Wednesday, 22 April 2015

A MIDWEEK MOVEMENT...

Hello there!
Thanks for popping in today.
I’m glad you did, 
because I have something new I would like to share with you.
A new Wednesday Blog idea.


Humpback Wednesday and all that. 
Mid week crisis be gone!!!


It’s not a stamp, or a stencil,
in fact it’s not anything one can buy today.
I sometimes feel that I am pounding you with products daily, 
and that really is NOT my intention. 
It’s just the nature of the Craft Blog.

Anyway, you’ve got plenty of crafty stash and ideas 
to keep you going, I’m sure!!



There’s a lot of talk and hype about Mindfulness nowadays,
and we crafters have known for a long time about the benefits of getting busy with the hands and mind.

 We know all about switching off what’s going on in our heads 
by focussing on making a card, knitting a jumper 
or painting the living-room wall!
I know I am preaching mostly to the converted here, 
but there are literally millions of people out there, 
if you’ll pardon the “out there” expression,
who have no idea, not a scooby, how beneficial and therapeutic
something as simple as colouring in a picture can be for the mind.

I’m not suggesting for a minute that folks should throw their 
anti-depressant pills down the loo, 
because colouring in and crafting is a better alternative,
but I am suggesting that Craft works - it really does. 

Mindfulness. Long word.
I looked it up, and in a nutshell, 
it’s to do with learning to stay in the Here and Now;
not dwelling on the past or fretting about the future,
but focussing on what’s going on this very moment. 
 ONE DAY AT A TIME. 
Funny that.

I often get asked how I manage to do so much, 
to fit so much into my life;
and my answer without hesitation, is always
ONE DAY AT A TIME. 
Hence the title of my blog.

If I take a brutally honest look at myself though,
I know that I keep busy to distract myself,
to avoid sitting around thinking bad, sad thoughts.
Thinking, thinking, thinking....
Most of what my head tells me is rubbish anyway!

Don’t get me wrong! I’m no Doctor or Psychologist, 
and I do have waves of anger, stress and sadness quite often.

But I have also found a solution which distracts the anxiety and washing machine head.
CREATING ART

Some people get it from yoga.
I fell asleep on the mat and was dribbling when they woke me up.


Some people get it from vigorous exercise.
I joined the local gym 3 years ago, and have been twice. 
Shame on me!


Dave gets it from music;
he composes beautiful music on his guitar. 
What am I saying??
Guitar-s! Plural. He’s got one in every room! 
And under the bed!
But hey! Thank God he’s not a drummer!!

But I get it from 
ART, 
from MAKING ART AND BEING CREATIVE.



That’s my healthy obsession. 

Whether I am preparing a blog,
making a card,
designing a new stamp,
planning what I am going to show you on the next TV show,
 or just experimenting with new paints,
I find that almost instantly, my attention moves away from negative thoughts, and focusses on the task at hand. 

AND THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!!!

So this is what I propose:
On Wednesdays, we take a look at our art 
from a mindfulness point of view.

Humour me here! 
You never know - actually focussing on HOW craft works might prove helpful to you, too

I just feel that I would like to reach out,
share what we already know here with others.

The Wednesday Blog is a stepping stone;
More will be revealed... 

Please share back below; tell me what you think.
I reckon we could start a Midweek Movement...
Haha !


lots of love,

121 comments:

  1. Well Barbara having just learned that I'm going to probably need another operation for polyps on the womb your one day at a time theory looks great to me! Think I'll concentrate every day on making something crafty and give my head a rest from all the negative thoughts I'm having. Onward and upward! X

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  2. Brilliant you are so correct to be in the now, to reflect, to create, and to think about it. This was joyful to read and something to think about. Thanks Barb!

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  3. I could not agree more with your comments. I began creating cards a few years back whilst suffering severe depression. Believe me, it kept me off the drugs and hospitalisation. I craft now and find when "the black dog" strikes - I escape to my craft room and get cracking. It certainly goes along way to stop mulling over the petty strifes and tribulations of everyday happenings. I hope this is the sort of "mindfulness" comment you were looking for. I must look up mindfulness and perhaps gain more. Finally, I find your blog and everything you have taught me over the past few years has helped me tremendously and I am sure others will echo my final comment.
    Best wishes
    Anne (Reading)

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  4. Sorry to hear that Isobel, but yes! Get with your hands and get out of your head!!!

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  5. I usually read your blog but don't comment, today i would like to say i have been crafting as a way to distract myself from the physical pains i live with for many years. It does work and stops you from fretting about being awake at silly o'clock or not sleeping at all. Crafting is my meditation and my way of coping. I will be reading your Wednesday posts with my mind and eyes open :-) xxx

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  6. Oh, how true!! One of my WI ladies once said that everyone needs something creative in their lives - be it gardening, cooking, painting, card making, whatever - but just something that is for them, something that really doesnt matter - in the grand scheme of running our complicated lives. It's not part of our responsibilities for bring up children or running a business or a home but just a small niche that belongs just to us. A hidey hole that we can creep into when things get too much and where we can make something that pleases just ourself. It may not be perfect, its probably a bit wonky or the colours aren't quite as you intended when you started out - but you stamp "made with love by…." on the back and then give it to someone you cherish - and they will know how much they mean to you by the effort you have made for them. And then all is right with the world - for the time being anyway.

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  7. Mindfulness helped my husband during and after a 6 month stay in hospital with severe depression. During this difficult time (and after) crafting has kept me going. I can forget my worries and have something that will give pleasure to,someone at the end of it.

