Monday, 24 June 2013

MS Trust Secret Art Show 2013

The wonderful MS Trust are running their annual Secret Art Show again this year and its open for viewing TODAY!!!!  

I have 2 pieces in this years sale and I think you'll all guess which are mine.  To me they stand out as being done by a crafter who has dreams of being an artist ;-) 

Please, please, please go and have a look and, if you can spare £45, buy one of the amazing works on offer when it opens for sales next Monday 1st July.  All of the money raised goes to the MS Trust who are the 'go to' place for information about my illness.  All of the information they send out is free but they need to raise funds to continue this work.

Hope you enjoy looking through the wonderful and inspiring work.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Journal Journeys Challenge 19

Its 'Birds' this month over on Journal Journeys this month so here's my offering.

I started by scribbling Derwent ArtBars (in Spearmint, Honeycomb, Pacific Blue and Allzarin) in blocks all over the page.  I used a paintbrush with water to blend them together.  This is the first time I've used the ArtBars and I *love* them.  They're like water soluble wax crayons (and we all know how much we love wax crayons!!).

Next I tore some pages from a bird book  and stuck them on with gel medium.  Then I put some Claudine Hellmuth Blank Canvas paint on top of them with my finger and scrubbed it off with kitchen towel to blend them in with the page.

I used a Stewart Gill stencil of a Peacock Feather and sponged Landscape Green and Yellow Pastel through it.  After that I really looked at the background and realised that there was pink and blue in there so I sponged Painterly Pink and Sky Blue through small sequin waste and scrubbed some into the background with my finger.

Ages ago Jo and I were in The Works at the Metro Centre and we came across a book in the sale called Fotolog.  Its a book jam packed full of all kinds of photos on everything imaginable.  Well at a fiver who could resist....  I used 4 unusual photos of birds on the page and scratched into them using Stampbord tools.  I used the same colours of ArtBars to scribble round the edge of each photo and then outlined them with black pen.

I googled bird quotes and found the 2 I've used.  I thought because my photos are a bit dark, the quotes needed to be deep.  

I hand wrote them using a black pen, first going over it in black then in pink to accentuate it.  I don't hand write in my finished pages very often but I think this page benefits from it.

I used a Tim Holtz clear flock of birds stamp with Sweet Plum Memento ink randomly on the page.  Memento doesn't dry too well over acrylic paint and gel medium so I used a heat gun to dry it and scrubbed any damp ink into the page with a kitchen towel.

So here is my finished page.

Its something completely different for me but I'm really please with it!

Thanks for organising this Dawn :-)

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Journal Journeys Challenge 18

Dawn has set us the challenge of 'quotes' on Journal Journeys this month.  I love quotes so for me the only challenge was which one to use.

I started off with a page in my Moleskine that I'd previously written on and then gesso'd over the top and used a plastic fork to draw lines into it.  I write in my journal a lot and then paint over what I've written.  Its my way of drawing a line under whatever has been bothering me.  Only I know what is under the paint, or in this case have forgotten what is under the paint ;-)

I've just treated myself to some new Crafter's Workshop stencils and decided to try them out.  I like the texture so much that I didn't want to just cover it over completely so I used some acrylic paint through the mini splat stencil using a make-up sponge to apply it.  I buy cheap  make-up sponges and use them for painting.  Certainly a lot cheaper than buying the proper tools and I just throw them away afterwards.  No cleaning....which works for me!!!

Next I used the mini rain stencil and used yellow acrylic through it but it looks like lime green in the photo.  To bring it altogether I used black through small sequin waste just randomly over the page.

The quote I have chosen came from a poster on the wall of the Pain Clinic when I was there a couple of weeks ago.  It was all about the 5 steps to healthy living and under one of the steps it said 

Take Notice. Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual.  

This just spoke to me for some reason especially with this challenge in mind.

So here is my finished page.

It wasn't til after I'd finished it I thought that it might've looked really good if I'd used a graffiti-style font, but hey-ho.  I'm happy with how its turned out!

Thanks for organising this again Dawn.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Journal Journeys Challenge 17

On Journal Journeys this month, Dawn set us the challenge of making a journal page around the word animals and there had to be at least 2 different kinds of animal on the page.

Now I'm not doing so great at the moment and its taken me all month to get my backside in gear to make the page.  I decided at the start of the month what I was gonna do but its taken me this long to do it!  

I started off by using Glimmer Mists to create the background.  I used Key Lime Pie, Jazz Blue, Daffodil, Deep Plum and then sprayed the whole page with Pearl cos I thought it wasn't 'glimmery' enough!!  Its the first time in ages I've used my mists and I really enjoyed it.

I then stamped Anthromorphic Animals from Lost Coast Designs onto white card with black versafine, coloured them with ColourSoft Pencils and cut them out.

I absolutely *love* these stamps!!! They're lovely stamped just in black or sepia, but once they're coloured, they really come to life!

I stamped the words using some quirky alphabets mainly to remind me of the word 'anthromorphic'.  Its one of those words that I can never remember.  When I looked it up I found this on Wikipedia.  I can't think of a better way to explain what it means!!

