Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I'm Lady Brayton aka Lady B.  
I apologize in advance for my super long post.

Today I'm going to talk about a very serious topic, mental health.
Please be aware that this blog post contains MY OWN PERSONAL OPINIONS.  For any questions, you may contact me personally at ladybrayton(at)yahoo(dot)com or you can visit me at my personal blog

In the states, May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  It raises awareness of depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and the many other mental health  issues that so many suffer from and attempts to reduce the stigma associated with these illnesses.  The goals are to educate people about the various mental health disorders, identify the symptoms of these disorders, and open up communication surrounding these disorders in hopes of being able to help more people get the treatment they need.  One in four individuals has a mental health issue and less than half of these individuals will seek help.

I feel we need to get rid of the judgement and taboos associated with mental health issues.  I have suffered from depression most of my life as well as horrible anxiety.  I did not seek help until my anxiety became paralyzing.  I didn't want people to think I was weak.  I definitely didn't want mental health issues on my personal health record and I didn't want people thinking I was crazy or that I couldn't control my emotions.

I took a big step and decided to get the help I needed.  I've been doing well for several years now, but recently I hit a rough patch and had to tweak some of my medications.  I reached out to family members, coworkers and my design team members and told them what I was going through. Rather than judgement, I found love, caring, and support. 

 In jest, I told Rick he should draw a pic of a lady in a straight jacket with a paint brush in her mouth.  Within 2 hours he sent me the most awesome image titled "Art will set us Free".  I have made several projects with this lovely lady so far.  Some I will keep private, but I will share a few of my makes.  I find this image to be very empowering.  I want to thank everyone for the support you have given me when I needed it the most.
My first project uses "Art will set us Free".  This gorgeous lass was colored with copic markers and the colors were tweaked a bit in PSE8. I used the sketch below. As you can see, I flipped the sketch.  The papers are from my favorite but retired store, Crafty Chaos Designs. 
My second project shown below uses copic markers, Dylusions Spray Inks, Tattered Angels Stencils, MS spider and Drippy Goo punches, a Cuttlebug embossing folder, a silver metallic paint pen, Distress Inks, DecoArt paints, and stickles on the flowers.  Of course the main image is "Art will set us free" and the flowers are part of Rick's "Skull with Roses" stamp.  I added lots of paint dots and splotches as though the lass was just throwing paint at the walls and making a big therapeutic mess. 
Lastly comes a tag I made.  I started with a manila tag and embossed it with one of my cuttlebug folders.  Next came loads of spray inks.  I colored the  swirls with my copic markers.  The "Art will set us Free" image was colored with copics, fussy cut, popped up with foam dots and for her final touches I added stickles to her hair and dress for shimmer and shine.  The sentiment "Oh, relax!  It may be nothing more than mental illness." is from Viva Las Vegas stamps.  I wanted a fun take on the tag.  The skull with "trouble" is a rub-on from Creative Imaginations.  It doesn't rub so well anymore since it is so old so I glued it to cardstock before attaching it to my tag.  I can't find a white pen that works well so I wrote in the swirls with my white Prisma pencil.

There you have it, folks.  One image, three different looks.  Why not go and free yourself by doing some artwork today?  Visit Rick's store to find plenty of goodies to color.  BTW, a little birdie whispered into my ear and told me there are still freebies to be grabbed here and here.  Don't forget to play along with the May AC Freebie Challenge or the May SNG Freebie challenge this month!.  You have until midnight on May 24th Pacific time to play.


Hazel (Didos) said...

Brilliant Creations, I love them. Hear Hear with the Mental Health Awareness too, if you keep it in the Closet it gets to be a bigger scarier monster!!! I too have anxiety issues to the point at times I cant get out of the house but hey its part of who I am :)

Love Hazelxo

Croms' Cubby Hole said...

Such a moving post LB. Honest, heart wrenching and thought provoking. I don't actually knoww anyone that hasn't had a problem at somepoint in their lives and yet that stigma still exists! well done for not only opening up but with such powerful art. xxxx

Love crafts forever said...

I wish you all the best in your Health. Thanks for sharing your story.
Your projects are super as always, really like the first one. Awesome sketch.
Hugs Nat

Creepy Glowbugg said...

