29 December 2009

Grief within my art

I find myself clinging onto everything, not wanting to let any little thing go for fear of losing her completely. Stupid, because I know I won't ever forget her. A mother's love is so unconditional - I want to hear her - I want to hug her - I want her back.

So much is going on inside me, my head is constantly going over and over and over everything. I can't seem to stop it. I cry for her, I cry for me, I cry for my girls, I cry for everyone who loved her and misses her, I even cry for the sadness my own sorrow spreads upon others.

I sit atop a dark tunnel, waiting for it to suck me in - it's my own tunnel, a tunnel of grief. The exit sign is behind me, I cannot see it - I know it's there, but don't want to turn and look. I'm not ready - I hold my head in my hands. I weep.

Here I hang, dangling from a noose - the noose is loose and doesn't strangle me. It protects me from slipping into the tunnel - the black hole. I am dangling, hanging - I am restricted and cannot go anywhere or do anything. It has a hold on me, not so tight to kill me, but enough to paralise me temporarily.

It's a circle of life, I am half in and half out - contemplating in which direction to move.
I want to go back, start over and feel alive.

I am having bad days, they are strung together like a twisted vine, tangled and muddled and hard to untangle - I feel splattered, scattered and shattered. Everything seems to be falling apart and I feel helpless to change any of it. I don't know what to do.

24 December 2009


"Comforting Angel" Plaque by Faithful Guardians

My friend and neighbour Lynda came over on Monday with a gift - a beautiful 'comforting angel' plaque. It now proudly sits alongside the picture of my Mum. I am so thankful for the beautiful caring people in my life. Little gifts like this show the kindness and understanding that is around us.

Then, on Tuesday, Susan Sager Brown from Brokn Heart Art brought a little more joy and warmth into my sad heart. I came home from being out and about and I found a parcel delivered, all the way from across the other side of the world - Inside the parcel was a book - "Transitions" by Julia Cameron.

In my quiet times I will be devouring this and hopefully creating some 'therapeutic artworks' based on the coping tips I will be learning. Thank you again Susan for your thoughtfulness and your kindness.

21 December 2009

I don't feel real, nothing feels real...

What I was going to post tonight was just some pictures of my latest atc's, along with the techniques I used.

I wanted to have a happy post - I didn't want to bring any of my blog readers down with my woes and grief....... but I already don't feel 'real' and if I didn't write the truth - then what would be the point of blogging at all.

It's nice that I have some followers who like my blog, who visit for it's art or for how I write, or what I write.... for my self expression, my weirdness, my humour or whatever reason you may visit. It's nice that I receive comments that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside, they remind me that there is a lot of kindness to be thankful for in this often crazy world)


I reminded myself tonight (when I changed my mind about what I was going to post) that I don't blog for the sympathy or the comments - although they do make me warm and fuzzy inside and remind me of the kindness in the world!

I blog for ME.
I blog because I can!
I blog because its a release
I blog so I can express myself (and it's quicker to type and causes less RSI than writing a diary or keeping a journal - although I love art journalling)

If you know me at all, you will know there is nothing I hate more than lies or deception - so I am not going to sugar coat anything - I feel like shit, I hurt - physically & emotionally, I'm pretty damn messed up - I'm grieving.

I reminded myself tonight that this is my blog, and I'm blogging for ME and because I'm not feeling very 'real' lately, because nothing is feeling very 'real' lately - I'm going to keep my blog true and real.

This post will not have pretty pictures, or art - it has my feelings, my heart & my soul.
I am going to babble away to myself, and if you want to be with me, then you are welcome to stay - if you prefer to just see art, then scroll to the bottom of this post & click on a pretty picture


