6 Ways Crafts Can Help With Managing Depression

I hate it when people tell me to “do something to take your mind off it” when I talk about my down moments. However, as frustrating as it is, those people are right. Unlike those people who offer their closed-minded “advice” and opinions…

Becoming so engrossed in a hobby to the point that I can escape the deep, dark pit within me has often helped me manage my depression. Yes, I still struggle with my mental health, but more often than not it helps to do something.

Crafts are a fantastic way to escape the claws of depression. Continue reading “6 Ways Crafts Can Help With Managing Depression”

Knitting for Baby Rhinos!

A few months ago I decided to learn how to knit for a cause that I am particularly passionate about.

 
The ivory trade has long since spiralled out of control, with an estimated 1054 rhinos poached last in South Africa alone, according to Minister Molewa’s annual report. Hundreds of baby rhinos become orphans every year, making charitable organisations like the Fundimvelo Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage more and more important in protecting and conserving the numbers of these beautiful creatures.
 
Baby J’aime with some of the donated blankets.
Photo credit: Jamie Traynor, Thula Thula.
I came across a group on Facebook – Blankets for Baby Rhinos – with people who were using their knitting and crochet skills to create blankets for the orphans at Thula Thula, and I just had to get involved too. Not that I knew how to knit or crochet, but I could learn.
 
The Facebook page was started by Sue Brown, founder of the organisation Rhino Alerts, and friend of the director of Thula Thula – Karen Trendler – at the beginning of the year. It may sound a bit daft to be making blankets for animals that live in hot climates like South Africa, but baby rhinos rely heavily on their mothers for warmth and comfort, since they can’t maintain their body temperatures very well on their own. The blankets are basically a substitute mother, keeping them warm so that they can ensure that they can gain weight and grow in the best condition they can. 1,889 members later, and Blankets for Baby Rhinos are now making blankets for rhinos, elephants, vervet monkeys, baboons, and chimpanzees.
 
Getting there slowly but surely!
I thought knitting would be easier, so I’ve started with that first; I’ll try my hand at crochet after this current project. So far I’ve managed to get the width of the blanket, and just need to finish the length of it. It’s taking a long time, and meanwhile my mum is throwing squares off her crochet hook like it’s the easiest thing in the world. But I’m getting there, and I’ve found that knitting is actually very therapeutic. And the cause keeps me motivated enough to work towards a constant feeling of accomplishment, which really helps.
 
If you want to get involved with this cause, please visit the Blankets for Baby Rhinos Facebook group. And if you want to donate money to the cause (after all, blankets aren’t exactly going to feed and house the rhinos!), do so here.

Two more pictures! …And a long long lonnnng gabble about the supercouple ‘Nuke’

Jake Silberman and Van Hansis as Noah and Luke from As The World Turns.

Gosh I loved Luke Snyder’s story even before Van took over from Jake Weary. He’s just an interesting character, sometimes even seeming like he has multiple personalities. He can be really funny and cheeky, caring and putting others before himself, or really really whiny and irritable. He makes me laugh, smile, cry and scream in frustration, which is probably why I love his character so much. But most of all – since it’s Van Hansis – he’s adorable. There are times when it is very clear that he has the Grimaldi blood running through his veins (his real name is Luciano Eduardo Grimaldi, biological son of wealthy businessman Damien Grimaldi who is constantly involved in dodgy dealings), though he would feel totally ashamed if he realised that some of his actions reflect the way of the Grimaldi family. He considers Holden Snyder to be his real dad.

When Luke came out as gay, my heart bled for him because his mother, Lily, couldn’t accept him, and when Damien found out he wanted to ship Luke to some de-gaying camp. Skipping all the drama, Lily finally accepted Luke, and Damien was out of his life for a few more years. Til the next time. Git.

And then a certain Mr Noah Mayer came into Luke’s life. Noah, a military brat, wants to be a film director. At first he’s shy and repressed, in denial about his sexuality, and willing to lie and use others to keep his father happy. Yeah, the submission towards his father, Colonel Winston Mayer, made me cringe. How could he live like that? I guess he didn’t really have a choice, poor sod. When he finally accepts himself for who he is, and gets together with Luke, their relationship gradually makes him more confident and assertive. Although things between them were good – very good – when Noah wasn’t running away from his troubles and Luke wasn’t being a brat, for every good day there seemed to be ten bad ones. And then Noah became blind as a result of an accident with fireworks and was a total ass to Luke. Luke went all Grimaldi to help Noah, blackmailing Dr Reid Oliver, the best neurosurgeon in the country (and possibly the most arrogant), to come and operate on Noah.

After a lot of snide comments, sarcasm and simply making one another’s lives a misery, Luke and Reid’s spark of hatred became a spark of attraction (I guess there really is a thin line between love and hate!) as they started to work together, consequently causing them to actually get to know one another. And by GOD! When Luke finally let go of Noah and started a relationship with Reid, we both had our eyes opened to what a real relationship is all about! So when Reid bloody well DIED, I was possibly as heartbroken as Luke.

I’m glad that As The World Turns didn’t rush Luke’s grief and get him back with Noah in time for the last episode to air, which I had been worried about since the writers could sometimes be a bit stupid with their writing. And it seemed that Noah realised that he couldn’t just keep pushing Luke away, hurting him, and then expect him to go back to him again and again.

If Luke did go to LA when he healed, and forgave Noah (which I hope he did), I think they would’ve had a more stable relationship, without the whole breaking up and getting back together like they did before. I feel they had the potential to be a real loving couple, and I hope that in the fictional world that they proved me right.

Anyway, enough of my babbling. Enjoy the pictures. And more will be going up soon.

Keep smiling! And I’m sorry if I got on your nerves with this raving about a show that ended two years ago!

Oh! Hello!

Sorry guysies, I haven’t been writing much recently. I’ve actually been drawing!

So since I haven’t been treating you wonderful people very well what with my lack of narrative material, I thought I’d treat you to a peak of some of my alright-ish art work:

Kookaburra
Little cartoon elephant in a puddle
Salvador Dali style (gosh, I love that guy’s work!)
Just some landscape
Reluctant Dinner
On the rocks
I’m never using oil pastels ever again!
Another landscape. I like drawing landscapes.
They’re such wonders, the eyes…
On le beach
I don’t know what made me think of drawing this, but there you go.
Some girl. This didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, but oh well.
It would probably have looked better if I’d used fine liner; pencils are my safety blanket.
A nuthatch…
How did that get there?!
Probably my best piece of art. This is on my wall in my room now.
Lino printing. Looks a bit like a magic carpet, don’t you think?
Yeahhh, this sucks but oh well. I was experimenting.
I was trying to go for the Rosenquist crosshatch effect. I failed.
Birds eye view. Salvador Dali style…ish.
A spray can?
I decided to try and draw Rocky, my toy lion.
Random still form.
Berries…
Another Rosenquist crosshatch. No drawing here! Hashtag: #lazybutt
Aaand, last one. For now.

So you will be glad to know that I am currently working on a short story, as well as the next chapter of ‘The Long Way Home’, so don’t panic! I’m still here to entertain y’all!

Hope you’re all well, and that you’re having a good week/summer/etc.

Keep smiling!