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« {Texture Tuesday} Free & Easy eDition & A Give Away | Main | Let's Talk Dreaming »

My Story - Part 1

and your weekend texture.....

Remember the dream post I shared a few weeks ago? :) I told you that I was going to tell you 'my story' Well, I'm back with a tour of my studio and my story..... The studio ties in with my journey.... hopefully by the end of this post it will all come together. 

And of course, I have a lovely little texture for you to try as well. Stay tuned.

Okay, so let's start at the a fast forward kind of way.  

I was born in Manitoba...Canada in 1968. I was the youngest in a family of 2... just me and my older brother. We lived in a few places before we settled in the town my Dad grew up in... and the town I live in today. (I was 12)

I was fortunate to grow up with good friends and a supportive family. My life, all in all was GOOD.

As a kid I always said I wanted to be a teacher and I secretly dreamt of being an artist. The funny part was, I never made art. But I could totally imagine being an artist. I remember feeling different, yet not sure why that was.

I met my husband John when I was 19 and I was married at 21. I had Brett 13 months later and Bryce 15 1/2 months after that. By the time I was 23 I was a mother of 2 boys. We moved into the house we still live in...and the house of my dreams in 1992.

It's pretty crazy....but growing up we lived just across the street and a few houses down from this old house...and I said, one day I would live here. Seriously, I really did!

So, when I saw this house come up for sale in the local paper I was determined that we come and take a look at it. The timing was brilliant. We were just about to buy a modular home. The deal was almost signed. Character homes, like like this old girl do not come up for sale very often. Anyhow, I walked in, fell instantly in love...turned to John and said, we have to buy this house! And that was that... it all worked out. Okay it wasn't nearly as simple as took some major work to make it happen... But it did!! We moved in and 6 months later, John got his job at the hospital across the street from where we lived. The job we prayed he would get and the job that allowed me to quit my full time job and stay at home with the boys.

I tell you the house story, because to me it is all part of my journey to this very day. If it was not for this old house, I would not have started painting. It's also a perfect example of how stating your intentions can make things happen. I was a teenager who stated her intentions to a friend.... 'I am going to live in that house someday!'

I wanted to fill our antique home with old worn, primitive pieces.... But there was no money for decorating. Money was tight, to say the least. And so, I went out and bought a few brushes, some paint...a few surfaces....and started attempting to make my own pieces to fill our home. Thinking back to my first work... I could cringe... But, at the time, I thought it was beautiful.....

To make a long story short... my painting lead to a few craft selling my signs on ebay....and then to a publisher who licensed my work.

And so I think you can see how this old house was a huge part of my journey...

So I painted and painted....I started working in our basement...  but it was too dreary and damp. So I squished the boys into one bedroom and took over the spare room. I outgrew the spare room, and they outgrew sharing a room.... so I took over the dining room. And well, it was not pretty. And my mother was horrified... She's very neat and clean...and organized. Imagine our lovely old dining room table covered in drop cloths pine boards, paint, stain, rags.... etc.... I'm sure my Mom had a hard time visiting...... it was really quite terrible.

My parents had a little stash of money and they gifted it to me and my brother.... But mine came with another gift....

a gift of my dad's hands and time to build me my very own studio!! Woo hoo.... DREAM come true... BIG TIME!!

That gift was more than money and space...It was.... 'we believe in you.... now go....DO what you seem to have to do....and make your dreams come true!'

While I was working away at my art, I was also running a home daycare. I would look after kids in the day and make art after the boys went to bed...into the wee hours of the morning. It was hard, but so worth it.  

The studio was the launch of my for-real business.... I don't think I would be here today, doing what I love if it weren't for that... Ya know?

Life progressed, the boys grew up. I was making art full time. Business was good! My art was on prints, giftware, wallpaper, calendars etc. Seriously, so fabulous! I was able to do what I love and I was getting paid well for it. Woo hoo! Finally, we were able to pay the bills and have a little room for extras. It was amazing. I remember walking Andy and thinking wow, I am so blessed. Thank you God!

And all came crashing down.

