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!!!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Relapse...again :-(

Well I'm sitting here recovering from a relapse...again.  But this one is the worst I've had in about 10 years.

The best way to explain what has happened is to explain how MS works.  MS is an auto-immune disease meaning that the white cells which normally protect you from infection get all confused and start attacking my own body.  They 'nibble' at the myelin coating surrounding the nerve fibres in my brain and cause all of my symptoms.  The myelin is like the plastic coating on the outside of an electrical wire.  When its damaged the electricity can escape and cause all sorts of problems.  The same thing happens to my nerve impulses when the myelin is damaged.

Anything can set of a relaspe, particularly and infection or bug.  I had my flu injection (which I need due to my suppressed immune system) and I'm sure that what set this relapse off.  Because I'm no longer on Tysabri and have no MS disease modifying drugs in my system, my immune system is basically having a party and having a good old nibble.

I've been to hospital for 3 days to have a 3 bags of steroids put into me.  That meant having a canula in my hand for 3 days and not being able to sleep.  On top of the trips to the hospital and the relapse, I think I've had a bug too as I threw up for a week and couldn't keep anything down.  The doc eventually gave me pills for morning sickness and they did the trick.

I'm still very weak and exhausted and just can't be bothered with anything.  To make matters worse I've had a birthiday in amogst all of this and I've not been able to see Jo as she's had a cold and we didn't want to tempt fate.  So my pressies are still with her.  Hopefully I'll get to set her on Saturday and have another birthday!!

Anyway roll on next Monday as I start my new medication, Gilenya.  I'll be in hospital all day for monitoring but at least I'll be with a Justine who I met while we were having Tysabri.

Apologies for this being a long, wordy post but I thought you might like to know whats going on.

Monday, 24 September 2012

My Union Jack Cushion Cover

Ages ago I was watching Lorraine whilst having my breakfast and they did a whole segment on home furnishings featuring Union Jacks.  In the middle of all of the £60 teapots and £50 cushions there was a picture of a cushion cover from the Pound Shop.  It just seemed so out of place in amongst everything else it sort of made me take notice.

So fast forward a few weeks and I was in a local Pound Shop and found the cushion covers.  They had ordinary plain printed Union Jacks and then they had the swirly ones.  of course the artist in me made me buy *every* swirly one they had.  Luckily for my purse they only had 3!!!

Then a few weeks after that me and my Mam were in Marks and Spencer and saw *the* most fabulous Union Jack cushion for £25.  It was all done in sequins and my suggested that she could stitch some sequins randomly onto my cover.  So thats exactly what she did.

And here is my *gorgeous* cushion and all for the princely sum of £4.49 including the cushion pad and sequins!!  The bed spread behind it on my rocking chair is one that was on my Mams bed before she got married.  It was all hand embroidered by my Gran.  She was one amazingly clever lady!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Journal Journeys Challenge 12

Oooh look at me - 6th of the month and I'm already entering the challenge.  Makes a refreshing change!

I've had a few comments thanking me for tutorials.  Tutorials weren't my intention.  I intended to put all of the details in purely to remind myself of how I did something and why.  I'm so pleased that helps other people too!

Dawn over on Journal Journeys gave us the challenge on 'friendship' this month.  Its a special month as its the twelfth challenge Dawn has given us and she will enter everyone who posts a picture of their entry on her blog via linky a chance to win some blog candy!!

I searched the internet again for some inspiration and I found a quote that says everything that I know makes a friendship a great one.  I wanted to get this feeling over on the page so I wanted it to be quiet and not at all busy.  This'll all make sense when you see the finished page.

I started off by gessoing the page to cover up the ink from last months challenge that bled through.  I'm a messy journaler ;)  I started off by blending Shaded Lilac DI onto the page but it was a bit too pale for what I wanted.  So I used Picked Raspberry DI (a yummy berry pink colour if you've not got it) around the edge of one page and Dusty Concord around the other.  As I continued to blend I noticed that there was a heart appearing on the page where I'd left Shaded Lilac.  Its must've been serendipity cos it works perfectly on the page.

