My niece has been dealing with breast cancer first hand this last year. She is strong (and also falls apart) and is all the while amazing. She posts what is going on to our family and I went back to the beginning to reread some of it. A couple things stood out to me. One, she found it early which gave her options and two she was so relieved it was treatable. She said, “…it’s treatable and I can get through this.” She has a husband, 4 kids and a life she wants to live. It’s been 8 months and her battle isn’t over. It was life changing and she’s working her way to a new normal.
October as Breast Cancer Awareness month and Annie Unrein (of Patterns By Annie) does a #SewPINK Initiative to promote self-care, awareness and support for those affected by breast cancer. It’s a blog hop to bring it forefront in people’s minds. As she reached out I couldn’t let the opportunity go by especially given my niece’s struggle.
I focused on the monthly exam. How do you take something potentially scary (the monthly breast self-exam) and make yourself do it monthly. All I could think of was to add a little fun to it and keep it forefront all the time. So I decided to make a over-the-door pockets holder. Annie has a pattern here. I’m living in Montenegro right now and the mail isn’t great here so I made up my own pattern. (Thanks college Flat Pattern Design class!)
The National Breast Cancer Organization recommends -
NationalBreastCancer.org “Once A Month Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. Johns Hopkins Medical center states, “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.” While mammograms can help you to detect cancer before you can feel a lump, breast self-exams help you to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your healthcare professional if there are any changes.”
In the busyness of daily life I forget all the things I want to do let alone the monthly things that need to be done. So this Pocket Reminder can hang in the bathroom all the time. The place where we need the reminder. Ask someone to fill the pockets with a little sunshine for you and you can print out the reminder cards to put in the pockets as well. Write on the back of them what you exam came up with and keep it as a record. Don’t be scared. Make your BSE reminder.
The cards are approx. 3” x 4.5”. Use them as a personal reminder even if you don’t do the pockets. This practice is important.
Here are some of the other Sew-lebritys that you can find projects from.
Follow along on this BLOG HOP 2021
✂ Oct. 1 (Fri): @fatquartershop - The Jolly Jabber
✂ Oct. 2 (Sat):@SallieTomatopatterns
✂ Oct. 4 (Mon): Hugs ‘N Kisses
✂ Oct. 6 (Wed): @sewfinity
✂ Oct. 11 (Mon): @BeyondtheReefpatterns
✂ Oct. 13 (Wed): @GreatHeronThreadCo
✂ Oct. 15 (Fri): @LoveYouSew
✂ Oct. 15 (Fri): @EmmalineBags
✂ Oct. 16 (Sat): @MeadowMistDesigns
✂ Oct. 18 (Mon): @OklaRoots
✂ Oct. 20 (Wed): @SuznQuilts
✂ Oct. 20 (Wed): @TeresaCoates
✂ Oct. 22 (Fri): @KnotandThread
✂ Oct. 23 (Sat): @ShannonsStudio
✂ Oct. 25 (Mon): @The_Littlest_Thistle
✂ Oct. 27 (Thur): @MisterDomestic
✂ Oct. 27 (Wed): @SookieSews
Prayers for all who find things that put them on the breast cancer journey. Hugs! Shannon
After almost 2 years away I'm home in the USA from Sweden and most of the family is here. I'll be here for a few months and the art life doesn't stop. Appreciating art doesn't have to happen only in Europe. The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art is local for me so we went with the family. With a party of 13 we split into teams and my "partner" was my granddaughter, Miss LA. We went around together looking at all the art and I got to see things that she liked and her ability to pick out things that I would like. At one point she said, "Come here Queenie, I think you'll really like this!" It was this tapestry. She was spot on. (Later my SIL said he thought the same thing)
Chasuble Back • France, Mid 1730s • Silk & Metal-wrapped Silk • In the Style of Jean Revel
Revel introduced the new weaving technique that allowed for realistic shading and the illusion of three-dimensional motifs
It's kind of well known I have a thing for flowers. Lately I've been studying Dutch florals and came across these beauties.
Speaking of florals, here's a little detail on this marble statute. So delicate.
A really fun and telling thing about Miss LA and I was the crystal cut vases. This photo simply doesn't do these vases justice in any way. I couldn't catch the brilliance of the reflected light at all. But, as Miss LA and I rounded the corner we both let out a loud, audible gasp. In unison. Then rushed closer. These are so beautiful! Miss LA and I loved them. It was delightful to have that shared experience. And it was wrapped around art.
Art is a Lifestyle. It comes in big moments (Like Museum visits) and small moments (seeing delightful details.) Appreciate them all. So Creative Friend, what's your Live Like an Artist moment today?
Sometimes I do things on a whim. And in the middle of it I think I should have made a plan because I don't even know if it's going to turn out. That was the case with this little bouquet. I wasn't even really trying because I knew I didn't know how to paint a ranunculus. So I thought, "Well, whatever." A lot of things in life are like that - it feels right but you and I get in the middle of it and we don't even know how to do it. But we just have to keep at it. So I kept at it even though I didn't know how to paint that ranunculus. And sometimes it works.
Is this just me?
Today there was supposed to be a small meeting at my house. It was cancelled due to a rise in covid cases. I'd already gone to the store and got refreshments but I wasn't bummed because of the reason in the live video I did, Creative Life Tip #13 Two Birds = One Yes. Basically, there's always more than one reason I do things so if something falls through then I'm not disappointed because there's still some other reason to do it. Besides the gathering, I was going to take photos of my Caramel Apple Hack to share, try the dessert out to see if it would work out for dinner guest for Sunday. So I still had a couple reasons and the bonus was that Joseph and I could have fun having a private party.
