10 Lovely Things

It’s been a while since I’ve written up a “10 Lovely Things” post, so to celebrate that fact that we’ve all made it half way through the week, here’s 10 wonderful things I’ve found on the net that make my heart happy.

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01. If you’re like me, you probably have an overflowing collection of empty pill bottles. I keep mine and store sewing needles, paper clips, beads, and other small nick nacks. But, if you’re looking for ways to reuse your bottles, Elisabeth Kruger has 30 Genius Ways to Reuse Empty Pill Bottles over at DIY & Crafts. The list has ideas like turning those empty bottles into jewelry storage, seed containers, or cat toys (seriously going to try that one). Check it out!

02. What’s better for a spoonie than home decor made from spoons! Andy’s Selections gathered 15 DIY plastic spoon crafts that include making gorgeous flowers, wreaths, and candle holders!

03. We all know that journaling can help us work through the complexity of our illness. But, I’ve never thought of journaling my appointments. Tania Jayne at When Tania Talks broke down her system and wrote a fantastic DIY that walks you through How To Bullet Journal Doctor’s Appointments. I’m going to try this the next time I go in; it might be a good idea to include information from my Pharmacist as well!

04. One of my new favorite blogs, A New Kind of Normal, has tons of Chronic Illness Resources. Thank you, Jamee Lynne, for sharing all of your amazing resources!

05. Speaking of new blogs, everyone should rush over to Uncustomary; Mary writes super helpful posts about loving you, building your self-esteem, and 50 Ways To Practice Self-Care. She also has one of the most positive Facebook groups ever; join Uncustomary Babes!!!

06. Sometimes, having a chronic illness can be a very alienating experience. That’s why I love articles that help others understand (or come as close as they can to understanding.) For Real For Good shared a post back in April, How To Love Someone With a Chronic Illness, that has realistic information for caretakers, spouses, partners, and family. Share it far and wide!

07. I found Catherine at The Blissful Mind on Pinterest and I’m just blown away by her posts! I’d absolutely suggest you listen to a featured podcast, How Creative Spoonies Can Practice Self Care. It’s pure gold! Click over to her site and stay a while!

08. Okay, last blog promotion, I promise! Chronic Babe, aka Jenni the loveliest woman ever, created her blog for younger women living with multiple illnesses. “I am not my chronic stuff. I am a young, creative, passionate, generous, driven woman. I am a Babe. I’m here to share what I know with you, and to create a space for others to share their successes so that you can be a Babe too.” How amazing does she sound!? Run to her blog right now!

09. Humor can be lost in the mess of doctor’s visits, stereotypes, and pain. I follow Chronic Illness Funnies on Pinterest and have found myself laughing out loud at some of the memes they share! Follow if you want to laugh along with me!

10. Cathy over at Crafting Is My Therapy is sharing 31 Disability Hacks for Housework, and people let me tell you…This has changed how I look at cleaning our apartment. Tips like using wax paper on chrome fixtures are genius! According to Cathy, “Wax paper is great for reducing water marks on chrome and stainless steel taps. Water and oil (wax) don’t mix so the water will be repelled by the wax coating on the taps.” See, genius! These are awesome suggestions even for healthy people with busy schedules.


Yea, it’s not technically September yet, but I couldn’t help myself! I’m so excited about all the upcoming posts and goodies that are coming soon! Remember to click the “subscribe” button in the sidebar so you don’t miss a thing!

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What’s the loveliest thing you’ve seen on the web in the past week? Share it in the comments or on social media @faythelibrarian!

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DIYs For Your Desk

Our city has swelled tremendously now that August is in full swing; school is back in session! I took part last week in a huge block party our town throws to welcome all the university students back. It was a blast, and the weather was so beautiful! Since then, I’ve had college on the brain. The school experience has changed and evolved in the last four years since I’ve been out, but one thing remains the same: dorms are bland. Which is great for us creatives! But, it makes it hard to focus on school work if you feel like you’re in a cinderblock prison. That’s one reason I always changed the look of my dorm, especially my desk area. The same goes for tiny apartments that have strict decor rules. Here are two easy DIY projects – a sparkly glass pen holder and a whimsical mini mobile – that I came up with to brighten up your desk!

