Friday, August 23, 2019

Travelling with Chronic Pain- Packing

I have been travelling!

Chronic Pain has an impact on every aspect of your life.  Even when you go on holiday, the pain comes too.  The pain is usually not quite as bad when I am relaxing and don't have the same pressures that I have during work.  Unfortunately, there are certain aspects of travel that can cause pain too.  All of this means that you have to plan ahead and pack accordingly.

Shelly is very helpful when I'm packing.
This is the decoy suitcase! 

This particular trip was a four day escape to Canberra.  I live in Brisbane, so Canberra is about an hour and half away by plane.  The weather was very cold.. although not cold enough for snow... not in the city anyway.  Four days is not too long, so I packed light.

1. Clothes... including leggings and camisoles to wear underneath my regular clothes as well as underwear. This included jeans, a pair of long pants, several comfortable t-shirts and a jacket.
2. Pyjamas - tracksuit pants, an oversized t-shirt, a jumper and an extra pair of socks.
3. My Tablets!!!
4. Extra Pain Meds - Panadol, a prescription pain killer, magnesium tablets, an anti-inflammatory and more.
5. A heat pack - just a heads up here, make sure you will have access to a microwave before you take up precious space in your suitcase.  In a pinch, a hand towel soaked in boiled water works okay too.
6. An eye pillow - or you can use a wash cloth soaked in cold water.
7. Comfortable and Supportive shoes!!
8. I didn't pack a pillow, but I kind of wish I had.
9. Toiletries and skin care products.
10. Vicks Vapour Rub- it helps with lots of ailments and even if it doesn't help, it shouldn't hurt.
11. Some simple craft supplies- alcohol markers, a bunch of stamped out images, a clipboard, a pen and postage stamps.
12. A good book that I had already started to read and still haven't finished.
13. Bottled water (one bottle, that I refilled whenever I could.. staying hydrated is so important to staying on top of your pain).
14. Ear phones (so important for listening to meditations and music, especially as I was travelling with my Mum and we shared a king bed).

I think that's about it.  I told you I packed light. If you want to read more about how I managed my pain on a road trip check out this post.

What are your Essentials for Travelling?

In the next few weeks I will tell you more about our Awesome Canberra Adventure.

Until Then...

Friday, August 16, 2019

Cards for Guys

Card making is one of those hobbies that has been largely enjoyed by women in the past.  Many companies in the crafting industry are owned and managed by women.  Many of the products that we purchase are certainly geared towards women.  So, making masculine cards can be a bit of a challenge.  I also want to remind you, that crafting and, indeed, card making is an activity that involves many skills and can be enjoyed by both men and women.  There are some great gentlemen in the crafting industry as well and they know their stuff.  If you are interested in learning more about a few of the guys in the paper crafting industry, check out these links.

Tim Holtz

Simon Hurley

Christopher Allen from Brutus Monroe

Today, I'm aware that Father's Day is about 2 weeks away, so I wanted to share some masculine cards with you as well as some tips for designing your own masculine cards.

Tip #1 Masculine Colours

While we often associate Blue with Boys... you don't have to stick to just blue.  We often think about dark colours (like grey, brown, black etc) for our boys and while these dark colour palettes certainly look more 'manly' there are no hard and fast rules about colour.  Think about muted colours, you can use red, orange, yellow and even pink if you use more muted shades. Catherine Pooler makes it so easy to work out the grey content of your colours with her Party and Spa Ink Collections.  Any colour in the Spa Collection should suit a design for any guy in your life.  My main rule with the "boy" cards is to keep my colour palette limited to only two or three colours.  This is a good rule most of the time, but with the feminine cards it's easier to add colour in images.  Keep it simple for yourself by limiting the number of colours.

Tip #2 Geometric Shapes

When in doubt use geometric shapes in your cards.  It's easy to make a 'masculine' pattern in muted colours.  Keep the shapes simple and embrace the straight lines and sharp corners.  Like in these cards...

Of course, when using one or two colours, you can sometimes use various shades of the same colour to add interest without getting too complicated.

Tip #3 Texture up...

If you don't want your boy cards to look too plain, add  a bit of texture.  You can do something as simple as distressing the edges of your card stock, tearing your background or adding a textured embellishment.  You can also add texture with an embossing folder, textured paper, cloth, ribbon (yes, ribbon), burlap, washi tape or even aluminium foil from the kitchen.  This added texture can also add interest when you have limited colours and shapes.

An embossing folder in the background and 
some patterned paper adds texture and colour to this simple card. 

The tyre tracks are a washi tape I bought from Kaisercraft (from the discount bin)
I used glitter paper behind the sentiment for some extra texture.  
The random grunge type background was just ink blending through different stencils.  
I love the stick on dots added as embellishment. 

Tip #4 Keep it Simple

While it's possible to get some awesome images for masculine cards, don't panic if you don't have them.  Only one image is really needed.  A few candles on a birthday card, a cake or a couple of balloons will get you a long way.  As you've seen in the cards above, you can create something great for your guy, with just a large sentiment and a geometric background.

I made this card with left over scraps!  The sentiment is the real star of the show in this card.
I made this card for my nephew, who loves RED!  