I outlined the heart using a Signo uni-ball in black. It mustn't have like working over the gesso and ink cos the ink only flowed intermittently.  It just makes it look even more hand drawn.  I also drew a couple of lines down each edge of the pages too.

I copied the quote into Word and changed the font to Kristen ITC and made it much bigger and printed it off in grey.  I made sure there was plenty of space between each word so I could cut them out.  I stuck the words to the page and drew lines around them with the Signo uni-ball and traced the letters with a Sharpie to make it look more like handwriting.

This is truly how I feel about friendship.  I can think of no better way to enter this challenge.  Also I've never done a journal page where I've made the words the only embellishment.

Thanks for organising this again Dawn :)

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Journal Journeys Challenge 10

Over on Journal Journeys Dawn gave us a recipe for our challenge this month - photograph of a person, stamps, design papers (DP's) and Glossy Accents.  I'm struggling with creativity at the moment and although I love this challenge I wanted to do something a bit different (of course!).  I knew which DP's I wanted to use - Artylicious ones I got as a free gift for joining the now defunct Graphicus Guild.  

Then inspiration hit after spending the day with Jo attempting to start and sort her new craft room out.  She had some Simply Stamping Magazines from 2006 / 2007.  I'd never seen these mags as I had real problems stamping when I first tried and was put off completely!  One of the mags had a tutorial on paper weaving and that was me inspired!

I used Mowed Lawn, Squeezed Lemonade, Peeled Paint and Crushed Olive DI's to cover the background of the page in my Moleskine.  I flicked water over page and mopped it up with kitchen towel before drying it with a heat tool.

I chose a script stamp and swirls in various shapes and over stamped them onto the page using Mowed Lawn and Crushed Olive DI's.  I just stamped them randomly cos I knew they'd be mostly covered by the other elements.

I cut the DP's into strips, some with a fancy edge and some with straight edges.  I then followed the instructions in the mag. 

Place the strips on to a Post it note sticky side up and secure them with another Post it on top.
Then its just a case of weaving more strips in and out of the vertical ones.  Continue til you get to the required size.  Now this is where the mag tutorial was a bit vague.  I discovered that the more strips you add the more strength it has when you turn it over to put some glue onto stick it to the background.  

Maybe I should of attached it to some paper before putting it in my journal but I just stuck it (with difficulty) straight in there!

The next stage was photos.  In 2011 some wonderful women in the North West on England decided to do a (tasteful) naked calender to raise funds for the MS Society.  The calendar was a very beautiful and a great success.  If I'd known about it before it was photographed I would quite happily have joined in too.  I wanted to use those images as they celebrate the female form and also (as my Mam said) you tend not to keep calendars but I'll always have my journal!

Now came the difficult part. Dawn had said to use Glossy Accents to highlight our fave bits.  Hmmmm......

I used two main images and then cut the thumbnail size prints from the back of the calendar and highlighted the girls in those photos with Glossy Accents.

I matted all of the photos to pieces of the same DP's I'd used for the weaving and stuck them all on.  And here is the finished page

I'm really pleased with the way it turned out ;)

Thanks for organising this again Dawn.  Please hop over to Journal Journeys to see some lovely journaling and maybe join in next month?

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

MS....hmmm (again)

I mentioned in my last post that MS had come to play doing my journal page, well I think its gonna be around a lot more for the next 4 months or so.

I saw my Neurologist in July and we've come to the decision to take me off the Tysabri that I've been on for close of 4 years.  I've been positive for the JC Virus for over a year now and we had previously decided for me to stay on Tysabri as the risk of developing PML were still quite low.  However new statistics have recently come out that show the risk as 1 in 200 which is just far too high.

However there is some good news.  My MRI scan showed no change again, which means my MRI has been the same since 2009!!  And my Neurologist is putting me on the new oral medication - Gilenya, but there is a downside.  I need to be 4 months free of Tysabri before I can start the Gilenya.  So for the next 4 months I will have no Disease Modifying Drug (medication for MS) but I will still have all of the pills I take to help combat the other symptoms.

