Friday, 4 November 2011

Relapse number 2 :o(

I've not been feeling myself for a few weeks and it all came to a head on Monday.  I rang the doctors and got an appointment for 3 hours time for an unrelated matter but by the time I got to the surgery I had lost my balance, had visual disturbances and felt like my legs would colapse at any moment.  And i'm still waiting for my whelchair - typical!

I rang my MS Nurse on the advice of my GP and low and behold I'm having another relpase.  I've already had 1 this year - is that not enough????

So I've been backwards and forwards to the hospital for 3 days to have high dose steroids by intravenous drip and they've taken blood tests to see if I am building up antibodies to the Tysabri (my normal monthly infusion).

So firstly an apology to all my blog buddies.  I just ain't been in any frame of mind, fatigue wise, to leave any comments for weeks.  Rest assured though I have been by all of your blog posts but just not shown my presence.

Secondly I've decided I'm not making Christmas cards this year.  I bought some a few weeks ago with the intention of making a few, but this relapse has really scared me and I'm just not gonna push myself.  Hope you all understand.

So I'm off now for some food and put my feet up in front of the telly and catch up on stuff I've taped.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Journal Journeys Challenge #04

This is my journal page for Journal Journeys Challenge # 04Dawn gave us the prompt of  Nature & Autumn.  I chose to just do Autumn but I suppose the leaves constitute the 'nature' part of it ;)

I started on a blank page of my Moleskine Journal.  I didn't gesso it before hand but now think I should have as the back of one of the pages is soooo covered in Glimmer Mist and krylon pen!

Anyhoo I decide to use some leaves out of my garden as 'masks- and spray Glimmer Mists through them.  However I chose a piece of conifer which was far too dense (bit like me for choosing it!) and the mask just turned out like a big un-painted blob. 

So to try and save it I just sprayed Glimmer Mist in every autumnal colour I had all over both pages.  They were looking a complete mess, so I decided just to use the rest of leaves as 'stamps' and basically plonked them in to DI's and used my hand the press them onto the pages.  The veins showed up brilliantly.  So I tried stamping the back of leaf.  It worked just as well and I loved the page as it had sooo much texture.  Of course I forgot to take a photo (again!)

I used the Sir Tim of Holtz Tattered Leaves die to cut leaves from book pages, scrunched them up, opened them out and sprayed them with more Glimmer Mist.  Once I dried them they started to look more like Autumn leaves.  I stuck them randomly around the edges of the pages and wanted to write 'Autumn natures last and lovliest smile' in the centre.  But....I spelled lovliest wrong.  Typical.  (note to self - *always* write any words you want to use out in rought first!)  At first I used a black Sharpie to write, but it didn't show up very well and I'd already corrected my spelling mistake so there were 2 lovliest's.  When I decided to use a gold Krylon Pen and realised I could've changed the spelling mistake without anyone knowing.  So 2 lovliest it is!

I'm really happy with the pages and I'm gonna try and do the background again and take a photo this time ;)

Saturday, 1 October 2011

MS Trust Secret Art Show

The Winter MS Trust Secret Art Show is pretty special for me this year. 

The exhibition has over 250 pieces and includes artwork from well-known artists such as Caroline Tate, Richard Long and Patrick Hughes and ME!!!!  Yes I have 3 pieces of artwork in the show.

Each piece of artwork sold in the show is 12cm x 12cm (the size of a CD case) and costs £45. The artwork is in a wide range of styles and media, including oils, watercolours, abstract, landscape and still-life. The artwork is signed on the back, so people only find out who created it when they receive it in the post. The Secret Art Show gallery will be available for people to view from Friday 30 September. The show will then open for sales at 9am on Friday 7 October.

Please, please, please follow one of the links above and have a look at the work.  Its all wonderful and, if you can afford it, please buy one.

See if you can spot mine.  I know that all of my crafty friends out there will definitely be able to spot one of them ;)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Elements of Art Journaling final pages

Well its been a long time coming but I've finally finished The Elements of Art Journaling course.  Not that its been a chore, but I've just not felt like doing any crafting for a while.  It happens every now and then and I say I can't be bothered but its more than that.  It usually means I'm too tired to do anything.  And that's how its been for most of this month.

Anyhoo, here are my final two pages.  The first is the fire page.  For this page Effy told us to art to music.  This is not unusual for me, as anyone who knows me will attest to.  Then she said to just enjoy ourselves and make a 'hot mess'.  Now this is more difficult for me as I'm a perfectionist and messes just don't come easy.  So I started with red Ecoline ink and blew it around the pages.  Good basis for a messy page....or so I thought.

