Sweet smash journals

I belong to a FB group where we trade ATCs every month. The lovely moderator, Dawn, has started a ‘sweet smash journal’ page as well. Here’s how she describes them:

smash

This is not how I normally work, but I have some old grunge card journals lying around, and lots of bits and pieces I’d like to use up, so decided to join in the fun. Not quite what Dawn had in mind, but I’m sure she won’t mind! Here are two quick pages I did this afternoon – it was fun to work without thinking about it too much.

 

 

Advertisements

Christmas gift tags

I’ve started my Christmas shopping. Not because I like the fact there’s Christmas ‘stuff’ in the shops already, in fact, I hate seeing it all out so early; I think it dilutes the excitement. But I prefer to shop slowly, so start early.  Christmas crafting takes time, particularly as I make a lot of cards so, again, I start early.

This year’s gift tags are done with Tim Holtz Distress Oxides, Tim Holtz Distress mica spray in antique gold, Simon Says Stamp intense black ink, and rubber stamps by (umm, someone…). I’ll finish them off with fibre & ribbon through the hole, and write on them with a calligraphy pen.

christmas tags.jpg

A trip to Christchurch

I’ve just come back from 5 days in Christchurch, attending the LIANZA 2017 conference. I was able to have dinner out with my brother-in-law Roger one evening as part of a larger group, and pop in to see my stepdaughter Yasmine, her partner Adam and our grandson Rory – it’s just a pity time was so short.

I hadn’t been to Christchurch since pre-quake. It was weird looking round because I can see the damage but, in many ways, can’t identify the changes as I didn’t know the city beforehand. We took a taxi a couple of times and it was interesting to note how careful the taxi drivers are to explain why they have to take the long way round sometimes; I suspect they occasionally get abused about detours which are not their fault.

This was the first time I’ve flown since my surgery. No seat belt extender needed this time. It was also my first test of eating ‘normally’ away from home; not totally successful but not a disaster either. I only felt really sick once, and lost a few hundred grams so the odd food choices did no harm. The worst moment that’s food related? I was sitting with the “cool kids” from Auckland Libraries – a really lovely bunch – and managed to throw my entire lunch down my jeans, over my sneakers and across the floor. They were so nice, they got me to sit still while they cleaned up, then got me some more food…

So, travel post-surgery is perfectly manageable – that’s another thing ticked off the “hmmm, I wonder…” list.

Photos are Lis & I ready for the gala dinner; Sumner Beach, Rory, Roger and I; Rory with his junior dragster; my seat belt on the plane.

Ch ch ch changes…

As you know, I had weight loss surgery a year ago. I weight less than half what I did. I can shop in ‘normal’ stores now. Does my head understand my real size yet? No. They say our heads are usually a year behind, so I still see myself as a lot bigger than I am.

I have always had nice clothes, particularly for work. If someone asked me, I’d have said I wore what I liked. Turns out whilst I did like my clothes, they weren’t actually *me* – as in, they weren’t what I would choose if I had real choice! Clear as mud?

I’m being careful not to shop too much, and to try things then make myself wait and go back if I still want something. Why? Because addiction transfer is a real risk after weight loss surgery and I don’t want a shopping addiction. Same reason I don’t touch alcohol.

But I am trying on a lot of different things and, having lived in trousers for years, it turns out I love dresses, and florals. Who knew? Here are some photos – a combination of ‘trying it on in shops’ selfies and new clothes, some second hand (because nothing I kept from last summer fits, even though stuff was tight and I thought it’d be okay).

I’ve included one photo of something I *thought* would fit, so you can see what I mean. The weird face I’m pulling with the floral t-shirt is because it’s a size 12 Charlo and my head was going “well, that can’t be right”…

 

CMP17 week 32

We’ve had a wee break because the person who runs this had some family stuff she needed to deal with. Now we’re back into it, which feels good. I used Dylusions and Distress paints, various stencils, black Fude ball pen, white gelly pen, SSS ink pad. It’s one of those pages where what was in my head and what happened on the paper are worlds apart, but that’s ok – the fun is in the doing.

week 32

 

 

One year on I’m half the person I was!

A year ago today Ailsa and I were in Wellington and I was recovering from a gastric bypass with Atul Dhabuwala. It’s been a huge year with some major medical dramas, some of them ongoing. Just this morning I received an appointment to see Dr Anderson (the neurologist) as a follow-up to a stroke caused by the lead-up to Aspiration Pneumonia. I have a paralysed vocal cord, which ACC agree is a result of medical misadventure at Base Hospital. It is slowly healing but I sound like Darth Vader! 

In 2010, before we went to Italy for the Legato exhibition, I weighed 139.6kg. I lost 25kg before we left, but slowly regained 22kg. Dad died of a heart attack at 65 years old, and Mum died at 89 having suffered 16 years of ill health related, in part at least, to her weigt. When I discovered I could withdraw my KiwiSaver to fund surgery there was no looking back.

Atul set a goal weight of 75kg for me, based on the average percentage of excess weight people lose. To be a normal BMI I need to be 68kg. I’ve dropped below Atul’s goal; one year on, I have lost 70.2kg and sitting at 69.4kg. So, I am officially half the person I was…

Thanks to my boss Fiona, staff and colleagues, and STDC as a whole, for concern and support. My sister Ailsa for going with me for the surgery and check-ups, for taking me to hospital more than once, for cleaning up and sorting out, and listening. My best friend of 48 years, Sandra, who has cared without fussing, and just recently asked me “are you okay being this thin?” (or words to that effect) and when I said yes, was happy for me and left it at that.

And of course to Tony, who has dealt with a very, very sick wife – he has cleaned up unmentionable messes without complaint when I was at my sickest. He has coped with a shrinking wife, which must feel odd, and smiled patiently as I bought endless rounds of smaller clothes.  

It’s been a hell of a journey and I have truly earned every gram I have lost. If anyone thinks weight-loss surgery is the easy way out I have news for them! It is a battle every day to drink enough, to eat the right things, and to understand my fat brain.

Has it been worth it? Hell yes! I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Have I rewarded myself? Hell yes! I have always wanted an Annah Stretton Flip dress. On Thursday Tony and I went shopping for the day to celebrate his 71st birthday, and enjoyed dinner on the way home.  The photos below tell the story…