My MS is aggressive and the only time I've been without an DMD's is the first 6 months after diagnosis and it was sheer hell.  All of the problems I have now with my legs were caused in that period, so I hope you can understand why I'm a tad scared at the moment.  I am determined to keep myself as healthy as possible, but I'm having to learn all over again what my body's limits are and try to stop before I hit them.  For those of you who know you know how hard that is for me ;)

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Journal Journeys Challenge 10

Over on Journal Journeys Dawn gave us the challenge of 'Paris' this month.  Now I could've done a layout about the romance of Paris, but Paris in July only means one thing to me - The Tour de France!!!  I watch it every year and love it but this year was *very* special - we had a British winner in Bradley Wiggins.  So of course my page *had* to be about that.

First a little explanation.  The Tour de France is a bicycle road race around (surprisingly enough) France.  It starts with around a couple of hundred riders and raced over 3,497 km split into 20 stages over 3 weeks.  The final stage every year is ends in Paris with the riders racing down the Champs Elysees and past the Arc de Triomphe.  I find it absolutely exhilarating to watch and I'm constantly in awe of the riders fitness levels!  Bradley Wiggins was the overall winner and received the coveted Yellow Jersey.  Mark Cavendish won the sprint on the Champs Elysees to notch his 4th win there and he's a Brit too!  And so onto the page.

After gessoing the page I scribbled a blue Aquacolour crayon over the page and activated it with gesso to have an almost blue sky look to it.  I took a couple of photos (I know miracle for me!) but the colour didn't show up to well.  I found a free image of the French flag fluttering in the wind on-line and used a glue stick to stick to the page.

I then stamped the bicycle from one of Sir Tim's clear stamp sets around the outside of the page using Memento Tuxedo Black ink and stamped one bicycle in the white portion of the flag in Dandelion Memento ink to signify the Yellow Jersey.

This is when things started to go down hill somewhat and my MS came to play.  I desperately wanted to enter this challenge especially as I was doing a page about the Tour but I sort of struggled from here on in.  So this isn't exactly what was supposed to happen but I think it turned out OK.

I wanted to put the logo for the tour into the page somewhere and found it on-line and sized to what I needed and printed onto tissue paper.  I stuck to the page with Golden Gel Medium (matte).  

Once it was dry I found I stamped the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe from Paris Culture stamp plate by Chocolate Baroque onto the background using Black Archival.  I found some more free images on-line of Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and the peloton going into Paris.  I printed these out and stuck adhere them with glue stick.  I stamped some bunting and stamped the letters of the riders names into it.  I coloured Brad Wiggins name in Squeezed Lemonade DI as he won the Yellow Jersey and left Cav's white as he is the World Champion at the moment.  I decorated some of the bunting with Union Jacks which I drew free hand with Promarkers and stuck them on with glue stick.  I finished the page off with the 'We'll always have Paris' stamp from the Paris Postcard stamp plate from Chocolate Baroque in Black Archival.

If you like the idea of Journaling, why not come and play with us at Journal Journeys.

Thanks Dawn for organising this again!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Star Paws

One of my very talented friends runs Star Paws a site specifically for pet portraits.  The photos are amazing and I so admire her patience to be able to get such wonderful shots.  If only I'd known Sue when my girls were still here :(

Please have a look at her site and if you're in the area she covers have a portrait done of your pet.  

Or give her a call on 07828 08 11 66, or e-mail her for more information.

And if you mention that you've seen this on my blog....Sue will be giving a special offer!!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Journal Journeys Challenge 09

This month Dawn over on Journal Journeys set us the challenge of 'torn paper'.  I *love* torn paper.  I try to use it on my cards so that when I stick something on wonkily, it doesn't matter ;)

Yet again Dawn made a fabulous page and it took me a while to figure out how to follow it in my own style.  Then I remembered a couple of cards I had made a while ago using mulberry paper and the idea had arrived!

Firstly I tore up red, yellow and orange tissue paper and adhered them to the page with Golden Gel Medium.  Then I dribbled Golden Fluid Acrylic in Phthalo Green (blue Shade) and used a Speedball Brayer to brayer it across the surface.  

The colour was nice but I wanted more depth so I dripped more Golden Fluid Acrylics in Phthalo Blue (green shade), Hansa Yellow Medium and Cobalt Teal separately onto sections of the page and rubbed them in with my finger.  I like the colours much better and it gives it some interest.

