Saturday, 28 May 2011

B is for Balance, Bookmarks and Bees

Carrying on with my alphabet theme, todays letter is 'B' so I'll start off with a bit of balance...

Balancing Act

We all need to find the right balance in our work, play and sleep routine. Finding that balance is the best strategy for getting ahead in the long run and the key to getting the most out of life.

I'm no expert but I do know that there is no magic formula or standard tick list to follow, balance is different for each and every one of us and we need to find what suits us best. As crafters, artisans, full or part time workers we can put in crazy hours to get a project finished and out to a client or the shop but we can't go on doing this on a long term, regular basis, it can burn us out or we can loose perspective. We need to balance that with a bit of 'me' time and family time.

I'm lucky that what I do for pleasure is an extension of my work, I love visiting Art Galleries and Museums, I window shop and people watch, I sketch and I take photographs, all that gives me inspiration and the motivation to continue being creative.

Getting the balance right is something we all face, our lives are full of balancing acts, the main two being work and play, family and friends. Sometimes the lines are blurred and we have to be aware and adjust our time. Some of us like to have a strict routine others like to be flexible. Do you find you are working too much and not spending enough time with friends and family? or do you find that you are not putting in enough work and are having too much social time? then you may need to re-evaluate your time and correct imbalances in your life.

Here are some points that I like to remember to keep my own life in balance and not let one area dominate the others,
  • Keep a log or journal so you can calculate your time spent in each area and if needed, see where adjustments can be made.
  • Keep an up to date diary so you can keep an eye on upcoming social and work events, commission due dates etc.
  • Avoid all nighters, we've all done it when getting ready for a fair, a commission or even an exam, this strategy rarely pays off as any work done will be offset by fatigue and/or stress.
  • Sometimes we need to say No. We need to know when we have enough projects on the go and get some of them finished before starting something new.
  • If you need help then you need to learn to ask for it.
  • Schedule some fun time.
 Now that's my thoughts on balance. Do you have your own ways of keeping things on an even keel?


B is also for Bookmarks 
I had fun making bookmarks with a neighbours grandchildren, they can be made as intricate or as simple as you like, I thought you might like to see them. 

I used to make them with my own children, from cutting off the corner of envelopes and decorating them to making the BOOKMARKS from scratch, that's up to you.

 All you need to start is strong paper or card, a pencil a ruler and some scissors and glue, I used PVA
Some other things you might want to use are different coloured card or paper, tissue paper, crayons or paints and anything else you can think of, the choice is ours.

Ok nothing complicated here, the pictures are pretty much self explanatory but I'll talk you through it anyway,
  1. Mark out and cut the required shape, I used A4 card and marked out squares measuring 7cm x 7cm. This size makes 4 bookmarks from 1 sheet.
  2. Fold in the two sides where I have marked. I also like to cut the corner where marked, it makes the bookmark easier to slot onto the corner of the page.
  3. Glue the folded pieces to each other, don't forget to leave a 'pocket' like the envelope corner. You can either decorate the front before or after glueing the back. 
  4. This shows the envelope type corner.
  5. A simple cut out paper daisy glued to the front.
  6. I glued on paper eyes, I also cut away the corner and added a different coloured triangle to represent a beak.

Here are the finished bookmarks slotted onto the pages of a book. It a good way to teach children to respect books and not turn down the corners of the page, (a pet hate of mine). There is no limit to the decoration that can be used for these, except the limit of our own imagination.


And finally, just to finish off the B's

From someone who has always run a mile on the first sight of a bee or sound of a buzz I think I've done quite well conquering my fear and taking these photographs.

 That's all from me for now.......

 Jan x


  1. 'Posted by Picto at 00:43'. Tut tut shouldn't you be in bed at that time :p

  2. Balance - your right there. Some good tips, thanks! Nice bookmarks.

  3. Awww, how cute and original this bookmark is! im definitely adding this tute to my favourite links!


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