Social distancing 101. Creative things to do when you are bored.

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In my last post, I spoke about how the coronavirus has been affecting the world. One of the main responses to the coronavirus has been to self-isolate. Meaning we need to separate from social situations as much as possible, Also known as Social distancing.
Furthermore, from me starting writing this post (we have been super busy with the house move) We are now in a period of ‘lockdown’ only essential shops are open and we are being urged to only go out for essentials.

By staying home and away from social situations we are protecting ourselves as well as the NHS who are currently overwhelmed with convid-19 cases.

The idea of being away from our loved ones and feeling grounded from the outside world is really horrible. We have been put on lockdown for 3 weeks for the meantime. For many of us though we need to self isolate for longer than this.

Both me and Emma are classed as high risk from infections due to both of our underlying health conditions. However, As someone who is constantly in bad health, I thought it would be a great idea to share what gets me through the days When I can’t get out.

Things you can do to stop you going insane during social distancing.

Check-in with friends and family regularly with video and voice calling.

It is genuinely such a depressive time for the world that we live in right now. I highly recommend that you stay in constant contact with your friends and families over the phone.

Today I video called my Nan! I was brilliant, she learnt how to answer video calls on her laptop! and a little chat with nan really did cheer my day up!

We are really lucky in this day and age that we are able to use video calling on our phones and other smart devices. We should be taking advantage of the technology we have been given to the full right now. The ability to virtually see our friends and family makes being apart that little bit easier.

Catch up and binge on your favourite tv shows. Or find a series to watch.

Anyone else that has a Netflix watch list so big that you really need to catch up on? I do. It’s massive. Especially where we didn’t have internet that could handle video streaming at the farm. We went for a long time without being able to watch online streaming providers such as Netflix and Amazon prime that there are so many things we haven’t watched yet.

Having time in self-isolation is the perfect chance to catch up with some ‘Netflix and chill’. (Yes, I mean actual chillaxing).

Declutter and organise your belongings

It’s a job that needs doing, in fact even if you don’t feel like it needs doing, it is always a good idea to stroll through your belongings, check best before dates on food, cosmetics and sprays.

We had a massive declutter before we moved into our new house last week, but even now we are still decluttering things. It is surprising the number of things you think you will need but you really really don’t.

Read a book or two, maybe three.

I love to read but even more so I love to get deeper into what I am reading by reading for longer periods. Since you need to be able to have times to do these things, you now have the time to sit back and really sink into your book.

Take a trip to an open park.

Although the park’s cafes may be closed. A park is a way of getting out in the open whilst still being able to maintain social distancing. Fresh air is good for us and our mental health. Please ensure that you are staying 2 metres apart from other public members using the park.

Pamper yourself.

after a few days of Isolating it is very easy to get out of routine. Not bothering to make an effort as I continuously say. So making a specific time to pamper yourself is really good for your self-care routine.

You can read more on self-care here.

Learn something new.

If your in a position where suddenly you have lots of free time, what exactly is stopping you from learning something new? How about living room yoga? or maybe digging out that instrument you have one lying about. (I am setting myself the goal of getting some guitar practice in! I haven’t played in such a long time). Free time is the perfect reason to start that hobby you’ve been dying to try, probably like me, you have brought all the stuff for it and never got around too.

Exercise with YouTube.

If you are a lover of the gym, this is a bad time. With all leisure centres being closed for now. Exercise can be a real challenge.

There are plenty of online classes, live streams that you could try! just give it a search on youtube. Try getting the other members of your household to join in! What a laugh this could be.

Doodle, Colour and draw.

I absolutely love drawing. It is such a relaxing activity. Especially for someone like me who has an overactive imagination. Doodling and colouring can be a brilliant stress relief activity. So if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed try this!.

Look through old photos and organise or scrapbook them.

As a scrapbooker since a child, I am so passionate about photo keeping. There are many different forms of ways you can organise your photos! Keeping them in photo albums, starting your own scrapbook, project life albums, or organising them into boxes. You can be as obsessive with this as you like! how about organising your muddled up pictures into chronological order? This may sound boring but it definitely takes time to do.

Social distancing
Journal Your thoughts.

As an overactive thinker (yeah I think that is a thing) Journalling is a great way to get all your thoughts and feelings out of your head. Use your journal exactly how you want too. Be as creative or as simple as you like… I like to draw and decorate mine as well using rubber stamps and washi tape!

