Mental Health And Me – An Update

This is the first update about my mental health since writing this post, and in the time between that post and this I’ve been to the doctors for a medicine review on the 22nd November.  Thankfully some of the symptoms that I had when starting my medication (Sertraline 50mg) have subsided, the sick feeling still comes and goes but isn’t a persistent feature of day-to-day life, the hot and cold feelings have gone, and the dizzy spells are getting less and less which is good.

I’ve now developed insomnia, which I do get from time to time but never like this, over the space of a few weeks I have not been able to sleep for more than half an hour at a time if at all which is really starting to get me down.  The flip side to this is that when I do sleep, I can sleep for the whole day which has happened a few times now (the latest being sleeping through the whole of sunday 25th November).

I have still been feeling anxious and still have these anxiety attacks along with panic attacks though I can not identify a reason why, perhaps if I could then I would be able to stop them?

I spoke with the dr about all of this, he said it may help to up my medication.  I’m now taking 100mg of Sertraline each day.  I still feel unable to go back to work, mostly because my concentration levels are still really low and I keep forgetting things (like when watching tv, the adverts will come on and I have no idea what I have been watching), I still can’t settle to read a book and I’m finding myself really tired even when I have had a good nights sleep.  All of these things create a frustration in me and I know I would find it difficult in work with these symptoms, and I would end up being angry at myself for not being able to carry out the tasks I need to, taking too much time over completing tasks and generally struggling with the day-to-day things I need to do.

I’m finding it pretty hard to motivate myself to leave the house or even have conversations with people.  I feel like I’ve become a bit of a hermit at the moment.  I did manage to go food shopping at 12:30am on the 21st November…the Asda supermarket by me is open 24 hours and because I couldn’t sleep I decided to put that time to good use.  The supermarket was really quiet with only myself and shelf stackers around.  I got to walk around at my own pace and pay attention to what I was buying.  Usually, if I go in the day time I run around like I’m on supermarket sweep, grabbing things and not thinking about what I need or want in order to get out as fast as I can.  This time I only bought what I needed and didn’t forget anything.

I’ve been taking the higher dosage of medication for the last 3 days and so far have not got any more, or bought back any of the side effects I was experiencing.  I just hope that these will help somewhat!

Project Make – Hallway Floor and Back Door Mat

The hallway in my house had laminate wood flooring which hadn’t been laid very well, was a bit battered and never seemed to look clean which always irked me somewhat. I really wanted to cover it with something as I was unable to remove it due to being rented accommodation.

I looked everywhere for a hall runner rug that would fit the 4 meter 10cm length and that would also fit width ways. The hallway starts off wide at the door and becomes narrow toward the foot of the stairs which made it awkward to find something suitable that would work well. The cost of the cheapest rug that I found was around £80 and came in really mundane solid colours – brown, grey and a golden colour, and most of the others I found I didn’t really like the pattern or colour of in a higher price bracket. There was nothing that I truly loved that fitted my style, that is until I started thinking about other types of flooring.

My first thought was carpet tiles as they were pretty cheap to buy and easy to fit too but, being a hallway I thought that might be a bit impractical with dirt being bought in from outside. I then thought about vinyl flooring as it is hard-wearing and can be cleaned really easily but the patterns that were available were not really anything that I liked. I wanted something bright, fun, easy to install, easy to keep clean, and even easier to replace if I needed to for whatever reason, it also needed to fit my budget. It was when I started to rethink over getting carpet tiles that a thought occurred to me… I knew what would fit my specifications perfectly and would be a pretty unique choice for flooring…kids soft foam play area tiles!

This is the outcome! I ordered these from here. When they arrived I opened up the packets and went about sorting them into colours before starting on laying them down.

I prepped the floor by sweeping and hoovering to get up every last bit of dust and dirt, I didn’t want to cause any further damage to the laminate underneath so this was a vital step.

I then chose the colour scheme I wanted, choosing to place the coloured tiles together to create a stripe effect and placed the first tile at the foot of the stairs and worked my way back towards the door. I then removed the first tile I had laid and cut one of the edge flat, removing the “teeth” before placing it back down and shuffling the tiles up so the cut edge butted up against the rise of the step.

