Off topic… my escape. What is yours?: My drawings, and... - NRAS


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Off topic… my escape. What is yours?

Brushwork profile image

My drawings, and sometimes paintings, keep my head right and allow me space.

This one is a work in progress….

133 Replies

It's really good, you're very talented.

Baking - yesterday olive and feta focaccia today flapjack topped with fruits of the forest and dark choc nibs.

I am not an artist no matter how much I wish!

Oh la la. Wow!!!!!

I'm so impressed by your talent and quite envious. I can hardly draw a stick figure. I use knitting to relax and distract myself from worry. It's like meditation where the hands are busy and the mind focused

Caza profile image
Caza in reply to Gnarli

Me too

helenlw7 profile image
helenlw7 in reply to Gnarli

I knit as well. I love knitting Arran patterns, the more complicated the better! Thinking about the pattern keeps my brain busy. I can’t do a lot each day because of the pain in my wrists and fingers.

Love Aran knitting, pictures?

These were my last project. Alfie schnoodle always tries to get in the picture when he thinks I’m going to take a photo!

Arran cushions


Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to helenlw7

Wow how cosy!

helenlw7 profile image
helenlw7 in reply to Green230461

Theyre really to stop the dogs lying at the top of the bed. It's failed today.

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to helenlw7


Beautiful. My fingers don’t knit so fast these days but I’ve just got some new patterns for simpler projects.

Wadebridge profile image
Wadebridge in reply to helenlw7

Wo!! They’re good.

helenlw7 profile image
helenlw7 in reply to Wadebridge

Thank you. I loved knitting them.

MadBunny profile image
MadBunny in reply to helenlw7

Beautiful! So intricate .

helenlw7 profile image
helenlw7 in reply to MadBunny

Thank you

MadBunny profile image
MadBunny in reply to helenlw7

I used to do a lot of knitting when I was younger but I never attempted Aran. I dont know why 😁

helenlw7 profile image
helenlw7 in reply to MadBunny

I just love doing it, but there’s a limit to how many jumpers you can have, which is why I moved onto cushions.

MadBunny profile image
MadBunny in reply to helenlw7

😁 I know what you mean. I'm an avid cross stitcher but have run out of people to make special gifts for. I used to do a lot of things for special occasions, e.g birth samplers, special wedding anniversaries. I don't need any more pictures on the walls😁

helenlw7 profile image
helenlw7 in reply to MadBunny

I’m a cross stitcher too. My sister’s partner sells cross stitch kits a shows in Australia and I used to stitch samples to go on display on her stands. That work has pretty much dried up because they haven’t been able to go back to Australia since the start of the pandemic. I’m finishing off works of my own that I abandoned!

MadBunny profile image
MadBunny in reply to helenlw7

Sorry to hear that. Hopefully things will pick up again in the not too distant future. I've really missed going to the Knitting and Stitching Shows. I decided not to go this year as I was still nervous about being indoors with a lot of people. Of course, I don't actually need any more projects ! I started a picture of the Yorkshire Dales for a friend at work.a long time ago. When I first got RA I had to stop stitching , put it away and forgot about it. We used to joke he'd be retired before I finished it. I finished it in lockdown last year - he retired about 10 yrs ago 😁.

helenlw7 profile image
helenlw7 in reply to MadBunny

They are doing some shows in England this year. They’re not as big a money maker as the Australian shows.The samples I was able to do were a godsend. I had to give up work in 2015. I was a teacher and the last OFSTED I went through was the straw that broke the camel’s back! The stress brought on a massive flare and I decided there was more to life than work!

Gnarli profile image
Gnarli in reply to helenlw7

Absolutely beautiful work especially with your poor hands. I'm truly impressed

helenlw7 profile image
helenlw7 in reply to Gnarli

Thank you. I find little and often works for me. When I was a student and normal, well health wise anyway, I used to make a small amount of money knitting Arran jumpers for a company who sold them for lots of money!

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to helenlw7

I would buy one!

helenlw7 profile image
helenlw7 in reply to Green230461

Would you?

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to helenlw7

Oh yes! I go down to brixham just to buy jumpers from a shop!

helenlw7 profile image
helenlw7 in reply to Green230461

Anything I make takes months rather than weeks!

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to helenlw7

Worth waiting for!

No wonder they wanted you to knit for them .. your work is amazing.

Thank you.