Next I searched til I found my stash of Mulberry Paper and drew basic circular flower shapes on various colours with a wet paint brush and tore them out.  Then I drew some centres and leaves and tore them out too.  I stuck them to the page with a Zig glue pen.  Now on the cards I've made before I followed instructions from the PaperCraft Inspirations magazine.  They made poppies with the paper so the glue didn't show through on the black Mulberry but it does on the yellow centres I had so I had to stick some gems on to try and hide it.

I drew stalks on randomly with a dark green Promarker.  It didn't show up to well but I like that.  Black would've have been too harsh and I stuck the leaves on just to fill gaps really!

The top of the page looked a little bare so I tore a butterfly out of the Mulberry Paper and again the glue showed through the lilac wings, so back to the gems.  Gems are just *the* best things for filling up blank space and saving a project like this. 

I drew the antennae on with a black Promarker with the small tip added.

And here is the finished piece.  I really like the texture underneath the paint.

Thanks for organising this again Dawn :)

Sunday, 27 May 2012

MS Trust Art Show

I promised you I would show you my piece from the MS Trust Secret Art Show when it had sold.  I forgot to take a photo so Jo from the MS Trust very kindly sent me a scan of it.  And here it is

The butterfly is from a (now sadly) discontinued stamp plate by Elusive Images.  I stamped it onto the heavy watercolour paper that the MS Trust sends you when you show interest in creating a piece for the show.  I embossed it with a silver embossing powder andpainted it with Twinkling H2O's, then used a yellow Ecoline Ink to colour the background.

The sentiment was also on the stamp plate but I needed it to be bigger, so I printed onto to tissue paper through my printer.  I have a Kodak ESP printer and the ink dries very quickly on all the things I've tried through it so far.  As long as I tape the tissue to a piece of cartridge paper it prints fine.  As the ink dries very quickly you can use gel medium to adhere it to the background which is what I did here.

It sold on the first day of the sale.  How chuffed am I ?!?!?!

There are still some pieces left.  Please have a look.  Its a great cause very close to my heart (for obvious reasons!!)

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Journal Journeys CH08

Over on Journal Journeys Dawn set us the challenge of 'Once Upon a Time'.  She had done the most fabulous page and it was a real challenge to follow it.

I first searched on line for 'Once Upon a Time'.  Of course the bulk of the results came back to the TV series being shown on Channel 5 at the moment.  Really unhelpful :(  But there were a couple of possibilities.  One was Once Upon a Time in the West - a 1968 spaghetti western, and also Once Upon a Time in America - a 1984 gangster movie.  Then I found some quotes and one was exacly what I was looking for.

I wanted the page to look like and old book and began by doing a collage of dictionary paper (from one I bought at a church sale for 50p) over the entire page using a glue stick.  I was going to trim the paper that stuck over the edge of the journal but I kinda like it the way it is.  My initial idea was to use lemon juice over the top of it and heat it to make it look even older.  However because the paper is so old its *very* porous and just soaked the juice right up.  Time for a rethink... aha - antique linen DI which I blended all over the page to age it.

I found the perfect image on Joanna Sheen's Dancing with Shadows CD.  I've had a look on her website and I can't find it so it may no longer be available.  I found some long forgotten paper in the back of drawer (come on we've all got stuff like that!!) and ripped it to make a backing for th image.  I used the same paper to print the quote onto from the PC.

The paper was actually a light aqua colour before I got my hands on it (!).  I crumpled all the paper and image and used Antique Linen DI to colour them.  Then I flicked lemon juice onto them and heated it to get age spots on the paper.  Now I've seen this done but never done myself.  So I started to heat it.  They said it smelled nice but didn't warn me about the smoke that eminates from the page.  I had to open the window and had visions of my neighbours calling the Fire Brigade!!!

Once the smoke had cleared (OK it probably wasn't as bad as that) I stuck everything together with good old double sided tape.  Think thats the first time I've used it in my journal.

And here is the completed page.  Because the dictionary paper came from an old book, the whole page smells like old paper and it adds to the way the page feels.

