Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Persisterance

Well I have taken the plunge. A good friend of mine, Amanda of Girl in Pink, has been encouraging me to start a blog about my painted furniture. So I spent some time doing several things on this stormy day: 1) trying to figure out how to work this crazy program, 2) struggling to find just the right picture collage that captures my style, and 3) wondering where to even start...which is probably the most important question of all. So I will start at the beginning. Picture it, 2012...just kidding. Any Golden Girls lovers will get that reference.

My name is Vanessa. I started painting furniture 3 years ago. What an adventure it has been! But in order to explain where I am today, I need to rewind a few years. Over the last 10 years I have struggled off and on with anxiety, depression, and OCD, a trifecta brought on by changes in life. When your situations change from what you know as the norm it can make you learn things about yourself that you didn't know. The true test is will you become a victim or victor over the challenges that will shape you into your future self.

In spite of my severe and sometimes crippling anxiety, I managed to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literary Studies. It is an accomplishment that I am very proud of and one of those treasures that no one can take away from me.

Just a few short years after college, the company I worked for throughout college and after was experiencing many changes, all of which were bringing the anxiety monster to the surface once again. In 2012, I was struggling worse than I ever had. My depression was at an all time high to the point where I could cry all day and sometimes for no apparent reason. My anxiety made me physically ill to where I couldn't get out of bed to go to work, and my OCD, well I won't even go there because it is so embarrassing. I knew I had to do something. I was stuck in an internal tornado that I could not escape. This is where my story really begins.

I started thinking about ways to relieve the stress in my life, which was causing me so much mental, and physical pain. I baked for awhile, which helped, but once you bake it you have to eat it, so that isn't exactly ideal for someone who is a stress eater. There had to be something that could give me some relief!

Now, I have to take a break here in the story to tell you a little more about myself. I AM AN ANTIQUE AHOLIC! It's true. I don't know how I got this way, I have always felt like I was born in the wrong era. One of my favorite pass times is going to antique stores and treasure hunting or my collection. My favorite antique store is Camas Antiques, right downtown in the heart of Camas. It is a lovely shop and it was also my inspiration for beginning to paint.

I had seen several vendors there paint furniture and I just started thinking how fun it would be to give that a try. I researched how to do it and then found the amazing Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! No sanding, no priming, no rules paint! I read everything I could and decided to invest in 4 cans of paint and 2 cans of wax. That simple descision changed my life!

I started painting small things and I found that as I painted, working with my hands allowed me to channel the negative, pent up anxiety and stress into a treasure that I had found. It was amazing. Once I started, I couldn't stop. It was so addicting, and still is to this day. Little did I know that the first piece would lead to hundreds, that the local bazaars I set up for would lead to my own vendor space in the very store that started my love affair with paint (Camas Antiques), and that my life would be forever changed by a quart sized can of colored thick liquid and a brush!

Over the last 3 years I have spent my time picking special pieces to transform, shopping for vintage/unique smalls to fill a booth, and of course painting! Painting has saved me in more ways than one. It has allowed me to harness my anxiety, face challenges, learn new things, grow personally and professionally, channel my OCD into something constructive instead of things I couldn't control, and it has given me the gift of meeting some amazing people.

So that in a nutshell is my story. Don't get me wrong, I still struggle, but on rough days I hunker down in the garage and start channeling my creative juices. With each stroke of the brush my stress melts away. 

There is so much more to tell about my journey, my style, and my approach to painting furniture and styling a space. I hope you will continue to follow my blog to learn and grow with me. Thank you for visiting I Believe in Pink.

Vanessa

PS: A few more things you will learn about me throughout the course of my blog journey is 1) that I love to quote movies, shows, and novels and 2) that I love watching anything set in a different time period. Hence the title "Persisterance" which is from a sweet British series called Larkrise to Candleford. If you haven't watched it, you should.

                     

5 comments:

Amy Doyle said...

Love this Vanessa. I have people close to me in my life that struggle with anxiety and depression, so I've seen first hand the battle. I'm so happy you have found a healthy way to reduce the stress. Your story is powerful and I know the more it's shared it can only help and inspire others :)

Vanessa said...

Thanks Amy. It is a tough story to tell, but it is who I am. I hope it does help inspire people to embrace their flaws and grow from it. It has been great for me :)

Shabby chic Sandy said...

Happy to see a new blogger--especially one who is a friend of Amanda's and a Annie Sloan painter! Best of luck with your blog...I will be following along! Can't wait to see your projects.

Girl in Pink said...

Vanessa, I am so happy that you have decided to dive into blogging! This was a courageous, well written and well thought out first post! Your readers will admire you for your honesty and a deeper look into who you are...I know I do! I can't wait to read more and see your beautiful projects! You are such a creative, talented and sweet friend! I am excited to see where this new journey leads you! Blessings, Amanda
P.S. I LOVE Larkrise to Candleford, of course! Have you watched the series Reign yet? I just finished season 2 on Netflix! It's good, my newest obsession/guilty pleasure! Check it out if you haven't already!

Vanessa said...

Thank you Amanda! I'm so honored that you enjoyed the blog post. You are very talented and such an inspiration and encouragement to me. I am ready for any feedback you have. I love Larkrise to Candleford...it is one of my favorites. I have never watched Reign, but I have heard it is very good. I just don't think I can watch Anne Shirley be a bad person :) lol. I will have to give it a try though :)