The next cut I made was the tile to go against the door. Once I’d got this row in I was able to work my way back up towards the stairs and remove the teeth from the side closest to the wall and move the tiles into place.  I then added the next row which just needed the teeth removing from both ends.

The third row was the trickiest as I needed to cut down some of the tiles to fit the shape of the wall so that the tiles fitted snugly without any room for movement.  To do this I took each tile, laid it over the tiles that were there and made marks where the teeth and tile met.  The tricky part to this is to remember to make the marks on the opposite side of the tile to where you are measuring otherwise you will end up with the cut going in the wrong direction… so mark the left side of the tile to be cut with the right side of the tile that is already in place.  Be sure to put the tile fully against the wall before making the mark too!

Once all the tiles were in place the only thing I needed to do was to finish the edge near the doorway, this was fairly simple as I was working with a straight edge so only needed to take a measurement and cut a straight line.  I did have to go around a pipe but that too proved to be fairly easy to navigate… once Id cut the tile to the right size I laid it down and made a mark where the cuts needed to be to fit the tile around the pipe, then using scissors I made a small cut to each mark, then refit the tile to see if the cuts were deep enough to accommodate the pipe before removing the tile and making the last cut.  I then re-fitted the tile.

img_0441                img_0442

I had left over tiles and decided to use these to make a back door mat in the same way!

img_0391

What do you think of my flooring idea?  Is it something you would try in your home?

What Is Maximalism?

Maximalism is a reaction to minimalism and is pretty much the opposite of what we have visions of when we think about minimalism.

Maximalism is an abundance of colour, of ornaments and a way of styling our homes to show off our belongings all at once.

Maximalism is about embracing colour and texture, clashing patterns, colours and textures to create a visually interesting home.

Maximalism is about focusing on the big items and the small, adding detail that is rich in tone, never boring.

Maximalism is a host of cushions placed on the sofa along with throws to create a cozy sitting area.

Maximalism is about creating warmth with lamps and candles placed strategically around the room.

Maximalism is embracing the unique, quirky, and unexpected and adding them in unexpected places.

Maximalism is upcycling furniture and other objects to create something fun.

Maximalism is stand out, strong, independent and fun.

Maximalism is everything that I love.

I am a maximalist.

A Look Around My Home – Living Room

THIS POST IS IMAGE HEAVY… (just to warn you incase it doesn’t load on your device…)

I’ve decided to add to my blog “A Look Around My Home” posts, essentially photo room tours, partly to share with you what my rooms look like and how I style them but also to serve as reminders to me.  I like to move things around, add things and take things away so sharing these posts will be a little reminder for me in months to come, how my room looked at certain points in time.

Today I am sharing photos of my living room.  I hope you will like them!

This is the full view of my window sill.  I received the hanging which I use as a curtain for my birthday last year, you can find similar on Amazon .

img_0337
Unicorn Ring Holder and Votive Candles

I bought the Unicorn Ring Holder and the votive candles (part of a set) from Asda.  Unfortunately the Unicorn Ring Holder no longer seems to be in stock but you can buy similar here.  The votive candle came as part of a set of 2 along with a reed diffuser which smells absolutely divine – really fruity, from Asda.

img_0333
Bell Jar Unicorn

The Bell Jar Unicorn also came from Asda.

img_0335
Fairy in a Jar

I bought this little fellow about 20 years ago when I was on holiday in Devon from a cute gift shop.

img_0338
Incense Burner and Tea Light Holder

The Incense Burner was purchased in a local shop and the Tea Light holder was a Birthday gift from a friend a few years ago.

img_0336
Moroccan Tea Light Holder and Incense Burner

I bought the Moroccan Tea Light Holder in my local TK Maxx.  I can’t find the item on their website but you may find similar in store!

img_0356
My Coffee Table and Hurricane Lamp Candle Holder

My Coffee Table was a bargain find from FaceBook Marketplace and was free to whoever collected it! I’d been searching for one like it for what seemed like an age and is now one of my favorite possessions!  I can’t remember where I got the Hurricane lamp from but use it every now and again as a vase.  At the moment I like using it to hold a chunky church candle.