HELLO

Don’t worry, these two projects are easy and cheap. You’ll need:

  • a jar (or clear plastic container)
  • craft wire
  • fabric or paper scraps
  • thread or string
  • paint
  • rubbing alcohol
Mini mobiles and metallic pen holder – just what the creative ordered!

Cute, Mini Mobile

To create the mobile, you’ll first want to find something circular (like the lamp in the photo!). Cut a piece of wire and wrap it around your shape to form a circle. Twist the ends together. Now for the fun part: using up those scraps! If you don’t have fabric, you can easily substitute paper. Simply take your fabric and tie ends around your wire circle. If you are using paper, just put a dab of glue on one end and wrap it around the wire. I braided some of the pieces together to create different weights and textures. To finish of your mobile, cut another piece of wire and wrap both ends around your circle. Tie a piece of string around the center wire and boom! You’re done! This took me maybe an hour…Star Trek is so addicting!

Metallic Pen Holder

This project is so easy it’s almost unbelievable. First, clean your jar, cup, plastic container, or whatever clear object you want to use. Once it’s all shiny and pretty, you’re going to dump in your paint. As you can see, I used gold and silver paint, but you can use any colors you want (like black and gold, eh Hornets?). Roll the jar around so the paint starts to spread. Now, you’re going to pour in a bit of rubbing alcohol. Add in around a tablespoon or so; remember, you can always add more, but too much is hard to remove. Swirl the rubbing alcohol and paint mixture around the jar for a couple of minutes or until you’ve achieved the look you’re going for. Let it sit for a minute or so, then gently rinse the excess mixture. I let my jar sit for a day before I dumped all my paintbrushes in.

Now, take dozens of photos of your newly decorated desk and show Mom that, yes, you are in fact loving every second of your new journey!


Now your desk should be just as bright and full of life as your new school year!

I’m curious: what’s your favorite memory from college, or if you’re just starting, what’s the thing you look forward to experiencing the most!?

Here’s to all of who are chasing your dreams in the classroom!

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Why Chronic Blogging Matters

For most of my adult life, I have led a compartmented lifestyle. My illness was like a terrible skeleton I had to stuff into a closet and lock away, never to speak of again (or at least not publically). Part of this response, I think, was driven by attitudes of medical professionals. But, I also dug a deep hole for myself by thinking I could manage everything on my own, without changing my lifestyle. I paid the price for my silence, though. My struggle stripped me of my identity, my self-respect, and my voice.

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That’s when I started blogging. Looking back now, it is the most important decision I have made with regards to how I live with my illness. Growing up in the ’90s, we all had Angelfire sites and Livejournal blogs, which is probably why I turned to the net as an avenue for coping. Besides my obsession with TMNT and YA fiction, my Tumblr account slowly started sporting graphics aimed towards the chronic community and before I knew it, I was sending emails all over the world. This powerfully positive experience leads me to believe that more chronic illness experiences need to be shared for three reasons:

  1. Self-Care, People! – The power of writing and sharing can be an enormously restorative practice.
  2. Building Support – Connecting with others and forming your support ring is key to living with your illness, rather than suffering through it.
  3. Fight for Your Rights – Illness needs a voice! Stereotypes keep us from sharing vital information that could lead to increased awareness and public action.

I’m by no means saying that this is easy. Talking openly about my illness has no doubt changed how some people perceive me. The positive and reaffirming conversations I’ve had, though, far outweigh the negatives. And, don’t think that this information isn’t beneficial to healthy people; no matter if you’re a friend, partner, caregiver, or a member of the medical profession, everyone can take something away from this post!


Not only is September Suicide Prevention month, but it is also Arnold Chiari Malformation Awareness Month!  Speak up and join the conversation on social media!


