Sunday, 24 May 2015

Mixed Media Flip Tags with Vanessa Priestly

I have created these mixed media flip tags with direction from Vanessa Priestly in one of the arty FB groups I belong to.

The challenge was to create 12 months of inspiration and encouragement to remind ourselves each month about how wonderful and special we are.

Due to my ill health I used what collage pieces etc that I had, no rushing to the shops to buy anything due to my medication, but this was all part of the fun.  I used manilla folders for my tags and sprayed them with inks.  Then found some serivettes/napkins and gelli prints to collage on as well as lace and other happy mail ephemera I have received.  Yes, I created more than 12 as 16 was how many the folders turned  Ribbon threaded through the top hole looks great too.

In a similiar vein I'm going to try to do ICAD 2015 - Index Card A Day 2105 - in June and July - with Daisy Lemon.  Last year I used index cards to clean my brayer whilst gelli printing and I gelli printed onto some of them and collaged so I would have some backgrounds started for this years challenge...this should be fun as I'll be using what I've got and I've never done it before.

Have a great weekend....

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

National Myeloma Day 2015

Today is National Myeloma Day where we make people aware of what Myeloma is - also known as multiple myeloma it is cancer of the plasma cells. I have 'Magic' Myeloma because I know it's going to disappear!  :D

I found out I had Myeloma through a blood test which showed I had high paraprotein levels.  After seeing a Haemotologist and more tests I had a CT Scan which showed lesions on bones in my chest are and lower spine which were causing a lot of pain.  Many older people find out they have Myeloma when they break a bone and x-rays show lesions.

The doctors are looking  for the common symptoms of multiple myeloma which are CRAB: C = Calcium (elevated), R = Renal failure, A = Anemia, B = Bone pain/lesions. And I had the bone lesions and pain.

I started cycle 2 of my chemo yesterday, it was delayed a week due to a high temp and infection and the Dr put me on antibiotics.  I'm feeling ok, I'm walking nice and straight, not wobbly as I was a few weeks ago like a drunk old lady. I still have my hair but more is falling out than usual but I have been blessed with thick who knows....

Hope all is well in your world, take care, Mxxx

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Chemo Cycle 1 Finito

Hi Everyone,

Girl 3 - watercolour paper and paints, pens and pencils.
A5 = 148 × 210 mm or 5.83 × 8.27 inches.  

I have finished my first cycle of chemo and start the next cycle next week.  I'm doing well but the pain in my lower back has increased and that limits my mobility and sense of humour too.  My rash on my upper body has gone and I still have my hair for now.....

I have created a few more girls....see above and below...
Girl 4 - Watercolour paper, Copic Markers, pens and pencils. 
A5 = 148 × 210 mm or 5.83 × 8.27 inches. 
Before and after photos - added a layer of colour to the cheek area.....not too sure about it....I don't like the hard lines...I used Copic Markers....

I bought a fundraising colouring in book - The Breathing to a new Beat Technicolour Dream Book - and have had a fun time colouring in other people's artwork - and it's fun for them to see their art coloured in too. The art is printed on cardstock and only one side so I don't have to worry about the markers bleeding through.  :D

I have started a new series of girls which I will unveil next week...or you could check out Instagram for a sneak peak....


Take care....Mxxx

Friday, 24 April 2015

Myeloma Update 1

Hi Everyone,

Many thanks for all your thoughts, love, hugs and prayers.  I have been busy practicing my jellyfish on the couch act....

Blue - created  on watercolour paper with copic markers, prismacolor pencils, watercolour paints....148mm x 210mm = 5.8" x 8.2" 
Small faces for me....just for fun and I started an online course called Beautiful Faces which I'm really enjoying watching the videos from and seeing other people's gorgeous work in class - I look forward to fully participating when I'm ready but for now just some no pressure, let's have fun faces and try out some big hair too.

I'm doing ok.  I went into hospital for a round of chemo on Tuesday 7th April and stayed for a few days only, not the week to 10 days as was expected.  I've been for chemo on the day ward since and have started on the Myeloma chemo now too.

I have the usual symptoms I guess you could say - food taste funny, very tired - which is very good as I need to rest to get better, I'm a bit like a wobbly duck....I walk funny now due to pain and balance....slow and steady.  I've got a nasty red rash on my upper chest but my hair hasn't started falling out so......