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  8. Hi Barbara, thanks once again for your fab blog. I completely agree, when you have those thoughts that whirl around your head, one of the best techniques to alleviate this is distraction. This can be in many forms; counting backwards from 100, going for a walk or crafting. For me crafting really works and has been a real help. It's good to know that we are not alone out there and many people experience the same sort of thoughts and feelings. Really looking forward to what you have planned for Wednesday's xxx

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  9. I so agree on all of this. I do have a lot of comitments in daily life which wear me out. When i go to my thiny craft space and put life on hold to take some ME time i blossom. Crafting is my water in the dessert, my life jacket in the ocean, my light in the darkness. And when i create something i can have such a feel of satisfaction over me, you cannot believe. And when i create something for someone in particular, theire smile on theire face when they receive the card, well that's the butter on my toast, the cream in the coffee, the topping on the cup cake. Am i getting way too lyrical here ? As Barbara always puts it 'you have to know when to stop'. So i'll stop. Think you get the idea by now LOL.
    Here's a big hug for all my fellow crafters, Veerle x

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    1. Wonderful Veerie. Like poetry! x

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    2. Lovely words, poetic indeed 😊

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  10. Brilliant idea Barb, so when do you start? Lol! Seriously, sounds fab, too much worrying over what might never happen and what its the past that we can't change so Yes, here and now sounds great!

    Loved the images you showed, including your beautiful card.

    Love & hugs

    Jacquie J xxx
    http://jewelscardcraft.blogspot.co.uk

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  11. Thank you for your blog today - certainly crafting helped me during a time of real stress, and I now use it as a way of relaxing and just taking time out for myself in my busy life - I know of many others who also use it to the same ends. When I worked on a rehab unit for people with stroke and brain injury, we used art therapy and poetry as a different and creative way of helping people to express their feelings. We also used mindfulness techniques for people with long term conditions, such as diabetes, to cope with their symptoms day by day and hour by hour, rather than thinking about living the rest of their life trying to control their symptoms. I look forward to reading your Wednesday blogs in the future. Susan x

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  12. I think its a fantastic idea. I'm bogged down with daily life, looking after an old neighbour who is forgetting to eat and worrying about everything and everyone, a little bit of escapism would be very much appreciated. Give that girl a prize. love Joan x

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  13. Hello Barb, this is a brilliant idea, Life with all it's pressures does get you down. How I would love to escape into my own little world for a while. And your blog really helps me to concentrate on something else, today's really lifted my spirits, so looking forward to more. Bx

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  14. Have you got a little spy camera in my house, Barbara? This post today fits so well with what I have been doing. I started to write my blog this morning but then got sidetracked into continuing with some parchment work I had started last night. It is now 4.30pm and I have only just written my blog. I got totally lost in what I was creating, with the main design being my own drawing, and the frustration and difficult things vanished. I was told a long time ago that a dog can only concentrate on one thing at a time so you have to give him something positive to think of. The same applies to us humans. Get involved in some creative work and you cannot help but concentrate on positive things. As you know, crafting has been a real lifeline for me, so I cannot wait to see what else you have in mind for the wonderful blog of yours. Make sure you get plenty of time to lose yourself in your creative life. xxx Maggie

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  15. Hi Barbara
    Couldn't agree more. My crafty space is a place to chillax and recharge my batteries. Gives me a great place to clear my head of the stresses of the previous week at work and start with a clearer head the next. How great will it be to have a midweek blog to perform the same clear out. My staff might benefit if I'm not as stressed on a Thursday and Friday in future. Looking forward to it already. Keep up the good work.

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  16. Sounds like a grand plan, Barb! Crafting, whatever form it takes, is so therapeutic - whether to help the mind or the body - it takes us away to another place, a special "me-time" place. When I've been worrying about something that I have no control over, getting down to my workshop in the cellar & playing takes it away & calms me, even if only temporarily. A great escape when the going gets tough - it's all about focussing your mind, really.
    Very much looking forward to seeing what you come up with.....another reason to love a Wednesday :-)

    ttfn, Liz M xxx

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  17. Hi Barbara, Thank you for this, I think! I don't really understand enough from your writings but it feels like you are about to take us along with you on a route that can only help us and others that don't know it yet. So, I think I'm in! Nah, go on, I'll take a leap of faith in you (very rare for me to do in anyone that these days), ok, go on then, count me in it. Whatever IT is!!!! After my worker strimming my nice, almost new, wooden pots this afternoon, scratching and gouging and staining them green, despite me telling her to be sensible and move pots away first, causing me to feel lots of bad feelings! Maybe whatever plan you're hatching has come at just the right time for me too. It's so soul destroying and heart breaking, my gardens were the one thing since moving here that had been worked very hard on by me and someone else for a few years, and in the past year and a half week after week I've got to watch them be progressively destroyed /damaged and going downhill and all our hard work being lost. I've been feeling a kind of exhaustion in the last few weeks, since the serious thing happened, a different exhaustion to CFS, lack of sleep or anything. Just feel so exhausted, done, all tanks empty, worn down so much that even I can no longer pick myself up ready for the next one. And no sign at all of anything turning the corner. All I see is black, black nothingness and everything getting even worse, and this is it for the rest of my time alive.