Today I listened to the first half of a cd - 'dealing with grief' - it made sense, and I could certainly relate to what was being said. All the 'what not to say's' to people who are grieving - and yes, I've heard them all already. It's not that anyone intends to be hurtful, or less helpful. I'm sure they have good intentions and just don't know what else to say.
There was some explanations of the bodies responses, the physical, mental & spiritual changes that grief can bring on. There were explanations of things that have been happening to me. Physically, emotionally and spiritually changes or subtle shifts have occurred.
For those that may not know me that well, I have been facilitating a 'spiritual development & meditation group' for over 15 years. Right now it's 11.11 AGAIN!!!!! All this 11.11 stuff is rather freaking me.......... I just happened to glance at the clock for the first time since 8pm!!
Bah Humbug It's supposed to mean I'm on the right path - so hard to accept right now.
All I want to do is hide away, cry and scream. I'm still somewhat numb. I'm sure Craig doesn't know what to say or do and he has been there for me, but I don't want him there sometimes - but I do at the same time - I know that's pretty damn confusing - but I'm pretty damn confusing!! What I mean is sometimes (often lately) I don't feel like him holding me or hugging me, but I want him there. Then there are times when I do want to be held. Now more than ever I understand the value of being held, WITHOUT any words being spoken!! Before my Mum died (fuck I hate saying that!!!) I wanted him to talk talk talk, to be able to express himself all the time. Right now I don't want him to say much of anything - I just need him to be there when I need him. Usually he's not - work obviously has to be done to keep the wheels turning. A lot of the time lately I don't want to be alone. I don't remember feeling like I don't want to be alone for a very long time. If anything, I have wanted to be alone. To have my own space, which often feels crowded, but I don't know why. When I have the space I don't want it. Maybe I'm going crazy.... maybe I already have!! I am trying to make it clear, but know it probably makes no sense to anyone else. Perhaps it's because there is still a 'wall' that stands quite tall and strong between Craig and I... the wall that I built brick by brick and cemented so strongly that it may never come down. Perhaps it's because I don't want to be vulnerable with him again, not wanting to be hurt by him again - But Fuck me, it's been 5 years and I still feel the same hurtful feelings. They are not as bad, no way near - time has eased them, or I have just given up - one or the other. All his so called efforts to re-build the trust etc etc just haven't worked for me. It's because he did what HE thought was best for me, NOT what I told him I needed! So go figure, of course it hasn't helped our relationship.
For some reason he still wants to be with me, and all I do is turn him away, time and time again. Then I am upset that I don't feel 'emotionally' connected to him anymore. How can I?? I block his efforts, because I am still either afraid that he might betray me again, afraid of his inner thinking - because he doesn't or CANNOT communicate his inner thoughts & or feelings and then I get all these negative imaginations of what he is thinking. The stupid thing is that when I am home alone, it's like I am just waiting for him to come home from work so we can DO something together - even just simple things like watering the garden, watching some tv or tidying the house together. It feels like we are friends, good friends with a lot of history and connections and two beautiful daughters (with the very occasional benefits) It doesn't feel 'real' enough for me, like a marital relationship or like it used to feel before I found out he had cheated on me. I used to feel like I was the most important thing in his life, I believed it. Then I just felt stupid, discarded. My mum felt like that when my Dad left her, at the time I didn't understand her feelings. I remember the day he went, I sat with Mum in her bedroom and held her as she cried for 7 hours straight... I ended up ringing the Dr and then I went to the Dr and got her some tablets to calm her down. I don't think I ever understood her loneliness - until recently. I am sorry for that. I cry when I think about the things I'm sorry for. I cry when I think about the things I'm thankful for. I cry when I think about the times I was there for her and the times I wasn't...... I just cry.
It's strange, because so many times my Mum told me I was 'tough' and didn't cry, there were times when she even said she didn't think I could show much emotion........ boy was she wrong there! I think she found out after Craig hurt me. We discovered a lot of things after that, because then I could relate to her more too. That's probably another reason (there are millions) why I feel so lonely now that Mum has gone. We had begun to understand each other more over the last few years. Even though Mum used to annoy me sometimes because of her tendency to see the negative first, Mum was the person I truly felt I could express myself to, she would listen to everything I had to say - and even if she didn't agree, she never ever negated my feelings!!
I know the unconditional love a mother has - I know that as mothers, we only ever want our children to be happy. I feel sad that my Mum saw me so sad and messed up. I know she loved Craig as a son even though she hated what he did to me - her love was totally unconditional to all the family and I miss that SO much.
What breaks me apart, is knowing that she wasn't happy, and that I couldn't even drag myself out of a hole to be able to give her some happiness by being a happy daughter. There were times when I was a little more contented and happy within my own self (not my relationship) These times were when I was being creative, painting, making my art cards or telling her about our store. Mum was proud of 'Scrappindipity' and what Bec and I had achieved with the store. Mum watched the store grow from a tiny stall in the markets to what it is now. She helped in the 'naming' of Scrappindipity. Then there was the times when I was published in a little zine or a website in our home country (UK) these things made her proud and happy, because she saw my enjoyment. I just wish I could have given her more.
Apparantly it's natural that Grief brings about feelings of guilt - I guess it's because we look at all the things we took for granted, all the things we put off, all the bad thoughts we had in our heads when we were frustrated or annoyed with each other, or the tiffs we had. It's all the things we think we should have done, but didn't make a priority.
Apparantly, after the guilt subsides I might find myself in a space where I can focus more on the positive, happy & fun memories - bring it on!! Not that I don't do that now, I do and I try to make that a focus - but those other feelings take over and I must allow them to be. I can work through this, I can, I can, I can........ cant I?

I have not been into the Nana Shack for two days - why do I feel bad about that?
I feel like I am neglecting my Mums things, her special things, her home, her life, herself.......
I want to go in there, to 'feel' her, to be amongst her things and all her treasures but it hurts so much and it just doesn't feel real that she is not there. I don't like going in there alone, I have for brief moments, but sometimes I think I should stay longer. Perhaps I should do some crosswords. Mum and I used to spend Friday afternoons doing the crosswords together.
I have also considered taking some of my art stuff in there and painting, or drawing or creating something and just absorbing it all - everything.

At the moment I don't feel real, nothing feels real.

15 December 2009

Meltdown & Etsy listings

Well last night in the wee small hours, I had a meltdown.
I cried and cried, I babbled to Craig - and the poor bugger didn't know what to say to me. He tried saying all the right things and it came out wrong. I jumped down his throat and bit his head off. Then I said I was sorry, it wasn't him, it was me - It was my pain, the grief and the unanswered questions that I might never get answers to now. He let me waffle away, and was falling asleep while I was doing it. I felt so alone. I felt bad for interupting his sleep when he had to go to work the next morning.... this morning. He was late - oops! Luckily he didn't get into any trouble with his bosses, they have been pretty understanding about everything. Although I do believe they took some of his 'holiday leave' from him instead of 'compassionate leave' - so that's something to sort later.

I still am feeling numb and shocked about everything. So many things are running around in my head like a movie on repeat........ repeat....... repeat. Many people have told me that over time my thoughts will move into a nicer area, thinking nicer thoughts and happier memories. I still do think the happy thoughts, and even can laugh about some funny things that happened while Mum and I had that week together before going into hospital. Sadly, mostly I find I am remembering the actual death moments, and the lead ups to it, the 15 days in hospital :(
It's almost like I don't want to forget them.
The wonderful Connie Holso sent me a journal page from when her Mum died, and it was SO accurate to how I feel, that it has inspired me to continue my journalling. I have done a little, during the hospital visits etc, but haven't done much since Mum actually passed. It all hurts so much. Thank you Connie for sharing your private journal and grief with me - it helped me to realise that what I am thinking, feeling & doing is all a 'normal' part of the grieving process.