img_0363
Coaster

These coasters were a Christmas present a few years ago from my brother, Richard.  They never cease to make me smile!

img_0362
Coaster
img_0360.jpg
Coaster
img_0361.jpg
Coaster
img_0340
TV and TV Stand

I bought my tv stand from Argos and was using it previously in my bedroom to store clothes in.  I moved it downstairs after my neighbour gifted me her spare tv when I moved in.  It currently houses a few ornaments and my classic (original) Sony Playstation and games.

img_0343
Skull, Dragon and Candle

I’ve had my sheep skull since I was in college doing an Art A Level (back in 1998) when I used him in several drawing lessons.  I named him Bob and painted him silver several years ago.  The Dragon is made from Welsh coal and was a present from my brother Richard.

img_0341
Terrarium, Frog, Tortoise and Candle

I bought the terrarium (complete with a fake succulent) in Asda, they don’t seem to stock it on their site anymore but you may be lucky to find one in store.  The little frog was a present from a friend when she was on holiday, it opens up and can hold really small things.  The tortoise is made from Tigers Eye, it was a gift for a birthday many years ago.

img_0342
Close up of Terrarium, Frog and Tortoise
img_0325
Corner of My Room

I love this vignette of the corner of my room!  The chest is from my friend who runs RoofRack Ragamuffinsa local shop here in Pontypool.  The table lamp was upcycled by me (I added the dinosaur fringe).  The dinosaur planters were a gift from my Mum and were purchased in Morrisons supermarket.  The little table is a find from Facebook Marketplace. The plant and pot came from Wilkinsons.

img_0326
Small Gemstone Table, My Little Pony and a Duck

Here’s a close up of the little table, I bought it from a lady on Facebook Marketplace, it holds a handful of gemstone chippings, a plastic duck and a customised My Little Pony which I’m in the middle of decorating.

img_0444
Lenny and Pigwig with my Fish Lamp

These wood carvings were made by a friend and I bought them at festivals I have been to.  They are called Lenny (the big one) and Pigwig (the smaller one).  The lamp is filled with water and when switched on a light shines up through the water and cycles through different colours, it produces bubbles and little plastic fish bob up and down.

img_4911
Cuddle Chair and Reading Corner

This is where I like to sit and read my books.  The cuddle chair is from Facebook Marketplace.  The floor lamp I upcycled myself. (You can read about that here) The bookcase came from Ikea.

img_0346
Book Case and Floor Lamp

The camel mobile was bought at a museum in London on a trip there years ago.

img_0347
Ornament Pyramid Shelving

On the top of the bookcase is a pyramid shelving unit that I painted gold.  It is filled with small nick-nacks.

img_0350
Glass Jar and Skulls

Next to the pyramid shelves are 2 jars, one contains tiny bird skulls that I found and used in art classes for drawing and painting skills.

img_0348
Glass Jar and Sea Anemone Skeleton

The other glass jar contains a Sea Anemone Skeleton that I found on a beach when I was on holiday a few years ago.

img_0351
Decorated Bottles, Puffins and Tortoise

This shelf holds items that I inherited when my Grandma died.  I have no idea of the origins of the decorated bottles or the puffins.  The little tortoise is a holder, when you lift off the shell there is a place to keep small items.

img_0352
Horse and Carriage, Feathers, Oil Burner and Skull

The next shelf down is home to my Horse and Carriage that my Granddad bought back from one of his trips abroad.  The oil burner was a gift from my manager when I worked in a pub and the skull was a present from my Dad a few years ago (it’s a money-box).

img_0353
Another View of my Horse and Carriage, Feathers and Oil Burner

I’ve collected feathers for years and have chosen to display some of them in a pink candle holder on my shelf.

img_0354
Shelf with Books and Buddah Ornament

This is where my “books to read” reside along with my filofax and other bits and bobs necessary for everyday life that I tend to lose!  The Buddah ornament is a backflow incense burner that I bought a while ago from Amazon. (You can find backflow incense burners here)  The bottom shelf (which you can just see…) holds books and the rest of my planners and diaries.

img_0345
Artwork and More Shelving

This artwork is something I created on my Foundation Art Degree.  I have placed it onto the chimney breast and placed a shelving unit below it as the chimney is not used anymore and the fire-place has been blocked up.

img_0344
Top of the Shelves

This is my candle shelf!