I then painted Stewart Gill paints in cerise on one page and orange on the other.  This is when I realised my mistake.  Ecolines are water based and they just ran and mixed with the paint.  Ah well...lesson learned.  Once I got the pages painted I closed the journal and squished the pages together and it gave a lovely texture.  This is where I stopped and thought about the words associated with fire.  One of them is anger.

I realised I am ANGRY!!! 

I've always said I was frustrated or irritated but now I know that all this time I have been angry.  I'm angry at my MS for what it has and is doing to me and there are other things I am angry about too but this isn't the time or place to go into them.  So I wrote it all down and burned the paper.  And as I watched the pieces of ash float away into the sky I started to feel calmer.  So to symbolise this I charred the edges of pieces of book pages and arranged them into a 'fire' on the pages and drew tendrils of golden smoke coming the from the fire.

The last page is the Spirit Page.  This was all about celebrating which virtues we possess now or would like to possess in the future.  Again, being British, I struggled to admit what I possess.  So my Mam got out the drinks coaster her and my Dad had bought me a few years ago and between us we decided my virtue is inner strength. 

I did a search on line for the Goddess of Inner Strength and it kept coming back to Sekhmet, the Egyptian warrior Goddess but she was also the Goddess of healing.  As I adore Egypt and everything to do with it she seemed to be an appropriate Goddess for me!

I drew a face using instructions I got from Art, Heart and Healing.  Its definitely worth checking as its a FREE course!!!  As I liked the face I'd drawn and didn't know if I'd be able to do another one I photocopied it and used the copy for the journal page. 

I first dropped spots of Golden Pyrolle Red and Hansa Yellow Medium paint on the pages and smooshed them about with a Speedball brayer.  Once they were dry I used the yellow paint on a clear stamp of bubble background and stamped it randomly around.  I then added drops of Golden Titan Buff paint and smooshed that with the brayer.  It ended up looking almost sandy.

I bought some papers a while ago which feature Egyptian images and used the black one with golden sarcophagi all over it, cut into strips, for her hair and a one with pyramids in neutral colours, with a little more Titan Buff over it, for her dress.

To bring both pages together I sponged Golden Iridescent gold paint over the whole thing.

I used a dipping pen to write the wording.  Its the first time I've done this (as you can tell by the big glob of ink on Sekmet's name), and I'm really pleased with the results.

I got the Ankh that I used on her head from a Zuzu, a blog buddy of mine, and coloured it golden with the same gold paint.  If you get a chance stop by her blog Zuzu's Petals Altered Art 'n' Stuff.  Her work is amazing!!

So there you have it.  The Elements of Art Journaling course.  It has been a revelation for me to do this course as it has helped to open my eyes to who I am and to make some decisions I would ordinarily have shied away from.

For anyone who would like to do this course it will be available as a Self Study course on Wild Precious Studios.  You have to join the Studio but it such a welcoming, nurturing and inspirational place to be part of.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Press for Design

My wonderfully talented friend Carrie has taken a huge step and become a Self-Employed Business Woman.  I have unashamedly copied this from Carrie's Blog as she has put it so more eloquently than I ever could.  Pop over to her blog to read the whole post.

'...I have completed all the forms and am all signed up and am ready to trade! I have two different arms to my business, web and print design and my printmaking side. My web and print design service is specifically aimed at sole traders and small businesses, so if you know anyone in that category please do let them know about my Press for Design site As for printmaking I signed up as a Network Member at Allendale Forge Studios today, so my artwork will soon be available to buy there – do visit if you’re in the area, as it is a lovely studio with many different artists and a cafe attached too. My linocuts are for sale in my etsy store, and greetings cards and prints and canvases of my work are available for sale in my RedBubble store.'

Way to go Carrie!!!  I wish you all the luck in the world - you deserve it <3

Sunday, 21 August 2011

1000 Sheets Blog Candy

I know two post in one day.  I spoil you!!!

Anyhoo I spotted this on a blog I follow and thought I myself a chance of winning.  there is some amazing blog candy on offer so hop over to A Thousand Sheets of Paper and you too could be in with a chance of winning.

