Monday, 26 April 2021

Life | M.E. Awareness


I've been away for a while (bar the previous post) and have been really struggling for a while.  Well, a few years really.  I recently felt moved to share and write an 'essay' for M.E. Awareness which is coming up next month.  As it has been shared already I thought I'd add it here too.  I know my blog doesn't get hits galore but I look at more like a record for me and this needs to go on my record.


“ME/CFS Awareness Day, May 12, is fast approaching, and I am inviting all ME/CFS sufferers to participate in a collective creative action that we will share with the greater community!


Simply create a beautiful sign/image in your own artistic style/chosen medium with a simple statement to the question "what’s the first or most important thing you would do if you were well again today?" - then take a photo of you holding it.”




Simply.  Simply say what I would do first, if I was well.  I don’t know.  Now I wish I hadn’t read this simple question.  I normally duck out of ME awareness and publicity, why did I even look this time?  I can’t un-see it and I can’t un-feel the feelings I felt as I realised I don’t know what I would do if I was well.  I’ve been ill for so long that I simply don’t know what I enjoy doing.


I fell ill in February 2000.  I went back to school for the first day of the new half term, came home and slept for 2 weeks.  I was 14.  I had spent half term doing things with my group of friends.  We went on a train to the nearest bowling alley.  We had ice cream.  We played basketball.  We sat around doing nothing but chatting.  I rode my bike, I played my flute, I did my homework, I went to church, I hung out with my Mum.  I didn’t think about what I was doing.  I didn’t think that those days would be the last carefree days I would have.


Twenty one years and three months later and I’ll do a quick recap of what I have missed out on...


Finishing school.

Sitting GCSE’s.

Leaver’s Prom.


Learning to drive, sitting a driving test, failing the first and passing the second... or would I have passed first time?  Or taken months to pass?

Sitting A levels.

Possibly university – moving away from home into halls or digs, studying, meeting new people, graduating.

Possibly going straight into work – an apprenticeship? Training courses. Working my way up the ladder, promotions, leaving one job for a new opportunity.

Concerts, sports events, festivals, fairs, plays, holidays.

Friendships, relationships, boyfriends, break ups, a fiancé, a wedding?

Moving out of my parents’ house and living independently.

Saving, renting, buying, mortgage, financial decisions.

Starting a family, and every adventure and hurdle that brings with it.

And I’m sure many more simple things I don’t even realise I have missed out on.



I’m about to turn 36.  The differences between a 14 year old and a 36 year old are huge.  I knew, then, what a well 14 year did.  I don’t know, now, what a well 36 year old should enjoy doing.  All I know is being trapped with a body that doesn’t do anything active without major consequences.


I’ve found the online ME community to be counterproductive for me.  Seeing others suffering hurts me, I’m an empath.  It can bring me down into a spiral and so, I don’t join in.  I’m well aware of the opinions, the fake cures, the lightening process, PACE failure, medical apathy, the suffering of millions.  Reminding myself of it daily when I barely have the energy to get through those 24 hours, focusing on the reality... it has never been helpful to me.  So when someone asks me to write a sign I would just hide.


Perhaps it’s time to stop hiding.  So what will my sign say?  What does a well 36 year old do?  Well, it’s been 5 days now... yes, the words above have taken a full five days of energy and brainpower... and I still don’t really know.  Move around without having to think of the physical consequences.  To do something – anything – without evaluating how much energy it will take and what the impact on today, tomorrow and the rest of the week’s health will be.  Have a shower without help from a carer.  Go outside.  Not think through every possible outcome and have the supplies needed to deal with them all – blankets, painkillers, drink, safe snack, clothes that don’t catch in wheelchair wheels, shoes that are flat and light, a destination that is accessible - flat, not gravel covered paths, quiet and not too busy or full of hustle bustle, hat, sunglasses, eye mask, ear defenders... the list is almost as long as the list of things I have missed out on!


I’d like to walk outside.


I’d like to make my Mum and Dad a meal and sit at the dining table and eat with them. 


I’d like to phone a friend and chat without giving myself a headache and constantly clockwatching to make sure I don’t overdo it and end up not being able to sit up tomorrow. 


But these seem so overanalysed and negligable... insignificant or insubstantial almost... things that everyone else does daily without a thought.  Not “sign-worthy enough”.


Maybe, for my simple sign I’ll just choose “to play with my nephews”.  To run, to chase, to kick a ball, to laugh... the kind of carefree activity that I wouldn’t have given a second thought to 21 years ago.


This was first published by Chronic Market who'll be featuring lots more stories from M.E. sufferers in the coming weeks.

Cards | The Colour Throwdown


Each week I think, "oh, I'll play along with the colour throwdown this week" and make a start on a card.  Very rarely do I finish the card on time and get it shared! I think this one will sneak in before the deadline...

