Hi there! Glad you found me. Some of you may know that my life is no bed of roses but in amidst the tragedy there are truly beautiful moments. I've wanted to make the best of those moments for so long, and to help me I've decided to journey back and explore what makes me feel, think and behave the way I do. Hopefully I'll begin to understand more about me and begin to find more peace

This isn't a challenge blog but if you fancy joining me on my journaling journey, I'll leave a linky so you can post your thoughts.

Here's wishing you special moments in time

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Bad blood

Went haywire with my dylusion inks yesterday and thought it looked like blood. Of course the only thing I have that can bleed so much is my broken heart, thus the page evolved and gave me a rest from the heartache for a couple of hours

Still wish I could make my drawings look real but I'm enjoying it anyway.

Today sees me discharged from hospital and on my way home. When I left home to come here I had my, my son my lover and a life. Now I go back home to an empty house and an empty life. Now the work begins! Ow I have to build a life for myself and make it one where I can feel joy! Got a plan but. It sure I've got the strength to see it through.
Wish me luck
X Michelle

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

He loves me, he loves me not

Thought I'd spend a few hours drawing last night and managed to cobble a page together

I'm really enjoying drawing and whilst I'll never be an artist I think I'm improving a bit. This time I was brave enough to draw straight onto the page, the face first then I covered the whole of the background with journaling, then inked on top of the journaling and continued with the background design.

I can't even remember what I wrote but scribbling it through my tears last night was a release of sorts and I'm pleased with the results.

X Michelle

Friday, 18 April 2014

Free fall

I was looking through my journal yesterday and noticed that the pages were all very controlled so today I thought I'd go into free fall and see what happened. I started off spraying some of Dyan Reavley's ink sprays onto a page then closing the book to make a butterfly print, just look what happened!

Next I cut out some figures from a magazine and used them to draw round onto black paper to create a couple of silhouettes, and before sticking them down splodged some gesso straight onto the page behind one of the figures. When it was dry I stuck the silhouettes in place and splodged more gesso through sequin waste and using the lids off the pots etc. then came the hard part, I very quickly scribbled the leaves and flowers and wrote the peom. A little gel pen to highlight and my 'free' page was finished.

What do you reckon? Does it pass muster?
Now stop sniggering you lot, it's not that bad!
X Michelle

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Three little birds

This page has been sitting on my desk for a week or more as I've not been able to think of any text for it. Now I've just decided it doesn't need anything until the right words hit me and that's when it'll be done.

I've used the Imagination Crafts Stencil which I have then zentangled over and added the little birdies and more doodling, and as the challenge for this month at imagination crafts is anything goes this'll fit the bill nicely!

There's also £40 worth of goodies as a prize so here goes and fingers crossed.

Thanks for such fantastic comments and your love and support
X Michelle

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Butterfly Babe

On Sunday I watched the first film I've been able to concentrate on in a long time. I saw the first hunger games some while back and thought I'd keep the second film to watch whilst I was on home leave.

I was enthralled! Not by the film (although that was good) but by the costumes. One costume particularly caught my eye and inspired a journal page I started when I go back to the hospital on Sunday evening.

I thought it looked ok until I found a picture of the actual costume on the net.

All I can say is that it is the same colour!

Still I have been working hard at not expecting too much of myself and I was absorbed in the creation of the page, which in itself is a good thing.

I had a good start to the day today, I took myself off to art from the heart to collect the next sets of distress ink minis plus a few other bits that 'fell' into my basket, then sat outside and had a lovely latte whilst sitting in the sun.

This evening though I feel pretty bad. Probably because I'm too tired to keep myself busy and too achy to sit and craft. Oh woe is me!!!!

Time to stop feeing sorry for myself and set about putting plans into action! Got exciting new things to come - watch this space

In the meantime sleep well, tomorrow is another day
X Michelle

Monday, 14 April 2014

A little birdie told me!

I thought I'd try my hand at drawing a few different birds whilst I was on home leave over the weekend, big mistake! This is about the fourth attempt and it too would have been forcibly propelled into the bin if I had not given up on the idea of drawing at all!

I don't suppose it is so bad but I'm getting frustrated with this drawing lark when I can't draw what's in my head! Still if my head is full of things that need drawing, there is little room left for descending into madness - honest!

That said, my weekend at home was ok. There were times when the urge to end it all became almost too much to bear and that part was a fight all weekend. In contrast I LOVED being able to do whatever I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it! I ran out of ink for the printer in the early hours on Saturday morning and just got into the car, drove the 10 miles to the nearest supermarket and drove back home again. A quick snooze and a cuppa later, and I was able to carry on printing and crafting.

