Saturday, 9 August 2014

Just had a visit from the 'Boss' and had to play football in my jammies, 'cos I am having a lazy morning and wasn't dressed. He brightens up my day every time I see him, what a little star.

Making brooches today, as my friend Alison is going to do a market stall and said she'd take a few of my things along to see if they sell. That's really kind of her. I've still got a few craft supplies left, but gave up on trying to sell them ages ago. I had a shop on etsy, but got hugely discouraged when I only sold one item in a matter of months. I had a brilliant idea for new brooches, but someone else has beaten me to it online, so looking to do some new designs now.

My enthusiasm for doing Life Book 2014 has waned, I don't really know why. I've got Mondays lesson to do now, but haven't posted the last two because I was disappointed with them. I've been busy at work and quite tired lately because of the anaemia and also I've had a fair bit of stomach discomfort. Need to go back to the doc's, but can't get an appointment until September, which is ridiculous.

Also this week would have been Kev's 45th birthday and our 14th anniversary and I was more upset than I thought I would be. Grief takes you over sometimes and really surprises you with it's strength.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

I've been catching up with Life Book 2014 and these are weeks 25 and 26, with Effy Wild and Kate Thompson respectively.


This sketch needs more work, but I haven't had time. I will get to it as soon as I can.

My sister and I have booked a holiday to Malaga (my choice) for September. I haven't been abroad since September 2011, so I'm really looking forward to this much needed break. We found a good hotel in the old town and it's literally yards away from a Roman Theatre and the Alcazaba, a palatial fortification. I will be in my element visiting these.




I'm doing fairly well on my new eating regime and have lost 11 lbs so far and gone down a size, which is amazing, considering that I'm doing it to avoid a flare-up of my Diverticular Disease and not to lose weight. I'm really pleased about the weight loss, though it's a struggle not to eat the sugary, fatty things that my body craves. I do well, then ruin it by eating something totally unsuitable, but I am trying to wean myself off unhealthy eating and it'll take time to get used to it. I'm so scared of having another flare-up, the pain was excruciating and I was in bed for almost a week and then back to the docs a couple of times until they got my medication right. At least I know what to do next time, straight to the docs and onto strong antibiotics asap. 


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The latest page in my Life Book 2014. We are on Week 21 here, which was last week. I had a bit of catching up to do as I haven't been very well recently.

On Friday, whilst in work, I developed a really sore throat. By the evening, I was in agony. I had to get dressed and ask my sister (by sign-language and grunting) to take me up to the local AAU. We were put at the front of the queue, because I was in a lot of pain and making my presence felt. Well, I couldn't help it, it was very, very painful. Finally saw a doctor, who called in two more docs to look at my throat and they decided to send me to the ENT department in Glangwili Hospital, which is almost 50 miles away, so it takes around an hour and twenty minutes by road (probably less for us, as it was in the early hours when the roads were quieter). I was gobsmacked! They also said they'd be doing it with the blue flashing lights going, because they were worried that my throat was going to close up.

It actually all seemed rather surreal to me and I did think that they were making quite a fuss over a sore throat, even though I had been making enough noise about it myself, being in such a lot of pain! Anyway, two ambulance men appeared and I was duly whisked off to Carmarthen. By then, I was exhausted from all the pain and goings-on, and the examinations on arrival in Carmarthen were all a bit of a blur. I remember being told that the left side of my throat was very swollen and inflamed and I heard the three doctors discussing a course of treatment. Anyway, I eventually got to bed and was started on painkillers and a saline drip because I hadn't eaten all day and wasn't likely to eat or drink, being unable to swallow.

I stayed in Glangwili until Sunday afternoon, on a mixture of  antibiotics, painkillers, a saline drip, antiseptic gargle and ear drops and eventually started to feel a bit better and was able to start eating and drinking. My sister and youngest wonderful son and gf,  came down on Saturday, with jammies and washing stuff, etc. They brought my two year old grandson, who was bored until he found the control for the bed and then proceeded to tip me back and forward with great delight and lots of laughter, which obviously cheered me up no end (just like he always does). Then my eldest wonderful son and gf came down to bring me home on Sunday.

I am now taking 4000mg (yes, four thousand) of Penicillin per day, to wipe this out. It is still a bit sore, but has improved and I hope it will continue to do so, 'cos I hope to go back to work tomorrow, I hate being off sick!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

After promising myself that I would write/post something every week, what happened? I have let it slide again. But to be fair, life has been hectic for a while and I have been busy with other things. Unfortunately, one of those things was being ill.

I developed an excruciating lower abdominal pain and had to take some time off work. The doc thought it might be a bladder/kidney infection and treated it accordingly with antibiotics. I was already drinking gallons of water because I've suffered a kidney infection before, years ago, when I had an IVP done and they found a 'kink' in my right tube (kidney).
But this time, it took a week to improve after two more visits to the docs and two more courses of different antibiotics. The third time I went, the doc thought it might be Diverticulitis and she gave me some printed info to read. It does seem possible that that's what it is, though it can't be confirmed without doing a colonoscopy, which I will do my level best to avoid!