The biggest challenge can be the mental one...waking up on my 48th birthday wondering if it was a bad dream.....48 with terminal cancer how did my life come to this....all our lives change...some we can control and some we can't....some we need to deal with and accept and fight to change and make better but I now have a new life that involves doing 'nothing' - the most important 'nothing' of my life and that is to get rid of the nasty cells in my body..... and when they are gone I get to start another new

 Love love love this material of my new pyjamas - it's just gorgeous - the colours and the flowers/leaves! Wish I had painted it!

I've been busy colouring in - pencils, Sharpies/markers/textas and received some travel watercolour paints which are awesome, so these have given me some fun to play with.

Many thanks again to everyone for thinking about me, love and hugs back atcha.  Mxxx

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

I have Multiple Myeloma

#hellomynameis Michelle and I have multiple myeloma. MM is a cancer of the plasma cells in the blood and it is treatable but is incurable.  *passes the tissues*

Miss Maya
Mixed Media on Mixed Media Paper
42cm x 30cm = 16 1/2" x 12"
I have named my latest girl Maya even though myeloma is pronounced my-loma. I created her as therapy about 4 weeks ago using a burgundy colour as this is the myeloma colour and the bubble wrap represents cells.

How did I find out I had MM?

In January I went to the local doctor for a prescription repeat and asked for a blood test for menopause as I had several symptoms that needed looking at.  The blood test came back with high protein levels - this is a red flag so the doctor requested more tests to be done.  CRAB is the anacronym for blood cancer symtpoms - C - calcium levels were ok, R- renal/kidney function was good, A - anaemia - no and B is for bone pain.

On Dec 24th I put on my superhero cape and had a busy day, I walked 4kms, did 4-6 loads of washing, cleaned the house and when I started the ironing in the afternoon lower back pain started. The chiropractor and I were best friends in January trying to sort out this lower back pain which wouldn't go away....

My local doctor sent my to a haemotologist who did more tests - blood, urine, skeletal survey where they xray most of your body looking for lesions and couldn't see anything and I had a bone marrow biopsy -which came back at 30% plasma cells. Less than 5% is normal and over 10% is myeloma and 5-10% is MGUS - monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined specifications - which is what I was hoping I had - no symptoms and no treatment.  I had asymptomatic myeloma and had to have a blood test in 3 weeks and see the haemotologist in 4 weeks.

The day after having that blood test I started getting a pain in my side ribs so when I saw the haemotologist the following week he decided I should get a CT scan to check it out.  The results came back showing I had multiple lesions on my ribs, sternum and vertebrae. The cancer cells gather on the bone and excrete a chemical which makes the bones leach calcium which causes lytic lesions - these cause bone pain which can cause muscle pain.  I've been in pain for months now. The doc has me on pain meds but I should be in hospital.

I'm booked into hospital for a week on Tuesday morning for more testing and to start treatment which will include chemo.  I'm scared of the unknown but ready to get well again. This is why I have been less active in creating art and on social media. 
This has been a lot to cope with - for me and my family and close friends.  I've been very fortunate to have caught it early, many people break bones and the xrays then show the lesions and I had a month of being asymptomatic so I did my research into it which is difficult to retain at the moment.

I'm looking forward to being in remission and well enough mentally and physically to start creating again.  Right now I'm resting up and colouring in Joanna Basfords' Enchanted Garden book which a friend gave me or creating mandala/zentangle/doodles with markers in my visual diary.

Take care my friends, leave me some love in the comments below or on FB, it would be greatly appreciated. Keep well and stay safe, until next time, love, hugs and cuddlybugs, Shells xxx

PS decided I would keep my hair appointment but just get it cut and not coloured...who knows how it will look in a couple of months!!  :D


Friday, 3 April 2015

Meet Miss Victoria

Meet Miss Victoria sho has traveled to Beverley for the Beverley Art Exhibition this weekend.

Miss Victoria
Mixed Media on Wooden Cradled Panel
42cm x 30cm = 16 1/2" x 12"
This is the first girl I have created on a wooden panel and it was great.  Canvas panels have give and air bubbles can be more troublesome but the wooden panel is hard and easier to get the bubbles out of.
Her face and hair was created on watercolour paper using watersoluble pastel and oil crayons and acrylic paint.  The background is acid free tissue paper which has been scrunched and gelli printed.  Her clothes and hat are gelli prints too.
She is available for sale at the exhibition.