Monday, December 31, 2007

Inspiration {Z} - How to get a good night's sleep

Most adults need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. You know you're getting enough sleep if you don't feel sleepy during the day. The amount of sleep you need stays about the same throughout adulthood. However, sleep patterns may change with age. For example, older people may sleep less at night and take naps during the day.

Here are some things you can do to help you sleep better:

* Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends, even if you didn't get enough sleep. This will help train your body to sleep at night.

* Develop a bedtime routine. Do the same thing every night before going to sleep. For example, take a warm bath and then read for 10 minutes every night before going to bed. Soon you'll connect these activities with sleeping, and doing them will help make you sleepy.

* Use the bedroom only for sleeping or having sex. Don't eat, talk on the phone or watch TV while you're in bed.

* Make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark. If noise is a problem, use a fan to mask the noise or use ear plugs. If you must sleep during the day, hang dark blinds over the windows or wear an eye mask.

* If you're still awake after trying to fall asleep for 30 minutes, get up and go to another room. Sit quietly for about 20 minutes before going back to bed. Do this as many times as you need to until you can fall asleep.

Tips to help you sleep

* Avoid or limit your use of caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate), decongestants, alcohol and tobacco.

* Exercise more often, but don't exercise within a few hours before going to bed.

* Learn to reduce or manage the stress in your life.

* Don't lie in bed worrying about things. Set aside another time just for worrying. For example, spend 30 minutes after dinner writing down what's worrying you and what you can do about it.

* Try eating a light snack before going to bed, but don't eat too much right before bedtime. A glass of warm milk or some cheese and crackers may be all you need.

* Don't nap during the day if naps seem to make your insomnia worse.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Inspiration {Y} - Yearbook

I am so sorry for being late with this post. Inspiration just did not strike on time! With the lack of inspiration and preparing for Christmas, it was not a good recipe for me being timely.

What could the letter Y inspire you to do? What word starts with the letter Y?

Year The period of time; the Calendar Year, containing 365 days or in a leap year 366 days. It is divided into 12 calendar months and reckoned to be from 1st January to 31st December.

Why not think about making a Yearbook for 2008? It would only have to consist of 12 pages after all or have as many pages as you wanted to fill. For each month you could take one or more photographs that signify what that month means to you. It could be your birthday, Valentine's Day, a special Anniversary, a holiday, something happening in the lives of your children or something as simple as a walk in the park with the dog.

It doesn't have to be a 12"x12" scrapbook, you could choose the other popular sizes of 8"x8", 6"x6" or 8.5"x11".

You could use a simple, wire bound notebook which you could decorate the covers of, as long as you didn't make the contents too thick so as not to close properly. This would give you loads of space for journalling your thoughts too.

Why not set yourself the challenge in 2008 to make yourself a Yearbook? It would certainly be a lovely reminder to look back on. Imagine making one each year as a wonderful reminder of your children's developments as they grow up. How treasured would those books become? By documenting with pictures and words, no memory will fade away, they will always be there to look back on and remember times past; good or bad.

If you make yourself a Yearbook, then why not share it with us at Bubbly Funk? We would love to see it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas {Y} - Yule

Yule is a winter festival associated with the winter solstice historically and primarily celebrated in northern Europe, however Yule is currently celebrated in various forms in many countries around the world. Yule celebrations often coincide with Christmas. Modern Yule traditions include decorating a fir or spruce tree, burning a Yule log, the hanging of mistletoe and holly, giving gifts, and general celebration.

There is a custom that on Christmas Eve an enormous log of freshly cut wood called the Yule log would be fetched and carried to the house with great ceremony. On Christmas Eve, the master of the house would place it on the hearth, make libations by sprinkling the trunk with oil, salt and mulled wine and say suitable prayers. In some families, the young girls of the house lit the log with splinters from the preceding year which they had carefully tucked away. In other families, the mother had this privilege. It was said that the cinders of this log could protect the house from lightning and the malevolent powers of the devil. Choices about the variety of wood, the way in which it was lit and the length of time it took to burn constituted a genuine ritual which could vary from region to region.

Another take on the Yule log is a desert which can easily be made from a Swiss Roll cake, decorated with chocolate butter icing. Using a fork you can make 'knots' and 'bark' patterns in the surface of the icing. Sprinkle the finished cake with a little icing sugar to simulate snow.

When I was a child, my mum and I used to make a Yule log this way. She used to have some little plastic holly leaves and robins that she would decorate it with too. This is a very easy project to undertake in the kitchen with children.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Inspiration {X} = eXciting

Well, its 1st December and the countdown to another Christmas really beings in earnest now.

December is such a busy month for most of us and if you are an avid crafter you will want to make some of your gifts. For a shot of inspiration take a look at the Bubbly Funk Forum where last weekend we had a CyberCrop and there are some fantastic classes available for downloading which will help your Christmas crafty mojo!

Also, the Guest Designer for December, Tracie Hudson, made some fantastic projects with a Christmas theme so go and take a look at the Articles on the Bubbly Funk Shop to get some more ideas........

The eXcitement of Christmas has begun........

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas {X} Page

For my X page I have done Xmas Stockings. I've introduced another way to hide a tag or journalling.

In this case I have added a photo but I will probably add a little bit of secret journalling too.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Inspiration {W}

For the Inspiration {W} I've chosen to do Watercolour pencils. I find them so versatile and in the right hands (not mine of course!) the results can be fantastic!!!

You don't have to spend a fortune on buying them, one set of mine came from WH Smith. You need a few brushes of different thicknesses - I have three; fine, medium and broad. I tend to use waterbrushes (the type that has a water chamber for the handle) but often use them simply with a pot of water. I say a pot but I keep two by my side; one for wetting the brush and the other for cleaning, that way you don't get any interference of colours.

Remember that water and paper/card does not normally mix too well, so remember to be sparing with the amount of water that you apply. You can always add a little more to blend your colours but you can't take it away very easily and still achieve a nice finish.

You can watercolour stamped images, backgrounds or even peel offs if you wanted to. I'm going to show you a few photos of how I've coloured in some stamped images. I've used Stazon ink as it's quick drying and not water based so won't run into your pattern.

Using your lightest colour first, colour in your image, gradually changing pencils and colours until your image is complete and the darker colours provide your shadows. You don't have to make sure that you colour every little bit of your paper as that's what the water will do for you.

Once you're happy with your colouring, wet your brush with CLEAN water and wipe against the edge of the water pot to remove most of the water from it. Starting with the lightest colour, gradually move the brush around the pencilled area until it's covered. I then move to the shaded area I'm working in as it normally contains colours that I need to blend together and the brush doesn't have to be cleaned. Colour the darkest area first, gradually moving the brush into the lighter area to blend the two colours. Remember not to make an obvious line but to keep the movement 'fluid' between the areas.

If you're then transferring to a different area and colour, remember to clean your brush. Repeat the above process until your image is complete, then allow to dry thoroughly.

You can use Twinkling H2O paints much the same way. As these are a cake of paint, I find you need to add quite a lot of water to start off with and let them stand for a few seconds to soften the surface. The more water used on H20's the more translucent the image, the less water the darker and more intense the colour.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Christmas {W}

Winter is my favourite season and it just so happens that it has Christmas and New year in it!
I have used a pattered paper and made 2 pockets with 2 extra pieces cut at different hieghts. Using my sewing machine I fixed the W onto the first pocket front before sewing on both pockets. The lettering was stamped on and I added some bling to the W.

I added winter photos and journalling to 2 pieces of card and inked the edges with white. Doodling was done using stencils.