How To Use “Altered Text” in a Journal Page – (or at least how I did it)

Starting... with somebody else's words..

Starting… with somebody else’s words..

Editing videos always seems like such a mammoth task to me, because it’s something I’ve not really done before. I’ve been putting it off and have video footage sitting waiting, but something else always come up.

Well I decided to just go for it and give it a go. I started with the video introducing the Guinea Pigs and then went straight into this one. I LOVED IT!! It’s just like creating another piece of artwork as you play with it, piece it together and mould it just how you like it. I even contacted Trace Bundy and asked if I could use his music in my videos. I didn’t even think he would reply but because this is what I listen to when I paint – I thought it would be nice for you to hear that too. He did reply – and said yes!! I’m off to see him in September LIVE! Can’t wait.

So… getting off the point really (no change there then – oh shiny thing!) here is my first edited art video. I wanted to show you how to use “Altered Text” in a journal page.. Just in case you don’t know “Altered Text” is where you use either a magazine page, page from a book, photocopy of a page etc… and you then find your own statement within that sheet of paper among the words… instead of you cutting out words and sticking them on in the order and sentiment you want – you have to search and let the page speak to you…

I really hope you enjoy it – and that it inspires you to give it a go! Also let me know what you think.. it’s always good to get some feedback – even if it is just a “HIYA!!!!” – otherwise it’s a bit of a lonely place, (and people think I’m strange when I leave the house because I’ve not had any adult interaction for a while… very strange!) :D This page was actually started late at night – then I left it and went to bed. I then had one of those days – one where I think I experience every single emotion all before 12pm. Joy, pride, excitement, sorrow, understanding, empathy, deep sadness, anger, rage then peace. It was a very busy morning. I felt overwhelmed and thought I was going to spiral into despair at the overload… so I picked up my journal and just did. This is the result.  I wasn’t thinking of the art.. just getting out of my own head.

There will be plenty more where this came from! Take care!

Hearts, hugs and giggles..

OH WOW…

THIS IS LONG but worth it…. (I hope you’ll agree and there was such a gap in my blogs, for a reason and I’ll fill in the blanks, just in case anyone does read this… :D, in good time but I want to share this. My Facebook status tonight!

WOW what an evening! They had their Leavers disco tonight at the school and the school were amazed when I bought him a ticket; even his TA (who is amazing with him) told me he wouldn’t cope and he didn’t really want to go but it was important for him so he went along with it. He trusts that this is important and he got to the front door of the school, took one look and said no. he said it was too much pressure. he wanted a lucky bone, but I wasn’t sure what that meant and we don’t have any.. and I didn’t have anything to give him – but I think I should’ve just popped on one of my crystal bracelets because I think he’s just so nervous, so anxious that he can’t think and it all looks scary. and the teachers just looked at me with him, trying to convince him but they had told me that he wouldn’t cope and I didn’t think he would but i wanted him to at least try… and even getting that far was amazing!! we were at the front gate. They didn’t encourage him in.. they just smiled and I said, “I just had to try – he’s missed out on so much that I wanted him to have this” – getting emotional because it’s MASSIVELY SAD. social skills training? Mainstream haven’t the resourses but I was there and I saw the panic and it wasn’t worth it so I told him he didn’t have to do it – but at least he tried.. Off we went.
Outside the gate I reassured him it was okay – all was great because he tried and that is a start.. then out of the blue all of the kids from his class who, earlier today had wanted a photo with Jamie and his Guinea Pig and were asking me where Jamie was going.. what school is he going to? One even said he would miss him.. they all came into view shouting to Jamie – “HEY JAMIE ARE YOU COMING IN?” Jamies not sure now.. so I say – “he’s not too sure guys – it’s dark and crowded and he’s not too sure about it.” They reply not with “oh well, see ya!” but with “Come on Jamie you can come with us!” they look at me and one says, “we’ll look after him!” and I say to Jamie, “oh go on – look they want you there Jamie, go and have fun – it’ll be cool! You’ll see!” trusting me he says, “oh okay!” and off he goes in with his friends he didn’t know he had.. the head teacher came out after they had gone in. He’d gone in!!! I said I’d stay at the pub and if he needed to come out they would bring him out to me… They didn’t! He stayed until the end!! And even though he ended up standing with the teachers – because he’s not sure what to do – the boys kept coming over trying to get him to join in, to dance. But he prefered to stand with the teachers – laughing at the strange dances.. AND HE HAD FUN. I was right! AND I asked a couple of then at the end who made a point to come say goodbye to him after (because they brought him out first) – I asked them if they would come to a little party I’m holding for his birthday.. and they all said yes – they would want to come! one even said SICK… ! lol And Jamie had a great day!! Because I trusted MY instincts and I know it was something to at least TRY… High Fives to Jamie and those lovely boys who are still as much friends as they ever were but they just can’t communicate or understand Jamie… AWESOME!! I really really really hope that they do come – on september the 20th – Jamie’s 12th birthday. I’m beaming!!! NINJA MUM!

