Reading List for a Healthy Mind

 

Reading was one of the first things I loved to fall by the wayside. Slowly but surely my love of reading is returning.  Though my brain has yet to wrap around books of any length I am very much enjoying Audio-books and graphic novels.

Recently I’ve discovered a wealth of amazing autobiographical graphic novels, exploring personal journeys of recovery and mental health. Here are a few of my favourites.

Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green

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This is a perfect illustration of living with an eating disorder, particularly if abuse was a key factor in it’s development. Please be aware that this book can be triggering and only read if you are in a healthy place. My husband has also read this book, the poignant illustrations helped him understand the things I cannot explain.

When Anxiety Attacks seeking out therapy even when your problems seem  weird or silly by Terian Koscik

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I stumbled upon this in the Wellcome Collection bookshop. They have a fantastic selection of books concerning mental, as well as physical, health. This short comic feels like a snapshot of the authors life. really useful for anyone who thinks their problems aren’t ‘real’ enough to seek help.

 

Hyperbole and a half by Allie Brosh

Absolutely hilarious and only a little heart breaking. Brosh’s illustrations are so simple yet express a width depth and breadth of emotion. Brosh reveals so much about her life, from her struggles with depression to the, possibly ill-advised, adoption of two dogs. I finished this book then read it all over again. I laughed and I cried, sometimes at the same time.

 

We Can Fix it! A Time Travel Memoir  by Jess Fink

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The author travels back through her past attempting to fix absolutely everything. It is a tempting prospect to go back and change all those humiliating memories. The ones that still creep up on me when I’m in the shower or trying to get to sleep. This is a fantastic tale of accepting yourself by facing up to those memories and being able to move on.

There’s also a couple of non-autobiographical comics I find helpful I think they belong here.

Flimsy’s Guide to Modern Living by Rachael Smith

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Essentially a picture book for adults. Flimsy is a charming character who gives his very best advice on modern living, whilst always holding tight to a glass of wine.  Its a simple reminder of all the lovely things you can do to feel happy. My husband picked this up for me at Leicester Comic con and I have a lovely sketch of flimsy drawn by the author.

The Fox and The Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith

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I mentioned this stunning book in a previous post. I really can’t recommend it highly enough. Every page is illustrated beautifully. The story takes you through the dark woods, alongside a young fox, in search of his star. It’s a true delight to read and sure to calm any chaotic thoughts racking the mind.

And finally this wonderful advice from Brian Blessed…

 

 

 

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My Woodland Bedroom

My guest room has been the latest room in the house to be beautified. I have settled on a woodland theme, a while ago I made a few cross stitch lovelies from Storyland Cross Stitch. My husband and I brought the gorgeous picture on the fireplace on our honeymoon in Switzerland.

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Recently I stumbled upon Sew Charming in Lutterworth, although my first love is Crafty Sew & So I must admit I somewhat fell in love with the beautiful range of fabrics in store.

I scooped up this Sherwood collection along with a wonderfully soft Linea Linea fabric, and quickly got to work on my cushions, I basically raided Pinterest for different ideas.  I used the same envelope cushion pattern as I did in my last blog. I decided to go for appliqué over patchwork because I’ve just brought myself a fancy new Brother sewing machine which has lots of lovely top stitching. For two of my cushions I used wonderful free downloads from Love Patchwork and Sewing, Issue Seventeen has a perfect fox appliqué, it’s all to size being printed out on A4 paper.

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I stuffed his little tummy with wadding before sewing it up

The next one is a fantastic stag’s head pattern also from Love Patchwork and Quilting this time from issue thirteen

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I also took triangle templates for my next cushion from issue thirteen.

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My final cushion I used up some hexes that I’ve got laying around for a blanket which I’m not sure will ever get finished.

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Here they are all together with a cushion I cross stitched along with the frames. 20151210_113028

I think after Christmas I might hang up the wreath amongst the cross sticth the colours match perfectly.

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If you want to see how I made this check out my other blog with Crafty Sew & So.

Also if you love the woodland theme check out Waterstones book of the year, The Fox and the Star. It is uniquely beautiful both in words and illustrations.