Bullet journalling is an amazing type of journaling! check it out on Pinterest.

Start your own blog or website.

Have you got an idea for a pretty awesome website? or thinking about starting your own blog? Starting your own website has so much freedom. I see my blog as my own creative space to express my thoughts, feelings and share things I love with the world! Blogging and creating websites is also a great way to stay social virtually during Social distancing.

You can read why I blog here.

I have recently moved to Skystra cloud hosting. who offer a free month of hosting on your first month with there. Perfect for anyone starting a website, and trialling self-hosting.

the blogger recognition award
Support your friends by reading their blogs and leaving comments.

It is a pretty depressing time right now. A lot of us have noticed a lack of engagement in our online presences and for the self-employed like me, it has affected our businesses.

You can support your friends by sharing their content, reading their posts and leaving them supportive comments. I love a good spree of reading other blog posts and commenting!

Make a vision board

I love making vision boards, using pictures of things that inspire me. As well as pictures of things that represent my goals. Have a go at making your own vision board.
How about using old magazines and catalogues to make collages of things you like and want in your life!

Rearrange your furniture and zen your living space.

Since we’ve just moved house I feel like I am being all over this right now. Constantly moving our furniture around until its perfect.

It is so different to have the freedom to do this. I would definitely suggest if your feeling fed up with the four walls in your house, why not change them up?

Declutter your social media.

Time to start having a spring clean of your mobile and smart devices. There are plenty of time-consuming things that you can do to declutter your devices. A virtual spring clean!

Craft some cards and presents to give to friends and family to cheer them up.

Who really needs an excuse to craft some goodies. You could leave homemade cards and gifts on your loved one’s doorsteps for them to find, this would really put a smile on anyone’s face.

Scroll through Pinterest.

I don’t know about you but when I get on Pinterest I can’t seem to get off it. I can happily and unknowingly spend hours on Pinterest without even trying. I’m constantly inspired and entertained by searching the bored for motivation to do something.

Create a positivity book about yourself and things that make you happy.

I’m rubbish at being positive about myself so I started to keep a book of things that make me happy and what I like about myself and why. Even statements that others have said that make me smile or feel happy.

You could even keep goals and bucket lists of things you want to achieve. Films you want to watch and books you want to read.

Read more about the Cricut here.
Create your dream house.

Draw a floor plan for your dream house. Be as extravagant as you want to be. Once you have created the floor plan attempt to draw your room plans. Use images to collage the types of decor you want and the colours you want to have.

Draw your next tattoo.

This is a personal goal for me! I’ve always dreamed of a tattoo large, on my thighs to cover the scars I’ve had from my surgery I had when I was younger. A dream catcher. So Having time to draw and create an Idea would be amazing!

Download a drawing app like procreator and learn to digitally draw.

Drawing with a Digital pencil is so much fun. be warned though. It is addictive! I got myself a cheap digital pen off Amazon here. Now I’m already saving up for an Apple pen. eeeeeeee.

Play a game like the sims.

You can play sims on a phone, computer or games station. It is a life simulator. Another addictive game. You can control the lives of a whole Sim family and house.

Being creative is good for your mental health.

These are just some ideas, there’s so much you can do whilst Social distancing from other people. I know it sucks that we can’t go out and live our normal lives right now, and seeing loved ones has become really hard, but keeping busy really does help.

There are so many are risking their lives to help the communities function. As well as our amazing NHS workers who are fighting to keep the ones who have caught this terrible disease alive.

Stay safe and positive everyone!

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Cricut crafts – 3D flowers in 5 simple steps.

I am really excited to be sharing my first of hopefully many more craft how-to posts, especially when it comes to the Cricut. I recently shared an Instagram post of a shadow box I had filled with 3D flowers, and a few people have inspired me to write by asking how to make these.

You may of reading my post recently about my excitement of being brought the Cricut explore air 2 recently, why I think the Cricut is any crafters best friend.
my opinion is still so strong on how much I love this crazy crafty machine.

Since I have been playing around in the world of Cricut I have absolutely loved creating shadow boxes full of colourful 3D flowers. As much as I love playing with vinyl, this is one of my favourite projects to do. These flowers are so very simple to make.

What you will need:

  • Card stock
  • hot glue gun
  • Your Cricut
  • tweezers

The time needed to make:

depending on how many flowers you are intended in to make. I would allow a few hours for this project. Individually each flower takes approximately 5 minutes.

