Thursday, October 13, 2011

Life, Etsy, Crafting and Cancer

Crafting, and in particular crafting on etsy has been a lifesaver for me these past 3 years. Looking back, I can now smile and recognize what a joy it is to be where I am today, doing what I do.

I lost a long held corporate job in late 2007. Yikes, how does a gal over 50 with no degree go up against so many other younger and educated people all vying for the same job? After an extremely comfortable position, how do you start over? It took me about a month to decide I did not want to continue in
corporate America. I had no interest in going back to school or becoming more tech savvy. All I could think about was getting back to my “creative” roots. (I was a full time craftsperson in the 80’s!)

I bought a sewing machine so I could begin to learn to machine quilt – both for relaxation and for the inspiration to be doing something creative again. Ideas and product began to flow. It was exhilarating to be back in the arts and crafts world. I loved being on the crafts show circuit again and loosing hours in the studio exploring ideas and techniques. Life was good!

…and then I felt it….the lump…the tests…the waiting…..I had breast cancer.

Cancer. You don’t know how you’re going to react when told this. I was actually very calm and accepting and quickly hunkered down to prepare myself for what lay ahead. Holiday craft shows for 2009 were cancelled. Surgery was in Dec 2009, followed by chemo and radiation which lasted until July 2010.

Crafting. It became a wonderful way to divert my attention from the hardships over cancer treatment. I was able to explore working with dying fabric and yarns, felting, quilting and weaving. Etsy provides a huge resource of information and resources on how to build, market, valuate and nurture a crafts business. The information available was a great way to keep my mind alive while my body felt so bad. I honestly do not know what I would have done had this community not been there. My family does not live close by, and it was so helpful to have the support, encouragement and friendship from my etsy BEST team and others I’ve met throughout the artistic community.

I am now back on feet, one year cancer free! Etsy is still a huge part of my life, nearly all my business is done through etsy and I look forward to getting back out on the crafts show circuit again!

I am so joyful that the BEST team has chosen breast cancer as their cause to work for this year. The chosen organization, the Red Devils are a superb group of people that offer such a great resource of assistance, information and help to cancer patients and their families. I am honored to be part of BEST and their work to raise funds for the Red Devils.

Loving life and shining still –

Deb Christian