More Challenges!

 

Challenges

Hello friends!

I hope you are all doing well.  I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been in a bad head space for a few weeks, life continues to throw challenges my way, and I haven’t been coping that well.

Soon after my last post T developed flu-like symptoms and was clearly unwell and spent much of the time in bed.

On 26 May it was my birthday, you know one of those ‘big ones’ with a big fat zero at the end.  It wasn’t the best birthday, T was very sick and although I did get a couple of visitors to be honest I really didn’t feel that sociable.

Our holiday was booked to start on 29 May and the night before I suggested to T that we cancel and stay at home instead, but he insisted he felt a little better each day and wanted us to go.  So we packed up and went as planned.

I knew that we wouldn’t be able to do much in the way of walking or activity but I thought all we had to do was chill out and take things easy.  I packed a whole bag of art supplies to keep myself occupied so it wouldn’t matter of we didn’t go out at all.

The cottage was exactly as advertised and the area – near to Lyme Regis in Dorset – is lovely.  The weather was not brilliant, in fact it was a bit chilly at times but the cottage had good heating so that wasn’t a problem.  BUT it was not a good holiday, in fact it was stressful and difficult for both of us.  T became really unwell physically and mentally and we both really struggled to cope.  We both ended up depressed and despondent and it was definitely not the rest and recuperation I had been hoping for.

Before T became unwell I was feeling a bit flat and lost as I’d come to the end of months of treatment but had no idea whether or not it has worked. I’ve joined a cancer forum online and found out that this often happens to people when they reach the end of treatment .  All the while you are being treated it feels like you are doing something about it but then it stops and you feel like you are left in limbo all on your own. So I was already feeling low and then when T became unwell it was like a double whammy and I fell apart a bit.

Over a week after arriving home things are finally slowly beginning to improve for both of us. We managed to see a local doctor earlier in the week and he told us that heart surgery can sometimes trigger depression in patients and the heart medication might be affecting the other meds T takes for his Bipolar Disorder.  It’s certainly been a rough old ride on the emotional roller-coaster recently and neither of us have dealt with it particularly well.

It’s a bit of a shame that the medical profession seems to treat symptoms but not the ‘whole person’ in retrospect it’s pretty obvious that heart problems are going to trigger a bipolar episode but we had nothing in place to deal with it when it did.  I just wish I was better at dealing with it, but when T is in that big black hole of depression, even though I know it’s not personal, I can’t help but feel alone and depressed too.

So, anyway I didn’t get to do any art while we were away apart from the lettering on the page above.  The atmosphere was just too tense and not conducive to being creative. I tried really hard to put into practice all those things I know about being mindful, not listening to the thoughts going round and round in my head and just deciding to be happy. Writing that quote in my journal was a message to myself that I don’t have to be defeated by the stuff life throws at me. A few times I was successful and managed to lift my mood, but most of the time, despite my best endeavours, I felt defeated and despondent.  Clearly I need to practice a lot more!

While we were on holiday I went out a couple of times on my own and I discovered a fantastic cafe in Bridport called the Soulshine Cafe  there is a lovely vibe there and I found it just at a time when I really needed some sunshine for my soul.  I also saw a fantastic exhibition at Bridport Arts Centre by the A Level students of Colfox and Beaminster School.  It was really good, so much talent!  I spent ages there looking at the art and browsing through the students’ sketchbooks and then had a long conversation with the lady who was volunteering at the exhibition.

On the Monday after we returned from holiday I went on my own to see the Oncologist at Southampton Hospital.  He examined me and asked me some questions about how I was and said things ‘look OK’.  After a bit of a discussion about whether or not I should return to the local hospital he made me an appointment to see him again at Southampton in 3 months time.  Before that I will need to have another CT scan and on the day I’ll have a blood test, so hopefully I’ll find out more then.  At the moment it seems we are playing the ‘wait and see’ game.

I am so pleased that all the treatment is over now. Physically I feel good and I’m not overly worried about my health at present. I know it’s early days yet but I’m really hoping that it’s all over now.  Next week I will be starting my phased return to work after almost 8 months sick leave and I’m looking forward to getting some normality back into my life. I am a bit anxious because I’ve been away from the work environment for such a long time, but my employers have been very understanding and my colleagues have been keeping in contact with me, it will be fine and fun once I get back into it, all I have to do is ‘get up, dress up and show up’ and start getting on with the rest of my life now.

The page above is in my small journal and here is what it looked like before the penwork:

Page-10-before-and-after

That’s all for now, take good care of yourselves, and I promise I will work on improving my mood before I post again.

