A bit of my history...

 "A girl, her creative projects and her little helpers"

As you might have noticed I have just launched a second auction  - this time  a batch of handbags. Someone asked; "Did you make all of these bags?" and the answer is yes, I made them all from scratch. What many of you do not know is that I have been creating handbags and accessories for the last 13 years. I've been running my own little company which I thought was a dream come true. And in a sense it was. But there was something missing. Just a few years back I started having some great little successes internationally with features in major newspapers and prominent fashion magazines. My items were handpicked by a known celebrity hotel and a top London florist for her window display - and international online shop owners (who were stocking my items) were keen to have me featured in various places. Things were FINALLY really beginning to take off. And then the strangest thing happened. I started running away from the success! It was almost as if that the more I began to succeed the more empty I felt inside. It's difficult to describe the feeling really. It's not even that I did not want the succes...

Well... as I successfully mananged to sabotage my newly created successes I slowly began to wind up my little company (yes, can you believe it, but I actually did!!). After this I turned to animals - where my heart was really at.  I began writing this blog with no clue as to where it would lead (but just look at this my very first and in hindsight very serendipitous post and image) - back then I had NO clue where I would be today!  I just collected inspiring animal stories and I began spending my days reading about Greek cat rescues (I've had a special affinity with Greece for many years). My heart and soul ached deeply whenever I saw the images of discarded, sick, abandoned and cruelly treated cats (and dogs for that matter) - it left me feeling that I wished I could offer each of these little discarded souls a healing, loving and safe home for life. Fast forward... to cut a long story short of how I came to live here - but I very soon became caught up in rescuing cats. A bit daunting at first because they just kept coming, but I began to adapt to my new role. And I got a meassure of my own level of commitment this past winter when my infant colony got struck down by two deadly virusses. I cleaned, fed, played and cleaned some more - from the first step in the morning to the last one at night. My DH kept saying; I don't know how you do it... but with his unrelenting support and some truly amazing supportive friends from this online community it somehow became possible. I learned and I had my first painful lossses - I cried many tears. But... I cannot describe my hearts joy at seing each little rescued life gaining renwed confidence and blooming - and becoming beautiful and full in their rightful way. It's rich beyond words to sit at a distance and see them play and romp and strike up odd little friendships. It is very satisfying and makes my heart feel so full.

 My watercolor was inspired by this cute image from the peachy book

BUT now that my days are filled with my hearts purpose I've no longer got endless hours to spend in my creative den.  Recently I figured that I had to take up a new creative expression - something that could be fairly instant and not require too much fussing over. This is where a recent online class turned out to be just the perfect match... it made me come up with silly little sketching ideas and naturally cats somehow made their way into almost each little creation. Yes... maybe a future set of  fundraising cards might be in store!!

Anyhow... about the handbags - what you see is really the result of a girl on her way to somewhere, but only now the sale of them serve a purpose I can truly stand behind and be very proud of. ALL auction bids goes towards the much needed neutering projects and ongoing vaccinations of the cats I rescue.

I hope you'll enjoy a scroll down through all the images and maybe even want to place a bid. 
A HUGE thanks to everyone who has donated and placed bids in the first auction round to help cover Pestos's dental surgery. This bill has now been fully covered and I was proud to tell my vet about the amazing online support!!

And as always, please feel free to share the news! 


Thank you and bless you for all you do for the cats.
Cat said…
Your handbags are lovely Joan :-)

