About Juliann aka The Sick Chick
I bet your first question is “Why do you go by ‘The Sick Chick’? Is there something untoward going on here?”
I’m afraid I must disappoint anyone who came here looking for something salacious. The truth is that my name is Juliann and I am chronically ill and constantly crafty. I have more diseases than I can count, but you’re probably not here for the gory details.* It’s enough to know that I am in pain every minute and that I struggle with fatigue and mental health problems constantly. Crafting is my way to try to deal with all of this: I *love* acquiring craft supplies, cooing over my collections, and then making new-to-me items out of my stash. Crafting helps with the pain (distraction), fatigue (when I get excited the adrenaline can help me keep going), and mental health issues (calms anxiety and provides a meditative state to help with depression). So I have made a resolution to craft as much as I possibly can, even if that only means dreaming up new projects when I cannot leave my bed and I am unable to do anything but rest or wait for the pain to lessen.
I am very inspired by other chronically ill people who are gifted crafters and will feature them on this blog periodically. I also like to craft for charity – see my Crafting for Causes page. I know what it is like to be dead broke (I haven’t been able to work in 9 years, a strain on anyone’s finances) and to feel isolated so I am happy to do whatever I can to help those who are struggling. I am actually in the process of founding a charity to expand my efforts: you may be able to read a lot about this in 2012.
The crafts that I do include Loom Knitting, Beading, Felting (both needle and wet), Crocheting, Quilting, Dyeing, Spinning, Scrapbooking, Stamping, Card Making, historical re-enactment (hand sewing, embroidering, luceting, lots more) and virtually every other craft known to man. I’m always happy to accept donations of unwanted craft supplies, drop me a line if you have something you want to offload or donate to my charity work. I’m dipping my toe into visual arts as well, with journalling and mixed media in particular. I view the dividing line between arts and crafts to be whether the finished product is useful or merely aesthetically pleasing, but the process of making remains the same. So in my life there is really no distinction.
One more thing…I’m a global nomad. I’m American by birth, British by choice and very recently lived in Sydney, Australia. I’ve been going back and forth between Sydney and my parents’ house in Cary, North Carolina for over two years but at long last my husband has been granted a green card and is able to move to the US to join me. We’ll be moving to Austin, TX in early 2012 if all goes well and we’ll still be traveling as much as finances and my health permit. So expect to see a lot of posts about learning how to find your resources when moving to a new place or visiting a different city.
If there is anything else you want to know about me, please feel free to ask. There’s nothing about my life that I consider off limits, it is only that I believe people don’t want to see some of the more difficult sides. It is never my intention to hide anything, I believe that only through getting to know other people’s experiences (such as with disability and mental health concerns) do we learn to accept and understand things that society hides or fears. That is the real reason I choose to be known as “The Sick Chick” — awareness is vital to ending stigma.
I love comments and email. I’m a complete Twitter addict (@TheSickChick). I do my best to reply to everything but please bear in mind that sometimes my health just doesn’t permit me to. I read every message, so please know that I appreciate everything, even if I do not always respond.
I hope you will join me here as I journey further in my creative life.
*[OK, if you really want to know the names of some of my diseases, here's a few to get you started: the biggies are Hypermobility Syndrome/Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Hypermobility Type), Fibromyalgia, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Type II Diabetes, Allergies, Food Intolerances, Sebhorreic Dermatitis, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Attacks and there are many more…]