Big love AJ xxx 🙂

And here is a video of another old journal 🙂

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2011-2015 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Courage

Courage

Hello friends

I’ve been away from my blog again for a while so I hope you are all doing well.  What a lot has happened since I was last here!

My health

During the last couple of weeks of radiotherapy treatment I was getting quite tired and often went to bed as soon as I got home, apart from that I didn’t feel too bad although the inside of mouth was sore a lot of the time.  The final treatment was on 29 April.  I thought I would feel euphoric at reaching the end of treatment, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  After the treatment ended the sores in my mouth became worse, my tongue felt like a piece of old carpet, I lost all sense of taste and eating was very difficult.  For a few days I suffered from what I assume was depression.  I was still functioning and being creative but I became even more introverted than usual and very emotional.  Thankfully things are now beginning to get better, my mouth is no longer sore and my taste is gradually coming back (I had no idea how difficult it would be to eat when there was no taste).  I’ve got a red mark on my face where the beams targeted the mandible in my jaw bone and I look like I’ve just been slapped, but that doesn’t hurt, it just looks a bit odd.

I do have this strange sense of being left in limbo though.  The last 6 months have been really difficult, but I have no idea if the treatment has worked or not.  I don’t go back to Southampton hospital until 8 June and I’m not sure what they will be able to tell me then as I have no scan or blood test scheduled before then.  The oncologist I saw at Southampton did tell me that after that appointment in June all subsequent appointments would be at my local hospital.  I was horrified and told him I didn’t want to go back there as I was so unhappy with the way I was treated.  We are going to talk about my concerns when I see him in June.

The face mask

At the end of my treatment I was given the mask to bring home, I also asked if I could have the ‘dreaded’ gob-stopper, they thought that was an unusual request but gave it to me anyway along with the piece of thick pink wax which was helping to protect my skin.

I think it needs to be turned into a piece of art eventually.  I’m not sure what I could do with the gob-stopper and the wax so I might just hide them inside so I will know they are there even if no-one else does.

 

Once I start to feel better physically I’m sure my low mood will improve as I generally work on the principle that if I feel OK then I am OK.

The death of a friend

cheesybitsThe friend we visited at the Hospice on 29 March sadly passed away on 15 April he was at his sister’s house and surrounded by his family when he died.  We attended his funeral on 27 April (2 days before I finished the radiotherapy treatment).  We were not very close friends and we hadn’t seen him for a few years before we visited him at the hospice, but he was part of our history. Back in the 1980s he played in the same band as my husband. He was an absolute giant of a man with a cutting sense of humour, but he was always lovely to me and I liked him a lot.

I think his death really brought home to me that people don’t always beat cancer and that probably has contributed to my anxiety and low mood at the moment.

Rest in Peace Dave “Cheesybits” Bowater and thanks for some great memories.

The earthquake in Nepal

Durbar-Square-KathmanduOn 25 April there was a massive earthquake in Nepal, a poor country where life is normally hard for the people.  The devastation caused by this earthquake has left 8,413 people dead, 17,576 injured, 260 still missing and many thousands of people homeless.

We spent time in Nepal in the early 1970s, it is a stunningly beautiful country and the people are welcoming and generous.  It breaks my heart that the people are suffering with this devastation now and I’m giving what I can to the relief fund.

The building in the image is one of the historic buildings in Durbar Square Kathmandu now destroyed.  That is sad but right now it’s the people who need our help.

Other news

On 2 May a royal baby was born and apparently the ‘whole’ country celebrated.  I’m not sure I did celebrate though, I mean I am pleased for them as a family but it’s just another baby and I’m sure there were lots born that day throughout the UK.

Then yesterday we had an election, perhaps you heard about it?  I’m just too pissed off to talk about it really.  Things are about to get even tougher for the poor and disadvantaged of this country and it does not make me proud to be British today.

Right, that’s got all that off my chest so now for something cheerful and positive 🙂

Holiday

I’ve booked our accommodation and the ferry for our holiday at the end of May and I’m just looking forward to getting away and having a break for a few days before I start my return to work.  I won’t even mind if it rains for the whole week because I’m just going to be chilling out.

The artwork

The page above is a page from my Tikis and Totems journal which I did last week, here’s what it looked like with just the collage:

I cheated with this one and I downloaded a totem pole from the internet, it was a colouring sheet for children to colour, I cut all the different parts from collage instead of colouring it in and then did loads of penwork over the top.