So are your watercolour paintings, I hope one day you will think about auctioning them too :-)
Deb said…
Oh Joan..you amaze me. Isn't it wonderful how the soul guides us to our destiny. You know I will always be honoured to help you in any way. Please continue what you do as the cats depend on you so much. Good luck with your auction. I anxiously wait for those cards to plan to do and paintings that may go up for auction. You truly have a gift. Hugs, Deb.
MieH said…
Iiih hvor er alle dine tasker altså bare DEJLIGE!!! :DD Virkelig smukke! Tænk at du har lavet dem allesammen :O
Er totalt 'in love' i et par hehe ;0)
Mange knus♥
Crafting Queen said…
Thanks for sharing your story. That's wonderful news that you got the money for Pesto's bill. Love the painting. Have a great day. HUgs Anesha
Anna E said…
What an amazing story of yours - it truly reveals some of your nature as a lady who doesn´t want to deal in "class distinction" and other kinds of "political stuff"... I wish I could buy all the bags and decorate a whole room with them - but I guess it´s better they are used for their true purposes by ladies around the world :-)) Hugs <3
What you do for those kitties is a blessing to the entire world. You make the world a better place! purrs
Bulldoggrrl said…
I concur with all the above comments. What you do with the animals is selfless. Anything I can do to help I certainly will. You are a beautiful spirit. That is fantastic news about Pesto's dental surgery - blessings to you both.
Reena said…
Your handbags are lovely but really crushin on your watercolors. Awesome!
What a journey you have been on ! I do hate this expression as it sounds silly, but we do sometimes go through life and have to experience lots of things to see where we want to go.What an interesting story.I was standing with my stand at the Country Living Spring Fair next to a girl who was 24 and who also exhibited for the first time- and I was amazed at her focus and thought: " I did not really know what I wanted to do when I was 24, how amazing!! ." I, like you, have gone through life slowly discovering life and what I wanted to do.You only have one life as far as I know and you have to make the very best of it and fulfill your potential, and I think you are doing this so marvellously ! XXX bea
Annuk said…
Having met you is a blessing, Joan!!!
I feel so blessed knowing such a wonderful person as you are, and I truly cherish our friendship!
God bless you and your adorable Little People!!!!!!

And THANK YOU Cat for making me meet Joan through your blog!!!!! :)))
Sandra said…
What an amazing story you have! I am glad you decided to follow your heart and what better way than to mix your passion and your talent. I agree with a comment above: you should auction your watercolors, too! I will share this post of yours on my blog - maybe somebody bids on a handbag! I really really want the one I just took a bid on:)
Anya said…
Bless you for all you do for these beautiful animals. - Best wishes from Quebec, Canada.
Anna E said…
Du skriver om evt. fundraising kort og folk ønsker dine tegninger på auktion - men hvad med først at lave dem til en historie i form af en bog (jeg kender en der gerne kommer med ideer til at flette det hele sammen ;-) )? Det kunne vise sig at give rigtig meget fundraising ved at udgive en bog med søde katte historier, og ære de forskellige kattes "personligheder" oven i købet...:-))
What an amazing journey you have had. Now you have come full circle and you are right where you need to be. Thank you for helping all of those beautiful souls.
505whimsygirl said…
Hi Joan,

I missed the first auction, darn it. I can't see your handbags -- is there a link to the auction items?

I love your watercolor, by the way.

Your story is interesting. Do you think the success took the fun out of what you were doing? When I first started beading I really enjoyed it - then I sold at some craft fairs. Eventually it started becoming a chore to make enough to sell - so I quit. Beading took so much time and it wasn't any fun any longer.

Please let me know about the auction - I'd like to see your handbags.

Julia Williams said…
What a wonderful story! You listened to your heart, which led you to your true calling.

Your bags are really beautiful.
Anne Butera said…
This is an amazing post. I mentioned it and your auction on my blog today.

All the best to you!

Tina said…
Funny how life works sometimes and it's amazing what one can do when one does it with purpose and heart! Now your dream of creating something has come to help your passion and compassion for animals, especially cats!
Catherine said…
It sounds like you are exactly where you are supposed to be dear girl. I think anyone that can do their heart's passion is very lucky.

xo Catherine
Hi Joan, your mail box seems full so just wanted to leave a comment to say I have just received the two wonderful purses that I got through your auction- many thanks- they are really lovely and I am already using them both.I think they are too pretty to give away -hahaha -so I have them both in my handbag, one for coins and one for store cards and things like that.I will think of you and your cats like this every day !! XXX Bea
Hi Joan,
you are an Angel for all those cats. Success alone makes not happy. You were meant to help those greek cats.
Hugs and greetings, Johanna
your bags are beautiful, buy my heart belongs to your water colors. they are wonderful

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