Brett was 16 and Bryce was entering 15. They were good boys. Bryce was always very strong willed.....right from the beginning. But man oh man... the teen years hit him HARD. And so began the hardest experience of our lives. Bryce started to change. I knew he was struggling, but there seemed to be very little we could do or say to help him. He was lost and as much as I wanted to hold out my hands and bring him back, he just could not grab hold.

I will spare you the details, but let's just say it was the beginning of the longest and most difficult 2 1/2 years of my life. I lived, trapped in fear. It felt like I was always on the edge of my seat, waiting for the worst to happen. I felt scared and alone. I think that may be part of my issue with friendship. Let's just say, during that time, friendship really let me down.

And as hard as it was for me, it was nothing compared to the turmoil Bryce was in. My son was living in his own personal hell...and everyday he struggled to hold on.

3 years ago this coming May, all my fears and worries seemed to come one phone call. It was after midnight when the phone rang....I knew it was going to be awful news. And it was. Thankfully no one was physically hurt. I can not share the details, it is Bryce's story to tell... but it was the beginning of a long lonely journey of recovery for us all. Let's just say, living in a tiny town, when someone you love makes some really bad choices is very lonely. People don't look at you. People don't call you...and people definitely judge you!

This was also the beginning of Bryce's new life. He had no choice, but to start over. As awful as it all was, it was part of his journey and our journey. And we survived. He survived and he made it through and is doing much better now. 

During that two plus years I slowly quit painting. I had no desire to create.... I just sat a lot... in fear. In fact, I became a prisoner of that fear. It owned me! As much as all the worry and what if's changed nothing, fixed nothing... it was all I knew. It consumed me. My husband kept moving, working, living. Thankfully. But I just stopped. And sat and feared.... and asked why? over and over and over again... Why?

Fear robbed me of my creativity...and over time I quit working completely.That wonderful income that we had coming in, also started to fade away. 

After that phone call in the middle of the night, I realized no matter, what life goes one. And one day, my camera called to me. I took it on the trail and my life changed. I felt as though I was reborn. Literally the art started to pour out of me. This time through my camera. Eventually I picked up the brushes again, but not to paint signs...instead to paint textures. 

Okay I will leave you here...and share PART 2 another day.....

It's the good part.... the dreamy part...the mondo beyondo... CRAZY.....BEYOND belief... AWESOME...somebody pinch me....are you serious? no way!! part!!!

And so how bout a texture to end the tale? I call this one music lovin'.... I think it's a 'gooder'....
Click HERE to download it.

Love & gratitude...always....



Reader Comments (250)

Oh, Kim, I loooooooooooooooooooooove this post. I remember sharing emails with you ages ago about our struggles and fears, and I am so inspired by what you have done since then. You are amazing, my friend. A true gift. I love reading your words and seeing these peeks into your world. Someday I hope I get to meet you and pg in person. I've been very absent from blogging recently because of other creative work, but I love checking back in here with you from time to time to see what magic you're making. Thank you for all that you do, and for keeping the faith. Big hugs~ Gigi
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGigi
What an amazing journey you, and your entire family have been on. Sometimes we have to go through the fire to find the light. It's funny, photography has been my saving grace too! I hope that the path you and your family are on now will continue to bring you joy and happiness, because your textures certainly bring joy and happiness to me and so many others who use them!

Kat :)
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKat
Oh Kim ........ I can sooooo relate to being a prisoner to fear and worry! So very glad things have worked out for you and your family!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKerri
Thank you for taking the courage to share with us! I'm lumpy throated.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim C.
I type this through watery eye's. Thank you for sharing something so deeply personal, even without details, I can feel the love and pain in your story. I am a huge fan of your work and am extremely grateful for your generosity in sharing your wonderful talent for free. Your studio loks amazing, somewhere to be inspired and in turn create inspiration for others.

