I have some more exciting news. Robin over at FCCB has so kindly chosen me to help out with the Thursday Tutorials! Every Thursday on the Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog I will be writing up a little feature including an awesome tutorial that I have found on the Internet. Each week will be something different, but they are bound to be fun and informative. I hope you all will check it out and give some suggestions as to what other tutorials you would be interested in seeing. Normally these tutorials will feature the Cricut machine and everything associated with Cricut. While you're over there, don't forget about Challenge Me Mondays where you can enter our challenges and win prizes!
For those of you that have popped over here from there to finish the blurb about Fibromyalgia and more of my story, here it is... Fibromyalgia is a chronic widespread pain disorder with no cure and no certain cause. It can be very debilitating to the point of sometimes needing a wheelchair and sometimes not being able to get out of bed, except to use the restroom, for days or months on end. It has changed my life drastically, but not all for the worse. I am extremely lucky to have very supportive friends, family and especially my patient and kind husband. When you develop an illness like this you really find out who your true friends are!
Through this illness I have discovered the joy of paper-crafting. I’ll admit, years ago, during my first marriage and before my father passed away, I used to love scrapbooking and got obsessed with it for about a year. That all fell by the wayside when my life started changing and sadly, I left the craft for about ten years. Then,when I fell ill with Fibro and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), I went from being a very active person, holding down two jobs and enjoying a very busy social life, while attending online classes from the Academy of Art University for fashion design, to gradually being practically bedridden for a very long time. In fact, I still spend quite a bit of my time in bed due to the extreme pain and fatigue associated with Fibro & CFS.
As you can imagine, that gets old real fast. I needed something to do to keep myself sane so I looked to the past and remembered my long lost friend, my old scrapbook. I didn’t hesitate. I went right over to the local scrapbooking store and within a week I was signing up for classes (I didn't care how much pain I was in)! I even took on some part time work at the store for trade in supplies! That was in September of 2010 and eventually I was unable to continue even working my light schedule there so I had to quit, but now I have a home-based business and take custom orders for any type of papercrafting such as cards, layouts, mini albums and very soon, shirts, onesies, aprons, and other fabrics too! (I'm getting a Yudu!) I realized that to thrive and make it through this disease I needed to get back into my creative self and the more I create the more I come up with and the more ideas I have. This hobby is limitless! It's amazing and it keeps me going. Now don't get me wrong, there are still lots of days where I can't get out of bed to create or do anything, but those are the days when I blog if I can or I come up with ideas and goals and let's not forget... online shopping! LOL I never let the illness get in the way of that.
No matter how ill I am, when I step foot into my newly converted craft room, which, btw, is pink, black and white and includes a zeba print rug LOL (trying to relive my childhood or something I guess), I get an instant surge of joy coursing through my body. Those of you that love the craft as much as I do must understand what I’m talking about. I’m sure you’ve all felt it too. Just the smell of the paper and looking at all the gorgeous tools and products gets my gears turning and my heart smiling! So now, here I am, just trying to do what I love and hoping that eventually I will be a success at this and it will become my career. I have so many dreams and goals and no illness will ever hold me back. I have too much to do to let it rule my life!
Well, I'll close on that note and I'll thank you all for listening and understanding and again, being on this journey with me. I know a lot of you have heard all of this in some form or other for me, but I have to keep repeating it so I can remind myself of all the reasons I have to keep on keeping on.
Goodnight to all! I'm off to finish my Mother's Day cards. :0)
XO ~ Amy Jo
P.S. If you know of anyone who needs anything custom made, please think of me and remember, I'm a Memory Works consultant, Amway distributor, Be Young Essential Oils distributor, and soon to be T-shirt designer in need of people who need these things. Oh yeah, I also make custom jewelry and design fliers, invitations, business cards and just about anything you can think of. :0) Thanks all. Much love. I believe in paying it forward. Keep that in mind too. ;)