Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Just Breathe...

Hi, my dear ones, good to be here again!
Let me share this story with you today.
As you probably suspect, I'm a workaholic. This is partly because I'm blessed to be able to do what I love for my living - and partly because I was raised in the belief you have to respect your work, and it is a bad thing to say "no".
I love my job - I'm a full-time artist, designer and teacher - and this career is very time and energy consuming of course. I keep hearing from people they would love to do what I'm doing for living - and when we start discussion they quickly learn the price you have to pay for this kind of lifestyle is quite high: separation from your loved ones, a lot of travelling, stress caused by clients' expectations... not every person is ready to organise whole life around the job - and it is completely understandable and OK. I was trying for a long time to do so - and sometimes I'm doing better, sometimes not really... but what I noticed, with the big help of my friends and family, I forgot how to rest and relax and it started to take its toll on me. I was getting exhausted and hadn't much control over it.
My best friend, who noticed the problem earlier than I did, decided to help and one day I started finding little notes all around my house - reminding me to rest, let go, enjoy the moment or simply - breathe. That was the sweetest, nicest idea and I kept them in their places until now... I keep looking at them every day, smiling. Sometimes I wish I had more of them really!
This project below I made thinking of her. It is personal on many levels, and I will explain why in a moment.
After the surgery, when I got good enough to go back home problem of stopping, letting go and relaxing came back and hit me hard. My friends and my husband, Andrew, were making sure I remembered about taking things easier than before: reminding me constantly about resting, distracting me when I was trying too hard, talking me into activities which I almost forgot I like so much... There was Christmas and New Year too, which I guess helped me to feel less guilty I wasn't focused on my projects and designs that much.
When I finally could start creating I couldn't do anything - my hands and head turned rusty, nothing was coming together and I felt helpless... until I realised I'm trying too hard, again. Instead of taking my time to think, listen to myself and make something that will make me happy. I decided to take baby steps and do everything in slower pace - and here you can see the result.
This project was a challenge for me on so many levels: taking it easier, slower was one of them. Next was brushing off the pressure of expectations - like using the new product (yes, it is the TIME for the new release!) or making something which you can turn into a class. Then next one - using a colourful image, which is not usual for me... and playing with the experimental palette of colours too!
I had moments of doubt of course - for example picking the photo, which is, in fact, a postcard I got as an add-on to one of my favourite magazines, Flow. My first thought was: I didn't take this picture myself... Then everything just clicked into place - the colours and beautiful Nothern Lights paper collection from 7 Dots Studio paired with my Mechanicals and Art alchemy Paints, the fact it is something I got with the magazine I loved and of course - these are TEAcups, where tea is a synonym of calmness and relaxation for me. This crazy soft, dreamy palette I'd never expect to see on my table. And I got it - it was all about giving me a life lesson again. Breathe. Let go. Rely on others more. Find a way.
This just had to happen, right?

(OK, in the end I smuggled some new product on this project too, but not intentionally, really ;))

For your information - here is a list of products I used while creating it - all linked to our Mixed Media Place Store: 

I hope you enjoyed looking at it - and maybe my story is ringing a bell here and there.
See you again soon - and huge hugs

P.S. You could see it already - but here is the first official sneak peek on the new release coming to the stores this winter! Stay tuned to my IG and FB Page to be updated and see more of the details - believe me, they are fab! I can't wait to share more with you - but for now, my lips are sealed...


Юлия Juli (Попкова) said...

Stunning LO! Very inspiring!!

Toni said...

Finn... thank you for allowing us on your journey with this page. On so many levels I can relate to you. You mentioning.... " my hands and head turned rusty, nothing was coming together and I felt helpless... until I realised I'm trying too hard, again. Instead of taking my time to think, listen to myself and make something that will make me happy. " And even to your comment regarding using a photo that you hadn't taken the picture of. All of these ministered to my spirit. I thank you for being so open and sharing with us on a personal level. I too will take more time to enhale and exhale.

Helen said...

I am glad you managed to find some time to relax, and just create - the postcard of the teacups is perfect - and such different colours for you in this project! I hope 2018 continues your success but not at the damage of your health - take time for YOU!

Naseema N. said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us Anna. What you said is so true and important: “Breathe. Let go. Rely on others more. Find a way.”… I think many of us need to listen to that too! Oh, and I am so excited about your new release – I have been checking the Prima blog, just to see if you had new products on the way :D. Sending big hugs and blessings your way! Take good care of yourself :)

Heather Thompson said...

Such a beautiful piece. I hope all is going well with your recovery. Hugs to you.

mommyx2 said...

HI Anna - what a beautiful layout and story. I think many of us can relate to what you share with us and I thank you for being so open and happy you are taking care of yourself - even just a little bit.
I think I need to follow your advise as for many years I have been pulled in so many directions, This past year I was traveling back and forth from my home to my husband's temporary work, staying in a hotel (2 hours away) while telecommuting full time and going into my office when I could, taking care of and home schooling my twins, the dog and my husband, cleaning the house and rushing to wash and iron clothes when we were home, pack and unpack and pack each time we moved from place to place. Each week or day back and forth for more than a year I brought a whole suitcase filled with Prima and Finnabair things and only 2 times did I ever have a chance to open the suitcase, one was for the class I took with you as I needed my supplies and the other was to make a card for my girls birthday! I so want to breath and take some time to create! I felt sad coming home two days ago, for good to realize an entire year had gone by, AGAIN, and I had not really created much of anything nor spent the quality time with my children that I so want -life is speeding by faster and faster and we need to stop and smell the roses, or as you put it...BREATH.
Thank you Anna, Wishing you all the best, as you really deserve it!

Torsa Saha said...

Your blog posts always very inspiring and refreshing!! Thanks for sharing with us your struggle.. Many times I thought.. may be it’s only me .. who is struggling!! When I saw this .. got a lot of courage!!

Sue Lelli said...

Thank you for sharing. I think we all can relate to your feelings for sure. Best wishes for your recovery. I LOVE this layout!

MakeYourLifeColourful said...

Hugs! don’t be so hard on yourself! Enjoy! Your project is Gorgeous by the way!

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