Tuesday, 3 April 2018

How I got back in control of my anxiety

Has anyone else found the past week or so especially more stressful and difficult emotionally and stress-level wise than normal? I certainly have! And although I can't control the circumstances that cause these elevated feelings of anxiety, I CAN control how I deal with them.
For the past fortnight my life and all that occurs in the day to day of that life has been stressing me out in a big way. I've felt buried under responsibilities and endless tasks. I've felt that although I've been busy and must have been achieving things, that I wasn't making any effect on my endless to-do list. Why was that? Well, I finally figured that out this morning and it's because I wasn't actually MAKING ANY LISTS. Yep. Me... who is usually the list-queen around here and has bits of paper and sticky notes everywhere around the house with things crossed off on them...yes, me, had not made a single list. Not one! So I was forgetting things, feeling like I wasn't achieving anything, looking around me at the literal and figurative disarray around me and just being plain damn tense about it.

I swore to myself at the beginning of the year that I would break down tasks that felt like a struggle to overcome into small manageable bits, and lately I have completely forgotten to do that. And boy, oh, boy have I felt the effects from my list writing hiatus.

This morning I started a list! And immediately I started to feel better.  Isn't it funny how the simple act of writing things down can help your frame of mind? Blessed be the power of the list!

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

DIY Blood Moon Lamp

Soooo I had intended to make a nice and easy DIY replication of that moon lamp that's been doing the rounds in my Facebook feed but what I've created didn't quite go to plan... therefore I bring you The Blood Moon Lamp! I think I know where I went wrong and will be doing it again but in the meantime here's how you make this pretty and ambient light. 

Step 1. Partially blow up a balloon until you have a perfect sphere. To make the glue all you'll need it equal parts plain (all purpose flour) and water mixed together so there are no lumps or clumps. For the paper mache you'll use toilet paper squares! It's nice and thin, extremely pliable, and readily available. I use a silicone basting brush to apply the glue initially but ended up just smearing it around with my hands. It was so very very messy but worked great and was oddly satisfying. 
Step 2. After you've applied the first layer, add another 2-3. I used 4 in total but I think 3 would look nicer. Leave it to dry COMPLETELY, mine fully dried in 2 days.
TIP smooth the edges with your fingers to remove the visibility of the edge of toilet paper sheets 
Step 3. Pop the balloon and take it out. If you need to trim the base so your lamp sits flat on a surface then you can do that now with scissors. Spend some time stroking the inside of the lamp because it will be SO smooth in there...I mean, I'm totally not weird at all *hah*
Step 4. Using a square of kitchen sponge dab some gold paint over your moon lamp using a photo of a full moon for reference. This was the point I realised that my lamp wasn't going to look like it did in my head but I also waited 2 days for this fucker to dry and I wanted a damn lamp. It's still really cool! Just not what I set out to do. But anyway, carrying on...
Step 5. Add a light inside your lamp. You can use a string of twinkle lights like I have, battery powered candles, any kind of LED white light.
Annnnnnnnd TA DA! Blood Moon Lamp, Sun Lamp, whatever. It's funky.
Fun fact- the flour and water glue has a yellow one to it and will give you a yellow lamp. Damnit. 

Sunday, 4 March 2018

I made my kitten a harness and leash

My little puss cries whenever I go out the door. Even if she can see me while I'm hanging out the washing. She'll scale the screen, mew and mew, and generally make me feel like a terrible human. She's an indoor kitty so she isn't allowed out to roam around on her own but I felt like taking her outside with me while I'm gardening, hanging washing, or just having a cup of tea out under the patio would be a nifty thing to be able to do. Safely, that is! Being so young she'd be at a good stage to start harness training so I can take her out into the world but harnesses are either too damn big because they're meant for dogs (the affordable ones at the Reject Shop), or too damn expensive.
I don't have- money
I do have - fabric scraps, a sewing machine, crochet skills, time (sort of), and a foolhardy sense of determination.

And so, with a little trial and error, I made both a kitty harness and a leash all with crafty supplies and shit I had already. What I did was start off using a crochet harness pattern I found online {Pixie Heart Strings} and once I'd determined the first was too small I made adjustments and came up with a good fit. A friend pointed out that maybe crochet would have too much give to hold her securely inside and she was right, so to counteract that I've rather shittily but somewhat successfully lined it in cotton to decrease that stretch that crocheted fabric naturally has. I then sewed it to the inside of the harness and attached a loop on the top for the leash clip. I realise that as she grows I will need to make larger ones, or I may get to a point where I'll be able to buy one, but I'm ok with that. I've always found huge satisfaction finding handmade solutions to problems I have around the home. As Bigweld from Robots says, 'See a need, fill a need'! The leash was made using multiple cut strips of fabric folding over and sewn together end to end as I didn't have one piece of fabric large enough to cut a whole length from. The plastic clip I salvaged off the strap from a travel duffel bag I never use the strap for anyway.