Journal Journeys Challenge #2

After taking codeine to help with my painful legs I went on-line and entered myself in the Journal Journeys Fairies Challenge.  I only knew about it when Dawn e-mailed me.  Thanks Dawn :)

For the challenge I decided to do a gel transfer of an image from a CD I've not used before called Victorian Angels and Fairies by Joanna Sheen.  Its not in circulation now sadly but has some fab images on it.  Dawn had used the gel transfer technique in her journal and it gave me the incentive to use it too.  I'd not used one in my journal before and managed to tear my first attempt.  For the second one I applied a bit thicker layer of gel and worked just fine.  I'm sure there'll be videos on YouTube showing how to do it so I won't bore you here ;)

Because the gel was thick the image turned out a little murky and grungy but I like that.  I then painted the back of the transfer with gesso to make the colours pop a little more.  I didn't want to do a pretty, pretty fairy page.  That's just not me.

I coloured the pages with charcoal grey and 2 colours of yellow Inktense Pencils and activated them with gesso - my fave technique at the moment!  I chose these colours to tie in with the image.

Next I Googled Fairy Poems and found this sweet little poem.  The image shows a lady steeping into a fairy ring and all of the fairies dancing and presumably (can't hear them lol!!!) singing.  I copied the poem into MS Word, changed the font and made it larger.  I then printed it out, coloured them with the same charcoal grey Inktense pencil as the background and activated it with gesso again.  I then cu the words up and stuck them to the page and went over the font with a black extra fine Sharpie pen.

I stamped various fairies from Elusive Images (now Chocolate Baroque) onto white sticky labels and cut them out and placed them on the page.  I have to thank Lesley W for showing me this technique.  I'm not that good at planning what I am gonna do with pages so this is sooo much easier than masking for me and means I can do things like these fairies and colour them in afterwards.  I used one of yellow Inktense pencils for their wings and used water to move the colour around.

So here you have it.  My Fairies Journal Page for the challenge on Journal Journeys.

Please join in even if you've never journaled before.  Its a great way to relieve stress can be done with just a few pencils / paints and an old exercise book.  I'll be back for the next one Dawn!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Elements of Art Journaling continued

Well I've done another 2 pages in the Elements of Art Journaling e-course I'm taking with Effy from Wild Precious Studios.  I am absolutely loving the course and I'm learning so much too!

The first page is for Air Week.  This week we had to practice free-writing around the idea of 'what I know for sure...'.  Free-writing is where you just sit for a certain lenth of time, in this case 15 minutes, and write whatever comes into your head.  Its a great technique if you're wrestling with solution to a problem as it can fall out of the free-writing.  The element of air is all about communication and words.  So of course me being me, I went down a different path from everyone else.  I looked at the other associations with air and discovered that smell and the colour yellow are associated.  As soon as I saw that the page came together easily.

Being a qualified aromatherapist, smell is very important to me and the first thing I thought of was lavender.  I used the free-writing as the background for the page, painted gesso over it and Claudine Hellmuth Yellow Pastel paint over that.  Once it was dry I rubbed Vaseline in parts over the page and painted Titan Buff over that.  Unfortunately I left it too long to rub the paint off the Vaseline and had to scratch some of it off ;)

I painted the lavender using Sheena Douglass' Paint Fusion technique.  For the other side of the page I left a portion in the middle unpainted and coloured it with a yellow Inktense Pencil and activated it with gesso to get a lovely pastel colour that I could write over.  The writing is my attempt at a poem-ish!!

The next week was Water Week which Effy gave us 2 weeks to complete as it is about our emotions and 'sitting with' the way we feel.  She suggested doing some writing about how we feel using water soluble pencils / crayons then painting a compassionate face over it and putting a loving sentiment on the page.  As I am suffering from depression this was going to be a step too far for me as I felt that it may drag me into the abyss I have been trying to get out of.

So I did an alternative page.  I did some 'sitting with it', but just to type out my problems.  Water is about 'daring' and 'dreaming', so this is what I did on my page.  I used lots of blue and green Inktense Pencils and activated them with gesso again to make the background.  I used the same pencils over the words and used water this time to activate them, then put twinkling H2O's over them.  I wanted the whole page to be irridescent. The bubbles are a tiny letter 'o' stamped in Golden Iridescent Gold paint. 

The Sea Horse is from Chocolate Baroque (previously Elusive Images) and I used it because they are very elegant, move so freely and ride the waves when they hit underwater. These are all things I struggle with. If a 'wave' hits me it'll knock me for six and moving freely is completely out of the question!