A Friend, Please?

I sob for my son,
for I know how he feels inside;
always wanting what the other kids have,
a friend to share the ride.
Silenced and withdrawn,
because of one mistake,
and he thinks it can all be made better,
with a big slice of chocolate cake.

Fill the void of loneliness,
while watching from a far,
lonely and heartbroken,
this is sure to leave a scar.
I sob for my son,
for I know just how he feels;
forced to deal with mainstream,
Happy, smiley, child that steals.

One parent.
One mistake not his,
alienated him from everyone
and took away his bliss.
THINK before you act,
THINK with LOVE and GIVE!
and while you’re at it -
why not teach your child to forgive?!

One action. One small thought,
can change a life you see.
And children need compassion,
even with no disability!

AUTISM is in your school, LEARN about it and help your child to be caring, compassionate and UNDERSTANDING… THEY can change the life of a lonely, confused, lost life – a skill that will last them a LIFETIME beyond the french, history or PE they learn.. Luckily mine now goes on to fly with butterfly wings but the scars will last a lifetime… and he now has to learn that being different is okay and not something to fear – now that he fears the other “strange” looking kids in his new school.

Tracy Shave

Daily Prompt: That’s Amore

Dear Richard Littlejohn, here’s some polish for that turd.

Originally posted on JACK MONROE::

Dear Richard Littlejohn,

I’ve read your trash non-journalism ‘comment’ piece about me in the Daily Mail this morning – not because it is a newspaper I read, but because a friend forwarded it to me.

Firstly, I have to commend you for managing to get so many facts completely wrong in a comparatively short article. But that’s your style isn’t it – never let the truth get in the way of a good smear campaign, or something like that.

So just in case you wanted to attempt to polish that turd of an article with something that resembles the truth, here’s some of them addressed:

1. I’m not single, I’m getting married in the Spring.

2. When I returned to work after maternity leave, I found it impossible to cover the irregular night shifts thirty miles from home with any form of childcare. Childminders just don’t work all night. My…

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Gone too Far? Or Is It Just Fiction For HORROR HALLOWEEN?

Have we not gone a bit too far today with the “outrage” against Asda and Tesco, with their Fancy Dress costumes?

Have we not lost perspective somewhat?This is a HALLOWEEN costume.

Every year we dress up in gore, blood, gruesome, horrific characters in the name of Halloween. I think we’ve gone a bit too far trying to ban any costume that includes the word psycho, mental or patient. This is HALLOWEEN!  Does censoring Halloween take things a little too far? This costume is based on a fictional character that you might find in a ghost/horror movie in an old Victorian Asylum – NOT reality. I don’t think we’re giving the general public enough credit to know that this is NOT what a person who suffers from a mental health condition actually looks like. It’s fiction. People know it’s based on horror movies, just like the Tesco version is based on a character out of a movie.  Hannibal Lector costumes – based on a film.  The  “mad Scientist” costumes are not a true representation of a scientist. The gruesome doctors don’t represent our National Health Service.  0039017025

Are we going to start banning Freddy Krueger? I can’t imagine he “represents” many burns victims any more than this costume represents people with mental health conditions.
Are we not ADDING to the stigma by our reaction to this? Not allowing fictional movie costumes for fear of offending is no better than removing the Golly-Wog doll from the jam jars.
I HAVE a mental health condition.  My journey has not been easy BUT it has made me the person I am today.  I have talked about it openly for many many years. I organised a large event in Chelmsford, Essex called “Make it Mental” in 2010, and before that there was nothing organised to celebrate World Mental Health Day in our local town. Now the NHS Mental Health Trust run something every year.
I rang in to the Dave Monk Show on BBC Essex this morning to put my point of view across; to highlight that I don’t think anyone would see this costume and think – Ah ALL people with Mental Health Conditions look like this. I think we’ve come a long way since those days. He thought it was quite a “funny costume” but that it was the name of it that was wrong. It would be no different had it been called AXE MURDER. Dave Monk pointed out to me that people are killing themselves because of the stigma of their conditions. That’s not due to this costume Or ANY of these costumes.

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That’s because we are not given enough information, starting in schools, that help us understand our mental health. That give us positive ways to look after it. We don’t have mind gyms in schools; but we do have Physical Education. People commit suicide mostly, (although not in all circumstances) because of a chemical imbalance in their brain and medical treatment that isn’t fit for purpose.   I waited 18 months for a talking treatment 11 years ago. I was given anti-depressants though – even though they could’ve made me manic. One of the most harmful side affects of anti-depressant is…suicidal tendencies!

