Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Brand New Me

Oh Dear. It has been so long since I posted. I hope you all haven't forgotten me. I've been on a bit of a journey. Not literally, but spiritually and psychologically.

I have always been a gardener. For the past 20 years or so I have gardened professionally doing design work for garden resorts. It was a wonderful career and I loved going to work every day. But almost a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I worked part time through my chemotherapy and radiation and thought I was doing just fine until one day, after my treatments were done, when I realized I didn't feel like the same person anymore. I didn't want to garden. I still love walking through the garden and looking at it, but I needed a break from working in it. Luckily, with the economy in the crapper, new design work in the gardens halted and I was laid off. I still do a little consultation work, but there isn't a lot of that either.
So I am home and have found a new passion. Beading. I LOVE doing bead embroidery and have been collecting beads for years. Now I have the time to do something with them all.
My grandmother (Ruth) taught me how to embroider when I was very small and I've always loved it. Doing it with beads adds a new dimension. I started out making beaded brooches for all my friends and family while I was going through Chemo. It was part of my therapy and I made over 125 of them and gave them all away.
Then I started getting a little more elaborate and making necklaces as well. I set up a store on Etsy and started selling them. I joined a Beading Circle and it's the highlight of my week.
I feel like I'm reinventing myself. I decided I'm sick of wearing t-shirts and jeans and went shopping for new clothes. I reorganized my studio. I changed my eating habits (for the better) and I'm starting to exercise.
I even changed my name! All my life I have never liked the name Cindee. It sounded like a little girl and too plain. I wanted something unusual, exotic! So I was researching my family tree and was looking at the Russian side (Flora's side) and was told by a friend that Cynthia in Russian is Xenia (pronounced Sen-ya). I loved it and realized that this was who I am. I changed the spelling - didn't want to constantly explain to people how to pronounce it (and also didn't want to be confused with the Warrior Princess - Ha). And I wanted to keep my initials, So I now go by Cenya.
I know I will return to the garden one day. I think I just need a break. But I know it's in my blood and in my soul. For now though, I'm a beader.
Please check out my Etsy store here.
I also have an art blog - mostly about beading, here.


FlowerLady said...

Glad to see you back Cenya. Wishing you peaceful, healthy, creative days ahead.

Your beadwork is stunning and I wish you well with your Etsy shop.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

Suz said...

I am so happy I stopped by today...what a wonderful post...
changing one's life
I have sone this...kindred sister
I even had the name changing thing happen...Actually my Artist Way friends renamed me with the name i heard and instantly connected with..they gave me that shove
New clothes!! So like me..isn't it great to finally really express that being inside of us...oh I could on..but it is enought to say.

Suz said...

I went to school with a girl named Xenia Didio....I always loved it
she pronounced it zeenya

Rosie@leavesnbloom said...

I've missed you Cenya (((hugs))) I wish you loads of success with your beading career. Your etsy site is just awesome - your work is incredible. I've been over at your new blog too. Keep in touch :-) Rosie

Cenya said...

Thank you all for the comments. Rosie, I've missed you too. Need to get your blog on my new blogsite.

debsgarden said...

Cenya, your beadwork is gorgeous! I am glad you have a new beginning with new energy and interests. And a new name to go with the new you! I wish you good health and the best in your new career.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cenya~~ Pretty name! I did something similar years ago, foregoing my first name and declaring that my middle name, Grace would be front and center henceforth.

I hope the cancer is gone and that you're feeling better. My oldest daughter is into beading and really enjoys it. Best wishes for a successful endeavor.

Terra said...

How sweet to hear about your recovery and your reinvention of yourself, and even a new name. This can be powerful and now you are a beader. Glad to meet you today.

Telegraph Tea Rooms said...

Wonderful read, and I think what you are doing with those beads is fab! That gardening thing, like writers block, happened to me too, although because of a different reason, still it can be a weird place to be! I am getting back to the garden slowly. The garden will never leave you. You too will one day return.
Looking forward to more posts!
The gardener T