I am really happy with my page.  At some point I'll do the 'sitting with it' exercise, but not now.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Weddings of Clay

My very talented friend Judith makes the most wonderfully detailed clay models for the tops of cakes or just as a special gift.  They are absolutely beautiful and so personal.

Please have a look at her new website called Weddings of Clay and see how fantastic they are for yourself!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Elements of Art Journaling

Sorry I've not been around for a while.  Things have just gotten away from me.

I was lucky enough to sign up from the Elements of Art Journaling e-course run by Effy Wild of Wild Precious Studios when she ran a one day only 'pay what you can afford' day.  There was no way my budget could stretch to the original price, but this was I managed to be able to afford it and I am so pleased I did!!

As the description says 'Join Effy on a six week journey through the elements of earth, air, fire, water and spirit! Learn new ways to imbue your pages with deeper meaner by developing your own symbolic language!'.  I nowhere near that eloquent lol!!

We're half way through week 2 so I thought I would share what I've done so far.

The first week was orientation and preparing our journals for the full course.  I used a large Moleskine Cahier.  Effy has made videos for us to watch and PDF's to show us various techniques and how she builds up pages.  I took her technique and tore up various scrapbook papers and stuck them onto the journal covers after I'd gesso'd them and coloured them with Inktense pencil.

I then stuck 3 pages of the journal together to make a much stronger page to use and gesso'd them.  To make the binding on the journal even stronger, Effy suggested tying  fibres or ribbon round.  I made paper beads out of the same scrapbook paper to use on the ends of the fibres.  Carrie has a great tutorial for making these beads here.

I then went on to make my first page which is the back of the front cover of the journal and the first proper page.  This practically a copy of what Effy did.  I am determined that this will be the only wholesale copy of Effy's page that I'll do.  Its to show the relationship between me and the elements.

And now we're doing 'Earth Week'.  Effy suggested that we focus on our relationship with the Earth and a way to do that is focusing on our bodies as that is what connects us to it.  Effy kindly gave us a picture of her from the back to use if we were gonna 'art' along with her and copy the page.  I didn't want to do that so I took the image, made a stencil out of it with thick acetate and scraped fibre paste through it.  I used Carrie's beautiful stamp of the Tree Nymph on tissue paper on the 'body's' back and Rock Crystal Crackle Paint over it to show my broken body. 

This was all over a background of tissue paper, covered by paint, using my fingers to move it around.  I LOVE this page!!!

I've also treated myself to some new toe-posts.  I just couldn't resist them, especially when they were in the sale!!  They are soooo comfy to wear even though they don't look like they will be and so me!

And I've finally given in and I'm waiting for my appointment at Wheelchair Services to be measured for my own set of wheels.  The pain in my legs is made soo much worse by walking so, although I can and will still be walking, I'll have a wheelchair for when I need it.  Its been a tough decision but I've definitely made the right move and I'm content with it :)

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Wonderful new bag!!

I was out on Sunday with Jo and we called in to TK Max.  We always love going in there as we never know what we're gonna find.  Obviously the bags always call to us and it'd be rude not to have a mooch round them.  Jo spotted an entire stand devoted to 'hippy' type bags.  Just the kind of thing we both love.  I normally can't get these kind of bags as I need cross body ones so I have at least one hand free when I'm walking (the other is on my stick).

Anyway Jo spotted a couple that were reduced and one of them was a cross body bag - YAAY!!!  So I just HAD to buy it and here it is!!  Isn't it gorgeous?!

Its handmade from selected original Rajasthan rugs and is lovely and bright.  In fact the photo doesn't do it justice.  For any of you who know me, you'll know that its me to a tee!!!

And the best bit - it was only a tenner.  How's that for a bargain (spotted by Jo!)??

Friday, 10 June 2011

Angela's wall hanging and more blog candy

A couple of weeks ago one of the girls I met at the hospital while having treatment was the big 5-0!

I wanted to make her something to mark the occasion, but as it had to go through the post I wanted it to be durable.  So I set about making a wall hanging for using 2 Crafty Individuals swirly frames.  It was based on idea I saw in a Graphicus Guild (now Chocolate Baroque Guild) monthly news letter.

I coloured both of the frames with Chipped Sapphire and Stormy Skies DI's then triple embossed the whole of the front frame and just the swirl of the back frame with clear embossing powder.

