I believe that if I am going to follow someone and give them my time, I want to know them, even if we can’t sit down for a cup of coffee, I want to feel like maybe we could if we ever crossed paths. Because a connection and relationships are important to me it is only fair I tell you my story. The blog has to be real and about my love to paint and restore furniture but it also about me as a person.
Most of my life I was raised by a single mother who is truly the epitome of a gypsy soul, and always taught me to be independent and never NEED another person, but WANT them instead. My mom was a traveling carnie; this is not something I could make up. We didn’t stay in many places for too long until she met my step-dad. My step-dad is the best thing that has ever happened to my mom, but don’t worry she still hasn’t lost her fiery soul. I have two brothers and three sisters; this leads me to the story of my name. My eldest sister passed away before I was born, her name was Crystal Dawn. So naturally my mom smashed that together and then Crys’Dawna was born.
I have always been outgoing, eccentric, and a little extra than most. I have always been known as a social butterfly and that person who always took the “new kid” under my wing. I have always thought every single person is beautiful in his or her own unique way. I was even nominated as most outgoing as a senior in high school.
Most of my life I grew up in North East, Ohio just outside of Cleveland. I was always into art and drawing and singing, little did I know back then, I would land here. After I graduated high school I joined the United States Air Force, I got stationed in Missouri. It was a great time while it lasted but eventually I separated. Missouri is where I met my best friend, my soul mate, Kristopher Cusson. We eventually married after 3 years of courtship and a few years of friendship before that.
Kris and I have not gone without our struggles, we have had to battle pregnancy loss and infertility, in order to have our beautiful miracle Roxlyn we had to employee the help of a Reproductive specialist.
During my pregnancy we moved to Italy! At first it was a tough transition but soon enough we settled in and loved every minute of it, I was hiking in Croatia at 7 months pregnant, in flip-flops (of course).
The month before my daughter was born I finished my Masters Degree in Psychology. So I have an Associates Degree, bachelors in Social psychology and a Masters in psychology. Painting and building furniture is kind of like psychology right? Our daughter was born in September of 2012. One of our most amazing or what should have been days of our life soon turned very scary, Roxlyn had respiratory distress and was transferred as soon as she was delivered from the American hospital on base to the Italian hospital in the local community. I delivered my daughter but didn’t even get to hold or see her until the next day, I was crushed. My doctors released me to go stay in the Italian hospital the next day and I spent hours holding her, they would tell me to go rest and I refused. Soon our little warrior was released and has grown into an amazing and beautiful little 5 year old 🙂
During our time in Italy we traveled all over I got into distance running and ran in 18 different European countries.
The last year we lived in Italy I started training for Olympic Weightlifting and was coached by a two-time Olympian Vanni Luazana. He competed in Sochi and Barcelona year’s prior. I trained almost every single day for an entire year, so a few months before we were scheduled to head back to the states I qualified for Italian Nationals in Rome. Little did I know a surprise was about to smack me right in my face.
Lane Gibson, he was a total and utterly beautiful surprise. I found out I was pregnant with Lane right after qualifications and a few months before we were set to leave. Life is funny like that. Eventually, we moved back to the states to Cheyenne, Wyoming.
I started painting furniture to decorate our new home (we owned a home in Missouri that we totally painting and remodeled as well). We started remodeling our home in Cheyenne, painting and making it our new home. My husband kept saying, “You know you should sell these pieces you are doing” I said…ehhhh no I am good. Then one day I said well maybe I could I do like this. From that point to today my business has evolved much more than I could ever imagine. I am a furniture artist!
In December of 2017 I donated a kidney to my dear friend Kim. Kim was in stage 5-kidney disease and was dying. I step up because my heart and soul just told me I should and sure enough we were a match. Her and I are both doing remarkable and it was an experience I will forever be grateful for.
I still run long distance when I have time. I play volleyball and softball. I now have a 5 and 1-year-old and am a mom of two puggles. I am enjoying every minute of this business and being a furniture artist. I have been blessed and I love people and teaching.