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.
Mother's Day is fast approaching! If you're struggling to come up with gift ideas and/or want something a little different this year, then this list is for you! I thought I'd do a bit of networking to put together a list of handmade gifts. You could use them for your Mum or casually forward the list to your partner for a little something for you! (I've already done this as there were quite a few things I've got my eye on).
This list is compiled from all the lovely attendees of Blogtacular, the awesome blogging conference I attended in June last year. The header pic of the gerbera was also taken on the photowalk, as part of the Blogtacular experience . To read more on that, follow this link: http://www.justcreativejulia.co.uk/blog/the-future-of-creativity-my-takeaways-from-blogtacular-2016
1. Turquoise Tile Necklace by Fickle Craftroom
Mother's Day is tomorrow! Eek! Of course I am forever the last minute queen so here's a quick last minute craft DIY for your lovely Mum.
You will need:
A little late in the day as by now I would assume most of you have visited your Mum today and given her her Mother's Day gifts and/or card. Apologies the schedule didn't go as planned this week but hey, what can I say, my little arrival (two weeks to go now!) is making me very tired! That's my excuse anyway! On with the show, today is the handmade card, the not so grand finale. As we go through, I will give you ideas on how to adapt this same design for a friend or loved one so if you wanted to try it out yourself, you still can. Equally, you can use exactly the same design for say your Mum's birthday, just change the sentiment on the inside accordingly. ('Giving thanks on your birthday' for example). Design copyright is all my own, Just Creative Julia 2014. I don't mind if you want to copy this card or the mug design as previously posted, to make for friends and family but please do not use for a commercial basis (in terms of using my designs for selling), thanks. Craft materials at the ready, here's your step by step.
DIY Tutorial - Handmade Mother's Day Card
3. Draw your heart free hand on your blue stiff paper or cardstock. If this doesn't appeal, just do a Google search for a heart template in the right dimensions for your card and use accordingly. Cut the heart out.
4. I used brads with my paper blossoms and if using, simply attach them in the middle of each set of blossoms. I also used the brads to secure the blossoms to the heart. If not using, you can simply fix them with glue dots, Pritt Stick etc. Arrange and glue them on the heart for best fit and coverage.
5. In each corner of the card, glue a square sized piece of your floral patterned craft/background paper, so that you have a blank cross shape in the middle. It doesn't have to be accurate, mine isn't because I realised after I'd glued the heart down it needed a bit more! So had to carefully add my patterned paper under the already glued heart!
6. Arrange the heart onto the card, placing the sentiments as described but still don't glue them. Once satisfied with where your heart is going, glue to the card. Glue your buttons around the heart so that they overlap the outline onto the card blank.
7. Finally, glue the two sentiments, top and bottom using foam pads.
8. If you want to add a sentiment to the inside, simply print off and glue. I've used 'Giving thanks on Mother's Day' and printed off on the bright pink stiff paper to match the front.
Here's my finished card. I've had some paper flowers in my craft stash I've been wanting to use for ages. I thought I'd finally use them for this project and the idea of flowers got my creative juices flowing for the sentiments. First of all I thought of 'Mum, you're BLOOMING marvellous, because...' and then the second one of 'Your Love has BLOSSOMED me'. On second thoughts, I thought two flower themed sentiments was a bit much and preferred the second one. You could just use the first one on its own also (without the 'because...'). The second one then gave me the idea to use the heart shape. Buttons are so popular at the moment and I love them too, so that was easy to use those to finish off as an outline.
For the inside, originally I was just going to do a very simple 'Happy Mother's Day' for the sentiment. But today the sermon at Church was all about honouring each other. Even if you're not a Christian or follow a faith, this is such a great principle to live by. Anyone can be kind to others but truly honouring someone for who they are and accepting them, no matter what (so that means forgiving them too when they offend you or rub you up the wrong way!) just goes that little bit further. Hence I changed the sentiment to 'Giving thanks on Mother's Day' as it was so much more fitting with everything I heard today. Because, what is Mother's Day for if not honouring your Mum for who she is?Thanking them for what they do for you, that's a big part of it.