Step one:

Cricut mat, 3D flowers

You will need to print your flower swirls from the Cricut projects. You can use the flowers guide that’s available in the projects here. I have opted to only print this one of the three in the project as it makes rose flowers, which is my favourite. For this shadow box, I have used A4 card stock, and fitted 6 swirls to a sheet, this did result in the flowers being quite small, however, you can make these any size that you like. Why not try experimenting with sizes?
If you don’t own a Cricut you could try making a stencil and cutting these out with scissors, unfortunately, it will take some time though.

Step two:

Cricut craft

Remove the excess paper from your rose swirls. So that you are left with just the cut-outs… now it’s time to turn the swirls into flowers! I keep a craft knife by me ready to cut anything that may not have cut completely with the Cricut. It depends on the thickness of the card most of the time.

Step three:

Cricut Craft

I prefer to use slim tweezers to start turning. Grasp these to the very end of the swirl. (Leaving the centre bit for last) twist the card around the tweezers basically rolling up the card until you read the end.

Step four:

Cricut craft, 3D flowers

Once you have finished turning your swirls, You will need to position the centre at the top so that you can secure your flower together.

Step five:

Cricut Craft

Add a pea-size amount of hot glue to the bottom of your flower and press this down with your fingers for about 20 seconds…

My top advice would be to be careful with your fingers. I have burnt my fingers making roses many times.

What to do with them…

there are plenty of things you can use these beautiful flowers for. As I mentioned before my favourite is a shadow box, and then vinyl on the glass. But you could also use these to decorate the outside of frames and mirrors.

I have recently started an Instagram page for me to share all my crafty shenanigans on called crafty hearts corner, so if you would like to see more of what I am up too with craft, give this a follow.

What I am changing in 2020.

As we are now over a week into January I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about what I plan to change this 2020.
This year I am not setting any new year resolutions, just life changes that I want to keep too. We all set New Year’s resolutions but after a while, we seem to forget about them and no longer stick to them. This is why I do not want to call the resolutions this year. This year is all about life goals!

My happy planner this year to keep me on track!

Routine.

Last year my health caused my daily routines to make a major hit. In honesty, I completely lost all concept of what a routine even is or should be. One of my main goals right now especially is to get myself in a routine again. The past few days I have been setting my alarm for 9:30 every morning, which is a start since most days I had not been getting up till the afternoon.
Currently, my iPad and iPhone are acting more of a PA then anything else, as I am finally setting constant reminders, events, shared notes with Emma etc. Apparently this method seems to be working most for me, as I have started planning my day hour by hour.

Confidence.

At the beginning of this month, I posted about bringing confidence into 2020. Which as I said there I plan to step out of my comfort this year and become more confident we’re possible.
For me, I know that this is not going to be easy! But I am determined to try.

Learning to love myself for who I am

My self-employment.

Becoming self-employed is a big deal for me this year. I am finally starting to push myself in many ways to get organised, focused and motivated. 2019 left me with way too many months that I didn’t feel motivated at all, I am promising myself that this is not going to be the case this year.

Getting married. 04.09.2020.

Well, this is less of a goal and more of something that is definitely happening this year. With less than 9 months to go till September now and still so much to do. Our wedding is a massive focus of the year! I am so excited. This year I get to become Mrs Taplin to my beautiful fiancé Emma. One of our many exciting adventures this year.

Healthy lifestyle.

Having said about the wedding, this now fits in pretty well. This year I’m taking a particular interest in my health and lifestyle. Having had a bad year health-wise last year, I am hoping that by the wedding I can get myself into better shape then I am now. There are wedding photos to think about of course!

Moving house.

This is a given for us this year as well. This year, probably in the next 6 months I and Emma will be moving into our own place. That’s right, 2020 is a new house and a marriage!
how scary is this right? And so bloody exciting. We started this week, house searching. Already we are overwhelmed with the number of viewings and searching we have planned this week. I am excited and nervous about the challenges me and Emma will face by living on our own!
You will probably see me blogging about this a lot this year. I warn you now :).

Will 2020 be the year for using my camera more.

Now, this is really an ironic ambition for me this year. Honestly, I am a photo obsessed personality. I constantly have my phone out taking photos. Over the past few years though it’s constantly photos on my phone. Not my actual camera, which I spent so much money on.
It really annoys me that I’ve become so lazy when it comes to my DSLR, especially when it’s one of my prize possessions. So I am planning to get it out of its bag every chance I can.