After I stamped the words I realised these were too far down the page so I filled the space up with some cat stamps from Kanban (I think).  There are 2 plates and there is a tree to stamp which you can stamp the tiny cats onto.  Because they're in various different poses it looks amazing when its done.  An animal page just wouldn't be complete for me without a cat or 21 :-D

So here is my finished page just in time for the March challenge!

Thanks for organising this again Dawn!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Journal Journeys Challenge 15

Dawn set us the challenge of 'new' on Journal Journeys this month.  Cos my Muse still isn't working to her full potential its taken me all month to think of something I wanted to do.  I decided to use new stash that I've either just got or things I haven't used yet and lets be honest we've all got things we haven't used yet ;)

I used a Splodge Away mat that I bought last year but as I'd bought one for Jo for Christmas I didn't dare use it in case I told her about it!  I used DI in Antique Linen and Spun Sugar which are 2 colours I can't remember ever using to make a pale background.

Then I used my new Dylusions Around the Edge stamps that I got from QVC Last Clicks Clearance.  I decided to use every stamp on the plate and built up a sort of 'garden' scene.  I used Memento ink in Tuxedo Black, Rhubarb Stalk, Dandelion, Lilac Posies, Tangelo, Pear Tart, Grape Jelly, Lady Bug and Bahama Blue.  I then coloured in some of the leaves and spaces in the stamped images with a Picket Fence Distress Marker that I got for my birthday.

I didn't take any photos as I went this time as its a very simple page but I'm really happy with it.

As I've been struggling for a while I think a simple page where I just played with new stash was exactly what the doctor ordered.

If this has inspired you to try journaling, hop over to Journal Journeys and come join us in Dawns monthly challenges!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

I am ME!!!

First of all (a belated) Happy New year!!!!

Well after a dreadful end to last year I think (at last) I'm starting to feel a little better.  I've got another appointment at the Pain Clinic tomorrow for a Lidocaine infusion to see if it'll help on the new medication the same way it did on the old.  Fingers crossed :-)

A couple of years ago I got my craft room set up and on New Years Day 2011 I used it for the first time to create this journal page which helped me focus throughout the year.  Last year I did the same with this one.  When my depression hit really badly late last year I printed out pictures of my 2012 page and stuck them all over my house to remind me of how positive I felt when I was creating the page.  I just kept saying I want to get back to my Dita page!!

So now a tradition has been born and on New Years Day this year I did another page.  This time I started with a background I had made the day after I went to the docs and talked about how I was feeling.  I used my Moleskine to 'spill' out all of the c**p that was inside.  I used a dipping pen and some colourful acrylic drawing inks and wrote til I filled the page one way, dried it with a heat tool, turned the journal and carried on writing.  It ended up creating an almost tartan background.

I knew I needed something positive to got over the top but I really didn't want to cover all of the writing up but at the same time I didn't want o be able to read it.  So I used a Crafters Workshop stencil called Ringlets and sponged Claudine Hellmuth paint in Altered Orange, Landscape Green, Yellow Pastel, Sky Blue, Modern Red and Purple Palette through it.  These are not the colours I would normally used as they're a bit pastel for me but I'd already chosen an image to go on the page and they matched perfectly.  I then outlined all of the painted areas with a black Promarker using the fine tip.

As I wanted something positive on the page I sat and wrote out a list of all the good things about me.  At least what I consider good things anyway ;-)  I started with the words 'I am' and just added positive words after that.

I wrote all of these words around the curves of ringlets with the same black Promarker.  I stamped the words 'I am me' in Black Archival but they didn't show up too well so I went over them a couple of times with the Promarker to make them stand out.  The image is from a Sunday newspaper magazine and sort of summed up what the page embodies for me.  She looks so content in her own skin and I need to feel that and this page will help me, I'm sure.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

I'm still here ;-)

I started my new treatment on 12th November and apart from it being a *very long* day despite Justine being there, it was pretty uneventful.

The reason we had to be in hospital was in case our heart rates dropped after taking the medication.  It seemed such overkill for just swallowing a small capsule but its better to be safe than sorry.  We both had a wireless ECG machine attached to us and every hour the nurse came and took our blood pressure, checked we were feeling OK and took a heart trace.  After all this nothing happened.  There wasn't even a flutter in either of our heart rates - *fantastic*!!!!

The first week I spent feeling very dizzy.  It was almost like I had water in my head sloshing around and I felt nauseous but I could still eat.  Very bizarre.  Last week I began feeling a little more like me apart from being more exhausted than usual.

I can only take medication I have already been prescribed and nothing else new til after Christmas.  This is so the new drug gets into my system and we can really see how I'm tolerating it without any interference from anything else.  Unfortunately this is causing me a bit of a problem.  I am in absolute agony with my legs and can't take any new pain killers to help.  I've got an appointment tomorrow with the Pain Clinic to see if we can up the doses on any of the pills I have now.

Wish me luck!!!