Monday, 8 January 2018

Out of Hibernation...of Cats and Christmas

Card by Lace Age Girl

Hello my friends. Sorry this is late for Christmas and New Year, but I'm on Slow Time. 

Happy New year Lace Age Girl

It's been so long since I've visited my blog, or even anyone else's. I've been in hibernation, recovering from PTSD and depression. The time had come for the past to erupt and be dealt with...I became immobilised with sadness and pain.

It's been a long gradual journey, trying various strategies and medicines. Some medications didn't help, and side effects were a problem, but I found an anti-depressant to lift me up enough to reach the rope so I could pull myself out of the deep well of darkness. After a year and a half I'm feeling much better, with better sleep and exercise, good counselling, life and attitude changes and mindfulness. 

Through it all my dear ginger tabby cat Gypsy was beside me, purring her good vibes into me every day when I sat in my armchair to read or be mindful. 

Gypsy was the second cat we adopted 4 years ago from the RSPCA (animal refuge). We had a few weeks previously adopted Willow, a tiny traumatised kitten (who has remained traumatised despite our love and care), and Gypsy came to us after being abandoned too, but she was a robust and confident trickster who stole our hearts and helped Willow settle down. How could we not keep her???

Willow and Gypsy cats

I still feel teary as I write this. Sadly, Gypsy got cancer (at the age of only 4) and passed away. We had 2 days to say goodbye after I took her to the vet when her breathing seemed laboured. Otherwise she seemed her healthy robust self, jumping up onto our roof to hunt birds in the treetops even the day before.

It was such a shock to learn in November that she had fluid on her lungs and though it was drained, the cancer was everywhere in her body and too advanced to save her. It was so sad to hold her as she was euthenased; I couldn't believe the depth of my feelings for her. I chose a special rose to mark her grave in our garden, an apricot colour. 


As I laid her in her grave and covered her with earth, lastly planting her special rose, I wept for my little friend. The grief I felt was cathartic, and released so much old stored up emotion. In the days after her burial I felt like a load had lifted from my shoulders, that somehow the deep emotional outpouring was cleansing. But there was a hole in my life, and my chair was no longer a happy place to sit. Keeping busy was preferable.

After a month of missing Gypsy's presence (Willow had bonded to our daughter and only tolerated the rest of the family!) I felt the need for another cat to fill the gaping hole in our family. 

So now we have rescued another abandoned kitten - Jasper. His mum and her litter of four were handed in to the Animal Welfare League, and they were looked after beautifully until he was weaned and ready to be adopted. My daughter (12) and I visited to play with all the abandoned kittens to help them be socialised, and we fell in love with Jasper. We hoped that a kitten would have a better chance of being accepted by our poor fearful Willow. 

Jasper my new kitten by Lace Age Girl

Jasper was a wonderful Christmas present...He settled in quickly and was at home with us all, enjoying the refuge of a lap for a snooze, or a romping play with anyone patient enough to endure tiny claws grasping and constant skittling across the floor. He loved the Christmas tree...


Jasper by Lace Age Girl

and the tinsel...
         
                           
          Jasper by Lace Age Girl
Jasper by Lace Age Girl


Jasper by Lace Age Girl

It will take some time, but the two cats are gradually getting closer. 

This year I only made five Christmas cards. I love how they turned out, but they took me so long! The four below were made in my sister's studio - I spent a wonderful week with her in early December. 

       Card by Lace Age Girl

          Card by Lace Age Girl

    Card by Lace Age Girl


               Card by Lace Age Girl

 The final one I made for my friend Amanda. She has been such an inspirational artist for me,as well as a great conversationalist. Her shop is called Amanda's of Mogo - one of my favourite arty shops...


Christmas collage by Lace Age Girl

Christmas collage by Lace Age Girl

Wishing you all more sleep. more health and more happiness!

New Year by Lace Age Girl


Love and hugs to you all,
Jesse XXX































9 comments:

  1. Hello sweet friend, how wonderful to see you on your blog again, I missed you dearly. I'm so sorry that you lost your sweet little furry friend Ginger, my condolences sweetie. Jasper looks like he is full of life and happy vibes, such a cutie. I hope the two cats will be happy together. It's so good to hear you're doing better now. I'm sorry you had to go through so much pain and darkness dear. Your new year's resolutions I should pay attention to as well, especially the exercise part! Your cards are so beautiful, in beautiful neutral tones and textured layers. I wish you a most wonderful creative 2018. May your year be filled with love, peace, and joy. Big hugs xx

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    1. Hello Wen, I feel very welcomed back to hear from you as if I'd never been away. It's so wonderful that you are still here and blogging :)
      Thanks - much love,
      Jesse

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  2. Dearest Jesse, so lovely to see you back here, now already. When writing me, I thought it could maybe be only in weeks, so a wonderful surprise.
    Jesse I did not know about your depression, and pain,-suffering with depression myself, medicated through 7 years now, I guess I will need the antidepressant , always . Your little dear friend, really looked a sweetie, and I`m so sad for you, loosing Gypsy, like that. I can tell your new cute one, makes you many joys and much laughter Jesse.
    Your cards are as always so beautiful, and romantic, I love what you create, and hope to soon see much more, my dear. Wishing you all the only best for 2018 , good health, love and happy hours.
    Hugs and love, Dorthe ( hope you received my e-mail answers ) :-)

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    Replies
    1. Dear Dorthe, Thanks for telling me about your depression. It makes me feel less alone - I know millions suffer from it, but you are such a positive presence on the web, and it makes you more real to me to know that about you too. Maybe sensitive people are more prone to it. I feel very welcomed back to hear from you as if I'd never been away.
      Love and hugs to you,
      Jesse XXX

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    2. ps. Could you please resend your email to me as I couldn't find it.
      Thanks,
      Jesse XX

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  3. Hello dear Jesse~
    Yes, you are not alone; many of us have had to deal with such difficulties, : ( But each persons 'testimony' (including yours of course) are an inspiration to me and I am glad to hear encouraging words of overcoming~
    I am so happy you are feeling better and taking good care of yourself!

    Your creations are gorgeous! I love each shabby vintage card you've shared.
    It inspires me! (as I have hopes of creating again someday as well~)
    Your cats are so beautiful and look like true friends to me ; )
    Hopes and prayers for the coming new year~
    Karen O

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    1. Hi Karen, So lovely to hear from you. I hope you too are healing and growing. Wishing you a creative and fulfilling New Year.
      Love and hugs,
      Jesse

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  4. Hi Jesse
    It is good to see you posting again after such a long absence! I hope this will be the start of many again. I know life has been tough for you but lets hope Jasper will help to turn things around for you again after losing little Gypsy! I'm sure if you turn towards creating the wonderful cards that you created for Christmas again you will become so engrossed and uplifted by your beautiful artwork! I have found this always helps in times of deep sadness and grief when you feel you can't go forward.
    Thank you so much for my beautiful Christmas Card - I still have it out where I can see it!
    Are you going to join in again with posts for Simply Neutrals Tuesday?
    Wishing you a wonderful and inspiring New Year ahead of you,

    Hugs from Windy south east coast!
    Suzy

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    1. Hello Dear Suzy,
      You are so right about getting engrossed in creating - and I am going to stop beating myself up for the small amount I produce and just enjoy the process. Hopefully I will get faster and more confident as i practise more. Is Simply Neutrals still happening? I will check Wen's blogs to find it. It's so cold and windy here too! The waves have been too huge to swim for a few days, and we are wearing another layer!
      Wishing you health and happiness for 2018.
      Love and hugs,
      Jesse X

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Thank you so much for your friendly comments. It makes my day to have a response to my artworks.