RA Blog Week - Hobbies #RedefiningRA

So maybe you know and maybe you don't - I have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and also suffer from some other autoimmune diseases. I made the decision earlier this year to become an RA Patient Ambassador since I feel like maybe, I can inspire others to not let their RA get in the way of doing the things they enjoy.

I decided to join a group of bloggers and talk about RA for RA Blog Week.

They provided daily prompts for subjects to blog about. I've had a crazy past week and did not have time to do a daily post, but today's prompt was perfect for me - Hobbies!

This is a blog mostly dedicated to my sewing - one of my biggest hobbies. So, I felt it was perfect. What I sew has changed over time. It goes with my mood and stage in life really. When I was diagnosed with RA, I made mostly quilts. This is one I made for a friend's baby girl.

I might have made myself a top or blouse from time to time. I had a period of time where my hands could not stand the the hours on end I would spend cutting out strips or blocks for a quilt with a rotary cutter. My hips and knees didn't always like it either. So I found out that they make these amazing little devices to cut quilt squares. Many required you to hand crank and were really hard for me to crank - so those wouldn't cut it. So I started looking at electronic models and after researching for weeks, I finally took the plunge and bought one. Not my photo below - but I didn't have one handy.
Brother CM350 ScanNCut 2 Cutting Machine
There was definitely a learning curve - but it is so fun to use.

And then something happened. I became ill in a way I hadn't before. And my whole body was effected. I had severe gastrointestinal issues - that I still struggle with. Pants and anything with a fitted waistband became just too unbearable to wear. My waist could increase by 7" over the course of a day. Then I needed surgery and would have several incisions on my abdomen. I also was going in for a variety of ct scans and MRIs regularly. All this meant was I needed a new wardrobe. No more fitted slacks and blouses - I needed comfy knit pants, leggings, and swingy knit tops to disguise my ever changing waistline and to provide me comfort. In late 2014 I began sewing a lot of apparel and not so many quilts. I found a whole new world of custom knits and indie pattern designers. These fabric and pattern designers needed people to sew up their stuff and test it out. I wanted in on this exciting new world and started a blog and facebook page. Now I regularly test patterns for a variety of designers and routinely sew fabric for the custom knit groups that thrive on Facebook.

This is the most recent photo I have handy of an item I made. This was fabric I was sent to promote. I went with a friend to a park with a waterfall. we walked about 2 miles that day trying to figure out where the waterfall was.

Custom fabrics also let me show off my geeky side. I am a scientist and love wearing things like this shirt with an atomic molecule design to work.

I love Astronomy - and there's fabric for that too.

I'm an environmental scientist and well - this is perfect for where I work.

I also love to read! This book print was just perfect for me too.

This photo is just another that I love - it's one of my favorite tops I have made.

My other hobby I'm very passionate about is photography, and hence the "Capture" in my blog name. This is one of those hobbies that I can always work on no matter how bad I feel. I may not always feel up to lugging my heavy gear around, but I can always lay in bed with my laptop and work on editing photos. Here are a few of my favorites.

The Milky Way as seen from Fort Griffin in Albany, Texas.

The ceiling of the Bellagio lobby in Las Vegas made of Chihuly glass.

A chrysanthemum.

A field of sunflowers in Allen, Texas.

A hot air balloon as it lifts off over my head at the Plano Balloon Festival.

A tree stranded on a lonely little piece of beach during high tide in Belize.

A view of an Elephant Ear leaf in my yard.

A selection of delicious pears I bought at the grocery store.

I enjoy finding beauty in our everyday objects. Anything can become a beautiful image with the right lighting and angle. That's how I like to view my life as well, there may be some ugly bumps and bruises, but look at it from a different angle or perspective, and suddenly it becomes beautiful again.

If you have a hobby and think you can't do it anymore with RA - I'm going to say you are wrong. Look for solutions to the problems, and find aspects of your hobby that can be managed more easily when you are not feeling 100%. It's possible to find new ways to enjoy your hobbies.

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