Hi, Happy New Year! I hope the year has started well for you. Today I’m sharing an art journal page as part of the new Colour Me Positive art journal challenge run by LuLu Art. The theme for the first week of the year is gratitude and I’ve created this page while reflecting on and celebrating the things I’m grateful for.
There is something about the first week of the year. A chance to start fresh, a time to get started on that project, plan a holiday, tackle the completion of a long overdue assignment and any number of things. Don’t waste that time, those minutes of each new day, as you never get ‘today’ back!
For me this time is a chance to celebrate my multiple sclerosis diagnosis. Time to reflect on the changes and blessings that came into my life 11 years ago which culminated in a dreaded, life changing diagnosis, one that forever altered the path of my family and I. It is a time for celebration because having MS has meant staying at home with my sons instead of returning to full time work. I’ve continued to volunteer in my community and participate in all types of groups and events and I firmly believe that my life is better for it. So far I’ve been lucky – only a few minor issues and one pretty major attack 18 months ago that I’m mostly recovered from. I realise that could change any day, I could wake up tomorrow and some part of my body might not work quite as well as today.
Long ago, an MS researcher mentioned that studies were showing that each year that passed without significant disability could mean another two of the same. If that holds, and so far it has, then I might get to the magic ‘three score & ten’ without a lot of neurological damage or noticeable disability. Here is hoping anyway!
A few years ago, increasing fatigue meant reducing my part time working hours. But having MS meant that I had to go searching for something else to give me a challenge, to help my brain retain some level of neuroplasticity. This is the magical bit of our brains that helps us grow new thinking pathways – important when you have a disease that affects cognitive function! I am a long time paper crafter, creating cards, scrapbooking, bookmaking and such but I needed something a little ‘more’. Thankfully I discovered the world of mixed media. It was pretty new and there was a whole gamut of new techniques to discover, learn and practice. Many years later, I’m still firmly in the grip of this wonderful form of art and I couldn’t be happier!
Today is the Day!
- Darkroom Door stamps – Poppies & Butterflies sets, French Script Texture, Bingo Numbers Eclectic, French Script Background
- Dina Wakley stencils – Essentials, Halves, Spinners
- Faber-Castell Whipped Spackle
- Acrylic paint, paper napkin, washi tape, tissue paper
- Liquitex – matte medium, gesso
- Words – Ali Edwards Old + New Story Kit
Edited to add: if you wish to read another perspective on living with a chronic illness, check out my friend Bree Hogan and her article ‘Who knew I would ever feel grateful for having a chronic illness‘