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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Woman Behind the Designs

When I first decided to start blogging, I did some research. I do a LOT of research on a lot of topics, so this was no exception. Everything indicated that you should have an idea behind the purpose of your blog before you start. What is the theme? Should it be business or personal? A combination of both? Most recommendations were that you choose one and stick with it, and that if you have a business, your blog should stick to business topics and stay away from personal ones.

I think there's some merit to that. It's unlikely you want to know if my dog is sick, or if my son didn't make the local hockey team. These are fine things to blog about if your blog is about pets or hockey, but mine is about jewellery and my business of creating it and selling it. Today, though, I thought I would let you (my whole 156 people who have read my blog) know a little more about who I am, why I do what I do, and where the creations came from.

I'm forty (gulp) almost one years old - I have two days left to be forty. I was a crafty kid who couldn't get enough of macrame (any of you remember macrame?), braiding, stringing, making pom poms, crocheting.... you get the picture. As I got older and started having children I somehow didn't find the time to pursue creation. I guess I had created two little someones and that's a pretty big thing to create.

As I approached forty years old, a year ago, in fact, I began to have some strange things happen to me physically. My arms went numb. My legs went numb. My leg would feel like someone had wrapped a tensor bandage around it too tightly and left it there. I began having sensations of pins and needles in my limbs, as well as stabbing sensations. My back became hypersensitive, so that feeling a simple drop of water running down my back was almost painful it was so annoying. Sometimes it felt like mosquitos were biting my limbs - quick, stinging pains. I went to the doctor and was referred to a neurologist.

I began to crave creation again - the urge to create became very strong. My husband brought me home some copper wire and I wrapped a bunch of beach glass my children had collected years ago. When I created, I didn't notice the pain as much. I researched online to find out more about jewellery making and found a wealth of information: how-to's, articles, opinions, ideas, and outlets to sell your goods. And I practiced - man, did I practice.

I got brave and ordered some sterling silver and then was too afraid to cut into it for about a week. One day when I was ready, I made the first cut and lost the fear. I fell in love with the process of twisting wire to make it what I saw in my mind and on the drawings on little scraps of paper that began to follow me everywhere. And when I created, I was fully present with the creation; allowing the pain to be in the background, instead of the foreground.

The neurologist did a test. The neurologist pronounced me fine before he even did the test. "Yes, sir, I am fine. I'm forty years old and I don't know what is happening to me and you have no answer, but I am fine it seems." I had to accept that there was no answer just then.

A look back in my history shows numerous 'minor' things going on for years: a feeling of being off balance, a sensation of walking 'funny' all of a sudden - was it me or the new shoes? Fatigue. Bone crushing, can't lift my head, no energy for language kind of fatigue.

I have continued the creations over this past year; growing more confident with my materials and moving into the world of fabrication. The 'phantom' mostly hid away for a bit but I was always aware of its presence. It left my back sensations and a couple other things but steered clear for a while. And then it returned and it was the same but different. I began limping - always on the right leg and many times being unaware I was doing it. Some days my hands won't work on the keyboard for any length of time. It is like there's a disconnect between brain and hands. Sometimes I'm fatigued, I trip over things even when I know they're there, and life is different than it used to be. And the other day there was a brown spot in my vision on my left eye. And I know. In my heart, I know. I see another neurologist in June.

When I am at my bench, my hands work just fine. And I am grateful - for this life, for the gift I've been given, and for this opportunity to share a little more about who I am.

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