Wednesday, 27 July 2022

WOYWW #686: A mish-mash of this and that

Hello again, I'm back with my monthly WOYWW check-in. Lots been going on so this will be a bit of a mish-mash post. My husband and son have been away for the past 12 days on a trip to New York, along with my brother-in-law and his son (a boys trip!). They are now on their way back from Heathrow as I write this. I stayed at home to look after Oreo (and water the garden!) and had a good time indulging myself in all sorts of selfish endeavours, like art-making and experimental cooking that no one else would eat. Cabbage soup, anyone?  Of course, I missed them, but we spoke every day so it didn't feel like they were that far away at all and the time went so fast. 

So what have I been up to art-wise? Quite a lot as there are back-to-back challenges on Instagram, starting with #makecreateexpress22 -  I completed a couple of florals for this event:

Then there was Laly Mille's annual #artistsoulretreat - I think this was my third year taking part in this challenge where we made four mini abstracts followed by a canvas project:  

Currently, I'm doing Francisca Nunes' #flowersmagicchallenge where we first made a journal and then ecoprinted it. I'd tried ecodyeing/ecoprinting before, but I always worked with individual pieces of paper - this was a different experience and again so addictive! Below is a photo of my journal before and after ecodyeing it, followed by photos of some of the pages while they were still wet. At the end there's a video flip-through of my journal once dry - just listen to those pages turning! We'll be doing some more work in this journal during the challenge, which runs until August 10th. 

I've also been splashing out on some of the new TH dies - these are the vintage labels below - although I've already got plenty of label dies, I just had to try the embossing technique using these with archival inks, the way Tim demoed it in his Chapter 3 Live. (I really have to stop watching these videos LOL!) Then I tried the same technique with embossing ink too and it worked (in a shabby sort of way)! 

I'll also show you some photos of New York that my son sent me (just a few of many):

I sent him some photos of Oreo in return! They've missed each other so much! Oreo's been a bit more needy than usual, constantly looking for attention and purring all the time.  

Also, if you're still with me, today of all days is our 20th wedding anniversary! I've found the perfect card for hubs - ok, it's actually a birthday card, but that doesn't make the sentiment any less perfect! 

Here we are on our wedding day 20 years ago today! I wish we had known back then just how good looking we were, and that's true for everyone! We took photos of each other, that's why we're not in the same photo together, though we have  a couple of those too, courtesy of my brother-in-law, but I think I already shared those in previous years. 
I've missed my bloggiversary this year. Oh well, been too busy to remember - eight years on July 2nd! I'll try not to forget it next year. 

Hope all's well with you - I will be visiting blogs throughout the week, should I not make it to everyone today. Keep on blogging! xx

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

WOYWW #682: Still around!

Hello deskers! It's the last Wednesday of June and I'm just letting you know that I'm still around and I haven't forgotten about my commitment to check in with WOYWW at least once a month. I haven't done much in the way of arting since my last update. I did manage to finish my 100-day project, albeit several weeks late. Was I fussed about it? Nope, it was my project and I set my own pace. Cool as  a cucumber - that's my new motto. 

Here's my last page representing days 91-100 for #10X10layers. I will seriously have to rethink this next year and only do it if it serves a purpose. This year at least it kept me going during one of the most difficult periods of  my life.  

That's pretty much it, art wise. Oh, I've also found this cool book in my local charity shop. It's full of music score as well, so great for collage, but I really bought it for the cover! Look at that distressed spine - yummy! (this also doubles as the obligatory desk shot for WOYWW!)

Other than that, I've done some painting of a different kind! I've upcycled my old pine chest of drawers and bedside table - I'd been planning to do this for years but never found the courage. I thought the long Jubilee weekend was the perfect time to do it - and it did take the full 4 days but so worth it! I got some paint from B&Q - you can choose a colour and they mix it for you. I think this one's called Marine Mist, a very light turquoise green - it echoes the colours of the wall art I got from The Range. A nice makeover for my bedroom, which is now a place of tranquillity helping me sleep really well these days - even better than before my little crisis with anxiety and insomnia. (The canvas will be fixed to the wall as soon as hubs gets his act together!) 

Of course, Oreo had to get in on the action and strategically placed himself in the bottom drawer while I was carrying the other bits downstairs to paint them. At least it made a good photo op! 

Luckily we got our internet connection back in time for this post. The week before last we had a bit of a mishap - we had a couple of gate posts put in and the contractors managed to slice through the fibreoptic cable AND the water pipe as well when they were drilling! They managed to fix the water within a couple of hours, but we had to reply on Openreach to fix the internet. It's all good now - such a relief! 

That's all for today! Thanks for visiting! 