I also LOVED my memory foam mattress and down duvet and thoroughly enjoyed the warmth and comfort of it! Had a lovely visit from my brother and watched a film with my son and his girlfriend.

So on the whole I think it was a positive weekend and the forecast for this week could be mainly dry with occasional sunshine in the north with the odd spot of rain falling down the face throughout the week.
Hope you have a sunshiny week
X Michelle

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Can I see clearly now?

I pinched this picture from a magazine in the hospital waiting room whilst I was waiting to see how Alan was. He had another heart attack a couple of weeks ago so a I had to hot tail it from my hospital bed to his. I had plenty of time to flick through all the magazines in the room and was struck by this image. It fits this quote from Anne Franke perfectly! How can a girl so young have such insight into the human condition?

The background was done by inking through a stencil onto the white paper, drawing round the stencil to define the edges a little then lightly inking over again. After stamping the water droplets I stuck the picture down and pencilled the lowlights behind. The addition of glossy accents and a little journalling and the page was finished. A page I particularly like too. It's good when you gain pleasure from something you've created and can ignore the faults in it.

Yesterday was a good day all round. I met up with Liam at Bolton Abbey and we spent a couple of hours wandering about near where I was brought up then came back to the hospital and had a really good crafty session. For the first time in many many months I felt like a real person living a real life.

I've come down with a bump though because along with feeling real comes the knowledge of how ill I've been for so long. I just feel I've been living an absolute nightmare that I can't crawl away from.

Still tomorrow's another day!
Sleep tight
X Michelle

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Everything's coming up roses!

Yesterday I fancied having a go at drawing something other than People so thought I'd try drawing a rose. Usually I try to be very precise but just for once, I thought I'd use a pen straight off and be as free as I could. Very uncomfortable for me. Of course after drawing the rose I had to draw the lady to go with it.

Been a bit better over the last couple of days but still the fight goes on. I think I've probably grasped enough thorns by now though.

Hope you're enjoying you week
X Michelle

Monday, 31 March 2014


I called in at Heart from the Heart on Saturday to have a look see if there was anything I 'needed' and was thrilled at the range of stamps, pens, pencils and stencils they have in stock. Definitely a must do shop if your into journalling!

I was tempted to buy one of the new TH stencils and dashed back to the ward to get it covered in ink.

I used the crocodile stencil and from there came a whole load of 'scale' related phrases so the page evolved into this.

Again I didn't have a stamp of scales so had to resort to drawing some, quite pleased with the overall effect!

When I get bored of ink and paper I take a break by doing a little tatting. A skill mum and I taught ourselves on one of the holidays we had together in a little coastal hamlet called Newton Ferrers. The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire used to let us use their boating lodge every year and we had some wonderful holidays there.

If you want to see the earrings I made, check them out on Midnight Crafter

Back soon, another page already in the making.

X Michelle

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Is this really real?

Not had quite as good a day today but bit by bit this life is beginning to feel more real and I'm getting through more hours without feeling so destroyed and collapsing with the sheer weight of these emotions.

I'm finding that Zentangling is the perfect way to spend aimless hours without thinking too much. It's absorbing and the concentration required to make it as precise as I can fills my head leaving little space for grief.

Some days it takes all I have to make myself do. Not too many days ago I was laid in bed, knowing I needed to get up but unable to will myself to do so. I decided that to start with I'd put my feet on the floor, after a few seconds I made myself walk to the end of the bed, next I knew I could walk into the bathroom and turn on the shower, after a few moment I managed to get in the shower and get washed.
And so the day began!

Today I was up and ready with my 'mask' on (thank goodness for makeup) and hair done looking forward to the first visit from my family. Kate landed with a bagful of stamps which someone had given her. Some fabulous sentiments amongst them.

Love the sentiment on this page, and it's something I've got to learn to do, I've got to find a way to imagine how life can continue. Here's to imagination!
Back soon, these pages are coming thick and fast!
X Michelle

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Whispering a Scream

Hi y'all

I finished this page a couple of days ago but havn't got round to posting it and I look at it today and don't feel like that at all. Today I feel so much better. The new meds seem to be making a huge difference, so much so that I've actually enjoyed my day.

This morning I had a Halsa neck and shoulder massage to try to sort out the fibromyalgia, then after lunch I walked into Harrogate and trawled the charity shops for beads n bits and was thrilled to find a little teapot jug and sugar bowl for one set. At last a good hot cup of tea!

