Digital detox: good for the brain and soul

We need rest, the rest that comes from disconnecting. We introverts feel this in our bones. The world can become an enormous, loud, incoherent monster jumping in front of our faces. It’s a monster that demands to be heard and fed, not daily, but minute by minute until we turn off the noise and lights. We plug in our gadgets to recharge the monster, but we find ourselves with lower and lower battery life after a while.

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Critical dichotomy: We need to unplug in order to recharge.

The best way for me to leave the digital gizmos alone is to find something else to do. I am not a sitter-and-thinker. I am a doer-and-thinker. The more my hands and brain work together, the happier I am. Crafting is my happy place. Writing with instruments instead of a keyboard feels natural to me. In fact, most of the books I’ve written were first drafted on yellow legal pads with either 1) a good old Bic pen or 2) a favorite fountain pen.

I also find contentment in writing notes or sending cards to people. No email can convey what one wants to say as well as sending a handwritten note. It says “I really wanted to think about you while I wrote this. I want you to see me by way of my own unique handwriting. Handwriting is a kiss blown to the receiver.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

So I’ve come up with an idea that combines art, crafting, and the handwritten word. I call it Tanya’s Treasure Box. It’s a little box filled with things that will make your soul sigh, your heart sing, and your mind relax. Yes, I will be selling them on Etsy. But before I do that, I want to share some of my treasures with a few of you—for free. Why? Because of my heartfelt gratitude for your friendship.

Want to learn more? Stay tuned here, on my Heartfelt Crafts Facebook page, and on my new Instagram page.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
*Not the actual boxes, but these are amazing!!!

Super simple fall ideas #1

It might not feel like fall yet, but inside most stores you’ll see more orange, yellow, and brown than any other colors. While you’re trapped indoors enjoying the AC, why not put together some quick, easy, fall-appropriate items? Let’s get started.

Personalized Pumpkin Placeholders

SKILL LEVEL ♥ easy

I found these wooden pumpkins at Hobby Lobby for $3.99 each (plus a 40% discount when I used my coupon). Other stores have similar if not identical seasonal pumpkin flatties. They’re about 6½” x 3½”. Perfect for small places! But they need a crafty touch, don’t you think? Simple! Grab your black Sharpie, my friends!

I decided to make a pair of personalized pumpkins for one of my favorite couples: Tom and Jen F. 

I added the names in the center. (I did mine horizontally since the names were short, but you could write longer names vertically down the middle. You can also use a super-fine point Sharpie for longer names and more detailed drawing.) I drew some wheat and some other nondescript plant to the sides and some grass on the bottom. Here’s the final version:

Think of what you could do when you have a fall dinner or Thanksgiving feast for your loved ones! Place one at each table setting. They’ll know where to sit—AND they have a handmade gift to take home. Winner, winner, turkey dinner!

As always, feel free to send me your photos of finished projects—or ask me any questions about crafts! tanya (a) heartfeltcrafts (dot) com

Project #2 coming next week! Tell others. Join the blog. Share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Let’s build a big ole team of Heartfelt Crafters! Who knows? Someday I may give out badges!


 

 

Let’s Fill Those Pockets, Part 2

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. —Albert Schweitzer

This is one reason I love doing pocket letters. It allows me to send a little spark of hope, friendship, laughter, or love to my friends. Jennifer and I have known each other for more than 20 years, and most of those years we’ve been separated by hundreds of miles. Mailing each other cards, notes, stickers (I got those yesterday!), packages, and now pocket letters has kept our friendship alive and well. I believe in connections. But connections break if we don’t tend to them. This project we’re working on together in this set of blogs can strengthen the bonds of friendship no matter the distance between the sender and receiver.

Today we’re going to finish that pocket letter! Get out your supplies, including the cards you’ve cut to size. Let the fun begin!

FIRST: I like to insert all of my cards and arrange them in a way that’s random, attractive, and colorful.

   Front (see the binder holes on the left?)

Back

My mixed-bag of papers has a loose theme that could be kitchen-y or calico-y or retro. I just liked how all of the patterns and colors worked together.

NEXT: Now I get to go digging through my containers of embellishments. (I won’t admit how many of those I have.) I’m looking for stickers, decorative elements, etc. to add to each card. Here’s one of my hoards:

ALSO NEXT: The next photos will show you how I took different paper cards and applied stuff to them. 

     

    

ALMOST DONE: After every card has its special message, design, or gift included (tea bags fit perfectly in a pocket!), just put them into the spaces until the page is filled (on both sides if you want).

I added some tea bags to three pockets in the back before sending this PL to one of my new friends, Linda. (Hi, Linda!)

Sending? That’s right! These are meant to be mailed. Just accordion-fold the three horizontal sections and the whole thing fits a standard business-size envelope. If it weighs less than 13 ounces, you only need one first-class stamp. Most of mine take two stamps—sometimes I add a third one if the envelope is extra-thick.

So try one! There’s nothing about this that has to be perfect. It’s easy, creative, and filled with love. That’s almost as good as a doughnut!

Send me your photos of finished or in-progress pocket letters. I’d love to share them with my blog followers and on my Heartfelt Crafts Facebook page. Send them to me at tanya (at) heartfeltcrafts (dot) com.


 

And we have a winner!

Kirby was under the weather, so he opted out of helping choose the winner of my first giveaway. I used the old-fashioned pick-a-name-out-of-a-bowl method instead. A tiny bowl. Only seven entries. Only three different names. But I promised a winner, and I’m delivering! So . . .

Congratulations, Jane Heitman Healy! I hope you like the goodies coming your way. What are they? Well, just look! (I’ll be messaging you to get your mailing address today.) 

Hey, I don’t mess around when it comes to sharing craft supplies! Stay tuned for another giveaway not so long from now. Subscribing helps. And following Heartfelt Crafts on Facebook doesn’t hurt either.

I love you, my crafting friends!