Please tell us a little about yourself…
My name is Majo and I live together with my husband and our two cats in a small community in Germany. Besides crafting I love to read, you will never find me without a book, and during the summer time I enjoy gardening.
Where/how did you learn your craft(s)?
I have been crafting for almost all my adult life. I started with paper crafting (Scrapbooking) in 2008 after a very long career with decoupage, working with dried flowers, knitting and crocheting. I was introduced to scrapbooking by a friend and was hooked immediately.
How do you feel craft has impacted your life?
In November 2014 I had a cyst on my neck, nothing spectacular, I thought. I was treated intravenously with antibiotics to help the swelling go away, so the doctors were able to remove it. Well, it took until February 2015 to get an appointment for the surgery, by then the cyst was huge. I really kind of tried to ignore it, talked to no one about it and just kept going, and of course crafting.
After the cyst was removed and tested I was given the diagnosis lymph node cancer. My world broke apart.
I was on several design teams at the time and needed to inform my team mates that my work could be delayed just a bit. They all told me to take care of me first and not to worry about any deadlines etc. I received so much love and understanding from all of them, it was overwhelming. Actually I didn’t miss one deadline, since crafting was the only occupation that kept me from thinking of dying and crying.
Three days after they gave me the diagnosis I had surgery again, this time they took all my lymph nodes out in a 6 hour session. Unfortunately they didn’t find the primary, so the diagnosis is still CUP (Cancer of unknown primary) and I have to live with it. It makes me nervous, but I have it checked regularly.
I never during this time stopped crafting, never. My husband brought me some images I had stamped and my pencils, so I was coloring in the hospital bed, not very good, I’m still not good at it, but it helped to keep away my fear a bit. After the hard time of chemo therapy and radiation, I was even able to scrap layouts and other little things about my fate, never felt badly about it.
And there is also some funny story to this. I always have subscriptions with several magazines, one was just about to run out and I thought I wouldn’t need it anymore anyway. So, two days after the neck dissection, the surgeon told me that at least on one side of my neck they hadn’t found any more metastasis, nothing! The minute he walked out the door, I grabbed my laptop and renewed my subscription!
I think without the ability to craft and have chats, telephone calls and mails with my team mates, I would have fallen into a hole and even into depression. Crafting is medicine, I’m sure of it!
Do you do anything to pass the crafting bug on to others?
No, not really, since almost all my friends are into paper crafting already, and the ones who aren`t either have another creative hobby or no creative side at all. They just enjoy what I make for them.
Is there anyone you find particularly inspirational in the crafting world?
Yes, of course. I just love Tim Holtz’ style. I was glad to meet him twice on demos here in Germany with just a small crowd, so we were able to talk a bit. It was a thrilling experience. He is kind, very patient and also very funny.
Do you do anything to share your creations? (gifting/selling?)
I send my creations to US and UK magazines and always keep my fingers crossed to be published. It is a very special moment when I see my work in print. Fortunately, it has worked very much in the past.
I also create cards for friends, neighbours and a flower shop. Some are on request for special occasions, i.e. birthdays, Easter and of course Christmas.