Last but not least. Happiness.

I know that right now I am so lucky! I have an amazingly supportive partner, a wonderful family, a lovely place to live, amazing friends and so many wonderful things that are happening this year. 2020 is going to be a busy and amazing year for both of us.
Unfortunately, I sometimes allow my depression and anxiety to affect me way too much. So this year I want to try and improve by leaving myself happy messages and notes to find. Reminders. Things like that.
It is so easy for any of us, no matter what our situation, to forget how lucky we really are.

So this is my list of what I want to change (and what will be changing) in 2020.
What is it that you would like for your year? I hope you all reach your goals.

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Christmas activities: 24 festive things to get you in the Christmas spirit

As we move closer towards the end of 2019, Christmas is looming just around the corner and as the season is upon us it’s time to stop avoiding it! It is time to sit back and enjoy the festive feelings that this time of year brings. At this point, we should be enjoying the season and not worrying about it.

So now that we know it is time to get into the festive spirit however how does one actually do this?
For me, I absolutely love this time of year and I am completely determined to not let the lack of funds get in the way! So I thought I would share with you 24 activity ideas to bring on the festive spirit.

Get planning …

Christmas is the pretty much the busiest time of the year. So first things first, sit down with a notepad and your diary. write lists, plans and get everything down so you can get through it all.
I always say planning and prepping makes everything run smoothly, that and I love to be super organised, no winging it is going on in this house! that’s for sure!

Christmas Movie Night.

One of my favourite Christmas activities has to be an evening in bed. Or cosy up on the sofa with a bottle of wine, or even a hot festive chocolate, popcorn and the Christmas movies at our fingertips.

Since Christmas has its very own dedicated channel as well full of Christmas movies 24/7. There will always be something festive to watch.

Christmas crafts.

We started our Christmas crafts really early this year since we are planning to gift everyone homemade crafts, as a lack, we have a massive lack of funds available and so far it’s been working out, with only a few lefts to do. Leaving more time to craft some Christmas goodies for the day.

Handmade cards and gifts are so special and it’s amazing to receive something that has so much effort into. So get your crafty fingers ready and make your own presents, cards and decorations.

Christmas
My vinyl skills at Christmas

Spend an evening looking at Christmas lights.

Whether it’s a walk around your block or a trip around in the car, it’s lovely to use the opportunity to get out and see the effort that some people go to at Christmas, with their houses all dressed up. Twinkle lights, inflatable Christmas characters and even singing houses!

Enjoy a mulled wine & cheese night.

It is fair to say that most people love a cheese night. So grab a bottle of mulled wine (or if your feeling particularly creative cook some up yourself) and shove some cheese on a board, invite your besties around, and enjoy a festive evening of chat, Christmas foods and wine. Perfect, right?

I know that mulled wine isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so bring out the gin or even Prosecco.

Get baking and decorating, and make a Gingerbread House.

Is it really Christmas without gingerbread? The smell of mixed spices and cinnamon, the most festive aroma whilst it is being baked.

Decorating a gingerbread house and making gingerbread is so much fun and of course yummy.

You can read my favourite gingerbread recipe here.

Christmas markets.

For me, Christmas markets are a love-hate relationship. A festive opportunity to get some shopping and admire beautiful things on the stalls, definitely something to consider heading out too. My town of Southampton has a German Christmas market every year. It is definitely the atmosphere that the Christmas market creates that brings festive feelings.

The only reason I say I have a love-hate relationship towards a Christmas market is that they always seem to be slap bang in the middle of town. Bringing in even more customers to the shops making a Christmas shopping trip hectic and a little stressful.

Get the Christmas wardrobe going.

Festive, silly ugly, cute, different. Call them what you may but Christmas clothes like the old Christmas jumpers! who doesn’t own a selection of these to wear. Not just jumpers either. Leggings, dresses, tops and jewellery! Get it all out. It’s an opportunity to wear whatever you like. Even if you fancy looking silly dressed up as one of Santa clauses elves. No one’s gonna think twice! Perfect!

Christmas
This was last years

Putting up the Christmas decorations

I’m not gonna lie this year we have been slacks when it comes to some Christmas involved things. Normally As soon as we reach the 1st of December I am asking to put the tree up and the Christmas decorations out. we’ve finally got this done today. Spending ages to untangle the fairy lights, swearing at trying to get the branches to sit right, and trying to retread the strings that have broken off the. It takes hours, and sometimes we wonder why we bother since it’s all for one day.
But really, by having the decorations up twinkling away just has a pure automatic Christmas vibe. My favourite Christmas activity of them all.

