|Artist Laura Ludwig Hamor|
Welcome to Sunday Spaces and please allow me to introduce to you artist Laura Ludwig Hamor. A wife, Mother of four ... Creative Girl and CCO ... you know Chief Creative Officer . All content and photos of this Sunday Space are the property of LLHamor and have been republished here with permission & grace. You just gotta love this creative go getter Laura ... I'm Thankful to Laura for sharing her inspiring story here on Sunday Spaces ...
The story of my studio is tied in to my cancer. Good things and not so good things somethings come together.
In 2003 I was finally diagnosed with . I say finally because I was sick for 10 months, constant choking and coughing all night long before I found my cancer.
~ okay, side-bar for a quick cancer story.... I was sick, and first we thought it was a virus, then maybe , then maybe an allergy, I coughed and coughed, I couldn't sleep. I coughed so hard, I broke two ribs. I was exhausted.
I had just starting seeing a therapist, my mother had died and I was struggling with my grief and my family's grief. It was Dr. M. who first noticed how long I had been coughing.
"You have had a cough since you first started coming here." I had not really realized how long it had been.
"I have been feeling exhausted like I am trying to push through water. I am so tired."
Then he said the most obvious thing that I never considered, "Have you thought of listening to your body?"
No. I had not.
I had not thought of listening to my body, I was too busy pushing myself.
You know how it is when you have so much to do, you don't stop to listen.
Two days later, I woke up and felt a tiny pressure in my neck.
I was listening.
I opened my medical book (that I first had for taking care of the kids) and found an article about thyroids.
It said: Take a drink of water. Lean your head back and swallow it while looking in the mirror. Is your neck symmetrical?
No, it was not. I had nodules on my thyroid.
Most nodules are NOT cancer.
Thyroid nodules are very common.
But, I was sick.
I fractured two ribs coughing! I was sick. I knew.
Okay, that is it. I found the nodules, called my doctor, had an ultrasound, had a biopsy, had surgery.
Now, back to the studio.
I was recovering from the surgery. I was tired and they had to find my balance of synthroid (thyroid hormone replacement) and that took some time to get right.
So I had a lot of time to think.
What do I want to do?
Really do with this life, with this one life that I have been given?
Of course my first priority was our family and raising our sons.
But what about me?
What do I want?
I wanted this life changing experience to change something in my life. Hopefully for the better. Isn't that what a life-changing experience is for?
My studio was in a small spare bedroom. It had actually moved around the house. First in a larger room off the playroom, then we moved the older boys into that room, so I moved into the kitchen, then to the smaller bedroom.
So what do I want?
Asking myself this over and over.
I had an idea.
The preschool was a small building nearby. What if I called my son's preschool teacher and asked if I could rent the preschool space for the summer when they are closed. Then I could work more in the coming summer--away from the boys and their friends and I could leave projects set up instead of cleaning everything up each day.
I called her and asked if I could rent her space. She owned the little building and said she would talk to her husband and call me back.
The next day she called, "Here is an address, you can meet our property manager and he will show you a space."
I did not know this, but they owned a series of buildings on a warehouse street.
I did not have a lot of money, since I had not worked in months.
But I had asked her, so I decided I had to meet him and I would just turn down the space.
The next day I met Mark, the building manager, who was a really nice guy.
He opened the door to this long narrow room with only a small path to walk through pile of old, crumbly, smelly boxes from floor to ceiling.
The space was being rented by the local movie theatre and they were using it for storage. It looked like long abandoned storage. The boxes were old and falling all over each other.
We walked through the first long room, down the hall into a small second room, still filled with boxes.
Mark turned to me and said, "Which room would you want?"
I said, "Well, I guess the first room so I wouldn't have to walk through that mess to get to the second room," knowing I was probably not taking it anyway.
I asked him,"So how much is it?"
This is the question that was going to lead me to say I couldn't take it, or so I thought.
Mark turned around and made a phone call.
"My uncle must like you, he said I should empty the whole space, and give it to you."
I didn't know what to say.
"Um, well, how much is the rent?"
"Well since the space needs cleaning and painting, nothing for the first months, then 100 a month after that. No lease, just month to month."
WHAT? 100 a month? I could do that. I could figure out 25. per week!
It was too good not to do it.
I sent the landlord/preschool teacher's husband a heartfelt thank you letter. I went from recovering on the couch to opening my studio!
My whole focus changed. I was looking to my future.
It turns out my landlord wanted to help someone else who was starting a new business! He was prepared to help someone, just when I had called to ask.
How many times do we want something, and we don't ask?
He is definitely one of my angels.
For the next months, after the boxes were removed, we cleaned and scrubbed and primed the walls. We pulled the smelly carpet off the floors and scrubbed them over and over.
When they were finally clean, I primed them and painted them with floor paint in a soft grey.
And then I painted that block wall red. "Million Dollar Red" was the paint name.
(that's the wall I just repainted "Startling Blue"!)
That is how my studio found me. One phone call.
Doesn't that make you wonder what yoU should ask for?
Find Laura's pretties HERE, follow her creative biz journey HERE and join the e-pprenticeship program HERE.
I hope JOY & Inspiration Stalk yoU like the wind & Look for MORE of Laura's Story in the Spring Issue Of Inspired Studios Magazine. Please e-mail me (sonyamacdesigns(dot)yahoo.com) to share your space on sunday spaces. love is a VERB sonya la