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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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My Friend

After some time away from crafting, I finally sat down to do some collage-making on the weekend.  And was immediately met with contempt and disdain from the creative Gods.  I couldn’t wrap my brain around starting anything, let alone actually completing a half-way decent piece.  I doodled, I painted, I cut out and fiddled about, but nothing was working.  Is spent ages drawing and painting a little crowned lady, only to be disgusted at my own lack of artistic talent, and threw her in the bin.  Sigh.

Then I went back to basics.  I started with a nicely patterned piece of paper and stuck it down on a fresh board.  I lightly smeared white gesso over the paper, rubbing it off in places and letting some of the pattern show through.  I stamped a heart in one corner – I didn’t even bothered trying to draw or paint one, given my creative ability  had deserted me that day.  I let it all dry and thought about what else I wanted to add.

I felt like doing a “wordy” plaque – something with all text and little else.  So I began stamping…

I have a nice collection of alphabet stamps now – all different sizes and styles.  I buy them wherever I see them – you can never have enough – and it’s good to have different fonts and in both upper and lower cases.  I am hopeless at getting things straight but I am learning to not worry so much about that.

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Aside from the stamping itself, which took forever due to my dropsy fingers (I’m sure I have some teeny little clear stamps embedded in the carpet now…), this project was done and dusted quickly and I am pretty happy with it.

Most importantly, it got my creative mojo a-happening again, which meant I was able to start a few other projects as well, and make myself feel better about my lack of “oomph” earlier in the day.  It’s easy to get discouraged – well, it is for me, anyway!

Thank you for dropping by – hope you’re having a happy, productive day x

 

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Word Book

Sometimes I lose my words.  Not just when I’m talking, but also when I am crafting and using actual words.  Like, cut-out-of-books words, that I use for mixed-media projects.  Teeny, tiny little scraps of paper with EXACTLY THE RIGHT WORDS ON THEM THAT SUDDENLY DISAPPEAR WHEN I COUGH OR SNEEZE OR START WHISTLING.  Or, I cut them out and leave it on my desk where God only knows what could happen.  Because once something ends up on my desk, it is lost in no man’s land, never to be found again (or, at least, not until I’ve given up and used a completely different word which changes the whole meaning of the piece).

So, my Mum, ever the organised and, let’s face it, more mature adult, suggested I make a little word book, with all those little-bitty scraps in them, all neatly set out and ready to use.  Her idea is simple : stick the adhesive strip at the top of Post-It Notes onto a page in a photo album (the kind where you slip the photos in to little sleeves) and – voila! – you have created a perfect receptacle for your words, sentences and letters.  You stick the adhesive strip (sticky side up) onto the pages with double sided tape and then just pop your words on top.  They stay in place, the adhesive isn’t sticky enough to make the page get stuck inside the sleeve, and everything is hunky-dory, neat and tidy.  Genius!

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So, instead of losing those words, or having to hunt through piles of junk on your desk to find them, you have a perfectly organised little file, which saves you time and energy.  So you can concentrate on finishing your crafty projects, word art, or collages, and feel good knowing you have created some order in your messy life.  I don’t know about you, but I need all the order and calmness I can get right now.

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Hope this has been helpful.  You can thank my Mum 🙂

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Quote for the Day : I am the Hurricane

“…I am not a Sunday morning inside four walls
with clean blood
and organized drawers.
I am the hurricane setting fire to the forests
at night when no one else is alive
or awake
however you choose to see it
and I live in my own flames
sometimes burning too bright and too wild
to make things last
or handle
myself or anyone else
and so I run.
run run run
far and wide
until my bones ache and lungs split
and it feels good.
Hear that people? It feels good
because I am the slave and ruler of my own body
and I wish to do with it exactly as I please…”

— Charlotte Eriksson

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Blogging Challenge – Day Three : Favourite Quote

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My favourite quote has been, for a long time, this one from A. A. Milne (as Christopher Robin, spoken to Winnie the Pooh) :

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”

It just resonates with me.  I guess it’s something I would like someone to say to me.  I actually made this quote into a wedding card for my ex-husband but I never gave it to him.  It didn’t feel right at the time.  Probably should have paid attention to that little feeling at the time, in hindsight!  I almost use this quote as a gauge for how I feel about someone – if they’re worthy of these words, they’re a keeper.

