How I’ve Been Passing My Time

Hey pals,

If you’re a regular to my social media, then you know that I am chronically ill and disabled which has lead to many, many months spent inside my own home, sometimes bedbound. I have a lot of isolation practice, except now my family are all home too to shield me, because I come under High Risk.

I can’t lie, I have moments of getting bored and I definitely miss my Costa or Starbucks iced coffees and a good take away, but generally I’m pretty used to this. Seeing all the able-bodied people struggling with spending time inside/at home kind of gave me a boost of energy and motivation because ‘haha! I am the highly functioning one now!’ and kinda just wanted to shove it in people’s faces that I’m doing stuff and filling my time! I even started exercising… daily. Who am I? At this point, I couldn’t really tell you just like I couldn’t really guess what day it is.

I have always been a bit of a loner, I enjoy my own space and I enjoy being alone. I was an only child so that probably helped. But I’ve always been a creative whether it was playing imaginary games with toys, making art, writing stories, singing My Little Mermaid songs, or watching television. I couldn’t read for a long time so I missed out on a lot of books that were turned into shows or films, and actually I’m starting to make up for that. I’ve become quite the reader over time (Yeah I should be after getting my Bachelors in Creative Writing…) and I have a large collection of physical books. One big job I did was to go through all of my read books and decide if I still wanted to keep them or not and I think I halved my collection. I still have a lot of unread books I need to at least TRY to read so that will be keeping me busy as well. I’ve recently found a love of ebooks where I find really cheap ebook versions of books I sort-of-kind-of wanted to read but not enough to splash out on a hard copy and postage. So the ebooks don’t take up physical space and they can be so much cheaper than physical copies, this benefitted me when it came to books I wasn’t sure I would care about, so I buy the ebook, give it a read, and if I really liked it I can buy myself the physical copy at a later date. Plus, it’s easier to read in bed on your phone, and it’s less work for my disabled hands to hold a phone than try to keep open a book! Some of these books are going to be great video and blog content in the future too (I Read the book and Watched the Film: Princess Diaries edition anyone?).

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We’ve had to get creative by baking. I have a really specific diet that makes it hard to shop anyway, but it’s even harder now when the shelves are empty and you’re limited to what you can buy online. So, for fun and delicious treats (for my MASSIVE sweet tooth) we have been experimenting with baking different things. We became the banana loaf cliche (but it’s so delicious… I’ve made FIVE) brownies twice but they weren’t gooey enough so we need to have another go! Crumble, and shortbread. But I’ve got a little list of things to try making for fun and see if I like them and it’s nice cooking with my mum… coz I can’t do it alone. I love being disabled, I can’t even stir the batter.

I’ve been re-organising and decluttering many areas but am far from done. I’m due a clothes re-organise coz I need to swap my winter stuff out and summer stuff in. I put my millions of hospital and doctors’ letters away in my filing box, each under different sections. Also watching DVDs I’ve not touched in a while and completing old games I’ve had for… maybe a decade so I can get rid of those too! But I’ve also been making art! Blackout poetry with some of the books I didn’t like, finishing old works and painting the backgrounds, collaging in my notebooks… I’m tired, the list probably goes on but those are the main gals.

I even figured out my streaming issues on my computer and started dabbling with the Sims 4 again, but there’s a massive bug at the moment making the game impossible to play so… it’s either decorating or not playing at all.

I’ve filmed so many book videos… I’m not a booktuber, I’m a dabbling booktuber but now… my channel is full of books! I’m reading and editing things my friend has written (for her uni course and… her hobby of just writing to maintain sane.) I’ve gone back to my BSL (British Sign Language) course and actually progressing a little… I know how to say ‘sorry, I don’t understand’ and ‘I missed that’. I think there may have been a point where I actually wrote something for my WIP… but that must have been in the early days because I can’t remember a thing. (If you want to learn something, give Skillshare a try)

IMG_7506I keep a daily diary of things I do/things I have accomplished so that I don’t lose the plot and feel like a failure and haven’t done anything. It’s for all things, big and small and some days are shorter because I decided I was going to spend time relaxing either in the sun or watching mindless television/YouTube because we still need to let ourselves rest during this time. Actually, writing this post has ticked something off a massive list of things to do I have. TICK. I’ve made a very long list of things I can/should do for the days I feel restless but can’t THINK of what to do. It’s pretty useful. I’ve been writing in my journal under the writing prompts I found. Practicing mental health care is really important during this time I’m even seeing a counsellor right now but we chat over the phone or video chat. If you need some help, I recommend reaching out and seeing if it’s possible. I’m sure lots of therapists and counsellors still need money to pay for things too.

I’ve already watched almost everything worth watching for me on Netflix but I’m sure most of you lot haven’t so just binge watch a show or film series! I have so many recommendation posts for things to watch, support me by clicking them and give yourself something to do! Want something Spooky? Give this list a try. 

