My blended Graded Unit 2 & Packaging 2 brief from my Graphic Design HND

Hiya luvvies!

I thought I would share with you today some images from my Graded Unit 2 &  Packaging 2 units (that’s 2 double credit units… i.e. this project is essentially worth 4 units in total) from my HND.

This blended project was an absolute joy to work on. I loved every last second of time I spent on it and would happily have spent more time if I could have.

This work gained me not only the highest mark in the class but one of the 2 highest marks ever achieved in the college for my course (and the other guy was a teacher) so as you can imagine, I am outrageously pleased with what I have been able to produce.

I’ve included the images below (Click to enlarge) minus images of one piece (the panda box seen in the last image) as I hope to develop that one further. When it’s done you will see it. Whether you see images of it here or see it in a store is another matter entirely! 😂😂😂

Feel free to comment/query 😉

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What does ‘fine’ mean?

Funnily enough this was like reading about me and certainly like reading about Sophie who is more and more often complaining of tummy pains that I think are related to anxiety (she has a hospital appointment with the paediatrician on the 29th just to check it isn’t something else mind, but I am certain it’s anxiety related.) Well worth a read xx

It Must Be Mum

By Rosie and Jo’s mum.

“When she’s in school, she’s fine…..”

“Once you’ve dropped her off, she’s fine.”

“She’s been fine all day.”

I’ve probably heard these phrases and other variations of them hundreds of times over the years.

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No. It’s not ok.

So last week something happened at college that I didn’t expect to happen. I made a comment to my partner in creative crime Holly (@hollyjollyfish) and the reaction of the class was really quite over the top and utterly unnecessary. I wanted to stand against it at the time but my small attempt at explaining was drowned by their berating of me so I was unable. I would have appreciated if someone had come to my aid but they didn’t and it was seemingly accepted as a fine action to take. That it was ok to verbally gang up on me.

No. It’s not ok.

The original comment I made stemmed from a conversation about university housing prices and number of students per flat for where Holly will be studying for her degree. There was note that searching her uni’s website showed the halls were extortionate and that you share washing facilities with 50 students (or a number similar) which is where I interjected in a sing song voice “thats why you should go to  ******** uni instead” (Another uni in the same city)

Now. Holly’s immediate reaction was an inevitable misunderstanding of my meaning. She made comment that what I said had been mean and before I could explain to her what I actually meant certain other classmates leapt into action saying I was mean and that was a horrible thing to say. ‘Why would you say that, it’s so mean?’ ‘That was a horrible thing to say.’ And other such comments repeatedly over a number of minutes.

Not everyone spoke. But those that did only muddied the situation further.

I was hurt, embarrassed, angry and honestly quite let down that no one spoke up for me when it was clear I couldn’t manage to do it myself even if all they said was, ‘ok that’s enough.’

After they left to go to the other classroom I explained to Holly that I was meaning the other university website as their halls have flats of only 5 rooms and I remembered them being much cheaper that her uni. Not a mean comment at all. And she understood then that in actual fact I had been noting something and not teasing or being mean. It was a simple comment blown out of all proportion because certain people can’t keep their noses out of other people’s conversations.

I never really felt welcome in that class and I certainly don’t feel welcome at all now. No matter. I am not there to play socialite. I am there to get my HND.

I thought long and hard about posting this I was going to say something to them face to face, but really, what’s the use? They will likely have dismissed the moment minutes after it happened whereas for me it rolls round my mind again and again while I mentally dissect every little detail of the encounter. Not because I want to but because that’s just how my brain processes it. I have no control over that.

With me spade rule applies always. It always has and it always will and that can cause wires to be crossed because these days people expect you to say one thing and mean another. Or say things in a roundabout way. That’s not how I work. And that’s fine. Leave it alone. It’s not broken, it’s just blunt. Information is just information.

But please. If you are going to stick your sharp little nose where it’s not wanted, perhaps you should be asking for clarification of meaning rather than just attacking because it gives you the ability to put someone down or feel powerful for a few moments. Because you know what? That’s mean.

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Why We Need to Take ‘High-Functioning’ Anxiety Seriously | The Mighty — REBLOGGED

When you imagine anxiety, what do you see? Shaking, crying, screaming? Panic attacks, hyperventilating, incoherent sentences? For some people, this is what it is like. But it’s not always the case.

What does “high-functioning” anxiety look like?

It looks like you have your life together. You smile, your clothes are freshly pressed, your hair is shiny, your arrive on time. You try your hardest, finish your work on time, help others and have hobbies. High-functioning anxiety makes it look like you’re busy living your life — and you are — to a certain extent.

For me, it’s keeping busy so I don’t lose my mind. The more I do, the more tasks I assign myself and the more things I can keep in control, the more I can control my anxiety.

The issue with not speaking out about high-functioning anxiety is the risk of people thinking it’s not real. And it is. Because I live it. And countless others live the same life. And when we need to take a sick day, when we are brave enough to take some time for self-care, we need to be taken seriously. I’m not faking being sick. I’ve been faking being well.

