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.

9 comments:

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.
Hooray!!!!!!!!!!

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.
Cenya

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.

Grace Peterson 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