It’s that time of year again! Ihanna’s annual Spring swap! This year marks the 10th anniversary, woo hoo! If you’re not familiar with it, the idea is to make and send 10 diy art postcards. And you’ll get 10 back. This is my 5th year of signing up and I love it! I was a bit sceptical this year what with the fact there is a global pandemic currently devastating the nation. I have a 6 year old and have been somewhat struggling with home schooling. Not to mention going a little mad as a highly sensitive person and not having much quiet time to recharge. So I was a bit worried whether I’d still manage it. But in the end, I couldn’t resist! It’s important now more than ever for me to be getting that creative time and what better excuse than doing the swap! Pandemic or not, I love the fact it forces me to make time to get creative. Having a deadline and knowing people are relying on me to receive a postcard helps keep me accountable. Granted, the postcards have been sent out the latest yet! I’m usually late in sending but this year I think is a record! Well, you know what they say, better late than never right?!
It’s felt like an age since I last blogged but actually it’s been more like 6 weeks. That isn’t major in the grand scheme of things. And I really need to cut myself some slack lately as my ill mental health reached a complete peak! It’s better now and I intend to write a few blogs about it. But basically, the short of it was, I had a bit of a crisis in my identity while the psychiatrists were trying to sort my medication. Somewhere along the line I’d started hiding behind my bipolar disorder. Needing the label to define myself.
The last few months has been pretty horrendous, I’ve been hurt and caused hurt with a close friend. I’ve cried buckets, and been triggered all over the place. I’ve been challenged and faced some hard truths. The negative swirling thoughts just got too much. Thankfully I’m on new medication now that seems to be helping. It’ll still take a while to adjust but feeling like I can finally cope with life is a wonderful thing! So I’m taking advantage of feeling better and here we are!
Now, onto the tutorial! Mother’s Day is only next week here in the UK! Sunday 31st March. I thought I’d do a quick DIY tutorial for this cut out hearts/window hearts card.
It’s that time of year again... it’s Spring! Which is not only the biggest symbol of hope as the flowers start to bloom again and the weather is (supposed to be!) more ambient. But it also means it’s time for Ihanna’s DIY postcard swap. This will be my third year of joining in! I love taking part! The idea is you make 10 art postcards and you reveive 10 back. Who doesn’t love a bit of happy mail?!
You do have to pay a fee but it’s so minimal for what you get out of it. The impetus to create, the joy that it brings. And the joy of receiving all the postcards back! The fee is for the time it takes to organise the swap itself. A lot people sign up and Hanna then has to email all the people involved with the addresses for their matches. That means collating all the data, matching everyone up and emailing out. I think it’s reasonable to ask for a fee for all that work!
I haven’t done a craft tutorial for a while. With Easter just around the corner, a perfect excuse to create not one, but four easy cards. I have this Easter digital download in my Etsy shop priced at £2.50 so you can make them for yourself. See link at the end of the blog.
I actually drew the cross picture for this back in 2016. Whilst scrolling back through my facebook page for Just Creative Julia, I came across it again. I immediately had the idea to use it for Easter cards for Eli’s key workers at his nusery and playgroup and the teachers I work with at my school.
The idea for the design came from my faith. To me, Easter isn’t about the Easter bunny. And although I enjoy celebrating with chocolate, it’s not all I think about. Easter is the perfect time to remember the cross. Which shows God’s heart of love for us. So it was obvious really I’d choose a heart over the cross. The flowers and vines simply represent the fruits of God’s blessings when we give our all to Him.
This year my hubby made it easy for what he wanted for Father's Day from our 3 year old. A Cornish Blue mug. For something he's wanted for quite a while, he gave me about a week's notice! Just enough time to order some bits off Ebay and do my thang! Of course I wanted to share with you how I made it if you wanted to have a go yourself.
As I have been painting mugs for a while, (my shop is open, there's not many products on there but please do take a look! Click on 'mug shop' on the side bar!) it seemed obvious to create my own version of the traditional style. Rather than just buying one.
Last year, Spring 2016, was the first time I participated in an art swap. It was such a fulfilling experience that it was a no-brainer to take part again this year! I wanted to show you my finished cards and my thought process behind my designs and ideas.
One of my fave art journalling creative bloggers, Ihanna, organises a DIY art postcard swap every Spring and Autumn. When I first came across her I fell in love with her style and didn't hesitate to pay the fee to take part.
Doing a swap is great for a few reasons. If you are a fellow creative like me, it gives you focus to channel it and a purpose to create. Knowing there is a deadline and people are waiting on you, depending on you to receive their postcard. This gives that little bit of gentle pressure and moral decency to make completing the project a priority in this busy, noisy world of distractions.
Today I really needed to switch off. I felt my head spinning with thoughts to the point of feeling physically dizzy! Using my creative talent and getting lost in it is one way to rest but also give me focus and forget the noise of this world whilst I am in the moment.
So I decided to paint my nails and put Eastenders on in the background! Another perfect way of switching off. You don't have to deeply concentrate on it to keep up. And everyone is always so miserable, the drama makes real life seem not so bad after all!
I really love the galaxy look. You can use this technique on your nails, to paint a canvas, to decorate a glass jar and so on.
If you're a Christian, like me, you may be a bit ambiguous about Halloween. Personally, I'm not a fan. And on previous years I have been known to turn all the lights out, hide away and hope we won't be disturbed! But recently, it's become a debate whether, as Christians, we should be hiding away. After all, it's written in God's word that 'people do not light a lamp and hide it under a bowl' (Matthew 5:15). We should be the light in the darkness.
So, this year I've decided to embrace it. Not only have I ordered some 'bags of hope' from UCB (I plan to fill these with sweeties and hopefully, if time permits, copies of the Father's love letter) I've even made some cheeky little pumpkin earrings! That use God's natural creation of pumpkins and a heart design to show His love. No ghosts, witches or ghoulies here!
So if you've had a go at the scrapbooking tutorial then this one follows on. It's a continuation of using cut outs from a magazine but for a different purpose.
On my Facebook page, I wanted to make a big thing of the fact it is National Stationery Week. Which ties in nicely for this tutorial. If you're ready to pluck up the courage to send someone a full blown letter, using pen and paper, then this is for you!
For those who want to be more creative, take this idea on board and go for it! Take any magazine and literally 'cut out and keep' the visuals that really speak to you. Whether that's beautiful floral prints, bright colours, zany patterns or monochromes from the fashion pages. Whether it's something quirky that was actually from an advert. An article that you think you'd like to remember and come back to. A little snippet of a review of a product that you think 'oh, I like that. Must check it out'. Just browse and let the things you love jump out at you.
I'm Julia, Just Creative Julia, jolly pleased to meet you!
Welcome to my creative lifestyle blog, established 2014. My main sections are: creativity including crafting, poetry and interior design; well being including mental health, recipes and my faith in God; personal including parenting and my general introvert deep thoughts. You can also have a browse in my shop and Etsy shop.