Thursday 13th December 2018

My Bookmarks & The Big Hug Box. 2018.121.

My Bookmarks & The Big Hug Box. 2018.121.

Regular readers would know I have a ‘thing’ for creating with paint, markers, crayons and pencils. In fact, this creative side of mine has bloomed in the past few years. I made a pact this year to create daily and I did until about a month ago. Here’s the post about my creations which focussed mostly about mandalas. I will come to the bookmarks soon!

I am someone who has learned to enjoy the process of creating as well as the product. Many of my mandalas have been given away or made into coasters and placemats after laminating.

Before mandalas became a thing for me, I created patterns in grids, patterns in free form and more. I just get/got a lot of relaxation and meditative experiences through taking my time, letting my mind flow and enjoying the sensations of adding colour to blank pages.

Then: I still am a product-person too! I began to make bookmarks using strips of the patterns for friends and family. I laminated them and it was pleasing to see them being used and appreciated by others.

But: I ran out of people to give them to…

Until: I heard of the Big Hug Box. Lisa Greissl, a cancer patient herself 3 years ago, wanted to help ‘give back’ and to raise funds for cancer research. I followed Lisa via the Big Hug Box and could see how special her “boxes of hugs via gifts and more” were. I wanted to help by contributing and asked Lisa would my bookmarks work in her gift boxes.

Her response was as joyful and positive as she is. YES. Emphatically YES. A bright, hand-made bookmark would be a great addition.

I loved my skills being helpful to others with cancer. In fact, I was stoked to see an Instagram photo from a friend I met via blogging…who sadly has cancer…but had a Big Hug Box given to her and one of MY bookmarks was in there. I felt like I had contributed to her HUG.

Above is a selection of my most recent delivery to Lisa: 200 bookmarks. I have probably donated well over 100 before this!  I admit I now streamline my making.

  • Firstly, the art is cut into suitable size,
  • I have sheets of coloured card which I cut to match The Big Hug Box’s dimensions. I need, in future, to make slightly smaller ones for the Random Hugs of Kindness Boxes.
  • I paste my patterned paper on one side of the card
  • On the other side I add a now-signature Owl stamp at the top of the bookmark and a little quote that is on the bottom
  • Somewhere along this side of the bookmark I write an individual “My Bookmark”, later I embellish that side with some dots of paint.
  • On the front, where the pattern is, I often add a star, or heart symbol sticker and then as Lisa suggested, a little message from me on a sticker: Hand Made For You By Denyse Whelan Who Blogs Here: denysewhelan.com.au
  • Then I place 4 or 5 into an A4 laminate sheet and start the slow but careful job of feeding them in.
  • Lastly, over time again, I trim each card and the group becomes  individual bookmarks.

I do take a few days to a week to make a group of bookmarks. I recently made 60 on top of these at the request of the Central Coast Cancer Centre Head & Neck/Lung Nurse who is part of the group I meet with once a month. She will be adding them to new patient packs.

One reason I continue to make these is that I can share my love and care for another person affected by cancer as I was. I do make a definite and  conscious decision as I create each one to send loving kindness.

Update!

A little while back, Lisa, who lives only 5o minutes away was planning a “packing of Big Hug Boxes and Random Acts of Kindness Boxes” morning at her place and I accepted her invitation to attend. There were a few of us connected to Lisa via friendship and/or cancer. I even got to meet the creator of Colour Me Well who asked me to supply some of my mandalas for cards she was selling to patients.

It was a heart-warming morning, and at the completion, we had some photos taken. Lisa then went to Chris O’Brien Lifehouse on Monday 12 November to deliver 40 boxes, ready for gifting to cancer patients, and donated by various groups and individuals. I was thrilled to play a small role.

There is much to be said from helping our fellow humans and connecting and for those of us with cancer even moreso. Do check out Lisa’s wonderful work on The Big Hug box and she is now partnered by Cancer Aid app (another start-up from Chris O’Brien Lifehouse). Do share the information about the Big Hug Box widely…it helps all of us.

Lisa’s story on Channel Tenhttps://tendaily.com.au/news/good-news/a180530vxb/cancer-survivor-gives-back-with-the-big-hug-box-20180530

Thank you Lisa for your initiative and hard work. I know it’s for the love of it too but with a young family and working, it is a lot that you do for many!

Denyse.

Joining Kylie for I Blog On Tuesdays here and Sue & Leanne here for Midlife Share The Love linky on Wednesdays.

 

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Art, Materials, Create! Part Two. 2018.8.

Art, Materials, Create! Part Two. 2018.8.

Following on from last week’s post here on Art Kits and more today’s post is photo-heavy and  words added to help with both description of how I use the materials and what I make. Suppliers I have used are listed at the end of the post with links to their websites.

What I use to ‘make my marks’.

Did that ‘whet your appetite?’

Let me tell you it has taken quite a lot of money AND time to make the collection I now have. I have purchased small quantities first (cost effective too) and then seen how much I like using them and to what effect. Neocolour 11 crayons were in that category. I now have a large collection but started in 2013 with 10. Copic pens are ace and they come in sets at Officeworks or you can buy singly from some supplier below. Zig Paint Pens are awesome. BUT very expensive initially. However, I got a set first to see how they worked for me and then added as years went by. I am never without my black unipin markers and they are at Officeworks too. More and more, Officeworks (not sponsored!!) is building a decent supply of artist* materials.

*Artist?

Well. here is what I have learned. As adults we need to  see ourselves as artists and use materials for artists. Not ‘student’ and that is because you will become frustrated with the poor quality of materials over time. It is WORTH spending more as the artist quality materials last well.

Painting:

Yes I do a lot of this with two brands of paint and types. I have watercolours and gouache. I use artist-brands: Winsor and Newton and Caran D’Arche. Gouache is a more dense version of watercolour. I use the best brushes I can afford and places like Riot Art and Eckersleys can advise you.

Some More: 

Now…if you want to know more, of course ask me in the comments.

I am happy to do more posts later in the year but would also love to know what you are up to if art has become part of your life. Lots of colouring books are available in so many shops that you are spoiled for choice and cost. Big W has quite a range. The only rider for me is beware of books which have a pattern on the back of another as some markers will go through. Another thing I do too is place a piece of A4 paper behind the work I am doing with a marker.

The A3 and A4 and A5 art books I used have at least a GSM (thickness) of 110 or more. Anything less can tear easily and paint/materials may go through. Oh and if you are using any gelly-type pens (and the real ones Gellyrolls if you can afford them) make sure you let them dry before closing your page.

Websites to explore: I have used products from all of these.

https://www.artscene.com.au/

https://www.craftonline.com.au/

https://www.mangaarts.com.au/home/

https://www.officeworks.com.au/

http://riotstores.com.au/

https://www.eckersleys.com.au/

https://www.luluart.com.au/

REMEMBER to have FUN. It is about the process NOT the product!

Happy Art-ing!

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie Purtell for I Blog on Tuesdays here and with Leanne here on Thursdays for Lovin’ Life Linky!

 

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