Wednesday, September 2, 2015

~~~> Out of the Darkness, Into the Light <~~~

"Out of the Dark, Into the Light" by Jan Steinle

This past week we had our *Grand Opening* for our online retail store: that houses our Zentangle Inspired Art. It was a labor of love and took us months to create. Finally, this past Friday, it became a reality and we are very happy to see the store come to fruition! 

What once was an idea and a vision became a reality! A year ago it was a pipe dream, as you will learn in this blog. All of our designs were created during this past year. We discovered Zentangle only last June 2014. I remember saying to Jan last summer when we had made our first design or two, "Wouldn't it be cool to have a greeting card line of our designs?" In almost the same breath I dismissed it because it seemed like a crazy thought and how do you make that happen anyway? And besides, I was caring for my Mom on a full time basis. I was knee deep in my Caregiver journey on a critical care level, chasing time, trying with all my might to save my Mother's life. I was dealing with life and death issues, hospice, and dealing with the reality of senior care and how to navigate it. In hindsight, I have learned an encyclopedia of information concerning critical care, no matter the age, or the care level. Being a patient advocate and Caregiver comes with a lot of responsibility. 

Zentangle art quickly became a way to find my peace in the midst of that storm. I was so grateful we were shown this artform. We graduated art school after high school and for many years that was on the back burner while we were raising our 7 children between us! There's another blog I could write about, being a young mother, a lifetime ago. 

Out of something so dark and horrible as losing our Mom to Alzheimer's Disease, came a worldwide outreach for the Sandwich Generation to connect with. Out of the darkness, came Light! It amazes me that in 7 months all these different streams of positive energy and artistry were birthed as The Sandwich Woman social media platform. All I knew back in September 2014, at the tail end of my Mother's life, was that I wanted to write a book about my experiences as a Caregiver, so I could help someone not feel alone, withdrawn and isolated like I had felt. That was the extent of my vision. I was still immersed daily caring for my Mom and had very little time to think of anything beyond what needed to be done at the moment. The day-to-day care was so pressing and unrelenting. It felt like a rescue mission, because it was. When we received the diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease, we knew for sure it was going to be bad, but we had no idea the depths of the disease in personality change and memory loss. It was mind blowing and still is to this day.

We launched The Sandwich Woman facebook page in February, on the heels of my Mom's death, and in the heat of my unrelenting grief, experiencing great loss. I partnered with my sister Jan Steinle and we pulled together in a very positive way. We hope our efforts have affected your life in a positive way too. And we hope The Sandwich Woman social media platform has been a Light for you in your life to feel a connection to a community that supports, respects and highly regards Caregivers.

~~~> Out of the Darkness, Into the Light <~~~

"Ribbons of Faith" by Jan Steinle

Thank you for showing up, for being present, for embracing The Sandwich Woman Community as your own. 

These Zentangle designs were created by my sister, Jan Steinle. I felt they were both a good representation for darkness into the Light. The Zentangle that has bands of ribbons reminded me of the very windy journey it was dealing with such intense life and death matters, not even a year ago. We are thankful and grateful and humbled to be doing all that we're doing these days while still adjusting to the "new normal" and being involved with our Dad who fortunately is in good health.

We are both inspired daily by looking at and creating Zentangle Inspired Art. We love to tangle! To learn more about this art form and the benefits, visit Jan at  Jan is a CZT - Certified Zentangle Teacher, and is currently teaching classes locally in the Pittsburgh area. Her classroom schedule is posted on her facebook page.

To visit our online Art Boutique of Zentangle Inspired Art that includes a Caregiver greeting card, tote bag and print line, log onto: 

~Nurturing the Nurturers ~ Caring for the Caregivers~

~~~Words that Soothe and Ideas & Art that Delight~~~

Best wishes today and always::::::......* 
Carole Brecht

Twitter: @SanGenWoman
Instagram: San_Gen_Woman

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