A Notebook and a lot of Sleep!

What a crazy May! We had fantastic weather and my daughter was getting what we thought were sunburns quite frequently. Then my son came home from school with bright red ears, super red cheeks and a lacy red rash along his jaw line. That rash combined with the notice posted recently at school indicating that Fifth Disease had been making the rounds finally made me realize that my daughter’s “sunburns” were actually rashes caused by the illness and now my son had it too.

Within a week of coming to this realization I started getting really tired. My usual routine of staying up until midnight to work, be creative, pay bills, write my blog (and so on, and so on) quickly became completely unfathomable. I was in bed by 10 most nights. That fatigue lead to stomach upset and a rash on my wrists and forearms. Still, I didn’t make the connection. The rash disappeared and was replaced with pain in every joint in my body. My hands and feet were swollen beyond recognition (think Fred Flintstone, not Wilma) and I couldn’t close my hands in the mornings or walk down the stairs without intense pain. Somehow I went from 40 to 80 overnight. I called the doctor, told his office my symptoms and that the kids had had Fifth Disease. Surprise – I had it and, FYI, it’s significantly more painful in an adult than it is in a child.

Thankfully, the evil illness has moved on and, although I still get tired easily and my fingers are a bit stiff, life is getting back to normal. I am actually having creative thoughts again – yay! Unfortunately, I’ve done nothing useful in the last 2 or 3 weeks. I did, however, put this little notebook together for my son just as the fatigue was setting in. I love this technique I found to transfer laser prints. Oh – and by the way, I love the How About Orange blog where I found this – amazing ideas, tutorials and orange just happens to be my favourite colour! But back to the book; I used my son’s artwork and a Moleskine notebook as the substrate. The artwork was scanned and I removed the background in PhotoShop then flipped and printed it on a laser printer. I used Golden Gel Medium – Soft Gel (Gloss) and in 24 hours gave this little notebook to my son to write stories and backgrounds for his most recent characters. He loved it – yay, a “good mom” moment! Thank goodness for that – I needed it in my memory bank to get through a lot of “tired mom” moments in the weeks to come!

I love this new technique and I’ve got a ton of ideas for how to use it. Note though, I find it difficult to get all the paper completely off and usually end up with a bit of an “edge”. To hide it, I use the same gel medium and paint it on in patterns to hide leftovers. I think it gives it a painterly feel and it protects the notebook cover at the same time.

Now, off to make a list of all the things I’ve been too tired to do. It’s amazing how a bout of Fifth Disease can knock an almost-40-year-old out for 2 solid weeks!


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