"Where there is creativity, there is hope." ~ Donna Karan

Monday, February 28, 2011

Poetry And Praise- I Have Hope

On a dark and dreary day
When I can't seem
To find a way
I hear you whisper to me
That it will be okay
All I have to do
Is trust in what you say
For I know you hear
Me when I pray
In your presence
I quietly lay
In your love
I will forever stay
For you will never
Lead me astray
And because of you
I have a reason to live
And I gladly give
To you all my praise
And although at
Times I feel I'm at
The end of the rope
I know that in
You I have hope

© 2004 Emily Ruth

(image via weheartit.com)


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Giveaway Monday

Just some great giveaways you might like to check out and maybe even enter....

Win some OPI polishes! Ends March 7, 2011

MEGA nail polish giveaway! Ends 31 March, 2011

Another nail polish giveaway. Ends March 12, 2011

Win some scrapbooking goodies! Ends March 6, 2011


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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Shabby Chic Saturday- Something Worth Celebrating

I suppose it's time I told you about that super exciting news that I promised you last year. I've probably kept you keen to discover what has got me SO excited for way too long that you've probably forgotten all about it, but I haven't. I happen to think that this exciting news is something worth celebrating, so much so that I'm sharing it with you in a post! Okay, I've dragged this out well and truly enough, partly due to the fact that I'm a writer and writers get sidetracked by other writing material.....

This blog is all about living creatively despite chronic illness, and celebrating it. Living with chronic pain and fatigue is crippling at times, but I refuse to let it cripple my creativity. Since being diagnosed with multiple chronic illnesses, I have developed new passions and discovered talents I never knew I had, one being craft and all things handmade. Chronic pain has led me on a journey to creativity I otherwise wouldn't have embarked on. I now find myself desiring to start a small craft business, selling handmade cards, gifts, cupcakes and beautiful baked treats so that I can eventually work from home around the pain, fatigue, and medication side effects.

Right now I'm having a particularly bad run with chronic fatigue, but when I can I love to be creative and craft. Everyday I am slowly getting closer to running my dream business- I'm dreaming big and I am overflowing with ideas. I spend most of my days flicking through craft magazines and trawling through internet sites to gain inspiration. I'm busy building up my materials and supplies and I am so excited! However, a huge problem that I have been facing over the past couple of years is that of space. Currently I spend my time crafting in my bedroom, but with a craft area, a wardrobe, a dressing table and a bed crammed into one very small square, I am quickly running out of room to work on projects and craft storage is fast becoming a frustrating issue.

I live with my parents and my brother and sister in a fairly spacious two story house with five bedrooms. I happen to have the smallest bedroom in the house, partly because I chose it due to the fact that it was downstairs and would save me a lot of pain in my knees (caused by arthritis). At the time I chose the bedroom, I didn't have the desire to work towards creating a craft business either, and so I've been stuck with it wondering how the heck I'm going to take orders when I'm running out of room to create and have no room to work on several different projects simultaneously.

Well, I am happy to announce that this issue will soon become a distant memory (nightmare to me) of the past. Yes, I am moving into a craft studio!! Horrah! My Dad has agreed to let me move my bedroom upstairs to what was going to be a games room, to allow me to use my current bedroom as a craft studio! Maybe taking over the kitchen table was worth it after all, or maybe it was just my whining! I cannot even begin to tell you about how excited I am!

I'm finding my room extremely crammed, claustrophobic and an absolute nightmare to clean and get organised. I just can't wait to get my bedroom moved upstairs so I have room to organise everything. The other day I got so frustrated with not being able to access my wardrobe properly (and not to mention the unruly organisation due to this problem) that I ended up blowing up at it which resulted in some punches being thrown along with tantrum kicking. I like being organised, and the ability to be organised is hampered by little space to store things, reach things and clean things. It's driving me nuts! I am definitely ready for a change.

So, on Shabby Chic Saturdays, expect lots of posts and photo updates on my mission to create the ultimate shabby chic bedroom and craft studio! I'll be moving into my new bedroom (and craft studio!) over the next few months so stay tuned....

Having a craft studio to be able to work in means that I'm another step closer to reaching my dream, closer to living even more creatively despite chronic illness, closer to developing my passion and inspiring others, and that's something worth celebrating!