Before-and-after

That’s all for now folks, sorry this was a long one.

Stay well and happy.

Big love

AJ 🙂

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2015 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

 

 

Move the Universe

Move the Universe

 

Hello friends

I hope things are good with you, I’m feeling good at the moment (because I’m between treatment) and feel like I am achieving some things.  I got signed off work for another two months which will allow me to have the radiotherapy treatment and give me time to recover before starting back at work (hopefully) in June.

I sent off one of the ‘give away’ packs to Sanje Sofar this week but I’m still waiting to hear from Lucydragon and Isisimaginings so I don’t know where to send their packs too.  If either of you read this please see my last post and let me know your snail-mail address so I can send you your packs.

My computer screen died earlier in the week, at first I thought it was the computer itself but eventually I worked out it was just the screen.  T tried to fix it for me but was unsuccessful so I went out and bought a new one.  I love it, it’s a bigger screen than I had before and everything looks much better now 🙂

Today we went to the local hospice to visit a friend.  I have never been there before and was a bit anxious about it.  Obviously he has been very unwell but things were not quite as bad as we had possibly expected. Although still not good. He was dressed and up and in remarkably good spirits. He is hoping to be able to go home again soon so that’s good. I’m glad we went because we haven’t seen this friend in a long while and it was good to reconnect and hopefully let him know that we care.

I have to go back to the local hospital this coming week to see a consultant in the Maxillo Facial unit.  That’s where I had the biopsy taken and was given my diagnosis before being transferred to the Haematology Department.  The two consultants I saw in MaxFax were both very nice so I don’t have any concerns about going back to see them this week, I’m just not sure why they want to see me again but I’ll find out when I get there.  While I’m at the hospital I will also try and find out if there is any help with the cost of travelling over the mainland for 17 days for the radiotherapy treatment.

The page above is from my new small journal and this is what it looked like before the penwork:

Before and After

And if you have 8 minutes to spare here is another video of an early journal:

Well that’s all for now folks see you soon

Big love AJ 🙂 xxx

 

 

 

Everything will be OK

Everything will be OK

Hello friends

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying good health.

Sorry it’s been a while again but I’ve been taking things easy and not doing much at all since my last round of chemo.  Tomorrow I am seeing a consultant again and on Tuesday I’m in for round 5.  Here we go again!

It seems to get harder every time.  Last time I had to have injections in my belly once a day for 5 days starting 5 days after the chemo.  I was dreading it, but actually it doesn’t hurt at all, in theory I should be able to do it myself, but I just don’t like the idea of jabbing myself in the belly with a sharp object even if it doesn’t hurt.  Anyway some lovely District Nurses came once a day to do it for me.  Energy levels have still been very low and I am really not doing much at all these days.  Spending a lot of time on the sofa with the cats, well actually one cat at a time because they would never be on the sofa together!

I got signed off work for another two months this week.  My last round of chemo should now be on 24 Feb providing I don’t pick up any infections in the meantime, I think I will probably be given a couple of weeks to get over that and then I should be having more tests and scans to see if it’s worked and if so I’ll be put on ‘watch and wait’ and have regular appointments and tests to monitor the situation.  This is what I am hoping for and expecting.  So it’s possible that I might be returning to work in the week commencing 30 March.  It will have to be phased return to work as it will take me a while to get my normal levels of energy back, and it’s going to be a massive shock to my system after so much time away.

There is a possibility that ‘they’ might want to give me radiotherapy after the chemo, but they will have to absolutely convince me of the necessity of that before I agree.  I’ve been told that radiotherapy zaps your energy even more than the chemo and I will have to travel to the mainland daily for this treatment as it’s not available on the Island where I live.  If I have to then that’s what I’ll do, I just want to be shown why it’s necessary. Anyway I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it, for now I’m looking forward to just finishing the chemo. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do even though I’ve been fortunate in that so far (touch wood!) I’ve only been unwell once.  I can’t imagine how people struggle if it makes them sick as well as tired.

Yesterday I started to declutter and tidy my art room, a rather stupid thing to attempt with my current energy levels and as a consequence it now looks even worse!  I do need to get it sorted out at some time though as the mess is not conducive to being creative!  All the work surfaces are cluttered and some of the ‘piles’ of stuff are reaching dangerous proportions!

The page above is the back cover of the Warrior Women Journal finished a few weeks ago.  I really like this journal and it’s been good therapy for me to create it while I’ve been dealing with this cancer.

I hope all is good for you where ever you are in the world.