Caramel with Lindor chocolates, toasted coconut, chopped almonds, crunch balls, toffee bits. Add skewers and green apples.
I love layered Caramel Apples. But they're so much more work that it turns into a production. I always have good intentions to do them every Halloween but never get around to it. How do I make Caramel Apples now? Introduction to my Caramel Apple Hack.
It's supper easy to pull together. Joseph and I had so much fun making the combinations and a mess. This will be my go to for Halloween from now on. Besides, let's be honest, the apple is just a delivery system.
If you're looking for another apple idea here one Party Tabletop Toasting, Apple Caramel Crunch that I did a few years ago.
Holidays are a fun time to be a little creative. Happy creative celebrations.
I use Pinterest all the time. It's a great creative tool. I've had this great cafe pin pinned for awhile. Looking through a board I realized that the @mycasa pin of Cafe Fabrique might be here in Sweden. I was curious so I did a little research and sure enough it is here a few miles away. It was just as Åsa Myrberg's pin/photo shows.
I have loved doing watercolor sketches of Sweden! So when I saw this pin in person I had to paint it. I got my portable studio and e-bike together and headed out. I like the focused time when painting at a particular cafe. It's just fun.
Are there any Pins that you've had to visit when you saw them?
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I was in my 30s before I'd even heard of a Monté Cristo sandwich. We'd gone out with my sister and my bro-in-law ordered it. It was just a different kind of sandwich I wanted to try. Fast forward to buying my mini loaves of bread here in Sweden and wondering what kind of sandwich I could make. So I did a little hack with the Monté Cristo.
This is a Mini Loaf Monté Cristo pull apart sandwich. That's a mouthful and unintentional pun there. Anyway, I really liked doing this for several reasons. One, it's a mini loaf. Small size. It doesn't really look it in the photo because I'm using a small plate and cooking dish but it was small. I'm not feeding 10 people a day anymore and with just the 3 of us I don't have to cook cafeteria style. But, this actually would be easy for a large group because it's bread made into french toast so it can be made in the morning, wrapped up and put in the fridge for later that day. I like that kind of cooking. It's a time saver to do dinner when you're already in the kitchen for breakfast.
Make the French toast, layer it in a pan with cheese of choice and ham. I like open face sandwiches (one piece of bread) so I put ham and cheese between each slice of bread. Though it can be done ever other piece of toast. Then wrap it in foil and put in fridge. When ready just pop it in the oven to heat and melt it.
In the meantime, I added fresh raspberries to raspberry jam. Raspberry jam in Sweden is so inexpensive and I love it. Adding the berries takes it up a notch. Then whipped cream.
The only thing I'd do differently is to bake the loaf with a little raspberry jam in the bottom. I think that would add a nice touch of the warm jam.
Shopping list: Mini bread loaf, eggs, milk, cinnamon, cheese, ham, raspberries, raspberry jam, cream
I like getting a little creative in the kitchen. Let me know if you try it and share a photo with my Shannon's Studio Facebook page. Also, if you want other ideas on living creatively then join my email list.
It's Pumpkin Season! And this is a super easy way to be festive. Make your stew like you regularly do then put it into a raw, cleaned of seeds pumpkin. Put the pumpkin lid on and wrap the whole thing in foil. Bake at 350˙for about an hour. I overcooked mine because I was video chatting with one of my kids so I just place the cooked pumpkin on a bowl. If it's not overcooked it can stand alone. Plus, look at those little Swedish moose crackers. Moose are Sweden's National animal.
About 30 years ago I did this in a big pumpkin and it still worked. So either single serving or family size it's still doable. It kinda looks like a lot of work but it really isn't. Give it a try and share a photo on my Shannon's Studio Facebook page.
Just over here in Sweden living a creative life but you can live a creative life where you are. Join me to learn more about creative living.
Your art should mean something. To You.
If you're a professional maker your art has to mean something to the client and the consumer. That takes a whole different thinking.
But if you're not --- then you're free. Free to do things for you since it only has to mean something to you. I don't mean 'only' as in you're not important. I mean 'only' as in it narrows who you have to make happy with what you create. No one gets to say whether it 'works' or doesn't. No one else gets a vote. You are free to enjoy it in your own way on your own terms.
We usually are happier with our art when it has meaning attached to it. When it has a message (even if hidden from others) that resonates with one's self. It also drives us a little more in the messy creative process to push through. Here's a case in point.
Quote Drawing Speed Video
Leila passed away at the same time Joseph was born. Then Sky passed away a little over a year later. They wanted us to raise Joseph "if anything happens to us." I brushed off the comment when they said it. Why would we even need to know? Until we did need to know. So at 50 we started raising Joseph full time. And even though I'd been a stay-at-home mom of 8 for 28 years, raising a child who's parents have died, one from complications of his birth, was going to be not only new to us but a potentially painful struggle for him in later years. So, I try to think of things that will reinforce his worth, his place and his life. To get across that he was wanted from before day one. He will struggle. We all do. But I want some of what I make to dust little bits of love over him. So he'll remember.
I don't know if it will mean anything to him, I hope it does. But even if it doesn't I made art that means something. To me.
Here's a simple DIY watercolor to PRINT • PAINT • CUT • TIE • PLACE. You can do it, kids can do it. It's quick and easy, even if you've waited for the last minute. For a short time the download will be available for free. After that it'll be available for sale in my shop.
If you want to connect while self isolating Im continuing my FB live vids at 8:30 pm Stockholm time. We talk Creative living current things and a little Swedish life. In the meantime roses lend a little beauty. #shannonsstudio #shannonchristensen #waterc
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