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Scope's Blog

We continue to mark Disability Month with a blog about artist Frida Kahlo, an early 20th century artist whose work explored her feelings towards being disabled and how it affected her body as well as celebrating the life and culture of her native Mexico.

Sam Pugh, who is part of the Scope for Change campaign group and president of the Oxford Students’ Disability Community, writes about why Kahlo is her hero and why she should be remembered during Disability History Month.  

“I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.” – Frida Kahlo

There are few disabled people as loved and iconic as Frida Kahlo.

It is thought she was born with Spina Bifida, a congenital defect of the spinal cord, and as a child she contracted polio. She was severely injured as a teenager…

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Darlings,

Just a quick note to say that my left eye is even worse and the next appointment is not until January. The NHS have left it so long that a lovely little ‘film’ has grown over the stitch that remains embedded. With the cataract in the right eye ripe for the plucking, I’m finding it almost impossible to read or write at all. This means I shall not be doing my daily visits, ‘likes’ and comments. Sorry.

I will still be publishing the short product posts because little reading or checking is needed to ‘press’ these. But please bear in mind that I will only be ‘liking’ your lovely comments and not actually responding.  All your contributions are, as ever, hugely appreciated so please don’t think that my ‘caring’ bone has disappeared along with my sight!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American followers!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Rethinking Life

If you just want to see the art and what it can do, skip to the middle of the talk.  That way there won’t be any triggers.  The end is important for those looking to help themselves heal.  She has see thousands of successes, which is a truly wonderful thing.

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Okay, so (as Gigi might say), I have a problem. I find it ironic that only a day or so after discussing The Art of Taking a Break with Teagan and the difficulty thereof, I am being forced into a break by the condition of my eyes.

Many of you know that I had a cataract operation on my left eye in January while still living in Crete. The stitches were not the dissolving kind and while the surgeon removed some of them, one was left. No problem, I thought; however bad the NHS has become courtesy of the Tories’ destructive tendencies, I’ll get it sorted in England.

I am still waiting for a referral. That wouldn’t be so bad if the burgeoning cataract in my right eye had not increased in intensity in a very short space of time.

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The worst of it is, though, that when I woke up on Wednesday morning, the stitch in the left eye had appeared to shift making it impossible to see with any consistency or clarity. It’s not even a question of magnification as the stitch (or whatever else is at play) is cutting a path through everything. I can almost work something out with the aid of my magnifying glass but it’s awfully tiring, my darlings.

I will not be blogging, visiting or commenting for the foreseeable future. If you knew how long it has taken me to write this post, you would order me to step away from the computer and put down the magnifying glass and you would be right to do so!

I’m seeing my GP tomorrow and will not leave the surgery until I’ve seen him chase up the eye department at the hospital.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


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I’m not well at the moment, hence my lack of blog posts and comment answers.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


It’s World Scleroderma Day so another outing for this post to spread awareness of this little-known auto-immune condition that affects me.

It’s a very strange feeling when you discover that an artist you admire had the same disabling illness as you have, especially when it’s relatively rare, not to mention impossible to de…

Source: First Night Design | Me, Paul Klee, and Scleroderma


The lovely and inspiring Nick Verron has recently discovered the exhilaration of playing with images. As Janet Weight Reed is often saying, art in all its forms is a way through life that brings comfort, joy and understanding, whether it’s your living or not. It is something few governments have ever grasped.

I just wanted to put a quick post together, to give you a sample of the different photography related stuff I’m playing with. To ensure some variation, and to make sure I’m not closing any doors, I’m dabbling in everything right from digital art through to wannabe photography.

I’ve noticed many parallels in understanding between life and photography/art. I’ll share with you a photo/picture, then gabble away a bit about it…

Source: Life Is What You Make It | Nick Verron


James Gillray was a famously prolific artist who produced well over a thousand engraved satires in his lifetime. In later years, when his mental and physical health were visibly deteriorating, George Cruikshank would regard the speed and ferocity with which Gillray worked with something approaching a sense of horror: “Sometimes he would at once etch a subject on the prepared copper plate… unable even to submit to the process of drawing it upon paper… he worked furiously, without stopping to remove the burr thrown up by the [engraving tool]; consequently his fingers often bled from being cut by it”. When not actively engaged in the business of making caricatures, Gillray would draw and paint constantly, his body becoming so accustomed to the habit even when he was at rest, his hand would “pulsate electrically… moving as if in the act of painting”. To observers like the young Cruikshank, it must have seemed as…

Source: James Gillray’s missing leg | The Printshop Window


I have a mild form of synaesthesia – I’m spelling it the English way — and see days of the week and months of the year in coloured shapes. My fellow blogging synaesthetes include Linda from Country Woman Paints and Benjamin from Expressions of My Life. I dedicate this reblog from The Public Domain Review to the two of you!

Originally posted The Public Domain Review

“The music of Mendelssohn”

Victorian Occultism and the Art of Synesthesia

Grounded in the theory that ideas, emotions, and even events, can manifest as visible auras, Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater’s Thought-Forms (1901) is an odd and intriguing work. Benjamin Breen explores these “synesthetic” abstractions and asks to what extent they, and the Victorian mysticism of which they were born, influenced the Modernist movement that flourished in the following decades.

“I have always considered myself a voice of what I believe to be a greater renaissance — the revolt of the soul against the intellect — now beginning in the world,” wrote William Butler Yeats to his mentor, the Irish nationalist John O’Leary, in 1892. Yeats believed that magic was central not only to his art, but to a dawning epoch when spirituality and technology would march together toward an uncertain future.

