How I Found Peace Through Papercrafting

Not all of my family and friends even know why I decided to dabble in card making. To them, it was like, BAM, okay, she has an Etsy shop now. Whatever.

Before the summer of 2016, I hadn’t even displayed an interest in any sort of paper crafting, aside from putting together a (yet-to-be-finished) scrapbook for my son’s first year of life.

Early to mid-2016 things in my life stated getting a little heavy, for lack of a better description. Things had been relatively difficult since our son was born on New Year’s Eve day 2014. Colic, reflux, never-ending sleep regression, and high-functioning postpartum depression were really beginning to take their toll. Our boy was a ticking time bomb, and I isolated myself at home in fear of him having a complete sensory meltdown any time I took him anywhere. I hoped things would begin to change soon.

April 2016 we found a beautiful new home in a wonderful new area. We packed up and moved in as soon as we could. Our son was 15 months old at that time. Packing up and moving also involved moving services, including getting him a new pediatrician. Enter the 15-month checkup. It started well, and then she noticed some strange features on him during closer examination. I was inundated with questions about his motor skills, was he doing this, was he doing that. Nope. My heart started racing. What the heck was she seeing wrong with him? I immediately began feeling like the worst mom in the world. How could I not have noticed anything different about him compared to others his age? Was I that oblivious?

Several specialists and tests later, we got a diagnosis: Multiple Epiphyseal Dysplasia. A rare genetic bone growth disorder prevalent in about 1:11,000 in the U.S. We were given a fat packet of information to read. A fat, depressing packet of information, full of all the potential problems and complications we may come to expect in his lifetime. A few of them we were already beginning to deal with: scoliosis, hip dysplasia, osteoarthritis, “waddling” gait, abnormal/incomplete development of the ends of the long bones in the arms and legs. What we have to possibly look forward to: hip and/or knee replacements, chronic pain, reduced ease of mobility, short stature (no taller than 5’4″), bone fractures…

Oh, joy. Our genes failed our poor, innocent son. Our plans of having two kiddos got thrown right out the window as we turned to focus all our time and attention (and money) on our little man. My depression settled in deeper. What now?

I started to seek an outlet for my sadness and anxiety. Physical therapy had started for our little dude and his mobility started to increase more and more every day. I needed something that would work around his needs. I headed to Pinterest, that holy grail of ideas, to seek some inspiration for DIY projects. Mother’s Day was coming up, so I wanted to find something special to give my dear mom. I’ve made her jewelry in the past, didn’t really want to keep doing that, it was losing its originality and was also just plain too hard to focus on now. Something simple, something smaller scale was best.

A greeting card! I had pretty much nada in the way of supplies, but scrapbooking supplies and the like are relatively inexpensive and are always on sale somewhere. So I picked up a few things from our nearest Michael’s and got to work. I should’ve taken a picture of it, it turned out pretty nice! And I was instantly hooked. I compiled a ton of ideas on Pinterest, made up a few more designs and opened up my first shop on the Amazon Handmade marketplace. Business was (and still is) slow, but I didn’t mind. I found a new love.

Fast forward several months and several hundred dollars. I have refined my processes, and in this blog, hope to share my inspirations, designs, techniques, and products with you, and hopefully give you some ideas and inspiration of your own! Or, at the very least, a peek into the inner workings of how I come up with my designs.

And now, as a thank you for reading this far, I free you from this blog post to go and finish your chores and such for the day. 😉