Thank you for your inpsiration xo
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEllana
Thoughts to cherish. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story. I love your work space!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSue
Waiting for Part 2, but do have to say on Part 1 - I'm there. I'm in the 'stopped' part of life where one lives in limbo. I've lived here for so long, it's almost my 'normal' state, if there is such a thing. I've done scrapbooking from since my husband and I hooked up. Fast forward to the incredibly difficult decision to stop trying to force my will on having children (turns out wishing alone doesn't work)... and the scrapbooking just stopped. I'm at the 'why bother?' stage, because I was documenting for children. No children - no point. As I said, I'm looking forward to your Part 2 of your story.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Although I have heard you tell parts of this story before. I whole heartedly THANK YOU for telling it today. Somethings we need to be reminded to follow our hearts, our dreams and to always believe in the process. Trust in what God has planned for us. Thank you again. PS thanks for the texture. It will be put to good use.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie
Kim, thanks so much for sharing this part of your personal story ... very inspiring. And also, of course, for your generous sharing of your beautiful artwork, by which I'm ALWAYS inspired.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Teddlie Minton
thank you for being willing to share the struggles you've been through. We have also had 'lost children', been shunned and ostracized as we try to find ways to help them heal and re-create. Its hard and I can understand it changing the course your art and life have taken. Thanks!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommentercandyK
Kim, please don't leave us hanging... =0
I am so moved right now ~ our stories are somewhat similar, and my heart aches AND rejoices with you. I am so grateful for your sharing heart, your honesty and vulnerability and capacity to live and love again. I can't wait to hear the rest of your story, and in the meantime, the joy and learning you bring to so many hundreds and possibly thousands of us, is a testament to who you are, your very nature, your inspiration! Thank You Kim, from the bottom of my (our) hearts!!!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAr~Pic
i have no words. i've had no words of my own for a long long time. i'm just coming through the other side of a similar hell.

your art has helped my art in so many ways. right now, it's mud-coloured - so many colours runnning together but the Light shines through. i have always been able to seek and then capture and hold up Light. again - there are no words.

except love you <3
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdeb k
Thank you for sharing. I have loved your photos and stories since I found your blog
You rock!!! Hope to meet you in person one day
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarlene
While we've never met, I know we'd enjoy having a cup of coffee together . . . I love how real you are & your talent blesses me!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarol
I live every day in fear. What's so terrible about this is that I KNOW I live in fear, yet refuse to break out of it. I keep thinking it will take care of itself in time. Maybe it's time to take the leap! Thanks for sharing your story - I'm sure you will touch so many people through it!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarla Bornhoft
Life is such a series of brooks and streams. We ride on a leaf for a while and go with the flow. Then a branch appears. Left? Right? It's not really in our control and the waves push us toward a full river or a raging sea. If we make it, we come out on another current with more (and different) scenery and trials.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdana
Kim, I can not even imagine what you went through for all that time. I was actually buying sign patterns from you back then and wondered what happened to you. Then to my surprise I found you while I was taking Graphic Design. I am so happy that your life has turned for the better. You are such a wonderful person. I can not wait to read the happy part of your story! Have a wonderful night. Diana
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiana
i hate what we've both been through with our boys, but it has made us stronger. that's one thing, maybe the only thing, i know for sure. at least for today.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbeth
What an incredible story so far! I haven't been around here on your blog for long, but I am loving getting to know more about you. Thank you for sharing! I look forward to reading the rest of the story!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly
You have traveled the ups and downs of life...Life is a journey with crooked roads. I am so happy to know that you worked through them and you are now back to the "mondo beyondo" moments...Many blessings to both you and your Son for coming out on the other side..I to, have lived it fear but most days I beat the crap out of it...Life is precious and I am Thankful for having meet a most creative and sensitive person in you. Thanks for all you do.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl
Thanks for sharing! I was inspired and truly touched by your story!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda
What a beautiful and moving story. Very emotional and inspiring . So glad you are on your way to a beautiful future...forever! I wish you and your family all the luck. Have Faith!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary Timman
Thank you for sharing your story....I look forward to hearing the next chapter. I am the mom of 4 grown children- the oldest three are boys. I know the feeling of the heart-stopping phone call and the feelings of judgment from others. I also know the joy of seeing my children grow and mature and make better choices. I began growing into my artistic self in my 50's and so love the freedom to express myself this way in the midst of life!
One aside----please tell me your studio does not always look so neat and tidy!!!!!!!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarol
Thank you, Kim, for sharing your story with all of us. I can relate to the no one calls, everyone judges, but I was the reason behind it in my family. I never realized how much pain I caused the people I loved until I became a mother myself. Yes, I changed way before then, but I guess you just don't get it until you have kids of your own.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJust Jenn
Feeling a little teary as I read your post. I so appreciate your transparency. My husband preached this morning about how the Master Potter never wastes our suffering, but uses it in the shaping and molding of our lives. I can see that here in your writing today. Thanks so much Kim.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
so pretty! thanks for the amazing textures/overlays!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteramydeanne
Thank you for sharing with such honesty. In the middle of my own very difficult struggle with my 16 year old son, I am grateful to hear your story of brighter days.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterS.
whew, ain't life a grand adventure?
Kim, thanks so so much for sharing, part 1 of you!
blowing kisses in the wind, cause I know!

