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! 

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

WOYWW #660: A difficult post with sad news

Just as well that I announced last time that I will blog less frequently - I wouldn't have had the strength to write this post sooner anyway. I'm not sure I'm ready for it now. 

A couple of days after my last post I received the devastating news from my father back in Hungary that my mother had had a massive stroke. The doctors didn't give him any hope that she would survive. She died three days later never having regained consciousness. It came out of the blue - she was in generally good health, but she did have high blood pressure and had stopped taking her medication because of the side effects. I spoke to the whole family over Zoom on Christmas Eve and she seemed fine. They even went on a nature trail during the holidays and there were no warning signs. She was 75 years old. Her mother died of a stroke at around the same age as well, as did my other grandmother, so I'm probably genetically predisposed myself. 

A few days later I ended up in A&E too with very high blood pressure, literally off the charts - no doubt caused by the stress. I wasn't unwell just very panicky so the out-of-hours GP sent me in at 2 am. I'm on medication now and my BP has come down but it's still higher than normal. Because of this ongoing health concern on top of the escalating Covid situation on the Continent, I can't go back for the funeral. I'll see my family some time in the Spring/Summer instead, when hopefully things will have normalised. 

Here's a photo of me with my mum in summer 1988 - ready for my first day at work. She worked in the same business park, so we caught the bus together. I remember that day as if it was yesterday.

While all this was going on, I still kept making art and posting on Instagram - frankly, that's what kept me going. I didn't make any public announcements, just carried on as normal. I don't like drama and attention - keeping busy and pretending everything is ok is my coping mechanism. 

I did snap a photo of my desk on Monday - after all, it's WOYWW

Here's a digest of some of the art I made for the January challenges on Instagram...

- a series I'm doing on corrugated cardboard for the #happyyouin22 challenge:

- a couple of  journal pages for the #creativeunfold2022 challenge:

- and this page inspired by Laly Mille's WOTY (Word of the Year) lesson for #artjournalwithlaly:

Originally, my word was 'freedom' because I want to achieve a level of artistic freedom - and I added 'brave' as a sub-word in light of what had happened. Life goes on for those of us left behind.

Hope you're all well. Please take good care of yourselves xx

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

WOYWW #657: Happy New Year - ugly art club challenge completed!

Happy New Year everyone! Who else has their Christmas deco still up? Back to the drudgery tomorrow for me and I have some errands to run this afternoon but I'll make time to visit as many desks as I can before that and the rest later on. I have decided to blog less often - maybe once a month - just to keep my blog going, as much for my own records as for anything else, and of course to keep in touch with  WOYWW and the handful of other blogger friends who follow me. It's nice to look back on my blog as a sort of diary but it's so much easier to post on Instagram. Should you miss me (I don't see why you would, but if you do) just visit my Instagram profile for updates. 

My desk shot from yesterday taken in rare daylight: 

I've completed the 2-week ugly art challenge and started two other January challenges. They are not too demanding as the #creativeunfold2022 runs weekly and the #happyyouin22 every other day. I find these challenges very inspiring as we cheer each other along, otherwise I tend to get a bit lazy and aimless.

Here are the remaining pieces from the #tuac5minchallenge: they were supposed to be 5-minute projects, but some of them took longer - I don't think it matters. These have all been created on brown paper packaging and they all have collaged teabags. I like to work in series, though there's always a danger that the pieces begin to look too similar to each other using the same materials. 

I've also made this reel showing all 14 pieces together in quick succession (reels can only be max 30 seconds in length):  

I have a couple of pieces for the January challenges completed as well but I'll post them all together next time. Until then, cheerio! xx  

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

WOYWW #656: Last pages in my Advent Journal 2021 and more ugly art

The last WOYWW of 2021! Christmas is pretty much done and dusted. The days are short and going fast, especially when you sleep until 10 am, like I do. I enjoy not having to get up early and dreading the return back to drudgery in January! But we're not quite there yet! Here's a shot of my desk with all my Christmas pressies staged:

Some Tim Holtz stamps and stencils (I've been wanting the Stamp Collector set for absolute ages, how did Santa know?), some mini Archivals just for using with those stamps and a very nice book that I accidentally stumbled upon. 

Also on my desk is a stack of  "ugly arts" - more about those later - but first the last three pages in my Advent Journal: 

The last page is my word for 2022: freedom. I'm looking for my creative freedom where I don't have to fuss about small details, just play and enjoy the process. I've come a long way, but I'm still not quite there yet. 

The Ugly Art Club's 5-minute challenge helps me achieve this freedom, though I must say I still spent way more than 5 minutes on some of these pieces, sometimes overworking them unnecessarily.

The Ugly Art challenge runs for only another 5 days, but fear not, there's a brand new challenge on the horizon #happyyouin22 which runs throughout January. I'm planning to take part, even though I told myself  that I wouldn't! How could I resist? These challenges give me such a creative boost and I get so much inspiration from others. 

Hope you all had a good Christmas and got lots of pressies from Santa. Here he is delivering ours a few minutes past midnight! 

Wishing every one a happy, healthy and creative 2022!