Thank you to everyone for your beautiful comments here and on Faccebook - they really mean a lot to me, and sometimes it's those little comments and the support from everyone that helps me get through the day!!! So please don't ever be too shy to talk to me, to comment or to email me. I love chatting :)

Yesterday I bought a CD from a psychologist - "Dealing with Grief" - I have yet to listen to it. I bought it because I thought it might not only help me, but help me to help others too.

I don't think I told you about his 'freaky' dream the night before Mum passed away......... well on the previous night to Mum passing, Craig was home alone while Bec, Amy & I stayed at the palliative care ward (that was a sad night, and we didn't know it at the time, but it was our last night to be with Mum) Craig slept on the couch, waiting in case I called him. At 4.45 AM he woke up crying - He said he had a dream and saw Bec, Amy, Me & himself all standing around Mums hospital bed crying.......
Mum passed away at 4.45PM that same day!!

Two years ago when his father passed away, Craig dreamed that his Dad has passed away, he woke up at 3.20AM - yup, you guessed it his Dad passed away at 3.20PM that same day!!

I told Craig I don't want to know about any of those type of dreams - please! They are scary. I guess though, in both situations we were aware of the situation, and both My Mum and His Dad were in hospital at the time - So they would have been in his thoughts before his dreams happened. It's still very weird though how he got the time of death right BOTH times!

At the moment, we are strapped for cash - so I decided a few dollars here and there going into our joint bank account might help, as Craig is stressing about it a little bit too much about the money side of things. We had to re-draw from our mortgage to pay some bills. He is probably stressing more than normal because he is hurting too! My Mum was just as much his Mum for the 30+ years we have been together!!! Craig has also been having lots of dreams of Mum and weird things since she has passed away.

I have re-newed my ETSY store and listed some collage sheets and some images for sale. The jpg images on my etsy site are smaller images of the actual collage sheets you receive. (Please respect my compilations and do not copy or download these)

The sale items are high quality PDF downloads - that arrive in your email box very soon after payment is received. They are $2.00us per sheet, free postage of course. The individual images are $1.00us each. I will be uploading more of my personal image collection soon.

There are a few more items in my etsy store too, and it would be lovely to have a few visitors & maybe a sale or two there.

For those that like to get a free image to work with every now and then... here's one for you to enjoy (personal use only please)

Blackcreek Girls Group

8 December 2009

The worst mail ever

Pass the tissues please ........

Today I received a 'death certificate' in the mail - It's the worst mail I have ever received. I cried and cried and cried and I'm still crying 12 hours later!!!!

I can't believe how empty I feel now that my Mum is gone. In fact I really can't believe she has gone! - my heart aches so much it's indescribable. I'm actually shocked by how much I am hurting, I thought I was going to be strong, I told Mum I would be ok - and now I'm not and I feel like I'm disappointing her. ok Maybe not, and maybe she can feel my love because of my hurting so much. I know I did all that I could during the last few weeks, and I know that Mum knows that too. So why do I feel that I could be disappointing her? Is it because it's easier to feel guilty and angry than sad?? But I do feel sad...... It's all so confusing. Grief.... it sucks.

I'm crying........ It seems I've been crying all day today. I want to be strong for her, I don't want her to hurt anymore and if she can see me I'm probably hurting her now. (oops here I go again) I saw her hurt too much, it hurt the family seeing it. It hurt her knowing we were hurting..... it just all bloody hurt!!! I was grateful when her hurting stopped - but so disappointed, so broken, so worried about my girls, and even worried about Craig too. I saw his heartbreak, I heard him cry, I watched him cry at the celebration on Sunday - he didn't want to let go of the balloons that we released for Mum......... why would we want to let go? We haven't. I won't let go of my Mum, or what we had together I will forever hold the memories close in my heart. I let go of the balloons to hopefully signify some kind of release, for Mum, a way of 'setting her spirit free'

Every day is so terribly quiet. The Nana Shack looks lonely, I'm lonely.
My house doesn't feel the same.
Driving in the driveway and seeing the Nana Shack so dark, so empty - knowing my Mum isn't there is heartbreaking.
Knowing this feeling wont go away anytime soon, is so hard to accept.

I want to close my eyes and sleep it all away.

I know I must go on, that life goes on - I know I have 2 beautiful daughters to live for, a husband to share with and I know I have wonderful supportive friends - but that still doesn't change how I feel NOW.

I feel like a small child......... I'm 47 years old and feel 10!! I want to scream "I want my mummy" I want my girls Nana back!!

I want to curl up in a ball and sob for the rest of my life.

I want to do everything for her again....... and everything I didn't get a chance to do (or didn't do) while she was still here with me. I want to hold her again, hug her again, cry with her again, laugh with her again, massage her back again, rub her shoulders again, do crosswords together again, drink tea again, play cards again, go in the spa again, go fishing again, take her shopping again, eat salmon sandwiches together again. There are so many million little things.

