Wednesday, 29 August 2018


Bit of a theme with this page and the last one I posted - I seem to have had too much on, more than I really have energy for.  As part of fibromyalgia I experience a kind of sensory overload where my brain goes into freeze mode and won't function.  Always a strong message that I need to rest!  However, if I'm not tied to the sofa then one way of resting is working in my journal ...

So I just opened the drawer with the paint in and grabbed whatever took my fancy - trying hard not to pull out all pinks or all blues, which is a besetting sin of mine.  Delighted that I managed to use THREE colours on this page !
I really enjoy black line drawing and doodling.  I wouldn't necessarily describe it as zentangle, although definitely inspired by those techniques.  Another Modigliani lady also found her way onto the page - sometimes I copy them in black and white, as I'd done here, because I like the look on the page.  She has a slightly stunned expression which fit my mood exactly!
I promised myself that I could go pretty crazy with the doodling because it was going to be there to represent how overwhelmed I was feeling and how complicated it felt like life had become.  It may be true that it wasn't actually all that bad, but it doesn't take much to knock me off course.  I like life simple, well NEED it to be.
You can see that I've added some touches of white and red to make the patterns a bit more interesting, and I like how the painted background shows through some areas.  Just look at all those vines and creepers coming to tangle me up ... and there's almost a jellyfish feeling to some of it?  Well I certainly know all about the "sting in the tail", and it did feel good to get all that negativity out of my system.
On days like these I have to remind myself to breathe deeply and just take things one at a time.  There have been a lot of hospital appointments recently because the new drugs I'm taking have had some negative effects which had to be investigated, one of which was blurry vision, making journalling difficult, not to mention computer time.  Hopefully now that's (mostly) checked out, life will once again become calm and serene (I wish)!

Rosie x

Tuesday, 14 August 2018


I've reached the age and stage in life where I hanker after peace and simplicity - having retired we have fewer possessions (although we do keep adding books ...) and we like it that way.  Yet, despite trying quite hard not to take on extra commitments (will we run the church jumble sale, no) our days seem to be filled with things we don't necessarily want to do.  This week has two hospital appointments and one dentist, leaving little energy for the nice things in life.

However, even if I'm having to rest a lot in between, I can usually still find solace in my journal ... and my concern to simplify what feels like an over-complicated life naturally came out on the page.
As ever, my backgrounds are simple, just acrylic paint.  I never see any need to do fancy ones as I usually cover them up with doodles etc.  I see some lovely techniques on Pinterest and You Tube but mostly conclude that they are too nice to cover up.  Plus I'm lazy and they take a) too much effort or b) new equipment! 
My collage materials are mainly free - I often use copies of my old pages or bits gleaned here and there from catalogues or magazines.  Putting a simple border around a page like this is one of my favourite techniques for getting started when inspiration is slow to strike.
Adding black outlines and a grey shadow makes all the difference, as you can see, and you probably already know how much I love Modigliani ladies - also free from internet image sources.  Among my stash of collage materials I found the phrase "simplify life" which drew a resounding yes from my innermost being!
For me this is a relatively simple page, but it says what I needed it to.  I know I shouldn't complain about frequent hospital appointments because people are trying their very best to help me, but toxic medications mean constant checking of my liver function, and regular discussions about the balance of benefits with nasty side effects. 

Still, it would be nice to have a week which stretched peacefully in front of us and an empty calendar ... is that too much to ask? Probably yes!!

Tuesday, 7 August 2018


You know how you volunteer for or agree to do something even though you know its a terrible idea and you will almost certainly regret it?  Yeah, that.  Well, against my better judgement, I was persuaded to take part in an 8 week Pain Management course.  I had a shrewd idea that it would take too much of my limited energy, and after 27 years figured it was unlikely they would be suggesting anything I hadn't already tried.  I was right, but being too polite to tell them so have persevered hoping it would improve, with the result that I am now very very tired.  Last session tomorrow, thank the Lord, and then I can get my life back ...

So in the middle of the course it just wasn't working and I wanted to say so, but didn't feel I could, and anyway I was grateful that the NHS had provided it, and I did think perhaps I could make some useful contribution even if I didn't take much out.  This page is how I dealt with my mixed feelings ....
I just painted the page some of my favourite colours and took it from there, though I should have guessed in advance what I needed to get out of my head and onto paper.  Below you can see on the left how I put down some collage, and on the right you can see how the addition of a black outline and a grey shadow makes the whole thing come together as a unified whole?
These words below were the ones that just fell out of my brain and onto the page.  I really wanted to drop out of the course and say it was too much (it was/is) but felt reluctant to reject anybody's offer of help (so I didn't).  Sigh.  I used to be assertive but now I just don't have the energy.
But as ever it all felt a lot better to give expression to my feelings and acknowledge them, even if I didn't feel able to act on them.
And because I actually didn't want the helping people to go away (originally written down at the bottom right) I painted that part out.  I wanted to just say no, but that turned out to be hard.  Too hard.  So now its going to take weeks to recover, and its entirely my own fault.  Sigh.
Yours wearily