Take good care of yourselves

Big love

AJ 🙂

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2015 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

In Herself

In Herself

Hello friends

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I’m looking forward to the new year and getting my health back.

I’m half way through the chemo treatment now, I’ve been OK since the last one on 11 December.  OK in that I haven’t felt ill but still very tired.  I’m fine when I’m on my own just pottering about or lying on the sofa watching tv, but it’s Christmas time so there is a certain amount of socialising that has to be done and I have found that very tiring. In fact all communications have been almost shut down and there is still no sign of my muse so no artwork either! Still, so far, I’ve not picked up any infections so that’s good.  Over the next week I should start to feel a lot better and then on 2 January I’m in for another round, round 4.

Not sure what is going to happen when I’ve completed all 6 there has been some talk of radiotherapy, but I feel like I want to know a bit more about what’s happening with my body before I agree to that.

So, am I ready for Christmas?  I suppose I am and if I’m not well it’s too late to worry about it now.  To be honest I’m never that organised or enthusiastic about Christmas, in fact I’m a bit of a Grinch, and this year I just haven’t had the energy for it.  I did put the Christmas tree up last week.  That involved going down in the cold, dirty cellar, finding the tree and boxes of ornaments, carrying them all upstairs, constructing the tree, sorting out the lights and decorating. About half way through I wished I’d never started and just wanted to lie on the sofa, but I carried on and did finish it. It looks pretty good too 🙂

Christmas TreeKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also made the Christmas light, it was a plastic round bowl that had some chocolates in last year and I had been trying to think what to do with it.  Then I had a spark of inspiration and bought a set of LED fairy lights.  I carefully cut a hole in the bottom of the bowl and fed the lights into it, then a modpodged some printed tissue paper over the outside of the bowl. The stand that it is on is meant for a candle but it looks better with the new light. It only took a few minutes to make and I’m really pleased with the result.  Because I used LED lights they don’t get hot so it’s not a fire risk.

When I’ve had some energy I’ve been trying to help out with the cooking.  There have been varying degrees of success and failure.  I ‘nailed it’ with my half plain flour/half spelt flour pastry and made a great mushroom and chestnut pie, and some good gravy but I burnt the roast vegetables.  It seemed to take up a huge part of my day to prepare a meal that only lasted a few minutes then there was a stack of washing up to do and I wasn’t sure it was worth the effort.

The spread above is from the Warrior Women journal and I completed it a few weeks ago (when the muse was still with me).  I like the colour palette of this spread and it’s another message to myself that I can handle what I’m going through at the moment.

Thank you all for your love and support and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.  I am really looking forward to finishing treatment and getting my health back.  And to getting my artistic muse back!

Big Love

AJ 🙂

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

Don’t be fooled

Don't-be-fooled

 

Hello friends,

Sorry it’s been a while since I last blogged so I hope all is good with you.  I am doing very well at the moment.

It took me ages to get over the second lot of chemo, I thought I would be OK to return to work after a week but I still felt very tired so I went to see the doctor and was signed off work for 2 months!  I’m a bit disappointed as I wanted to carry on as normal for as long as I could but the reality is even when I’m feeling OK I still don’t have masses of energy and maybe it will be good to just rest for a while.

The past few days I have been feeling much better and have been trying to catch up with things that just got left (like housework, christmas shopping and art) while I was feeling so tired but I am making very slow progress and in fact I haven’t done any art since I was last in the chemo suite.

The page above is from my Warrior Women Journal and I completed it a few weeks ago (fortunately or I’d have nothing to share with you today). The quote says “When life feels overwhelming don’t be fooled into thinking that more action is needed.  To create order and peace get quiet, go inside.  You will find everything you need right there”  I’m sorry I don’t know who to attribute this quote to, but I didn’t make it up, I’m not that clever!

Today I went and saw some of my friends and colleagues from the Ryde Arts Festival team at the Green Wreath making event at St Thomas Church and then I went to visit my friend Sally-Ann who is emigrating to Ireland next week.  Sally-Ann and her family (husband and son) are busy packing up the entire contents of their house to ship off to Ireland.  I was pleased to see her before she sets off but I could see there was still loads of packing to do so I only stayed long enough for a cup of tea and a short chat.  I don’t think I would be brave enough to emigrate so I am full of admiration for them and wish them well for their new life and adventure.