Just like the belief every person with an eating disorder needs to look like they have an eating disorder, the ability to be high-functioning doesn’t negate the anxiety.3 I was in desperate need of a mental health day, but I was too afraid to call into sick to work because I knew nobody would believe me. Because they couldn’t see it. This is the downfall of having an invisible illness. The trouble with having a disorder that masks itself as “just fine.”

Looking at me, you wouldn’t know I struggle with self-harm or eating disorders. You wouldn’t ever guess I have suicidal tendencies. Behind my work ethic and ability to do my job is a girl struggling to breathe because of a small typo in a tweet or because my lipstick might be one shade too bright. I don’t know how I can be high-functioning, I just know I am.

It makes it that much harder to ask for help because I don’t think anyone would believe me. I don’t want to be labelled as the girl who cried wolf. I want to be taken seriously. But until we even acknowledge high-functioning anxiety exists and it’s a real illness, it will never be part of the conversation. And without awareness, we can’t ever move forward and ask for help.

Source: Why We Need to Take ‘High-Functioning’ Anxiety Seriously | The Mighty

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The Gas-lighting of Women and Girls on the Autism Spectrum

I think this is well worth your time so I am sharing it here on thistleyroses. It hits home with me in such a deep and profound way that I couldn’t pass it by without sharing xx

Seventh Voice

Artwork by Mirella Santana

Of all the traits attributed to Women on the Autism Spectrum, there remains one that not only continues to go unrecognized as a valid trait but has also suffered the fate of being reconstructed by professionals as a rationale for denying Women a diagnosis.

The trait I’m referring to is that of developing a strong sense of self-awareness.

In almost every description pertaining to the experiences of Women with Asperger’s Syndrome there is evidence of the development of an early, inexplicable sense of ‘otherness,’ to be found.

This sense of ‘otherness’ expands exponentially as girls grow older and develops into a keen sense of self-awareness.

Their strong sense of self-awareness in turn, increases their sensitivity toward any and all experiences that suggest or confirm their perceptions of themselves as different.

Undoubtedly, whilst at school, undiagnosed spectrum girls will find themselves showered, almost daily, with an endless array of situations that…

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A Little to the Left of Normal – A Short Note on Acceptance

So I have been convinced (publically at least) that I was on the spectrum for a year now and formally diagnosed since 16th December 2016.

Four months of formal diagnosis and I have to say that while on the most part people have been accepting and understanding (I have rarely heard the “but you don’t LOOK autistic” type comments – perhaps as I identify as an “Aspie” rather than using the term Autistic or ASD…? Who knows) I have found the most surprising lack of acceptance to come from the people I never expected NOT to accept me as I am. The very people who were vocally supportive of me in my short but firm self-diagnosed phase in the run up to my assessment.

Don’t get me wrong, verbally they are first to declare my state as an Aspie when in a social situation, even before I might do so myself, but there is little thought given to my processing needs or difficulties that they might find less than convenient. Is that really acceptance? 

“Why can’t you just… {insert NT norm here}?!”

And let’s be honest here, I USED to do some of the things that I now don’t. But they used to freaking wreck me. I was an anxiety ridden, inconsolable mess behind closed doors. After I was formally diagnosed I gave up the mask I had been wearing in favour of the calm that not pretending any more produced. As a result I am now, though still prone to anxiety, a much calmer, more confident person.

I mean… don’t get me wrong, I still flat out “deer in headlights” panic about social stuff and things I am not prepared for, or things I don’t have a set process, rule, formula or script for – that’s just who I am and that will always be with me, but I am generally calmer and that in itself helps me to cope with the other stuff without being in constant meltdown mode.

Thing is… because certain things are inconvenient they are grudgingly tolerated (if tolerated at all) and are frequently brought up in arguments as negative slights which is not only hurtful, but it is utterly wrong.

If that isn’t bad enough (and I am sure other folk on the spectrum will agree with me here) after such an argument when that person forgets and walks away clean headed, I dwell on those comments for weeks, perhaps months. The tone used, the hand gesture, the verbal inflection, facial expression, what was in my hands at the time, what the surrounding noise was (kids in a park, the tv, radio, supermarket environment noise – whatever it happened to be) and how that added to my discomfort, how I was unable to adequately respond as per usual and the guilt and anger toward myself as a result and MANY things besides. It is slow and constant torture. And no… we can’t “just ignore it” or forget. It doesn’t work like that. I bloody wish it did though!

I guess what I am trying to say here is that if you are close to someone who is on the spectrum, no matter where on the spectrum they are (though particularly in the case of high functioning autistics) do not profess to be supportive and accepting while giving that “acceptance” grudgingly and only in part. That is NOT acceptance of the person and their needs – it is acceptance of their label only. And if I am being perfectly honest it is far more hurtful than someone who is ignorant or unaccepting.

Anyway that concludes my midnight musings.

Cheerie-bye the-noo!


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Happy Mother’s Day — MY BOOKS ARE FREE TODAY

Well it’s that time again.

I mean time for the free offer on my books. Because it’s Mother’s Day today so why not huh? FREE FREE FREE BOOKS!

