Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year Friends!!

Let’s answer the big question first: Where have I been? I stopped blogging in late October prior to the United States election. I was a bundle of nerves so I stepped away from social media for a respite. However, I ended up staying away for two months!!
I took some much needed time with my family for the holidays after a very tough year. I hope you all are safe and enjoyed your holidays.

I can’t believe it’s 2021 but I am welcoming a fresh start. I love this time of year and also the start of spring. They are times I feel like I have an opportunity to have a fresh start. I started back to work for Belinda’s Crafts on Monday and I intend to make good on my goals to re-open my shop this year. I am setting aside the insecure, perfectionist procrastination and going for it. I will be putting new items up in the shop this month for a re-opening. I will make announcements here once it is live.

Although I did have my share of procrastination last year, I did make some production gains and with the help of my husband created an inventory database to help me track and better make sense of my inventory. I also hired a designer to create a logo for my brand. I always wanted a logo but never really knew what I wanted or where to go. I am very pleased with the new logo and I will be updating the banner to incorporate the new logo soon.

I will also be establishing a new schedule for posts on this site. I would like this site to focus more on Belinda’s Crafts and crafting. I will share new products that will go into the shop, behind the scenes, and all the craft supplies I just have to have. However, I want to focus on the art of paper crafting and all the things that make me happy. I will still include garden pictures and happenings since it also brings me joy.

I hope you can find the time and join me for another year on this blog. Stay well…

Belinda

Happy Mail: New Stamps

Latest stamp order.

Hello! I have been ordering new supplies and products like a madwoman lately. Today one of my orders arrived with some wonderful stamps and a coordinating die.

The top one made me think of fall so I am thinking of some autumnal cards. I also think I can use the sentiments, leaf and pumpkin will be good to use in my bullet journals.

The next stamp is called Lotus lady and I thought she would be good for the some of the spiritual cards I would like to offer.

Underneath the Lotus Lady is a wonderful floral stamp with a large sentiment in the middle. These are cool stamps because they cover the entire cardfront and I can color them in different colors. They also included extra flowers so I can make it more dimensional. I am so excited to work with this one.

The bottom stamp is so cool. It is a 4-season window scene. I bougtht the matching dies because my fussing cutting days are over whenever possible. I look forward to using it this fall to make a cute fall scene.

I can’t wait to ink these babies up!!

Belinda

Thoughts on 4th of July

I thought it would be a great opportunity to share my thoughts as we conclude this years’ celebrations of Independence Day in the United States. As a small child, I remember celebrating the day with pride and looked forward to all of the pretty fireworks. I remember standing for the pledge of allegiance each day at the beginning of our school day with one hand over my chest.

As an adult, the fourth of July and many other holidays like Columbus day have become more problematic for me to accept and celebrate with the same zeal as I did as a child, after learning more of the history behind these dates and individuals, and how incomplete or just downright misleading the history we learned in school was. With how the information is presented in the school curriculum, I am not surprised that most people celebrate without blinking an eye, as the grandeur for what is presented would certainly demand this acknowledgment, but as I stated earlier these stories are very one-sided.

It’s easy to go with the flow without critically looking at our country’s past and present for that matter. When one takes the time to really look at this country’s history, and how it was built on the backs of slaves and indigenous peoples. As well as, all of the cruel inhumane acts that have occurred under the banner of “freedom”, the injustices that continue with our current systemic racism, and all of the atrocities that have been committed under the same flag, it is quite challenging to celebrate with the same vigor, pride, and innocence that I once did.

It is like this country has amnesia when it comes to teaching and acknowledging all of its history in totality. We don’t get to pick and choose. We have to look at it all…

When the words “founding fathers” are mentioned to me, I cringe, knowing that some of these men that professed freedom and equality for “all” were themselves slave owners or direct profiteers from this enterprise. So they were not my founding fathers. People talk about the ideals this country was founded on with pride, without acknowledging this fundamental gap. When these “founding fathers” put forth their rhetoric using words like “humanity” and “mankind”, they were not considering people like me in that group.

“Under the terms of our country’s founding document, slaves were defined as three-fifths of a man, not a real, whole human being.” This doctrine allowed this country to treat black people as less than and as property. Which laid the foundation for all the systemic racism that exists today.

There is so much to unpack about this country’s history but as an African American, I won’t blindly celebrate on holidays that did not include my ancestors as equals. It is kind of foolish. But perhaps as Juneteenth is a more appropriate date to celebrate, I think July 5, 1852, should also be considered. It’s the day that Frederick Douglass gave a speech entitled, “What to the slave is 4th of July”.

Because I am a genealogy lover I have included a video from NPR of Frederick Douglass’ descendants reading his famous speech.

I also included another one performed by the Great James Earl Jones.

I share my thoughts and these videos to illustrate the complicated history of this country and as we continue to work through our racial inequalities and prejudices in this country, we should also be mindful of our annual celebrations (their history, their intent) and how they are perceived and received by fellow Americans such as myself.

Earth Crafts: Reusing household items

For the past few years, I have made it a point to make sure I include “earth-friendly” goals as part of my new year’s resolutions. Two years ago, I pledged to only use reusable bags for both grocery and regular shopping. I ordered beautiful bags that I carry in my purse and use when I am loading up at Target, Michaels or clothing retailers. I purchased additional insulated shopping bags for my grocery shopping. I have stuck to that pledge and it makes me really happy.

This year, I add a few more “earth-friendly” goals and today I thought I would share with you a quick project that acts on the principle of reuse which is one I am working on in 2020. More important than recycling, reusing items is a great way to elimate waste.

Calender photo in frame.

Every year, I always purchase a wall calender for my craft room that has some sort of nature as it’s theme. For 2019, I bought a weekly calender with 52 beautiful flowers. So when I replaced it with my 2020 calender I wanted to think of what I would do with it. I could not bring myself to throw away these amazing photos of flowers. So I measured the pictures and grabbed a frame that I previously used with holiday sentiment displayed in it and used it to display the beautiful image. I will cut them to size and swap out other flowers as the year progresses.

Displayed it on my gallery shelves.

I can’t tell you how amazing it looks displayed on my gallery shelves. I could pay a lot of money for art like this in the stores but now I have saved these beauties from the landfill and gained beautiful art for my craft room.

So make sure you pause before throwing things away and try to reuse then because it is so much better than recycling as well as it stretches our creative mind.

Have a blessed Monday my friends!

Belinda

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