And to adapt the design, as already stated, you could still use the exact same design for your Mum for her birthday and just change the inside sentiment for your preference. For a friend, here's a few sentiments you could use that revolve around the flower theme:
'Friends are like flowers in the garden of life'
'Life is the flower for which love is the honey'
'A single rose can be my garden; A single friend my world'
Instead of a heart shape, just use a circle or say, a diamond shape. Then add a 'Happy Birthday' sentiment inside or for whatever occasion it's for. Simples!
That concludes the crafty makes for this week. I definitely gave myself a bit too much work, hence why the schedule didn't go as planned! As much as I've enjoyed it all, it's quite a relief to have finished it. Next week I will do more of a writing article. Enough craft stuff for now! Hope you enjoyed it too, please get in touch and show me your makes if you have a go yourself. Always nice to hear from you.
To continue the theme of all things Mother this week, today we will be looking at making a shortbread biscuit, in the shape of a gingerbread man. And a handmade label to accompany your packaging. If you went ahead with the decorated mug then the biscuit will be a perfect gift to compliment it. Why not pop round for afternoon tea on Mother's Day with your mug and biscuit ready to go!
7. Place in the over for five minutes. Meanwhile, crush your sweets. I found the best method was to place 2 sweets at a time in a freezer bag or equivalent, then take out any pent up anger and bash away with a rolling pin! At first I tried to do about 6 at a time and it was quite tricky to crush them. Keep going 2 at a time, transferring to a small ramekin or dish, until you've crushed up about 6 sweets. I can't actually remember how many I did but if not enough you can always bash up some more!
8. When the 5 minutes is up, take out the oven and sprinkle the crushed sweets into the heart holes. At first I used my fingers and found this to be a bit messy with the sweets spilling out around the heart. Then I realised you could use a teaspoon for a much more accurate, targeted result! Repeat this process every five minutes with a total cooking time of 15 minutes. Before putting in for the final 5, sprinkle the biscuits with sugar.
9. Remove from the oven when nicely golden brown. Then leave to cool.
10. When cool, ice as desired. Such as a smiley face, an outline around the heart, lines on the hands and feet. Leave to set and once done, place in your cello bag and seal. I was a bit hasty getting mine in and so the icing smudged a bit! Ensure plenty of time to set and place in cello bag very carefully!
Here is my finished article! Using my heart cutters and the extra dough, I cut out different sized hearts and layered on top of each other accordingly. You can just about see the packaging at the back of the photo. We shall be onto that for the DIY next.
Handmade Label - DIY Tutorial
5. Stick your buttons in the middle of each paper flower then set aside.
6. Attach your label to your cello bag. I used staples and attached
them at the end. I had great trouble with this! Trying to manoeuvre the stapler round to get it in the right place was a bit tricky at first! Ideally, I would suggest placing the staples horizontally at the bottom of the label. And don't leave it to the end like myself, then when you glue on your flowers and sentiments, you can cleverly hide them! I managed somehow to hide one under the flowers but the other stuck out and it looks so unsightly!
7. Step to your computer. For my sentiments, I've used three separate labels as follows: 'For You Mum'; 'With Love'; 'On Mother's Day'. My font was 'Amienne' and font size was 28. If you choose a different font, you may need a different size so do print out on paper first to test it to save your cardstock!
8. Arrange and fix your flowers and sentiments. I've placed my flowers on the left hand side, overlapping them so they stick out over the edge of the label. And the sentiments you can see I've arranged them in three lines, spreading out from left to right.
9. Eh voila! You have your finished biscuit packaging!
Here you can see the packaging just a little bit more closely. I iced the extra hearts and also placed these in a cello bag, as you can see top right.