Turn up the Christmas Music and wrap presents and cards.

Ok. Christmas present wrapping, it’s more of a chore right? You’ve gone out shopping spent loads of money and you are really pleased with everything you have brought your loved ones, but now you have to spend hours getting them all ready for the big day.
I am a lover of giving at Christmas but the wrapping, not so much the wrapping of everything. So, making a fun evening of it with the Christmas songs blaring. Or a film, whatever you choose can make the whole mountain of presents into a festive pleasant evening getting you right in the mood for Christmas.

Get the board games out of the cupboard.

Christmas time is all about family time in this house. So what could be any better than turning the TV off and getting the family interacting and chatting with some fun competitive things between one another?
One year for Christmas a lovely gift from my uncle was a guess the Disney tune where you need to blow the tune in to a harmonica. The memories made on that Christmas Day of my Nan trying to buzz out a tune will live with me forever. It was truly hilarious. I would definitely suggest a few games over Christmas whilst your family have been drinking. Honestly trust me on this one.

Light some festive candles.

Christmas definitely has a smell to it, right? I can’t be the only one to think so!

So by lighting some festive scents, be it candles or wax melts. Getting the house smelling lovely and Christmasy definitely helps the festive vibes. One of my favourite Christmas scents is Yankee candle snowflake! But you don’t need to spend lots of money on expensive candles, head to the pound shop! Or even home bargains, at this time of year they have plenty of winter scents in stock!

Christmas
What a beautiful elf workshop

visit your local garden centres.

I’m not the biggest fan of garden centres at any other time of the year, but as soon as we hit the Christmas month I can not wait to get to a few to see their Christmas displays. The garden centres seem to make such a massive effort when it’s Christmas, with beautiful Christmas walks, Reindeers to go and see, and decorations galore. I love seeing the shops all dressed up and totally Christmas galore.

Most garden centres will have things for you to go see, I honestly suggest this as a perfect activity for an age! Some you may need to pay a small donation for especially if your planning to take a trip to see Santa, but they’re normally so worth the money, we haven’t been let down yet.

At the beginning of this month, we took an amazing trip to Keydell Nurseries in Hampshire, you can read about this experience here.

Get some late night shopping in.

As it gets closer to the big day the stores give us more and more chance to spend our money! The best time is late night shopping hours, as the stores aren’t as busy as usual working hours. Plus it’s a perfect opportunity to go for a drink with friends and shop your heart out.

Elf on the shelf

Elf on the shelf is just the best, isn’t it? The past few years the elf on the shelf has become more and more popular in the UK. With Facebook being filled with peoples pictures of what their naughty elf has been up too.

I really wouldn’t say that elf is just for kids, although it is massively fun for them, adults love elf too, and if I’m honest, the elf’s who belong to adults seem to be even more naughty. Funny that right?

Even if you don’t have children to set up elf on the shelf for Kyle don’t have to be left out of this festive activity! Get your own elf and pose him doing naughty things to share with your friends! Why not hey?

watch a Pantomime.

‘Oh no she didn’t. Oh yes, she did’. Those famous words, as celebrities hit the stage this time of year to make us laugh. I am not saying that you need to spend hundreds on theatre tickets. at this time of year, there’s plenty of pantos being shown on the TV. There is definitely something about the pantos, that just screams festive.

This is definitely going to be one of my goals for our Christmas next year, I have been to Pantos before, and have even acted in one in an armature production of one, so I have got my heart set on the mayflower theatre next year.

spend time with your loved ones.

this is the time of year that we all make time in our busy schedules to see our family and friends.

It’s a given! It’s festive to spend time with loved ones is so take every possible opportunity to spend time with the people you care about by doing your Christmas activities with them.

Go ice skating.

I’m not the best skater but it just feels so festive to shove on some funny boots and making a fool of yourself as you confidently fall over on some ice. Perfect winter activity. Since it’s a cold-weather thing it’s the perfect excuse to grab a nice hot chocolate afterwards.

Participate in RAK.

Have you heard of RAK? It’s been around for ages and I have found that not many people have even heard of this. RAK stands for random acts of kindness. This is such a lovely way of spreading some festive cheer at this time of year by doing something randomly kind for a friend, neighbour or stranger. This could even be buying a homeless person some food or a hot drink and gifting it to them.

