May 04, 2019

May the 4th Be With You

After a long absence, my longest to date I believe, it's hard to know where to start or how to catch up. I'm hoping to do that in my next post but today I felt it important to mark an important anniversary.

Two years ago today I was diagnosed with breast cancer. How has it already been two years? How has it only been two years? The ensuing turmoil, multiple biopsies, positive genetic testing, constant doctor appointments, double mastectomy with reconstruction, followed quickly by removal of my ovaries was a chaotic, draining, exhausting whirlwind. To say the least. But look at me, I survived. Despite my most dire thoughts on my darkest days.

And these two years later, I feel healthier than I have in ages. I honestly don't even think about cancer much these days. Sure occasionally I will have a moment where I wonder if that pain I'm having could be something more nefarious but I think I've struck a good balance between being diligent about my health and not living in fear and worry.

Here's the thing I've realized, if I spend my days worrying about cancer and it turns out that I don't actually have it, won't that be a waste of my energy and life? On the other hand, even if I actually do get cancer again will it have benefited me in any way to spend my days worrying in advance about it? I feel it would be a disservice to the life I have been given, to spend it fretting instead of living.

So, living is what I am doing and at full speed, hanging on for dear life but I think that is just what wrapping up the school and child rearing years looks like. Look for a post very soon on all things Emma as we prepare to launch her into the world.

And as a favor to me, would you please schedule that test or doctor's appointment that you've been putting off? Will you please be proactive about your health and advocate for yourself when you need to? And when a doctor makes you feel like a hypochondriac, please go find a new doctor. Take care of yourselves friends.

February 19, 2019

Studio Tour

At the end of December I was suddenly overcome with the need to revamp my studio. This comes after spending a lot of time thinking about what my next chapter looks like. One thing I know for sure is that it will be centered around this room. I really wanted to make sure this space encouraged my creativity by being a little less busy. I love the results. It began with a coat of white paint, which felt oddly scary to a girl who has always had color on her walls.

As you look in the door, this is your view. One of the most important projects was making this sewing table (pictured in it's before state below) truly functional. Since I was not able to pull a chair under it, sewing was an ergonomic nightmare and not something I was particularly excited to spend time doing. Luckily I'm married to a very handy guy who was able to turn it into the sewing table of my dreams.

My sewing machine now easily fits underneath and he made two levels of shelves to hold these baskets perfectly. I painted it with milk paint in the color Aviary and used an old vintage linen sheet to make a skirt to hide the shelves but show off the legs. However, the very best part is that I can now pull my chair under the table and as a bonus, parking it there when I'm not sitting in it has given me so much more space behind my work area.

My collection of journals hanging out in an antique chicken feeder.

Having access to my supplies right behind my work tables makes the projects flow easier. The shelves on top got a new coat of pale grey paint and the cubby shelves below got new paper backing.

My old aqua cart wasn't working with the room now so it will get used elsewhere and this new blue one fits in perfectly.

To the right of the door is the hardworking closet that my Sweet Man made for me several years ago and it holds the craft trolley/cutting table/extra work space that he made for me more recently. I'm a very lucky girl and I know it.

I look forward to the day when we get our built-in bookshelves made so that I don't have to store these books here anymore but it's working fine for now.

All my pretty papers found a new home in this basket I already had. I have a real weakness for pretty storage and you will find many jars with leftover balls of yarn dotted around the room.

The hutch which is to the right of the work tables, is where most of my yarn stash lives. It got a little upgrade with a new paper backing that matches the cubbies shown above. I could sit and stare at this all day.

Switching out the floral curtains made a huge difference. I still love that fabric but I wanted something quieter. I can't tell you how I fought with the linen fabric for these curtains. I'm not proud of the number of swear words I said during my attempts to make them. My friend Melissa, who is an amazing seamstress, came and spent an entire weekend making it right. I am grateful for her every time I look at them.

Just in case you too enjoy ogling pretty yarn.

My favorite spot in the room is this corner, tucked in just to the left when you walk in the door. It is where I start my day every morning with my tea and knitting. In the last 6 months I have gotten in the habit of getting up a couple of hours before we need to leave for the school run so that I may have a quiet, peaceful start to my day, curled up in that chair.

 Even in summer, this little fireplace lights up my days.

This wall got reworked and quieted. I believe having a cleaner slate really helps my brain not to get overwhelmed. I love having this antique bakery box to use for a revolving creative or seasonal display. The hook and hangers to the right are to hold current/newly finished knitting projects. My in progress sweater is hanging there right now.

But seriously, these curtains!!

I have always enjoyed my creative spaces but I think there is something particularly special about this one. I love that it feels like I've gone back to my Swedish roots. I love coming in here and struggle to make myself leave. I know it is the perfect way to transition into the next stage of my life.