Monday, 1 July 2013

July Article for Crafty people Monthly.

 Hi guys..

Here is the article I have written for the

Crafty Peoples online magazine.

Do pop over and see what the rest of the team has been up to..

Hello everyone and once again welcome to my little corner.

The theme for this month is: "Flowers"..

Most of us love using flowers on our crating projects. They come in all shapes and sizes. In all colours and materials. They can be shop bought or made by your self. By hand or by die. But for my card I decided to try something a little bit different.

As flowers are everywhere in crafting, I decided to try out something new for me. REAL flowers. I've never pressed flowers before, ok maybe as a kid, but not as a crafter. Also, I've never made a creation with real flowers before.

To try this out, I simply went out in the garden and picked what I could find. I picked the little small ones, thinking they would be best for cards.

I know you can buy and make specially designes flower presses, but as this was simply just something to try for fun, I went to my library and got the biggest book I own. I opened the book, added a few sheets of kithen roll, then my flowers, and then more kitchen roll. Closed the book and left it there. My flowers have now been in my book for about 2 weeks.

This is one of my favorite books in my collection, also one of my biggest lol

This is the flowers after pressing.

Is this the correct way to press flowers?? Honestly, I dont know, nor do I mind. Why?? Because I simply just wanted to try it out and have a bit of fun.

The finished card. I kept it very simple, just so the flowers really stand out.

My only concern about using real flowers.. Are they going to withstand the posting??? I guess I will have to send my card to a friend to find out...

And having fun, relaxing and creating is what crafting is all about for me. I know of many people that find crafting helps them with their poor health.

Here is what some of my Facebook friends had to say when I asked the following Question: 

*Gillian Lowry: Hi, I have Fibromyalgia and Osteo Arthritis which is constant pain but crafting takes me to another world it gives me something to focus on xxxxx

*Cathy Hennessy Roberts: I had a stroke 3 yrs ago and scrap booking has helped me feel normal. I have limited use of my left arm but persevere at making LO's and cards. I still have my mind and I am sometimes in awe of my creativity.

*CardMonkey Jarvis: Due to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) -- repeated head injuries over my lifetime -- my memory is fading faster than I'd like, and quicker than normal. I scrapbook to preserve the memories; I make cards to feel better about my situation, and to give to others to remind them that they're cared about. And I blog about it so I have a way of keeping a timeline of life. When I went out of work with a foot injury last year, I blogged about that and got some good tips from fellow crafters about treating it ...and crafting helped keep me somewhat sane when I couldn't walk.

*Margaret Metcalfe Beard: I have heart/hearing/chronic back pain probs but give me some card, glue and papers and I forget it all!! Same with crochet! Bet you can't find a crafter in bad health who doesn't feel exactly the same!! lol XXX

*Janis Johnston Farabee: For me its CRPS in my leg & serious back issues....some days I can hardly walk but once I get to my crafting area and start working on a project I'm in another world I forget about the pain. My hubby made me a crafting table so I can stand and work as sitting is difficult for me as well. Like another lady said, it also helps to keep the memory from fading as fast....due to all the meds I take some days my thought process is very slow. I make something nearly everyday and I'm so grateful to be able to have supplies and do what I do. With out it I'm sure I would be in a wheel chair.

So as you can see, crafting helps in many different ways. We all craft for different resons and we all gain different things from it.

One crafter that constantly have to take her health into concideration, is my FB pal Gwyneth George.

Here is what Gwyneth has to say:

 Unfortunately I have more than one disabling condition.  The first is an “invisible” condition - M.E.  The second is a very visible condition – Lymphoedema.

The Lymphoedema is in a badly damaged lower right leg which developed some eighteen years ago following a very bad infection in the leg that caused it to swell, with bursting blister areas. This is my “wonky leg” as it’s known to my youngest nephews.  My damaged leg has a knock-on effect on the rest on my body, with pain in hips, muscles and poor circulation.

I’ve suffered from M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Encephalopathy), sometimes known as C.F.S. (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) or P.F.S. (Postviral Fatigue Syndrome, though some think it should be Persistent-viral Fatigue Syndrome) since in my teens.

To decribe it short, it about chronic fatigue. Ranging from always being tired to total exhaustion from doing not much at all. It comes with headaches and brain fog and can make thinking and figuring things out, very difficult.