November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Bivona
This post is so moving...thank you for sharing your story and for sharing your creative and giving spirit with the world - you are an inspiration.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShelley
Thank you for sharing your story with us. I hope things are going well for you. Your creativity is amazing and I can imagine how hard it was to come back from the things you were going through. God Bless.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngela
Thank you for sharing this personal glimpse of your life! May God bless your family with more
fulfilled dreams and extra closeness for having made it through the hard times. What a testimony you have! I was in
tears...Thanks again, I can't wait for part 2.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersheryl
Oh Kim, my heart was aching for you as I read your story, Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I commend you on your courage and am so thankful that you are carrying on your work. Thank you so much for your beautiful textures that you so generously share with us. I have learned so much from you.
You will be in my thoughts and prayers,,,,,
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie
Thank you, Kim, for being so transparent. We all have our stories, but few of us are open enough to share and let others see the real us. But it is when we do so, that we endear ourselves to others and encourage them to open up as well. You have endeared yourself to me and to many others. You are a blessing. May God continue to bless you as you share your beautiful art as well as your heart.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary
Thank you Kim for sharing such a private, emotional part of your life... You are not alone. We all have wishes for our children, but sometimes they need to find their own way. It can hurt very bad as a parent! Looking forward to part 2, and thanks for the beautiful texture today!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Wessel
Thank you so much for sharing your story and your photography. What an inspiration you are!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
We have similar stories my friend. My husband and I met in recovery 24 years ago, have two boys and I have a son (16 1/2 )who struggles. When you've been in a burning house it is terrifying when your child goes in . We are in a small town but I do have support and and a differet kind of recovery. I know what it's like to live with that kind of fear and you stop and shut down. I had a dear friend say " 5 people live in your house ans the 5th is your fear, only you can remove it." and I have. My son is also better but we have a long way to go. I just trust God and living a good happy life is what I need to show both my son's so I try one day at a time.

Bless you for sharing and so happy you have come back to your gifts with more passion ans gusto. You, Bryce ans yoru family will be in my prayers xo

Kelly Tonks
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkelly tonks
Kim, I know exactly, and I do mean exactly, what you were going through with Bryce. We went through hell with my daughter for 4 years. No matter what we did to try and help her, she refused it. The school used to call all the time telling me what was going on, and we (mostly me) were always meeting with her counselors. I'm not sure the worst ever happened because it was all pretty bad, and I lost myself for years. I just felt numb and distraught. And nobody else seemed to understand, especially other parents. They think it's your fault. But it's not.

My daughter graduated last June and has since found herself a 21 year old boyfriend who has helped her turn her life around. I still find it hard to believe but he really has. Finally I feel like I can breathe again.