    My wee bits of craft are starting to help me have wee bits of time sort of away from all the bad. It is only wee bits though, and very easy stuff, that I'm about to run out of soon so already worrying about what I can manage to get myself doing. With my being so ill just now and my head such a mess despite all the hours available, I end up with so little time for crafting. That needs managed better somehow. But I've also got other jobs around the house that need catching up on too. The other thing is progressing onto new and better, more arty stuff, including my Jane art. I have been getting wee bits of disjointed ideas popping into my head for my craft /arty road, but they are a bit here a bit there, nothing yet that adds up to making a whole piece of anything!!!!

    On the upside, today is a lovely and warm day here, so I was out wearing my garden shorts, t-shirt and trainers, with my Scottish translucent blue /milk bottle white skin!!! Oh, I did have my factor 50 on!!!! And when I came in Daisy was fine with me, not her usual happy to see me, play with me but not scared and spitting at me, and she left me a toy on the front door rug for me coming back in. So it seems she's got over the accident we had and that it's not going to happen again :-) One huge thing lifted off me :-)

    With you talking about craft helping people, and opening the door for others to have that help, it's time I get my story off to you. So, I'll definitely finish reading it this week, there I've set myself a deadline, got to now :-)

    Off to get some food, and see if I can sort myself out a bit so my head can think about doing something to take my mind off workers and the situation they've caused me to be in

    Love Brenda xx

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    1. Hi Brenda,
      Glad to hear Daisy is getting over her fear. Leaving you a toy is a good sign, just be careful not to trip over it on the way back in. You did make me laugh with the Scottish skin! I must have a wee bit of Scottish in my family tree as I am the same my sister said my white legs would scare the locals when we were on holiday. She only has to smell the sun and she goes brown! Not a sun lover anyway so don't mind.

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    2. Donna, you're getting to know me too well, warning me not to trip over my wee toy presents!!!! When I had good people looking after me I was always being warned about such things, mmm now I wonder why that was!!!! ;-) xx

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    3. I nearly have heart failure every time I step on a squeaky toy left by either of mine! Still at least I get a bit of a cardio workout jumping to the side :) XX

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    4. I think I need to have a word with Cleo and Phoebe, tell them to start leaving more toys around, if that's the only workout you get!!!!! ;-)
      Nicola's popping in tomorrow so we can get some oil on the bare damaged wood so they'll be protected again from the rain that's on it's way. In practical terms that's all we can do, if only it were that easy to sort out the in my head stuff. Problem is it's not a one off, they're always up to something either at me personally or my gardens, it's just got too much now, not handling it at all, and never getting a break away from it all, other than coming on here and trying to craft. I'm so sore now too, thought this might happen after doing the garden with me being worse than normal pain wise, and having to do far more than I should in the garden, until a worker learns, obviously doesn't help any! Grit your teeth pain and it's all over too. I don't take anything for it, at the start nothing they tried me on had that much effect and when I got to realise this CFS was for the long term I decided I had to somehow find a way to live with /through it, and just get on with things the best I could. Sometimes when the pain is as severe and all over like this it does make me cry but I just keep going the best I can. Usually it's caused by me doing something I shouldn't, but I don't mind if it's a worthwhile or good thing, kind of the price I have to pay, otherwise I'm lying in bed doing nothing and that's no good! Lately I think it must be stress that's made it bad, exacerbated with any physical activity. Well that's my plans for playing with walking the brayer put on hold for even longer :-(. I sure am in some mess just now, in all ways! Dread to think where I'd be without this here blog, Barbara, and all you lovely people. And the lovely chats I get to have with you. I don't think anyone can know exactly what this here is for me and the existence I've got. A massive thank you and big bear hug from me to all my extended clarity family, and an extra big one for Barbara and you :-)xx

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    5. I am so sorry that your beautiful precious garden is being spoiled for you. Something like that is soul destroying and I can imagine how frustrating it is for you to lose control over the garden which has given you so much pleasure. I hope that Daisy's steady recovery will give you the hope and strength to continue. Crafting has really been my salvation, something to keep my mind and hands busy during long evenings in particular. My piece of art for Jane took a long time to sort out, but in the end, it seemed to do itself in some strange way as though someone else was doing it through me. Perhaps your piece will do something similar. Stay as strong as you can, and keep your mind and body as busy as possible, Brenda. xxx Maggie

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    6. Arrr, sending you a big gentle bear hug back as I wouldn't want to squeeze too hard! Hope your visit with Nicola makes you feel more at ease XX

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    7. Thank you Maggie. And it's good to know too that someone else gets it about my gardens. The guy that used to help me, he caught the garden bug from me, helping me in my garden, and now has a lovely garden of his own. His partner even thanked me for everything I taught him as she now has a beautiful garden too :-) He would be as enthusiastic as me about a flower, the edging, or reviving a plant we thought we'd lost. I miss that, no one that comes now gets it or has any interest in gardens. Last year I gave up trying, pointing out how wonderful nature is, how perfect the tiniest little flower is, only to get a look telling me 'you're weird' (I've had plenty practise at learning what that look looks like)!!!! There's a lot of ladybirds and bees around here this year, never seen so many, so maybe things are getting better for the insect population, or maybe they've just spread the word that I have an insect friendly patch!!! xx

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    8. Thank you Donna. It will just be a flying visit from Nicola, she's not meant to, but it will be good to see a friendly face even though it's to sort out a worker mess. Hopefully I can feel the connection with her that I'm needing, and her caring :-) xx

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    9. Hi brenda big crafting hugs and hope tomorrow is a better day thinking of you xxx