And that concludes everything for today. I was hoping to post the handmade card tutorial for you later but I may just run out of time at this rate! I hope it won't be too late for you tomorrow instead. If it turns out you didn't have the time to make it for Mother's Day, feel free to use the same design but different sentiments for a friend's birthday or other occasion instead. Going with the flower theme, you could use a sentiment such as 'Friends are like flowers in the garden of life'.
I hope you enjoyed that and as usual, feel free to get in touch.
As promised, in this blog I will be sharing with you some hand made crafty gift ideas for Mother's Day. The initial ideas for the mugs and gingerbread man shaped biscuit have been taken from and adapted accordingly from 'Craft Beautiful' magazine, Issue 264, March 2014. However the actual mug and biscuit packaging designs are my own. The card and sentiments used are also my original design (all copyright of Just Creative Julia 2014 - to get the legal bit in there!).
First up, for this part 1, the Sharpie painted mugs. Doing my research on ye old Google in terms of best practice for baking to get a really good dishwasher safe finish, I found a fab crafty blog, Craftaholics Anonymous, that gave a culmination of tried and tested tips. I've used this blog to gather my final instructions for baking. At the end of this post you will find the link for it if you want to check it out.
This photo shows my first attempt where I wasn't aware of how the original colours actually changed after baking in the oven! The second attempt underneath shows my adapted design for the desired colours I wanted. For example, red turned orange, orange turned red, yellow turned brown, purple turned green/blue and vice versa! So do bear that in mind when doing yours, perhaps decorate a mug for yourself that doesn't matter so much if the colours come out different to first planned.
Step By Step - DIY Painted Mug
Top tip: It seems the cheaper the mug, the better in terms of getting that dishwasher safe finish! Something to do with a cheaper mug having a cheaper glaze, therefore it makes it easier for the Sharpie pens to do their magic and really bake on without the interference of expensive glaze getting in the way! So weigh it up, does your Mum hate hand washing? Then you may need to sacrifice the bone china in order for the design to last that bit longer! Alternatively, if you know she wouldn't mind the hand wash, then by all means, go for a daintier, more expensive mug. Just warn her of such!
So that concludes part 1 of my Mother's Day crafty makes. I have a really busy week this week but I'm hoping/praying I'll have the energy to follow through and give you the other 2 parts before Sunday if you fancied having a go yourself. Part 2 will be the biscuit and part 3 the card to finish on. Watch this space! I welcome your comments as always, so feel free to get in touch.
Blog credit: http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/21-tips-for-diy-sharpie-marker-mugs
As a prelude to the crafty makes, I thought I'd also add some poems I wrote in honour of my Mum. I submitted them to a small publishing house called Red Paint Hill but they weren't their cup of tea! So why not post on here instead! If you didn't know already, Mother's Day is this coming Sunday, 30th March.
I hope my Mum doesn't mind me putting a picture of us on here but I love this one. It was taken on New Year's Eve '13 when we visited my brother Phil and his family in London. They were staying over on a little trip from Tampa Bay, Florida where they live. (Sorry to the others I cropped out of this picture but this one is all about Mum!) I was bit self-conscious myself as I had no make-up on but you can see a nice little bump showing of my baby boy to come! Can't wait!
So, onto the poetry! And in my usual need to elaborate, I just want to give a brief introduction to each poem as to where the ideas came from. Just skip this bit if you get bored with waffle!
1. 'Communication'. My relationship with my Mum as a teenager was often quite fractious. Hormones raging, I just didn't care, I was angry at the world and my Mum unfortunately got the brunt of it. It took me years to understand that I needed to give her respect, no matter what I felt! And I think it took her a while to really understand I didn't do it deliberately to hurt her - not that that justified my behaviour, of course I know it wasn't acceptable. But she did get very upset by it and I don't blame her! So I hope this one gives an insight for both Mums and teenagers alike of how to move forward in this situation if you're going through the same.
2. 'Recovery'. This one is a little sad as it paints the picture of a time in my life leading up to a point culminating in my Mum having severe kidney failure. She was rushed to hospital on the brink of death. As referred to in the poem, she did actually die and came back to life! It wasn't pleasant being in the hospital hearing my Mum's distress, but hey, we all got through it. I don't think I was particularly 'walking with God' in my faith at the time, but I still managed to have strong faith she'd pull through. And she did! Praise God!
