Cardmaking · Stamping · Uncategorized

Making cards in March

It has been a busy month for cardmaking so far – not only have I been making cards to give myself, but I’ve also been making them for family members to give to other people. I’ve had to make a special schedule in my Dokibook and Filofax to keep track of them all!

The first was for my Nana, whose birthday is today. I used the Summer Blooms stamp set from WPlus9, which I absolutely love because it’s so versatile and always produces really great cards. I stamped the images on white card, then inked around the edges with Distress Ink in Spiced Marmalade. I then rubbed on some Distress Stickles in Wild Honey for extra definition around the picture. Finally, I mounted the whole thing onto a yellow card blank and added some white Liquid Pearls at random to finish.

Summer Blooms card

The second card was for me to give to my cousin Nicola, whose birthday was also today! I stamped out the letters using an Artemio alphabet set in yellow dye ink from My Favorite Things, then cut them out and mounted the white rectangle onto yellow card. I then stamped the Penny Black Duckling in black Memento and coloured it in with alcohol markers before fussy cutting around the edges. Next, I cut a panel of green patterned paper from an old K&Co stack and stuck it down the left-hand edge of a scalloped-edged card blank. I stamped the Happy Birthday sentiment in the right-hand corner, adhered the ‘cousin’ panel centrally and stuck the duck on using foam pads. Finally, I added accents using Liquid Pearls.

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The next card was for my mum to give to my Nana and used the lovely Altenew Vintage Roses stamp set. I stamped six roses in varying shades of red and pink, followed by some leaves in green, then cut them all out. I created an embossed panel in white pearlescent card using a Cuttlebug Divine Swirls folder and adhered it to the front of the card, then arranged the roses and leaves over the top. I added a die-cut sentiment slightly to the right and stamped ‘mum’ underneath using Altenew’s Calligraphy Alpha set. Finally, I inked around the edges of the card in pink for definition and added rows of Liquid Pearls (can you tell I’m obsessed with those at the moment?!) as accents.

Vintage Roses card

Finally, I made a card for my mum to give to my cousin, going for a simple yet blingy design. I cut out a panel of pink pearlescent card and adhered it to the bottom of a scalloped-edged card blank, then adhered a piece of Die Cuts with a View black and white patterned paper over the top so just the edges showed. I then stuck a strip of fuchsia washi tape across the middle and putĀ a die-cut sentiment over the top. Next, I stamped the cat, which is an old Papermania image, and coloured it using grey Promarkers, I adhered it to the card using foam pads for dimension. Finally, I stamped ‘niece’ in pink using Altenew’s Calligraphy Alpha set and added a row of yet more Liquid Pearls to finish.

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Phew, that’s all for now! However, I do have quite a few more to make for the month, so I will very likely be back with more pictures soon.

Planners · Uncategorized

5 ways a paper planner could help you get a better night’s sleep

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We’re all pretty obsessed with sleep. How much we’re getting, how much other people are getting, how little we can manage on.

However, that’s quite understandable when you think of the impact a lack of sleep has on us. For those who really struggle to drop off, or who wake up at 4am and then can’t nod off again for hours, it’s really no laughing matter. Not only can it leave us irritable and not really ourselves, but it might even be dangerous if we’re affected to the extent that our reaction times are reduced when we have to drive or operate heavy machinery.

The interior design brand Hillarys recently published a graphic showing where in the world is struggling with sleeplessness the most, based on the number of tweets about the subject. The worst-affected nations at the time of writing were the US, Brazil, Argentina and the UK – and the map only includes data from the people who were talking about their insomnia, never mind those who were suffering in silence. There are likely to be millions of people lying awake on any given night, wishing they could do something to get them off to sleep.

One of the most-cited reasons for sleeplessness is worrying about the never-ending list of tasks you’ve got to do. In our always-connected world, it can feel as though we’re always under pressure to be doing something, and that’s not conducive to restful nights.

If you’ve got insomnia, then the chances are you’ve tried all sorts to help you rejoin the land of nod. But what if getting on board with a recent, really simple trend could help: creative planning?

This is currently huge news in the world of crafts, with personal and A5-sized organisers flying off the shelves and brands like Filofax enjoying a resurgence. But there is evidence to suggest that planning, bullet journalling, or whatever you want to call it might do more than scratch an itch for creativity. It could help you get a better night’s sleep.

Here’s how:

1. Writing things down can help you remember them

If you keep a planner by your side and write down your to-dos or reminders in a list, you may be more likely to remember them. A 2014 study at UCLA, published in the journal Association of Psychological Science, found that students who take physical notes are more likely to remember information than those who transcribe them into a laptop. That might mean that your planner notes are more likely to remain fresh in your mind than a quick reminder tapped into your phone – and that means there’s less chance of you sitting bolt upright in bed at 3am because you’ve realised you’ve forgotten something vital that you should have done for the next day.

2. Noting things gives your brain room to breathe

A popular technique in modern planners is the brain dump, taken from an idea conceived by Getting Things Done guru David Allen. It involves jotting down every task and project you need to address, whether that’s buying bread on the way home or pitches for a client at work. The idea is that our brains can only deal with so many things to remember at once, so clearing them out and putting them on paper allows our minds to relax – and perhaps even sleep at night. Seeing what you actually have to do can also help you to put your to-do list into perspective and see that you are getting through it – it isn’t really a mile long.

3. Being creative distracts busy minds

We’ve all seen the phenomena that are adult colouring books and knitting, but they’re both popular because they encourage relaxation, mindfulness and winding down at the end of a busy day. If you like to be creative in your planner, as many people are right now with stickers and decorative layouts, it’ll work in the same way: you’re keeping your mind busy and distracted with something calm, rather than letting it roam off in a million directions as you try to concentrate on TV. This can help you think more clearly and reduce stress hormones that keep you awake.

4. Journalling can reduce stress

You don’t have to journal in a planner, but if you do, it could help to make you happier and reduce your worry levels. Many people are now adding a single line each day to their planners about what they’re grateful for, something that can easily be done before you go to bed and could put you in a more positive, less anxious frame of mind. Studies have shown that keeping a journal can help with processing worries and putting them into perspective, as well as with improving sleep time and quality, so it’s perhaps worth a try in this context to see if it can have a positive impact.
5. Planning reduces screen time

Research has found that the blue light emitting from tablet, phone and laptop screens can have a detrimental effect on our sleep because it stops us producing sleep hormones that help us nod off. If you commit to putting your devices down earlier each night and instead plough that time into organising your planner and tasks for the next day, you should soon start to see the benefits; even if your phone isn’t stressing you out, you can’t argue with the biology behind this theory.

Planning on paper might at first seem like a chore and a step backwards, given the technology available to us today. But if it helps you get a better night’s sleep, you might find yourself converted in no time – and finally checking ‘get more sleep’ off your to-do list.

Uncategorized

Verity Creates goes live – first blog post

Hello if you are reading this, and welcome to my new blog. I’m Verity and, as I mentioned in the introduction, I love papercrafting, creative writing, planners and lots more.

I hope to use this blog as a creative outlet and a place to share some of the projects I’m working on, in the hope that it will inspire and interest people as much as some of the blogs I’ve read myself over the years.

If you see something you like, I’d love you to comment and chat.