If you are unfamiliar with my series I have detailed below for you a wee rundown and included the covers and blurbs or each book plus the link to Amazon UK and Amazon US 🙂 I do hope you enjoy them. Especially my newest release. That one is a wild ride!

Series Overview

Many queens – or Bhanrighs as they are known in Alba – have come and gone; but none so feared as Mòrag Stewart.

The first of her name; Mòrag struck fear into the hearts of those who sought to oppose her; so much so, that the Sasannach royals captured and held Mòrag’s daughter Catrìona in order to control the warrior queen. Their plan backfired, and the Albannach Bhanrigh unleashed her rage upon Lunnainn; burning the Sasannach capital to the ground in retaliation for the incarceration of her daughter. Little is known about events thereafter. Odd for so recent a history as this. What is known, is that the Albannach Bhanrigh met her end suddenly, mere weeks before the death of her only heir – Catrìona.

Unbeknown to all but a chosen few; an heir remained. Not just an heir to the Albannach throne, but a hybrid monarch to rival the darkness of the previous hybrid – Reginald I.

The child is delivered into the hands of Jock MacDonald when she is only hours old and he and his wife raise her in secret until she is ready to take the throne.

The child – also named Mòrag, is brought up on a farm in glen Rannoch; on the edge of Mòinteach Raineach – the Rannoch moor; where wild horses and Kelpies run together; and she can remain out of sight of those who would seek to eliminate her. The Warrior Queen Series follows Mòrag and her companions on her journey to become not only the Albannach Bhanrigh, but the second Bhanrigh to be considered as the warrior queen.

For King and Country

bk1 posterSM

Mòrag’s world is one of proud magical creatures and fierce armies bristling with steel and sorcery.

Welcome to twenty-seventh century post-apocalyptic Scotland; where immortal beasts roam wild in the countryside, mighty princes battle for power and the common folk do their best to avoid being trampled in their

Born of a forbidden coupling between the Albannach and Sasannach royal houses; Mòrag is destined to rule. But her birth righ t has been kept secret – even from her, and discovery of her royal blood could cost her life.

Mòrag is no ordinary girl. Her royal blood’s hidden talents begin to reveal themselves during her military training at Sruighlea Castle, and she is suddenly in a lot more trouble than she ever dreamed of.

Mòrag is about to enter a brutal world of conflict and turmoil which will challenge everything she knows and believes in.

Download for FREE in the UK HERE

Download for FREE in the US HERE

Chains of Blood and Steel

Chains of Blood and Steel SMt

Six months after the communication by Edward, Mòrag is still trying to piece things together. She trains daily with Colonel Tesso, in an attempt to bring her physical skills up to match her mental ones.

Brax battles with visions of his master and fears his presence will put Mòrag in danger as his mental chains are pulled tighter.

The spy-master’s daughter struggles to deal with her abusive father, hiding a secret she is prepared to take to the grave.

John who’s life has been a lie, discovers the truth about himself through Ava. Brought together after he catches her failed attempted suicide, they overcome the chains of blood and steel that imprison them.

Download for FREE in the UK HERE

Download for FREE in the US HERE

Battle of the Bannockburn

BK3 posterSMIn the smoky aftermath of the still smouldering remains of several buildings in Sruighlea Castle, chaos reigns supreme.Edward has assumed control of Sasann and proclaimed himself king, and with the Devil’s Dog is back under the controling hand of his master, no one dares challenge him.Mòrag struggles with the darkness growing inside her, and without Brax’s calming companionship, her fragile control is slipping.When Edward sends his pet to sack one of Alba’s border towns, Mòrag retaliates by striking out at Edward’s own home in Lunnainn, triggering a freefall of events that culminate in a full-scale battle on the Bannockburn.

Download for FREE in the UK HERE

Download for FREE in the US HERE

The Highland Queen

bk4 posterSMWe rejoin Mòrag and her companions in their flight from the Bannockburn battlefield. Her people are scattered and wounded. Many have been imprisoned and many more have been put to death and she — along with the surviving members of her group — are headed deep into the highlands of Alba under the blanketing safety of Alba’s artificial winter.Mòrag, still wounded from the border breach and exhausted by the use of Rhona’s blood-charm is struggling to retain control — worsened still by the capture of her Berserker Guard.The Mackenzie clan play host to the Bhanrigh in their highland stronghold of Eilean Donnain, where for the time being, they reside in relative safety. But that safety can only last so long… The highland clans continue raiding and bickering amongst themselves, and Edward’s ever oppressive forces resident in Sruighlea pose a constant threat.Mòrag can only hope that she will regain enough strength to be able to unite the opposing clans of the highlands under one banner if she is to have any chance of success against her father.

Download for FREE in the UK HERE

Download for FREE in the US HERE

Please do give me your thoughts and feedback on my work. I am self published and out there on my own so I’m doing this for you guys, not for the £. If you don’t LOVE these books I am doing something very wrong and I’d like to know about it. And while I am certain not EVERYONE will find them to their taste, I am sure that I have done my best to entertain the majority of readers 🙂 If you do love these books I would be grateful if you would give each a wee review on Amazon to show your support and encourage others to give them a go.

Please share the word.

Cheerie-bye the noo! xx

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