Tuesday 1 February 2011

HELLO February!

February has arrived DownUnder and I'm feeling quite happy that, during January, I managed to art journal daily, sketch weekly, and also take my self-portrait photos each week. Let's hope I can continue that way.

I did this sketch of Mikayla for January's Sketchbook Challenge.  The theme was 'Highly Prized' and Mikayla certainly fits into that category.  Isn't she cute?  It's my very first sketch of her and I'm sure there will be more.
Sketched free-hand using graphite pencils in large Moleskine sketchbook

Below is my art journal spread for the past week.
I used acrylics to paint in the sky for the background. 
I cut the dog image from an advertising pamphlet I received in the mail.  I pictured him in a pool on a very hot day craving a cold soft-serve ice-cream in a cone.  Heck, who wouldn't??!!  YUM!
Acrylics/mixed media in A4 journal

I thought I'd also get in early with this week's self-portrait.
I ADORE gypsy-style earrings....just love 'em!

HEALTH NEWS - Brad is no longer on Tegretol because, after a few days of being on it, he noticed a change in his hearing where music and songs sounded like they were playing back in a lower key. Brad adores his music and this was extremely frustrating for him and driving him nuts! Normally, Bradley can tell you in an instant what key a song is playing in.  I also noticed that Brad didn't seem to be hearing us if we called to him from an adjoining room.   I did some research and, sure enough, changes in hearing is a rare side effect that happens to approx. 1 in 10,000 people taking Tegretol.  It definitely helped to stop his right leg from seizing up but, unfortunately, it mucked up his hearing in the process. Brad is dependent on what hearing he has as he is already hearing impaired so we just couldn't risk the Tegretol causing more, and possibly permanent, damage so he stopped taking it. Thankfully, after 48 hours, his hearing returned to normal and he is a happy camper again.  Of course, the symptoms for which he started taking the Tegretol are back too....it's like a Catch 22, I guess.

Oh, and a weird thing that I've been experiencing - 
For a couple of days now, I've had this annoying sensation of a necklace being pulled tight around my neck but, here's the thing....I wasn't wearing a necklace!  I've lost count of the amount of times I've tried to loosen this imaginary necklace with my hand before I've realised I'm not wearing one. How weird is that??!  I was beginning to think I had a ghost hanging about who was mad at me. I did some research via Google and, surprisingly, I am not alone in this. From what I can gather, this can happen with stress or thyroid conditions.  Hmmmmm, may need to go back to the doctor again.   He is seriously going to think I'm a hypochondriac with all the things I've had going on with my body over the past year or so.

Anywhoo, I hope you all enjoy a beautiful start to February!

~ Love, light and peace ~


  1. that really sucks about the meds, it can be such a pain in the butt trying to balance the good and the bad side effects :/

    love those earrings :D

    your not a hypochondriac, you know when your body is not right and know that it needs to be looked at.

  2. Hi Serena,

    What a beautiful sketch of little Mikayla! She is perfect for the theme "Prized"!
    So sorry to hear that Bradley had to stop taking the medicine but if he wasn't happy and it was affecting his hearing, he had to. Hopefully the Dr. will prescribe something else.
    The feeling that you are feeling around your neck, I have gotten that too from time to time. It really feels as though someone is strangling you! :( I never went to the Dr. for it and never researched it. Thanks for sharing what you found. I used to get it at night and had to sit up until it passed. :(
    Really a bad feeling. :(

  3. Hi Serena, your sketch is fantastic and I love your art journaling. I just hate going to the doctor. For the past month or so, I've had pain in my right heel that causes me to limp each and every time I get up from a sitting position. It's not going away which means I have to get it checked out but what on earth could it be? Taking medication for anything is certainly a catch 22 as you just never know if it is going to do its job or work for you, with your body. Everyone is so different. Each year that passes, I seem to have more and more aches and pains and strange things running amok in my body. I guess that happens to all of us. Wishing you all the best. Tammy

  4. Glad you are feeling better...what an odd sensation. Sounds like January was quiet a month for you! Lot's of creativity!