So, following the advice I received (and looking it up on line), I changed my diet. I'm kind of chuffed with myself for doing that as I have had a lousy diet for many, many years, and am overweight, but I switched over to a high fibre diet straight away and I'm now eating pretty healthily, cooking up some good food and drinking a lot more than I used to also. And things have improved. I have the odd twinge of pain now, but it's nothing compared to what I suffered two weeks ago. I hope and pray that that never returns!

We're on week 19 with Life Book 2014 and I've had to catch up a bit after being ill. Lost some of my enthusiasm for it too, with everything that's been going on in my life, but I am learning some new techniques from the different artists involved and having a go at them in my .spare time.
This one is after the lesson by Tascha Parkinson www.taschaparkinson.com and it's very 'cute' and not really my style, but I like it and I enjoyed the lesson. You've got to try new things you see, or you will never grow.
 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

I've been busy making art every week with Life Book 2014. Some of the lessons have tested me as they were out of my comfort zone, but I've persevered and had a go. The results may have been a little disappointing at times, but I resolved not to alter what I'd made, even though I often felt like covering the piece with gesso and starting again. Maybe it's good to see your failures as well as your successes, so that you can see where you have gone wrong. It's sometimes hard to try a new style when you are stuck in your ways, but it's all about growing, developing, so it's good in the end!
I had decided to use this large journal for Life Book and now understand why that may not have been a brilliant idea (!). The page edges are perforated and they are beginning to come away from the book with the weight of the gesso, acrylics, etc. Though it doesn't really matter, because I could remove them and bind them at the end of the year anyway. I may have to reinforce the back of every page with tape for now just to support them as I carry on.
I'm enjoying making art every week and have also started a new journal to practice some of the techniques I'm learning. This is the book I'm using for that (below).


Saturday, 15 February 2014

Being Positive

Week six of Life Book 2014 was a lesson by Tamara Laporte www.willowing.ning.com Celebrating Positive Qualities. This is being reinforced with all the lessons so far and it is actually making me think, really think, I mean, about my own qualities and to start believing in them for a change.

I drew an 'elf girl', using lots of spray inks and some acrylics. This was a lot of fun, if a little messy. Now the carpet has a blue tinge, just where I was sitting and so does my art desk!
The next lesson was from Jane Davenport www.janedavenport.com and it involved making pop-ups, which is something I have never done before. I didn't feel like having a go and thought I might skip this lesson, but then I suddenly had a brainwave for my subjects....
 
I ended up with four pop-ups representing positivity. The top one is for people I meet, mainly at work - people having chemotherapy. I don't know how many of them manage to smile through their treatment, but they do and they are pretty amazing. The next one represents art itself, in all it's forms - my take on Johannes Vermeer's Milkmaid. The next is my grandson, the light of my life, he brings such laughter into my life, something I had thought was gone forever; and my husband Kevin, who I miss so very much. And the bottom pop-up represents art journaling, which is so important to me as a place where I can record my feelings and emotions, which helps me to heal. My positive qualities are listed on the front page; I didn't realise that I had so many, but when I started, I couldn't stop! Maybe I'm not such a bad person after all. Thank you Jane Davenport for this lesson, it was cathartic.


 
 
 

 
 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Storm # 2 and Insomnia.

Sitting here, listening to the buffeting winds outside. Our little town is yet again suffering with these extremes of weather that we get nowadays. The promenade has been closed off to the public and the locals and students asked to evacuate their houses. The prom, which has been partly fixed after the last storm, has taken another bashing by the waves and further damage has been done, though I don't think it's anywhere near as bad as last time.

Photos from https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aberystwyth-Town-Centre/310651758989931 I hope they won't mind me 'borrowing' them!
I hope that's the last of this bad weather now. I keep remembering the sun last year, it seems totally foreign right now!
Just finished Week 5 of Life Book 2014. This week's lesson was by Marieke Blokland. Here's a link to her blog. www.mariekeblokland.blogspot.co.uk The brief was to draw/paint a whimsical face (title was sugar, sugar) but I just couldn't get on with this, so I did something in my own style.
I spent half the day shampooing the carpets and the other half relaxing, watching films. I didn't get enough sleep last night (well, none really). I did drop off at about 6.30am, but was woken at 8.30am by a phone call (thank you, dear son # 2). This insomnia is really affecting me now and I am becoming very irritable and I can't think straight. I am going to get something from the chemist tomorrow, to tide me over until I can get to see the doc. I've taken herbal remedies before, but they are rarely strong enough to give me a good night's sleep. I can't shut my brain down, always, always going over Kevin's death. And now I also suffer with restless/tingly legs too, so I haven't got a hope really!!