Crafting with a conscience

**List to me read out this post on my Podcast instead! Click here**

Mindful crafting is a great way to enrich your creativity and exercise other parts of your brain. And besides, craft supplies are so colourful and fun. They are enticing. Winking at us from the art aisle. Although, how much do we know about the ingredients of the paints, pigments and glitters we buy? What effects do these non-food safe ingredients have on our environment or on us and our families?

Oil paints

Some oil paints are toxic because of the heavy metals used in some of the pigments so try not to eat them. The label on the paint tube will indicate whether it contains toxic chemicals. Other toxic particles that can be inhaled as the paints dry are called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The effects of VOCs include respiratory irritation, headaches, nausea and they can trigger asthma attacks. For example, an increase in VOCs leads to reduced air quality. Picture in your mind the worst air pollution of a city. Smog is basically a bunch of VOCs polluting the air. Note that there are different types of VOCs and not all are considered hazardous. However paint and solvent fumes are in the hazardous column.

Disposal: You will need to be careful about disposing of your excess oil paints to avoid them polluting the environment. Oil-based paints are considered hazardous waste in many areas so they need to be taken to a household chemical waste collection point. Contact your local council for details on where to dispose of hazardous waste.

Oil paints are not water-based so they don’t dissolve in water, which is why you use solvents when working with oil paints and cleaning your painting tools. Solvents like paint thinners are considered hazardous waste so they cannot be poured down the drain, in the garden or thrown into the general waste bin. Contact your local council to find out where to dispose of hazardous waste.

Acrylic paints

Acrylic paint is water-based so you’ll be using water to clean your tools and thin the paint.

As with oil-based paints there are some pigments in acrylic paint that may be toxic. Check the labels on the paints for warnings of harmful chemicals. If the label says non-toxic then it doesn’t contain any heavy metals in the pigments. But it also doesn’t guarantee that it’s totally harmless. There are other components of the paint, such as binding agents and additives that produce VOCs and are harmful on skin.

Disposal: Don’t pour the paints down the drain or in the garden as they contain chemicals that are hazardous to the environment. The water that you rinse your paint brushes and tools in can be evaporated and the vessel can be discarded in the general waste. Extra acrylic paint can be dried and thrown in with your general waste. Pouring old paint sludge down the drain is a bad idea because it will cause blockages to build up in the pipes.

Glitter

The teeny tiny sparkly pieces of plastic that make up glitter are also known as microplastics. Microplastics and nanoplastics are pieces of plastic on the micro and nano-scale that have been made, either on purpose, or by nature of errosion from the breakdown of larger plastics. Read my post on microplastics to find out how they’re affecting us and the environment. Spoiler alert: microplastic pollution frightens me; The sheer amount of it, the chemicals that leach from it and their effects.

Disposal: To prevent your glitter from polluting the environment the safest way to dispose of these microplastics is in a sealed container in your general waste. The small particles cannot be recycled. Any cards or paper wrapping with glitter on it cannot go to the recycling bin either. Dammit, glitter, why you gotta be so evil?

Crayons

Crayons are often made of paraffin wax which is made of fossil fuels. Paraffin wax can emit VOCs when you burn a paraffin wax candle but the jury seems to be out on the toxicity of paraffin crayons. Many sources claim that paraffin wax crayons are non-toxic but they are made from toxic chemicals so they may decompose back down to these toxic components.

Harmless crayons can be made with soy wax or beeswax.

Disposal: Crayons are recyclable. You can use your oven to melt down old stubs into new crayons. There are also council collections that will take old crayons. Or you can donate unused crayons to schools or daycares.

Thanks so much for joining me today. Check out my YouTube channel Queeenvk for more Full Cup Wellness.

Keep your cup full!

Aussie Bush Tucker In The Kitchen

**Listen to me read this post out on my Podcast**

Do you love trying new foods? For me, it’s almost a hobby, I call it going on a food adventure. The best part about travelling is getting to experience new foods. New flavours and new textures. Even simple flavours like tomatoes taste different when you’re on the other side of the world. Food says a lot about the culture of a region. Think of the simple ingredients that are used to make a boring dish really amazing, like fried breadcrumbs on streamed veggies.

Travelling across the globe might not be possible for you but never fear! There are amazing flavours to explore in our own backyard.

Here in Australia I’ve been living in the city with my family. My parents migrated to Australia from Europe so Australian culture is a little different. It’s very interesting to compare cultures and histories, even how those cultures are affecting us in the multicultural environment of Australian cities. I adore the many cultures of Sydney where I currently live. There are many opportunities to go on food adventures as each suburb has a range of restaurants of different cuisines. So many flavours to explore!