I find people talking out on behalf of those of us who have severe mental health conditions because “they can’t stand up for themselves” does far more to enhance stereotypes of mental ill-health. There are hundreds, thousands of people living with mental health conditions every single day – and have perfectly “normal” lives. I’ve heard that been said so many times today. It isn’t necessarily stigma that stops people “coming out” about it either. Some may just not see it is anyone’s business. Just like I don’t tend to tell people I have Asthma. Or announce to the world that I had crabs when I was a teenager. Or that I maybe had food poisoning when I was in my twenties. Do we not make it more of a big deal by demanding people “come clean” about whether they have suffered from depression? Not EVERYONE who has had that experience will want to relive it. Not everyone wants to stay in that place and have found a way to move on, which is no mean feat!
I worked for a mental health organisation for 3 years and was in PR and Communication. Luckily it was a “service user” involvement network so having my particular label was relevant. I did talk about it. I organised awareness events; we had forums, campaigns, and while I still think those things are essential, I do think that we need a more balanced perspective of stigma. Moulding Futures, the organisation I set up when the company I worked for closed, initially carried on the work I’d started. What I found though was the more I focused on my own mental health condition, the more I talked about it, the more I retold my story, the more likely I was to prevent myself from moving on. Hearing others stories, and problems with the system surrounded myself in a negative environment.
When I was on the radio this morning someone called in and mentioned me and how lucky I was that I was so strong. That I was able to stay positive BUT that there were still so many who were not that strong and needed support. I haven’t always been this strong, or positive. Years ago I was homeless, then acrophonic and have been through a series of events that have created this strong woman I am today. I had support – that I sought out myself due to a failed system – from MIND, HomeStart, Families In Focus and I also had therapy. I waited – far too long for both CBT and Group therapy but I did get there in the end and I worked hard on myself. My understanding of me and how I work. I continue to work on myself, finding ways to stay positive, to find alternatives to the debilitating medication. I support any organisation that supports people and helps them to find something that makes them stronger, and gets them through the other side or finds ways to help them to manage the condition.
Moulding Futures went from mental Health Awareness events to creating the Share a Smile Campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of smiling and connecting with people every day, even just a “Hello”.  Even smiling to yourself when you don’t even feel like it has chemical benefits in your brain. This led on to the Giggle Together project after I trained as a Laughter Yoga facilitator and the huge benefits this has to everyone. Creativity, play, laughter, self- therapy. The more I focused things onto positive solutions, the less bouts of depression I had. Bipolar II is usually more depression than highs, but I started to feel so much better just by focusing on laughter, creativity, gratitude and surrounding myself with other people who were positive.I’m even training to be an NLP Coach.

I’m not always strong. I’m not always positive – I still have a condition after all. But I smile, laugh and have great pleasure in helping others to do the same. I help others find their own spinach! I even started stand up comedy! This gave me bounds of confidence and that has now led me into Performance Poetry. Filling my spare time with creativity through art, poetry and helping others, but my main job is caring for my son who has Autism.

Jamie
Our problem isn’t fictional, over exaggerated Halloween Costumes – it’s that we pigeon-hole people into “normal” and “not normal”. That people are not seen as individuals – more of their label and the generalisation of that label. But that is JUST an image. If you don’t buy into it then don’t. Employers need to change their attitude to Mental Health and see people as individuals and can tap into someone’s talents but they need to be flexible.  SOME people are survivors of mental ill-health, SOME people don’t feel the need to talk about it – anymore than the time they broke their leg. Those that want to, do. More and more people DO talk about it, which is great, But not everyone should feel pressured into doing so, and that if they don’t they are hiding it. It’s a choice. And If someone were to call me a nutter – I’d probably agree, laugh and see the funny side because people who know me call me that. It’s endearing.  I am “quirky”. I’m UNIQUE. An extrovert, and I make things happen because of it. And I really LOVE who I am, finally at this stage in my life. But I LOVE me because I think my experiences have made me who I am today – that I was always meant to go along THIS road. I happen to have a mental health condition – or even just a hormonal imbalance. That’s not ALL of who I am though.
I’ve seen so many people who DO have mental health conditions, some who have been sectioned, comment that this whole thing has done nothing more than make them laugh, and laughter is great!  Americans are so much more positive than us. They tend not to take themselves too seriously and I think we could learn a lot from them. No doubt the sales of straight Jacketed costumes will rocket to the sky this Halloween. Ironically, no doubt, worn by some of the people who have a mental health condition who find the whole thing ridiculous. Laugh more, smile more, play more. Try not to worry about what others think – the only person you need to impress is yourself. And we need to change MENTAL EDUCATION to give the next generation a fighting chance.
One in FOUR people will be affected by a mental health condition – and I’ve never seen anyone looking like that costume wandering around.  It’s NOT reality – It’s extreme – just as Halloween has always been; tapping into people’s fears on one night of the year. I wonder where it leaves us now with other costumes? Where will it leave Halloween? Risk assessments? Trigger warnings? No blood, no spiders for those with a phobia? It’s supposed to be a bit of FUN! People getting stressed about this probably caused more harm than laughing about the far fetched nature of it all. This costume wasn’t in the shops to mock people with mental ill-health – just for laughs. It’s a horrific costume for Halloween and there is a HUGE difference.

My Nan turns 100 next month and the most valuable thing that she taught me, and probably why she is still here today, was don’t take life too seriously; if you have laughter and love then everything else falls into place.

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