About Stuff N Thingz - Tracy Marie Lewis
Years ago I decided I would buy a domain name and create a website that contained stuff that I was involved in, interested in, or found to be funny and entertaining, I was fortunate to be able to buy such a perfect domain name. As the years have gone by, my interests have changed, and now I have created a new version of Stuff N Thingz that uses modern day coding (Drupal 7) and is focused more on my current hobby which is paper crafting. In addition I've added a section to blog about our travels.
I am a semi-educated side-line artist. I won an art scholarship from the Edmonds Arts Festival and did take art classes all through school and at community college. Eventually I earned a B.S. in Computing and Software System. That degree was earned over a period of time, fully funded by my employers and I used that degree in my day job for 17 years. I worked in IT managing our web platform. I enjoy the high tech environment and have my MCSE +I, CSM (Scrum Master) and CSPO (Product Owner) certifications in Agile.
Recently, however, I retired to travel with my husband in our fifth wheel trailer that we now call home. We made a pact some years ago that when our home value reached a certain point we would sell, and then an amazing thing happened... it hit that mark and called us out. We talked about it and followed through with selling, but also decided to rearrange our lives to pursue fulltime travelling now while we are young and able. I retired from my IT career after thirty one years (It looks weird sitting on the page, but my finger math says yup, I worked for that long in IT).
We were able to fulfill our dreams by buying rental investment properties for the passive income required for us to live a frugal nomadic lifestyle. Other than our rental properties we have no debt, which is a huge part of the secret to this lifestyle. There of course is way, way more to our story and I will carve out a niche on this website to talk about our lives leading up to where we are today at some point. I have written a five part summary of how we accomplished our dream of traveling -> HERE.
When we sold our home, I gave up my beautiful crafting space that I used to create all manner of art. I am a self taught jeweler and garment design artist, but due to some health issues I switched to something less physically taxing on my back (ALIF spinal Fusion in 2014). I don't feel the same pressure when working with paper versus using garment design equipment or working with 14k gold and sterling silver. For our travelling mode of living, I sold most of the garment making equipment and have stored two heat presses at my parent's as they will not fit in our small space. I also packed away most of the jewelry making supplies, bringing with me a minimal tool kit for repairs and simple jewelry projects. A bare-bones set of papercrafting supplies are packed with us. I find papercrafting "at will" very tranquil and satisfying.
I absolutely love to color and doodle and have accumulated an array of markers to support these two relaxing pastimes. They tie in perfectly with papercrafting as well. I do have a full collection of Copic Sketch markers and have become quite proficient at using them for larger projects. I now have fellow colorists in the family who have also taken up Copic coloring with me. It is fun to share in that with family and friends.
We have now been living our travelling dream for over a year. I would call it more like a roller coaster and have started a new set of articles focused on how we are keeping our dream alive. You can read the first installment -> HERE.
Thank you for stopping by! And of course being a website, you can kick back and stay as long as you like!