Thanks for organising this Dawn :)

Monday, 14 May 2012

Bleeding Lovely Play Day

A couple of weeks ago I got together with Carrie (and her cats - thanks for the cuddles girls) for a play day.  Carrie had tweeted about her experiments with Derwent Inktense Pencils on fabric.  She said how great it was and that it might be even better with the Inktense Blocks.  As I have the blocks we decided to arrange a day to play.

I bought myself a couple of cheap t-shirts in Asda and decided to put a face on them from  Doodles Unleashed by Traci Bautista.  In it she has drawn some faces to download for you (as she puts it) 'trace, doodle, embellish...', so I did just that.

First of all I blew the face up to A4 on my printer and placed it under the t-shirt.  You couldn't really see the lines til the t-shirt was wet.  The fabric needs to be wet for the Inktense to work properly. 

Then it was just a case of choosing colours and following the lines.  I found that the wetter the t-shirt, the more intense the colours became.  The colours also bleed into the wet areas, so I decided to use this a design feature.  This was when I uttered 'this is bleeding lovely' with out thinking.  What I meant was that it was bleeding really well.  Hence the title of this post!!

Thanks to Carrie for taking all of theses action shots.  Most of them were taken from the opposite side of the table which gives them a fab angle!!!
And here is the finished article...well sort of.  When I took the piece of paper out from under the t-shirt and turned it round, the purple at the left side of the face had leaked through to the back of the shirt.  Just never gave a thought to the colour bleeding through to the back.  Bit of a DOH moment!!!  Next time I've got to make sure that I use a craft mat under the picture too so no colour will get to the back ;)
As I'd already 'spoilt' the t-shirt I decided to splatter the front with Inktense.  I used a wet paintbrush and flicked it off the end of the pencil.  I used the same colours that I had for the face - Fuchsia, Tangerine, Violet and Teal Green.  I think I'm gonna just bleed some of the colours directly on the back and do some more splattering and it'll turn out just fine (I hope).

Next I had a try at Screen Printing.  I've never done this before and *loved it*!!  The designs Carrie had were pre-made little screens of leaves, so I just went into the paint and scraped it across the screen onto a bag-for-life Carrie gave me.

You don't need much paint, at least definitely not as much as I used as this was the result.  Its supposed to be a skeleteon leaf, but looks OK almost fully filled in.

I kept going with some more leaves this time using blue and green.  It was just so much fun!

This is the bag as it stands at the moment - a work in progress.  I left it at Carries for me to play with some more at our next play day!

After all of the talk about the Inktense Blocks, I didn't use them but Carrie did on what she was working on.  Have a peak over on her blog to see what she did :-)

We had a fab time.  Thanks Carrie!!!!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

MS Trust Spring Secret Art Show

Once again the MS Trust are holding a Secret Art Show in aid of the charity.  I have two pieces in this show - one that didn't sell from the last time and a new one.

Please, please click on THIS LINK and have a look at the fabulous artwork on offer.  You will only find out who created the work when you receive it.  Thats what makes it secret and fun!!

The sale opens for business at 9am on 11th May.  And, if you can, please buy a piece of artwork and raise funds for this wonderful charity!

Monday, 30 April 2012

Free download

My very talented friend Carrie has a free download of an old book page over on her blog.

Hop on over and download yours!!!

I've already got mine and my mind is in a whirl wondering what to make with it........

Monday, 23 April 2012

Journal Journeys CH07

Over on Journal Journeys Dawn set us the challenge of April Showers this month.  How apt.  Mind they've not been 'showers' as much as torrential rain at least for us in the North East!!

Dawn made such a wonderful page and it was hard not to copy her idea of the huge rain drops so this is what I came up with.

I coloured the background of my Moleskine by scribbling all over with Derwent Aquatone in kingfisher blue and activated it with a baby wipe.  I dried it with my heat tool and then flicked the same colour blue, zinc yellow and magenta all over the page by using a wet paintbrush and flicking off the end of the Aquatones.  The effect is brillaint and looked just like multicoloured rain.  Of course my camera was downstairs and I was in the 'zone' and forgot to take a photo.

I wanted to make the page seem almost psychadelic and used the Crafty Image Emporium CD from Crafty Computer Paper.  Its one of those CD's that I use time and again when I'm looking for something a little bit different.  I used a section called '1960's' and the small flowers came from a sheet that had loads of embellishments on it.