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    10. Brenda your garden sounds beautiful, especially if the bees and ladybirds love it. I hope you find another garden soul mate some day soon, there must be another one out there. I'm so pleased to hear Daisy has forgiven you, gosh that's taken quite a while. Take care of yourself and be gentle on yourself with the gardening.
      Love Diane xxx

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    11. Thank you Diane and Sheila for your kind words :-)
      Sheila, sorry to hear they've put back the date for you moving back home. Glad you're managing wee bits of craft though, hopefully it's helping get you through the days.
      Diane, yes it is a huge relief for me on the Daisy front ;-) I had started fearing it had caused permanent psychological damage to her. She had an awful start in life, that I rescued her from as a tiny kitten, which has left her being more dependent on me. I'm still mum in her eyes, she still looks to me to keep her safe, see how she should react to something, if something is ok or not. I guess that's why it's taken so long. But now she's making up for lost time, following me around a lot more, instead of doing her own thing!!!

      love Brenda xx

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  18. Great idea. There's something peaceful about colouring in, the rhythmic movement of the pencil. Sanity here I come. Can't wait for Wednesday's Blog.

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  19. Hello Barbara, I love this idea, and how true your words are. I have been in many dark places (in my mind) and there are times, that I struggle to find those positive thoughts. I was in such a place last year a few weeks before attending your retreat, I have to say it was the best thing I have ever done. When I arrived I was so scared I nearly turned back but I didn't. I was so glad I stayed, after completing the first project, I forgot why I was scared.
    When I came away from the retreat, after two days crafting with you and fellow crafters, I felt the best I had in many years.
    I read your blog everyday, and no matter what you blog, craft, news, holidays or just a good chat, it is alway up lifting. So thank you for helping me think in a more positive way, and at times a kick up the backside....in my mind of course...lol xx Sally (spanner) x

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    1. Hey! spanner!!! Good to hear from you! Are you coming on the retreat this year?? X

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    2. Sally, I had the same reaction to the retreat and when I got home, my chiropractor and massage lady both commented that they had never known my shoulders so loose and relaxed. All down to two days of crafting with Barbara. xxx Maggie

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    3. Yes Barbara, I am defiantly booked for the retreat (3rd & 4th Aug) also have tickets for the open days. My other half was pleased to see a different me coming back from the retreat that he paid for me to go this year :-) xx Sally

      MaggieC (Silvercrafter)...Its amazing what two days of crafting with Barbara does for you xx Sally

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    4. Good for you Sally. I know that feeling well and know how hard it must have been for you.
      Gayle x

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  20. Hello Barbara

    You never spoke a truer word. Over the last few years since my husband's Alzheimers diagnosis crafting is what has kept me going. Over the next few weeks he will be going into residential care and I know my craft room will help me cope with this new state of affairs (together with the tablets, lol).

    Hang in there everybody and keep crafting and spreading the word.

    Love
    Roz.x

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  21. Strange you should talk about mindfulness Barbara. It's my birthday today and one of my lovely gifts from hubby is a mindfulness colouring book so I've been reading about it. I hadn't really thought about my card making being mindful but after reading what you have written I couldn't agree more. Here's to whatever you have in store for us on future Wednesday's
    Jackie x

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  22. Your blog posts are always so positive, today's has really helped me through. I love to keep busy, it helps stop negative thoughts creeping up, I have had a bad neck for three weeks now and have been off work, unfortunately I can't bend my head forward for long enough to make a card, but reading your blog and the comments made by fellow crafter's makes me count my blessings.

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    1. A box easel. I got one for me, sit it on my knee, set the angle of the easel at whatever is best /easiest to use and you can work looking forward instead of bending over. Means I can craft more than I would other wise be able to. Obviously you couldn't do everything on it but it's great for colouring, drawing etc. which leaves you with whatever time you can bend forward to do the other bits. Hope this helps xx

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    2. Hi Judith I have a buddy board I find it brilliant to use for my crafting as can be used in bed any angle and any room as I suffer with muscle spasm in my neck it has elastic bands on that hold your crafting in place try to read up on it see what you think I got mine off C&C long time ago now when it first launched wouldn't be without it crafting hugs sheila xx

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    3. Thank you Sheila and Brenda for your advice, will have a search on the internet. Hate having time off work but not being able to craft either that's just too much! Hugs to you both and keep crafting.

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  23. Hi Barb,
    This is so true. Even when I was really small and in trouble ( again!), I used to sit and colour in and just lose myself. I've always liked knitting, sewing and used to do a lot of tapestry to keep myself amused along with reading I must say. A few years ago, I discovered card making and I can spend hours doing one card - which also can be frustrating at times! Since reading your blog, I have got more into arty things especially with texture paste and your fabulous stencils and even done two or three canvasses. I now am loving working with the Fresco chalk paints and am quickly building up my collection of paints. I actually find these easier to work with than the usual acrylics. I'm going through a rough patch at the moment as my aunt is in final stages of cancer and it is hard to see her deteriorate, so I do find that craft is helping me to take my mind off that. Looking forward to seeing what you've got up your sleeve for future Wednesdays. Love Alison xx
    Ps sorry if that was a bit maudlin x

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  24. I love crafting, takes my mind off the general him drum of life! I do it for pleasure, I do it to create something lasting, for friends and family. Maybe some people will think it selfish but mostly I do it for me! I like nothing better than sitting in the craft room with the music on singing away and being creative. I always love finding quotes and one I found recently is just right for your Wednesday blog : Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breath, and have faith that everything will work out for the best.
    Great sentiment, now if only I could put it into practices more often! Xx

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    1. Oooooooo I really like that quote, must write it down, thanks for sharing Donna x

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  25. Great idea Barbara, I love getting lost in craft. Look forward to seeing what you come up with! Hugs xx

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  26. Crafting is a good healer and gives us something to concentrate our minds on. It should be prescribed by the doctor and alleviate those drugs we take. Your blog, Barbara, is true inspiration and keeps us all on our toes trying to keep up with you. Oh to have your determination and get up and go, the world would be a better place!