What’s your favourite quote?  Do you have any words you live by or feel particularly strongly about?

Thank you for dropping by x

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Birds with Hats (When all else fails…)

Last weekend I was trying desperately to make some decent cards.  Sometimes, the creative Gods turn their backs on you and you have to just struggle along on your own.  That’s what happened to me last weekend.  I mucked about for ages, trying to put things together that I liked but, sadly, I ended up not achieving very much and being less than impressed with anything I did manage to finish.

To the rescue came IKEA.  That beacon of light when all is darkness and you can’t see the woods for the badly-collaged trees.  I’ve had these little bird postcards for AGES – I can’t remember exactly when I got them – and they’ve been sitting, propped up, in my bookshelves.  It suddenly occurred to me that I should try and incorporate them in my own card-making.  Mostly because they’re birds, and I love birdy-related things, but also because they were a good background piece that wouldn’t need much embellishment.  Basically, I was lazy and wanted a quick fix to my creative dilemma.

With a few tiny scraps of paper, text, lace and other bits and pieces, I made these quirky little cards.  They’re not perfect, but I kinda like them, their simplicity, and the fact I finished each one really quickly.  Plus, you know I love a bird with a hat.

A friend has already nabbed the yellow (finch? canary?) one and I will probably use the other ones myself or just add them to my sales stock.

It would be nice if we could fix our lives this easily, just by donning a hat (although, I haven’t tried…maybe it could work?) and bunging on a few bits of text (I wonder what mine would say?).  But, if all else fails, there’s always IKEA – that fixes everything.  Or at least distracts you for a few hours while you wander around looking at all the pretty things and stuff you don’t need and trying to figure out how to pronounce things.  Which is a bit like life, really, ie wandering around bemused and confused and getting sidetracked.

Hope you’re a happy little birdy today and always

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Little words make a big difference

Little words make a big difference

I am having a bit of a sad/stressed/upset week.  I’m not going to go into it (I promised myself this blog would no longer be home to my whinging and depressing monologues on love/marriage/pain/illness blah blah blah) – suffice to say I have been feeling quite low, a little panicky and just a tad unsure of my place and value in the world.  It may be hormonal (I’m always hormonal!!!) or the time of year that causes reflection and navel-gazing.  Anyway, I am trying to cheer myself up and look to brighter days and words of kindness.

Just before Christmas, one of our departments at work had a Christmas party that I was also invited to (as the librarian, I tend to deal with all the departments and be involved with them on a daily basis – it has perks ha ha!).  One of the activities for the afternoon was to write “compliments cards”.  Everyone had a paper bag pinned to their backs and were given a stack on index cards.  We all had to write about people in the department and say nice things about them – what we liked about them, how they contributed to the organisation and just what made them special etc.  It was such a nice idea.  I wanted to write something about everyone so I ended up with a rather large stack of cards – well, I didn’t want anyone to be left out…how horrible would that be!?  It would be like going back to school and getting picked last for sport teams…so sad!

When you’d written a card, you popped into the paper bag on the corresponding person’s back and, later, they got to open the bag and read the cards.  I got a nice little stack written for me – such an ego booster!  It’s lovely to be appreciated and validated.  I think it was a nice way to spend an afternoon and I hope everyone else got a kick out of it too and felt good about themselves.

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I’m a bit sappy so I love this kind of thing (I keep nice emails, little notes from people, thank you cards, birthday messages etc…hoarding strikes again!).  We don’t often get to tell people how much they are valued and that they make us smile or help us get through tough times.  I’m going to keep my little cards somewhere I can see them, and remind myself that, even on my worse days, I am doing ok and that people appreciate my work and like me for just being me.  Sometimes it is hard to remember that, especially when someone makes you feel less than wonderful.

I think words are so powerful and a kind word can make a person’s day, just as a harsh one can stay with them forever.  
Choose your words wisely and always be kind if you can.