If you want to see what my isolation diary actually looks like, let me know and maybe one week I’ll post some of my diary (coz as I’m writing this I’m on day 30 but this will probably not be out for at least 2 weeks…).

~ Artie

Please check out my YouTube, I’ve been working really hard on content there!

And check out two recent blog collaborations I did! Disabled Writer Tips and Being Disabled during the Pandemic.

A Christmas Gift Guide

Hey pals,

I never thought I would do a gift guide honestly, but I’ve stumbled upon some cool small businesses and artists online, and some of them are also my friends! What better way to celebrate Christmas than sharing the love of art and creations for others to buy! So here is my Christmas Gift Guide.

Cassie Maes’ Bijoux a la Main Jewellery

Cute and quirky jewellery. She also produces custom orders.

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Lena of Art by Lena

She provides a website/social media header design service, all beautifully hand painted and custom to you. Cute wooden Christmas-ish ornaments, stickers, prints, bookmarks, postcards, all kinds of hand painted wonderful-ness! Lena is always expanding the kinds of things she creates, so I recommend having a browse! Many cute stationary pieces.

Check out her other links here. The main shop can be found here.

Dylan / Dylanoliv.art

A real mixture of creative works from photography to drawing to sculptures. He makes cool illustrated sticker versions of sculptures he has made and draws cool faceless people. To buy, send him a message on his art insta. Dylan also has a Redbubble!

Abbi Guse of Abbigail Guse Art

Art prints of ethereal women and landscapes. Also cute stickers and clothes! (I’m particularly partial to those) Also check out her Redbubble.

Alex of Baby Limbs Art (Now on Etsy)

Funky wallpaper, line character work, gremlins, cute animals and more!  You can order directly through her on her instagram/etsy for postcards and prints. Occasionally, they will make bizarre jewellery bits like funky earrings, so if you’re looking for unique, one of a kind pieces, Alex is the one for you! I have personally bought a print in the past and can say they’re great quality and everything is super reasonably priced!

Fox Fisher

Another nonbinary seller on my list. Screen printing and teaching short courses, limited edition prints, LGBT+ art works and stickers.

Check out their store here.

Shadeaux by Annie 

Owned by a LGBT+ woman of colour, Shadeaux creates fetish inspired jewellery for the kink community. Annie’s shop started as a line of acrylic accessories, an easy way to add some kink to everyday looks or streetwear. Shadeaux will be adding a line of ball gags an paddles by the end of September 2020. Check out and follow their instagram here.

Lorna Henson

Handmade elasticated harnesses, custom orders, size inclusive. Either wear as sexy addition to lingerie or a cool accessory addition to an outfit.

Devovere Lingerie and Jewellery 

Similar pieces to above that are custom made but also some jewellery pieces. A disabled queer person, I’m always here to support! They are a UK based store too. Everything can be found at Devovere.com

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RT Designs by Ruth

Black woman owned business, I found her through #BlackPoundDay on Twitter and fell in love with her beautiful gold flake bookmarks I mean what that hell?? She makes coasters and jewellery with similar designs and I am definitely planning on picking up a bookmark. UK based. Check out her Instagram.

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Tiffany: 30 year old emo from Essex (& very proud). Bi & chronically ill & disabled – Crohn’s & a stoma. I love records and prints and being unapologetically me.

Shimmer and Sew was born – like a lot – out of lockdown, after being made redundant due to covid, and getting a sewing machine for personal use, I decided to try my hand at sewing properly! I don’t normally stick with hobbies because if I’m not good, I give up, so this is a big thing for me! I have a Christmas scrunchie drop (or two) planned, and take on custom orders (I’m currently working on a duvet set for a friends rabbit).
Orders are mostly taken via DM on any social media and can be PayPal or bank transfer. I have an Etsy shop now open for pre-made items, for custom orders send a message 🧡
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Positively Peculiar  Quirky handmade jewellery and badges, second hand clothes with a 90’s vibe. The badges often have a good political statement which is always a plus for me!

CultureSmart’s Travel Guides! Kuperard Publishers very kindly gifted me a copy of their ‘essential guide to customs & culture’ Japan edition! This is a whole new level of travel guide that really talks about the culture of the place you’re interested in travelling to with some helpful do’s and don’ts when it comes to conversation. This would be a great present for anyone looking to travel in the New Year and they have a HUGE list of locations they have covered!

If you know anyone who loves books, I recommend searching and buying from Hive as they support indie bookshops and you can decide which ones your money supports.