See you in a bit! xx

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

WOYWW #677: Checking in

I realised yesterday that this was my last chance to check in with WOYWW in the month of May, keeping my word to blog at least once a month, so here I am with an update. Thank you so much for all your messages of support since my last post. I'm glad to report that I'm doing so much better now. My sleep has improved considerably after reading The Sleep Book by Dr Guy Meadows. I read it in two days and it's no exaggeration to say that I started sleeping again almost immediately - after three months of hardly sleeping at all! I mean I don't sleep like a baby, but I never did. I think I'm pretty much back to my normal pattern and if I still get a bad night, I don't fuss about it. I'm also working on my anxiety with the help of some other books and free resources I found online (after being scammed out of £159 by The Linden Method but luckily I got my money back through PayPal). So it's been quite a journey. One day I'll write down my experiences in the hopes to help other people. For now, in lieu of a desk shot, here's a photo of  three books that have helped me tremendously so far:

I'm still creating on and off. I kept up with the 100-day challenge, albeit I'm running a bit late with my last 10 layers, but I'll get there. Here are the pages since my last post, representing 40 days (4X10 layers):

Then there was the Ugly Art Club's reoccurring two-week challenge that I partially completed:

and there was also an affirmation challenge in April as well. I created these eight affirmation cards based on the prompts, working with a restricted colour palette:

Oreo is fine - he's just had his annual booster vaccination. I tried to take a photo of him last night but he wouldn't cooperate. Instead, here's a photo of my clematis with flowers as big as my hands! 

Happy WOYWW! Hope everyone's well. 

So sorry to have missed the ATC swap, but thanks Jan for sending me one anyway ;) 

I was thinking, surely, it's not that time of year again, but sure enough it is! 

I'll be around checking in with you during the rest of the week if not today. xx

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

WOYWW #670: Another status update

Hi everyone, I'm just checking in with another status update for WOYWW because I said I would blog once a month and #670 seems as good an excuse as any. So here goes.

Not much has changed since my last update, actually. I'm still struggling with anxiety induced insomnia and I'm pretty much left to my own devices to deal with it. The NHS is about as useful these days as a chocolate teapot. I resorted to referring myself to mental health services but I haven't heard anything back for several weeks and now I don't even expect to. I took matters into my own hands. Having done some research myself, at least I know what's going on. It's not sorcery, it's just how our minds work. I think my mother's sudden death set off a chain reaction in me, where my whole belief system turned upside down and resulted in me developing a severe case of health anxiety - not just for myself, but everybody else around me. This put me in a constant fight or flight mode, always expecting something bad to happen and I'm on edge all the time with my nerves highly sensitised. This is what stops me from sleeping. I'm telling my brain that I'm in danger so it doesn't allow me to relax my body and sleep - as soon as I drop off, my brain jolts me back to an alert state. If I get 4/5 hours sleep out of sheer exhaustion, I call that a good night - sometimes I only get 2/3 hours and there were nights I couldn't sleep at all. It's a wonder I can still hold down my job and family responsibilities. I feel like I'm really drawing on my last reserves. But you know what, if I did this to myself, I can undo it. So I'm working on that at the moment, basically giving myself CBT with the help of YouTube! Silver lining, I've lost a ton of weight, so yay me!  

So that's my health update, now onto my work desk. Not a whole lot going on in the past few weeks by my usual standards. I still managed to keep up with my 100-day project adding a layer a day to make 10 pages in 100 days, hence my hashtag 10X10layers. Admittedly, sometimes I do all 10 layers in one go, but no one cares. I know it's a bit of an under-commitment, but I didn't want to be a slave to this project and this gives me an opportunity to do other things as well.  

So here are the finished pages 2-5 in my 100-day journal:

I've also completed some new pages in my altered book (the last photo should qualify as a snap shot of my desk as well!):

So there you have it - a quick update! 

Hope you can all sleep better than I do!

I'll be around soon! xx

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

WOYWW #665: Status update

Just a quick status update from me this week. Thanks to everyone who gave me tips to help me sleep - I've been trying a few things with more or less success. I just want everything to go back to normal, is that too much to ask? I feel exhausted having slept very little in the last few weeks. Luckily, I still seem to be able to function during the day, but for how long? I've got my GP calling me this morning - I hope he can give me something to help me sort myself out. Fingers crossed. 

I've still been creating, although less than before. It definitely helps take my mind off things and feel less anxious. A snapshot of my desk last night:

This is a new journal I started in an old book I had recently acquired in a charity shop for just 50p. Just the right size for my messy collages. Here's a previous spread in the same book:


My first page (10 layers) in my 100-day project journal:

And a challenge piece for #seekgathercreate that had to include certain elements:

There you have it, the last two weeks summed up  in a nutshell!

Hope everyone's ok despite all this madness going on in the world.

WOYWW #665

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

WOYWW #663: Keeping my head above water

Thanks so much to those of you who left messages of support on my previous blog post. It really means a lot. As things are now I'm keeping my head above water - my blood pressure is under control with medication, but now I'm having panic attacks and can't sleep very well. Last night I slept like 2-3 hours and been up since 2.a.m. Not good. Lucky, it's my day-off today. If you can recommend an effective OTC remedy, please let me know! So far I've tried CBD gummies and passion flower extract. Nytol seems to help but it makes me drowsy the next day - I'll have to take one tonight though. When I told my GP about my panic attacks, he didn't seem too interested. Perhaps I wasn't dramatic enough. But enough of my moaning - I'm here to share me desk for WOYWW

I took this shot last night. It shows my 100-day-project journal. Yes, it is that time of year again! I'm not doing a full page each day - that would be way too much for me to tackle. I'm only adding a layer a day and call my project 10X10 layers - so it's just 10 pages during the hundred days with 10 layers on each, which should be very manageable, leaving me with enough time to work on other things. These are the first three layers on my first page.

Here's the cover of the journal I made specifically for this project:

You can see some of my other pages below completed for  various challenges in the last few weeks - and a video flip-through of my corrugated cardboard pieces at the end. 


Thanks for visiting!

I'll try to catch up with everyone later!