When I was a teenager back in the 60s my mother had a friend whose grandson knitted Aran jumpers and the money he made helped him go to university. Love the cushions - think your urge being a bit optimistic if your u thought they’d keep the dogs off the bed - I’d say you’ve just provided them with some comfortable woolly back rests 🤣

It’s the top of the bed I was hoping to keep the dogs off, I know there’s no chance of keeping them off the bed! The one on the bed in the photo spends part of every night on the bed, and he’s a real bed hogged!

I used to find our cat with its head on the pillow next to one of my sons. Normally the cat slept locked in the kitchen but when that son came home he and the cat adored each other and as long as the cat didn’t come anywhere near me or disturb my sleep in any way I ignored everything else. Sons are grown up now and never had a day’s illness so a night with the cat didn’t seem to go them any harm. 🐈‍⬛

When we got our first dog we already had a cat (she died 10 days ago) so the dog had to sleep upstairs in a large cage. He slept in it fastened in until he was about 6 months old, then he started barking in the night so we left the door open and he split the night between his cage and our bed. Our second dog stays locked in his cage all night with a throw over the cage.

Oh I’m so sorry about your cat, you will miss her.

She’s had kidney failure for about 2 years and was about 16 years old. It seems very quiet without. When I came down in the morning my first job was to feed Martha and change her litter tray - she’d been and indoor cat for a long time. I miss my little one sided chats with her. The dogs would wait patiently in the kitchen until it was their turn. Martha lived mostly in the dining room in recent years and our older dog has been looking for her in there a few times.

Brushwork profile image
Brushwork in reply to helenlw7

I like to knit, everything from socks to sweaters

helenlw7 profile image
helenlw7 in reply to Brushwork

I love knitting socks on 4 needles. I’m knitting myself a cardigan with simple cables on the front. I find knitting adult clothes quite hard because of the weight on my wrists.

That’s amazing! What a talent. I read a lot. I’m thinking of taking up sewing again if my hands can cope.

My art too ... and printmaking. Might try find a print to post. Lovely portrait. 💗

My garden too.

Puzzles - crosswords, sudoko etc.We have a subscription to the i so I do most of them on the tab every day to save my fingers but do a couple in the "real" newspaper.

Not very creative, I'm afraid but I enjoy them and hopefully it's good for my brain too 🤞😁

Stunning picture 😍

I have a little cushion called I-Beanie that I bought to support my iPad protecting my wrists from the weight so I can do sudoku and crosswords as holding a paper up is difficult and an iPad far too heavy, it’s a godsend.

Clever idea!

I make my own version of the ibeani - one in each room, so much easier on the hands.

Screenprint of one of my fave subjects .. Bees! (Pupae) I love sketching too and painting and most art, but printmaking is my passion.

Black and gold screenprint of bee pupae

Very beautifully organic x

Thank you it addresses nature and repetition and optical illusion and “cloning” which was my subject for my studies. I like to be less technical too (as I can’t go in print studios at the moment) and do other forms of art. Glad sketching and art gives you such pleasure too and the portrait is so sensitive and delicate. Well done. x

It’s very impressive, do you show your work?

Thank you. 🙏🏻 I have and do exhibit quite a bit but not since the pandemic.

Trade or consumer? I bet you do well at both.

That is beautiful 🤩


Clever.. looks 3D 💫

Thank you, I wanted it to buzz .. move .. vibrate!

You have a gift there, what a lovely drawing. xx

Wow -it's fantastic. Mine are cross stitch knitting , crochet and card making. And listening to music, especially classical.

Really good xx

I'm really into my family history at the moment.

Weird you can look so much like someone you've never met !

That's my hobby too, can easily pick it up where you left off, or go on a completely different line of discovery. I can't wait for the 1921 Census to be released in January.

Yeah to be honest I'm quite excited about it 😅

I'm doing my Irish side at the moment and just found out they pulped the 1881 amd 1891 censuses due to paper shortages 🥴 I felt quite sad about it, I think I need to get out more 😅

So talented.

To draw as well as that is truly a wonderful gift .

Oh thank you 🙏🏻

You are very talented. That is great. I couldn't paint or draw to save my life. I can escape when researching my family history. There is always something new around the corner. I also like to read, do fiendish sudoku and minesweeper and crosswords.

Amazing! Cross stitch and reading are my go to’s when inside. Nordic walking outside when I can.

My escape is watching old box sets . I've also started to create small gift baskets for sale.

Anything in particular?

Toiletries, cosmetics...I'm working on other ideas.

Get yourself on not on the high street! Or show us on here!

