Tag Archive | creativity

Altered Art

Changing something unwanted and uncherished into an item much loved and appreciated. That’s my definition of Altered Art.

Today it was the turn of a small set of shelves which I took a shine to at a car boot sale last year and purchased for 50 pence. They have been sitting in my garage for over 6 months waiting for the right moment and today was their lucky day! It was their turn to be altered, up-cycled and given a new life.

From this…….

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to this……

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Now all I need to do is tidy up……again!

Forecast-Warm and sunny

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Summer-John Clare

Come we to the summer, to the summer we will come,
For the woods are full of bluebells and the hedges full of bloom,
And the crow is on the oak a-building of her nest,
And love is burning diamonds in my true lover’s breast;
She sits beneath the whitethorn a-plaiting of her hair,
And I will to my true lover with a fond request repair;
I will look upon her face, I will in her beauty rest,
And lay my aching weariness upon her lovely breast.

The clock-a-clay is creeping on the open bloom of May,
The merry bee is trampling the pinky threads all day,
And the chaffinch it is brooding on its grey mossy nest
In the whitethorn bush where I will lean upon my lover’s breast;
I’ll lean upon her breast and I’ll whisper in her ear
That I cannot get a wink o’sleep for thinking of my dear;
I hunger at my meat and I daily fade away
Like the hedge rose that is broken in the heat of the day.

It appears that for once the weather forecast is right…it really is warm and sunny and even anticipated to get warmer tomorrow. If I felt well in myself, I would suggest that we go away for the day but the thought of travelling, traffic and lots of people persuades me that I am much better at home, taking my time and keeping myself busy in between periods of fatigue. I am still shaky from the high-dose medication and I have difficulty in concentrating or focusing on a task for any length of time, but I am definitely improving.

It is lovely to feel the warmth of the sun at long last and let’s hope this weather is set fair for a long time to come.

Card-Wise old owl

Card-Wise old owl

Card- Life's a beach

Card- Life’s a beach

Creative Cards

I haven’t made any cards for about 6 months and I had forgotten how relaxing and absorbing it can be. The only disadvantage being that I need boxes and boxes of “stuff” out of storage which creates a bit of a mess but as they say, no pain, no gain.

I enjoy making things and these cards will undoubtedly come in useful at some point. Until then, I’m just happy making!

It’s good for the soul.

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Purple Patch

Heeding some good advice, today I have spent the morning making something just for fun. I happened to have a set of my favourite IKEA Moppe mini-drawers waiting to be upcycled, and I raided my Decopatch stash, found some handles and Hey Presto! I have a new set of purple Drawers!

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Warning – When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

By Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

with a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

and satin candles, and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired

and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

and run my stick along the public railings

and make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

and pick the flowers in other people’s gardens

and learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

and eat three pounds of sausages at a go

or only bread and pickles for a week

and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

and pay our rent and not swear in the street

and set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

 

If the cap fits (1)

Over the last couple of years I have often been asked the question “Are you an Empath?” and recently these questions have more frequently turned into the statement, “You are an Empath.” It sounds rather frightening and accusatory but largely due to ignorance and using my precious time to focus on other matters relating to my mental health (Mindfulness, guided meditation etc)  I hadn’t given this suggestion any more thought or consideration.Until yesterday I only had limited knowledge of what an Empath is, or what the implications of being one might be but being ordered to rest up following my diagnosis of kidney stones, infection and renal colic on Thursday, I took time yesterday to do some research. It was very interesting indeed and my responses to some of the traits of an Empath outlined below, might take some people by surprise. I actively manage my daily life to combat a lot of my anxieties so that they are not obvious to most of my family, friends or colleagues but this takes energy and forethought and can lead to extreme mental and physical fatigue at times.

So, here is my take on “Am I an Empath? and apologies in advance for the length of this post although I will write it in 2 posts……….. what do you think?

Most of the traits covered are taken from the Just Be Blog and Gary’s Phsychic Empath Blog and my thanks go to Just Be and Gary for the information.

Noise-empaths can be sensitive to noises which need not necessarily be loud, but may cause stress.

Playing my guitar

Playing my guitar

Loud noises certainly makes me cringe and I will avoid them at all cost. I love music and over the years have learned to play the piano, guitar and clarinet but despite this I find some music physically offensive. I will leave the room if I hear women’s soprano/opera singing which goes right through me and my hands are over my ears at the first warble. Free jazz sends me into a frenzy with all its jumbled up notes and rhythms. To me it’s just a mess. I hate the sound of emergency vehicle sirens and a baby crying makes me very tense and angry. My son Will didn’t cry much. I guess he’s an Empath too!

As a youngster, I remember going to 3 discos. I hated them all, not just because of the loud music but because the constantly flashing spinning strobe lights made me lose my balance and fall over.

All noises have a meaning or association and sometimes it is nice to go about my daily business without making those connections. Those are rare days indeed.

Being in public places can be overwhelming

I loathe shopping and tend to shop in one particular store for clothes and accessories as they open at 08.30am and I can pick up anything I need on my way to work when it is quiet and not crowded. I never shop at lunchtime unless I know that I am going to a niche outlet which is more likely to be quiet. My husband does the Saturday supermarket shopping and I avoid town centre shopping when possible.

