Hello to all! This is a brand new work-in-progress I wanted to share with you. It’s a thematic art journal entitled, “Choose Health.”
The journal is an altered children’s board book, the first one I’ve ever attempted. So far, only the cover is finished.
The theme of healthy living is one that has recently become very important to me. A few months ago, I began experiencing chronic headaches and migraines, primarily caused by increasing stress at work. I began using over-the-counter pain medications constantly, to the point where I was taking them most days of the week, and had to take more and more pills to get even the most minor relief. One of the drugs I was taking frequently was Excedrin, which contains a significant amount of caffeine. After doing some research, I learned that many OTC drugs, especially Excedrin, can cause severe rebound headaches if used more than 15 times per month, and may lead to organ damage. It was a wake-up call I couldn’t ignore; I decided I had no choice but to discontinue the use of these medications. After stopping, I felt horrible for about two weeks. I had a constant headache and also struggled with other withdrawal symptoms, such as dizziness, brain fog, and light sensitivity. I scheduled an appointment with my doctor, who confirmed that I was most likely suffering the effects of OTC withdrawal, and we discussed safer treatments for my chronic headaches, as well as my stress. She prescribed Imitrex, but warned me that I should only use it as a last resort for the most serious migraines; she suggested that I explore essential oils, acupuncture, and massage as alternative options for day-to-day relief. Until this point I’d never done any of these things, but decided it was worth a try. Within weeks, I’d purchased a bottle of peppermint oil and made appointments for both acupuncture and therapeutic massage; I also began seeing my therapist more often, and she and I discussed methods of stress-relief. Fortunately, thanks to these interventions, I’m feeling much better. I’m experiencing far fewer headaches, and have only had to use Imitrex for migraines twice in the last two months. This journal will serve as documentation of my journey to better health, as well as a celebration of it.
The cover features a background collage of patterned papers as well as pages from vintage health and medical books, which have been distressed with ink and covered with gesso and crackle paint. I used a graphite pencil to draw lines over the collage and to circle key words and phrases peeking through for emphasis. Over the background, I layered a scrap of handmade paper, a piece cut from a lace doily, a canvas square, a strip of embossed paper, a muslin scrap, a length of fabric trim, and a gessoed piece of corrugated cardboard. I added an image of a skeleton, green yarn (the color symbolizes nature and health) and sewn vintage buttons as embellishments.
I’m looking forward to working on this journal in the coming weeks, and will share more of its pages as they are completed.
Thanks for stopping by — and stay well!