The background was inked with distress inks then stencilled through using a stencil I bought at the Harrogate show from Imagination Crafts. It was lovely to finally meet the lovely Linda Simpson, she gives the bestest hugs! Thanks Linda x

The flowers were some colouring pages from the craft box on the ward and the barbed wire stamp, a technique Tuesday stamp. The girl is my very own drawing. Not brilliant but think I'm getting better!

Off to post some cards on Midnight Crafter now so will see you later.
X Michelle

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Demonic Posession? Don't think so!

I saw this picture in the mail on Sunday supplement and no sooner had I clapped eyes on it, I was there with the scissors, snipping and cutting. I'm a bit limited for backgrounds cos I've only got inks with me but I do have the reflection stamps from Tim Holtz and thinking of the records which, when played backwards, were supposed to render a demonic message, thought the backwards script fairly appropriate.

I've some really hard thinking to do now, and some very hard choices to make, not quite strong enough to make them yet, but the docs put me on some medication that is closing down the heart rending grief enough for me to be able to think a little and maybe even reach the odd conclusion!
Don't get too excited though, the penalty to pay for this chemically induced calmness is a mouth that tastes like iron filings and the inability to move at anything but a snails pace.

Remember a few posts back I was commenting on the fact that I was sat in my room, in the psychiatric hospital, watching one flew over the cuckoos nest? I didn't envisage being put on the very same meds! Only a very small dose though so I still have the ability to put ink to paper.

I have made quite a few cards too if you fancy popping over to midnight crafter blog to have a look.

Hope you've enjoyed the sun this weekend.
Love n Hugs
X Michelle

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Fairy Nuff

Not posted for a few days, not been up to it! Really struggling at the moment, I never knew that grief could be such a paralysing physical pain. I feel I've lost so much. Somewhere in the very back of my heart there still lingers the tiniest chink of hope, so minute that I struggle to feel it, but it is there.

I've got to believe that there is more to look forward to than this pain.

I've had these stamps for a while but this is the first time I've used them. Really love their quirkiness.
Thanks for your comments, and for all the hugs I got from the lovely ladies at the GNPE in Harrogate last week. Thank you so much for your kind words and genuine kindness.

X Michelle

Monday, 17 March 2014

The eye sees everything

Or does it?

Back to more zentangling. I was given this mask which the group therapy session were supposed to paint with poster paints the other day, but immediately I knew what I wanted to do with it, and I passed a quiet hour or two doodling.

We all have masks of sorts, we are different things to different people but I have spent so many years hiding my pain from the world, I've lost who I really am. At the moment I don't have the energy to keep that mask on, and my pain, raw and visceral is there for all to see.

My heart hurts.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Spring flowers

Yep spring has arrived in a glorious blaze. I was allowed out into town today so made a bee line for Samuel Taylor's in Harrogate but when I got there it was closed not to fazed though, I called into the works and bought a white gel pen to complete the journaling on this page. I've had to resort to drawing again but quite pleased with the results.

I think she looks a bit like Zoe Wannamaker what do you think?

It's been a hard day today, being out in real life just overwhelmed me. It made me feel the heart rending loss again and I ended up sobbing all threat back to the hospital. I really don't want this life if it's going to hurt this much.
Maybe it'll be better tomorrow.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Can you see?

Been doing a little zen tangling this time and must say I've had a peaceful time being so engaged in the process. It's such an absorbing occupation.

I start therapy tomorrow so wish me well. So very tired tonight
Hope the sun shines on you in the morning.
Night x M

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Dancing the Dance

Not too pleased with this one but it serves it's purpose, to remind me never to dance the dance I've been playing lately, the one where you manoeuvre and manipulate to get what you think you want, where you constantly look for injustice and unfairness in others instead of recognising it in yourself.

I know I've been very ill but this is a bitter pill to swallow, I thought I'd laid these behaviours to rest so many years ago. Shrink says that post traumatic stress can fling us back to coping mechanisms developed in childhood but I still feel I should have recognised what was happening and done something about it before it got this far.

I must try to dance a happy dance!
Night all
X Michelle

Friday, 7 March 2014

Quiet Simplicity

I'm not sure that this page counts as a journal page as I've done very little to it. It is actually the paper I was using to work on when inking a smaller piece earlier today and I just like the way it looked.

All I did was add the bird stamps and a little gesso through sequin waste then stamp the sentiment.