From L to R

Big Iridescent Candle (Asda)

Small Pink Candles – Moving in present from my brother Richard.

Reed diffuser (part of a set from Asda)

Silver Pineapple Tea Light Holder (no longer available – Asda)

Smaller Iridescent Candle (Asda)

Silver Skull Candle – D.L and Co

The small glass photocube was a present from my workmates when I left my last job.

 

img_0364
Candles and Reed Diffuser
img_0365
Llama Mug

My Mum bought me the Llama mug to use as a plant holder.  It’s currently housing a silly dinosaur pencil!

img_0367
Candles, Art and Squishies

The votive candle holders (S & R) came from Asda and stand for Suzi and Roxy!  The squishie animals came from Wish.

img_0368
Gemstone Bell Jar, Candles and Holders and Wooden Box
img_0370
Wooden Box

I can’t remember where I bought this little box from, its been in my possession for longer than I can remember.  It currently keeps incense cones safe!

img_0375
Gromit Head Wobbler
img_0376
Troll

I had this troll figure (and the other one shown lower down in this post) as a Birthday present when trolls were all the rage first time around (in the late ’80s!)  I’m surprised that I still have both of them given that many of my things from then have got lost over the years!

img_0371
Cat Salt and Pepper Shakers

I love this pair and their cute faces!  They are salt and pepper shakers that I bought for a uni art project several years ago.  I have never used them for the purpose they were made for but as ornaments to have out on my shelves!

img_0372
Cat Money Box

This was bought years ago from a charity shop!  I use it to keep Roxy’s pocket-money safe!

img_0374
Troll
img_0373
Keeper

Another of my ’80’s childhood toys that has survived many moves!

img_0324
Salt Lamp and Side Unit

The salt lamp was a Birthday gift a few years ago.  I bought the side unit and drawers from Argos to use as side tables as I didn’t have any.  I have one for each side of my sofa and are perfect for putting a lamp on and holding a coffee cup.  They are also perfect for hiding paperwork and magazines!

img_0322
Coffee Table, Sofa and Cushions
img_0330
Sofa and Cushions

The sofa is a new addition to my living room.  I did have a sofabed in the space (you can see it here) but decided to move that to my spare room.  I found this (and another one) exactly the same on Facebook Marketplace for £15 for the pair!  The bolster cushions and covers are from Amazon (you can find similar covers here )  The rabbit cushion was a Christmas present.

img_0329
Sofa and Side Unit

The anglepoise lamp on the other side of my sofa was given to me by my brother Richard when I moved in.  I’ve seen similar in several different stores including Argos and Ikea.

img_0357
Wall Clock

The wall clock is one of my favorite things!  My friend gave me it a few years ago and I couldn’t decide where to place it.  When I moved in here I knew that I would put it on the wall space behind my sofa!

img_0323
Salt Lamp
img_0339
Wall Picture of My Niece and Nephew

This picture of my niece and nephew was printed by Saal Digital.  If you want similar then there are several places you can upload your own images from to be turned into wall pictures!

img_0358
Disco Ball

I’ve had my disco ball for years and years and previously had nowhere to hang it.  I’ve hung it in front of my room divider curtains.

img_0359
Room Divider

One of my room divider curtains.  I wrote a post about them here.

What is your favorite item in my living room?

Why I Started This Blog

In the past I ran a few different blogs, I had one for my art and uni projects, one for my planners and diaries and one for beauty products but keeping them all going at the same time, remembering to write posts, schedule them, take photos, link back to products I used or other relevant sources, update social media platforms became a bit overwhelming.  I struggled to think of content to write, write posts and get them published.  It began to feel like I was writing each day and chasing my tail, not really getting anywhere.  Eventually, I just gave up as it was all becoming a bit too much to keep up with.

