I woke at stupid o’clock with a migraine/stress-come-down-headache. It took a couple of hours before I could get back to sleep. I’m still headachy and so tired. However, before I try to sleep off the dregs of the migraine-headache I wanted to do something artistic, and this is what I started. Digital art – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface and Surface Slim Pen.
No idea of what to create, just went with the flow.
A little more work done on this design this morning. I’ve been working at it for around three hours, making it a total of around eight hours so far.
I like the shapes of the details added around the body, not so sure about the colour choice, yet. I can always change the colour once I’m happy with the shapes. I prefer them to the glowing zentangle type patterns yesterday. They’re taking the butterfly from something that is earthly to something else – alien, magical, partly mechanical perhaps.
I’m feeling a bit better today. My tummy had a major upset yesterday afternoon and that left me wiped out. This morning, I managed some porridge for breakfast and it’s not made me feel ill. I’m still tired though, but slowly on the mend.
I’ve reached my limit of focusing on art, for now. So I’m going to take a break. I finished the cross stitch design I was working on yesterday and gave it a quick iron while my porridge was cooking.
In the evening, I started a crochet wrap, using some Sirdar Jewelspun in the setting sun colour way. Gorgeously warm, autumnal colours make up this yarn. It’s soft and a pleasure to work with, especially on a 5.5mm hook as this is giving a flexible fabric. I’m following a gentle and slightly lacy chevron pattern which has a one row repeat – my favourite kind of pattern when it’s hard for me to focus!
Oh, and I’ve continued my binge watching of Criminal Minds too.
I’ve been experiencing a tummy bug the last day or two and so have had to take time away to rest and take care of myself. It’s making me feel very tired, though I do have a little appetite back, which is good.
I started work on this butterfly yesterday morning, and have continued this morning. I think I’ve spent about 5 hours on it so far.
It’s giving me a chance to explore and familiarise myself with features of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro I’ve not used much. Tools such as the selection tool and different types of layers, for instance.
The butterfly is definitely not finished; I’m trying out ways to add pattern to the various sections on the wings. I’ll get there eventually I’m sure. At the moment I’m adding entangled/zentangle patterns to the sections using a ‘glow’ layer. Not sure if it’s working, yet. But I’ll keep trying things out until I’m happy.
But not today. I still need to take some time out for self-care. That means cwtching up, keeping warm, drinking plenty of fluids, and cross-stitching while binge-watching Criminal Minds! Maybe I’ll even see if I can do some reading too – I have a couple of books about Craftivism I want to read and digest.
Talking of craftivism, I do need to order some knitting/crochet yarn made of natural fibres to create some butterflies with for a yarn bombing project I’ve volunteered to help with. My yarn stash consists of yarn made of synthetic fibres.
Oh, back to the cross-stitch thing.
I used to cross-stitch years, and years ago, quite avidly. I always avowed that I’d never take it up again. However, as I searched for books on craftivism, a cross-stitch book popped up that was just way too intriguing! So, I ordered the book and some materials to cross stitch with.
The materials arrived yesterday, but the book won’t be here until tomorrow. So, I did a quick hunt around Etsy and found a cross-stitch project or two that were perfect! Both were quite simple, small, and had words and images and would work so well for craftivism as well. I do need quite small, fairly quickly finished projects in terms of needle felting, crochet, or cross stitch at least. When it comes to drawing, art, I can work happily on a piece for a long time quite happily. But not so with other crafts it seems.
Perhaps the satisfaction at finishing a craft project quickly gives me that little hit of achievement that helps me push through with projects, like this butterfly, that will take me a number of days to complete.
Even though I’ve left therapy, my healing continues bit by bit. I’m finding myself returning to crafts and activities that I once enjoyed, but as the CPTSD worsened and depression deepened I abandoned them
I am someone who needs variety in my artistic, crafty life, so I’m embracing this as much as I can. I need a change from time to time, and that change allows a freshening up of my other skills/talents. Doing different techniques adds new ideas for my artistic pursuits too.