That’s brilliant. For me it’s knitting reading & music but with a new puppy onboard not much of them going on atm 🤦‍♀️

Amazing work darling.xxxx

it's a g8 drawing. mine is reading, making cards, diamond painting; that is when I can concentrate as I have been so tired lately and my hands are burning and inflamed! I'm not getting any joy with nurse to get any help with this, they just increased my MTX😕

Brushwork profile image
Brushwork in reply to Flor1rence

Keep at them, it’s hard when you’re suffering to have to fight for better treatment!

So beautiful, you are very talented. I bake especially when I I’m stressed. I bake things I’ve never tried, just made Churros with choc sauce yesterday. So fattening but yummy.

Wow! You are all so talented. Amazing!My escape is walking my beautiful cocker spaniel. It helps my bod and my mind. The beach is a 15 minute walk so guess where I spend a lot of time?! Having moved here 7 months ago I’m learning about (and finding lots of) fossils. Lots of mammoth bits and fossilised sea life here!My hands are poop but I fancy trying to learn loom weaving and I’m going to give learning to crochet a go.

I love reading too plus I’m slowly decorating my new home when my hands are on good days.

Boxerlady profile image
Boxerlady in reply to JEM95

Just read that you've moved to the North Norfolk coast - how wonderful. I was born and brought up there and still remember the joy of tea on the beach every day after infant school 😍 I now live about as far from the sea as you can get in England 🙄

JEM95 profile image
JEM95 in reply to Boxerlady

It is truly beautiful here. My dad grew up nearby and I’ve wanted to live here since I was about 6 (over 50 years)! I’m living my best life here ❤️

Brushwork profile image
Brushwork in reply to JEM95

I live a 5 min walk to the beach and I too have a Cocker, a real joy, so snap! I’d struggle to survive without my morning walks.

JEM95 profile image
JEM95 in reply to Brushwork

Snap! My RA is so much better for living here, and my spaniel loves it too!

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to JEM95

Enjoy the Cromer crab

JEM95 profile image
JEM95 in reply to Green230461

I had some freshly caught on Thursday, yum yum!

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to JEM95

Lucky you!

Boxerlady profile image
Boxerlady in reply to JEM95

According to my family Sheringham crab is far superior! 🦀🙄😂Personally I'd just love to have any seafood which hasn't travelled miles 😝

JEM95 profile image
JEM95 in reply to Boxerlady

I’m not sure there’s any difference really, but there is a huge rivalry between the towns. I’m just outside Sheringham and was told it’s always colder in Cromer 😂😂

I absolutely love it here ❤️

Boxerlady profile image
Boxerlady in reply to JEM95

I can't see how there can be but I love the fact that my uncle and aunt were adamant about it 😂

I’m allergic to shellfish and scallops 🤨but can eat crab and lobster so I’m happy about that! As they crustaceans I’m fine with those but the allergies from prawns, for example are not worth it.

What a shame - not that I get to eat shellfish or crustaceans as often as I'd like.

We often get M&S stressed crab and lobster. I’ll be ordering some for Christmas. I adore Scallops but they aren’t my friend.

Dressed not stressed!


The poor things were probably very stressed!!

So lifelike, I am almost hear a chuckle. My creativity is only in my head I’m afraid as I’m not productive, and even if I were able I have to ‘save’ my hands for mundane things like ironing. I was made redundant during Covid and at 59 won’t bother to look for a job. I was desk based and the work of media sales has advanced so much since the pandemic I fear I’m out of touch. I’d be very happy to work in a pub or restaurant if I needed to but unfortunately can’t stand for long and certainly can’t carry trays or plates. I did start baking (first time aged 59) and have managed a few sponges and cookies but it’s heavy on the hands. I read a lot and like to walk especially in wild weather but I’m recovering from a serious muscle rupture in my lower leg that happened walking last October and it just won’t heal. MSK clinic had a look but hopeless so pressing GP for MRI. If I can’t get out and about I may have to get one of those adult colouring books 😃

Good idea, I have friends who really enjoy the colouring books, they say it’s a therapeutic activity.

My physiotherapist use to say they were excellent for mindfulness long before they become fashionable. I do have a few but as long as I’m doing those I am not doing my own artwork but they are pleasing to do. x

I've got a colouring book from a few years back - it helped me during a bad spell of anxiety. 👍

Seems a bit of a waste to save your hands for ironing, if you don't mind me saying so. I haven't ironed for years and that was well before RA... 😂


Brushwork profile image
Brushwork in reply to Boxerlady

Here here, to the non-ironing philosophy! There are much better things to be doing 😂

Can you get a food processor/blender which helps more? We have a qualified chef and master baker in our midst here who might be able to recommend easier ways (hi Dee!) and others who re very good at baking. Baking is not my strength but I’ve never poisoned anyone or served a raw or burnt cake! I can cook fine, but baking is not natural to me!