Recently I had been thinking about things that I used to do for fun and realised I really enjoyed writing and sharing ideas and thoughts, and that I really, really missed blogging.  In the beginning, when I started blogging I found the whole process of writing, taking photo and updating my blog to be fun and a way to relax, it was almost therapeutic up to a point.  And I wanted that feeling back, I wanted the space to share art things, decorating tips and ideas, food, beauty, whatever I wanted to, or could think of writing about.  I wanted to get back to blogging, maybe not with the intensity I had before but I still felt like it was something I really wanted to do.

I think the reason I failed blogging before was that I had several blogs all specialising in niche subjects and because of the nature of the blogs and their blog names I felt like I couldn’t add other subjects into the blog, that I had to stick with the given theme I had chosen.  It took me a while to really think about what I wanted to write about and share on a blog and whether I wanted to really start a new blog.  I wrote down subjects I wanted to write about and really thought hard about the type of blog these subjects would fit into, one that would give me the freedom to add any subject matter I wanted without having my readers wondering why I had added something that was “off theme”.  I decided a lifestyle blog was the best style to go with, it would give me the freedom to write posts about art and decorating, alongside posts about what I was reading or thinking about.

So I started this blog as a space for me to share my life, experiences, ideas, thoughts and life with you.  I started this blog as I enjoy writing and taking photos and because I find writing is a kind of therapy, it is something to help me mentally and somewhere I can log my life and look back on things I have done and ideas I have had.  I started this blog to give people ideas and inspiration.  That is why I created this blog.

If you are interested in the Story Behind My Blog Name you can find that post here.

If you blog, why did you start yours?  What is your blog about?  Do you write about a niche subject or something in broader terms?

Upcycle Project – Floor Lamp

I’ve had the same plain floor lamp for as long as I can remember and while I love the actual lamp itself I’ve not really been liking the shade.  I bought the lamp from Ikea years ago (so long ago that they don’t sell it anymore!), it has a fold out hinge so you can move the light around without disturbing the stand which I find perfect for reading under in the evenings.  The shade that came with it was cream and seemed to pick up dirt and dust really quickly and forever looked a bit grubby which I really didn’t like so I decided that I would make it into something that I did like.  I have to issue an apology now because I don’t have any proper “before” pictures except for this one where you can see the lamp in the corner behind my chair…

image_564496326867117

The first thing I did was to wash and dry the shade after removing it from the stand.  I scrubbed it off in the kitchen sink with dish soap and a scrubbing-brush which seemed to remove most of the dirt and dust.  I left it overnight to dry off.

The next morning I decided that I was going to either paint it with acrylic paint or attempt to dye it.  As I was running low on paints I figured I’d have a go at dying it.  I had some leftover semi permanent hair colours in yellow, orange and pink shades so watered them down a bit.  I then began applying the dye in bands around the shade with a paint brush.

0AA9235D-8433-487A-A677-6923D589DB14

I started with the yellow then worked my way down to orange before finishing with the pink.  I left it to dry overnight again before rinsing off any residue in the sink.  The colours blended together a bit and they faded down once rinsed and dried off again but I was happy with the outcome.

I then decided to add a beaded fringe so raided my bead collection for suitable beads

22178F68-76E5-4794-8FAF-C6D075673C0C

I decided to use small pony beads and finish the fringe off with small brass bells.  I measured the circumference of the shade at its widest end, marked 1 inch sections and marked with a small pencil mark then, working from the inside rim, used a needle and thread to puncture a hole where I wanted the fringe to be.  I added beads then a bell before passing the needle back through the beads and back through the hole I had made, then moved on to the next 1 inch mark before repeating.  I worked this way, all around the rim before tying off and completing.  Once finished I reattached the shade to the lamp.

4703D1D5-B734-42F6-812C-AFC619045F91

What do you think of my handiwork?  What other uses do you think hair dye has?

Happy Birthday Roxy!!!!

Some of you may have noticed the appearance of a little fuzzy head in some of the photos I have shared on this blog, and today, that little fuzzy head turned 4!

I’ve had Roxy in my life since she was a teeny tiny pup and in that time we have been on many adventures together – camping, festivals, long walks where we get lost in nature and the biggest so far – moving to my own home, just me and her.  She’s my shadow, always beside me wherever I go, whether its laying on the bathroom mat while I have a bath, cuddling up to me on the sofa when I want to read or watch tv, sitting in the kitchen while I cook and clean, she is always there.