Then I learn about Aussie bush tucker. When I was in primary school I thought of bush tucker as witchetty grubs and that’s about it. I had no exposure to Aboriginal culture other than the history they taught in schools. I have always had deep respect for their culture, especially since they were strong enough to handle eating those witchetty grubs. But in the suburb of Sydney that I went to school, the population was full of migrants and decendents from England so I didn’t learn about Aboriginal food and medicine until later.

Native Australian Ingredients For Your Next Food Adventure

Finger Limes

Inside the skin of the fruit there is a pulp of little bubbles filled with juice. The pulp is used as a fresh burst of citrus flavour in food or drinks. Goes great with seafood.

Lilly pilly

These are the super bright pink berries that end up covering the footpaths around Sydney. I didn’t know you could eat them! Then I tried them and I am hooked. They are subtly sweet with a hint of sour and are satisfying to bite into, like a very small apple.

Quandong

I haven’t tried these but I see the contestants on Masterchef Australia use these a lot. They sound amazing, sweet and tangy. Ususlly used in marmalades or pies. Sounds good!

Edible Pigface

I grow this one in my garden and eat it raw. It’s like salty aloe vera. Add it to salads for a salty topping.

Thanks so much for joining me today. Checkout my Youtube Channel for more Full Cup Wellness from me, QueeenVK.

Keep your cup full!

What’s the purpose of thinking positively?

**Click here to listen to me read out this post on my Podcast instead**

The title is a little dramatic. But sometimes our existence in our surrounding environment can feel awful.

Think about how perspective can make things seem more awful on one day compared with the next. Swing that perspective in another direction and things don’t seem so bad. Your boss was piling on the work without acknowledging your amazing report? You are affected by the person’s behaviour but you aren’t the cause of it. Perspective. It’s not your fault, you are amazing. Now you can communicate this with your boss or you can use the extra work to show that you deserve a promotion. You are in control of your present. See my previous post for why the present moment is so powerful and how to get there.

You are in control of your happiness if you want it. Hear me out. Happiness isn’t a destination, it’s a temporary feeling you can choose to enjoy. All emotions are temporary. Even anger and sadness. Yes, I suffer from depression and I’m going to share a brain training exercise that anyone with any level of mental heath can utilise. It takes pratice and won’t be easy to begin with. Your mind is so powerful that it can make new pathways when you keep pratising a skill until you master it.

Let’s practise right now.

Do a body scan and check in with yourself on how you’re feeling right now. If your shoulders are tensed and you’re biting your nails you might be feeling stressed or anxious. Relax your tense muscles and breathe deeply. Shallow breaths are a sign that you are not relaxed. You’re allowed to feel any emotions or think any thoughts but when any of them come into your mind imagine them floating back out of your mind. They can float down a stream as a leaf floating on the water’s surface, they can flow out of your body as you exhale. When you’re just noticing your breath or the sounds around you or just enjoying being in your body, that’s when you are in the present moment. You have found it! Well done.

Now that you have found the present you can choose your next thought or action or your next feeling. Feel happiness if you want to. Be without fear or pain if you want to.

The next part is a little more advanced but give it a go.

Look at the present you as though you are looking at yourself, a step away from yourself and outside of your own mind. Without your emotions. Look at yourself with kindness, as though you’re looking at your best friend. You want that person to be happy, content and safe.

Of course this all helps if you don’t struggle with self hatred…actually I do experience that myself so this is a helpful tool to get perspective on how I am treating myself. This tool can help you too. I have also felt the benefits of doing, what some people call, loving kindness meditation. Basically you send love and gratitude to yourself, your friends and family, then to your enemies and finally to everyone in the world. It’s a bit challenging when you’re mad at some people but to let go of that and feel gratitude and kindness towards those people is incredibly therapeutic. It’s easier if you remember that all people are like us in that they are also searching to be without pain or fear in each moment.

Surround yourself with positive thoughts and the positive things will continue to happen to you. It’s not that the number of positive situations increases but your perception of each situation changes the outcome. Perspective. It’s all perspective.

The 5 types of boredom The Full Cup Wellness

Which type of boredom are you feeling? You can read this episode as a post at https://thefullcupwellness.com/2021/08/20/which-type-of-boredom-are-you-feeling/
  1. The 5 types of boredom
  2. Environmentally friendly leather?
  3. You're Worth More Than A Number
  4. Crafting With A Conscience
  5. Australian Bush Tucker In The Kitchen