About Blackbutterfly Cards

I started making cards for pleasure in 2007, and quickly found my home was becoming swamped by cards everywhere. I decided to put some of them up for sale on a webpage in an effort to recoup some of the costs of my hobby. I called the webpage Blackbutterfly Handcrafted Cards, and it can be found at http://www.blackbutterfly2007.co.uk/

I try to take my cards to a couple of table sales or craft fairs a year, but make my cards mainly for friends and family. I would love the website sales to take off, as I nowhere near cover the costs involved in this all absorbing hobby, but for me the main thing is the pleasure I have in making my cards.
Recently I have decided to expand my blog to cover my other interests too. It's a sort of substitute for going to work and chatting to people, as due to ill health I was unable to work, and since the beginning of 2014 I am officially a pensioner.
Although I'll still show my cards, I'll also be covering my other interests and how I attempt to make ends meet day by day.

In fact anything that crosses my mind will be on here, so be prepared for waffle and a wasted five minutes as you read.
Make coffee and settle in, why don't you?

Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 is almost here

So!........almost into a New Year. A year full of ups and downs, and one that I'm glad to put behind me. I'm entering 2013 with hope that my life will only improve. 
As I look back and assess the past year, I realise that I should have been grateful for the things that are right with my life, but I have also during this time sunk to the depths of despair and I know I'm not yet out of the woods.
At the risk of depressing anyone who reads this I'll give a swift  run down of 2012 as it has impacted on my life. ( If you only want the happy bits, ignore the paragraphs in red italics)

I am still living in a house (and area) that keeps my mind and body in a constant state of stress. My high blood pressure caused by that stress has resulted in September in a diagnosis of Stress Related Angina, and a statement from my Cardiologist that "I must reduce the stress in my life to prevent further damage to the heart. If I do this I can prevent the damage getting any worse"..........wouldn't I love to!! After 3 years on the housing transfer list I'm still nowhere near reaching the top to get out of here.
 I am now under my second course of therapy to help me deal with severe depression, and I have a support worker visiting me weekly. Bless her heart, she is young and enthusiastic, but sometimes her enthusiasm and energy are more than I have the strength to deal with.
I have lost any desire to enjoy my hobbies. I have let my blogging fade away, and my card making has dwindled into virtual non existence, to the point where I didn't even make enough Christmas cards to send to my family, let alone for friends and for the website which has been 'under reconstruction' now for months. 

Also, because of new rulings from the Housing Association, the usage of the communal area at the back of our flats has been changed.
 We are now allowed NO personal belongings out there any more, so we have all had to get rid of pots of vegetables and flowers, BBQ's and tables and chairs. We can no longer take our dogs into the garden to sit with us, and those of us with bicycles have had to either store them indoors, or get rid of them. 
Growing things is so necessary to me that I cannot explain to anyone without a love of the outdoors, just how devastating this was to me. It was the final straw that tipped me into a depression so deep I couldn't see any point in continuing. This was followed swiftly by the news that the Community garden I had run for over a year, and had had to give up because of my ill health, would not allow residents to plant in there in 2013. In the space of a couple of months I had lost everything that had made life bearable. No to mention that growing vegetables is necessary to our food budget. The crops I grow and freeze during the summer, help us to eat during the winter months when the heating takes so much more of our money. 

I HAVE managed this year to reduce all my debts to nil. We owe nothing now on catalogues, credit cards, overdrafts or loans. I go into my retirement in March 2014 determined to survive on my state pension, this means if I can't pay cash for something now, I go without, and if I can't grow some of our food, we will go without a lot more. Central heating is already out of our budget. We only heat one room, goodness knows what will happen next winter.
............looking forward to 2013...I now live in hope that this coming year will make it possible to move somewhere quiet, with a garden that I can grow vegetables in, and space to sit in the sun with my dog and cat beside me. Ideally I would like a slightly older property with the chimneys still intact. My plan is to have a wood burning stove.....but that would be a bonus.

 In desperation I am also considering going into private rental, but I need somewhere that will accept my dog and cat, and also someone on Housing Benefit, plus it needs to be aids adapted.........or at least able to be adapted for limited mobility. At my time of life I didn't really want to do this as I need security of tenure. I don't want to have to move again in my lifetime, so I'll have to read the small print of any tenancy agreement with a microscope before I make a decision.
I am determined to get out of this area somehow though. This HAS to be the year that I begin to get my life back on track, and take control. Wish me luck!

Resolutions for 2013

1. Move to a new home
2. Finish updating my website.
3. Start to organise my card making again.
4. Finish my embroidery projects.
5. Refuse to buy anything on credit or use my overdraft facility.
6. Update my blog regularly 
7. Declutter my house, selling anything useful on E-bay and dumping the rest in preparation for a new home and retirement.
8. Lose weight to aid my Diabetes management
9. Visit my friends in Holland for the first time in 5 years.
10. Get in Contact with all the friends I've ignored for months and apologise!

If you've read this far, I can only say well done and thank you for persevering!!

 I wish you all a wonderful and peaceful