We used to love the Insey Wincey Spider game! It’s a sort of snakes and ladders for young children but instead of a counter you get a very smiley spider, and as you throw the dice you get your spider to climb a ladder. Whoever gets to the top first wins. We used to play it for hours – my small daughters adored those spiders!

I don’t know if the game was an attempt to promote spider PR in the face of a potential whole new generation of spider-fearers, but the fact is, those little coloured plastic spiders looked very friendly. You couldn’t not make friends with them! I’m not terrified of spiders but neither am I a great fan, particularly of the larger ones. I generally avoid them where possible, yet I was happily beguiled by the game into thinking that these little chaps were incredibly cute. If you choose to see something as friendly, it loses the scare-factor.

Perhaps that’s why I persist in surrounding myself with ‘friendly bug’ stationery wherever possible. Last week I filled my planner  with smiley bees, caterpillars and ladybirds, and immediately felt better about life. They looked so cheery! I’m sure it’s no coincidence that I’m seeing insects everywhere at the moment: ladybirds in the flower bed, flies, bees and wasps along the cycle track and butterflies in front gardens as I walk around our neighbourhood. I’m noticing and enjoying them. Perhaps the innocent decoration in my planner has contributed to my sense of mindfulness and quality of life in a way I didn’t expect. I’m noticing things I might have missed, and they are helping me find joy in the now! Note to self: don’t belittle the cheery stationery – it has a more significantly positive effect than you might think.

In the last few days I’ve made 100s of small cardstock pieces for people to make into cheery little bees and ladybirds. I’ve started to ‘bugify’ my bullet journal with them and I think my current notebook will be next. There’s no limit to what you can do with smiley bugs! So here’s to the summer and lots of insects. Perhaps I should go and make some smiley faced midges too! You never know, it might help…….

Make your own bugs kit from Jane Journalling on Etsy

Ladybird decoration pack from Jane Journalling on Etsy

Buuterflies decoration pack from Jane Journalling on Etsy

Friendly bugs and bullet journals

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