Read on to see how you can start blogging and making a difference!

Continue reading “Why Chronic Blogging Matters”

Decor On A Dime: DIY Mini Paper Wreath

You know how sometimes, life throws you a curve ball and then rears back to reload? Not only did our internet and cable go dark for a week (yeah, I’m still not over it), but we also had no running water at the beginning of this week! I feel like a need a vacation just from playing phone tag to get everything fixed!

All in all, getting offline was good, though. It gave me time to hole up in my craft room and create without any distraction. I love paper crafts, especially when they recycle materials that otherwise would go in the trash. My mini paper wreath is made from an old physics textbook and La Croix cardboard, perfect for those bland and boring college dorm room walls!

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It took me a couple hours from start to finish, but I am so happy with the results. No special tools are needed; in fact, there are only a couple of things you need to create your own wreath:

  • cardboard
  • paper (the thinner the paper, the easier it will curl)
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • pencil

Read on to see how I made it and three other mini wreath projects to try!

Continue reading “Decor On A Dime: DIY Mini Paper Wreath”

Write Sharper Stories With Pinterest and Evernote

This week is shaping up to be a very fine example of why medicine is sometimes necessary. Shout out to my lousy insurance that, despite claiming it wants to do everything it can to help me manage my illness, actually covers none of my medication. But, that’s why I write to help me escape the crazy of whatever this (as I point around to my messy living room and the bag of Frito’s I’m nursing) is. As I’ve mentioned before, I love using Pinterest to help me write. But, there’s one unfortunate downside to that: you can’t rearrange pins without deleting, copying, or moving them to a different board! Collecting things that represent a character is possible, but tracking how they change over the span of your story isn’t.

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Unless you take the proverbial horse by the reins and lead it to a grid. I use a third website, Pixlr, to make easy photo grids that turn mood boards into storyboards. They keep my writing flowing, help details pop, and concrete the story in my mind. First, for those of you unfamiliar with Evernote, it’s a wonderful platform that has really changed how I write.

I use Evernote for five main reasons:

  1. It’s so streamlined  – there’s no distractions, just big open space for me to rapidly dump my ideas.
  2. It’s literally the best repository – I save links, articles, photos, outlines – everything related to my story, it’s all right there.
  3. It’s everywhere – Before, my ideas would be in one notebook or another, or trapped on my external hard drive. Evernote it on my tablet, my phone, and everywhere else. It follows my inspiration.
  4. I can tag my notes – my story and all related to it is in the same notebook, but say I want things only related to Chapter One. They’re tagged, and all I have to do is view that tag.
  5. I can work faster – The shortcut feature lets me star the things I’m working on at present. So, if I’m typing a scene, I can add a shortcut to get me back to my scene with one click.

Now that you’re sold on Evernote, let’s work on that photo grid.

My grid is made up of six images that help me visualize the world my characters will live in. It’s a nameless city for now, but seeing it makes things easier to describe, from the warm yellow glare of headlights  to the hazy orange of city lights. Look at the textures of the city, the long reflections on the road, the ribbing on the sweater. I can almost picture rust on the fire escape, rain drops slowly trailing down the cool window. To prove my method, I’m posting my first scene (or at least the first bit I feel okay-ish about). You can read it here. Comments, suggestions, and advice are most welcome!

The story, content, and writing is copyright protected. Please do not steal or alter without express permission from me.

Doing this has also changed things that I felt pretty securely about. My main character’s appearance has changed from my first impression, as has the main conflict of the story! What’s even better about using Pinterest and Evernote together is that I can place my grids right into Evernote. So my boards on Pinterest that gather my visual inspiration now match with my words and vice versa.

That doesn’t mean I’ve solved it all, though. I still could use tons of advice on some points I’ve been back and forth on. Namely how to decide between first person or a narrative point of view, and how to choose character names. What are your favorite resources? Lay ’em on me, people!

Here’s to a productive Tuesday!

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