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Artist Advent Calendar : Michelle Bencsko on Cloud9

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Michelle Engel Bencsko is a textile artist and the co-founder of Cloud9 Fabrics, an eco-friendly, contemporary fabric manufacturer. I met Michelle through her blog Cicada Daydream many years ago, and you can also see Michelle's lovely handmade family Christmas story from 2009 here.

I can honestly say, with some level of regret, that this season is a blur and it's not really feeling all that "warm and special" just yet. Two boys, 6 years apart, with different activities - during school and after - and a husband who works in the city and myself, running my own business and all the demands of the season are making it difficult to inhale the beauty of this season. I know by Sunday (the 22nd) it will be a full stop to all this as everyone will be on holiday. Until then, it's Get Things Done time (and try not to forget anything)!

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Looking back at my last post I can see not a lot has changed regarding Christmas- I still love the decorating, though I know it's been streamlined over these last few years. I still relish the decorations I have, and look forward to kicking back and having eggnog (with rum!) with my husband while we hang out with the kids and relax.

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Since the start of my company, Cloud9 Fabrics in early 2009, I've really all but given up on my personal blog Cicada Daydream - I'm still responsible for the blogging, facebooking, instagraming, flickring, pinning and tweeting for my business but it has a much less personal tone. I don't mind, though, I believe was primarily about self-reflection and that by putting forth my dreams and goals publicly, I was held accountable to something bigger than myself and it really motivated me to reach those goals. Now that I'm here, entrenched in what I hoped for, I don't have much to reflect upon, nor do I feel the draw because I am very happy in my current situation, despite the lack of time and focus on things that mattered in the past.

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I'm happily riding this wave for now, but I know at some point tides will turn once again and I'll ask myself what else I'd like for my life, and who knows what the outlet will be in order to steer my passions. But I look forward to it! Changing course is an exciting thing to do however, staying the course is hard work and dedication and not always the most fun although, it can be very rewarding

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So perhaps, now that I'm rereading this, this year's holiday, for me, is still about self-reflection or -realizations about where I am and what I'm doing and how I'm feeling, and though a bit stressed, it's nice to know I at least have the clarity for that. This post also helped me sort of articulate that, too, so thanks for the outlet, Stephanie!

Thank you for sharing Michelle! It has been such fun watching your amazing growth since you started Cloud9 Fabrics! I wish you much continued success and I wish you and your family very happy holidays! xo

Connect with Michelle here: Cloud9, blog, instagram, facebook, pinterest, and twitter.