Believe it or not, I am an introvert. It's easy to put yourself out there on the internet - Google my name and I will likely fill up the first couple of pages because I have a strong web presence. In person, being around a lot of people or chaos exhausts me. This is something I've known about myself for years. I admire people who can speak publicly and still engage with an audience the way I can only do in small groups or one on one. I'll never forget the time I had a panic attack in IKEA because there were simply TOO MANY PEOPLE surrounding me. This isn't something I share lightly. I've always thought it to be kind of embarrassing but it isn't really. It's just one small part of what makes me, ME.
Sharing my creative endeavors online has been an incredible labor of love over the last 7.5 years (can you believe it?!). It's more than the accolades I've received over the years, although I can't begin to tell you what that's done for my self confidence and self worth. It's about the people I've met and the relationships that have developed. It's the camaraderie and pride among crafters that inspires me every day.
I am blessed to come from an incredibly supportive and encouraging family. I have countless memories of creating things with the "village" who raised me. I remember making puffy paint sweaters with my grandma as a gift to my mom, helping my aunt cut out sewing patterns (or at least "supervising" ha!), and watching my mom labor over the sewing machine for hours. The funny thing is my mom takes little to no credit for my creative ability. (Sorry for calling you out, Mom!) It baffles me really. This woman has encouraged me more than any other person on this planet through her example. I look at photos from my early childhood and know that SHE made me and my sister all those incredible matching dresses. I loved them, even then! (Most of them twirled beautifully.) Much like me, she always seemed to be into something crafty. For a while she was making custom painted lunch boxes and the cutest little t-shirt dresses that I seem to remember her selling in front of our house! I've seen her put together beautiful quilts, both sewn and crocheted. And years ago she introduced me to rubber stamping which has changed my world completely. She encouraged me by paying for sewing classes and putting me in girl scouts. She even signed me up for Calligraphy classes when I was 10 years old (and 30 years younger than the rest of the class) because that is what I wanted to do. Our styles are completely different and I know she thinks I'm like this creating prodigy as mothers do but I really just think of myself as an extension of her and how she made me to be.
When I was going through my separation and divorce I completely stopped creating. It wasn't a conscious decision but just part of my process. I had built up all of this momentum - I'd co-published a successful art zine and was designing for several kit club teams and then I just stopped. Talk about an unhappy couple of years! I had no clue what a great anti depressant paper and embellishments were to me. ;)
I deemed 2011 the year of healing and boy was it ever! It's been very hard work getting to where I am now and I still have a lot to do but I'm happy to say that I'm enjoying the process. Some days are painful and some are confusing. Am I where I want to be in life right now? No. I have a car that doesn't work because the transmission is done-zo and I am a divorcee living with her grandparents. But you know what? For the first time in a LONG time I am really happy! I know that I can't control every little thing (and I don't want to!) and I know that everything will work out the way that it's intended to. I am SO grateful for the loving support of my family and friends. I have a job that I love. Best of all, I'm creating again! I have photography clients (thank you!!), I have just joined a new design team (details to come!), not to mention everything I get to do for my job. Every day I not only get to be creative, I get to show other people how easy it is to be creative too! ♥