And does it fit Moira? Yep! There's a little room in there for her growth over the next month I think but it's still snug enough to start using now. I popped it on her for a final fitting and to let her run around in it, she's not fussed by it at all. She isn't too keen on having it put on but she gets over that pretty quickly. The next step will be to put it on her, attach the leash, and take it for a test run. The weather is waaaay too hot and humid to do that today, I don't want to make her any hotter. I'll wait til it cools down, if it cools down, during the week.

Maybe eventually she can come with us to the corner shop to get milk, or have a walk around the block. We'll see!

Saturday, 3 March 2018

(Almost) 28 days of kitten sketches

At the beginning of the month I decided to practice my drawing from life skills but setting myself a little challenge...that challenge being to do a sketch of Moira every day of February either from life, or if need be from a photo taken that day. Trying to see an object as a collection of shapes and being able to sketch the basic form is something I want to work on so that I can incorporate it into my watercolour painting. When setting up the scamp, or guide drawing, pre-loose watercolour painting, it's a good idea to capture the subject quickly, without too much fuss, and get the shapes down on paper.
Some days I was able to get a little more detail in my sketches, other days and especially on those when she was awake when being sketched, I'd get little more than an outline. I've tried to focus on proportions, and drawing what I see rather than what I know is there. So here we are... (almost) sketches of Moira the kitten!

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Plarn Rug Progress

This happened to be cut in a really coincidental way to show 'Avoid Littering'! I thought it was pretty cool

So that's my plarn crochet rug progress thus far! Most recent photo was taken yesterday, I've added a little more since last night. I've no idea how big I'm going to make it yet but I haven't worked through my plastic bag stash yet and whenever online groceries arrive I get a few more. Ideally I think I'd like one big enough to use in my lounge room, that'd be awesome. DIY upcycled home decor is definitely my thing! Moira likes to chew on it when I'm working on it and sits in my box of plarn strips so she can attack my hand whenever I dip in to get another one out. In her mind I guess she's helping haha 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Slowing down under pressure

I'm experiencing a case of the 'completely unmotivated to do the things that need doing'...it's not fun. Both kiddies have colds at the moment and sleeping is a thing they aren't doing (although it's never been a strong point of theirs anyway really, but it did get better), it's absolutely humid and hot as balls here in old Port Mac, we're all tired and grumpy, it's just bleeeeeegh. Boob sweat, guys. Boob sweat.

The list of things to get done include taking L up for his 4 year old health check, going to the dr to get a new script for the happy pills for another few months, both of those things involving a VERY FUCKING LONG wait at the 'super clinic' up the road. I know from experience that taking two boys in there for even an hour of waiting is a nightmare, not even gonna try while they're both sick, not even gonna try walking up in this shitful heat, and not even gonna try and manage that on the very little amount of sleep I've had. Safe to say I scratched that off the list until further notice... however the knowledge that it still needs to be is lurking lurking lurking.
Money is stressing me the fuck out as well, but it always does that, so not much point giving to much more worry to that than usual. The fact I'm sweating all over and grimy is not helping. As I sit here typing I pine, I yearn, I dream of a shower but as the bathroom shares a wall with Bryce's room and after an hour of trying to get him to calm down and take a nap, and the silence that has finally befallen his room, there's no way I'm going to risk disturbing that. No way at all.
And so to ease this feeling of 'what the fuck am I doing with myself' I decided to put a plan into action I had for my room. I'd wanted to rearrange it for the past month or so but knew that it would be a whopping great task to achieve on my own. OF COURSE I decided to tackle that this morning on my own, because I'm either extremely determined, extremely stupid, or a bit of column A and B combined. As I went about huffing and puffing dragging furniture about I thought about how a task can seem impossible until it's done. Choosing to send something into chaos so that we can rearrange, adjust, start over, is sometimes necessary for the better. I was thinking how moving things that were probably a bit too heavy for me to manage but succeeding anyway reminded me that we're capable of more than we often perceive ourselves to be capable of. I stood in the center of a massive disorganised kerfuffle and thought 'what the hell have I done?' but knew that going forward was the only way... I couldn't very well leave it as it was! And when the moving of furniture was done, and the floor was vacuumed, a scented candle had been lit, the kitten playing on my bed, my closet sorted through and emptied of what I didn't need, the curtains were open, my scarves were neatly organised onto new hooks, I stood and smiled because not two hours before all of it was simply an idea. An idea I took into my own hands and bought to life.
Perhaps the metaphor seems a bit menial but it was so prominent in my thoughts I wanted to write about it.
"Doing the thing IS the thing" 
meaning that it isn't only when the task is completed that you should feel satisfied that you've achieved something, because we'll always have tasks to achieve after that and the feeling will come again, but it's the knowledge that you have a thing to do, or want to do, and plan to make it happen. There's no use in thinking "Once I do this, I'll find peace", find peace in the moment and in yourself as you go about your tasks and life and you'll shake loose that hurried sense of 'I must do this, and this, and that, and remember to go here, then go there'. You can do absolutely anything! But you can't do everything at once. And that right there is a thing I find myself struggling with every damn day. But hey, I'm working on it! Xx

Monday, 12 February 2018

Project Pan #3 February

I missed January! I must have been busy and wasn't able to put the post together, but here we are with the 3rd installment of Project Pan. If you don't know what Project Pan is, you can start at my first PP post {HERE}, and follow that up with the second one {HERE},but in a nutshell it's using up makeup products that you either want to replace or get rid of but concentrating on using those items as often as possible in your makeup routine. I have a number of things in my own Project Pan I'd like to use up for various reasons - in the case of my Gerard Cosmetics setting spray I want to use it because it cost me $30 and while it works well the smell is just hideously overwhelming of cucumber! Like can't breathe while applying or for a short while after intense. The goal with that is to empty it with frequent use and then get some MAC Fix+ to replace it.