I stamped Ophelia from Stampsmith onto watercolour paper put her inside the frames and glued the together.  I needed some way of hanging the frame so, following the idea from the newsletter, I used some thick-ish wire.  The only wire I had that was thick enough was copper so I had to use it as her birthday was in a couple of days.

I bent the wire round a paint brush and added some beads before adding it to the frame.  To tie everything together I made some flowers using the smallest flower from the TH Tattered Florals die.  I used tissue from a drinks coaster and Glimmer Misted it with Timeless Lilac and Cherub Pink and used the same technique as in the previous post to make the flowers.  I used curls of copper wire as the centers.

Moira from Happy Daze has a new blog called The Altered Blog and she has a £30 gift voucher plus free p&p to giveaway.

Follow the link to her blog to enter.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Handmade book giveaway!

I followed a link to a wonderful blog called Sparkle Blue Faery.  I love her art journaling!

She currently giving away a gorgeous handmade book.  Follow this linkto her blog and leave a comment and answer the question and you'll be in with a chance of winning.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Press for Creativity

Carrie has a new blog called Press for Creativity, hence the title of the post! 

She is taking part in 30 Days of Creativity.  Its best to let the site explain what it is:

'30 Days of Creativity is a social initiative encouraging people to create stuff (anything) every day for 30 days in June'

If you needs any inspiration (or are just plain nosey like me lol!!!) go and have a look at her new blog.  Its fab!!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Carrie's Frame

It was Carrie's birthday earlier in May - the big 4-0!!  I wanted to get or make her something special so in January I spotted this frame in a Charity shop window.  The guy in the shop knows me now and when I asked to look at it he automatically showed me the back first!

The first thing I did when I got home, after taking this photo of course, was the take it to pieces and rip the leaves and glittered apple out of it and bin the them.  I couldn't get the glass out as it had been glued to the front frame.  Thank goodness the inside with the recesses came off cleanly!

I didn't need to prepare the surface apart from cleaning as the inside had been painted with some sort of matte paint.  As far as I could see the frame had already been altered into the state I bought it in as the painiting was not factory done. 

I painted the inside of the frame and recess with Viva Precious Metal Paint in Blackberry and then dry brushed the same make of paint in Mother of Pearl over it.  both of thses paints are very high in mica content so shimmer beautifully.  I painted the outside of the frame with Precious Metal in Silver to tie both parts together as the mother of pearl paint has a slightly silver tone to it.  Of course I forgot to photograph them at this stage, but you'll be able to see what I mean on the finished frame.

Next I made some flowers using a tissue drinks coaster and some pages from a book.  I cut both of them with a Nestie circle die.  Especially for S and J at the hospital here are the photos :)

These are the cut circles which have been scrunched up and sort of flattened back out.
The same circles which I have sprayed with Glimmer Mists in Key Lime Pie and Lemon Zest.
And again once they have been dried with a heat tool and ready to shape into a flower around a bead.   Lynn R-H taught me the technique at a workshop.  You start with a bead and a little glue and mold the paper around the bead.  Keep doing this with tissue, paper and glue until you have a flower of the size you want.

 And this is a close up of the finished flower.  I made the beads for both of the flowers during a workshop that Carrie, Jo and I attended and had a great time!

I chose bobbins to into the recess as Carries loves sewing.  My Mam wrapped the thread round 2 of the bobbins and I painted the 3rd and put a vintage cigar bad round it with a picture of a german castle on it.  Carrie also loves Germany.

This flower was made in the same way but sprayed with Jazz Blue and Fully Purple Glimmer Mists.

My Mam helped again by filling the miniature bottles with lavender grown in my garden and tied ribbon round the tops to finish them off.  The ribbon is from the loops you get on clothes to keep them on the hanger.  I cut them off and use them for projects!

Carrie love the outdoors and I thought the Lavender would be perfect here.

Placing the bobbins and bottles was difficult as I was shaking while doing it.  Thank goodness the Glossy Accents has a little time before it dries lol!!!

For the middle, I made a torso from pearl UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Powder) using a mold Jo has. It has a front and back to the mold but I just used the front.

The 'pedestal' that the torso is to stand on is a piece of dense foam from the bottom of TH Embossing Folder packaging.  I've been keeping it but didn't know why til now ;)
I painted the pedestal the same colour as the recess and stuck the whole angel together using silicone.

Then it was just a case of cleaning the glass up, bearing in mind I couldn't get it our of the frame.  There was gold paint on it from the last time it had been painted and somehow I'd managed to get the Blackberry colour on the inside of glass right in the middle.  So once I got that off and gave it a good dust, I could put it all together.

