For life's little ups and downs.

A rather quirky, funny and sometimes daunting look in to the life of someone who has a lot of health problems but does their best to keep positive. Punctuated by guinea pigs, anime, superheroes, transforming robots and cross stitching.

I started this blog to tell my story, about who I am and what I do. On top of the health problems and raising awareness for those, I also use my blog as a way to help promote other causes, particularly ones which affect the most vulnerable. I live with a number of different and complex health problems but I refuse to let anything get me down. I know how it feels to be discriminated against or thrown aside. This is me. This is my life. I live it and do what I want with it. Nature sets the limitations. We set the boundaries.

About Me:

A blog about life. I live with Type 1 Brittle Asthma, Bi-Polar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as well as Various Allergies, Neutropenia, Crohns Disease (my IBS was rediagnosed as Crohns), Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis, PCOS and Osteoporosis and Heredetary Spastic Paraplegia. I have recently also been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea (which makes me stop breathing in my sleep) I live with these conditions, but I refuse to let them keep me down and out. I still try and make the most of my days despite being so poorly and having to rely on my wheelchair, nebulisers, nearly 50 pills a day and 2l/min of oxygen and CPAP.

I'll flap my broken wings and erase it all someday... You'll see.

Thursday, 24 November 2011


The last few days for me have been spent in quiet contemplation. In that cathartic process of drawing, bringing characters to life for some odd kind of company. I admit freely the solitude is a bit damning and there are times that not having anything to come home to apart from my drawings and my guinea pigs does affect me in a profound way and I have taken to sitting around in the bedroom with some music, a can of Relentless and a stack of intricate and very well drawn work to shade, colour, scan, print, repeat...

When I do decide enough is enough and its time to sleep, I will admit there are times I become lost in these dreams of going on dates with characters like Sephiroth, Itachi Uchiha, and respectively 23-24 year old versions of Sasuke Uchiha and Shikamaru Nara (I think the Shikamaru one was my favourite one of the adult versions!). But they always end up with me when I get home talking to Sephiroth, one of the few constants in my life really, and discussing my next steps with him. I think he plays the rational part of my mind and will give frank and honest advice. "Don't keep it all in", "TALK TO THE PEOPLE" and "come on, get out of this rut now, it's obvious even YOU are bored with it."

So just lately I've been doing just that. I've been going out. Heck I even ask my carers in the morning to help me with personal grooming, dressing and generally making me look as nice as I know I can. A dab of concealer has really worked wonders for my self confidence!

Wendy xx

Sunday, 13 November 2011

My Drawing Technique...

Over the years, one thing I have always enjoyed is putting pencil to paper and drawing cartoon characters. More recently it's a love of drawing manga and anime characters. It's been a rewarding way of spending time and relaxing, but it has allowed me the chance to develop and hone my own style and way of doing things. People often ask me how I do my drawings, so I thought it would be interesting to draw and show my techniques and tools of the trade.

OK... What I use:

1. Daler Rowney Layout Paper (In various sizes)
I like this to draw my initial drawings where I draw the outlines and some of the early shading, its smoother than normal paper.

2. Crayola coloured Pencils.
The smoothest colour laydown ever, theres just none better.

3. HP scanner/printer
I've had it for 3 or 4 years and it was the best £30 I ever spent.

4. My laptop and Jasc Paint Shop Pro
Thank you Mike Landreth for showing me that awesome piece of software.

Right so now you know what I use, now I can show you how I use it. With step by step images.

Step 1:

I start off with my original drawing with pencil, then using black crayon, I begin outlining and blocking out early levels of shading, some light details. This helps me to lay down the building blocks of what the drawing will look like when it's done. Sometimes I do this with inks. Occasionally this also shows early details or even some mistakes which you don't want to make it in to the final piece. 

The shading is a little crude and untidy, but the next couple of stages will iron that out, but before I can do much more to the shading and over all look of the piece, I have to move on to the next step.

Step 2:

There are some who would consider this part as a cheaters technique, but I personally like it because you can take what you have already and remove bits that didn't quite work right, smudges, even pencil lines. That's generally what I use digital techniques for, removing messy lines and clean ups.

The end result after being worked with an eraser tool looks a lot sharper, a lot cleaner and the contrast is improved. To me that contrast of dark and light is part of that anime/manga style that I love so much so to be able to achieve that with the simple tools I have is kind of what I go for. This is then printed out on to normal A4 paper, so that my next stage in development can begin.

Step 3:

Taking my print out, I then set back to work with my pencil crayon and redefine the outlines, reshade over the shaded areas and really making the piece pop. after this I am generally happy with my result, but sometimes I will repeat scanning and printing, then recolouring until the result is refined enough so that I am happy with it before the final colour stage.

The final colour takes a while, but it gives definition to the eyes, the soft feathery flow to the hair or the details in the props or costumes. I love drawing the costumes and eyes, they seem to bring the characters to life. The pose in this picture also gives me the feeling that the character (Itachi Uchiha - Naruto)will leap on his target as soon as he approaches.

This is my work and how I make it. My style is very personal and allows me to indulge my fantasy and my love of the Japanese media.


Wendy xx

Not Much To Say...

This is rare for me. I'm that unsure right now and its left me speechless. My elbow isn't healing as well as it should be and the doctors STILL don't know if it needs an operation to fix or if my body can do it itself. I guess I just want an either way decision now as its starting to bug me.

I think the prospect of a surgical procedure is scary because of how my asthma will behave (or not as the case may be) and with my birthday soon too, its just not ideal is it? I didn't realise till just a few days ago how close it is, and how little I cared at the time. But now I am looking forward to a day with friends and time with Becky soon after.

I just need to best the bad feelings.

Wendy xx

Friday, 4 November 2011

On My Travels...

Today, I am taking a much needed trip to Reigate to meet up with the lovely Becky. The idea is to meet up and come back here together. A visit with friends will help me right now. But saying that it has been planned again :) xx

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Top 10 hardest jobs to do one handed...

Since breaking my arm at the weekend (and doing it properly as is typical of me) I've had to adapt to yet again, life with the use of one arm. I've now broken my left arm twice and my right hand once. Being right handed meant that having it immobile for 6 weeks was easily the biggest pain in the ass going.

How this came about was quite funny really, a perfect Wendy moment which to those close to me, is really not surprising in the slightest. I was pottering round as always and had settled to play on Twitter for a bit. After saying goodbye I got up to make tea and get ready for what would have been a fun evening. Instead, my foot caved and I went flying, landing by the guinea pigs who wheeked at me.

I had thought it was a muscle injury but no, its broken and badly at that so 6 weeks in a cast from my hand to my armpit. Much like the one when I was 13 and had fallen off my bike.

So the 10 hardest jobs are:

1. Cleaning out guinea pigs, theyre fast and are a 2 handed job.

2. Bathing. Can't get the cast wet, can't bend my arm.

3. Brushing my hair. Hair bands don't work one handed.

4. Cooking anything harder than a can of baked beans.

5. Making the bed and putting on a duvet cover.

6. Dialing the telephone. Awkward.

7. The supermarket shop. Pushing trollies is hard 2 handed. Then theres carrying it in.

8. Dressing. You need 2 hands. You really do.

9. Mail. Again didn't expect that.

10. Washing the dishes. One handed, its a pain, it really is.

Wendy xx


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