  5. OMG! I guess your first instincts were correct after all about the Tegretol. Glad Brad's hearing is back to normal. So glad he had a quick reaction, too, if he was going to have one so he could get off of those pills. :)

    Love the sketch of Mikayla!! Sorry to hear you have been having the migraines and the weird choking sensation. In case it is thyroid--yup--get yourself back in to the doctor again. *sigh*

    Oh--and your dangly gypsy earrings are very pretty. You have the long neck to wear earrings like that. If I had them on they'd be sitting on my shoulders--hehe! ;)

  6. Wow. Mikayla Rose looks a lot like Michelle, based on your darling sketch. What soulful eyes she has. And I just love the "Australian-Made Baby" tag on her dress, too cute!

    I would be so annoyed by the necklace pulling tight feeling. This is one of the reasons I don't wear necklaces or anything with a tight collar. Anything pressing there makes me feel uncomfortably close to choking. I don't think you're even close to a hypochondriac, Serena (having known one), and if your doc thinks so, frankly I say change doctors. You deserve to be treated with care and respect.

    Your ghost comment brought back a memory of Japanese film I saw that culminated with the horrifying revelation of a ghost literally hanging off a guy's neck and back, sometimes crouching on his shoulders. Creepy stuff.

  7. Sorry to hear the meds didn't work out for Brad. I'm always so skeptical about drugs. They're so many anymore and then the list of side effects is usually almost as bad as whatever the original problem was! I hope you find something that works for him.

    I love the earrings!!! I have a pair of gold ones almost the same. I've had them for years and still love wearing them occasionally.

  8. I love the sketch Serena! That is strange about the neck thing. Lately during meditation I feel a sense that there is a pair of glasses on the bridge of my nose...and I'm not wearing them. Maybe it's Buddha telling me to stop wandering with my mind :)0

    My blog has moved:


  9. Beautiful sketch of Mikayla. She is a cutie. Love your art journal page, When I was young I had an Afghan that thought he was human and loved and drips of icecream in summer.
    Not good about the meds for Brad. How frustrating. I hope you find something that helps him soon.

  10. You did a great sketch of Mikayla...looks just like her! So cute!

    Sory about Brad not being able to take the med. Glad his hearing is back to normal though...that would be seriously horrid to endure!

    I, too, have had that necklace sensation...I think mine was stress related since nothing is going on with my thyroid. Also wearing turtlenecks causes this sensation even when they are loose!!!

  11. What a beautiful sketch of Mikayla and I love your little doggy sketch too, oh so funny.
    I am so sorry to hear about all the health problems you and Brad have been having. If its not one thing there is always something else so it seems with life.
    I hear that a big cyclone is heading your way. I am not sure if you are in its path but I am sending you and everyone in Australia kind thoughts for your safety. Be safe everyone out there.

  12. What a darling sketch you did of Makayla (oops hope I spelled that right). Darn ...about Brad's hearing and such on Tegretol. I hope they can find something else to help him.

    And wow about the neck thing you have been experiencing. Googling info is great, now you know what it might be. I've never heard of that.

    I'm wondering how everybody is doing out there in Queensland...prayers for everybody's safety.

  13. Beautiful sketch, Serena! So sorry to hear the health problems continue. I know it takes ages to get meds right but I hope it won't be long before you and Brad find the ones that work for you. I hope that bizarre Australian weather starts behaving too, that's something you can do without! ;)

  14. What a great sketch of Mikayla and your journal is just awesome. Hope Brad is better. What's wrong with meds is that it can be good for one thing and bad for another, that's the way it is and that's no good. Hope you get that tightness around the neck checked. I have leg tightness and sometimes my legs don't feel like they belong to me. Darn, I didn't know getting older was going to cause so many problems. Have a great weekend and take care.