect on people with illnesses ranging from high blood pressure to cancer has been studied and reported in numerous medical journals.  It’s certainly an interesting topic to read about (a lot of my reading-for-work tasks are pretty dull and make me go a bit cross-eyed) and worth further investigation if you’re into self-improvement and inner health (whilst improving your outer health at the same time!).  You can read more from Janni HERE or learn about Laughter Yoga throughout Australia HERE

All that laughter and being happy reminded me of this little canvas I painted on the weekend.  At first, when I had finished it, I felt a bit unsure about the whole “bee happy” thing.  Sometimes we’re just NOT, right?  Sometimes we are decidedly unhappy and a bit down in the dumps.  But I guess what Janni’s book and philosophy encourages is to embrace the small joyful moments in life and use them to promote well-being in our bodies and minds.  It’s kinda like faking it til you make it.  Not avoiding dealing with sadness but, rather, using joy to combat it and face it head on.  And you might as well have a few extra happy hormones to help you, right?

Having said all that, it’s important to let people know you’re struggling.  No one should suggest you “pretend” to be happy if you’re not.  That’s way too much pressure!  I believe happiness itself is a bit of a myth.  It’s such a vague concept.  No one is happy 100% of the time ; how can you be, when there is so much suffering and pain in the world?

But I think it’s important to be content with your situation, be in the moment, and be happy about the small things in life, focusing on the good, and doing what you can to minimise the “bad”.  It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sad or upsetting moments in our life, but how often do we give the same amount of energy to joyous moments, savouring them and replaying them in our minds?  The brain can’t differentiate between something that is a memory and something that is happening now.  So, we should try and hold on to happy memories and use them to boost our spirits when we are down, rather than re-living those moments that caused us pain and distress.

Easy to say.  But I think every extra weapon we can have in our arsenal against the blues is a bonus and worth a try.  I don’t think I will be doing a class of Laughter Yoga any time soon (I’m not a joining-in kinda gal and I would spend the entire time worrying about what I look like when I’m laughing and whether or not I was doing things right) but there are definitely principles that I could use to be more positive or, at least, trick my brain into feeling happier, until I am able to feel it for real.

Be happy today.  And if you can’t be, I’m sending good thoughts your way and a wish for a happier tomorrow.  Hang in there x

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