    Keep up the good work and can't wait to see what you've got up your sleeve this time :-) xx

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  27. the here and now is probably the best place to be! Our house is very stressful with both my husband and I being long term sick. We were both so fit and still can't believe what a pickle we are in! We both do mindlfullness breathing meditation and I get lost in craft when I have the energy. Unfortunately my husband's escape and love is listening to records and the nature of his illness is that sound equals pain which is awful for him. He gets lost in reading crime novels now, it's one thing he can do that's quiet! xxx

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  28. Yep I am on board Barb xxx finding you and Clarity was a life saver and continues to be - so all aboard !!!!

    Much Love
    Kim xx

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  29. I took up card making seriously 11 years ago when my husband was working overseas. It has kept me sane all these years, as I stopped working full time after our last family posting 12 years ago. I turned our smallest bedroom into a craft room, at my son's suggestion. I take off when I need space or when the rest of the family are watching a sport I am not interested in. I make about 100 cards a year for an elderly lady who loves to give them to her extended family.

    Crafting allows you to loose yourself in your thoughts, clear your mind and look on the bright side of life, no matter what has upset or made you angry. It is a therapeutic craft, so whatever you are planning Barbara I will follow you.

    I love your blog and read it everyday.

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  30. Sounds like an interesting idea, can't wait to hear more. xx

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  31. You are so right Barbara! Crafting is a therapy and is used in health and social care settings as a therapeutic activity and is proven to help people in relaxation or recuperation. Art therapy is also used actively with children who have suffered trauma or abuse!
    I use crafting as an escape from the stresses of my teaching job and I am thankful that meeting you and finding clarity have brought me a real purpose in my crafting! I really love getting stamps and other crafty products and finding out what they can do!
    So yes I'm all up for a midweek movement so bring it on! Xxx

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  34. Oh so true. I started cardmaking 10 years ago after suffering a breakdown, literally overnight.
    I recovered over time, but my cardmaking transported me to another place.
    When i am worried i go to my craftroom and am lost in the creativity.

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  35. Your so lucky Dave plays guitar as guess what my other half plays - yep you got - drums (all 5 kits!!!). Is it any wonder I need crafting therapy.
    Xxxxx

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    1. Haha! Are you going to the Rye music concert in the church again? Same guys. They were great, weren't they. Hope to see you there, Bev. Xxx

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  36. Hi Barb,
    I'm right behind you, figuratively you understand, not literally!!!
    Maureen xx

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  37. What a wonderful blog post, count me in, I sometimes find it hard to concentrate with so much going on in my head,so time out to be creative is a must. You can't beat the lovely feeling of creating something from nothing. I must do more colouring in too, think that would calm my head too.

    At work we had a taster session on Mindfulness and I really enjoyed it, must practise it more.

    Lisa x

    P.S. thank goodness my hubby only plays Bass πŸ˜‰

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  38. Hi Barb,
    I read your blog every day but have never stopped to comment even though I have been moved by your post. Today however I must say you have hit the nail on the head and driven it home just how such a simple thing as crafting can have such a positive affect. I have only been card making since I retired (3 years) and wish I had come across it earlier. I can lose hours creating the smallest card and the family think I'm totally mad (they always have?). I'm already giving my grandchildren the opportunity to craft and they love it and hope it will give them the skill and love of creating something from nothing.

    Thank you for taking the time to write your blog and sharing your experiences; a daily delight.

    Anne x

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  39. Fab idea Barbara! My craft room is my haven and I know just how lucky I am having it. I often just go up there and tidy it up and then 5 minutes later it's back to "normal" lol. I don't have any physical ailments but I do have a fairly stressful job which takes a lot of time but I work for a company that put the work/life balance first for employees, which I am grateful for. So I guess what I am trying to say we all need a bit of me time every so often just to take stock of what's going on in my life and after a session in my room my perspective is right back to where it should be and things become manageable again. I do look forward to getting home to see your blog too, your art work is inspirational and whilst I dream of aspiring to your level I am enjoying the journey, so a big thank you xx

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  40. Completely wonderful idea. Love the artwork you shared and agree completely about craft as therapy. It is why I create... To be in control over one thing at a time.
    C xxx

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  41. i find crafting very therapeutic and it keeps me sane. i agree with you that crafting is a brilliant form of mindfulness and i know that when i craft i forget about everything including eating, drinking and sometimes even going to the toilet.....
    so long live craft, hugs xx