I look back on that last 15 days in the hospital, and it all seems so unreal. Was that really us in the hospital all that time? Did we do that, visit every day, sit day and night holding her hands? Yes we did, and I know people are saying we are lucky we had that time in the hospital together - and Yes we were - but it doesn't change how I feel NOW. We had one week at home with Mum, one week - it wasn't long enough for any of us. Having to leave Mum in the hospital when visiting hours finished absolutely sucked!!! Then we went to the palliative care hospital... That was so hard, knowing we were going there to watch and wait for Mum to die!! Although it was so much nicer and we had a private room Mum had already started slipping away from us. We couldn't converse properly, she could hear us but couldn't speak back (apart from the occasional sentence or two - it was heartbreaking!! We had 4 nights there - 4 very long nights, painful nights for all of us.

There was one time when I was talking to Mum and tears were falling down her face, I didn't know what she was thinking, or would have said if she could speak. It was just so sad........ sad sad sad, all I could do was hug her.

I feel ripped off - I want to scream at the local GP who treated my Mum for a pulled muscle for 4 months previously, when it was cancer!!!!!! If we had known we could have done more together before the pain made everything too hard for Mum to do.

All I want to say to everyone I see or meet, is - make the time - don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today! Appreciate what & who you have in your life, make amends & build bridges if you have to.

My Mum touched so many peoples hearts. Even in hospital my Mum made the other patients smile - this was a cancer ward, a dark depressing ward with sick people all around. I also want to thank Trisha - another patient, who showed my Mum such kindness during her visit in hospital. Trish would run around pressing the nurse button, feeding mum her unwanted biscuits etc., and Trish all of us family (Bec, Amy, Craig & I) want to thank you for being so special and for caring for Mum while we weren't there. We hope you are doing ok now and that you have your headaches under control.

My Mum made Christmas cards for her local Coles shop assistant, for the girls at Bakers Delight, for the staff in the newsagency where she bought the paper from each week. My Mum bought a present for a stranger every year and put it under the KMart christmas tree.

Life can change in the blink of an eye !

Mum (in the middle) with other patients in Royal Perth Hospital - she got them smiling :)

Mum being such a good sport, she was always letting us dress her up!


Happier times, when the girls and I were leaving to go to Bali - Perth Airport.

Surrounded by angels, and now our own angel herself.

7 December 2009


My sadness today had a little interlude of happiness and gratitude.......

During my Mum's struggle with the cancer/pain, we received some gorgeous flowers and cards from family & friends. They were all so lovely and so appreciated. When the kindness arrived today from an online friend I haven't even met, it reminded me of how beautiful this world can be. It reminds me that there is love all around. For this I am so grateful. I hope my Mum is looking down upon my family and can feel this Love - I hope she can see the beautiful flowers and cards and I hope she knows that although we are all terribly sad, devastated and feeling broken, our hearts are filled with her love, her strength and happy memories.

The most amazing gift of 12 long stemmed beautiful yellow & pink roses, from my internet art friend Joanne arrived today - Thank you Joanne, you are the most incredibly thoughtful and generous person. I wish I could hop on a plane and come give you a big hug!

My Mum Loved yellow roses, they were her favourite!!

They arrived in a beautiful long box, with the ends of the boxes die-cut 'roses only', inside were the magnificent roses, a rose scented candle and a box of chocolates....... mmmm chocolate :)

Here's some pictures of the beautiful flowers from Joanne, sitting proudly in my home.

Saying I'm sad doesn't begin to describe it

My Beautiful Mum passed away on a sunny Sunday 29th November, 2009.........

It's all so unbelievable, things happened so fast! So much happened in a short few weeks.

I can't imagine my life without my Mum but know I have to keep going and I hold onto all the memories we made together.

It hurts so much, I feel really numb and unmotivated. I know my Mum would not want me to feel this way - but how can I not, when she was such a big part of my whole life??

I hold onto the cherished memories, especially the last few weeks we shared together. I was by her side, with Craig, Bec & Amy - just the 4 of us while she passed away. We were all holding her hands, telling her how much we loved her and will miss her. We told her she was beautiful and I stroked her face and placed my other hand over her heart......
The peace I saw & felt within her as she lay so very still afterwards, was a relief - as I finally knew she was not suffering at all anymore.

Tears constantly spill from my eyes and my life will never be the same. It's all the million little things that hurt so much. Like the times I would come home from my shop to find a batch of freshly baked scones sitting on my table - and a bowl of fresh cream in my fridge, or cupcakes.

Mum always put everyone else BEFORE herself - she was such a giving loving soul.

Today we celebrated her life - It was another beautiful sunny Sunday - We lit candles, and sent off balloons. We played Mum's favourite music. Heartfelt words were spoken. Tears flowed. We smiled as we recalled special memories and fun times.

The support & love we have received during this sad time is incredible, and for that, we are so very grateful.

My numbness remains - I will be taking one day at a time, moment by moment.

19 November 2009

Another week zooms by - warning this is a shitty post

I get by with a little help from my friends (and my wonderful family)

Another week has just zoomed by -

On Saturday the 14th
my Mum ended up back in the hospital. It was another problem on top of all the cancer problems. My Mum has been relatively healthy most of her life, apart from a couple of small problems that were fixable years ago. The one thing that has caused her some woe is 'diverticulitis' which had her in hospital 4 years ago. It's a really shitty thing (Literally!!) So we took Mum back into hospital because she was totally blocked up.

I can't explain here on my blog how bad things were, or what we tried to do to help on the Friday night - until 3.30am.

Several over the counter relief tablets and liquids had not helped. Suppositories did not help, enemas did not help.

The emergency Dr's at the hospital actually tried to 'manually evacuate' - not nice, in fact I can't imagine what it was like for her and no family was allowed to stay with her while they did it.
It didn't work!!

Mum was put into a ward and given 3 daily doses of different 'liquids' to help clear her bowel, she was also given tablets 2 x daily. 2 more days and still no movement!

Tuesday: The Drs then decided it was time to try another 'manually evacuation' - sigh.........
This time they managed to clear something - positive, yet extremely painful for Mum. They did this while Mum was in the ward (with 3 other patients)
The ladies in the ward advised me when I went in, that Mum had been through a horrible time. They told me she was screaming in pain, then crying and sobbing afterwards!!!
My gut turned :(
Mum was quite out of it, very dopey (without medication for that) probably total exhaustion as she is not sleeping well with the pain. I found out that the Dr's had ordered her pain medication to be cut in half - as they were worried the meds were creating or exacerbating the bowel problem. So Mum is now having to deal with the cancer pain - which wasn't completely being kept at bay in the first place!

Mum is beside herself, fed up, completely exhausted and it is horrible to see that. We are all trying to keep her spirits up - but with what she is going through, we understand how difficult it is.

Wednesday: I visited Mum and spent most of the day with her, some good news - In the early hours of the morning Mum finally managed to clear some of her bowels on her own after 17 days!!!!!!

This was a cause for celebration. Woo Hoo.

We now have to wait and see if Mum will continue to empty herself, as there is some concern over whether her body is working properly now. Her bladder wasn't, so that's a concern too.
Along with all this Mums legs are now BOTH affected by the cancer/nerves or whatever.... nobody seems to know exactly what is causing it.

Thursday: Today Mum was supposed to be seeing the Oncologist for a regular appointment, apparantly he will visit Mum in hospital seeing as she is there already.
Also, today is the first day for the radiation treatments to begin - if Mum is still in hospital, they will wheel her bed down for the radiation treatment.

I'm about to get ready and go visit her - please continue to send Mum your love and prayers.


The art card I chose to commence this post describes how I feel - and I would like to say a big thank you to those that have sent well wishes, cards for mum and the positive caring comments here on my blog.


12 November 2009

So much to deal with

Before I start this long post I want to share a piece of art that Bec created for me, it's totally beautiful. It has so many meanings for me - I need to let go - to let go of the things that tie me down, those bad thoughts and feelings, the past hurts that grip me so tightly.

I need to let go - do you?

Click on the picture to see the gorgeous detail.
It has shimmer (hard to see here),
sparkly gold leafing, and lovely texture.

Where did the last 2 weeks go........?

It was full of hospital appointments and hospital stays for my Mum :(

Last wednesday (4th November) we took Mum into RPH as we could not get her pain manageable for her. We did have an appointment the next day at RPH with the Oncologist to find out more about the cancer - like some details of where, what, when etc etc so many questions.

So going into hospital actually sped up the process a little.

I have watched my Mum struggle with so many tests this last week - all whilst she was still in pain! Seeing her suffering, while I too am suffering with my own aches and pains has been totally exhausting. We had to get wheelchairs at all the appointments as Mum's left leg is so weak and keeps collapsing on her. She now has a walking frame.
During the hospital stay, Mum had a fall in the middle of the night while trying to find the toilet - she has bruised the back of her right arm and is now black and blue, along with bruising on her back. The week before she fell in her 'granny flat' and bruised her backside......

Mum had more CT scans on pelvis, chest and brain along with more blood tests.

After being in hospital, we now know the facts. Even though we are not happy with them, at least we all know what we are dealing with.

The 'main' cancer is in her lungs - inoperable, chemo not an option either.
The bone cancer is quite progressed in her - thoracic 4 & 5 spinal vertebrae, several ribs, the femur bone, collar bone & hip.

There are also 5 tumours in her brain!!!! - this shocked us all - again!

Tomorrow I take Mum to be tattooed - ready for radiotherapy treatments next week.
Mum will have radiotherapy on her brain x 5 times (one for each tumour) & on her rib (one rib has a large cancer)

It's been a very tough week or so for us all.

I have spoken to so many people on the phone, organising appointments, checking things and then there was the horrible task of helping Mum get through a list of 'people to call' to advise them of the situation - not a pleasant thing to do. The emotions have been flowing all around, so many teary moments.

We set up a web-cam with Mum's sister Sheila in the UK, and that was fabulous - Mum's family are all in the UK, as Mum emigrated to Australia in 1964 with me and my Dad.

Bec and Amy have been alternating a couple of nights per week staying with us to help their Nana - it's great to have them home for a while, and also relieves me after some tiring days!!

I feel quite useless :( - I'm not very capable physically of doing much to help Mum. I can be there for her, wash the dishes and do the little things. Mum and I have had a lot of little talks, some cries, some laughs and some nice quality time together. We have done a few crosswords together - although Mum has struggled with concentration quite a lot.

We smoke!! - although we are all cutting down - and I have every intention of quitting, but it is SO hard right now!

Mum broke down and cried the other day and she said to me "I'm so sorry that I'm putting you through all this, you have enough to deal with already with your own pain. I don't want to see you suffer, Nor do I want Bec & Amy to see you suffering, so please go see someone and get more help." We cried together, and I told her that I loved her.

The sad thing to see is that Mum is so worried about everyone else, like me, the girls and how we will all cope.

I can't imagine my life without her - The thought of it alone is heartbreaking.

I too am worrying about everyone will cope.
I'm trying to prepare myself for something that I know NO amount of preparation is going to help!!

It's the little things I think about too - those moments when we used to just sit together doing a puzzle, or when she sits playing 'farkle' on Craigs computer, while I'm on mine - and I listen to her frustration at the game and giggle to myself. Mum hasn't played 'farkle' (a facebook game) for over a week now.
Mum said to me today...... 'do you think I will ever drive again?' - I had to answer truthfully, that I didn't... explaining that the 'drugs' she is now on can impair things and that it wouldn't bne a good idea.
Mum is losing some motor control, the little things I see - like her hand trembling when she is trying to address an envelope or sign her name - they hurt me so much.

I see a little fear in her eyes, I see a sadness deep inside - and my heart aches from that.
Mum want's me to feel good, has asked me to go for some pain management and is telling me to do whatever I have to do to get myself feeling better. Since all of this has happened I feel that she 'understands' my pain more.

I hurt in so many places right now - physically and emotionally.

There are moments when I even want my Mum's drugs for my own pain relief........ I struggle within myself and I see that the pain medication is working for her most of the time, which is a god-send and I'm so grateful for that.

My own housework is being neglected, and I don't seem to have much time for my art. I am feeling so unmotivated physically - yet I want to do so many artful things!!
Today I managed to scan a few things that I had in progress - and I messed around with some painty backgrounds with Bec late last night. On wednesday I still did the 'atc class' in my store and that was nice to get out of the house and keep things as 'normal' as possible.

I have also been cooking a lot of nice meals for us all - and have enjoyed being able to bring some enjoyment to us.

There is so much more I could say, but for today I'm done - tired and teary.

4 November 2009

RAK Request

Tonight I had a thought....

I know you are all such caring and generous souls, and I was wondering if you could please help me - by sending a little love my Mum's way.

As you probably already know, my Mum is not well. Today the family took her into hospital to see if we can get her pain under control. We are hoping she will come home tomorrow after they perform a biopsy to see where her main cancer is that has caused the bone cancer.

I receive gorgeous cards & atc's in the mail from my private swaps and group swaps, so I thought it would be really nice if my Mum was to receive some nice mail too. Mum lives in a granny flat at the back of our house.

It would be really wonderful if anyone could send a little card or something, with 'sending you a hug' or something sweet & simple - Please don't say 'get well soon'

You can send any mail to -

Marjorie Winn
13 Ivanhoe Place

2 November 2009

Guest ATC Designer - November

The wonderful Chriss Rollins who is also a part of The Paper Girls has invited me to be their guest ATC designer for the month of November.

I'm thrilled to have been asked, Chriss has been wonderfully supportive as she knows my time is pre-occupied with my Mum's health care at the moment. So I gave Chriss permission to grab any of my images she liked to include on the relevant blogs. These can now be seen live on her blog. I always find it interesting to see which cards appeal to different people. Chriss chose my " Shift Lock" Card above, as the Monthly Trade image - a personal favourite of mine.

Chriss has been so friendly and helplful in sorting out the images, my bio etc and I'm delighted to be involved with these amazing ladies!

My ATC's are yet to be made, and hopefully I am going to get to them this week. The theme is "Keys" - and I love keys!!

Pop by Chriss's blog and say hello (wow so many s's's I'm glad I don't lisp!!) xo

31 October 2009

Feeling helpless, but blessed.

I want to thank everyone for their kind comments, support and prayers that have been sent my families way. The little messages on Facebook, here on my blog and via email mean so much to me. Thank you everyone for your love & support. I feel blessed to know you all. Please keep sending those prayers. xo

My Mum back in 50's - My absolute favourite photo :)
Update on Mum:

It's been 11 days since my last post.
My Mum isn't doing too well :(
We went to see the Oncologist at Royal Perth Hospital on Thursday. We didn't get much information - except to confirm the worst. The Dr was rather serious, but seems very thorough. He has organised for a CT Scan from my Mum's waist up - to check her lungs (He did indicate that's where he thinks her Main cancer is) but he also want's to check her Brain because of the headaches and nausea she has been having. He organised for a blood test, which she had on Thursday.
A lung function test has also been ordered - which Mum has had several times before due to her already failing lungs. Two years ago Mum was diagnosed with Interstitial Pneumonia, Pulmonary Fibrosis (Honeycomb Lung) and Emphysema!
Once the results are back from the CT scans, the Dr is then going to determine if he can do a biopsy into an area with cancer to find out more information. He didn't want to insert a needle into her rib - the rib with the large bone cancer/deformity - as there would be a chance of it breaking or crumbling.
The bone cancer is in both her ribs, the top part of the spine (which the Dr said has caused two vertebrates to compress and cause nerve pain) It's also in part of her pelvis and her femur.
He thinks the nerve pain in the back is the main pain that Mum is been feeling.

He more or less asked us to watch her for signs of organ failure...... that scared the crap out of me!! The warning was.... if she feels numbness, tingling in her arms or legs, keeps vomiting, doesn't do poo-poop after a couple of days on laxatives, if she feels dazed or confused and if she doesn't wee-wee - and also said if she can't stand on her tip toes, then take her to the ER.

The Dr prescribed more pain medication - which doesn't really seem to be helping a great deal!!
Now she has a concoction of things to remember, and we are all helping her with this.
I have written in black texta which is for which and when she should be taking them. Most of the time someone is with her, which is good.

The poop-poop hasn't really happened properly for 9 days.
Mum has only eaten one proper meal in about 5 days, she is unable to keep food down.
Today she ate 3 icecream wafers and at 10pm I managed to get her to eat a bit of a banana.
I'm worrying :(
She doesn't want to go to the hospital, because she knows she wouldn't be comfortable as she isn't sleeping well at all - mostly an hour at a time, two to three tops! I also think she is scared that she might not come out of the hospital, and she doesn't want to die there!
Amy and I have been trying to get her to eat something, so at least if she is sick she will have something inside to come out.
If the nausea hasn't settled tomorrow and the laxatives (& enema!!) haven't worked, I think it will be necessary that we take her to the hospital.