Ack! That image should be a tattoo. LOVE it! I adore that tag! All of your projects are brilliant. I commend you on your bravery for sharing your story and shedding much needed light on the awareness of mental health. We all go a little crazy sometimes. Some of us like it so much, that we choose to stay that way.
Much love and adoration to you,

Carol and Kaitlyn's Krafts said...

Thank you so much for sharing such an intimate part of your life. I too believe we all have had our own mental health issues at one or more times in life. Seeking the much needed help is the hardest step. Congrats to you for doing what was needed. As for your projects, AMAZING! Your coloring is superb! I have found that art, in all its forms, is great therapy and I am at my happiest when creating!

Prayers for your continuing good health!
Carol (Carol's Creations)

Miranda said...

moving post LB but it's fabulous that you are sharing it with us..thx
I think everyone has a part in life when things are hard and then it's great there are people or even meds to help you a little when you're not able to do it all by yourself...allthough some people don't realize that can be a big step to take (to ask for help)...glad you took that step and I hope you feel better again soon....I also hope that art will be a part of the healing process
big hugs Miranda

and now I almost forget to tell you that your creations are totally fantastic

Rick St. Dennis said...

I don't know what to say-when you see someone's heart speaking loudly via art that you've had a part in its almost overwhelming-as a longtime survivor of panic/anxiety disorder I so understand all that it entails and the faces of family and friends that just don't get it-don't understand why it is so hard for a person to do some things, why crowds are a problem or loud noises---ART has set me free in so many ways and its something that is constant in my life other than panic attacks---I love what you've done...maybe it will touch someone else...If we all help and take care of each other we can all heal eventually-I believe that...

monique said...

Lb. Thanks for sharing all this. Life can be hard sometimes but so very great you asked help. And glad the people around you are very supportive. I am very happy to hear things are getting better now and i so loooove the projects you made using that awesome image

I love your work and coloring


Laura B said...

Awesome creations! I would be lost without some form of creative expression, so I absolutely love this image. I have a panic disorder, and I've suffered from severe depression and insomnia for half of my life. Unfortunately, people tend to reject and fear things that they do not understand, so finding the right support can be hard. I'm very glad that you have found the support you need to make it through. Thank you for sharing your experience and your beautiful art with us all. Big hugs to you!

Sharon Sahl said...

Bravo! It take a lot of strength to share what you've shared here. It's heartening that you can use your wonderful art as a tool to cope with depression and anxiety.

Penny said...

Deeply, deeply touched by both you and Rick. Thank you for sharing your genius, both of you.
Hugs, Penny

DonnaMundinger said...

Oh Lady B, I commend you on your bravery, not only by confronting your fears and seeking help, but by sharing your story so that others may do the same. I adore the projects you did with this fab new image and hope your road to wellness continues. Your work is always brilliant. Hugs! xxD

Heather W. said...

Excellent card! Love the image! Kudos to you for getting help and speaking up. I deal with mental health issues as well a my grandmother and children do too. Many do not understand the full definition of what actually goes on and how it can affect someone!

Ally White Cat said...

This is so awesome LB she is beautiful no matter what you dress her in. I am always there and I am so proud of you.
susan s

Matney said...

I so enjoy being inspired by your wonderful, creative Art, and now more by you as a person. Learning to live life is hard enough and when you have to overcome your own mind, it is even harder. This is a wonderful community and am so glad for all the support you have. Helping each other is what it is all about.

Kristina said...

That was really nice of Rick to draw you that digi. Your projects turned out wonderful. I did not know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. There really should be more then one month for this issue. Some people don't realize how debilitating depression can be. What it does to your body physically not to mention the mental part. Mental Health is a serious issue. My mom has it. I have it. And my brother could not keep the fight up anymore and shot himself, 2 years ago. Man talk about depression and panic/anxiety disorder, to see my brother like that and hear the gun shot. I fight every day not to swallow a full bottle of pills. Some days it just seams easier if I were to do that. But then I check in w/ my DT fam, I don't say what I'm feeling, but just knowing that they are there for me is enough to put the bottle down. Bravo to you for enlightening us.

~Lady B~ said...

Thanks to everyone for your wonderful comments and support. Big hugs to those who need them. Much love, Lady B.

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