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  42. Barbara thank you for today's blog I would like to say how your daily blog helps me through each day I know ive said this many times before but since my bungalow got flooded and we are still in the hotel might be another 3 more weeks till can go home your blog has helped me more and more it has given help to face each day ,I love the cute pictures today they make me smile ,a long time ago I was in a very dark place and I was taught to do baby steps a small achievement each day was better than none at all ,since I have become very ill I craft it might take me a week to make a card but each little baby step is a step ive completed, the other day I stenciled this months club stencil with my clarity brushes and inks today I stamped my Alice ready to colour tomorrow Friday I might mat and layer ive got till next week to write my happy birthday in the bunting and get it in the post ,I know it's better to craft even in a small way than stay in bed and let the pain take over the day ,your blog and the clarity crafting family help each day, even if the pain is bad and the fatigued means I carnt craft and the tears are not far away your blog makes me smile and I know I'm not on my own as there is many crafters who feel the same way crafting hugs xxx

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  43. Yes, let's give it a go.my year so far has been challenging. I'm not always in the mood for crafting, and change my mind continually, but when I get going, I relax completely. So let's give Wednesday Mindfulness a go, who knows we might even make some great art.
    Lovely helpful blog. Best wishes Barbara xx

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  44. Hello Barbara. What a great idea. We all need a little time to stop the world and just be ourselves and crafting is certainly good for that. I feel so lucky compared to some of your followers - I am well, have a great family and enough money to enjoy new crafty toys - but even so life sometimes takes over and it's all too much. We sing - lots! Also good for the soul and very therapeutic. Looking forward to seeing what's coming our way from our crafty guru!! xx Margaret Col.

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  45. Wonderful idea Barbara. I have even started to take either small colouring or fussy cutting projects with me to work, so I can lose myself for a short while at lunchtime and help keep my mind fixed on the joy of creating. I find it helps me to shut off from the stresses and difficulties of the working day..... at least I try to. Love xxx

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  46. Hello Barbara! Just catching up on your blog posts as I have been off on a short break myself. To be perfectly honest I do not know where I would be in my head without being able to craft something. After I broke the base of my spine off, I had to give up my business and my part time job and ended up being quite isolated. It happened gradually over a period of years and the only people I saw were my children and husband. The kids grew up and left home, hubby's job took him all over the country and I spent a lot of time on my own. I spent most of my time pottering about the garden and reading and getting more and more depressed due to the pain I was in. Then Hubby moved us to Ayrshire and I was introduced to a lady that crafts all sorts and she in turn introduced me to crafting again. I had studied art and interior design and I had let it all fall away...hubby, kids, house etc. So I began by teaching myself Parchment work and making cards. My hubby encouraged me to start selling them to his employees and I branched out from there. Then my friend introduced me to YOU through the television. What an eye opener! There was something about the way you were on TV that made me feel that you were speaking to me, encouraging me to once again pick up my paints and inks and brushes and to add Stamps and a Brayer into the mix! So So glad I did. My point is, without the encouragement that I felt and still feel from you and all the other crafters 'out there' by now I would be in a wheelchair not able to walk. The arthritis would have taken over without the exercise my hands get. Instead of standing up because I am too sore to sit down or sitting down because I am too sore to stand (oh yes full of ups and downs my life!) I stand because I am brayering and stamping, I sit because I am colouring in or doing a design. I am in pain 24/7 with no cure for the spinal condition that I am left in. I haven't slept through a single night since 1998 but rather than be creative I was in a funk. I felt like a waste of space for a lot of those years. Crafting has given me so much more out of this life than I ever could have thought. I CAN make someone smile with one of my cards and my Crafty friends ALL make me smile with all the lovely comments that they so generously give me...pain and depression are kicked to the kerb!! I can create and I can share, I can even teach what I know. Crafting Helps no doubt about that. I feel as though I have taken my life back and I would rather play with my inks that take painkillers as the crafting makes me feel ten times better that they can.
    So I for one am definitely behind you and I await with baited breath...and brayer to what you have to show us.

    Hugs
    Emma xx

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    1. Thank you very much Lisapmac, but i'm not. I'm just one of those lucky people who have found a very happy, therapeutic, enjoyable, fulfilling way of spending my days (and hubby's money). Hugs to you Lisa xxx

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    2. How wonderful you are big crafting hugs xxx

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    3. I'm right there with you Emma. I'm still trying to find my way back to crafting and out the 'funk' you talk about. Gives me some extra encouragement to plough on a bit longer, and maybe, just maybe.... Thank you :-) xx
      P.s. hope your training for climbing Ben Nevis is going well

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    4. Thank you very much Sheila, most people would say I'm a bit stubborn, but in a good way. Big crafting hugs back at you. XX

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    5. Hi there Brenda. Hope you are ok. One day ( step ) at a time is all it needs and don't beat yourself up if today is not the day....tomorrow will always come. Training has slowed down a bit for Ben Nevis as I have aggravated an old injury in my foot. Now told that I have arthritis in my foot too, but under the care of a lovely Podiatrist who supports the challenge I have given myself I will make it. Thank you very much for your kind words and for your support. very much appreciated. Hugs xxx

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    6. Oh yes you are Emma, amazing what you have overcome and your beautiful artwork. Good luck with your challenge xxx

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    7. Aww ladies you are so kind...Big hugs to you all xxxx

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  47. What a great idea, right behind it. Count me in, Claire :-)

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  48. I'm loving your Wednesday idea and can't wait to see what you have in store for us. I love reading your blog every day, be it a crafting idea or just your thoughts.....I enjoy both! Keep up the great work on your blog. You are a true inspiration to us readers and crafters.

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  49. there is so much truth in this barb - I definitely use art as a way to cope with life - it is a great distraction - part of a set of ammunition I have to act as distraction and get me through the day with a smile on my face. My late husband taught me so much about optimism - and craft and exercise help me maintain that.A midweek movement sounds great to me! Hugs rachel x

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  50. Excellent idea! Looking forward to next Wednesday to see what you have in store for us.

