MY PERSONAL JOURNEY:
Laurie here! Quite a few of you have asked what the tattoo on my hand is so, I thought I'd share a little bit about me. I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your interest in my vision and me as a person!
The tattoo is an INFINITY sign with a heartbeat. This represents to me strength and perseverance! I have had many, many MANY health issues in my life. My husband and BFF actually joke and say I am "GODS little experiment" as I do get health problems that are rare or weird. I have had over 20+ surgeries in my lifetime including 3 spinal surgeries just a few years ago where i woke up paralyzed from the waste down. My spinal cord was fused inside my spinal column and they had to go in and de-tether it TWICE and then after the second surgery I was not recovering properly and couldn't lift my head off the pillow for a week (this was at home). My BFF came to visit and noticed the huge lump forming on my back and rushed me back to the hospital and they had to go in AGAIN as my spinal cord was leaking therefore the fluid in my brain was not balanced. They had to remove bones from my spinal column and it was just one of the most painful things I have ever encountered. My legs still give out if I do too much especially more so as I am getting older. I have to know my limits (i still don't know my limits) and I also cannot sit sedentary (sit upright at a table or desk) for more than an hour or my back starts to spasm and I lose feeling in my legs. I have to self catheterize 8 times a day as my bladder no longer functions. I did have to retire from my job as an Admin. Coordinator at McMaster University I worked at for 25 years and had a great career.
Once I started feeling better I just found myself watching Judge Judy all day long being quite depressed....that dark place is never somewhere I want to be AGAIN! The rug got pulled from under me...I had a really great career on one day and the next day I had nothing to look forward to anymore...that was a big blow to me to not have the structure anymore or the drive to get up and out of bed.
I have always been a crafter and before my back surgeries I started making Burlap wreaths. I thought to pass the time I would do some burlap wreaths again as I could do that in my recliner. But then using the burlap was so messy and I was starting to get breathing issues (PLEASE WEAR A RESPIRATOR WHEN USING ALOT OF BURLAP!) I started teaching burlap wreathing classes as I am very people oriented and love to talk! I was missing that from my life of sitting at home. So I rented a small hall and started teaching wreathing. My kids and Hubby would set everything up for me and I would teach others how to do it. But then people were really wanting the pretty sparkly colorful wreaths they have seen out there (decomesh) but to teach the "normal-non crafty person" to make a decomesh wreath was just pretty much impossible. And I too wanted to make them but from the comfort of my recliner. I couldn't do that with the normal wire ring frame using Decomesh so that is when I started the drawings and in the middle of the night scribble in my idea book for this system we use now! I have been teaching with it for almost 2+ years and have tweaked it as we have went along to make The Perfect SYSTEM that anyone can use.
The best thing I get from teaching is the faces and the amazement that people have after they have made one of my wreaths...its INCREDIBLE to see their faces Light up and say "I MADE THAT"! The look of joy on their faces is absolutely priceless!!! This day in age everything is done with Technology and not too many people use their hands to make anything. That is exactly why i think DIY classes have popped up all over the world. People want to make things, they crave it! It has been tested on kids, men, elderly, disabled and just people who say they suck at crafting and can't do it!!! Well I proved they can!.
Now back to the tattoo....(see I ramble on and on). The tattoo when I look at it (thats why i put it on my right hand) reminds me that I am strong, I can conquer anything that comes my way and that its going to take a lot to get me down again. I am going to keep on going til I am 6 feet under. When I am tremendous back pain it reminds me to take a break, regroup and keep going when your feeling better...DON'T GIVE UP!!! and I am a fighter! An Honorable mention goes out to my FAMILY and FRIENDS...if it wasn't for them (especially my Dave, my 3 kids, my dogs and my very best friend Tammy) for helping me and taking care of me I think I would be in a mental institution or addicted to narcotics for real! Depression, anxiety and pain is real!
My dream of teaching the world wreathing is coming true BECAUSE of people LIKE YOU!!!! Taking a chance on me and trying my product. I have a saying I always say "I am making the world a prettier place one wreath at at time" and its true! With all the bad in the world that is going on...there is good too. I pull up to my house, see my sunflower glistening on my front door and it literally makes me smile every single time! I hope my story inspires even just 1 person today to don't give up the fight! Find something you truly love and just go for it!
I would love if you guys would share my story as I really do want to get the message out there to not give up! Lets see how far it can get!
Happy wreathing everyone.....Laurie xoxo