I started out with the geometric dies from Simon Says Stamp and a whole bunch of colourful papers.  I started with the 9-square square card.  There's nothing wrong with it but I wasn't loving it.  Perhaps it is too much, so I tried a smaller 6-square A6 (UK sizing) card.  Still not loving it.  I played around with the remaining pieces I had die cut and came up with card 3 - a mini slimline-ish sized card.  It's actually the size that the die cuts took up rather than measured to a standard size!  I'll have to make a custom envelope.


Now it makes sense... I need the white!  I struggle with the other two as there is no white cardstock for my eye to rest from all of the colour.  With that in mind I continued on with the off cuts and made card 4 - a slimline card which I actually finished with a greeting and embellishments.  


The enamel dots were needed to cover a couple of tears in the paper from removing the washi tape that held a stitched die in place to add a little extra detail.  Grr!

And I'm pleased with how it turned out in the end.  I added a greeting from the MFT Winter Songbird stamp set embossed in Wow! white embossing powder

I will go back and add greetings to the other 3 cards but that won't be done in time to join in with this weeks challenge!

Monday, 8 February 2021

On Hiatus


Just a note to say I am putting my blog and YouTube channel on hiatus for a while.  You can find me on instagram at @laurarumblecrafts with seperate accounts for my scrapbooking sketches @scrapsketches and card making sketches @cardsketches.

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Scrap Academy | White


I love a white and white or white with one challenge.  This week at Scrap Academy we are all about white scrappy layouts.


 I've gone to town with some Pinkfresh snowflake dies...

I added some stamping and heat embossing in the background - both clear ink with white embossing powder and white pigment ink with clear powder.  There is a subtle difference - the how thing is subtle really, and shows much better in real life than it does in the photo.

I think the key to all white layouts is layers of interest.  The subtle stamping and embossing in the background adds an extra layer of interest.  Texture and dimension are you friends so I've used 3 heights of foam dots to attach the snowflakes on top of thread tangles.

I've added a whole blizzard of splatters using various white paints - shimmery, matte, gloss, pearly - all of the finishes I had in my stash!


I added a title of sorts with white alphas stickers.  '2020' was all it needed for me.

Here's the video:

And do check out the Scrap Academy on Facebook for all your scrappy needs!




Monday, 14 December 2020

Stick It Down

 Hello!  Here's my take on December's Stick It Down sketch...



I'm a fan of this sketch (if I can say that about my own sketch?!) as it is so versatile.


I have switched the circles out for tags.  I reckon the design will work for the majority of shapes - I quite fancy having a go with stars.  The challenge would be finding a photo that would crop well.


I have been enjoying my advent calendar this month.  I've got a couple of mini blending brushes which I was keen to try out.  I pulled out a Skull and Cross Buns stencil and a few Pinkfresh inks and had some pastel fun for the background.  Wanting to carry on play with the blending brushes I coloured up a few white tags too.  My attempts at ombre blending were iffy but I'm pleased with them nonetheless.

I added detailing to the tags and background using a couple of Jen Schow stamp sets and a grey ink.  I thought black ink would be too harsh with the pastel colour palette.

I added a simple embellishment cluster to one of the tags.  I used a couple of sticks, part of a label and a butterfly cut from a shop bought birthday card I recieved this year.

I added three strips at the bottom as per the sketch.  One was ink blended, one stamped and one painted with the same gold paint I used to add splatters.  I added a trio of Doodlebug Sprinkles to bring the blue-green colour down to the bottom of the page.

Here's the process video:

Join us over at Stick It Down this month!  Thanks for stopping by x


Saturday, 12 December 2020

Christmas Cards

I'm pretty sure everyone will have recieved these cards by now so I can go ahead and share...


I fell in love with MFT's bird stamp set which features in all of this years Christmas cards.

I've used my polychromos coloured pencils to add some colour to the images.

I've nestled some of the birds on thread nests, some on blue 'greenery' stamped directly on the card blank and some on greenery which has been fussy cut and coloured.



And yes, I did say fussy cut.  This stamp set does have a matching die set but I couldn't find it anywhere in the country - or the continent actually, as I checked a few of the European stores too!



This chap has an ink blended background made with Skull and Cross Buns' Floral Pattern stencil and copious amounts of splatter.


These two have multicoloured stamping from a Skull and Cross Buns set.


I trimmed the Merry Christmas apart and used it horizontally rather than stacked.  Don't worry, it doesn't hurt the stamp and can be stacked back together next time I use it.

And finally a football themed card...

Again, this stencilled bckground comes courtesy of my Skull and Cross Buns stencil stash.  This one is called Gingham Stripe.

Thanks for looking!
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