Saturday, 7 November 2020

Lest We Forget

Hi everyone.

I'm sorry it has been so long since my last post. Back in April, I think we expected things to have improved by now in terms of the Coronavirus but sadly, things seem to have become very challenging again. 

My heart goes out to any of you that have lost loved ones, been separated from family and friends, been ill yourselves, lost your job or had your life turned upside down and inside out in any other awful way. And if you are a "key worker" or you have done anything at all to help make life a bit better for someone during the last few months, then thank you!

Of course, this is the time of year when we try to remember those who have served others in the most significant and poignant way. I know that Remembrance Day can't be acknowledged in quite the same way this year because of the virus but hopefully we can still find ways of remembering. 

Here are 5 things that might help with that. 


Poppies


Poppies are one of my favourite flowers and even if we can't physically visit a field of poppies at the moment, this photo might help you to appreciate their beauty and to remember how significant they are at this time of year especially.


Poetry

Even people who never normally read poetry often turn to it at times of great sadness or happiness such as funerals or weddings. Last year, 14 year old Josh Dyer from Leominster in the UK wrote a simple but incredibly evocative poem for Remembrance Day called 'One Thousand Men Are Walking'. His mum posted it on Facebook and it has since been read by hundreds of thousand of people online. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-hereford-worcester-50291048


People



Although many Remembrance Day commemorations will be severely curtailed this year due to the pandemic, the annual Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph in London will go ahead as a closed ceremony. It will be broadcast live on BBC One from 10.15am on Sunday 8 November and you can also watch a live stream of events from the Cenotaph on the Royal British Legion Facebook Page


Philanthropy

Defined as the act of performing charitable or benevolent actions, Remembrance Day is a good time of year to practice philanthropy. Even if you've not been able to buy a poppy because of Covid, you can still donate online to the British Legion's Poppy Appeal 2020 and even download a free poppy poster that you can display in your window to encourage others to give. There is also a poppy poster for the kids to colour in too.

https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/ways-to-give/donate


Printable



This is a printable poppy collage sheet that I designed recently and which is available to download from my Etsy shop. If you purchase it any time before midnight on 11 November 2020, I will donate the full retail price (£2.50) to the Royal British Legion.

You can instantly download the printable sheet here:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/894516863/poppy-digital-collage-sheet-digital


I hope that whatever you do this year for Remembrance Day you are able to stay well and safe.

Take care,

Melissa x





Sunday, 26 April 2020

Rainbow Collage Craft

Hi everyone.

We need rainbows more than ever at the moment, don't we? There is something about their bright colours, their simple shape and their symbolism of hope which is perfect for these scary times. So it's no surprise really that the rainbow seems to have become the agreed artistic symbol of the fightback against the coronavirus pandemic and I've certainly enjoyed looking at the various rainbow artwork that has appeared in windows, doors and on driveways when I've been talking my regular walks around the area where I live.


Coronavirus Rainbow, March 31 2020.
Photo Credit: CC (themostinept )

Here are three things you might not know about rainbows:

1. The word 'rainbow' comes from two Old English words 'regn' and 'boga' meaning 'rain' and 'bow'.


2. Although rainbows feature a lot in ancient literature and religious mythology, no one knew what they were until the 17th century.


3. Because rainbows don't actually exist (sorry!) and are just a "virtual image" of the sun, in theory we all see a different rainbow.


There are more fascinating facts and information about rainbows in this article if you are interested in finding out more about them.

https://www.seriousfacts.com/rainbow-facts/

Well, I've seen enough lovely rainbows recently, both in the sky and on the street, to feel inspired to create some rainbow artwork of my own and this is a piece of digital art that I designed from a greetings card I bought at my local shops just before lockdown.


Rainbow Wall Art
Final Image Design by Melissa Lawrence

I've also created a rainbow collage sheet which is now available to download from my Etsy shop. You can print it out as many times as you like and use it for cardmaking, collages, window art or whatever you fancy. It's great for crafting with kids, too.

                                                                              
Rainbow Collage Sheet
Final Image Design by Melissa Lawrence



And here are a couple of  sample cards I made using some of the elements from the collage sheet.

                                                                                    
Sample Rainbow Cards by Melissa Lawrence


Also, there are some great ideas online for doing rainbow collage art with kids if you are looking for things to keep them busy and creative at the moment. Here is just one example I found for you:

https://www.artycraftykids.com/art/rainbow-paper-collage-art-project/


Anyway, I do hope that you are managing to stay safe and well at the moment and please, don't give up on chasing your own metaphorical rainbows, however hard it seems the moment. We will get there in the end.


Stay creative!


Melissa x




Sunday, 5 April 2020

Free Easter Collage Sheet

Hi everyone.

It's hard to believe that less than three months after I last wrote a post for this blog, we would be in the middle of a global pandemic. But unfortunately we are, so I do sincerely hope that wherever you are and whatever you are doing you are managing to keep safe and well.

Like many "creatives" I have been wondering whether I should put my work on hold during the pandemic and of course, if I get sick, I shall have to. I think that many of us have probably contemplated giving up what may seem to us (and other people!) like "non-essential" jobs and doing something that seems more important. However, apart from the fact that I'd be about as useful as a wasp in a honey jar for most of these jobs, we probably need the pleasure, light relief and inspiration that creativity can bring, more than ever right now.


It's still OK to be creative

So a week or two ago I made a list of things I felt I could do through my creative work to help other people and sprinkle some "creative magic". I'm gradually working my way through my list although everything seems to be taking a lot longer than usual at the moment, doesn't it?

Anyway, one thing I have now done is to put a link on my designing website to a FREE Easter Collage Sheet that I have designed and which you are welcome to download, print out as many times as you like and use to craft with. Easter may not seem like all that much of a priority this year but if you do want to find some pretty Easter images for cardmaking, scrapbooking or home decor projects, please head over to my website. You could get the kids involved too. Ideal for keeping them busy during the "lockdown" period.


Easter Collage Sheet designed by Melissa Lawrence


Sorry, this collage sheet is no longer available as a free update but you can purchase it from my Etsy shop as an instant download instead.

And let's hope that next time I post there is a tiny speck of light at the end of this dark tunnel.

Please stay safe, stay well and stay indoors.


Melissa x


Saturday, 25 January 2020

New Year, New Blog!

Hi everyone.

It's a new year, a new decade and a new blog! Well, strictly speaking it's an old blog but it has had a bit of a makeover and instead of just posting about my writing career on here, now I'm combining it with designing and crafting posts too. Yes, it might have been easier to start afresh with a brand new blog but these days, recycling is the thing, isn't it?!

I've been feeling for quite a while now that I just have too much "stuff", both online and offline, so January has seen me having a bit of a declutter and making an attempt to streamline things more. I'm hoping that by having one blog instead of three, and only five social media accounts instead of eight (Yes, I know!), I might be able to post more and panic less. We shall see.

So please bear with me as I get used to the new format. Obviously if you look at all the posts before this one, they will all be related to writing but fear not. Designing and crafting posts will soon appear, I promise.

In the meantime, I've created a quick digital design for you using one of my favourite techniques which is "colouring in" vector graphics and digistamps on the computer. It's a bit time-consuming but I love doing it and I did promise myself that I'd do more of what I love this year.

Have a great 2020!

Melissa x