"I think I do overshare. It's my way of trying to understand myself. It creates community when you talk about private things." - Carrie Fisher
Nothing put the final bookend to one of the worse years of my life than the death of Carrie Fisher. Actress, feminist, and mental health advocate, she spent her entire life struggling with addiction, coping with mental illness, and dealing with the weight/pressure of being one of the most iconic characters in Hollywood. She was smart, she was a force, and she has been one of my role models since I first saw Star Wars as a teenager.
Upon hearing of her death, I found myself diving into her words and her films easier than I ever have before. I was smiling as she made me laugh (and soon crying when the hole she left became even more apparent). I saw how strong and how fierce she was, even when her bipolar disorder would wreck her or society would try and break her. She was a light, a beacon for those struggling with mental illness and, to me, she was hope. That if is she could carry on and survive throughout all of her life's struggles and illnesses, so could I.
Hearing of her death broke me, in the worst possible ways, but it also, surprisingly, empowered me. I knew, without a doubt, that I was going to not only do my best to carry on her legacy, but somehow, someway give tribute to her work, to her fire.
If you know me personally, you know how open I can be when it comes to mental illness and the things that torment me, day to day. In a public forum, however, I've been silent, way too afraid to be open about this huge part of myself (for fear of being looked down upon or being called "crazy").
Well, not anymore, folks.
Hi, my name is Kristen Gula and I am a recovering alcoholic who is currently medicated and seeking treatment for depression, anxiety, and dermatophagia.
Whew. That was a lot easier than I thought it would be and guess what? That confession, that transparency didn't make me weak or hurt my image/brand or make me look crazy! No, this kind of openness and vulnerability does nothing but make me strong, make me powerful. Being able to finally accept who I am, not just on the couch of a therapist or in the eyes of those closest to me, but to complete strangers on the internet sets me on fire, brings newfound light into my eyes, and deeply emboldens me to reach out and help others in the same situation.
I love supporting local artists, makers, and shakers so I'm just so thrilled to offer this exclusive pattern in collaboration with Megan Rohall from Red Lettered Goods. R
Read on to learn a little more about her process, what inspires her the most, as well as get a sneak peak at a few of her new projects coming up.
Spring is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate the changes of the seasons than with a fun pattern collaboration with the talented Kristin Van Leuven of Hello Lovely People.
Read on to learn more about her work and process as well as enter a giveaway to win a pattern or a print from this month's collaboration!
Want to learn hand embroidery while also help fund water projects across the world? Then sign up for my workshop on March 12th at The Journey Metro-East!
Read on for more details and to book your seat!