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  51. Its True !! When things get too busy between the ears, I make music , to be creative in any form is a gift, I believe, and if you can share it with others, then thats even better. A dear old friend of mine once said "Everyones got 'something' to give", and I believe this to be so, even if I do'nt want it ,I may learn from it.....So as we say... "Get out of your head,and get with your hands!" figuratively speaking of course.. You know it makes sense, We know it works....x

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  52. Oh Barb, you are so 'right on'! When I retired I knew already that I was going back to art, always my first love. It has treated me well -- I even have customers for my cards and tags, and that prods me to keep the ideas coming. It has been so therapeutic for me, as I've always been a go-do-fix person, and now I've a back/hip problem which is keeping me 'down' as I walk with a cane and have days of pain, but I can always SIT, so I work on my art. If only we all could find some beautiful thing to do, whether it's art of creating a garden or sewing....something we love so much to do that it keeps us in a happier zone. I wish we could send some of this creative love to the Middle East!! Thank you for this so well received missive today. I send you appreciation for your sharing spirit, and many warm hugs from America. My hubby is from England, so we have family over there and 'keep up' with things!

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  53. As always Barbara, you are so on it! What a lovely idea, and I look forward to seeing how it unfolds.xx

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  54. I feel for the trials of some of the respondents here and I feel so fortunate with my happy and healthy life. And creativity is part of that mix. Art and craft is a joy, enhanced by sharing with gurus like you and fellow crafters. It also adds to my relationship with my gorgeous grandsons, both of whom love creating, especially with my Cuttlebug! If I can't sleep I mentally create cards, or watch craft recordings. I also love music and can lose myself in singing and learning new pieces.
    Another plus is the mental exercise. I'm convinced our creative activities keep our brains healthy. I look forward to whatever you have in mind for Wednesdays. Carol x

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  55. I'm with you all way Barbara in what ever you have have planed. As you know I was a full time carer of two disabled daughters I came to one of your classes with Sazz it was great to come out do something I enjoyed and be me then with in days my world fell apart when Sandie died with in a few days I became depressed lost friends fell away but your blog my wonderful new friends in craft group clarity time have carried me through the hardest darkest 19 months of my life When I craft I disappear the pain goes you are all helping me find myself againlaughing having fun learning new skill in this time my mobility has got worse pain when walking is bad I can come join you all know just not cards canvases etc in those easel month I knitted hard for all my family had the all wearing them that christmasbut wasgoodtberapy I my mind made them laugh as they opened them one by one . Still hard but getting there thank you Barbara and all of you love and hugs joy xxx

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  56. As full time carer - crafting is my escape. I thought when we retired we would travel, but that was not to be, so my bucket list consists of trying as many crafts as I can.

    In the summer I can escape to my Den (summer house) where I can paint and get messy and shut the doors on it, if I don't have time to clear up.

    So now I have lots of hobbies. I used to be a cake decorator and teach it at Adult Ed, but health issues mean I can't do it at the pace I used to. I have a large space indoors or my "indoor" craft, but my messy painting den is my Haven, and the granddaughters love to come and create something in there. I just need to learn to buy 3 or 4 of everything so that they all get the same article to paint! lol! When I am not crafting I am doing family history research.

    They say that crafting helps prevent dementia, so with that and my research I should be ok for a few more years, providing the old body allows me to continue to be a carer and do all the housework, gardening etc. but hey ho - this is now my Mantra:


    Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better,
    To paint a picture or write a letter,
    Bake a cake or plant a seed,
    Ponder the difference between want and need?

    Dust if you must, but there's not much time,
    With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
    Music to hear and books to read,
    Friends to cherish and life to lead.

    Dust if you must, but the world's out there
    With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
    A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
    This day will not come 'round again.

    Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
    Old age will come and it's not always kind.
    And when you go and go you must,

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    1. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust? Xxx brilliant.

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    2. Brilliant poem, maybe I need to try hard to give up a bit on trying to keep the house so clean and tidy and make myself spend that time doing craft instead. Thank you for sharing xx

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    3. That is a brilliant poem, Mags. That is my mantra too. Lol.x

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    4. That is a brilliant poem, Mags. That is my mantra too. Lol.x

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  57. Ooh lookmforward to hearing more and doing more crafting. I've asked for a 'learn to draw book' as part of my retirement gift and the secret garden colouring book so you can tell I'm going to be less stressed! Told them I don't need colouring presents or any other crafting goodies as I know where I'm going to be spending anything left over! ;) roll,on Wednesdays! Xx

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  58. Absolutely agree, I craft as a way of switching off my work brain, otherwise it keeps whirring day and night and I end up just being a useless mess. I had always made things but it went up several notches when I was singed off work for awhile with stress. Needing to fill my days with something, I started card making first and now moved on to a whole room (and various other stashes around the house) of different crafts. It still is my way of dealing with stress and speaking as someone who was on anti-depressants, crafting works much better for me. There is just something about being creative that stops that hamster wheel in your brain. You are right it focuses you on the here and now instead of the what ifs. By the time I pack up (just spent several hours with my sewing machine tonight) I can't remember what it was that was stressing me out before. If I get this right here is the link to what I've been up to tonight
    https://kazzieb.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/better-late-than-never/
    Happy crafting one and all! Hey maybe you should set up the Crafting Party, our manifesto should be crafting for all, everyone gets a mandatory hour or two per week to just be creative in whatever form to the best of your ability regardless of the result. I'd vote for you, Barbara for Prime Minister, you can always add more but you can't take it away. Sounds a lot more sensible than the guff I am hearing as part of the election coverage. I think I have now moved into La La land so I'll sign off before it gets any sillier! Karen

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  59. Happy crafting! I too have a home full of guitars! My husband plays,makes ,set ups and repairs them!