Consider how a small act of kindness could really make someone’s day. Hopefully, the person your RAK was for will follow on to do another act for someone else.

Make snowflakes and chains

Yes, I suppose that this should really come under Christmas crafts. But making snowflakes by cutting up shapes out of folded white paper. And making your own Christ chains is so fun and definitely a lovely decoration piece.
Also, snowflakes and paper chains have been a Christmas decoration for centuries. At one point families didn’t have flashy decorations or lights, so it’s nice to think some classic Christmas traditions are still being kept.

Read a Christmas book

If your a big book reader like me, then this is the perfect activity. Get in bed snuggle up and read a Christmas story, what a lovely way to get in the mood for Christmas. I always find that I get ideas for what I want to do at Christmas by reading stories

Last but not least… ENJOY Christmas.

It doesn’t matter if you are not yet in the Christmas spirit. Or if you are planning to leave it a few more days before you start thinking about Christmas, maybe your half and half. Christmas is not about how much your you have spent or if you have outdone it this year, it isn’t about what you receive under the tree. This is a season, it isn’t just a day, it is a feeling of festiveness.
So don’t get down by stress, it’s time that you can enjoy everything that you have been doing. I really think it is so important to remember that this is the most wonderful time of the year. Even if there are things that make you feel sad around this time, family and friends seem to always come together to be supportive.
The greatest thing is we have the opportunity to embrace and enjoy, so no matter what it is your doing this year to make your Christmas season special, enjoy every moment.

I would love to hear what your excited to get doing this season in the comments below!

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5 reasons the craft world can help your mental health.

I admit it, I am a complete hobby addict. A creative anyway person, but always looking at new crafts, making new things, and making old things pretty. I could sit here and blame Pinterest, as this has become a real enabler for me. Finding so many things that inspire me just by scrolling for hours on that app. Seriously the time flies by and my brain is overwhelmed with ideas.
In the past few months, life has been more than a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions. During this time I have found myself escaping to my craft desk. I like to keep busy playing with my Cricut and spending time in my own world creating different things. I cannot think of anything else that is more therapeutic and fun. Looking back the past few months and looking at all the things I have created lately it hit me. I believe that crafting has a majorly positive impact on my mental health!
By having hobbies connecting to craft in my life, I have had a method of keeping myself winning.

craft
One of my many scrapbooking layouts

Something so simple…

It shouldn’t be a major shock. This is hardly a massive revolution I have had. However, it really has gotten me to think about myself, my health, and my mindstate. I thought I would share my thoughts on how craft can lead to positive mental attitude. So how can starting a craft hobby help your mental health?
Let’s start by remembering that a hobby that falls in any arts and crafts category could be absolutely anything. The possibilities are endless and most people are able to find something that is compatible for themselves. There are so many reasons that by starting a new hobby in the crafting world will have a positive impact on yourself and your mental health

Getting your creative juices flowing.

Just by starting a new creation or project, The creative juices in your brain are forced into action from the get-go. No matter what it is that you are busy with, your craft is the doorway to a million other doors.

Once you start something your mind becomes a mental mind-map of what else you can do. From seeing something in a shop you could use to create something amazing, to taking something old and making it even better than before. You are constantly find something new that you will want to get your hands on, or even find ways to make different ideas collaborate and expand. When you are creating something the world is your oyster. There is so much too do and so little time.

Even when you are out of ideas I suggest a quick trip to Pinterest and within minutes you can be inspired by something and thinking up your own unique way to create a similar project.

craft
So many craft tools, so little space?

Being able to unwind and relax with a craft.

There have been so many times that I have seen someone say ‘Do some colouring’, and say how colouring can be a good distraction from real life and easily therapeutic. It’s not so different from having a craft hobby. With colouring, you are making your choice to pencil, your choice of colour and your decorating something nice. Craft is the same except your probably grabbing the scissors, warming up the hot glue gun and sprinkling glitter and turning an idea into creations.