This all means that some days I wouldn’t attempt to write a piece such as this, because my brain simply wouldn’t be able to concentrate, and writing up things for my blog is impossible.  Other days my brain may work just fine, but my hands, or arms, or any other, or all, of my body can be in sharp pain that’s worse than the constant, low grade, aching I have all the time. There can be days I think – everything’s working today – but I run out of steam in an hour and take a day or more to get the strength to pick up crafting again, and other days I have a slow start to the day but by doing everything slowly I manage to do a lot of crafting without exacerbating any of my conditions worse than they are already.

As far as my crafting is concerned - I think I've been around crafting all of my life.  Family members just made things or adapted things if they could, rather than going out and buying. I know that I knitted a scarf  and leg warmers when in school. A cable jumper, a fancy knit, chunky long-line cardigan, a variety of things came next. Then there was sewing a few skirts, a gypsy top some patchwork items - a quilt for a baby, a cushion cover, a little bag.

Card making soon crept up on me. I started because I wanted Welsh Christmas and Birthday cards, but the ones available in local shops were usually much more expensive than the equivalent English cards without there being as much choice. I started by buying the English ones and adding a Welsh greeting in a basic calligraphy script.  This developed to adding an insert over the greeting that was there, and recycling old cards.  Then came my first computer and the ability to print out the clipart to make my own cards pictures up.

At some point I realised that there were toppers and backing papers and other things available in the shops specifically to be used to make cards, and that the only stamps were not just greetings stamps.  And of course items to craft became digital – such as digi-stamps or sheets to download and print out to craft with, as well as the putting together of items digitally as well.

After my health deteriorated to the point that I had to retire I could pick up my crafts any time I felt like it, choosing something to do according to how my body is behaving on any particular day, and on some days just having my laptop open in front of me and slowly clicking round Internet absorbing inspiration from other people’s work because I’m not able to craft myself on that day. 

I try to craft when I’m able, as it means I feel productive, but also because crafting when I’m able means that I’ve usually got something suitable already made whenever something comes around that needs a card or a simple gift, and then I don’t have to stress about having to do something by a certain date when my body isn’t being co-operative.

So, one question I was asked to answer is “How does your disability affect your crafting”.  Because of the differing and fluctuating nature of my disabilities I think my crafting has to be flexible or adaptable.

 I can no longer manage to knit, it’s just too painful, so instead I use a knitting board or a loom. There are times when holding  jewellery making tools can be too tricky, well instead I use elastic and big beads, and save the smaller pieces for better days.

If my hands and lower arms are relatively pain free but perhaps my brain isn’t up to putting designs together, I’ll sit in bed with a bundle of printed out toppers and decoupage, and have a cutting out session.  I print out a variety of stuff in batches, some just straight edged pyramage designs, some more intricate decoupage – so it depends how my hands are how more cutting I’ll do, and if there’s a day when I feel like constructing, but don’t feel able to cut a lot then I’ve got stuff ready to go.

 So you see, its all about adapting to what my body allows me.

 I don’t suppose what, and how I craft, is hugely different to anybody else.  It’s just that I do most (though not all) of my crafting in bed, rather than at a table.  I’ve got a small, narrow, corner of my bedroom for craft storage, and just take what I need for any particular crafting session to bed with me.

When I want to craft, I simply gather everything I need for the project I want to do, get comfy in bed, meaning a lot of cusions for support, and my trusty padded lap tray.

I have my craft tote with my tools, and diffent kinds of easy storage so everthing is kept safe right next to me on the bed.

So as you can see, its really all about making the most of what I can manage on a given day.

Gwyneth George
– see more of my varied craft work at  

Thank you very much Gwyneth. Its been a pleasure to hear your story xx

Lastly for this month, I want to share a LayOut (LO) I've made with flowers in mind. I dont scrapbook often enough, simply as I dont have enough hours in the day

This scrappage I made about a year ago. It came about simply because I had those yellow plastic flowers I wanted to do something with.I layered them up with paper flowers just to add more interest to each flower.

This large flower, is layered using fabric flowers as well as paper ones, and still finished off with a plastic flower. I love all the different textures.

And that is it from me. If you wish to se more of my work, do pop over and visit my blog: or my FB page:

Happy Crafting
Marleen xxx


  1. your layout is lovley!!1
    this Lady is awesome what an insiration, thank you for sharing her story !!!!

  2. Great post and very inspirational. Love the layout. Fab bright colours.


  3. Wow, what can i say. Marleen as always your projects are awesome. And as for Gwyneth, well she is simply an inspiration and i am honored to call her a friend.
    Jo xx

  4. Amazing write up. love the layout xxx

  5. I love your pressed flower card and your layout. Thank you for editing my ramblins so well.