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Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Funnies


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Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Nail Files Thursday- Valentines Manicure: OPI I'm Indi-A Mood For Love

This is a Valentines manicure I did last week using 3 coats of OPI nail lacquer in the shade I'm Indi-A Mood For Love. This is one of my many favourite colours (I have a lot!) For this mani I also made use of some 3D heart nail art stickers that I've had in my stash for years. I really like them but they were such a pain to wear. They kept lifting and my hair would get stuck in them, they were just an absolute nightmare, so after a couple of days of torture I ended up ripping them off, re-coating and attempting some water marbled nail art instead which I'll show you some other time.


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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

100th Post Giveaway! (closed)

In celebration of finally reaching my 100th post I have goodies to giveaway! I'm SO excited!! I just love giving stuff away and I recently came across some super cute stationary that I thought will be perfect to give away. After all, who doesn't like stationary?

Okay, so here's what one lucky winner will receive....

Yes, the winner will receive this gorgeous stationary and craft bundle I've put together!

A pink note book

A butterfly/floral glittered journal

 Magnetic flower shopping pad

Butterfly adhesive embellishments for craft and scrapbooking

 Colour coordinate double sided ribbon perfect for card making and scrapbooking

Pink cupcake pencil case! Cute!

This giveaway is open to all public followers (non bloggers and as well) so if you would like a chance to win all that here's what you need to do (please read the following carefully or entries will be disqualified):

  • Simply become a public follower via google friend connect OR via networked blogs and leave a comment on this post stating that you're a new follower and would like to be entered.
  • To say a huge thankyou to my readers, followers who have been following me before this post and wish to be entered will receive a bonus entry. I have a mental note of followers who have been following before this post but just leave me a comment saying you wish to be entered and that you're an old follower.
  • Facebookers can follow via networked blogs using their facebook account too if they wish to enter

FOR EXTRA ENTRIES you can do as many of the following as you like:

For 1 extra entry: follow @ChronicCreativ on twitter (just let me know who you are)

For 1 extra entry: join the Chronically Creative facebook page (just let me know who you are)

For 2 extra entries: post about this giveaway on your blog BUT make sure you leave your link to the post in the comments section.

For 2 extra entries: display one of my blog badges on your blog. Blog buttons are located on the right hand side- just copy and paste the code into a widget (wordpress) or gadget (blogger). The badge MUST link up with this site to qualify and you MUST leave the link to your blog in the comments section.

For 5 extra entries: write a blog post on Random Acts Of Blogging Kindness. Copy and paste information is available through the RABK page. Make sure you leave a link to your post in the comments section.

PLEASE NOTE: all entries must state if they are a new or old follower & for extra entries must clearly state what they've done, leaving all the necessary links to qualify.

The winner will be selected via random.org in a post on the 23/03/2011 and will be asked to contact me with their address. If unclaimed within 7 days another winner will be announced. For shipping purposes the ribbon will be packed inside the pencil case and the prize will be shipped via the cheapest way possible. International entries are welcome. If you have any questions please email me via the contacts page.

Good luck!!


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Words Of Wisdom Wednesday- Introduction

Welcome to Words Of Wisdom Wednesday! Here I'll be posting and sharing with you my most favourite quotes. I love quotes, it's inevitable, I'm a writer. I love collecting quotes to use in making cards, scrapbook pages and of course to enhance my writing, get my point across and make articles more interesting. Quotes make for great facebook and twitter status updates too, ha! One of my goals this year is to try my hand at calligraphy, and quotes will be great for this! So to kick off Words Of Wisdom Wednesday, here are my favourite quotes on quotes!

"Collecting quotations is an insidious, even embarrassing habit like ragpicking or hoarding rocks or trying on other people's laundry. I got into it originally while trying to break an addiction to candy. I kicked candy and now seem to be stuck with quotations, which are attacking my brain instead of my teeth." - Robert Byrne

"Most collectors collect tangibles. As a quotation collector, I collect wisdom, life, invisible beauty, souls alive in ink." - Terri Guillemets

"Quotes are nothing but inspiration for the uninspired." - Richard Kemph

"I quote others only in order the better to express myself." - Michel De Montaigne

"I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognised wiser than oneself." - Marlene Dietrich

"I swim across a sea of quotes, splashing in the words and riding the waves of wisdom." - Terri Guillemets


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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

An Introduction To Poetry And Praise

I've snuck a couple of my poems into posts on this blog since I started it and some of you may be aware that I have a love of poetry, but what you don't know is the story behind my poems. Over the years I have written over 500 poems, most of which are very personal. After much consideration, I've decided to use them and include them as apart of this blog, trying to post at least one of my poems per month. I figure it's time to get them out in the open as I wish to publish them in a book one day and this is me taking a step towards that.

Many of my poems have been written in the most difficult times of life, however, I've written lots of cheerful praises also. Most of my poems are based on my faith and most of them are prayers that I've written. Poetry is a major part of my journal, it's how I express myself creatively. I have been writing poems since the age of thirteen. That's nine years now! Over the years I have used my love of writing poems to connect with God and express my feelings/struggles to Him.

Throughout my illness, writing poetry has been a source of great comfort and strength. During the dullest days when God feels so distant in the chronic pain and I find it difficult to read my Bible and pray, being able to put my feelings into poems helps me to cry out to Him. The more I write, the more God reveals himself to me. There have been many times when I'll be flicking through my journals and find a poem that I wrote years ago that just speaks light into my present situation. I find it amazing how God uses my love of writing to speak to me and encourage me in difficult times.

Through my poems God has reminded me that He holds me in His arms. He is with me through my pain, He will never leave me and I have never left His sight. I am constantly reminded through my writing that I am a child of God, totally loved and adored by Him. I pray that God uses my poems and praises to speak light into your life also. I hope you enjoy the poetry and praise posts!


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Thankful Tuesdays (22/2/11 Edition)

 I am thankful for.....

  • A doctor who listens
  • Being bulk-billed!
  • Finally on the road to getting some answers and being sent off for tests
  • Finally having an appointment with my rheumatologist tomorrow!
  • Having hot jam donuts for lunch! Unhealthy, yes, but when you're not feeling the best it's great comfort food!
  • My laptop- my access to the world during days spent in bed
  • Being able to write- it's what's keeping me going and somehow keeping me as sane as possible!
  • Online forums- the most amazing, inspiring, encouraging and supportive people around!
  • Twitter followers- I still have absolutely no idea how to use twitter properly yet, and people are following! Thanks!
  • Icecream to soothe a sore throat
  • Autumn fashion (hello more shopping)
  • Compliments on my new hair colour

What are you thankful for this week?


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Monday, February 21, 2011

Taking Matters In My Own Hands Part 3: The Merry-Go-Round

Since taking matters in my own hands by researching, I am becoming more and more suspicious that I have a food intolerance of some sort, so in light of this I have made it my aim to keep a food diary of what I've been eating, recording things like what symptoms appear after digestion and how long after food they start to flare up. Keeping a food diary was especially motivated by the fact that I have Leaky Gut Syndrome (discussed in part 2) which can cause multiple food intolerance's and consequently celiac disease. By keeping a record of foods that are problematic, this way I have something to prove to my doctors and after keeping a diary after a few weeks, surprise, a pattern is emerging! I've noted that symptoms tend to flare between half an hour and an hour after consumption. By keeping a food diary I have also been able to identify the most troublesome foods and so far the worst offending foods are pizza, biscuits, bread and porridge- all of which contain gluten. The fact that a negative blood test doesn't rule out celiac altogether and that my body doesn't want to do anything normal, I think it's time that I demand to be properly tested for the disease.

I've mentioned before in part 1 about having problems with blemishes and mild acne and how I believe it's related to a food intolerance. Well, my theory is right. Since eliminating most dairy products from my diet for nearly two months now, and by cutting out gluten for breakfast and snacks when possible, I am seeing gradual improvement in my skin. Coincidence? Definitely not. I did notice a slight difference in my symptoms after cutting back on dairy, but I've been even better since trying to cut out what gluten I can in my diet. I've been trialing eliminating gluten one day on and one day off to see what my symptoms do and sure enough on the days that I'm consuming gluten, my symptoms take revenge. Although, I'm finding if I consume too much dairy also, my symptoms are unruly too. So I'm thinking I should demand a lactose intolerance test too while I'm at it.

(image via weheartit.com)

Another thing I'm finding frustrating are the new symptoms that have suddenly been arising over the last couple of weeks like feeling nauseous and experiencing stomach pain and cramps after eating. I've also been struggling with a sore throat continually for weeks on end and the weird thing is it's most worst in the morning and late at night. Seriously, what the heck is going on? I feel like a nut case. I've had this sore throat thing on and off for the last 5 months but now it is becoming more troublesome. I'm wondering if it's connected to CFS, but I can't understand that theory as I've had CFS for five years now and a sore throat has only bothered me for a few months before my diagnosis and I was told that problem was due to a virus. I'm looking forward to discussing this with the fatigue specialist (whenever I do get an appointment, I've been on the waiting list for months!). Maybe the extreme fatigue lately does explain the onset of the sore throat. Although, I don't know anymore, I just don't know and I'm beginning to lose patience. I'm frustrated and I'm over it. I just want my life back, I just want the healthy me back.

Subjecting myself to another round of tests is not what I want, it's frustrating to have one test come back clear and then need another, but I'm desperate to get to the bottom of things, desperate to get some answers, and I'm more than tired of riding this merry-go-round. It is not a fun ride. However, unlike the theme parks, there is no operator to press the slowing down and stop button, and so, I just keep going round and round and round......


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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Single Girl Meets Chronic Illness

Had my life gone exactly to plan and in the direction that I wanted it to, by now, I would most probably have finished my university degree and started my career in Early Childhood as a kindergarten teacher. Had things gone my way, I might probably be married and looking at starting a family, or be dating at the least. Instead, I find myself contending with multiple chronic illnesses and at times am completely overwhelmed to even dare contemplate dating. What should be the prime time of my life, the time to look at pursuing a serious relationship and relish in romantic dates is replaced with debilitating fatigue, medication side effects and more doctor dates than most people will see in a lifetime. But that's just it- life doesn't always go to plan. And sometimes it sucks. Big time. Life can sometimes be tough, cruel and unkind but that's just how it is and somehow I've learnt to roll with the punches and accept what life has dealt me. I've learnt to embrace it and amazingly come to celebrate it.

At 22 years of age I now find myself standing at a crossroad. I want to play the dating game, but how? Most days I'm pain drained and some days getting out of bed is a struggle. Simple tasks so often taken for granted like taking a shower or doing the dishes are difficult and exhausting. The pain, it sucks up my energy. In an E-Book by Lisa Copen- Chronic Illness Tips: 263 Ways to do More Than Just Get By, Sammy shares

"I'm 26 and have finally finished college. I wanted a career, but there are days I can't get out of bed. While my friends have their careers or are starting families, because of this stupid disease I am starting over again. And I'm wondering if anyone will ever marry me? Will I even be able to have kids? And, if I do, will I be able to take care of them? Everything is so out of my control."

I feel the same way- who wants to date someone who is constantly sporting jammies and slippers? Who wants to marry chronic pain? How would I cope raising a family when I struggle to haul my chronic pain ass out of bed? Will the combination of Endometriosis and disease modifying drugs effect fertility? Don't get me wrong, I desire to get married and start a family but I'm scared. Chronic pain seems to be my constant companion and I'm scared that I won't be able to cope with the demands of a relationship. I'm terrified of having to explain my health issues to someone I like. I'm scared that a guy that I'm interested in/visa verca will freak out at the mention of "chronic illness" and run for the hills.

I find myself wanting to swing the door open on a first date but due to chronic fatigue I struggle to socialise, meet new people and form friendships. I'll rock up to social nights here and there when I can but because I physically have limited ability to interact with others frequently, people often forget who I am or know little about me. I've seriously contemplated internet dating. "Hi, I'm Emily. I'm a professional pill popping pin cushion. Let's date!" Yeah, not sure how well that ones gonna fly. Besides the creeps that are lurking, I really don't feel comfortable sharing the intricate details of my life with someone that hasn't set foot within a half mile radius of me.

Chronic illness affects every area of your life and like it or not, it impacts on others. When the time finally comes for me to contemplate a first date there is a big hurdle I will somehow have to hobble over. A major dating struggle issue is that of disclosure. Society is extremely visually orientated- what you see is what you get, and with an invisible illness that is not the case. I try to keep up an energetic demeanor. I appear to be happy and healthy despite being in a great deal of profound pain. There are no obvious signs of fatigue and very little people know exactly how I'm feeling on the inside. I appear to be wonder woman (well really I am, just without the cape some days) with lashings of mascara and fatigue covering foundation. I am a well seasoned actress, without the compliment of an opulent Oscar and rave reviews. My life seems normal when it is anything but normal. How do I tell a guy that my immune system is screwed, that despite appearing to have the ability to work a full time job, some days the biggest achievement lies in the fact that I was able to get out of bed and get dressed?

What's normal about being in pain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year? What's normal about spending some days being too tired to even set foot outside the house? What's normal about taking a chemo drug weekly, fighting a pounding massive migraine whilst at times reaching for the barfing bucket. There have been numerous occasions that I have been woken during the night halfway through purging what seems like every inch of my intestines. So yes, I need an icecream container stored next to my bed to cater for the unexpected purging of god knows what food particles. Clearly every guy wants a woman who has an emergency container stored next to her bed on standby in case of spew spillage. Such a turn on. Although, I have acquired the skill of spew swallowing because clearly every guy is looking for this in a woman. What guy in their right mind would want to date a girl who holds a bachelor degree in day time tv? I wouldn't want to date someone who knew as much about the lives of characters in Days Of Our Lives either.

So when do you tell your date about a stupid chronic disease? Should I tell them on the first or the fifth date that I am struggling to swim up shit creek and that my reproductive system has rebelled? Or do I decide to keep quiet until I decide he's a real keeper? Should I tell them over a romantic dinner date that my left ovary is in love with my bladder and is attached by an adhesion? When do I worn them that at times I'm a hormonal pill popping basket case? How do I explain that along with illness comes boundaries, rules and limitations? The fact that I look healthy at times can be a real hindrance because I look so well, they assume that I am. People don't seem to be able to grasp the meaning of "chronic" no matter how you try to convey it. You see, I can pass for "normal", but spend a few days, a week, a month with me and you'll soon discover it's superficial. I can only fake energy for so long. You'll soon see a different side to me and you'll realise that I struggle with flare-ups and setbacks that prevent me from getting out and about. The reality of a chronic illness is enough to turn anyone off but surely there must be someone looking for a woman whose skills include swallowing seven large pills in the one swallow. Yep, I'm a pro. Guys totally dig sick chicks. Well at least I have something going for me I suppose- pretty hair a dolled up face, and nice clothes is all that matters, right?

Okay, so I'm growing a little tired of the awkwardness that arises from people assuming that I have a boyfriend. When will people learn that when they assume they make an ASS out of U and ME? Although, in caution of appearing desperate and dateless, I am happily single. Seriously. No, that wasn't meant to be sarcastic. Sure, I get envious when I see a loved up couple sitting in front of me on the train, but I've learnt to be content as a single woman. I don't need to be in a relationship to be happy.

Chronic illness ain't for sissies and not everyone can cope with the demands of being a partner to someone with chronic illness. I like to think that even with chronic illness I'm a pretty great catch. Illness has only strengthened the person that I am and I am so much more than just a "sick" chick. And I know that one day, some amazing man will notice me and not my disease.

(c) 2011 by Emily Ruth



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Friday, February 18, 2011

Crafty Fridays- Valentines Heart Gift Boxes

Here are some gorgeous heart gift boxes that I made last year created from store bought paper mache boxes:

For this gift box I used JO SONJA'S matte acrylic in Napthol Red Light along with red ribbon, topped with red ribbon roses

This one was created with  Kaiser colour acrylic in white and finished with red ribbon and red rhinestones

 Using Napthol Red Light again with heart patterned ribbon. Love it!

Using Kaiser colour in white, heart patterned ribbon topped with 3 ribbon roses

This one is my favourite I think. I used both the previous mentioned paints to create this box and then painted the wooden letters and stuck them on top of the lid for a bold effect for something different other that using flowers! I think it turned out quite well.

I had so much fun making these, I can't wait to make some more for Easter and Mothers Day and try out some other colour combinations and larger box sizes. These gift boxes are quite small in size, perfect to fit a couple of choccies in or some jewelery.


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Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Nail Files Thursday- Valentines Manicure

Here is a valentines manicure I did last year (sorry about the poor quality of the photos, I was competing with shocking lighting!)...

I can't tell you the name of the polish as I've chucked it out, it was a $2 cheapo one from the chemist! I loved the colour but I hated the consistency- it was streaky and gluggy, hence why I chucked it out. I guess you get what you pay for. I was happy with the nail art stickers though, they lasted two weeks!

I did get quite a few compliments on this manicure, so I guess it turned out okay. Gotta love 3D nail art stickers, a simple solution to drab nail polish. I won't be buying this dud nail polish again, that's for sure! Next week I'll show you my valentines manicure that I did for this year....


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