I have always felt that when I am able to get really engaged in a project it really can have such a positive effect on myself and my stress levels soon shrink.
If you read my previous post on why the Cricut is any crafters best friend, You May remember I mention my love for vinyl projects, like a lot. I have a passion for printing complex and fiddly designs and spend hours weeding the excess vinyl away. It does take time and patience but this can be so relaxing. what could be better than finding a new hobby that can be used as a distraction from reality? Leaving my problems and stress behind. I always call my desk my little craft bubble, because when I am there I am in my own happy place.

craft your expression…

I know that I’ve already mentioned being creative but for me, an expression is a whole different chapter in the book of creativity. Being able to express your feelings creatively is such a powerful and amazing device to consider. There are so many different options that can be inspired by what we are feeling. Pairings, art journals, scrapbooking, drawing and uplifting. just to name a few things that you can use your emotions to empower your creations. From using colours and pictures to reflect your mood, to using tools to manipulate objects and change them to your own envisions. You will be able to find so many new ways to express yourself and your feelings.

Positive reflection.

During the years my crafting experiences have had so many positive impacts on me. I try to think of most projects as a creative challenge. being able to throw yourself into something you can enjoy leads to positive energy. There is something so amazing about that feeling that you get when you are inspired by a new idea when you found a solution to a tricky crafting nightmare, the experiences of learning new things and different ways to do things, and that final moment, Meanwhile the hours that you have spent creating something is finally finished. That feeling of being proud of yourself, for what you have achieved.

craft
Vinyl decor mugs with the Cricut! Crafting bliss.

Craft an awesome finished project … eventually.

Don’t get me wrong, I have had so many of my fair share of unfinished projects and ongoing ones. Projects that have pained me to finish, maybe they took me absolute months to finish. It doesn’t really matter. You can use your mistakes to learn from just like in real life. That feeling you have when you’ve finally got there, I didn’t give up and completed them. That feeling I love, it is such a warm amazing feeling, embrace it. I absolutely feel empowered when I can say I did that. look at what I have done, I created something and that thing, it’s amazing and it’s all down to me. That feeling is pretty epic. It’s so positive.

Do not forget that even if a project that you have completed isn’t perfect. You still did it yourself. You have still created something pretty amazing. Find the positives in what you have achieved.

Have I missed anything out?

I mean crafting is one of my major hobbies and it really does have a special place in my heart and life. When I’m having a down day I can sometimes turn it all around by challenging myself into something new!

As always I would love to hear from you guys, with your opinions. Do you have an experience where you have found something in the craft world that keeps you positive? Do you feel that craft has a good reflection on your mental health? I want to hear! Let me know in the comments. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

You can support my crafting journey by following Crafty Hearts Corner on Instagram!

Why I think The Cricut Explore Air 2 is any crafters best friend

A while back you may have read my post what’s on my desk? Where I spoke about the newest technology that I owned and how excited I was. Well, I thought now would be a great opportunity to finally write a post about this wonderful machine, the Cricut.

I know a few people that are also thinking about investing in the machine. I also have spoken to my friends so much about the Cricut, Weeding, Vinyl and other bits. They have no idea what I am going on about! so what better than to write my own review of owning this machine so far.

Cricut explore air 2
Introducing my Cricut Explore Air 2.

So what is Cricut?

The Cricut Explore Air and other versions such as the maker, is a die-cutting machine, in its simplest terms. Think of it as a printer, except a Printer with a blade, and Pen option. Giving you the ability to create a design on your computer and then send it to the machine to cut. The only difference to a printer is instead of using ink you are printing designs by cutting your chosen material.

My story of the Cricut so far…

After absolute years of longing for this machine, I have not yet been left disappointed. The Cricut Explore Air 2 has got me enthusiastic with many different craft ideas. Not to mention a massive new passion for vinyl. I have a beautiful turquoise colour machine, and there is a variety of other colours that you can choose from. Although the machine and everything you need can be a little pricey. It is a well worthwhile investment when you are in the craft world.
The opportunities that the Cricut system brings are endless. There is honestly so much that you are able to do with this beautiful machine. It doesn’t matter whether you are a papercraft enthuses, vinyl, or anything else. The Cricut can do so many things for any passionate crafter.

So it has been over 2 months since my Cricut Explore Air 2 had been purchased. Playing with vinyl has now become my favourite thing to do with the Cricut so far. I really do enjoy personalising so many items with names, and pictures, or a few words. I can print on to fabric, like T-shirts and canvas bags. Personalising any decor items, so far the options have been limitless.

Cricut tools
Out of all of the Cricut tools I own, these are my go too.