Here is the finished frame and it is totally personal to Carrie!

Friday, 27 May 2011

The Butterfly Effect

I found this on the side bar of Elaine's blog and I think it is wonderful project to honour the 1.5 million children who died in the Holocaust.

The Holocaust Museum in Houston is holding an exhibition of all of the butterflies received in Spring 2013.  Each butterfly will represent a child who died.  You can read all about it HERE.

If you feel strongly about this please join in.  All of the people who died in the Holocaust cannot be forgotten.  The dealine to join with the joint effort on the Two Dresses Studio blog is 31st December 2011.

Friday, 6 May 2011

I have an award!!!

My friend Vron has graciously given The Versatile Blogger Award.  Now under the rules I have to tell you 7 random things you didn't know about me and also pass the award on to 7 recently discoverd blogs.

So to work.

1 I have my belly button pierced
2 I have 3 tattoos
3 I love Neighbours (yes the Australian soap!!!!)
4 I'm not keen on making cards anymore and do it under protest!
5 I hardly ever wear proper shoes only boots, trainers and toe-posts
6 I listen to audio books as I can't concentrate on reading anymore
7 I am qualified in aromatherapy, reflexology, Indian head massage and sports massage but can't practice now due to having little energy and little or no feeling in my hands.

Now to the blogs I am going to nominate.  I tend to stick to the same blogs, but being new-ish to this blogging lark I tend to think of all of the blogs as new.  So here goes:

Kath - Artyfartykat
Judith - weddings of Clay
Lotus - Whymsicallotus
Louise - Zuzu's petals altered art and stuff
Roni - Ink Stains with Roni
Regina - Creative Kismet
Jean - Crafty Individuals

And there you have it.  The difficulty was choosing just 7!

So this post isn't all writing here is a pic of a papier mache mask I bought and covered with Friendly Plastic.  I just cut random pieces of plastic and melted it onto the mask with a heat tool.  I used random pieces on the sides without melting them and put some gems on to 'bling' it up a bit!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

I'm back with my ABC

Well I'm back and feeling an awful lot better.  I've even started crafting again due to my Muse coming back from the corner she was hiding in!

No photos today just a little bit of fun.  I saw this on my friend Carrie's blog and thought it was a great idea.  So here is my ABC...

Age: Apparently I will get to know the meaning of life, the universe and everything in October!  (a little nod to Hitchhikers Guide there!)
 Bed Size: Its a continental king from Ikea.  Huge for one person, but not so big when I had a cat sleeping on it too!

Chore you hate: I don't do cleaning!  My Mam helps me.

Dogs: Cats everyday of the week and twice on a Sunday, but I lost my two last year and can't bear to get any more so I just have a snuggle with Carrie's two girls when I'm at her house.

Essential start of your day: A cup of Twinings Earl Grey

Favourite Colour: Purple

Gold or silver: Silver in jewellery, but either in art

Height: 5’8″ and a bit

Instruments I play or have played: Flute and recorder but both very badly!

Job Title: Medically retired from work due to my MS

Kids: Not a hope in h***!!!

 Live: Been in the same town in County Durham, UK all my life.

Mum’s Name: Brenda

Nickname: Never had one as a youngster, but got Jilly a lot at work.

Overnight hospital stays: Yes unfortunately.  Was in for 2 weeks and then a further week a couple of weeks later before the MS was diagnosed.

Pet Peeve: When people try to kick my stick or crutches out from under me or just stare.  I'm irritated just thinking about it!!

Quote from a movie: Ooh that's a toughie!!  I love (and have used) so many quotes.  'Theres a glitch in the Matrix', 'The first rule of fight club...', 'E-v-i-i-i-l' and the list goes on...

Right or left handed: Right and my left is a little pathetic in most tasks I try with it, bless

Siblings: No, just me

Time you wake up: Somewhere between 8am and 10am, then again around 4pm after my afternoon nap
 Underwear: Always and matching always makes me feel good

Vegetables you dislike: Celery..e-v-i-i-i-l stuff

What makes you run late: Only things beyond my control

X-rays you’ve had done: Little finger right hand, left knee (many times), left hip, left foot (can you spot the pattern here!), chest, back and plenty of MRI's

Yummy food you make: Panini's, soup.  Thats about all now really, but I used to make pies and cakes and scones

Zoo animal: Giraffe, red pandas, elephants, any big cat

Now you know a little bit more about me.  Anyone fancy joining in and completing your own version?  Please post it on your blog and leave me a comment so I can swing by and learn about you.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Remember Me??

