Journal pages

You saw this page on the table at the end of the last post.

Ease journal page

It’s pretty raw stuff because what I’m dealing with on this page is pain.  I will be going straight back to the docs when I get home as I’m in constant pain now and that’s just not right.  This holiday is teaching me new lessons – back home I found the pain completely debilitating and just wanted to curl up with a hot water bottle and do nothing.  Here I am determined not to let it stop me and finding ways to cope.  I’m on strong painkillers (always a last resort as I hate taking medication), but they don’t take it away, just reduce it to a bearable level for a while.  I’ve learned what my limitations are – I am better in the mornings and need to take it easy after any kind of activity (plus the painkillers make me drowsy).  Life really does seem to be one long series of lessons sometimes.  I’d really like to graduate from this school someday …

Anyway, the journal page was an attempt to find words that have the opposite meaning to pain.  I didn’t want to say ‘pain free’ because that still has the word pain in it.  So I came up with the words you see here – ease, joy and comfort which speak to me of the opposite sensations.


One of the things that helps is deep breathing, yoga style.  I take deep cleansing breaths and imagine I’m exhaling the pain.  Last night I created this double journal page.

Slow Down Journal page

The page backgrounds are done with PanPastels.  I then doodled over them with a Pigma Graphic brush marker and coloured the doodles and words with Polychromos pencils.  I discovered that the Polychromos work like a dream on top of PanPastels – the colours were coming out really creamy and rich.

slow down

I added some stenciling with the PanPastels too, but I don’t have any fixative with me, so it isn’t really staying put – the background colour has been rubbed in to the paper and is not going to budge.  So I enhanced the stenciling with a touch of acrylic paint.


Doodling and journaling is also a good way to combat pain as you can get engrossed and absorbed and detatch yourself for a while.

I have a new found empathy for anyone else suffering from chronic pain and hope that you too have found ways to cope.  I do think my problems are fixable, though there is still a slight mystery as to what exactly is going on and I suspect I will need surgery to find out (laparoscopy).

Hmmm, I’ve just thought, I think of my journal as a place to creatively visualise solutions to problems.  The ‘slow down’ page is a good message for me, but I think I should create a ‘hurry up’ page aimed at the NHS!

Maybe all this visualisation is working – today I’m actually feeling better than I have all week.  And it’s another gloriously sunny day so we are off out to enjoy it.

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  1. The journal pages are fabulous Glenda, full of colour and vibrancy. I love Pan Pastels, as they seem to emphasise whatever you put over the top of them; ink, more PPs, pencils, etc. I’m finding that burnishing them with paper towels seems to help fix them, but obviously you can’t do that with every application.

    I am all too familiar with constant pain and very strong pain killers sadly. Your pages strike a chord, and I like the positive upbeat approach to dealing with a negative problem. The flowers and heart are lovely symbols to include on your page.

    I hope that you get sorted quickly once you get back. Enjoy your day, it’s very sunny here as well today.

    Judith xx

  2. Try some cheap (as in own brand bargain basement stuff!) hairspray to fix the Pan Pastels. A bit smelly but it does work and you should be able to get some just about anywhere.

    You have my sympathies re the chronic pain. I hate the heavy duty drugs too and take them as seldom as possible. Distraction strategies can help – retain therapy, free time to craft – you get the idea I’m sure ;-)

  3. I too hope that they sort you out very quickly once you return. Your journalling pages are something else……. distraction & a constructive approach to pain are very difficult to achieve but are priceless skills to cultivate. I just want to give you a massive cyber hug…….
    Take care.
    Paula (PEP)

  4. Sue stone says:

    I agree with what Paula has said and just love your journal pages, great distraction therapy.
    Love Suexxx

  5. I too hope they can sort out your pain quickly on your return Glenda
    Your journalling pages are brilliant they are so bright and positive and distraction therapy is a great skill to achieve.
    Take care
    Hugs Jackie x

  6. rebecca says:

    You should go on holiday more often Glenda, never known you blog so much. You seem happy which is good, enjoy!
    Happy craftin

  7. Rebecca Harris says:

    Well it just goes to show doesn’t it! The pages obviously ‘give off’ the right vibes as I picked this up earlier on my phone and only ‘looked at the pictures’!! but have now moved on to PC and actually read the blog but it’s good that you’re feeling better today :) Maybe next time I’ll read before leavinga comment LOL.
    Take Care and Happy Craftin

  8. Aw, thanks for all the comments folks. You’ll be pleased to know today has been the best I’ve been for a month – very little pain and much more energy!

  9. Wow, so beautiful! Love this!!

  10. Judith T says:

    Love the journal pages.

    I’ve only done a small amount of scrapbooking – for special family events – but seriously considering this style of journalling as an alternative to card making. Your efforts have really inspired me.

    Empathy with the chronic pain by the way.

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