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I Am Here
This summer was hard and I’m glad it’s over. I didn’t know how I was going feel after my thyroid cancer treatment and we were hemorrhaging money all winter with doctors appointments so we didn’t make any summer plans. Elliott went to a very cheap and very hot tennis camp during July which he did not love. He probably watched too much YouTube and played too many video games. Hangouts with friends were our only saving grace. I was very thankful that my treatments ended well and to finally be able to feel like myself again. But then my 31 year old cousin Julie who grew up next door to me passed away unexpectedly from sudden heart failure. My world has just been rocked. It’s been hard to catch my breath.
Walking through grief is a slog. Life is too short and not guaranteed. My only take away from this heartbreak is that so much nonsense in this life just does not matter. I want to see clearly the handful of things that do matter to me and let the rest go.
Elliott’s finally back in school and I have a little space to process and brainstorm what fall will look like. I want to make a surface pattern design portfolio and I have a new kids book idea rolling around in my head. Here’s a link to my first children’s book if you missed it. I’ll of course keep you posted on my efforts and offerings of illustrations and commissions. My big goal and only real strategy is to create and share the things that I want to see in the world.
I cannot tell you how thankful I am that you are here reading this following my little journey.
Reading novels has been a great escape. I read three in a week while Elliott watched YouTube and didn’t even feel bad about it because sometimes that’s what survival looks like. I went through Reese’s book club recommendations and picked out a few that interested me from the library. Her picks hit all the right notes for what I was looking for, easy interesting page turners. My favorite was True Biz, a novel written by a local Philly author about a deaf boarding school which opened my eyes to so many different aspects of the deaf community that I wasn’t aware of before. That book lead me to watching CODA, which I had never gotten around to seeing. I also read What Can a Body Do which was all about design ideas that emerged from different disability communities including how architects approached designing the college Gallaudet to function better for the deaf students attending the school. I love stories that lead me down rabbit holes, this was definitely one of them.
Another thing keeping me sane was sewing through my fabric collection. I came to the realization that I don’t know what I’m saving these pretty bits of fabric for so I might as well start working my way through them. It is therapeutic to turn off my brain and follow a sewing pattern. It’s a different kind of thinking that is damn near meditation for me. I found the patterns from Matchy Matchy sewing club and I am obsessed because a bunch of them are designed for you to be able to mix and match from your scrap pile instead of using yards and yards of the same fabric. I made this sweet tote from their stash pocket tote pattern. I’m hoping to make some more for Christmas gifts. I need to reset my brain into remembering that everything I make doesn’t need to be a product with a price tag. I can make things for fun and as an expression of love for people that I care about.
This five minute hummus recipe changed my life. It’s so smooth! I halve the recipe because it makes so much. I am also very generous with my garlic and lemon additions.
I loved this Marlee Grace newsletter workshop on Skillshare. I love Marlee Grace, their newsletter and podcast inspire me to show up as myself. Marlee is a quilter, dancer, creative queer non-binary person who inspires me to show up as my own illustrator, artist, maker, mother, faith filled self. That’s a gift my friends.
On that note I added a paid option to my newsletter. I don’t plan on having any content behind a paywall. Heck, my biggest goal right now is just to show up consistently. But if you are interested in supporting my creative journey this an easy way for you to do that. Just click this little subscribe link here and it will give you some options.
A free way to support my work is to share this newsletter with your friends. Just copy and paste this link in your social media of choice. haleyharmon.substack.com
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