Thought-Forms, a strange, beguiling, frequently pretentious, utterly original book first published in 1901, emerged from this ferment of late-Victorian mysticism. It was written by Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater, erstwhile members of the London Theosophical Society alongside Yeats, and it features a stunning…

via Victorian Occultism and the Art of Synesthesia | The Public Domain Review


Originally posted on First Night Design.

It’s a very strange feeling when you discover that an artist you admire had the same disabling illness as you have, especially when it’s relatively rare, not to mention impossible to describe succinctly. Paul Klee — though it wasn’t diagnosed until ten years after his death in 1940 — had Scleroderma, an autoimmune condition that can be utterly debilitating. I have wanted to write about Scleroderma and its affect on my life and work for some time but I never thought I would be doing so with reference to Paul Klee!

In essence, Scleroderma in all its forms is a chronic circulatory and connective tissue disorder in which the body’s defences attack its own organs and tissues. The Raynaud’s & Scleroderma Association website describes it thus:

‘Scleroderma is an uncommon disease of the immune system, blood vessels and connective tissue. In this condition the skin, usually…

via First Night Design | Me, Paul Klee, and Scleroderma | First Night Design.


Off-topic:
Christopher John Ball hits the nail on the head about bullying of the disabled. As I have commented on the original post, my disability is not as obvious so that while I have not experienced some of the extreme circumstances he details, I do get that low-level, unwanted, attention which wears me down. Makes you ashamed to be a human being when there are fellow humans behaving like this! My condition is only part of who I am but it nevertheless informs most things I do and many of my ideas about life, justice and equality. The Coalition has done irreparable damage to our lives with their wholesale demonisation, not to mention their benefit sanctions. and I’m sick of an unelected government that not only lacks compassion but is hell-bent on enriching ‘them’ at the expense of ‘us’. It is criminal. It has to stop.

Christopher John Ball

boots_2015_MINI_3“Asylums with doors open wide,
Where people had paid to see inside,
For entertainment they watch his body twist,
Behind his eyes he says, ‘I still exist.’” – Atrocity Exhibition – Joy Division

It is sad to say that many of us who have a disability or impairment will be able to recall experiences of having been bullied, picked on, singled out and abused, both verbally and physically, as we go about our lives. Would it be fair to say that we often take this abuse as being a ‘normal’ part of our daily routine, experiences that we have perhaps come to expect and, in the eyes of many as I will explain, something we should ‘put up’ with?

The ‘incident’ that inspired this article occurred on Saturday 14th March 2015. My partner and I were waiting to catch a train to Euston from Watford High Street Overground Station…

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Still trying to recover from the festivities? Here are some suggestions.

On a side note, all is not rosy in the garden since Mr FND’s computer keeps shutting down involuntarily every few minutes. Hey ho!

First Night Design

450px-Pertois-Moriset_Champagne[Photo credit: Wikimedia]

Oh, oh, the shenanigans of the night before that ruin the morning after, whether it’s the bitch of a hangover or the sickening memory of what we did or said!  Most of us have been there.  My worst morning-after was a New Year’s Eve during which I drank a home-made punch that I swear had been spiked with something untoward. So untoward that I couldn’t move the following morning, let alone search for a hangover cure.

Most hangover cures fail.  The only one that works is not to drink too much in the first place, or not at all; but that wouldn’t be much fun, would it!

Curing the Holiday Hangover | Dr Mandy Silverman

As Dr. Mandy Silverman says on her blog, one should  eat a bloody good meal in advance and drink one glass of water to every alcoholic drink to counter the dehydration. Ever…

View original post 206 more words


450px-Pertois-Moriset_Champagne[Photo credit: Wikimedia]

Oh, oh, the shenanigans of the night before that ruin the morning after, whether it’s the bitch of a hangover or the sickening memory of what we did or said!  Most of us have been there.  My worst morning-after was a New Year’s Eve during which I drank a home-made punch that I swear had been spiked with something untoward. So untoward that I couldn’t move the following morning, let alone search for a hangover cure.

Most hangover cures fail.  The only one that works is not to drink too much in the first place, or not at all; but that wouldn’t be much fun, would it!

As Dr. Mandy Silverman says on her blog, one should  eat a bloody good meal in advance and drink one glass of water to every alcoholic drink to counter the dehydration. Ever since my punch debacle, I have tried to stick to this sound advice. What I didn’t know until I read her post today is that ‘the liver can only process one drink per hour, so do not exceed this!’ Very useful to know but not so easy to adhere to in a party situation.

Bird Song New Year Card
Bird Song New Year Card

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


via Dishfunctional Designs: The Truth About Wealth & Fortune.


The Lady in the Big Hat #1 Personalized Announcements
The Lady in the Big Hat #1 Personalized Announcements by FirstNightDesign

I am delighted to tell you that I have just sold one hundred invitations of  The Lady in the Big Hat.

I often used to draw but over the years, it had became increasingly difficult  because of the way  Limited Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis (LcSSc) affects dexterity.  I’m certainly not suggesting I was an extraordinarily talented illustrator but I could get by and I enjoyed it enormously.

A couple of years ago I discovered LiveBrush software from Adobe and realised I could start drawing once more and without the associated pain.  I was over the moon.  The problem is that my first attempt was The Lady in the Big Hat and it felt like an utter fluke, that I would never be able to create anything comparable.

I have let this stupid lack of confidence stop me in my tracks when I should simply dismiss it with a snap of the fingers – a painful activity! — and just keep ‘doing’ it, keep drawing, no matter what.

Saying is one thing and doing it another.  But this weekend I’m going to give myself a good talking to, lift up my LiveBrush ‘pen’ or ‘pencil’ and go for it.  Life is too short.  Carpe Diem!

Here’s wishing you all a joyous and productive March.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

 

*February is Raynaud’s Awareness Month

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