One of our amazing Artisans Karly has written this fabulous blog about how she lives with chronic illnesses and how she uses her craft to cope!
Let me introduce you to Karly …..
Hi! First off let me say thanks for reading, I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a long time, I don’t know that I have much that’s particularly interesting to say, but I am learning there are lots of people out there in a similar situation to me, and it is nice to connect and realise you’re not alone in your struggles!
So what is it all about? The general theme is living with a chronic illness, and using craft to cope with that. I have always been interested in all kinds of craft, I come from a creative family and grew up with a mum who knitted all of my jumpers and cardigans (I actually didn’t realise you could buy them in shops until an age I’d rather not admit!) she also crocheted and cross stitched, my grandad used to draw some amazingly detailed pictures and my sister can also draw and does some amazingly creative decorating. It’s safe to say craft is in my genes!
A bit about me…I’ve been making jewellery since I was a teenager, I started off like a lot of people using all kinds of beads, I then moved onto chainmaille – which I still love but is hard on the hands – and then a few years ago I took a 1 day silversmithing course and I was hooked! I love taking a piece of metal and hammering, sawing and burning (ok soldering) it into something beautiful! This year I’ve started working with gold and platinum too which is very exciting! Oh and I have Fibromyalgia, which basially means I am in pain all day every day, some days a little some days a lot – there is more to it but we’ll get into that another time!
That leads me to why the blog, and why now? I’ve been in all kinds of online craft groups for years, and noticed that there are so many people that craft because of some kind of illness, either physical or mental. Some do it as a hobby just to relax, or as way to bring in a few extra pennies each month and others like me have found a ‘normal’ job just doesn’t work for them but they can turn their passion and therapy into a full time income. A while ago I came across a the Heartizan networking page on Facebook, it seemed like a friendly place so when I saw a post asking for people to join their madmin team – like admin only crazier – I knew I had to do it. I’ve felt part of the team since the day I joined and the majority of us have some kind of illness or chronic condition, and I’ve found it so helpful being able to talk to people who understand exactly what I’m talking about! I love working from home but I didn’t realise how much I missed that team dynamic until I was in it again!
My plan is to use the blog to talk about the daily struggles of living with a chronic illness – simple things like having to plan my week so food shopping and hoovering aren’t on the same day, and sharing stories of other people with all kinds of illnesses and the ways that they cope too!
Thanks for reading, this is all completely new to me so I’d love to hear any feedback or suggestions and if you’d like me to tell your story please use the contact page to get in touch!
This is some of the incredible hand made items that you can find at Bow Cottage: