Friday, September 23, 2016


This year has seemed longer than most. The death of my pop, my dad needing heart surgery (and learning that the problem he had would've caused a heart attack if they hadn't found and fixed it in time), and other family happenings have made it seem so. 

I have also had a hard time with my own health issues (again) this year. Recurrent sinus and throat infections on top of my usual illnesses have made things difficult, and I recently equaled my all time record for the most joint dislocations in a single day (29 - which is a lot more than my daily average of 4.5). 

Luckily, I now have great pain killers - which have actually kept me mostly comfortable - even through the worst of days! I am also getting better at knowing when to increase my dosage - taking extra medication when my pain starts to get bad, instead of waiting until I can barely move and have to keep reminding myself to not hold my breath because of the pain.... lol! In addition, I have started having weekly iron injections again - which really help my energy levels and easy bruising. 

Anyway, over the past few weeks, I have been feeling a lot better! I have been able to make art and craft, play computer games, and even walk around a bit - so I am very happy! 

The other night, I wrote a quick journal post on DeviantArt about my year so far - in relation to art and craft. Using a little more of my newfound energy, I thought I would expand on that post a little here, and tell you about all the good things I have been involved with and done this year! 


Nail Art! 

Back in January, I started experimenting with nail art stamping! I wrote a blog post about it at the time, and I have also uploaded some pictures of my experiments to my make-up and nail art gallery on DeviantArt =).

^Some pictures of my experiments with nail art stamping.

I have continued to experiment with nail art stamping - and also other non-stamped nail art designs throughout this year. I really enjoy decorating my nails (although at the moment, I can't do much more than paint them, as my hand has to be splinted because of dislocating bones! I can't wait until I can try some more stamping and nail art again!)

^Some pictures of my stamping and non-stamping nail art experiments. 

Discovering My Ances-Tree! 

Something else that has been occupying quite a lot of my time this year is family history research. I originally thought that it might be nice to make myself a family tree - perhaps as a cross stitch, or a collage, or some other kind of large artwork for my wall. I feared it would be difficult to find the information I'd need for this little art project, as while I already knew a lot about some branches of the family through stories passed down through the generations, I barely knew anything about even my great grandparents on other branches.

^My fifth great grandmother, and the ship another of my fifth great grandmothers sailed to Australia on. 

I needn't have feared! I now have enough information on every branch to compile into a reasonably thick book - and I am still discovering new things almost every day! It has become addictive, as I discover new characters and try to unravel their stories using online parish records, court documents, convict indents, military papers, and other sources.

^A picture of my second great grandparents, and the house where another of my great grandfathers was born.

For the moment, I am focusing on direct ancestors (my nth great grandparents). It is amazing the amount of material that still exists about them so long after their deaths. (I can only imagine how much info will be left over from people alive today in a hundred years time... Facebook archives, and ancient YouTube and game profiles... it will paint an interesting picture of what life is like in 2016!)


I have done a lot of stitching and embroidery this year. (Some of my work appears in my stitching, textiles and beading gallery on DeviantArt). Stitching is a fun and relaxing pastime when I'm stuck in bed with little energy =). This year, I have been primarily focused on two major projects: a giant ship cross stitch, and draw liners for the miniature chest of drawers I am making. To take a break from these large projects, I have also stitched a couple of smaller kits - including a seaside scene, and a flower vase.

^One of my draw liners, and my ship cross stitch (both are works in progress). 

The designs for my draw liners have taken some planning. I wanted to include my pets, and other things that are important to me in the designs. I stitched some draft versions to plan out the patterns, and to ensure that what I was trying to make would work out the way I wanted it to. Most of the designs were made using trial and error, others I sketched onto graph paper in order to come up with a test-design. Once I am happy with the pattern, I am stitching the final designs onto rigid plastic canvas, as I want to create sort of like a lidless box to line each of the drawers. I am happy with the way the patterns are turning out so far!

^Some pattern planning.

Though I tend to stitch less often when the weather is warmer, I hope to get the liners for my miniature chest of drawers finished by the end of the year (or sooner, if possible). The ship stitch will take longer - it is the largest cross stitch I have ever done, in the over 20 years that I've been stitching).


Another thing I've been up to this year is experimenting with Pebeo Fantasy special effects paints! (You probably already know this, as it has been the subject of the two blog posts I've written recently =D - this one and this one!) I just love the way it mixes to create such amazing effects - with very little effort on my part! It is almost magical - with metallic and glitter effects emerging from the patterns!

^Some of my creations.

So far, I have used Pebeo Fantasy special effects paints to create an eye-liner holder, and several abstract paintings on canvas. I also have some half-finished projects on the go, including some jewelry, a painted box, and my miniature chest of drawers! 

My Miniature Chest of Drawers!

So, I have surely mentioned my miniature chest of drawers enough in this post to warrant it having it's own section! 

^Some plans for my chest of drawers. 

As a birthday present last year, Ellenya gave me a small wooden chest of drawers - to be painted and decorated however I liked! With some planning, I decided to create a glass mosaic on the outside of the chest, with some glass mosaic inside the drawers, and some marbly Pebeo Fantasy special-effects painted areas to compliment the mosaics. To finish off, each draw would have its own cross stitched draw liner. 

^Painting the draw interiors. 

So far, I have finished the mosaic'd parts (although they need a clean and polish), have almost finished the painting, and have half finished the draw liners. I hope to have it all finished soon! =)


Earlier this year, Ellenya and I participated in GISHWHES - the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen - for the first time. We were lucky enough to be placed in a fantastic team of extremely lovely, super talented, and enthusiastic ladies (and one very shy gentleman!)

^A collage I created, and a picture of me. 

GISHWHES gave me the confidence to participate in an online team again and restored my faith in people, after some bad experiences had made me a bit reticent to join in with people I didn't already know. It was an amazing experience! I really enjoyed it =D.

^A painting in honour of bees, and an illustration for 'Trumpunzel'. 

One of the list items I completed involved papering the walls of my room with a couple of hundred pictures of my nose... so... I decided to make the pictures a little more interesting by working "nose art" into them. I used coloured eyeliner pencils to draw my designs (some of which are featured in my make-up and nail art gallery on DeviantArt). FYI, the magenta eyeliner stained... lol!

^Nose art.

In addition to nosing around, I also completed a few other GISHWHES items, including making a collage, painting a picture in honour of our dear friends the bees, and drawing an illustration for the fairy tale - 'Trumpunzel". It was a fantastic event to be a part of, and I will definitely be participating again next year!


Another thing that has happened to me this year is that I have somehow become addicted to charm beads! I feverishly collect different beads, and I love rearranging them to create unique bracelet and necklace designs! (Some of my bead arrangements can be seen in my charm bead arrangements gallery on DeviantArt). 

^Some of my beads.

Even when I am at home, just lying around in bed, or playing computer games on my laptop - I still wear my pretty beads and feel like I'm all dressed up! I just love looking at them - they are like treasure! 

Puzzle Pirates!

Lastly, I recently returned to the seas in Puzzle Pirates, after more than three years away from the game. I am currently having fun hunting krakens with Ellenya and Budclare, and pillaging solo on my awesomely renamed ships!

^My pirate.

I really like playing the puzzles - I wish they were available on iPad so that I could still play them during the times when I can't sit up at my PC!


So, these are some of the exciting things that I've been up to so far this year! I hope that I stay feeling better for the remainder of 2016 - and that I can continue to play, create art and craft, and share the things I make with you all! =) 

~Adrielle =)