Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Great Day to Be Kind

I'm publishing a day early this week, to celebrate Valentine's Day!!

I used to think Valentine's Day was really important.  It was a wonderful opportunity to be told I was loved.  After I separated from my husband I found Valentine's Day difficult.  When in another relationship, I didn't want to make too much of a fuss on Valentine's Day.  By the following Valentine's Day, I was alone, yet again. I was back to thinking that Valentine's Day was a silly waste of everyone's time.

The commercialisation of the day irks me a little. Today, I'm not going to go on a rant about the ridiculous behaviour and amount of spending that people indulge in on this particular day.  Instead, I have something else to say...

True Love can not be expressed in a greeting card 
or the purchase of chocolates and flowers.  
True Love is more than words and money.  
True Love is rare.  True Love is more than sex or romance. 
True Love is a thousand acts of kindness, a million choices 
to serve or sacrifice or simply be second.  
True Love is yours if only you will share it.  

Okay, one last thing...

Today, by all means, celebrate the ones you love and show them what they mean to you, but more importantly, Be Kind.

It's quite simple really, so simple that you can do it everyday! Be Kind. 

Just, Be Kind.  

You can be Kind.  I know you can.  Just do it.

Be Kind Everyday!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Craft Technique: Ink Dragging with Embossing Folders

This is a variation on the 'direct to paper' technique that card makers love.  In case you don't know what that is, it's quite simple.  You open the ink pad and you lay it directly onto your cardstock or paper.  Then, you press it down and wipe it all over the cardstock to colour it.  It's like colouring in with an ink pad.  You can do this with ink blending, but if you want a solid colour, it's much quicker to do it with the ink pad.

This technique has an extra step and it requires a gentle touch.  First, emboss your plain white cardstock using an embossing folder in your die cutting machine.  I use a Cuttlebug, but any machine with any of your embossing folders will work the same.  Follow the dry embossing instructions that come with your particular machine.  Now for the fun part, choose an ink pad (or a few) and drag it over the cardstock, gently.  You may need to do it a couple of times.  The ink should colour the raised part of the cardstock.  If you want to see this technique in action, check out this video from May May (Made it)She does a great job of explaining the process and shows you some ways to step up this technique.

Why do I love this technique?

  1. It's a new way to use embossing folders, so I can make something different with supplies I already have. 
  2. I can co-ordinate my embossed image with the ink colour I use on the sentiment or other elements on my card. 
  3. This technique works with a range of embossing folders, small, large, frames, patterns, main images and even sentiments/ greetings. 
  4. You can use any colour you like. 
  5. If you need a background in a hurry, this one really packs a punch! 
  6. You can use either side of the cardstock (the debossed or embossed side) which means you can get another 'look' from the same folder and stretch the supplies even further.  WOW.  
  7. It's kind of hard to mess this up.  It's so easy! 

Here are a couple of the cards I created using this technique.  I played with a few other folders and made some more backgrounds but I haven't made them into cards yet.  

This card uses an embossing folder I bought at a cheap shop.  
If you know the original designer, I would love to give them credit. 
Ink: Rose Bud from Memento.  Sentiment: alpha stamps by Simply Cards?

This card was made using an embossing folder that was gifted to me, 
it came from a magazine and I don't know which one.  
I dragged gold pigment ink (Brilliance) over the raised pattern on the cardstock. 
The sentiment "joy" comes from the "And" sentiments by Catherine Pooler Designs.  

I will definitely be using this technique again!
See you next week! :)

Friday, February 1, 2019

Why Pause?

I sort of explained why I chose the word "PAUSE" when I introduced it to you in January.  Today, I want to go deeper.

What does the word "pause" mean to me?

When I read or hear the word, I see those two parallel lines that we use as a symbol on remote controls and electronics - the pause button.  Wouldn't it be the best thing ever if we could all press the pause button when we needed a moment to ourselves? Note to self: great novelty gift for Christmas.

