Sunday, August 14, 2011

Spotlight On A Special Artist & A Brand New Giveaway (Win A Gorgeous Clutch Purse)!!!

I'm so excited to introduce today's giveaway - not only because I know you'll love what's being offered
, but because of the special artist who created it. As I was perusing
(undoubtedly one of my favorite past time), I came across an amazing store called Mermaid's DreamTake a moment and check out these beautiful handmade clutch purses! I reached out to the artist (Sherry), explaining what Loving with Chronic Illness was all about. I asked if she might be interested in offering one of her purses as a giveaway and, as it turns out, she has a very personal connection to the idea of living and loving with chronic illness. Sherry was diagnosed 15 years ago with Osteoarthritis. Before I explain more about this giveaway, please take a few moments and meet Sherry...

What is your diagnosis? When were you first diagnosed and how old were you?

I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis 15 years years ago at age 41. I started to suffer severe pain in my knee, which led to surgery on my knee. The cartilage was diseased from arthritis and most of it was removed. I was then diagnosed with osteoarthritis.

What would you tell someone who has been newly diagnosed with your condition and/or a chronic illness in general?

The best advice I could offer someone is to keep busy.......keep moving. I try to get out for a walk every day. I love the feel of the sunshine on my face. The combination of exercise and sunshine helps keep my serotonin levels up, which is a very important part of maintaining a sense of well being. A positive attitude is key, and of course so is maintaining your sense of humor.  My sense of humor has taken me a long way through this journey.

Please explain a bit how your condition affects you. 

The biggest adjustment is not being able to do things like I used to. Running, gardening and being able to go, go, go all day are things of the past. The steady pain in my joints makes it difficult for me to do things I once took for granted.  I've learned that, if I need to lift or move something heavy, I have to ask for help. If I try to do it myself, I'm sure to pay a steep price. Learning to ask for help has been difficult,  since I've always thought if I need something done, I'll do it myself! I've come to accept the fact that sometimes I need help, and I've learned to ask for it (but I still don't like to). Over the years the pain has grown worse and the arthritis is not only in my knees, but also in my feet, hips, back and hands. Some days are not too bad, other days...well, let's just say I cope.  

Where do you get your strength?

I draw a lot of strength from my inner self. Keeping my situation in perspective is a big help. While I suffer chronic pain, I keep in mind that many people cope with chronic conditions much worse than mine. I can still get around, work and live a full live...many people can't.

What are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of my resilience, not only in terms of the chronic pain, but I've also had to deal with mental pain that various difficulties in life have caused me. Prayer, sunshine and laughter all help me tremendously

What are three things you couldn't live without? 

A few months ago my dog would have topped my can't live without list. She has since  passed  and I'm still here. There are times when the pain of losing her far surpasses my arthritic pain. So the three things I couldn't live without would be my children,my husband and my sense of humor.

If you could send one message to medical professionals around the world, what would it be?

The one thing I'd say to medical professionals is listen! Have some patience and truly listen to what people are saying to you. Chronic pain is a very difficult thing to live with and sometimes it's very difficult to explain. There are situations that may not be "textbook", but believe me - when someone tells you they're in pain, they mean it. beautiful are these purses?

You lucky ducks! Sherry has generously offered the winner of today's giveaway a beautiful clutch purse of their choice!!! You can enter this giveaway a total of 2 times!

For entry #1: Make sure you "like" Mermaid's Dream on Facebook, and then leave a comment on this post letting me know!

For entry #2: Head on over to Sherry's Etsy shop, take a look around, and leave a comment on this post telling me which purse you'd choose if you were to win. Would you give it to someone as a gift or treat yourself? Where would you go with it?

You may enter this giveaway until 11:59pm on August 28th (2 weeks from today). A winner will be chosen at random and announced on this blog the following day. As always, thanks for reading, feel well, and GOOD LUCK!



  1. I love this interview & her beautiful work! I have recently fallen in love with clutches. I used to be a big bag person. They both have their uses, of course, but when a person's whole body hurts, like many of ours, having a light weight purse that holds just the essentials is perfect!

    I liked Mermaids Dream on Facebook!

  2. Thanks for the entry!! I definitely know what you mean about clutches...lighter is always better. Please take a look around Sherry's Etsy shop and let me know which clutch you'd choose if you were to win.

  3. Wow, I just looked through all of the clutches on Etsy. I don't know how I would choose a favorite. They are gorgeous!!!!

    Some of my favorites:

    Peacock Blue Ruffle
    Pleated in Black Cherry
    Bridal Clutch in Silver Silk Dupioni
    Watercolor Design Clutch

  4. And I would LOVE one for my Sept. 23rd wedding - possibly as a gift to my amazing Maid of Honor. I LOVE the Elegant Silk Dupioni Bow Clutch In Medium Ivory (if for me) or Ultra Violet (for her).


  5. Hi! I LOVED mermaid's dream on facebook and fell in love with the Empress Silk Brocade Peacock Clutch in particular on her etsy site.

    As a woman in her late 30's who gave up everything when left in post viral severe chronic pain and cogntive dysfunctions that may or may not be MS after suffering an almost fatal case of viral pneumonia, I turned to crafting to make spending money and found true happiness.

    I am now a potter, a mosaic and stained glass artist, beadworks artist and felted handbag maker and the style of my favorite clutch is in tune with my latest goal to be pretty and ladylike now matter how i feel when I get out of bed.

    In the end, it makes me feel better all around. <3