1. Primer - e.l.f Poreless Face Primer and BYS Luminizing Foundation Primer
Hmm, primer-wise still working on that e.l.f stuff. No idea what progress I've made because I can't see into the frosted bottle *sniff* It is starting to sputter when I pump it so fingers crossed. The luminizing BYS primer has been hard to love in this heat. I can't use it on its own which is a pain in the butt. It pills when used on its own.

2. Foundation - MUD Flawless Finish in soft beige
MUD foundation - I've thrown both the shades I owned into the bin. Why? Because I've since come to the realisation that my itchy face was only happening the days I used that foundation ergo skin reaction! So that takes those out of my Project Pan!
3. Colour Correct - BYS Conceal and Correct
I'll use this on occasion but since improving my skin care routine I've noticed my redness has significantly reduced (thank you Palmer's Eventone!!) and I haven't needed the green. I've also been using Garnier Miracle Eye Cream which colour corrects on skin-contact, as well as concealing UNDER my foundation so I haven't had much use for that, either. Nevertheless I've made a small amount of progress.

4. Contour - MUD Defining Contour and Highlight
MUD contour and highlight... welllllll ok I admit I sort of haven't used this at all. I am SO bad at this Project Pan thing! Haha! Ok maybe I should put all my items into a basket to reach for first, that would probably be the smart thing to do. (Shoulda done that from the start, hey? Ooooopsies)

5. Brows - L.A Girl Inspiring Brow Kit
Brow powder... chucked it out!! Why? Because it was making my skin itch as well. So take that out of Project Pan aswell. I'm glad I've been using these things more exclusively though so I'm able to pinpoint what's causing the problems. Instead I've been using either a pencil or the 'Barbados' eyeshadow shade in the Ashley Tisdale Illuminate palette.
6. Powder - Covergirl Loose Powder in 110 Translucent Light
The powder I've been using over my Coty Airspun everytime! I'm really enjoying it! Perhaps I've tanned a little this Summer because the tone is suiting me a lot nicer.

7. Blush - L'Oreal Paris in 90 Luminous Rose
The blush is being very slowly chipped away at... very slowly. Blush is just one of those things you seriously don't need much of. It's gonna take me a while.

8. Highlight - Mermaid Salon Tokyo Lights
The highlighter I've all but given up on... it's just do darn chunky and hard to love! Mermaid Salon is so touch and go with their products I feel, or maybe this style of highlighter just isn't my jam. Either way, I know I've hardly touched it but this month, starting today, I'm going to use it every day until my next PP. I tell ya it's going to be one heck of a challenge not to reach for my beloved W7 Glocomotion or e.l.f Moonlit Pearls.

10. Lips - Rimmel Stay Glossy in 260 My Eternity
The gloss in my PP I'm struggling to use because honestly I'm learning I'm not much of a gloss person. The perils of having a lot of thick hair and a small face with a close hairline means that nomatter how I wear my hair, it gets stuck to my gloss. I haven't used it all month.
11. Concealer - Rimmel Wake Me Up in very fair/light
Concealer? Still love it, still using it. Still not empty.

Empties? Forgot I was posting about those and didn't keep them. Whoops. It was nothing beauty related

No-buy? Fail. I ordered a whole lot of skin and hair care stuff on Cosmetic Capitol which I could almost justify because skin and hair care is like underpants, it's essential right? But then I went to Beserk and got myself four new Concrete Mineral loose shadows, Sugar Pill purple liquid lip, and preordered the absolutely STUNNING Sugar Pill Little Twin Stars palette. There are a shit-tonne of new releases in the beauty world that catch my eye *cough* Jouer funfetti highlighter *cough*, but, while I admire them they're usually a) WAY too expensive b) can't be bought on Afterpay which is my only method of owning nice things or c) not available in Australia, this palette just sung to my heart and I NEEDED it with a deep and intense passion. I mean just look at it! Be still my beating heart. I'll eat two minutes noodles for a month for this.
The next post I'm working on is another makeup related one, then a catch up on my garden, charity crochet, sketches, I'll get to those. The kids both have colds at the moment and the Octonauts DVD I put on to write up this post has ended so I best be off!

How I got back in control of my anxiety

Has anyone else found the past week or so especially more stressful and difficult emotionally and stress-level wise than normal? I certainly...