explainin loooosy

WELCOME to the Forest Flaw.
If you are here to check out my portrait work, please click HERE!
If you would like to see my Pet portraits, please click HERE!
If you would like to see my Forest Flaw babies, see HERE!
If you would like to follow me on facebook, click HERE

You can see by my blog that I have many interests, including sewing, drawing and writing about various crafty art related things.
Custom orders are available, just message me.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Hypermyalgia / Fibrosensitive. It's Fibromyalgia and damn you spell check!

Updating my 'condition' from, just good old Rheumatoid Arthritis to Fibromyalgia has had some strange effects on my psyche, which funnily enough is apparently where all my issues are arising from in the first place.

Some of you will say 'Fibro-ma-who-now? some of you might say 'oh yeah, my cousin / aunt / in-law has that, and others of you will say 'what a load of crap'. Even though it is a medically proven illness and 8% of the population are diagnosed with it, I have found in my own studies, that fibromyalgia is yet to be upgraded to the status of a 'oh, yes, that's no good' condition. Even the spell check doesn't really believe in it as every time I write fibromyalgia it insists on putting a red, squiggly line underneath it. See, there it is again.

Apart from the main features of this disease, which include, but are not limited to: chronic fatigue, acute pain, constant pins and needles, muscle weakness / spasms, IBS, TMJ, memory loss, memory loss, mem... It is also an anxiety driven state of hyper-vigilance.

I am overly sensitive to noise, light, sound, touch and activity. It is all too much for my puny brain to compute. I can smell the perfume that my neighbour is putting on, I can smell the fricken cheese on the moon.
I can hear the bathroom door blowing back and forth in a breeze at 4am, then I can hear a cat a block away, then I can hear time itself.
I can see movement around a corner, next door, on another planet.
These are my super-powers. However they are also my kryptonite. I can't relax. I am hyperactive whilst being chronically tired and my body will not allow itself to sleep deeply enough to get the refreshing REM sleep it needs.

In a way, you can sum up Fibromyalgia by putting a -hyper- infront of anything.
Hyper-emotional. Hyper-aware. Hyper-sensitive. Hyper-tired. When I get in my car, I Hyper-drive.

This really does explain the way I live my life. I don't just do things at a normal rate - when I get the urge to create something I Hyper-create. This is never more true than when I am so tired I am stubbing my toe on everything and can't remember what my own face looks like.
So I have learned this about myself this past couple of weeks. I art because it keeps me 'hyper-focused' on one thing. If I am focusing on drawing / sewing / writing then I am not aware of how crap I feel otherwise.
I stop hearing the mice scurrying in the vacant lot a street away. I no longer can smell the toast I burnt a week ago. I quit seeing movement out of the corner of my eyes which I am convinced is me seeing dead people - probably another blog for another time. It helps me to shut down all the parts of me that aren't necessary for the creation of the thing i'm working on. It's art therapy and unbeknownst to me, I've been doing it for a long long time.

Prime example is this week's drawing. Done after a long day of work, almost in tears from pain. There's nothing like drawing a fascinating face to take you out of yourself and your surroundings.
Hyperbole? hypothesis? No, just really hyper-accurate.
I art, therefore I calm.

 Tyrion Lannister - (Peter Dinklage) Pencil, Hyper drawing

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

back to the drawing board

Literally. I am back to the drawing board. Except picture it without a board, just the drawing.

Since being diagnosed with RA (or whatever it is going to morph into after seeing the specialist) - I have been having a lot of trouble sewing by hand all the little foresty friends that got me through a really rough artless time in my life.

It's amazing what excuses we will give ourselves to not be true to who we are. My main excuse has been lack of space. I have lived in a mailbox for over five years now in which time I let my drawing and painting wither and then die because it is too much effort to keep a small house clean with me cluttering up the house with easels, fumes, shavings and nude models everywhere.

ok, no nude models.
ok, no models - maybe nudity.

It has taken for my body to complain so hard, to force me to stop using my left hand, to stop me from hunching over material and my sore eyes from focusing on the eye of a needle - for me to get back to my roots. It has been some time since I have had art exhibitions, longer since I have held a paintbrush, and far too long since I have made a huge mess and had a life affirming moment doing so.
Anyone who has a creative need will know exactly what I mean. If you don't let it flow, your life can feel very stifled. Sad, empty and worthless.
Sound a little melodramatic? It has taken me years to realise that it isn't. It is just a basic truth of life.

So if you have a burning desire - I suggest strongly that you make the time to let it grow. Breathe a little life into it - make a spark that will give you the will to get up in the morning. Without taking the time to work on what we're meant to do - we're just taking up time.

Happy to announce then that I've decided to push for some work in this field again. It will take some time to get back to where I was, but I'm going to seriously enjoy getting there.
So, my first listing to sell portraits is up: wish me luck! With so much amazing competition out there, i'm going to need it!
Link to made it store!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

a jarring experience

The most intimate of places in our home - let's face it - is not necessarily our underwear drawer, the bathroom cupboard, or even where we keep our jewelry.

No, if we're completely honest with ourselves, it's the kitchen pantry. 

Have you ever had someone helping you prepare a meal, only to cringe in embarrassment when they walk towards that cupboard? Because you know inside, there is that packet of pasta in a plastic bag with a hole in it. The box of cereal with the cardboard all ripped down one side and soggy on the other, That container of slightly wiffy - whatever it is - just behind the out of date vinegar. Pegs, rubber bands, hair ties, labels and paper stuck to the shelf.

Ok, maybe that's just how my pantry looked - until I decided enough was enough and I finally tackled it with the items I had been  hoarding  saving just for the occasion.

Now, I am not one of those blogging home goddesses that has glitter on their spray bottles and colour coordinated toilet paper holders.

I do not bedazzle, distress or ruffle.
I do bemoan, stress and shuffle things into out of way locations where they can not be seen.
But the kitchen shelves are on display and I do seem to collect spices and jars. So the two came together and exploded one day into a domestic goddess moment.

To achieve this, I spent an entire afternoon clearing, cleaning and trying not to contemplate what was running along the back of my shelves that looked like tar. Surely I hadn't bought tar? I can't recall the recipe in any case.

So I ordered a small alphabet stamp kit, picked up a stamp pad, purchased some craft tags and set to.

 The first week I tagged all the big stuff. Rice, pasta, flours and the like. These sit on open shelves so they had to look good. I used many tags, had to buy more. Washed so many jars, had to buy more. I was satisfied. I could survive the apocalypse. For a week or two at any rate.

But not being satisfied with that, I cleared out the tar infested (or whatever it was, let's not dwell on it) pantry and hit the spices and condiments.

For this I used sticky labels and kept hold of salsa and pasta sauce jars. I think it has a rustic appeal. 

So now when I am in the kitchen and someone is assisting me, no longer do I cringe. No more do I jump in front of the cupboard or distract visitors with a tap-dance. Never again do I have to invent recipes that consist of tar. 

For what was once the most intimate of embarrassing places, is now a domestic goddesses'  delight. 
For now it is shabby chic, instead of shabby eek.