She’s funny and sweet, understands more than she lets on, she listens and talks back in that way only dogs and their owners would understand and she brings me so much joy every day.  So today, Roxanne, I’m celebrating you and how wonderful you are!  Happy Birthday Puper!

On My To Do List This Month

I know it’s only *just* November but there are so many things I need to start and work on this month for Christmas that I thought I’d share a little to do list with you all, and so I can hold myself accountable for things I need to get done this month so here is the list in no particular order

  • Write a Christmas gifts list and decide what I’m giving people
blur celebration christmas cookies
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I am on a tight budget this month and need to really think about how much I can afford to spend and what to give people.  I like to give meaningful gifts that suit the recipient and am choosing to make some gifts instead of buying things that are mass produced.

  • Research and buy items to make gifts
photo of hand holding sea salt breeze scented candle
Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

I’m considering making scented candles and possibly baking some treats to give to people this year as gifts with a posibility of creating small hampers for family to enjoy so really want to research the best recipes and best items to purchase to make gifts along with knowing the steps involved in creating the gifts.

  • Deep clean the house

I really like to dust and clean everywhere before I think about getting the decorations out and putting them up, it gives me a chance to put some things away and make space for the festive bits and bobs to go up too!

  • Decide on Christmas decorations and what I need to make/buy
photo of string lights
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

I don’t have a lot of Christmas decorations, in the places I have lived before the decorations I had access to were not all mine.  This year is a chance for me to really think about the kind of decorations I want and how I want my home to look.  I’m leaning towards a pastel/colourful/kitsch sort of theme with some upcycled elements to fit in with it.

  • Plan for my Crafternoon (I’m holding a fundraiser for Mind on the 1st December) including drinks, activities and food.

I’ve been in my home since the end of June and have yet to have a housewarming or many friends over.  I usually don’t have many friends over due to my stress, anxiety and aspergers, but I’m really looking forward to planning and hosting this event!  My friend Jez will be helping me to sort it all out so that helps a ton!

  • Remember to put the recycling out!!!

I seem to always forget that wednesday is the day they come to empty the bins and collect our recycling until I hear them going down the street or seeing my neighbours empty recycling boxes on the street.  I really must start to write it down on my calendar and put a reminder in my phone!

  • Clean and tidy up for my house inspection (eek!)

I have my first house inspection on the 24th of this month.  The housing association I rent through are coming to give the house a once over.  I have no idea what to expect but want to have the place clean and tidy (not that it isn’t) and super presentable for their visit.

  • Meal Plan

I really need to start planning my meals properly again, when I was in work (before being signed off due to my anxiety and stress) I planned the majority of my meals, especially my breakfasts and lunches and was really good at eating at set times  but since I have been off from work I have not really thought much about what I’m going toeat or when.  It has been really hard as the medication I have been taking has been making me feel sick and put me off food completely.  I have been surviving mostly on junk and toast and that needs to change.  I really need to step away from the snacks and start cooking properly again.

  • Take photos for upcoming blog posts
close up photo of digital camera
Photo by Alex Fu on Pexels.com

I have several posts lined up that I want to get completed and scheduled for publishing so really need to work on tking the photos to accompany the posts.  I am going to try and get most of the photos done at the beginning of this month so all I need to worry about is writing the posts!

  • Continue working on Mums Christmas present (I’ll share it in the New Year after she has recieved it!)

I’d really love to share what I’m creating for Mum at the moment but I really don’t want her to find out what I’m up to and for it to spoil her surprise until the actual day.  All I can say is that I’m nearly half way through at this moment in time and really need to crack on if I’m going to get it completed in time!

  • Make Christmas cards for family

I’m still undecided on wheter to make Christmaas cards or not this year.  I really like making cards and haven’t done so in a long time so it feels like it could be a good idea.  The main thing that is making me unsure is how much time I’ll have between all the other things I want to do for Christmas…only time will tell I suppose!

I have other things on my to do list, the normal mundane things like my cleaning routine, normal shopping, doctors appointments and bills to pay but they happen every week/month/year and are things that most poeple have on their lists too…the items I have shared are much more interesting (well, I think so!)

What is on your to do list this month?