When my journey with the Cricut Explore first began I felt completely new to the Cricut world. Even though I had experience using one of the older versions of the machine. Although I would mainly use for scrapbooking projects and did not have as many functions. Actually, the original machine uses cartridges only which are pretty pricey and extremely limited.

Design Space is where it is at!

One of the best features of the Cricut explore and newer versions are the Cricut Design Space. This can be loaded on to any smartphone or tablet device, as well as the computer. The computer does give access to a few extra options. I haven’t had problems using the app on my iPhone or iPad. In fact, I completely love it. There is a lot of flexibility, by having a Cricut access subscription account. You can have 1000’s of images and projects at the tips of your fingers.
The Cricut library has so many free SVG files. There are also many websites that you can download and upload to the DS. These are usually to be created for your own personal gain. This could also be a business venture when buying commercial licences for the files.

A few examples…

I know that I have already mentioned my love for vinyl, but there are many different ways to use vinyl. As well as using vinyl for decor, there are so many options you can do. Using Vinyl for a template for instance. We now use vinyl as a template for Glass engraving. I have even painted some designs on to doormats and canvas.

Cricut cutting
Pretty paper ready to go!

But like I said vinyl is not the only material that the Cricut machine can cut. Card, paper, Fabric, Posterboard, and so much more. So depending on your hobby, owning the Cricut could really be a game-changer to every crafter. Scrapbooking, engraving, painting, honestly so much more that I probably don’t even know about yet. Believe me, though, I can not wait to play and find out. Also! Did you know that the Cricut explore range can hold a Pen! Yes, that’s right! it can draw & write, another amazing feature.

I literally have a list of project ideas that I want to do as long as my arm right now!

Above is a project that took me hours, but worth every minute. Pretty card stock, a hot glue gun and a load of patience I created a beautiful load or 3D flowers. I then used these inside a 3D box frame, which turned out lovely. This project took ages, and swearing loads because the hot glue gun was hot and I kept burning myself. The projects itself I am so happy with, and I do like a good fiddly project.

To anyone questioning buying a Cricut…

If anyone was to ask me, should I give in and buy a Cricut? I would probably do a really exciting squeal. Rambling about how much I love the Cricut. then overfeeding information about what the Cricut machine can do. Then I would ask them one simple questions…
Do you have a passion for crafting?
If the answer is yes. Do it! The Cricut community is amazing, and there is so much benefit from owning such an amazing machine. I would suggest doing some of your own research before you buy. You will need tools and materials alongside owning the machine. It is beneficial to be able to get the accessories alongside the machine. Believe me, there is so much to choose from. My next stop with be saving for and buying the Cricut east heat press.

So what do you think? Does the Cricut machine sound like a match for you?

I’d love to know your thoughts and opinions, as always leave me some love below.

Desk goals? What’s on my desk!

The last few weeks I have been absolutely none stop with wedding things for our best friend who married her love this Saturday. It has been amazing! but I am finally back to normal (be it extremely exhausted, let alone still ill). If a desk and stationery are not your things, how about reading Why I blog? Instead, here.

let me let you into a little secret… I have always been super jealous of those people who post pictures of their desk set up, the place where they work, craft, blog etc! I pretty much have a dedicated Pinterest board of all the 1000’s of things that I want to do when we have our own house one day. SO… I am super excited about this post. why? Because I finally own my very own desk, which means I totally have my own personalised working space right now and I am completely loving it.

For the last couple of years, the bed has been my creative space which of course causes obstacles when it comes to things like crafting! So when my wonderful girlfriend spent some of her compensation money on me for a Cricut machine, a desk became a rather Nesacary piece of furniture to own and of course we got one each! YAY.

Desk

So what is actually on my desk?

Having a proper desk to sit up at is a complete game-changer for me! I love having space to be organised and properly creative. So here you go. What I keep on my desk …

Cricut Explore Air 2

There is so much I can say about the Cricut, But I will be posting a review soon on my thoughts so far! let’s just say for now! I LOVE IT.

Desk

My Laptop (MacBook Air)

I mainly work from my laptop whenever possible I am currently running a few projects from the comfort of my laptop right now!

Pen pot

Well Since I own a million pens! I needed an extra place to have some more.

Bendy light

My bendy light is a lifesaver for me when I’m crafting particularly, especially for fiddly things.

Photo frame

Every desk needs to be personalised with photos and things right?

Desk

I’m still personalising my space at the moment. So I would love to hear and see what your guy’s spaces look like! leave me a message below with what you think I should be adding!

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