I used the same CD for the paper for the umbrella.  I found an free umbrella template on-line and fitted the papers into it.  My Mam said it looks like its silk.  I suppose it does a little.

I've realised that there always seems to be a mistake in all of my pages.  This time its the date.  I stamped March instead of April.  See I don't even know what month we're in even though the challenge is 'April Showers'.  You'd think I'd have caught on ;)

To bring it all together I used individual letter stamps to stamp the wording and stamped some flowers along the bottom of the page.  They didn't stand out so well so I coloured them with Spectrum Noir pens.

I also coloured the flowers in the rain with the same pens to make them stand out a little more.

And here is my finished page :)

Sunday, 8 April 2012

A Box for Julie

A while ago whilst I was having a pedicure Julie and I got to talking about how she needed a box to keep clients jewellery safe whilst they have massages in her room at home.  She couldn't find one that was suitable so I offered to decorate one for her.

I found this box on Happy Daze and sent for immediately.  Julie has teal as the main colour for her business and I know her room is cream so the colours were nice and easy to decide!  I first gesso'd the entire box, inside and out.  I maybe should have sanded it but it seemed smooth enough already.  I then used Claudine Hellmuth Studio Classic Teal to paint the whole box.  The box had its clasp already attached and painting round it was quite difficult but thats where baby wipes come *really* handy.

I created the scalloped edge using one of Sir Tim's On the Edge dies (Scallops).  I used paper we were given at the Graphicus Paradise Retreat in 2009 (its still really fresh in my memory) to use on a Italian inspired Diptych book.  It was perfect for this project.

I originally tried to stamp some baroque style swirls directly onto the box but they just didn't work so I had to cover up my mistake and the scallops were it.  But they weren't quite tall enough so I put a Grunge Paper swirl over it too.  I painted all of the Grunge Paper swirls with Golden Titan Buff.  Its one of those colours I bought when Graphicus closed and when I got it I thought I'd never use it.  Its one of my faves now!

The littles feet that I put on the box are small wooden balls that Jo and I bought in the sale at Hobbycraft.  Another purchase that I thought 'that'll come in handy' and they finally have!  Painting them was fun ;)  I stuck them on with silicone.

For the sides of the box I used the scallops again and put shirt buttons on with silicone.  I tried to choose different styles of button but eventually just put some of them on upside down to change the look.

For the top of the box I used swirls (Elegant Flourishes die) and flowers (Tattered Florals die).  I covered both sides of some Grunge Paper in the same paper as the one I used for the scallops using Glossy Accents to stick it and then used the die with my Cuttlebug.  I shaped the flowers and the paper started to come off a little, so I ended up covered in Glossy Accents trying the stick it back down!  As the paper was coming away it started to show more Grunge Paper so I diluted a little Classic Teal and Titan Buff and painted a wash over all of the flowers.

I used buttons for the centres of the flowers.  I stuck the swirls on with Glossy Accents and used silicone for all of the flowers.

I gave the box to Julie last week and she loved it.  Job done :)

Sunday, 18 March 2012

A post to help my state of mind

 I went to see my Neurologist a couple of weeks ago and after examining my legs which, I thought were getting weaker, he told me that I am on the cusp of Secondary Progressive MS. This was a *huge* shock!!!

I feel like I'm in a washing machine being tossed around.  Its the same feeling as I had when I was first diagnosed.  Its the 'not knowing' whats gonna happen and having absolutely no control over it in anyway.  I like to be in control if I can and its taken me 10 years to relax (slightly) into the 'not knowing'.

I knew I was getting slightly worse but nothing has prepared me for this.  I have a great relationship with my Neurologist and we have been totally honest with each other and once I calmed down at home I realised that I'm pleased he told me.  At least my legs still have strength in them so I know they're not gonna collapse which has given me more confidence.

All of the problems I'm experiencing now, like the pain and stiffness in my legs, is a result of damage that happened when I was first diganosed.  The second time I went into hospital I literally couldn't walk and now my MS has decided to have another go at that part of my brain.  But at least now I have my wheelchair.  I'm so pleased I got it before all of this happened.  I can't imagine what it would be like to have the do that now on top of everything else I'm feeling!

