A Story Of Creative Inspiration By Pauline Box

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15th July 2013, not my birthday or an anniversary but my “I’m sorry you have Breast Cancer” day. Over the next few months things went past in a blur of surgeries, scans, results, hospital appointments, radiotherapy and then the dreaded chemotherapy.

By Christmas I didn’t recognise the person looking back at me in mirror. I’d lost all my hair ,my eyebrows,I couldn’t feel the ends of my fingers or toes. What energy I did have I had to distribute carefully. If I needed a shower or a hair wash I would need to decide to do that task and nothing else all day.

Cancer is not just a physical condition but a mental one too. It sapped all of my self confidence. I felt very vulnerable and my memory was pretty much non existent. Unable to return to work I lost my very reason for being. I desperately needed to reconnect with life.

Summer 2014 came and sitting in my Summer house I thought how wonderful it would be to paint the flowers in the garden. I was never able to draw anything anyone could recognise so I was setting the bar quiet high.

I found a couple of painting classes and these helped me realise that it was all about creativity and putting yourself on the page. No high expectations at all . Do what you like. I started to find a connection even if I would never make the Tate gallery .
Finding I was connecting with a different side of myself I started making patchwork quilts. Admittedly just one quilt took me a whole year due to my finger damage but when I finished it the satisfaction was totally compelling. My confidence was actually growing.

The perfect thing about crafting was it became an expression of myself. I could let loose on a canvas with colours and different brush strokes or make Love Birds from Sea glass and branches from my Silver Birch Tree. I could pick up a frame or some stones or a paint brush whenever I felt well enough and if I got tired keep it for the next day. The biggest accomplishment of all is to make crafts that bring others joy. I sell a few pieces on Etsy and folksy. Not many as I am still having treatment every three weeks and have done for the last five years so my body is not what it was. But when I sign and wrap up a little frame of love and post it to someone who has chosen my art it’s a feeling like no other.

Crafting brings out your personality, a piece of yourself, a touch of love. Whether it be painting, knitting, collage, jewellery, cards, crochet or any type of handmade item you can always say “I did that”.


Pauline would like to say a big thank you to Ellie’s Friends which is dedicated to improving the lives of adults (16+) living with cancer, all around the UK. They provide frequent freebies from caring businesses and individuals, to offset some of the financial and psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis.

Find Pauline and White Heart Crafts here www.etsy.com/uk/shop/WhiteHeartCrafts





Framed Pebble Art ‘ Some Bunny loves you ‘ Sea Glass Love Gift
Framed Pebble Art ‘ Some Bunny loves you ‘ Sea Glass Love Gift Click Image to find it on Etsy
Dog Paw pebble Art for the Dog Lover Gift
Dog Paw pebble Art for the Dog Lover Gift Click Image to Find on Etsy
Sea glass Art Picture Love Birds under Holiday washing
Sea glass Art Picture Love Birds under Holiday washing Click on image to find on Etsy


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  1. Pushpanjali Roy

    This is so inspiring and positive!! Creativity does take away those negative thoughts and builds up confidence. Thanks for sharing your battle with cancer and your beautiful art works. You are a rockstar Pauline! Wishing you strength, love, positivity and speedy recovery 💕💕