Learning BSL

I love to read and blog, when I’m able, but then I thought I should probably use some of my brain power (when I have it) to learn a new skill. A new skill can boost confidence, widen your social circle and open up opportunities.

My sister is a qualified interpreter in British Sign Language. She taught me a bit of sign when my eldest was younger and wasn’t speaking. It worked a treat in helping us communicate with him. It also got me thinking how necessary learning sign language is to be able to communicate with a large percentage of people who use it as their only form of communication.

I started by learning the alphabet

and then found these great videos on YouTube to kick me off.

And if I needed more reasons to learn sign language, then I really like these that I found on the Deafbecomesher blog.

Are you or have you learned any new skills? Have they been of benefit? Tell me how in the comments ūüėä


Lots of Life on a Little Lot 

I met and got to know Elizabeth through reading and reviewing her wonderful book for my blog,¬†MEcuperate. In the book , ‘Dream Accomplished: A Story of Cancer, A Mother’s Love and Taylor Swift’,¬†she¬†speaks a little of her work and I admit I was intrigued. Her line of work wasn’t the usual, run-of-the-mill, kind. Her family ran a wildlife garden design and install company. Elizabeth would meet with clients and design landscaping that was nature friendly and encourage wildlife. For example, they don’t use pesticides. The plants are beautiful, but helpful to wildlife, such as berries, seeds, nesting etc. Her husband would then install the garden.

“This easy care, colorful, bird & butterfly filled landscaping happily welcomes wildlife and visitors alike.” lotsoflifeonalittlelot.com

When illness hit, in 2012, they had to sell the business, but a year ago she realised she can still help clients, online. Through the marvel of FaceTime, Skype, email or the phone clients can literally carry Elizabeth round with them or send photo’s and they receive personalised help and advice.

I love the quote on the website “By wildlife gardening together we’re all saving the world 1 little lot at a time”. My dad’s garden was designed using wildlife gardening principles. His garden is a place of therapy for those who love nature. He loves to sit and watch the wildlife that his garden encourages, and my kids have taken a great interest in the birds and their nests!

“This baby Eastern Cottontail Rabbit happily munches on the lawn clover & dandelions, never bothering our Perennials.” lotsoflifeonalittlelot.com

The website is great and contains a lot of information to help you learn more about wildlife gardening, what it entails and its benefits.

¬†We have to share the land. The animals seem to be clashing with us because they’re being pushed out of “Wild” areas due to constant building and they’re relying on our landscaping, as that is mostly all that is left. By maintaining landscaping in the Traditional manner there’s no food for the animals to eat BUT the decorative landscaping. By Gardening FOR Wildlife, you share.


If you’re interested in transforming your garden to become more nature friendly, then have a look at the services Elizabeth and her family offer, http://lotsoflifeonalittlelot.com/services.html

As you can see from the photos the benefits of Wildlife gardening speak for themselves. It is a beautiful way to enjoy and encourage nature, living side by side. With the Personal Wildlife Gardening Assistance offered at just $20 per hour, you can be assured of getting the help you need to make the transition, from a reliable and experienced couple:

 Owners Marc & Elizabeth Gross are BOTH Horticultural Alum from The Ohio State University & Elizabeth is also a Certified National Wildlife Federation Habitat Ambassador. They have been helping homeowners transition from traditional landscaping to nature-friendly since 1996.


S&J Crafting Creations 

I’m amazed by all crafters who have the ability to create things of beauty, but through blogging I have had the privilege of getting to know some truly inspirational people.

Sonia, from S&J Crafting Creations, is one of those people. I got to know of her work through Conscious Crafties on Twitter. I was drawn to each tweet I saw of hers as I loved each piece.

You’d never know by looking at her creations but she crafts from her bed. After an operation on her foot to remove a ganglion tumour she developed CRPS type 2 (complex regional pain syndrome). Since then it has spread throughout her body. Her arms and hands are unaffected and so she is able to craft.

In her own words “CRPS has rendered me bedbound, so all my crafts are made in my bed with an old hospital ‘over the bed’ table to craft on. There is no cure for CRPS and the type I have is untreatable, many times a day I do sit here and totally ‘lose it’ and wonder what my purpose on this earth is, and why do I bother to fight and survive every day and then my wonderful friends from the conscious Crafties group remind me that I do have a purpose in life and I’m not just another statistic in someone’s medical book.”

If her example and courage weren’t purpose enough her creations certainly make her efforts worthwhile. It was her beautiful jewellery that first caught my eye, such stunning designs varying in style and colour.

multi coloured bracelet

After perusing her Conscious Crafties page I discovered Sonia also handmade cards. Each card is unique and her decoupage arrangements fit the theme she intends perfectly. Wonderful designs for many occasions.

handmade decoupage card
I’m really impressed with her knitted and crocheted items. They look professional, ¬†with the detail and she puts together lovely colour schemes. With an array of items from shawls to baby wear and footwear, there’s plenty of choice to keep you warm, comfy and looking good. My particular favourite are the converse slipper socks – so clever!

crocheted converse style slipper

For more information and to browse through S&J Crafting Creation’s products you can visit:

S&J Crafting Creations on Conscious Crafties website. 

And follow Sonia on

S&J Crafting Creations Facebook