Being off work means that I am finding it difficult to keep track of the days and when things need to be done.  I am sleeping a lot now.  Before I got the cancer I used to go to bed early and get up early, now I go to bed early and get up late so half the day has gone before I really start to get going – it’s a weird life!  Next week the important things to remember are a friend coming to visit me on Tuesday, seeing the consultant on Wednesday and then chemo all day on Thursday.  I wonder if it will knock me out of action again this time? Probably, but we’ll just have to see.  Still at least having it next week should mean that I am over the worst of it by Christmas.  Lets hope so anyway.

Seasons’s greetings to you all I hope you have a lovely Christmas and I wish you all the best for the New Year.

Big love

AJ xxx

 

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Moving forward slowly…

Hello friends!

I hope you are all doing well, here everything is fine, progress is slow but things are moving forward and in the meantime I’ve finished the Little Book of Cosmic Maps 🙂

Back & Front Cover

For me doodling is a really good way to pass the time..

Spread 1

Spread 2

Spread 3

Spread 4

As you can see I’ve had a bit of time on my hands recently…

I had the PET scan last week, it was OK just a bit of a hassle, it took 2 hours to get to the hospital then I had to wait an hour before I was called in, they gave me the injection of radioactive glucose and I was left on my own for another hour before I was called in for the scan.  It took about 35 minutes and then we were free to go.

I was told that I would be slightly radioactive for about 6 hours and was to avoid contact with pregnant women or children.  However I was still allowed to travel home on public transport (another couple of hours).  I didn’t stroke my two cats until the next day, but it didn’t seem to bother them.

Yesterday we went for another appointment with the consultant haematologist and she told me that the results of two of the three tests on my bone marrow are back and neither of them found the cancer in my bones.  The final test is more vigorous and the results of that are not back yet.  But so far it’s looking good.

The PET scan didn’t find any more tumours in my body (phew!) but although the tumour in my mouth has shrunk the scan found residual lesions in my jaw (I’m not sure but I think that means scaring).  So although the tumour is almost gone I still have the disease in my blood but it’s in it’s early stages and there’s a good chance that with treatment I can fully recover. So the plan (worked out by this mysterious team of invisible experts) is for me to have 6 rounds of chemo and then radiotherapy on my jaw.  It feels like I’ve been telling people for over a month now that I’ll be starting chemo ‘next week’ and that hasn’t happened but it now looks like it will start during the week commencing 3 November.  In the meantime I have to sign the consent form and have an ECG just to make sure my heart is OK. Tomorrow I have an appointment with the nurse who is going to tell me all about what’s going to happen and on Saturday I have to visit my local doctor’s surgery to have a flu jab because they want that done before the chemo starts.

Having chemo-therapy is not something I am going into lightly and in truth I’m not looking forward to it but …. ‘needs must’ as they say, I’m just not sure what to expect.

I’ve been feeling so well for the past two weeks and enjoying not being at work but tomorrow I am going to go back to work because I reckon if I take too much time off I won’t want to go back at all!  Anyway it’s pointless, and unfair on work colleagues, to have sick leave when I am not if feeling sick.  Fortunately I have good employers, I’ve worked for them for a very long time and, up until now, I have a pretty good attendance record.  I think they will be flexible around my hospital appointments and will be OK with me having time off if the chemo (or the cancer) makes me unwell over the next few months.

So all in all I am doing well at the moment, and I am staying positive and upbeat.  I hope all is good with you where ever you are in the world.

Big love

AJ 🙂

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Healing takes Courage

Healing takes courage

 

Hello friends I hope you are all well and happy.

A few days ago my life got turned completely upside down when a very kind man with a concerned look on his face gently put a hand on my shoulder, looked into my eyes and said “I’m sorry but you have cancer”.   He said lots of other things too, he explained a lot and I understood every word he said but somehow I couldn’t take any of it in.  I just wasn’t expecting him to say that, after I heard the word  cancer my mind just went into freefall and I couldn’t even think what questions to ask.

Physically I feel fine apart from a problem in my mouth.  I thought I had an abscess under one of my teeth so I went to the dentist and was put on antibiotics. They didn’t work and the swelling got bigger.  All in all I took four lots of antibiotics and it just got bigger although strangely it just felt uncomfortable and not painful.  The antibiotics made me feel awful too.  Finally I was referred to the hospital and my first appointment was for last Wednesday, but I panicked a bit and by going to A&E and asking them to check it I managed to get the appointment brought forward by a week.  The doctor I saw was very reassuring he said “it looks quite alarming but I don’t think it’s cancer”.  He did take a biopsy, just to make sure, and told me to come back on Wednesday of this week when he hoped he would have the results.

