Hey there! I’m Michelle, and I’m happy you stopped by to check out my blog!
I’m not going to bore you with my whole life story because I’m sure you’ve got better things to do than read about how I won an art contest in 4th grade, so here’s the short and sweet version:
I just hit the big 5-0 in August and have been married to my hubby Dan for 15+ years. We live on a 46 acre farm that has been in my family for three generations. We don’t have children, but we do have several cats because we both love cats A LOT and end up keeping every stray that wonders onto our farm. My hubby is an awesome general contractor (no bias there at all, really) and he built our dream farmhouse on the family farm in 2009.
Unlike most people who blog, I didn’t start my blog with the intent of actually blogging. I have a Master’s degree in Computer Science and worked in the IT industry for 15 years before I quit my last “real” job in 2012. Even though I loved the work in of itself, it was a hostile and high stress work environment that tore away at my soul. After I left that job, I looked into consulting along with the programming technologies that were in demand at the time. My initial plan was to work short term consulting jobs and take time off in between gigs to have more time to spend working on projects around our home and garden.
WordPress was the hot blogging platform at the time, so I decided to learn all the front and back end technologies that support it. I believe the best way to learn about a platform is to build something with it and use the end result, so I created a blog and posted a few DIY projects I did around our home as well as some crafts. I also shared them on social media to get a well-rounded experience on how the whole blogging thing worked. My posts didn’t get a lot of attention until I posted my No Seam Shrug Crochet Pattern. A couple of weeks later, that post got over 4,000 page views in one day. Needless to say I was super surprised as I never thought anything I posted would get that much attention! It made me see the potential for blogging just in of itself. I enjoyed everything about the blogging process, so I decided why not try it for a while and see what happens? And that’s how Bianchi’s Barn was born.
Now, I’m sure you’re saying to yourself: “Uh, Bianchi’s Barn? Isn’t this blog called The Painted Hinge?” Yes, but it started life out as Bianchi’s Barn. You can read about why I changed my blog name here.
I’ve blogged since 2013 and decided to make it my full-time job soon afterwards. At first, I blogged about a lot of different things, but a couple of years ago I decided to narrow my focus around farmhouse style projects and décor. It was a good decision to make since my blog has grown the fastest ever since then.
One thing I always struggle with is how much of my personal life to share on the blog, and not just for the sake of privacy. I want to share who I am and what I’m all about with my readers, but I want to do so without boring you guys or turning you off with too much information. But I feel some personal subjects are important enough to talk about for the sake of raising awareness, which in my case are anxiety and depression.
I have suffered with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember. As a child, I would worry about things no child should ever worry about. I struggled with it until my mid-twenties when I’d finally had enough of feeling bad most all of the time and decided I wanted to do something about it. I went to my doctor who referred me to a psychiatrist who prescribed me anti-depressants. That was a huge game-changer for me, as I finally got a chance to feel like a “normal” person.
It hasn’t been all peaches and roses since then. I’ve had times where I had to change or quit my meds for various reasons, such as they stopped working for me; or when life got rough, which is always harder for people like me to deal with. Those times were always hell, and it made dealing with life’s responsibilities pretty much impossible. But I’ve always managed to pull through and get myself back to a good place. It also taught me how important it is for people like me to have a cozy and inviting home to retreat to when times get rough. (I’m also an introvert, which makes having a space to retreat to all that much more necessary for my well-being.) That’s why I think it’s so important to create a space to live in that I love, and by sharing that journey with my readers, I hope to help them do the same. I hope this blog serves as a happy and inspirational diversion where my readers can come to when they need a break from life in general.
I’m not sharing about my anxiety and depression to get sympathy or attention. I want to raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding anxiety, depression and mental illness in general. I believe that the more people who share their struggles with mental illness, the less stigma there will be. I’m also sharing it to show people who also suffer that there is options for people like me who can’t work a “regular” job. Blogging makes it easier for me to work around the bad times when I have them and take care of myself without having to worry about being fired or judged by my bosses and coworkers. I think it’s so important to show others like me that there are viable alternatives to a regular job that may be a better option for them. It’s also a job that feeds my soul because I get to bring happiness to others by sharing what I hope is beautiful farmhouse inspiration for their homes.
Please feel free to hang out and look around as much as you like and check back often as I usually add new content a few times a week. If you have any questions or comments, you can either fill out my contact form or email me.
Thanks SO much for stopping by!
Mary R. says
Thank you for being so candid about your story. I think artistic people are very sensitive (in a good way). Thank you for sharing your crochet patterns and printables.
Hi Mary! Thanks so much for reading my story, and I’m happy you’re enjoying crochet patterns and printables.
I do not know what happened to Michelle, I know about depression and anxiety
I just wanted to tell her family I am soo very sorry for your loss, I pray your pain is short your memories lasting and a great rest of your life so very sad
Tammara J Rankila says
I just found your blog, it’s beautiful. I’m making your maple leaves, and loving them. I crochet constantly to keep the shadows away. It helps most days. I believe in hope, and good people.
Thank you so much! I’m happy you like my blog. I find crocheting to be very theraputic as well.
I’m really glad I found you. I’ve gone back to full time job after being retired for 10 years and not because I wanted to. It helps to hear about others who don’t do well surrounded by people all day! I deal only because I use up all my sick time taking days off when I can no longer deal with it. Thanks for sharing!
You’re very welcome Heidi! I’m happy my story was helpful to you.
Thank you Michelle.
You’re very welcome Tamara <3 Thank you for stopping by! 🙂
Do you have an email list.?
Hi Janet! I sure do! http://eepurl.com/bPz0aT Thank you!
My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.
Linda StPierre says
Hi Michelle ~
I’m a long-ago reader of ‘Emerald Cove’ and kept your (last?) post from way back then…I vividly remember reading your blog/posts and I couldn’t believe how very much your story ran parallel to mine… I cried for you and with you because of the horrible similarities we have ~ I felt your hurt which became the agony of dealing with depression and anxiety. Your last posted words scared me to death ~ so much so that I was too afraid to continue… my mindset at that time couldn’t cope with your pain as I was slogging through sh*t myself; I was afraid of something awful happening to you, never knowing what transpired, wondering if anyone close to you would give or share or notify us of an outcome…
That’s why I backed away: to insulate myself from any further anguish. I had printed that last post (that I had read) and, over the years, re-read it many times, wanting to know about you but not wanting any sad news…
This morning I was idling through my emails, took an interest in a PillarBoxBlue denim diy and practically fell to the floor!! There, my unbelieving eyes saw that unmistakable “Michelle :)” signature… The relief I felt was/is beyond words — there you were!!! There you are!!! I think I’ll go about my day with a smile and a jig in my step! This is nothing short of awesome, Michelle — I am so thankful for YOU as well as FINDING you after all these years… ‘meant to be’, right? I’m not much on emails, they often sit for a few days but, if you get back to me, you will hear from me – sooner or later! Stay safe and be well xo