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Some say crafting is like therapy, well for me it truly is. I few years back after a supposedly routine operation went wrong (long nightmare story) But I was left with IBS. It completely turned my world around and I began suffering with depression and anxiety. What I refer to as the Dark Side just because it takes your mind to an evil space that is really hard to come back from, and sometimes when you think your out of it, it finds a way to suck you back in.

I lost my creativity, which made me more depressed which made me sicker so I was caught in a vicious circle for years. I had no confidence, couldn’t even tell you what self-esteem was and forget goals or dreams they had long been lost. Like I said its the dark side.

I started making jewellery, got into a bit of baking and even did a sewing course until my love for paper crafts finally started calling. Slowly, I began to find pieces of my mojo here and there by doing a party or two for my daughter or end of term treats for her class and teachers. (50 cupcakes made before end of school is a stressful task) But slowly my creativity started coming back. Actually I was on YouTube looking for a tutorial on jewellery boxes when I came across a channel by Pootles. I watched her videos and tried in vain to replicate the projects with the many brands I already had. But I just became frustrated with how nothing matched or having to spend hours at the computer trying to print things to match off CD ROMs. It just caused frustration, which made me depressed and sucked all the joy out of crafting not to mention the wasted card and ink. Then after watch Sam for a few more months I just had to have the pretty colour co-ordinating things, scalloped oval punch, word window punch and I even wanted stamps. I never really stamped before, I had a collection of stamps but had a bad experience and never used them again, but Sam made it look so easy and the quality of the products showed through her videos. So I bit the bullet and made a wish list and was going to treat myself as a birthday present but after seeing how much my list was I knew it would be cheaper to just become a demo and get the discount. Luckily I got the starter kit as a birthday present from my mum so I had more money to spend on goodies. Yay

That was in 2015, Now in 2016 looking back on my first year with Stampin’ Up! It been amazing for me. I’ve come out of my shell more. Getting more confident with my projects and pushing myself out of my comfort zone more and more. It’s a hard struggle at times with my illness, but I’m part of a great team who have really become like extended family. They’re so supportive and encouraging that it makes it a bit easier to step out and try new things.

I’ve officially gone from a hobby demo who just wanted discount, to starting my own business. I’ve now reached the title of Silver and have started to build my own team. I’m pushing for the next promotion, which is Silver Elite, but taking baby steps to get there and I will by the end of the year, sooner if I have lots of people join my team, (nudge, nudge, wink wink.). I was part of the Pootlers Design team, taken part in countless blog hops and I’ve started doing Youtube tutorials and that’s been amazing. People from all over the world have left comments or emailed me to say how much they love my projects and in 3 months I’ve reached nearly 1000 subscribers and have videos with over 3000 views. It’s crazy but very humbling and I really appreciate everybody’s part in my journey as it helps me to be able to successfully push myself that bit more.

2 years ago I couldn’t see much in my future, but now I’m setting goals and working towards them while loving my work. Joining Stampin Up! was truly the best therapy I could have taken, I never thought I would get so much out of joining just for discount. I might need some therapy for my hording of pretty papers and collections but i’m working on that. Lol. Life is still a roller coaster but I’m feeling more like my old self, and celebrating it one achievement at a time.

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