Planning Out Loud: W/B 25 June 2018

Hello! Welcome to my weekly Plan With Me video in which I get the coming week all decorated and set-up and my appointments, events and tasks planned out in my bullet journal. Thanks for watching! xxx

If you’d like to financially support my channel please visit my online shop, StonetableDesignsUK, and buy one of my unique, handmade cards, bookmarks or sticker sets. Thank you!

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Design Team News: What I’ve Been Up to This Week

It’s been a full week, and I’ve done lots of design team work! Below is a selection of what I’ve made over the last seven days, plus a few sneak peeks of what’s to come.

With Mama Makes stamps, I made a Miss You card, added the days of the week to my planner and created some texture on the background of a memory keeping spread.

I had a play with the goodies in my Cheeky Studio design team package and have made an unboxing video which will go live next week. I’ve also made a start on my July makes. Here are some sneak peeks … To see the full pictures, you’ll need to follow Cheeky Studio on Instagram and Facebook.

Here are a few things that I’ve already shared this week on Instagram and in the Cheeky Studio Facebook Group.

This week I received my Skull and Cross Buns design team package, and I’ve made an unboxing video for that too. That will go live on July 1st, when my term officially starts. Here’s a little look at what I made in the video.

You’ll have to tune in on Sunday to see the whole thing!

Speaking of tuning in: don’t forget that the new Mama Makes Christmas stamps will be released on TV on Wednesday … hopefully, some of my makes will appear too!

Thanks for stopping by! Back soon. xxx

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Journaling Out Loud: Time to Bloom

Hello and welcome! In today’s video I decorate a spread in my journal with mixed media. Thanks for watching!

If you’d like to financially support my channel please visit my online shop, StonetableDesignsUK, and buy one of my unique, handmade cards, bookmarks or sticker sets. Thank you!

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The Little Paper Tree: Nuvo Mica Mists Episode III

Hello! It’s me, Natalie, back with another installment of my Nuvo Mica Mists series. Last week, I demonstrated how striking these sprays can look on black card. This week, I’m going to show you how well they play with some of the other Nuvo products available at The Little Paper Tree.

For this post, I created a spread in one of my altered books. It’s actually an old stamp album but you could use any art journal, or even a canvas. I prepared my pages by gluing on some torn up pieces of magazine paper, then painting over them with white gesso. Once the gesso had dried, I sprayed ….

To read the rest, please visit The Little Paper Tree.

Thanks!

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Planning Out Loud: W/B 18 June 2018

Hello! Welcome to my weekly Plan With Me video in which I get the coming week all decorated and set-up and my appointments, events and tasks planned out in my bullet journal. Thanks for watching! xxx

If you’d like to financially support my channel please visit my online shop, StonetableDesignsUK, and buy one of my unique, handmade cards, bookmarks or sticker sets. Thank you!

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Design Team News: It’s All Happening!

It’s a good job I like to keep busy because I’ve just been given a place on another design team – this time it’s for Skull and Cross Buns! Not only that, but Loti has asked her Mama Makes design team to stay on for another six months, so that makes four design teams I’m on now. You know what, though? I am so happy because it’s giving me lots of different types of project to work on and a bunch of really great people to work with.

Skull and Cross Buns is a rubber and clear stamp company run by Emily Cox. The designs are quirky and a bit alternative, and right up my street. They’re great for personalising greetings cards, scrapbook pages, gift wrap, business cards, stationery, wedding invites etc. Skull and Cross Buns also sells embellishments, stencils, inks and other crafting and stamping supplies. I can’t wait to get my hands on it all!

The picture above is of a custom stamp that Emily made for me. It’s a gorgeous vintage typewritery font, and looks great on the back of my cards!

That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading Catch you later! xxx

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The Little Paper Tree: Unboxing and Demo

Hello and welcome! In this video, I unbox my latest order from The Little Paper Tree and create a card from all the goodies. Thanks for watching. xxx

If you’d like to financially support my channel please visit my online shop, StonetableDesignsUK, and buy one of my unique, handmade cards, bookmarks or sticker sets. Thank you!

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The Little Paper Tree: Nuvo Mica Mists Episode II

Hello! It’s me, Natalie, back with tutorial two of my Nuvo Mica Mists series! Last week, I showed you how great these mists look on embossed card. This week, I’m going to show you how well they work on black card and through stencils.

So, for this tutorial, I made one main card and a bunch of backgrounds, so you can see the range of effects that are possible. The Nuvo Mica Mists sprays work with stencils in same way as other sprays I’ve used …

To read the rest of the post, please visit The Little Paper Tree.

Don’t forget, you can use my coupon code TLPTNATALIE10 for 10% off your next order!

Thanks for stopping by! x

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Planning Out Loud: Setting Up My New Work Bullet Journal

Hello! In this video I set up my new ‘work’ bullet journal and talk you through my reasoning for doing it the way I’ve done it. Thanks for watching!

If you’d like to financially support my channel please visit my online shop, StonetableDesignsUK, and buy one of my unique, handmade cards, bookmarks or sticker sets. Thank you!

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Mental Health Monday: What Is This Thing Called Recovery? Part Three

Hello, and welcome to another What Is This Thing Called Recovery? post. This week, I want to talk about some more of the recovery themes I’ve embraced over the last year, and how they are playing out in my life on a daily basis. (Catch-up on parts one and two.)

In my last post, I talked about the umbrella themes of Hope, Agency and Opportunity. In this post I’m going to give you a brief run-down of some of their sub-themes and what they mean to me:

Turning Point of Acceptance

One of the Recovery College course facilitators often points out that he thinks this theme should be Turning POINTS of Acceptance, rather than POINT. I completely agree. I think acceptance is an ongoing process, just as recovery is an ongoing process. I’ve had to accept that I was ill, that I needed help, that I needed to go into hospital, that I was ready to come out of hospital, that I could recover, that I could take responsibility for my recovery, that I could live a satisfying and contributory life even within the limitations imposed on me by illness, that sometimes I can’t manage to do everything I want to do in the way I want to do it. Every day, I have to accept that the only certainty we have in life is that uncertainty is part of life!

Valued Identity, Relationships and Roles

Mental illness can deeply undermine a person’s identity. It did for me. Before I began to recover, I frequently questioned what the point of me was. I felt useless and burdensome. Part of my recovery has been examining and rediscovering who I am, who I believe myself to be, and what I can, and should, contribute to the world. I now know that I have to be creative, I have to make things with my hands. I also know that just because I’m able to do something well, doesn’t mean I need to do that something. The Recovery College runs a whole day course on identity which I’ll talk about in my next post, so I’ll leave it at that for now.

Purpose and Active Participation in Life

This theme is sister to Valued Identity, Relationships and Roles. Our sense of purpose and the way we participate in life comes from, and informs, our identity, relationships and roles. Knowing that I need to be creative, and that it’s okay to not do everything I once did, has freed me physically, mentally and emotionally to explore new avenues of expression and contribution. Making and selling cards, telling the story of my recovery, working on design teams … I could never have imagined this two years ago, but it’s where I am and where I want to be. Recovery has made these things possible, and these things are making recovery possible.

Support

Where do I start? There are so many people I want to acknowledge that this paragraph could end up sounding like an Oscar acceptance speech! Obviously, there’s my husband and my children, my mum, sister and brother, my amazing parents-in-law, my best friend, my church family, my online friends, the hospital staff, my GP, my community support worker, the pharmacists, God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit … I’m bound to leave someone out. The point is, I’m not doing this alone. It’s a team effort.

Self-Management and Responsibility

I wrote in quite a bit of detail about this topic in my Regaining Control – It’s Up to Me Post, so I’ll encourage you to have a read of that, but in short: I am taking responsibility for my recovery by choosing hope, by living intentionally and mindfully and by getting into and maintaining daily habits that promote wellness. I can’t really go into any more detail here because that’s what this whole blog is about! Just have a rummage through my other posts …

Choice and Information

I don’t think I’d be where I am today without all the information I’ve acquired over the last year or so. Everything I’ve learned about recovery, I’ve learned in hospital workshops, on Recovery College courses, through the wise counsel of family and friends, and through my own research – mainly via TED Talks on YouTube. It’s all this information that has equipped me and allowed me to make informed choices about my care and my recovery.

Individuality and Creativity

I’ve touched on this already, but I think it’s worth saying that recovery is a very individual process. We are all different, so everyone’s recovery nitty gritty is going to be different. What helps in my recovery might not help in yours. Not everyone is going to find purpose, meaningful occupation and a sense of utility through designing and making greetings cards, but I firmly believe that everyone is creative – it’s God-given. It’s just a matter of finding the time, energy, support, materials, inspiration, channels that you need … not a tall order then!

Seriously, though I’ve come to realise that loss of creativity is one of my mental illness early warning signs. About a year before I became really ill, I stopped creating and struggled to write anything. That should have rung alarm bells, but I didn’t know then what I know now. Anyway, my creativity came back slowly. It began in hospital with fine-liners and colouring books, and continued with zentangling and then with card-making and now with writing on this blog, design team work, planning, journaling, bible journaling, scrapbooking and making YouTube videos about it all. As I have recovered, I have become more creative, and as I have become more creative, I have carried on recovering. Creativity isn’t just about arts and crafts, though; it’s about problem solving and health management and work and, well, the whole of life. Creativity is an approach to life.

Spirituality

I’m not going to go into detail about Spirituality here because I’ve got a whole blog post planned on the topic, but I will say that I believe we are all spiritual beings, that there is more to us than flesh, blood and bone, and that we need to nurture this facet of ourselves. My faith has played a big part in my recovery, and I believe that God has been with me throughout. It’s important to me that I don’t dress up my struggles to make them more presentable and palatable to the world. I don’t want to share my stories as if they are complete, all wrapped up in pretty paper and tied with a flashy bow. Recovery stories are messy and difficult to contain, and so are faith stories. My recovery story and my faith story are intertwined and inseparable and require a lot more room to tell properly, so stay tuned!

So that’s it: a whistle-stop tour of some common recovery themes and the part they’re playing in my life. Next week, I’ll be back with a post about mental illness and our sense of self. Until then …

Thanks for reading! xxx

You can read more of my Mental Health Monday posts here.

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