I wanted to share some pictures -

This is my favourite picture of me with my parents as a child

Here's us girls - a pic from a few years back.
left to right: Amy, Me, Mum & Bec

This photo below, is from about a year ago. I was trying out my 'macro' on my camera, and this is my Mum's finger modelling her beautiful ring - On Wednesday my Mum gifted me a beautiful owl ornament (you know I love owls right?) and it opens up and inside was this ring :)
All sparkly and as beautiful as her.

19 October 2009

WTF Next?

If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
This is one of my art cards that I 'connect' with this post.

I don't know where to start on this post...... so I will just say it simply.

My Mum is not well.
If there's one thing we can't do without it's our Mums!!

I'm hurting, I feel terrible, I feel numb, I feel exhausted......... and I'm worried about everyone's well being (My own included)

I'm trying SO hard to be postive, to stay in the moment and not let my thoughts wander too far into the land of 'what if's & whens'

I'm trying hard to be strong - for my Mum, for my beautiful daughters, for my H - because he has wanted me to be happy and not to hurt (physically & emotionally) so badly for a long time now......... and now this!!

As you might know from previous posts, my Mum is often quite depressed and a bit (cough) negative at times. The poor thing has been suffering a lot of pain lately and the Dr's told her it was most likely a pulled muscle. This has been going on for months!!
Probably, her own pain, anxiety and fear would explain her reactions that day of my previous post

(which now I feel terrible about - but my own constant pain and frustration explains that)

The thing is, last week I was so frustrated & upset seeing My Mum being in pain, while also being in pain myself, and nothing working that gave My mum any relief (panadeine forte, panadol osteo, mersyndol) - that I told her to go back to the Dr and demand the Dr for some further tests.

So the Dr agreed and sent her for a bone scan to check. My Mum is 72 btw.

Turns out by the bone scan results said that it is highly likely that Mum has 'metastatic bone disease'.!!!!!!! Which means secondary cancer in the bones that has spread from somewhere else in her body. Now, it's more tests trying to find out where - and what is going to happen. Or the 'treatment' etc etc So now we wait for oncology appointments, and probably more tests.

Today Mum had to have a mammogram, as the most common cancer that spreads to the bones if undetected, is Breast Cancer - the mammogram hasn't been reported on properly yet, but the nurse and dr, said it looked clear and normal - so now we just wait for the oncology to ring us (an urgent appt has been requested, but this could take over a week!!! )
Knowing my mum's lung conditions - (Pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema & Interstitial pneumonia)
if their is a main cancer, then the most likely thing could be Lung cancer - but thyroid cancer is also a common cancer to spread to the bones, as is kidney cancer. So we wait....... we watch her in pain.

I see sleeping tablets not working, tramadol maximum dosage allowed not working, mersyndol, panadeine forte - nothing is making Mum comfortable!! This itself is worrying me knowing it might be bone cancer. IF it is bone cancer (I say "if" with my own head doubts) then isn't it possible that it has already progressed during the last few months during trips back and forth to the Drs??? This is a bad thing, a bad thought :( But, I'm trying to be rational, logical.

I'm finding myself already angry (maybe pre-emptively) that the Dr's didn't be more thorough, because they could have robbed us of some special time!

It's a horrible waiting game just to find out exactly what is going on, what is going to be next, the likelihood of treatment helping - if it can, or not. Etc Etc

The bones affected are her 6th, 7th, 8th ribs - both sides, a few vertebrates in her thoracic region, her pelvis & also her femur.

This is not looking good is it?

15 October 2009

Frida Kahlo - My painting

This is my Frida - I really like her.
She put on such a brave face when she could.
I am so connected to her - her life story is incredible!

If you don't know about her - visit here

I hope you like my Frida painting.

Thank you for visiting, I'm off to visit a friend now....... have fun!


12 October 2009

Frida Kahlo

Today I found some wonderful images of Frida, I also found this post on Memos to Mom's blog - It explains a lot!

Now I am inspired to draw (well try to) Frida Kahlo....

Here's some Frida pics.....

I have always felt connected to Frida, just because I knew she suffered a lot of pain.
It is now believed that after her horrific accident, she suffered from Fibromyalgia - so another way I can truly 'connect' with her....... it sucks, the poor thing endured so much in her life, and her art depicted it.

10 October 2009

Sketches in progress

Another two quick sketches last night.

The first - Molly, is feminine and buxom :) and likes to show off her curves!

The second - Pride, is not so feminine - she's lesbian and prefers to play down her curves.

It was challenging to get the body shape different for the lesbian, as I'm getting used to drawing shapely, feminine girls. This was a lead into drawing males - one thing I haven't attempted yet. I find the girls so much more fun!


8 October 2009

Paintings and sneek peek at commissioned piece

Here's a sneek peek at my commissioned "mermaid" I hope you like her. I'm wondering what to do on her tail - glitter, sparkles, bling, gills?

Here's another of my sketches painted two different ways :)

Thank you for visiting :)

5 October 2009

Random mix of new-ish works & a weird photo!

Here's some more random pics of recent creativity.
I scanned tonight. YAY!
I hope to be making some new art cards (aceo's & atc's) from the new sketches.
Check out the girl in the 'I dream of painting' atc - I think she looks like me!!

My ELDA sketch, painted and grunged :)
You may remember 'Elda' from my previous post Pencil out the Pain

"I dream of painting"
Look at her, she really looks like me!

