“…In a noisy world like ours, the best gift to have is a quiet mind. In a dangerous world like this one, the best gift to own is a calm soul. In a life like we are placed in, the best gift to receive is a serene outlook. May we have all three of these gifts…”
Hello everyone 🙂 I have been on leave for a couple of weeks and placed myself under a strict no crafting ban. I knew if I got stuck into making things (and, therefore, making a mess) I would never get tidy and organised. So I had two weeks of sorting and culling and making my home fit for human habitation. My craft room was going to be last on the list as it is an area I close off anyway and doesn’t get seen unless I want it to! Needless to say, it is still in a mess. I just didn’t time to complete the tidy up in its entirety. But the rest of the house looks good now. I even had some visitors during my leave and I wasn’t embarrassed to have them in my space.
On my final two days, I let myself do some crafting. I figured it was my reward for doing adult stuff like dusting and ironing (ugh!). I started with this canvas – a freehand painting with acrylic paints. I drew a design straight on to the canvas, which is something I don’t normally do and did not incorporate any paper or mixed media elements. I decided to just go with the flow and not think about any of it too much. The worst thing to do is start comparing your work to someone else, so I tried really hard to just enjoy the process, regardless of whether the finished piece was good or not.
I was pleased with the final outcome. I don’t mind that she’s got a big head and ridiculously long neck, or that her hair resembles a teddy bear hat. I am just glad to have had a go and not fussed over it all too much. I’m not normally brave enough to put a design straight on to the canvas, so this was new for me. Normally I draw it out first and often draw and paint the person on a piece of paper, before cutting them out and gluing them to the canvas, after I’ve worked out the background.
I had some issues with the wording – it took me forever to decide on the words and I just couldn’t make anything work. I had this “Loving the Moment” stamp that I had picked up in an op-shop, and it seemed to fit the space perfectly. The design itself didn’t stamp out very well, due to the non-flat nature of the canvas, so I had to fill it in afterwards, but it looks ok. I’m not sure exactly what “moment” she is loving (best not to ask a lady these things!) but I’m going to say it’s representational of me just enjoying some peaceful, creative crafting time, all to myself.
So, I am pleased with this one. It isn’t perfect, but that’s ok. I’m going to keep practicing and trying to find my own style. It’s the only way to get better. And, in the meantime, I am enjoying the process and the moment 🙂
Birthdays have always been a bit tricky for me. For a long time I believed that something bad would always happen on my special day (mostly because, for several years in a row, I had disastrous birthdays where loved ones became gravely ill, pets died, people got in car accidents and general chaos and doom reigned) and so I tended to try to just get it over and done with as quickly as possible.
As I got older and, particularly after surviving a life-threatening illness, I starting believing that having another birthday was actually pretty good. Bad stuff could still happen, but then it could on any other day, so why worry about it?
Usually, I try and organise a dinner out, or a get-together of some description with friends or family or both. This year, I just wanted time on my own. I didn’t want to involve anyone else, which sounds really selfish and unsociable, but I just wanted to spend my day pottering about by myself, doing as I pleased and not having any schedule to follow. I highly recommend it 🙂 I don’t get lonely and am quite happy with my own company. I wanted a stress-free, restorative, recharging kind of day.
So, my idea of a good birthday goes something like this…..
1. Dress in a comfortable outfit, in your favourite colours. Makeup and hair done for no one else but yourself.
2. Take yourself out for a delicious, hearty breakfast…….
3…..and eat it all up. Don’t feel guilty at all.
4. Visit a favourite, gorgeous shop. Wander around for an hour or so and don’t buy anything. Feel good that you didn’t spend unnecessarily (even if it is because you’re a bit poor right now and couldn’t afford to even if you wanted to).
5. Make yourself a birthday cake and share it with loved ones at dinner time. It doesn’t matter if the cake is a bit homely looking. People will be polite and eat it anyway.
6. Drink vast quantities of tea, preferably out of pretty china so you feel like a lady.
7. Go op-shopping. Buy shoes for a ridiculously low price (in this case $4.25).
So, for me, a perfect birthday is one in which I spend time doing things I enjoy, with no schedule or plan. I ended the day with my brother and his family, which was lovely – I even had candles on my cake and everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to me. Delightful. Maybe spending a day on your own isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it was exactly what I needed and I’m so glad I did it.
So how do you spend your birthday? Do you like to ignore it, go all out and spoil yourself, or plan a quiet day of solitude and reflection? Whatever you do, I hope you always feel loved and appreciated on your special day.