Wednesday, December 17, 2014

5 things you can do to build resilience during sad world events and tragedies

My black red frangipani....beautiful isn't it?

I'm ignoring the media today. My brain and heart and soul will not withstand any more sadness over events that are out of my control. I'm reverting to my position, that all we can do is look after our own loved ones and those who live around us as best as we possibly can, love them heartily and guard them with prayers.

I'm sending healing thoughts and prayers to all that need them today. I know I need them myself after the tragic events in Martin Place yesterday, and other even more tragic ones in Pakistan, reported this morning. I cannot change what has happened, but I can pay my respects to those who have lost their lives, and those who have lost loved ones, by being the best that I can be to show how much I honour this life, and the privilege I am granted in being allowed more time to love it.

Here's how...

1. Good health...this is an area that we cannot afford to take for granted.

We need to look at it this way....

Imagine your health is the numeral 1, like this...


...and every other thing in your life can be represented by a zero...


Work, family, faith, home, garden, hobbies, emotional wellbeing, mental health, and so on....all zeros.

Each zero you add to that numeral 1, increases your appreciation of your life, and enhances your life experience.


Take away that 1, your health, and you are just left with zeros.

Please, everyone, put YOU first. It's not wrong. It's not selfish. It's sanity. Only with good health can we deal with whatever life is going to throw at us next. With poor health, our ability to deal with everything else, including devastating events on the world stage and events closer to home and in our own back yards, is compromised.

Poor health leads to expenses that we cannot predict. Poor health puts strain on our family and our relationships. Maintaining a health lifestyle, watching our diet, and doing whatever we can to prolong our good health makes good financial and emotional sense.

2. This means mental health too. And as sad as events of the last several days, weeks and months makes me, I cannot change them. I cannot erase them. I could not have prevented them. At these times, my world MUST be minimised to the immediate needs of my family and friends. Only then can we support one another, vent our fears and grief, hug each other and move on.

3. Stay mentally active and engaged. Today, I am embellishing little quilts for my granddaughters. I'm trying to make them really special and whilst I do not have my friend Annabels beautiful embroidery skills seen here, which are some of the best I've ever seen, I do have an artistic eye, and they're looking very pretty.

4. Perform Random Acts of  Kindness. I've gifted lots of potted ivy grown from cuttings earlier in the year, but my hydrangea cuttings taken at the same time, did not survive. A lesson to be learned there, but I'm not sure what it is! I do have a magnificent black red frangipani though, so three special neighbours will get a branch of that in a pot.

5. Appreciate the beauty in the small things in your life. Speaking of frangipani, the frangipani here in my city are magnificent this year. And it's the first time in my life I've noticed the many colours in which they come. From white, to yellow to soft peach, to deep apricot and four or five different shades of pink. Ours are the only red black ones I've seen anywhere, so I'm hoping the cuttings will be appreciated. They look magnificent in the front yard and driving up to the house, I imagine that these are my replacement for my longed for deep red Mr Lincoln roses.

Photo credit to Learn2Grow with thanks.
So today, although my heart is heavy, as I'm sure is yours, I will move forward, love those who love me, value my fortunate life, and trust in our Guardian Angel and our own human resilience to face life with unbridled joy and thanks.

Friday, December 5, 2014

DIY glittered Cameo ornaments for your tree....

The Diva and I love making our own Christmas ornaments.
Not for us, the mass produced snowmen and reindeer and Santas, although they get a fleeting look-in for the sake of the Season.
We love glitter, and fur, and feathers, and sequins and lace and olde worlde charms and the like.
This year we've gone with a cameo theme for our little trees. Yes, we have more than one. If you're going to go miniature, you need more of them!
Last year, it was pearls and roses and ivy and owls, and you can see that here.
Having worked with cameos for dance costumes earlier in the year, I guess it was inevitable that we'd lean towards silhouetted ladies and lace for Christmas.
These ornaments took less than 30 minutes to produce.
You'll need:
Vintage sheet music printed from the link below.
Cameos printed and cut out.
Lace trim, sequin trim, jewellery making charms, bows, roses, glitter, braid or whatever takes your fancy as embellishments.
Hot glue gun
Normal paper glue
Then just:
First print out your vintage sheet music here.
Cut the sheet in half across the middle, and use each half for one ornament.
Then find some suitable cameo silhouettes or use the ones we used, below. Print those out and cut carefully around them.

Fold each half of your sheet music in half like a book page.
Glue the cameo to one side of the page.
Embellish as desired using your trims, charms, glitter and lace.
Remember to add a loop to the middle of the top edge to hang your ornament. I just used odd offcuts of toning trims and braid.
Allow to dry overnight and hang on your tree.
This picture below, is our tree topper. This was made by printing out a larger cameo, and pasting it to a paper lace doily. I then applied a generous layer of paper glue, and sprinkled it liberally with white glitter. I pasted a second doily behind this one, leaving a pocket to slide it on to the top of our tree.

Newly embellished tree photos coming soon....