I'm facing both hopes and fears at the moment, hope that my being ill and not behaving well have not ruined my chance of happiness and an absolute dread that it has. The pain of it is unbearable but I know that I have to do what I need to do to get well and trust that what I believe is a true and honest love is just that, and strong enough to survive even this madness!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Heartbroken Metamorphosis

Had a bad day today, unable to get out of bed until mid afternoon but Liam came for a visit so I had to put the face on for him and that brought pleasure into my day. I also saw the shrink who's referred me for some intense therapy sessions so it looks as though I'm going to be here for a few weeks.

I know I have a lot of work to do to become the best I can be and stop this decent into very old coping behaviours, it's just that my heart hurts so very much for so many reasons.

Still I did manage a play with a pencil or two and my new distress minis.

Not sure wether this is finished or not yet, what do you think?

Now I wonder if they'll let me go AWOL for the craft extravaganza........?
Maybe I'll try to abscond to Samuel Taylors in Harrogate first!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Spreading a little happiness!

That lovely lady at Heart from the heart came through for me today when she dropped this in at the psyche hospital for me. All beautifully wrapped in tissue with a little heart tied to it

When I opened it was thrilled to find my latest purchase

I didn't have time to get much of a craft kit when I was admitted in the early hours and the full size distress inks would have been too big to deal with anyway so I thought I'd treat myself to these. I guess the suicidal thoughts are not as bad if I'm thinking in terms of buying ink pads to take with me when I go to the craft sessions Gez and I have planned to attend. Maybe this is a major step in my road to recovery. Hope Mr. Holtz brings out more soon so I can take my next step along that 'distressing' road!!!!

Tired now so I'm gonna sleep
X Michelle

Monday, 3 March 2014

Hearing Voices

Well I may be suffering from mental health problems but I certainly haven't been listening to the right voices. I've had so many conflicting problems to deal with for so many people, there have very definitely been too many voices in my head

In the chaos of my sons addiction issues, Liam's Down's syndrome, and my desperate need to control everything around me in an attempt to reduce the chaos in my head, I found myself manipulating those I love, and some I don't!
I failed to hear the voice inside me which is able to work out the right and good way to be and in doing so caused my nearest and dearest a great deal of pain and anxiety. Looking back now I can see so clearly that I was not myself and probably havn't been for some while.

I don't want this to be a confessional, I don't need absolution, I just need to heal myself and maybe this is where I start!

Sorry about the quality of the work, I've only got limited supplies, but those lovely ladies at Art from the Heart in Harrogate are bringing a full set of distress ink minis to the hospital for me to reduce the frustration. Can't wait!!!

Love to all
X Michelle

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Dangerous pastimes

I guess every time we get into a car, we run the risk of being involved in a serious accident and yet we drive, never expecting it to happen to us. I've had to shut away the memory and close down my feelings around the crash but it's difficult to be selective about what you allow yourself to feel and in doing so I shut out a lot of positive emotion.
Today I felt I needed to let a little of that horror into my mind and let it touch my heart.

It's amazing how journaling enabled me to look at some pretty horrendous stuff in a gentle and compassionate way.
Tonight I've been able to sit outside my room for a short period and the suicide checks have been less frequent. Earlier today it seemed that the staff were checking me every 5 minutes. I've been checking out the room though and as suicide proof as it is, there are a few possibilities they've missed. Whilst doing my journal I did begin to explore the idea of death by paper cut!!

It's been a long time!

I guess the time since my last post on this blog has been heading towards today so been travelling this road to despair for some while.
Today I find myself in a psychiatric hospital room, researching ways to commit suicide on my phone half the time and trying desperately to find a way forward for the other half.
I've not been able to craft for a while but have brought some crafting stuff with me and find I want to start journaling again, so here's my craft desk and limited stash where I aim to make a start.

In truth I started yesterday but only had a few pastels a pencil and a printed colouring page supplied by the hospital for patients to colour! Yeh I know, this really is an adult ward!

Thanks to Gezzy B I've managed to draw this wee girl and in doing so gained a short respite from the ache in my heart!

Last May I was involved in a fatal car accident, the shock of which launched me into patterns of behaviour I thought I'd laid to rest many moons ago. I became indirect, manipulative, hostile etc and really didn't know I was doing it. As a result I have lost friends, relatives and a man I love as I have never loved before.

So here I am, trying to sort out such heart rending problems, not knowing if I've the strength to carry on. Almost every minute of my life has been a battle and now I'm tired.
Time to rest.

I know for some of you this might be too frank and up front but you have the choice not to read. If you do choose to read, don't judge too harshly, what you see here is just a peep into the life and death battle of a co-dependent mother, wife and lover.