Tracey Fletcher King

Art and Illustrations

Friday, 11 April 2014

The Numbers ...

The last 10 months or so in numbers looks a bit like this
1 mammogram
4 ultrasounds
6 biopsies
Four ct scans
I bone scan
Four specialist doctors
ten tattoos
And 5 squillion blood tests
In fact it is a miracle I have any blood left when I think of it

2 operations
16 rounds of chemo
31 jabs accessing my cath port thingy
42 doctors appointments
And so many amazing caring nurses that I couldn't count them
3 radiation planning sessions
with impressive dismounts
I have been sneezed on by the dog 345 times
And been trapped and unable to escape his toxic farts 23 times
There have been 27 doses of radiation
 and 12 or so X-rays
which in combination with the radiation has made me glow ever so slightly
I have waited in waiting rooms for the equivalent of 2 years
And taken more medication than I knew existed in the western world

At least 7698 people have examined, drawn on, cut into, and generally played with poor lefty
I lost and regained my hair four times
Lost 726 eyelashes
Ok maybe not but those suckers turned up everywhere
Lost 2 eyebrows
And gained back one and a half so far
Have cried more times than I can count
And laughed more often than I would have expected
And been laughed at a lot more times than was possibly warranted

Have eaten 5324 slices of Vegemite toast
And drunk 8265 smoothies
Slept for 634000 hours
Watched 5 million hours of TV
Read 9870 trashy magazines
Dreamt of George Clooney more times than I can count
And chocolate twice more than George
And George and chocolate together three more times than that

 I have received a huge box full of cards and letters
Emails, gifts and paintings
Extraordinary virtual tea parties, not to mention actual tea
And chocolate...
I have been inundated with incredible positivity
And people have taken the time to share their own cancer stories with me
To support and care for me in ways that have made me cry a river of tears
at the sheer generosity of spirit that has surrounded me through all this
I have not had one day when I didn't feel cared for and nurtured
Which means for the last 300 days or so 
I have felt so grateful to have such an amazing circle of people holding me up
It is actually pretty easy to look past the awful when you have that sort of support

There are still a few numbers left to deal with
There are years of appointments, port flushes , scans and medication
But from next Monday night when I have my last radiation session I enter a new phase
When life will start to half resemble what it used to be
And I can embark on my new normal which is very cool
and I am feeling pretty overwhelmed by just how freaking cool my friends are

Being so close to the end of the of the crap stuff has made me sit and assess
Just how lucky I have been through this, and how ready I am for this phase to be done
So I feel impatient to get moving forward
To start getting stronger and to get back to being creative daily
So to help me along with that I joined Sketchbook Skool
And these pages are my start
It has felt wonderful to get my daily drawing habit going again

But there is one last, and very important number... 22
22 years ago today I married Sinus man and he is still making me laugh and taking care of me
It has been quite the ride... 
I love you Matt ....xx

Friday, 4 April 2014

mixing it up and paying it forward ...

I am being well and truly zapped by radiation therapy at the moment
Which is having some unexpected consequences
The weirdest being that Mushu the wonder mutt has become suspiciously affectionate
hanging around, licking and sniffing me when I get home from being cooked
I am starting to think I have the whiff of BBQ about me and smell delicious or something
Because he definitely licks his chops an unseemly amount for an hour or two after I get in
I am living in terror of the day Sinus forgets to feed him before going to work
As I am half expecting to wake up and find him attempting to gnaw on poor lefty out of hunger

I have also developed another fixation with mixers
Now I have no idea why I get fixated on certain kitchen gadgets
And my treasured blue kitchen aide has certainly not been getting much use lately
But it started with trying to remember different mixers I have known
As shown on the top page from my sketchbook
It shows the good old rotary beater, and various hand mixers
which I have blown up with scary regularity, plus my blue kitchen aide
and a rather dodgy drawing of my mother's old mixer
My memory may be getting slightly zapped as well if that sketch is anything to go by
It isn't quite right.... Anyway that led to some more sketches of hand mixers
Which I wished I owned because they are available in such gorgeous colours
And an outline which hasn't been touched yet
So yet another unfinished work to add to the list
Perhaps the one in the sketchbook needs to be a different colour
Getting a tad sick of the blue!