So I had a relatively stress-free week, I thought I would need surgery to have the lump removed and I knew I would lose several teeth when that was done, but afterwards I’d be getting back to normal and eventually wearing dentures. I’d get used to that…

So this Wednesday when T and I went back to the hospital we were fairly upbeat and positive and I was hoping to find out when the surgery could be done.  Then this Exocet missile came out of no-where and everything changed.   I have large b cell lymphoma and that has caused the tumour in my mouth.  I had blood tests last Thursday and I am having a CT Scan next Friday because it’s likely I have the cancer in other parts of my body too and they need to know the full extent before deciding on the course of treatment. On the following Monday I am seeing someone in the haematology department who will tell me the score.  And so my journey begins…

We are both trying to be positive and to prepare ourselves for whatever happens next, but our emotions are all over the place at the moment.

So, if you could send some love and hugs and positive energy my way I’d be ever so grateful.

Big love AJ 🙂

 

PS the image above is from a new journal I have started.

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Standing in the Centre of my own Circle

Standing at the centre of my own circle

Hello friends

I hope you are well and had (or are having) a great weekend.

We have been quite productive here.  Yesterday T decided to repaint the kitchen ceiling again, so while he was doing that I took out one of the cupboards, dismantled it, packed all the bits in my car and took it to the local tip.  When I took the kick board off from the bottom of the units I was surprised to see just how much rubbish the workmen had left when they installed the kitchen in 1996.  So I cleaned all that up too.

In the evening I prepared a sheet of paper to make a Teesha Moore inspired 16 page journal, which I have cut and stitched this afternoon and started with the collage.

This morning I slept very late and was woken by the sound of banging coming from the kitchen.  When I eventually got up T has removed some more tiles from the wall.  Unfortunately when the kitchen was done just before I bought the house the tiles were put straight on top of the plaster board and in removing the tiles some of the board has been damaged beyond repair so we have had to replace it, so we worked on that together today.  Now we are wondering if we could put a skim of plaster over the walls ourselves or if we need to employ someone to do it for us.

Anyway, this is how far we got today:

Kitchen refurb part 1It looks a bit messy doesn’t it?!  The cupboard had to be taken out because those pipes running along the wall have to be moved somehow so that the new fridge and freezer can go under the small window.

We have to get a plumber in to do that for us as we wouldn’t know where to start and as brand new cupboards are going along that wall we definitely do not want any leaks.

 

 

The page above is another from my Mandala book, I have a poster on my wall at work that has all these motivational words on them and I thought it would be good to incorporate them into a mandala (of sorts).

Have a great week and I’ll see you soon.

Big love

AJ

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Red hot

Red hot

Hello friends

I thought I would add some bright colours to my blog this week, because today I am feeling bright and cheerful, I hope you are too.  Above is page 4 from my Mandala book.

The weekend has flown by again and it seems a little unfair I have to go back to work again tomorrow already!  Yesterday I spent the whole day at the tea counter at St Thomas Church where we had a Ryde Arts Festival event.  Visitors were invited to make Christmas wreaths for free.  In the middle of the floor was a big pile of holly, ivy, yew and other bits of greenery and there were wire hoops, fir cones, cinnamon sticks and other bits and pieces for people to make and decorate wreaths to hang on their doors over the festive season.  Tanya was there to give advice and help to those who needed it. Lots of people took part and there some really lovely creations.

While I was at the tea counter my friend looked after the table for children’s activities where they made paper robins or paper chains.  The table was always full of children deep in concentration as they coloured and added stickers to their paper robins.  Keeping the little ones occupied meant that their parents could concentrate on making the green wreaths.

It was a really good day.

Today T and I went back to the DIY store to do some checking on things and make the final decisions about what to buy for the kitchen. I have to go back on Tuesday to meet the planner and get the final quote, then I’ll have to arrange to have the money available just after Christmas.  All being well we are planning to do the work in February, but I guess that really depends on when they can deliver it and the amount of space it takes up in our small house before we start the work.  I can see we are going to be living in chaos for a while, but that’s probably going to bother T much more than it does me though.  My art room is always in chaos, so I’m used to it.

I went to see mum and dad this afternoon and they are both fine, they even went out for a short walk today so that’s good.

I am doing fairly well with making the Christmas presents and have completed 10, I still have 6 more to complete so I need to keep at it or I am going to run out of time.  It’s not long until Christmas now it is!

Have a great start to your week and hopefully I’ll be back here mid week with another post.

Big love

AJ 🙂

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2013 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.