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10/10/2010


Art Saves • by Analise Sledd


Analise SleddBeing crafty has always been a part of what makes me, me. If you know me at all, you know that I enjoy making my surroundings pretty — that’s just who I am. I can’t help it! I love to embellish and add a little “zhoosh” to everything I do. Creating has always made me feel complete as a person, doing what I was uniquely created to do.

Good Times & Bad
Throughout my life, I have relied on my passion for art to sustain me, in good times and bad. My art has been like a faithful companion in the hills and the valleys of life, remaining consistent with my own ebb and flow. Like most people, I have had those “desert” experiences where nothing seems to work as it should. The well has run dry and it’s time dig a new well and search for newer, fresher, life-giving water. In those painful and heart-wrenching times of my life, my art, my gift … seemed to always be standing by my side, waiting for the right time to be employed for my betterment. My artistic side seems to know when to draw near and when to stay in the shadows.

Pain & Heartache
Four years ago, my life took a drastic turn. My husband, a pastor, was forced into making the decision to resign his position in our church. We discovered unethical and illegal practices being made by the head pastor and his wife. We confronted the issues, but were met with arrogance and abuse. As the associate pastor, my husband, children, and I were mistreated, shunned, and bullied out of the church we dearly loved. Our hearts and spirits were broken as we realized how we were taken advantage of and spiritually abused for years. It was a very confusing time and I didn’t know if I could ever recover from the pain and heartache it caused me. I questioned my faith and no longer trusted people or myself… it nearly ruined me as a person.

After moving across the country and settling into a new job and home, my family seemed to be in a safe place. Things were looking up for us as a family. Unfortunately, I was stuck in a very real and very deep depression. It was debilitating. Somewhere, in the midst of sleepless nights, I stumbled across a Web site, a handmade marketplace called etsy.com.

Ever So Hopeful
The more I searched etsy.com, the more I felt my heart beating again with excitement and the more I could actually feel a sense of hope for myself. I found art blogs and read every one of the entries, beginning to end. I commented like a stalker, leaving appreciation at every doorstep. I also found the photo sharing Web site flickr.com. I scoured it for days on end … growing ever hopeful that I could somehow be a part of what I was seeing. I knew this was a path I would soon be on myself.

Soon after, I started a blog of my own, sharing my journey with the world. It began as an experiment, (to see if I could make a little extra money making crafts) but turned very quickly into a passion that literally drew me out of my deep depression. I was learning to start again. Every drop of glue meant growth, every single stitch was made with determination to overcome the pain of my past. I was, in essence, crafting a new life for myself. I was crafting a new me.

Sugar*Sugar, the name of my blog and shop, was named such because I wanted to focus on the things that I love: cupcakes, donuts, and sweets of all kinds … Quite literally in fact, as my waistline will tell you! But, I knew I could translate that warm “fuzzy” feeling into what I was making … tangible art that can make you want to eat it! “Sugary Sweets” is what my art is all about — something cozy, warm, and inviting to brighten your day and bring you comfort.

Consolation & Rescue
I am indebted to my art. It has brought me consolation. It has rescued me before … and it will again and again in my life. I find myself, even now as I write this, in the midst of a crisis. My family has encountered a devastating trauma in the last few weeks. I am in emotional pain daily and my heart is broken. This is a road I have not traveled. I have looked at my art, my gift, and it has returned my gaze. It waits, again. I am hopeful that my family and I will recover and be stronger in the end. I rest assured knowing my faith will guide me and my art will save me.

To learn more about Analise Sledd, visit leesiebella.typepad.com and thesugarsugarshop.com.

Analise Sledd

Analise Sledd

Analise Sledd

Analise Sledd

Analise Sledd

Analise Sledd

Analise Sledd

Analise Sledd

Comments

You are awesome Analise :)

Ditto what Sonia said, you really are awesome Analise. Lots of love to you, especially during this time in your life xoxo

Such a heartfelt and wonderful story about how art saves you Analise!! Your art is so sweet... it is a perfect reflection of your sweet self! xoxo Heather

Your gift enabled you to find joy in dark times, It allowed you to envision change and let your soul shine through. Your art is eye candy for the soul; Sweeter and less fattening than the real thing. I am sorry you have another crisis, I know your strength and art will enable you to find a way through it~xXx

Beautifully written and from the heart Miss Analise! Thank you for making us smile and sharing your SUGAR*SUGAR with us. We love you and are so happy to make a HUGE contribution to this art community. My prayers continue to be with you during this hard time. Love ya! XOXO,Jenn

Thanks ladies!! Y'all are the best!! Big Hugs to you all!
xo
Analise

Analise, what a moving article.... You should take comfort in knowing how you beautiful, cheerful art brightens each and every one of our lives! Lots of hugs coming at ya! xo, Gabrielle

Wow, I will be with you in prayer. We have been through exactly the same thing. When it first happened, I was at the point where I was startled and disappointed when I would wake up and discover that I was "still alive." It is so shocking the kind of evil people can do, especially hard when you have trusted them and done such a good job and let the place consume most of your life. Then... the thanks you get, being taken from your beloved home, and thinking of what you left to go there in the first place. It is shocking, isn't it? Then the betrayal of people ("friends") and others especially those you have shared everything about yourself with. Keep the faith. God is in all of this. We don't know why, these things happen right now, but it will be revealed (and so will the dishonest, unethical people who took advantage and really pulled your life out from under you). That part, we can't worry about, we know that God is good and just. Anyway, I wanted you to know you have a kindred spirit out here, and that I am praying for you and thinking of you.

Love and Blessings to you.

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