Also on the list of slightly unexpected consequences is need to consume vast quantities of chocolate
Well maybe vast is an exaggeration but lots
After a very long 7 months of chocolate tasting like the bottom of a bird cage
It is like nectar on my sore throat which is, in an ironic twist
Now itself feeling like the bottom of a bird cage due to it being thoroughly zapped

In celebration of the chocolates wonderful ness of my days
I also painted up a bit of a mash up of the ridiculously amazing Theo's chocolate
That Marji sent me.... It is seriously amazing
Like the crack of the chocolate world and it had me at that first delicious mouthful
And it has been wonderful training and is getting me into shape chocolate eating wise
In preparation for my favourite celebration of the year.... Easter.... 
Hello bunnies and eggs and maltesers... Of how I have missed you all 

while we are on the subject of Marji... she is having a pay it forward art giveaway on her blog
and I am on the list to receive something from her.... which makes me very excited
and as part of the deal I have to pay it forward as well
so ....

* Pay It Forward Art-making Project for 2014 *

I promise to make a small work of art for the first five people who comment on this post and say "YES, I want in". A 'like' alone is not enough of a commitment, nor is a comment about thinking Pay It Forward is a great idea.

You must in turn post this as your status update and make something for the first five who comment on your status.

The rules are simple:
– It has to be your work, made by you, and the recipient must receive it before 2014 ends.
РIt can be anything art-based: a drawing/illustration or a conceptual work of art, a photograph, a knitted item, cross-stitch, paper mach̩ Рor anything in between.

I'm paying this forward thanks to Marji Thompson.  Yes, you can be on each other's pay it forward lists.

First five, GO!

PS. It doesn't matter if you aren't an artist, try something out, google/ YouTube how to make stuff, step out of those boundaries. 

Friday, 21 March 2014

Two eggs short ...

I had thought I would write a witty post this week
but kept coming up dry
I tried coming up with a post with all sorts of eggcelent puns
seeing as I painted eggs in a carton
but my brain was fried or scrambled or something and it was just too tough a shell to crack

and yes there is only ten in the carton rather than the normal twelve
but I started drawing it and started a bit big and ran out of paper so we are two eggs short
it has been a bit of a two eggs short type of day it turns out ...

This is my desk earlier
I decided to lay out some of the unfinished work to choose what to finish off
and then I ran out of desk
this isn't even counting the unfinished work in my sketchbooks
of which I have 6 going at the moment... yes you read that right
and we won't discuss the 5 unfinished canvases, the Documented Life Project journal
the 4 outlines of tea cups I have drawn up and waiting for paint 
for the Cuppa With Friends project
or the fifty squillion emails I owe
I have tipped over into truly scary territory in the unfinished stakes
and yes that is a mug with George Clooney on it holding some pens
cool right... his mug even looks good on a mug
I should blame the unfinished on that distracting me perhaps
bloody George stopping me from working by gazing at me all gorgeous like

So faced with this table full of unfinished do I get in and finish something off
no sirree ... I go into the kitchen to make a cuppa to focus the brain 
which is an unmitigated disaster because I get distracted
and I draw up some kitchen utensils and add a bit of colour to them
I followed this with another drawing of a few more utensils which I didn't finish
so not only did I not lessen my unfinished pile
I actually added to it
at which point I decided to abandon any thoughts of making headway on the pile of drawings
and cruised over to Facebook to distract myself

and remembered that my nephew and his partners had their big opening day for Eskimoyo
which has to be the coolest and yummiest fro yo store in all of Brisvegas
and everyone should pop in when they are in town and indulge in the yumminess
which is of course a shameless attempt at garnering a free tub when we call in
but even if I come up two eggs short on the freebie
I am still insanely proud of him... pretty cool at the tender age of 20
or is it 21... dear god I am a shocking aunt!!!!
happy painting all...xx

Friday, 14 March 2014

Bloody Fairies ...