Snuggly Duckling Crafts is a one-woman melt and pour soap making business, based in Singapore! All of Marsy’s soaps are cruelty free, paraben free and handcrafted by herself – making sure no one soap is the exactly the same as another. She ships locally to Singapore and also to the UK, but is open to worldwide shipping. She has an etsy store (that’s currently on holidays because of bank issues) or you can place an order via DM with her at @snugglyducklingcrafts on instagram!

taxidermy animal skulls and antlers

If you are interested in taxidermy, I recommend reading my blog post on it! Lots of good places to buy recommended on there.

~

And of course, ME! Can’t make a gift guide without shameless self promotion!

As you know, I sell second hand items on my depop or my vinted, you can for sure find some presents on there (and it’s not always just clothes) all my postage wrapping is reused!

I also make all kinds of art stuff! I particularly like line drawn portraits and making fun wall signs out of scrap pieces of wood, and I sometimes make cute cards! I’m open to commissions 🙂 hit me up on my art insta. I do have a RedBubble of my own with some of my drawings or photography on. Link here.

And I do tarot card readings through email! So if you’re interested, give me an email at: artiecardenbusiness@gmail.com (paid through paypal)

I hope you enjoyed this little gift guide! It’s mostly art stuff but occasionally something else! I hope you found some good ideas here and thank you for supporting my friends and their small businesses!

~ Artie

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My Pin and Badge Collection

Hey pals,

I’ve been working my way through a lot of my old computer files and have found many things I meant to make posts on but didn’t for some reason (likely, forgetfulness) and this was one of them. I’m a bit of a badge/pin collector, even though I don’t often wear them out. I just wanted to share some of my collection with you here!

 

The first two are ones I picked up at Gay’s The Word in London. They have a great selection of LGBT+ themed badges and have a lot of merch based on the film Pride (the same bookshop!).

The second photo I’m wearing a Jumper enamel pin that says ‘loner club’ because, honestly what described me better? Bought from This is Not A Butchers in Brighton, it’s a great little shop filled with all your nerdy desires! and a small badge with a graphic fist that I bought off Amazon.

And the final image is my disabled travel badge. Just so you no, no one cares and will not offer you a seat even if you have this on and a walking stick!

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Here’s a better photo of my ‘Loner Club’ jumper pin and also my favourite Slytherin house pin! Also from This Is Not A Butchers.

 

If you’d like to see my full collection, let me know and maybe I’ll make it into an IGTV video. I’ve been making a lot of these recently!

 

~ Artie

5 Characters That Make Me

Hey pals,

 

This went around on Twitter recently (it was actually 4 characters, but I couldn’t narrow it down any further!) and I decided that these 5 characters, if you smushed them together and squinted a little, would make me. I didn’t get to explain this at all on Twitter, so I thought I’d do so here!

A big part of the factor is appearance. All dark short haired people who’re kinda androgynous. I’ll go through, character by character from here because it really does come down to their personalities and interests that makes me go ‘oh me’.IMG_5303

  1. Klaus (number 4): Umbrella Academy. Sassy, queer, wears some funky outfit choices… Honestly an icon and I like to think of myself that way. I used to smoke as much as he does in the show so I still heavily relate.
  2. Susanna Kaysen: Girl, Interrupted. One of several self-obsessed writers (which is my whole ass personality) who have made my list. She has BPD too, which… big mood. Though she is more on the IMG_5308quiet side, I find a lot of myself in her qualities, particularly her obsession with getting Lisa to like her and then realising how awful Lisa was for her and having the guts to return to therapy (or, inpatient for her…) But she shows you can regain control after a BPD diagnosis and I feel like I’ve shown this too.
  3. Jughead Jones: Riverdale. The other obnoxious and narcissistic writer, who is super moody and an edgelord. I mean, me too. I think one of the main IMG_5304links between these characters is their sense of humour, they’re all very witty and have really fast responses. Jughead is definitely on the more deadpan / morose side of my humour. Also wearing hats in winter. I desperately upset there aren’t any cafes of diners near me that look like the one in Riverdale because you would definitely find me there on my laptop as well.
  4. Haruhi Fujioka: OHSHC. I wish I was smart enough for a scholarship to a really expensive school, but Haruhi is kinda fluid and actually IMG_5305enjoys presenting as male and confusing people but doesn’t identify AS A MAN. SAME. Also, they call themselves dude and such and makes all the pretty boys uncomfortable. But also seduced them by accident (which is very not me, but I effing wish.)
  5. Viola (particularly as Sebastian): She’s The Man. Again, some gender weirdness. Obviously, Viola doesn’t identify as a man or genderqueer BUT I high-key am obsessed with her trying to pull of being a dude. Also, entirely hilarious, I think I developed my IMG_5306facial expressions based off this movie alone.

 

As an overall, they generally encompass my choice of clothing (Except maybe Viola… very early 2000s yuck) all have similar length dark hair, and are sarcastic as all fuck. That’s all you really need to know.

(Oh also, my birthday is in a week !! show me some love with a donation?)

 

~ Artie