Thursday, 14 May 2015

Updated Oxfam painting list

I thought I should update the painting list - this is the list where you donate a minimum of £50/$75 to Oxfam in exchange for a painting from me. You also meet my materials and postage costs.

Here's the list:  

Junpei: don't know yet

Radiation: Link or My Little Pony (for his daughter)


Custom Special



1ddqd - very happy to roll the painting up into a tube!!

I contact you when it's your turn, and I've just messaged Junpei to see what they would like me to paint. While I wait to hear from them, I'll carry on with a couple of side projects, and post updates of them, as well.

If you'd like to be added to the list, just let me know.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

It's finished!!!

Yes, I've finally finished my Secret Santee's painting. ME doesn't half get in the way of painting, you know. 

Here's the whole thing:

And here's a couple of close-ups:

This was fun to paint!

I'm heading to my queue to contact the next person on the list to find out what I'll be painting next :)

It's that time of year again!

Yes, that's right, its International ME day.

For those of you who check out canvas and paints regularly, you'll have been expecting a post today, as you already know I have ME. For those of you who don't, here goes:

On August 17th 2005 I was half way through a 6 day cycling round North Wales holiday with my husband. This was about a month after having completed the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride in my fastest ever time of 5 hours 50 minutes - it is a 57 mile ride on road between the two places, covering some beautiful, hilly country roads.

We'd arrived in North Wales on the Sunday afternoon after dropping our then foster children back home to their grandparents - they lived with them and came to us for regular weekend breaks, to both support the children and their grandparents.

On the first day we went for a short ride, only doing 11 miles. On the second day, we did about the same, then we gradually increased it so that on the Wednesday we cycled 30 miles, and we were planning to do the same on the Thursday. When I woke up, I thought I was developing a cold, but so what? We went out anyway. We headed to Llandudno, a pretty Victorian town about 15 miles from where we were staying, but as the ride progressed, I started to feel lousy. We stopped at a chemist so I could buy some cold remedy, but I gradually started to feel worse and worse.

Mistake no. 1 was not asking Kev to cycle back for the car while I rested. Mistake no. 2 was me continuing to navigate. We got lost, and almost ended up on the A55 - a very, very busy dual carriageway that's not safe for bikes. The planned 30 mile ride got longer and longer as I tried to work out a route back, and I felt sicker and sicker. Eventually, we managed to find our way back to where we were staying; by then I was feeling pretty dreadful - the cold I thought I was developing felt much more like the 'flu.

I never recovered. I've not been back on my bike since; 10 years later it is gathering dust and cobwebs in my shed. It's hard to describe exactly what it is like, as how I feel can vary so much. The Spoon Theory sums it up pretty well, though.

I've learnt to manage this nasty illness, most of the time fairly successfully, sometimes not. I have relapses where I can barely walk for days, can't think clearly, can't even look after myself.  I rely on my family and friends for help, as there's so much I now can't do. We've moved to a bungalow as walking up stairs exhausts me and causes significant pain.

The hardest thing to cope with is the feeling of grief for what I've lost - the physical strength and capacity that I used to take for granted; being able to think coherently; having a memory that functioned. It took a while, and a CBT course to help me manage the negative emotions I had because of how little I can now do.

One of the best things has been painting - not only does it give me something so positive to do, that doesn't take up too much energy, but it is something very productive, that people appreciate, and raises money for Oxfam and Child's Play.

Another has been learning about the blessing of enabling people to help me - even complete strangers when I'm struggling in a shop - only last Saturday I was trying to do the food shopping, but I was in too much pain to bend down to pick up a box of eggs. My choice was either do without, or swallow my silly false pride and ask for help. Or, as I prefer to look at it, to give someone the gift of feeling good about themselves for helping someone. I asked another customer to help me by picking up a box of eggs for me. She did, I thanked her and she went away feeling good about herself because she had helped someone out.

I have to remember that it is a blessing to help another person, no matter how small that help is - even a bad man wouldn't give a child a stone if they were hungry.

I'm hoping to be part of the UK Rituximab trial at some point; that may lead to a cure for ME. I'll still paint, though.

For more information about ME, click here.

To donate to Oxfam, click here.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Just the outlining left to do!

As the title suggests, I'm almost finished! His has been a fun painting to do :)

Outlining next, then it's done!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Almost finished!

I've been busy painting this morning, and have almost finished the painting. I've just got to add the glow around MegaMan, then the flash of light at the top of his hand, then I'll be ready to do the outlining :)

Here it is:

Yes, still no camera! If anyone feels like donating one, let me know!!

I should have this finished by Friday, then I'll be posting it off to its very patient owner!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Link started

Here's some more done - I've started Link and I'll be painting the rest of Mario next, then Megaman. 

This is a fun picture to paint :)

I know, I'm still using my iPad, haven't found the camera yet!

Live Below The Line

No, this isn't a picture of the painting I'm doing, I'm posting to let you know about something I do each year with my family.

We are raising money for Oxfam - so relevant right now with what has happened in Nepal and India.

The idea is to live on £1 a day for 5 days, donating what you would have spent on food to charity (for me, Oxfam), donating extra, and encouraging others to do the same.

Here's where you can donate:

So, why are we doing it?

Many, many people in this world don't have enough to eat. We do. Even when we were very poor, we had just about enough to eat, and we always had clean, fresh, cold drinking water. So many people don't. Even if reading this makes one more person think about their neighbour (whether that's the person next door, the person begging at the ATM, the person who has just lost everything in Nepal) and they then do something good, its worth it.

We will be hungry this week. We will have a very restricted diet, with no fruit, as I couldn't afford to buy the fruit after I'd bought the veggies and carbs. Kev will find it harder than me, as he needs more calories than I do. We will go to bed hungry. We won't have the foods we normally do.

But, we have a choice. If we can't do it, we can go out and buy some food, or we can raid the cupboards or freezer for something. As one friend said; we have a freezer, we have cupboards, a fridge, a cooker. We don't have to worry about keeping food fresh.

There was a time in our lives when we were poor - I remember scouring the shelves in the supermarket for reduced items to try to stretch my budget. I remember the shame of having to take stuff back at the checkout as I had overspent and didn't have enough in my purse to pay for the food I'd bought for my children. I remember not paying the gas bill so I could buy shoes for my children. That's a long time ago, though, and this will be a good discipline.

Here's our week's food:

Here's half the potatoes, carrots and onions chopped to make soup for the week:

Here's the split peas soaking to add to the veggies for soup:

Here's the finished soup. I'll be bagging and freezing it into individual portions for the week when it has cooled down:

I've never asked this before; I'd really appreciate it if anyone would repost/tweet/FB/whatever the link to this page, so that as many people as possible can read about what we're doing. Thank you.