I leave work at 5pm every day so that I can get to the train station in good time for when the train arrives. I need to get on the train and find a seat before the crowds arrive. If the train is late and the platform starts filling up with passengers, I can feel myself getting very anxious, my pulse rate increases and I get irritable. I move away from anyone who stands next to me and I will always search for some space further along the platform. In the past, when I have been waiting at a London station and there are hundreds of people waiting I have asked the train staff if I can board first just to get out-of-the-way. It’s not a case of getting a seat, I just need space.

Arriving early for a match

Arriving early for a match

I love football and am a lifelong fan of Aston Villa FC. Football stadiums get very crowded and can be overwhelming so I tend to arrive very early and find my seat before the rush. I then sit quietly and watch the stadium fill up without being caught up in the queues and general mayhem. Shuffling along in a slow-moving queue when I am squashed between bodies is claustrophobic and causes me great anxiety.

My husband is Iranian and our visits usually coincide with a wedding, engagement or other family occasion which is usually celebrated by a big gathering and party. I dread it. For most people it is a chance to let their hair down and enjoy themselves. For me it’s torture especially as I don’t want to offend anyone by leaving early. Iranians are great hosts and I am very conscious that I don’t want to seem rude. In the end, I have to offer my apologies and my husband has to escort me outside where there are no crowds and no loud music. On one occasion, a surgeon who was also at the party and saw my distress also came outside to make sure I was ok such was my urgency in leaving the room.  

Watching violence, cruelty or tragedy on the TV is unbearable.

Violence I can just about cope with as long as it’s not too graphic. Cruelty or tragedy are definite No-No’s. I can’t watch tragic films, news stories or documentaries and I would also add reading about such stories is not an option. For example, these are a handful of the books from my childhood that I have never read  because I can’t cope with the extreme emotions they would create;

Black Beauty

Tarka the Otter

Watership Down

I still have these books on my shelf from the 1970’s. My sister bought them for me and the dates are written in the fly cover. They remain treasured possessions but unread.

Digestive disorders and lower back problems

It seems that I am prone to stones! Exactly 9 years ago I was very ill with gall stones and had to have my gall bladder removed. This week I have been diagnosed with kidney stones, an infection and renal colic. When I had reflexology 2 years ago, potential digestive issues were highlighted as an area I need to be mindful of.  Need I say more.

Constant fatigue

I have learned how to control this much better over the years but it can still strike if I allow my self-preservation techniques to relapse. I have a number of books about ME on my bookshelf which date back to my glandular fever days and an initial diagnosis of post viral syndrome.

Addictive personality

It’s all or nothing I’m afraid! If it’s a glass, it has to be the whole bottle. One chocolate? No, it has to be the box.

Creative

Very.

To be continued…….

ATC Saturday

I woke up this morning feeling very tired, frazzled and unrested which led me to I think that the past few weeks have finally caught up with me just as I knew they would. My mood is grumpy and wavers between teary and angry. I am generally unsettled and frustrated with feeling out of sorts.

I know that it will pass and that I need to be patient. I have to rest and ensure that I sleep well and not fret about things that I have no control over. Easier said than done but needs must.

Today I have therefore abandoned the mountain of ironing, consigned the Hoover to the corner and left the washing in the basket. Instead, I have swapped being a “Domestic Goddess” for being an “Artiste”. I have been making ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) mainly because these take no time at all to complete and they are perfect for me to do in my current state of flux. Flux for me means that my concentration levels are poor and as I can’t face starting any bigger projects I now have more ATCs to add to my collection.

I laugh at myself as the point of ATCs is to trade them with other craft-bunnies but I haven’t got round to that yet and so they are accumulating in piles around my workspace.

Here are today’s efforts….

Creativitee and mee

I used to be creative. At school I was good at art and remember having a stern argument with the Headmaster when I told him that I wanted to drop the subject at 14. We battled for quite a while in his study whilst going through my end-of-term report but he finally gave in realising that I was determined not to have to wear those silly blue and white checked aprons any more. I have to admit that he got his own back when devising a punishment for one of my (many) misdemeanours. (I was horrible at 14). He made me paint a picture depicting my offence which I can assure you was non too easy as I was caught swinging from a chandelier in the main hallway overlooking his study brandishing my hockey stick. I didn’t realise that he was in-situ as unlike the Queen, there was no standard raised to indicate his presence. He kept the painting, presumably an hilarious reminder of what rebellious 14-year-old schoolgirls get up to when bored.

Anyway, I’m sure that this incident left me with a subconscious determination not to be creative and together with other reasons, creativity went to the bottom of the pile.

I had spells where I would go to dress-making classes, make patchwork quilts and knit “Mrs Weesley” jumpers for nieces and nephews but nothing lasted long. But now I have scrapbooking and other forms of papercraft to occupy me and I seem to have found my niche.

 My latest wheeze is making mini-albums with folded pages which make hidden pockets. The albums can be decorated and embellished as much or as little as you like, and can be used for a multitude of purposes. Recipes, seed packets, photos, memorabilia, birthdays and special occasions, all can be stored in these albums. I am getting quite a collection simply because I enjoy making them. Lovely papers, buttons, lace and flowers. Tags and stamps, ribbons and brads all go together to create an album or notebook. I’m lucky that I have a binding machine which finishes the books off nicely but binding rings can be used instead.

I haven’t done any “crafting” this week as I have been on Jury Service. It was very disturbing and unsettling at times so that relaxing was difficult. I couldn’t sit down and absorb myself in a project and so it has been an unusually barren week for makes but in good old-fashioned Blue Peter tradition, here’s one I made earlier. It’s a 12 pocket album made of envelopes which I am going to use as a birthday/special occasion journal.