This is a little weird.. I don't remember where the pic in this atc came from, so if you know please point me in the right direction so I can credit it. (and maybe find out who she was!!) ADDED: I found it, the picture is from Lisasaltered art collage sheet - Slides #5... I have emailed to let her know this spooky coincidence!
The weird thing, is that this pic reminded me so much of myself.... I mean the actual girl LOOKS like me as a kid!! So I showed Craig and he didn't believe I had got the photo from somewhere else - he thought I had used a picture of myself and added the clothing.

Secret Promise
Some weird happenings going on in this one! Just what is a secret promise? A promise that you don't actual give and therefore don't commit to. Or is it something you promise but don't ever follow through on? Sigh - I've experienced TOO many of those!! Yes, it is the ruin of them!
(I'm talking about men of course)

A couple of new sketches
I will be making some cards with her soon, oh and painting them I hope.


Who are you dressing up as?

These three cards were made with collage and rubber stamp combination, I stamped into hot white Embossing powder. Collaged the bodies and then added some inking, text and rub-ons.

I really do hope that trust will heal my wounds!

I got a little bit of anger releasing during the process of this card - yup, I scribbled and scrubbed and let some of it out....... ahhh it feels good to release with art :)

He wore curious clothes
I have no idea what I was thinking during the making of this atc! I liked the unusual image and I guess I thought he looked somewhat noble :)

That's it for now - It's 12.22am and time for me to take my sleeping pills and wait for them to kick in....... see you soon,



Life with confidence

I found a site, with some links to 'gratitude' and more, like this E-Book for $10
take a peek...

Life With Confidence

Practical information on building confidence in yourself, your work and your personal relationships with free articles, activities, ideas, quotes. Confidence tips, tricks and strategies that actually work and don't just try to sell you high priced products.

2 October 2009

Drumroll Please............. and the winner is


The winner from my previous post Reality Check is ......................................


Congratulations Betty, if you email me your postal address, I will get one of my art cards in the mail for you :)

Thank you to everyone who commented, your comments were very valuable and so appreciated!

Hugs xo

24 September 2009

Reality Check

Ok, I'm asking all my wonderful followers to tell me what you would like to see more of on my blog...... all commenters will go into the draw to win one of my recent 'hand-drawn' art cards :)

Is it more pictures or more text?

Sometimes I want to pour out my heart & soul - but very often pause and decide against it - hey, I know too many people that might read my blog and just not 'get it'.... right?? No, probably Wrong... it's my blog and it's personal, so I guess I should feel free enough to say whatever I damn well please. Lets face it, if someone doesn't like it, then so be it. You can't please all the people all the time, and some people you can't please any of the time. So really what have I got to lose??

Being the owner of a retail store, I guess brings along a sense of 'responsibility' and 'professionalism', which is well and good and probably the reason I hold back so often.
Maybe I should start another blog....... an anonymous one haha - Do you think you would know it was me???

Look at the flack the amazing Suzi Blu got for her 'vulva' posting a while ago - I found it immensely entertaining, refreshing and 'real'..!! Go Suzi, you brave, free speaking soul. I love how Suzi can pour it all out, without fear.. and I know Suzi is responsible - she has the lovely Gigi to care for too, and as for professionalism..... well look at her amazing videos!! Suzi is technically savvy, creative, free speaking, vibrant and fun.

I can do it, can't I? Sheesh, I doubt myself too much sometimes.

The other day I saw a double-decker bus and immediately started thinking about how cool it would be to do it up as an 'art bus' - top floor for living, bottom full or art supplies - I would love a gypsy Caravan too, but either would be cool.

Anyone got an old double-decker bus lying around their back yard they can give me? or even a gypsy caravan?? I might pack up for a bit, go travelling and I might be lucky enough to meet up with Suzi somewhere on a creative journey :)

Anyone wanna come?

Ahh but reality- What about my home, my business, my beautiful girls and even the man I sometimes (sad but true) want to run away from........ I would miss them all too much! So I couldn't be gone for too long. Wow, I'm really thinking about this aren't I.. haha (talking to myself there sorry)

Now I know Bec would probably like another holiday, especially one that involved nothing but playing with pretty papers, paints and crafty goodness every day - hmm maybe a road trip, with classes and lots of sharing, fun, laughter and art!!

Where would I start?

(Reality Check)

We gotta dream! - and I'm dreaming now!

Now if only I can manage to string a few hours sleep together, and wake up not hurting so much tomorrow - I will be content with that for now :)

If you made it all the way down here, thank you for listening now you can go ahead and answer my questions haha... oh and don't forget - a suprise hand-drawn card could be yours!


Atc Angel Swap & Other collage atc's

These cards are a little bit of colourful fun - Enjoy!

I completed my cards for the Scrappindipity Monthly ATC Swap (from our flickr group) These were made using my favourite Gel Medium Transfer technique. I like my transfers to be soft, subtle and a little grungy!

20 September 2009

Finished some ACEO's / ATC's

I finished some more of my hand-drawn aceo's - here's a couple of full page scans.

Some are available to 'trade' and some are available on my ETSY store.

There's a couple of 'collage' cards in this lot

Here's a few close ups :)

This piece was inspired by Nic Hohn's 'open heart, vulnerable mind' painting.
I was very drawn to it and the topic of vulnerability inspired me to complete this.

This piece incorporates some hand painted background
paper, along with a piece of 'shaving foam' background paper that I created.
I created this piece to be colorful, with an abstract background.

This is probably my favourite, The colour and contrast with my
'tilted girl' drawing seem to pop for me. Also, I could do with the
reminding that I need some gentle peace in my life.

Thank you for visiting and looking :)

Any ideas for future projects ? Feel free to share.

Sending you all 'peace' 'vulnerability' and 'potential'