One of the other great things about the word, "Pause" is that it's a VERB. It's something that I am going to do.  The BFF has chosen a word this week and her word is "abide".  She said, "I'm a do-er" and I need to be specific about what I'm going to do.

Of course, if you choose a noun or even an adjective like Kindness or Less, that's absolutely fine.  You might need to think about how you will live Kindness or live with Less.  How do you live Pause or live Abide? … Well, you actually do it.  You Pause!  You Abide!  If your word is a verb, it's a bit easier to know what you have to do.

The word Pause is about self-control, taking time to think and pray, giving myself permission to think before I speak or act.  The great thing about Pausing is that it allows you time and space to rest, but it doesn't give you the option to give up.  It's not over, it's just paused.  Sometimes, pausing is about waiting; about pressing the pause button on life or our plans and waiting for the right time to press play. Rachel Wojo has a 30 day reading plan about the Purposeful Pause and God's perfect timing.  You might want to check it out here.

I hope this helps you to understand why I chose the word, Pause.  I hope you have found your own word and you are beginning to live it.  What is your word and why did you choose it? What does it mean to you?

Friday, January 25, 2019

The Last Week of the Holidays

The last week has been busy! 

I spent the beginning of the week writing lots of lists.  

I listed the meals we plan to eat over the next few weeks and then I made shopping lists. There were lists of jobs to do, school supplies to buy and rooms to organise.  There were loads of laundry, dishes to wash and meals to be cooked.  

Then, it was Wednesday! 

Did you notice anything different today?
I changed up a few things here at AGT.  It was just a few things, but be ready, because there may be a few more changes coming our way.  

Next Week: It will be February!! Can you believe it? I can't! 

Something isn't working for me the last few days.  I seem to have some sort of writer's block.  Hopefully that doesn't set in.  

Tell me in the comments: What do you do in the last few days of your holidays? How do you prepare for Back to School or returning to work after a break? What else do you think needs to change around here.

See you next week

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Mighty Ones Winning

A year ago, I stumbled on a website/ blog called "The Mighty".  I was directed to the blog from a Pin on Pinterest, or maybe it was a Google Search.  After finding the article I read very helpful, I explored a little more and I pinned something.  Since then, The Mighty started appearing in my Pinterest 'Feed' much more often.  Some of the pins drew my attention while other pins didn't.  When I clicked on a pin, I was inevitably sent to an informative, interesting and helpful blog post of some description. These posts were all part of "The Mighty". 

What is "The Mighty"? you might be wondering and Why do I love it so much?

The Mighty is a community of people with disabilities including chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue syndrome, anxiety, depression, chronic pain and more!  You don't have to be a member to read the articles. If you want to comment, ask questions or participate in the forums you need to become a member.   You might be wondering why I am so excited about a website about disability and chronic illness.  I have chronic pain and you can read a little about my personal journey here.  

Reasons The Mighty is a great website

1. Members include doctors and allied health professionals and they contribute to the content. 
2. Most members are people who live with chronic illness or are close to someone who does. 
3. Articles are accessible for anyone who can read (you don't have to be a medical professional). 
4. The content is real and honest, written by real people who share their real life experiences. 
5. It reminds me that I'm not alone.  I'm not the only one who lives with pain every minute of every day. 
6. Some members are worse off than me and they keep getting out of bed every morning.  This encourages me to do the same. After visiting The Mighty, I feel grateful.  
7. Content includes strategies that others use successfully to manage their pain, their daily lives, household chores, social interactions and more. 
8. It's helpful for family members of people with disabilities, including chronic pain, to learn from other people living with disability.  Strangely enough, sometimes, hearing it from a stranger gives it credibility.  It can help you see that this isn't something your loved one imagined or 'plays on'.  

If you have a chronic illness, or you know someone who does (a family member, a friend, your partner), you need to visit The Mighty even if you only do it once.  

That's that then.