I was so proud of myself making chocolate brownies, flap jack and jam tarts until I realised I was using recipes from THE CHILDREN'S SECTION 🤣🤣🤣

Ha ha but doesn’t matter as long as they were delish?!

They were and hubby scoffed them all 😀

My hubby would have done too! 😄

Oooh. Lovely. You have captured so much expression. Beautiful.

Drawing is my escape too. Hadn't done anything for years and started again last year. Don't know why it took me so long.

What a lovely post. I'm so enjoying reading about everyone's creative and stimulating escapes, and talents! I've only just been diagnosed with RA so things haven't settled enough to know what mine might become, but this thread fills me with hope and inspiration

You will. A positive mindset is so important, and finding the things you can do is very helpful 😌

💗 I hope you can find some interests you love and help distract you from the RA.

Wow that’s is good, I am really sad as I am ex RAF I make model planes. I know I know

RAF Phantom
Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to Wraf22

My husband makes the star wars models! You would get on great!

I know a few exRAF ‘s ! Nothing wrong with making models… following your passion is almost always a good thing 😉

Vera Stanhope stories! Thank goodness for great storytellers like Ann Cleeves Val Mcdermid and John le Carre. 🥰

Beautiful picture 🥰

That's beautiful, you are talented. I love anything creative, I make cards, bake, crochet.....currently making Christmas stockings for the little people in the family. I have just started sketching and watercolours, I 'm hopeless but improving slowly and it makes me happy if I can create something vaguely recognisable😅.

Neonkittie17 profile image
Neonkittie17 in reply to rounder

Keep going with the art. There’s media and technique to suit most people. As long as you love it keep doing it. 💗

rounder profile image
rounder in reply to Neonkittie17

I have a lovely friend who has sustained me through some real tough times, the kind who does a lateral flow test when ever we meet. We meet every two or three weeks and often craft together as we chat, with an obligatory stop for tea and home made cakes. Neither of us excel but we both love to have a go and it's an encouragement to persevere. It is certainly enriching my life, and as long as I can see progress it's enough for me. Xx

rounder profile image
rounder in reply to rounder

I love to crochet and have found making squares is easier on sore fingers. Designing the patterns satisfies my need to create.

This is a blanket I crocheted recently for a friend having chemo.
Neonkittie17 profile image
Neonkittie17 in reply to rounder

You have definitely excelled here .. it’s beautiful. 💗

Neonkittie17 profile image
Neonkittie17 in reply to rounder

Friends like those are true gems. 💗

You’re very talented! I envy your drawing skills. I paint when my hands are working then rest them for a few days and try again. We can’t give up doing the things that make up happy! It does take ones mind off of the pain issues.

Recent painting
Brushwork profile image
Brushwork in reply to vnett

Lovely painting

Neonkittie17 profile image
Neonkittie17 in reply to vnett

Gorgeous 🌻

Beautifully done! Such talent…

Great drawing. I admire people who can draw faces. I can draw a bit but faces are a real challenge.I started knitting - I am NOT a knitter and it’s pretty stressful but one way or another it’s certainly distracting. 😉

Whatever it takes to keep your mind distracted from your woes.... Creating takes me to happy places and if I am making or creating for others, all the better.

In the Bath, Lights off, 50's Easy Listening on is my escape.

I make jewellery when fingers permit. I started with a bit of beading and now do some wire work occasionally too.

Beaded anklet.
Neonkittie17 profile image
Neonkittie17 in reply to Karen12

That’s beautiful 💜

I write. I’m working towards a degree with the Open College of the Arts. Your sketch is so happy, I love it.

Brushwork profile image
Brushwork in reply to Wadebridge

Oh, I wish I could write. I have an idea for a children's book, for which I can do the illustrations and come up with the characters and a basic story line - but actually writing it, not a clue!! 😂😂

Just a massive thank you for all the kind comments.Also, it is lovely to read all of the positive posts and about the variety of interests and hobbies. What a busy, creative, wonderfully kind group we are.

Wadebridge profile image
Wadebridge in reply to Brushwork

I wish I could write better… always room for improvement isn’t there. 🤷‍♀️😂💫

I do lots of free' Learn on Line'courses. The current one is about mindfulness