So, I’m now going to sort myself out and settle down to finish the cross-stitch thingy I’m doing. And let my body recover from the tummy bug.
I wanted a circular frame in which to put quotes. So, I started by drawing some pencil guidelines for the circle and the outer borders on some dot grid paper.
I used 08 and 02 Uniball Unipin pens to draw the circle of flowers and foliage. Then, to start filling the space around the flowers with entangled designs.
It’s very much a work in progress. Part of me thinks I could’ve left an empty border around the circular flower and foliage arrangement to separate it from the background. The other part of me likes it as it is.
I want to try to get a balance of less detailed areas with the more densely detailed sections so that there’s space for the eye to rest.
I also suspect I’ll be adding colour or, at the very least, shadow and highlights to the design to bring it to life.
I was reading ‘Your Soul is a River’ by Nikita Gill this morning and this particular poem struck a chord with me. I thought it would be nice to use it to create some art to frame it.
It’s taken me a few attempts to get this far today; and I’m not entirely happy with what I’ve produced. However, I shall persevere later today; first I need to go out to do some provisions shopping and to have a very late breakfast. Actually it’s more like a very late lunch!
I produced the words with the border in Publisher. I’m using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, a Microsoft Surface Pen and a Microsoft Surface Studio to do the artwork.
So, Angela, how are you today?
The poem reflects rather well how I’m feeling about myself in the moments when my emotions overwhelm me. I am rather emotionally fragile and vulnerable at the moment.
I am exhausted – emotionally and mentally. I’ve had a heck of an emotional week and yesterday was perhaps the most emotional day of all. No EMDR was done in therapy, but lots of tears were shed as I tried to work my way through what has caused the upsets.
Some of it is very obvious. But some of the triggering events have no apparent link to the past.
No apparent link; there’s something there which I can’t bring up or face at the moment. I’m fearful of it because it is something either unknown or something I have to face the truth of. It’s a difficult truth as I’ve told myself a story to deal with the painful experiences I’ve had throughout my life. Discovering I’ve been lying to myself is not easy, even though it has been a coping strategy, trying to make things more pleasant than they really are.
It’s a common coping strategy amongst survivors of trauma.
It’s a necessary process, for how else can I heal from the past?
It’s another one of those processes that is like surgery, but instead of removing or fixing a physical part of oneself that is damaged or broken it’s all about the mental and emotional processes that are damaged by trauma in the past.
No surgery is without some kind of pain, but the pain is endured as the result will be a better life with less pain.
Therapy is surgery for my damaged emotions and beliefs about myself; this surgery is necessary for me to heal from CPTSD.
Yesterday, I talked about a lot of things with my therapist. One of those things was the recognition that I now have a mental and emotional state that I know I can return to. It’s that state where I feel content and optimisitic, a state of mind and emotions that I’ve not really experienced much in my life.
I know how that feels; even though my emotions are all higgledy-piggledy at the moment I can still sense that inner contentedness and hints of that optimism.
Where do I go from here?
Self-care and self-soothing is the order of the day today. I do need to sleep, but I don’t know if a nap will help or just throw my sleep out tonight.
I know this will pass; it has before, it will again.
It’s all just a bump in the road I’m travelling in my journey to recovery from CPTSD. This is NOT my destination; it’s just the wrong leaves on the tracks.
I’ve had a busy day today. It started with therapy late this morning. Then, I took myself off to the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Llanarthne for a walk and to look at, photo and draw some flora and foliage. I must admit I took more photos than I made sketches.
If you’d like to read more about my trip then please visit Curious Stops and Tea Shops, my other blog which is all about my trips out and about.
I have been working on this artwork where I’m working on a dark background with a soft pastel type effect upon it.
The colours are a lot brighter on my monitor than on wordpress. However, I’m sure you’ll get the idea. I like the floaty, fuzzy, ethereal feel the soft edged ‘pastels’ give the art. I also like the way I can get colours to glow against each other – very coral reef I think.
I’m still finding my way through this way of working. I’m not sure that it really is ‘me’; part of me thinks that it’s quite childish. I will persevere though and see where it leads me.