Well I'm still not fully recovered from my relapse.  Problem is that its so long (6 years) since I've had a proper relapse I can't remember how to help get myself better.  Consequently I've done far, far too much when really I shoulda been resting and letting the steroids do their thing.  So I'm totally shattered and I'm starting to walk like I've got MS again.  OK I know what you're saying 'but you do have MS'.  I know that but I don't need to walk like I do, do I?!?

Anyhoo, a while ago I left a comment on a blog I follow called Creative Kismet.  If you get a chance, check out her blog.  Regina had made some beautiful brooches and I won one!!  It arrived last week and really cheered me up cos its the one I said I liked the best. I've got it pinned to my denim jacket and colours work so well together.  Isn't it gorgeous?

Sunday, 13 March 2011


Well I found out on friday why I've been feeling so awful.  I'm having a relapse.

Its a small one so I should (hopefully) come out of it non the worse for wear.  I have to go to the hospital tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday for high dose steroids by infusion.  I'm just a day patient and will only be there for the infusion and then come home.  I much prefer being at home when I feel yuk anyway!

I had another craft day with Jo on Friday, a good way to take your mind off the way you're feeling.  I struggled a little but managed to finish the journal pages for Lou.  And here they are

Roll on the sleepless nights and munchies caused by the steroids!  But if they work, its a small price to pay!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Jackson Pollock style

On Monday Jo and I had a craft day.  Not really had one for ages due to her working and me not being too well.  So Monday was a complete 'blow out' day where we blew away all of the cobwebs from our muses!

We both worked on 6" x 12" Stampbord blocks, but both did completely different things.  I had decided the night before that I wanted to use some Claybord inks that I had gotten in a random stash box from Graphicus a couple of Christmas's ago.

I coloured the Stambord block with Pumice Stone DI and then dropped the Claybord inks on one at a time and blew them with an air duster (compressed air in a tin which is used for cleaning computers).  I had tried early with a straw, but the effect was sooo much better with the air duster.  I used a heat tool between each colour to stop it going muddy.

I then used one of Sir Tim's saying stamps on an ATC sized piece of Stampbord, already coloured with the DI, and scratched into it before colouring the lettering with Promarkers.  I've always known that I wanted to use this stamp but just didn't know what on.  I think its perfect here!

I then used an Elusive Images (EI) stamp from the Artistic Affirmations theme plate with part of the message being raised up on a domino sized piece of Stampbord, coloured with the same DI again.  Again I scratched into it (I love doing that!!).

The base looked a bit bare in the middle but I didn't really want to detract too much from the background so I used a coaster sized piece of Stampbord, coloured with the DI and blew the inks around again.  I scratched into it (of course!), edged it with black ink and stamped another EI stamp in the middle.

All that was left to do was sort the background as it looked a bit plain.  I used a speckle stamp of Sir Tim, inked with London Fog Memento and stamped it all over the base.  I decorated 3 Stampbord inchies with the inks and scratched a border round them so they'd stand out.  And here is the finshed piece.

And look what I was given yesterday

My Mam and I were both given a rose to mark International Women's Daywhich was yesterday, by a Polish friend called Pawel. He used to be a neighbour of my parents and they always got on well with him.

Apparently yesterday is observed in Poland and he just wanted to mark it with us. You can read about it here.

How sweet.

Sunday, 6 March 2011


I try to have a pedicure once every 2 months to try to keep my feet in good order and also cos I can't paint my own nails now.  My Mam paints them for me in between, but I really look forward to having the treatment.  Plus the fact I'm having to have canulas in my feet again for my treatment and a girl needs to make sure her tootsies look good for that LOL!!

I had my latest treatment last Thursday.  My Mam found the number of a mobile manicure / pedicurist on the back of a local carers magazine.  She also does nail art and spray tans and will come to you, which is Just Perfect which incidentally is the name of her business!  Julie has only been in business less than a year, but she is simply wonderful!  She makes sure that the treatments suit me and is totally understanding of my needs. 

Please stop by her website and if you live in an area she covers, please book an appointment.  You won't be disappointed!!

I like to have unusual and bright colours on my toe nails and this time I asked her if she would do a french style polish but with 2 colours rather than normal naturals and white and look at the results!!  She even did a little nail art for me too!