It would appear that my lazy arsed cleaning fairies snuck in one night
while I was asleep and kidnapped my creative mojo
I suspect they have it out on the town somewhere doing who knows what
to who knows whom, and basically causing no end of trouble
bloody fairies.... nothing but trouble from day one

Of course it could be that the fairies are completely innocent
And there are other reasons for my mojo taking an unscheduled breather
But it is more fun to continue to wage war
on those unreliable sods that never turn up to do the cleaning
I do like to have a good reason for my mojo deserting me so that I don't get too introspective and start thinking it may be me... I relish my status as a shallow pond and have no intention of getting into deep and meaningfuls of any sort

After all it couldn't be that Phantom Steve has started uni and that has required  a couple of weeks of changing schedules and timetables, plus having her coming and going is doing the dogs head in...poor thing doesn't know what is going on ...

Plus I have started radiation and am two weeks in with four to go, and while it is in no way anywhere near as debilitating as chemo, it is kinda annoying
 I am managing to nail the landings off the machine bed thingy every day though there have been some close calls and it is only a matter of time before it all goes horribly wrong 

Of course while lying there last night being zapped I did consider that perhaps all that study I did for my masters majoring in creativity theory may have been wrong and rather than my brain governing my creative decision making processes perhaps my creativity is in fact centred in my armpit, or poor lefty, and the zapping by the radiation was frying my creativity
A bit of a slightly alarming thing to consider I know, but it made perfect sense at the time

This every week day thing for treatment is messing with our already messy schedules which reside in our messy house... Which is messy because the bloody fairies did a bunk months ago... See it all comes back to them... 

So what have I done while my muse is off partying ..... I tried to kick start it by not thinking too much about images or anything like that and just get something onto paper

So this week is all about repeated images... I used these four teacups for one of the weeks of the Documented Life Project journal and liked them so I decided to use them again ... and again... and put them on a notebook ... and a card ... and if the dog had of sat still long enough they would have appeared on him also

But it has done its job and messy life aside I am feeling the ideas coming thick and fast again
and I am itching to get in and draw up some new things and maybe finish off some of the stack of work that has taken up permanent residence on my desk

happy painting everyone and huge happy birthday to Paint Party Friday 
It is simply the best place for creative types to get together online...
Thanks to Eva and Kristin for organising it every week xx

Friday, 28 February 2014

Random Beach Conversations....

Sadly the time has come to re-enter the real world after an amazing holiday at the beach
it is quite a task to get my brain back in the game after the break
I am still firmly in the head space of beach, pool, sand, sun and painting
of course we also read books and had epic naps and all those other good things
so this post is full of some of my drawings and paintings
plus I included some summery beach pics to warm you up
but it wasn't all sun and sand
 there were an inordinate amount of random conversations
some of which are still doing my head in...

I like that my DVD player says hello when I turn it on, 
but it doesn't say goodbye when I turn it off
Phantom's, however, does say goodbye
 so does that make hers the polite DVD and mine the rude one???
and if you go to the trouble of programming it to say hello
wouldn't you program it to say goodbye?

Now that my hair is growing back lighter 
and has gone from deep brown to quite white with dalmatian like spots of grey!!!
can I tell blond jokes without offending???
we were divided on this one as technically I am not blond
maybe I should stick to dalmatian jokes...
are there dalmatian jokes???

My brilliantly stupid offspring, Phants, wanted to know why Bolivia is in South America
because it sounds like it should be near Bulgaria and that region...
which led to which other countries are out of place due to their name not matching their location
couldn't think of any mind you
but we tried...

Tied in with the whole country/ language type thing 
was why do we use gazuntite when people sneeze?
why does Germany have the monopoly on sneeze etiquette?
do other countries have cooler sayings if you sneeze?
and why don't we bless people when they cough?
are sneezes more special?
big questions I know...

also on the Phants conversation list... do spiders have tongues?
last year we found out that chickens have tongues, which was a weird goggle search
and was oddly hilarious, but spiders having tongues is disturbing
imagine them licking you before they bite you
makes me shudder just thinking about it...

The longest debate was about the Queen of England farting
and whether you would call her on it
now we all agreed correct protocol would be to ignore it
but it led to all sorts of questions and debate
as to what circumstances would have to exist for you to break protocol
eg... if it was really smelly??
or you were stuck in an small enclosed space??
then that led to what dignitaries or famous people you would call on it
it is like a rabbit hole when you start thinking about it

So I am closing by asking you our current conundrum
would you rather have to call the Queen on passing wind
or be licked by a spider???

Happy PPF and weekend all...xx