I had a few bad days where my mind has been all over the place.  So after nights of not sleeping properly I decided to journal it out.  I found the picture in my bit box where I keep loads of pictures from magazines when I was looking for something for the Spring page.

I used water soluble crayons for the background and a white Sakura Souffle pen to draw lightening onto the background.  I needed to wite down how I felt but ended up just writing what you see here.  I *know* why the journal page was made and I know what I was feeling.  This has helped me enormously.

I used a stamp that Jo gave me for my birthday a while ago and it sums up my life beautifully.  I stamped it onto tissue paper and used Golden gel medium to attach it to the page. 

Its taken me a long time but I think I have my head round it now.  I am the same person who walked into the clinic as walked out.  Nothing has really changed apart from a name, but its a name that can literally strike fear into you.  I'm seeing a psycologist from the Pain Clinic tomorrow and my counsellor on 2nd April so I can let rip then ;)

Thank you for allowing me this little therapeutic indulgence.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Journal Journeys Challenge 06

At the beginning of the month Dawn posted the new prompt for the Journal Journeys Challenge.  This time, very appropriately, its 'Spring'.

I knew I wanted the page to be really fresh with lots of greens and yellows.  Now you know me by now.  I either take a glut of pictures or forget to take any.  This is a forget kinda thing!

Here's the finished article.

I did the background at home using Derwent Inktense blocks in 2 shades of green and a yellow.  I smooshed them around with water, dried it and took my journal to the Art Club.

I found the picture of the snowdrop in a Living North magazine that someone gave me.  it has *the* most fanatstic photos and this photo of the snowdrop is perfect as they are truly Spring to me.  I applied the picture and the wording using Golden Gel Medium (matte).

The wording is from a short story by Hans Christian Andersen aptly called The Snowdrop.  Its a lovely tale and worth a read.  I printed on tissue paper which I put through my printer taped to an A4 sheet of copier paper.  Because I have a kodak printer and the ink dries incredibly quickly you can put anything wet over it and the ink won't bleed.  Fab for doing gel transfers!

The stamps I used are clear one from...erm...Martha stewart....Anna Griffin...someone like that.  And the word stamp is from Inpression Obsession clingables and suits this page perfectly.  I always wonder how those gorgeous snowdrops manage to bloom in such adverse conditions.  I guess Hans Christian Andersen explains it all

Friday, 9 March 2012

Art Exhibition

Yesterday I went to fab art exhibition organised by Colour Your Life.  It had artwork in from the various art clubs run by them in my area and even included a couple of mine!!!

Between me, my Mam and Dad we never thought about taking a camera but luckily Carrie came along and reminded us that it'd be lovely to have photos and promptly started snapping my art on the walls.

I had one more piece in the show too.  Its possibly the same size as the mask canvas (I can't remember!) and I didn't take many photos while I was doing it.  Simply because I was having too much of a good time, laughing with Lisa and Len.

I started by brayering yellow acrylic paint onto the canvas.  I've now learned why brayering doesn't work so well on canvas but I really like the effect.  I highlighted the wooden stretches on the back of the canvas by rubbing the paint in with my fingers.

Next I mixed some ochre paint with the yellow to get an almost orangey colour that I sponged through sequin waste with a paper towel and dabbed some paint off the towel directly onto the canvas.

The colour that the canvas turned out to be, was determined by the fact that I managed to die cut the word 'dream' from sticky back chipboard on the wrong side.  Jo was having a play with alcohol inks so I got her to colour it for me.  Hence a green and orange canvas with yellow added in for good measure. 

I used torn Brenda Pinnick scrapbook papers and a piece of corrugated cardboard my Dad had ripped from a box that he was putting in the bin.  The bird is from a Sissix die and cut in sticky back chipboard.  This time it didn't matter which was the right side.  I used a picture from a magazine of logs for the body and trees for the wing.

The branch was in the stash at the art club and *had* to be used ;)  On the left hand side of the canvas you can just make out some white netting.  Its from a bag that contain tasters of cheese and gives the canvas another texture.