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  60. Hi Barbara what a great idea, looking forward to where you are going to lead us. Yes I've just spent a lovely evening with my cousin and friend chatting and making cards, my cousins foot no longer caused her pain and my friend didn't worry about work and I forgot all my troubles too so yes craft does help. My husband does beautiful embroidery to stop himself working on his computer in the evenings and my daughter takes time out from revising for her exams by playing her guitar or drawing so yes count us all in.
    Take care of yourself Barbara
    Love Diane xxx
    Ps yes I agree Barbara for prime minister but I don't think you've got time!!! Xxx

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  61. The past is a shadow.
    The future is an illusion.
    All that really exists is NOW.

    ...Raine Phoenix

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  62. Dear Barbara, how true and you have reminded me how valuable I have found my craft during the dark times especially over the last three years. There is nothing else I do where I lose myself completely and the process of crafting becomes part of the healing. One day at a time and the here and now. Xxx

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  63. Having read every one of the comments, simply to say Barbara WHAT WOULD WE ALL DO WITHOUT YOU. You bring peace to so many of us, some in difficult times, some who need hugs but most of all without your blog how would I start the day. Looking forward to Weds now, roll on.

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  64. If it's good enough for Ruby Wax, it's good enough for me!

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  65. Hello Barbara Thank you for your interesting and as usual honest blog today.
    ( I read your blog every day but don't often comment)
    You may not be a doctor or psychologist but your honesty and thoughts and feelings are inspiring to so many. It sounds a lovely idea to be mindful with our art. I to started craft after my children all left home and I had had a difficult time at work. I was also THAT AGE where our hormones change and I still needed to be creative! I love what you do and thank you sincerely for the time you take to write your blog one day at a time.....

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  66. This is a great idea, Barbara, I'm all for it. Crafting becomes like meditation for a lot of people, me included. I've noticed we all need something — an old friend made an incredibly beautiful LARGE needlepoint rug while going through her divorce. She said it was the only way she could switch off and get through the days, and nights. Another friend, sadly gone now, who had curvature of the spine and all its incumbent problems, was an avid gardener (he said since he was half way down there already, he might as well plant something! Great sense of humour, Maurice). My husband, too, loves guitar and has many. Taught himself to play and he's great — jazz, blues, pop, classical, you name it. This country is teeming with talented crafters, artists, musicians, gardeners, writers, needlewomen... so yes, let's take one day a week and celebrate mindfulness and the beauty of creating.

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  67. I am totally with you Barbara, my ex DH always said I was the craftiest woman he knew. I've tried a lot of crafts in my time, I taught lacemaking for 24 years, but I'm a quilter now, plus a card crafter, and a wannabee polymer clay crafter (am collecting).

    But when I just want a simple thing to do, I colour in designs!

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  68. Could'nt agree more... it's another fab Barbara idea. Crafting has helped me with anxiety and depression for the past 15 years, so all power to your elbow, as they say. Crafty love n hugs Ruth x

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  69. I'm in to Barbara your blog means a lot to me and to
    many many more people that come here not just for
    your amazing talent but just for being you...take care..Dot.xx

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  70. I think this is a great idea Barbara. I do believe that creativity of any sort can be one's saviour. I have always loved to be creative and have knitted and sewn and painted in the past, and still do those sometimes but cardmaking and getting inky is what I love now. I also love music and have been involved in singing since schooldays so I think art and music do go hand in hand. x

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  71. Hi Barb, this is an excellent idea, I think I must have been guided to check out your blog today as I have not been on here for some time, I had been feeling in a bit of a rut and lost my enthusiasm for crafting, this has made me want to get back to it. There is actually a book called The Power of Now... we need to learn to live in the moment, so thank you for the ispiration Barb, lots of love Jean xx

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  72. Hi Barbara, such a brilliant idea. I love reading your blog and try to do so daily but sometimes have to do a catch-up instead. I rarely leave a comment but with this being such a brilliant idea I just had to. You're truly honest which makes reading your blog interesting, can have a laugh or sympathize along with you. Keep up the good work.
    All the best Chris A x

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  73. Hi Barbara. What a brilliant idea. I am currently suffering badly with depression and anxiety and
    find it hard to switch off the "what ifs" but a session with some card, inks, stencils and stamps certainly holds them at bay for a while. Am trying mindfulness and hypnotherapy so look forward to your ideas. I send my best wishes to all you crafters especially those struggling with ill health and other problems. We crafters must stick together!
    Love Gayle x

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  74. A great Blog Barbara and very true. I look forward to see what next!? Xxx

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  75. Barbara. Great blog. I read this today and having just been very depressed. I think thats a great idea, I am sure that will work. So looking forward to whay comes next, Thank you for a great blog. Hugs
    Lilian

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  76. A fantastic idea as I am unable to every switch my mind off, can't wait for wednesdays

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  77. phew! is this the most comments ever? you've clearly touched a nerve Barbara, call it what you will, midweek mindfulness, midlife motions, I'll be along for the ride.

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Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x