3. 'Genes'. A nice one to finish on, this is simply an ode to the gifts and talents handed down to me through my mix of genes and DNA from my Mum and hers. Namely, this creative talent of mine, woop woop! Thanks Mum :) And of course a nod to well taught behaviours such as honesty, generosity and compassion/empathy for others.
Poem 1 - communication
"Hello darling! How was your day?" She said.
"Humph", I said, "go away!" I said.
"But darling..." I cut her off.
"Shut up! I'm going to my room".
Why does she always bother me?
I could not describe the anger I felt,
All I wanted was to come in and relax,
But no, she had to bug me, didn't she.
My Mother stood there, stunned.
Stung with my words.
The slamming of the door in her face,
Wondering what she had done wrong.
She had been thinking about me all day.
She had only wanted to know how my day had gone.
And what had I done?
Thrown it back in her face, trampled all over it.
Yet I did not feel guilty,
I just felt angry.
Angry at the world.
Not at her, why would she not understand that?
I could hear her crying,
I calmed myself down.
I sheepishly approached her door,
I gently pushed it open.
"Mum", I said, "I'm sorry".
I gave her my explanations,
I knew it did not justify my behaviour.
And I told her I loved her.
She allowed me to hug her,
She said she still did not understand.
I could see she was still upset.
I left her to it.
The next day, when I came home, I still felt angry at the world.
Yet somehow I managed to say the right words,
"Give me ten minutes, Mum.
To get my head together.
I promise I will come and talk to you after that".
Understanding finally dawned on her,
And I had learnt a step forward in communication.
Poem 2 - Recovery
There was a time in my life,
When my Mother was not really there.
Physically, she was.
But her mind was elsewhere.
It was lonely without her,
She was not well.
Sometimes it was distressing, I felt for her.
I remember her screams at the hospital,
She did not know what was going on.
But I was old enough to.
In a way, I still carry the scars today.
I had to stay there all day,
The only member of my family
Without commitments, keeping me away.
I had to sit there,
Wondering, hoping, praying
That she would be ok.
Somehow I felt a peace
That her life would not cease.
Although, actually, it did.
I only found that out after,
When people asked how she had lost weight,
Well, just die a few times
And be revived back to life!
It was the wake up call she needed,
She recovered fully,
And I got my Mum back.
Poem 3 - Genes
Blame it on the parents, people say.
I could not say that for mine,
There comes a time
To take responsibility, for me.
Instead of blame,
I like to name,
The gifts and skills given,
My talent I do not resent.
I honour my Mother
For the unique combination,
Of genes and DNA,
That gave me a solid foundation.
Her creative gifts that I share,
I would not change for anything.
They make me want to sing!
To the world I will lay them bare.
Her Mother before her I celebrate,
To show it is never too late.
Over a generation, it skipped
So that, with writing skills, I am equipped.
Kind, compassionate and generous,
These character traits I possess,
Because I was shown the best
I am truly blessed.
As the cycle continues,
My son is on his way,
I was made to see
How a Mother should be.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed those and were able to take something from them. Don't forget to check in again tomorrow for part 1 of my 'Mother's Day Craft Makes'. Which will be the decorated mugs using Sharpie pens. Throughout this week I will post the rest as follows: part 2 will be the gingerbread man shaped short bread biscuit and handmade packaging; and part 3 will be the handmade card to finish off. If you have a go yourself, when you present it to your Mum, you can offer to make her a hot drink in her new mug to go with her biscuit! Perfect!
As is the usual, please do get in touch with your comments. Would love to hear your thoughts.
Photo credits (for 'Communication' and 'Genes' these were adapted to add the titles):
Communication - from Ipsc.usu.edu/global.aspx.
Recovery - from crossfitthames.com.
And Genes - from firstfrcr.com/tag/genes.
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.