I'm almost looking forward to going to the hospital on Thursday so I can show my feet off!!!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Great News!! (and a dreaded question)

I was at the hospital on Tuesday for my yearly check up with my Neurologist.  I had to have an MRI in January to check that I wasn't suffering any nasty effects from being on Tysabri monthly infusions for 2 years.

The great news is that my MRI hasn't changed since the one I had in 2009 which means that the infusions have helped to stop the MS progressing!!!  How cool is that?!


I'm still having the most awful pain in my legs.  My MS Nurse, Carmel, thought it might be down to the new pills I was taking so I need to slowly wean myself off them.  Unfortunately it means I'm having violently painful spasms again.  Once I'm off the pills altogether I have to start on the ones I was originally on.  Confused???  I think I know what I'm doing!!

When I talked to my Neurologist about the pain he asked the dreaded question 'Does it feel like a relapse?'.  To anyone with MS, this is a shudder inducing question.  A relapse is when your MS symptoms flare up and is treated with high dose steroids on 3 consecutive days.  And if its serious enough it can leave you with more disability than you had before.

The good news is that if this is a relapse, its a small one.  Just gotta wait and see how I feel once I've swapped the pills over.

Wish me luck!!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Hospital and journal pages

I had my treatment last Thursday and saw my nurse.  My treatment wasn’t as smooth as it usually is due to no veins being suitable in my arms and the stupid doc who came down to put the cannula in my foot, wanted me to have a permanent central line put in.  For a once a month treatment.  I ask you!! 

My nurse (Carmel) thinks that the pain in my legs and the tiredness is all down to my new pills, so I’m off tweaking the dosage.  I seem to spend my entire life doing this kind of thing LOL!!! 

My friend Lou, who I met through Graphicus, is a teacher and has asked us on to help her show the kids what a talented bunch we are on the Guild.  She's asked us each to do at least one 8" x 8" journal page with the theme TIME.  Here are my first two:

This 'page' is made from the back of a breakfast cereal packet from Aldi.  The girl was already on the pack, so I sanded the whole surface and gessoed it and used 3 colours of Lumiere paint for the background.  She looked quiet dreamy so I pasted a picture of a pool and an advert for orange juice into the top corner and stamped 'O's' to make it look like she was thinking about the pool.  I sponged through sequin waste and used a baby wipe with white acrylic to bring the page together.

I wanted to make the girl stand out a little more, so I drew round her with a black PITT pen, but made a mess of her mouth, so I stuck a pair of lips from a different picture on to her face and coloured the lips with a Promarker in poppy.  A happy accident but it works!!

The second 'page' is made from corrugated packing cardboard.  I gessoed the surface and while it was damp I tore some of the top off it reveal the ribs.  I used Claudine Hellmuth paint in a Dash of Red and a Dab of Yellow, and a tongue depressor to spread it.  It really accentuated the texture of the cardboard.  I've had the image from a magazine for ages. 

Jo bought me a quote book a couple of Christmas's ago and she found this one which fit the picture perfectly.  I hand wrote it onto a piece of backing paper I got free ages ago, but I can't remember where from so I can't credit them, but thanks anyway. 

I was amazed that my writing was so good yesterday.  Couldn't do it today as I'm absolutely exhausted after mine and Jo's crafting session yesterday.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Legs and cool boots!!

My spasms have stopped (YAAY!!!) but I have really painful legs at the moment (UGH!!!).  They feel like lead and walking is really hard work for me.  I can get relief from pain killers but they knock me out so I'm trying to get by without them.  Its a different pain from the neuropathic pain that I'm using my TENS machine for.  This is like toothache from my hips to my toes on both legs!

I decided last night I had to journal about it after cutting some more bits from magazines.  So I cut out loads of pairs of legs and used Golden matte gel medium to stick them down.  Then I used a stencil and sharpies to write the word 'LEGS' and just spilled the rest of it.  It really helped to take my mind off the pain!!

Jo was here for a cuppa one day last week and we had a look at the Clarks shoe shop website sale.  She was looking for boots with higher heels than I can manage but I spotted these little beauties and, of course, I had to buy them!  Would have been rude not too!!  They're the original desert boot design with retro animal print suede.  The suede has a texture like real animal skin and is just FAB-U-LOUS!!!

I can't wear my Dr Martens boots anymore as they are too heavy for my poor legs to cope with, but these little babies will do just fine instead of the Docs!!!