Here are some more masculine cards I have made.
Dog's are man's best friend, Right? 
I made this card for my nephew.
I used an embossing folder to make the brick wall
with Fired Brick (distress oxide ink) swiped across it. 

This card has the masculine colours, texture, distressed edges
and the cutest hero image, set up on an action wobbler.  
I used my alphabet dies to create my own sentiment. 
That's it for now.  Do you have a favourite stamp set that you use for masculine cards?  Do you have an awesome colour palette that works every time? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, August 9, 2019

A Quick "One Word" Update

This is a quick on today, because I'm trying to get organised for a Canberra getaway this weekend!  We are going for 4 days and we will be busy.  Apparently, we will also be COLD!  I will tell you more about that in a few weeks.  For today, let's talk about my One Word journey.

If you want to learn more about the "One Word 365" movement you can click here.  If you want to read more about my One Word 365 journey, click here.  My word for this year is PAUSE.

The Pause thing... is working really well for me!  I am loving the time I get to spend reading my Bible and praying.  I am generally more positive, encouraging and kind when I'm speaking.  I was never really nasty or mean when I spoke, but I'm more encouraging and I feel more positive.

When making choices around what to eat, I have been trying out different times and different foods that help me to make good choices.  Recently, I set a notification on my phone for 8:35am everyday to remind me to eat a piece of fruit.  I know I will have a better day if I eat a piece of fruit at this time.  I won't get hungry until lunch time, so I don't get cranky or distracted in class.  It is a great boost and I start out making good choices so I tend to continue that throughout the day.  The notification  says "banana" or "apple" or "orange" so the decision is made for me.  I don't have to think about it.  Nice.  Eating the piece of fruit, forces me to pause for a few minutes in my morning and just breathe... and eat. :) This piece of fruit isn't my breakfast, by the way, it's my morning snack.  I eat breakfast at 5:30am, so if I don't eat before school starts, I am Hangry by lunch time.  

My deliberate rest breaks and regular exercise (almost everyday) is starting to pay off.  I feel better and stronger.  People are noticing that I look healthier.  My doctor and my physio are noticing improvements in my strength and endurance.  I need less pain medication to manage a normal day.  

I've realised that the most important part of this "One Word" thing, is forgiveness and persistence.  I sometimes have bad days.  I say stupid things because I forget to pause, or I make bad choices because I don't stop to think about it.  The important step is to not give up. Instead, acknowledge the mistake, determine to do better next time and set up strategies to make success a little easier.

What strategies do you use to maximise your exercise or 'me' time?  What strategies help you to make healthy food choices? I love to read comments, so please let me know!

That's that then...
See you next week!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Making Lots of Cards and Using Up Scraps

This batch of cards was lots of fun to make!  It took me several days worth of crafting to get them done and I am so happy with how they turned out.  I have certainly built up my birthday card stash and I have a set of cards to give away!  :)

I used a card design that I have made several times, but I used slightly different supplies to give it a twist.  Here are a set of cards I made using washi tape.

I made this batch of cards using scraps of coloured card stock for my candles.  I started by pulling out each colour folder and sifting through them to find suitably sized scraps.  I looked for thin rectangles or pieces that I didn't think I could use for anything else.  I pulled out odd shapes of card stock too.  This took a while, but was easy enough. I made a pile for each colour and then started cutting them into rectangles that were about a quarter inch thick and about 2 and half to 3 inches long.  I didn't measure them exactly, I just popped it in my guillotine trimmer and just moved my card stock along, to cut each piece.

Now I had several piles of coloured strips. I then pulled out my embossing folders and chose ones with fun patterns, like a polka dot, chevrons, thick stripes and some shapes.  I put a variety of different colours into each folder and ran them through my die cutting machine using an embossing sandwich.

Next I made the flames for the candles.  I stamped a whole bunch of the leaf stamps from Eva's Favourite Flowers (by Winnie and Walter), using yellow and orange inks.  I tried die cutting these, but the shape wasn't quite right, so I ended up fussy cutting them roughly to make them more flame like.  I also tried cutting some flame shapes from orange cardstock which I used on one of the cards, but I liked the stamped ones better.

I die cut some Happy Birthday's and stamped some Birthday sentiments in different colours and I was ready to start assembling my cards.  I laid out some card panels and then arranged the 'candles' on each one.  I started out creating a rainbow of candles on each card, and I tried to use a variety of patterns on each card.  As I had more of some colours than others, I decided to make some cards with different shades of the same colour, and making some masculine colours on one card and feminine colours on others.  This was fun.

My suPURvisor is checking my work! 

While most of my cards were landscape, I decided I wanted to try a few portrait orientation as well.  Using liquid medium matte, I started adhering the candles and added the flames to the top of each one, all glued directly to the card panel.  I added stamped sentiments to the cards using foam tape.  If using a die cut sentiment, I stacked them two or three high.  I added clear Wink of Stellar shimmer to the flames of each candle too.  Finally, I used some sequins and stickers to some of them for some final embellishment.

Phew, when starting this set of cards, I was quite ambitious.  I think if I decided to make more cards like this, I would probably make fewer cards at a time.   The design has a lot of steps, so 10 was a bit much. Anyway, I hope you feel inspired to pull out your scraps and make some fun cards.


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

It's Your Birthday!

Today is Harry Potter's Birthday!