I love your story so far! The house is amazing and I adore your studio. My work area consists of the kitchen counter or kitchen table. Sometimes I wonder if that will ever change.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharon
Kim thank-you for sharing. As I write this my heart is breaking but hoping that my son's life will soon take a turn for the better as your son's apparently did. I don't know the rest of your story but I know that you couldn't have found such happiness unless your son had too. I also love photography. Until recently it was my outlet but I feel like I'm drowning in despair and just can't seem to find pleasure in it anymore. And as of two weeks ago my son was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. He is my youngest of three son's. He's only eighteen. I don't know how much more he can take and I pray every day for a miracle. We love our children with all our hearts but unfortunately some of us come to realize that it's just not enough for them. Some kids seem to breeze through life and for others it's a constant struggle. The feeling of utter helplessness is overwhelming.I'm happy life worked out for you and your family and I hope and pray that it will for us too.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermaureen
Kim, I am so very sorry you and your family had to go through all that. And so disappointed that your friends and neighbors seem to have deserted you when you most needed them. Please know you moved me with your story. Thank you for the joy and happiness you have brought to my life by sharing yours.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLorena
I'm so excited about discovering you! I have already used some of your wonderful textures over my photographs & created some really fun mixed media art with them. And now to hear you speak of the kind of fear that I am living with daily as I watch my significant other struggle with stage 4 bone cancer...just waiting for the other shoe to drop...struggling so hard to not let it paralyze me. My artwork & my blog are my lifelines, and I love that they lead me to wonderful, passionate artists like you. Thank you for sharing... BTW,...very impressed with your studio! Very inspiring!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEnikö's Playhouse
I always try to keep up on your blog because I love it, and so glad that I read your post today! I remember shortly after I found you last year or earlier this year you had eluded to some tragedy and sadness with one of your boys. I didn't know what had happened, and as you stated today it's his story to tell... but I want to tell you that it was in that post that I felt like, Wow, this is a real person behind this computer screen, she's real, she's tough, and she's beautiful. You're inspiring Kim to me and so many others no doubt. Thank you for sharing today. I've been touched. :)
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterceleste
What a wonderful story you just painted! You left just enough out for us to fill in with our own experiences. That you faced and overcame fear is inspiring. That you have come out stronger is compelling. Thank you for sharing. And thank you for this lovely texture. It is a fitting texture for the end of this chapter, don't you think?
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda
Oh Kim, thank you for being brave enough to share your struggles with us. Your son is lucky to have a mother who cares so deeply and the love you have for him is so clear. Your story is an inspiration to others who may be going through something similar and need to know there is a light at the end of it.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
Thank You For Sharing and Baring Your Heart, Soul and Dreams - I Look Forward to Your Next Installment - I Have Been There - The Process Was Long and Lonely, But I Walked Through the Fire and Emerged on the Other Side, a Stronger Person - A Person I Can Finally Like...Smiles...
Hugs from Idgie
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIdgie
Been there. It's horrible. 9 years of fear for me for my oldest son. Walking on eggshells and going to church over my lunch hours. We do what we have to do. Good for you for sharing, Kim! It's tough.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary
oh, kim your honesty and courage and rawness ~ thank you. from your dad building you that studio to your family's now! now! where you are totally rocking it. thank you so very much. i'm having trouble finding the words and gratitude I feel about this story you are telling. i feel so strongly about all of us telling our truths and sharing our stories.
so much love to you ~ so very happy and grateful to have crossed paths and met you. xxx
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterstefanie renee
I sat down with a cup of tea and was feeling sorry for myself.
I read your story with a tear in my eyes. Then, at the end, you made me feel so good.
I've gained some of your strength, and some of your son Bryan's too.
I would like to thank you.
With great appreciation xo
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiana
Thank you for sharing your story. We ALL have a story. At what point do we get "real" and brave enough to share it. You are a beautiful & wonderful woman, wife & mom. We can't control or predict the path our children will take but we can choose to show them a deeper love when they make a mistake, just like God does for us. every. single. day.

Some day my story will come out. First, I have to learn how to use my new WP site lol

Have a wonderful & blessed Thanksgiving with your family!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
I know how hard it must be to share this with all of us and I treasure it for that particular reason. Art and creativity bring me back from the shadows and keep the black dog away. It fills and nurtures me and I now know it is so important in life.
Thank you for sharing your story and your lovely space. I love it!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterImene
Kim, thanks so much for sharing your story with us. I'm the mom of two boys, and even though I don't know the details of your story, I know very well this place of fear and profound loneliness and isolation you are speaking about. Photography also became a refuge for me during the latest episode of my own nightmare, and it was not long afterwards that I discovered your site. I've come to realize that as I've healed, those around me have healed. I understand why you would not want to share details and I feel the same way when it comes to telling my own story. I can only stick with my story to tell, and want to respect the privacy of everyone involved. It is a lonely place as well. I have no doubt that you will manage to create something beautiful out of all your experiences - good and bad. Hugs.
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeAnne

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