|Titiana's Folly by Lisa Sittniewski|
The end of June marked six months since I launched this blog. I remember my trepidation setting up the Blogger account and the first few posts--should I use my real name in the bio? How personal should I allow my posts to be? Will creepy people start spamming me? My worries seem so silly now.
Because what I've discovered in my six months as a blogger--and oh, maybe 18 months as a bead blog reader--is what a special community you are.
At left is the bracelet that inspired this post. It may look familiar to readers who blog-hopped their way through the Fairy Tale bead swap organized by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things. Lisa Sittniewski of Alterity made it from the beads I sent her--then mailed it to me as a surprise gift because she knew the button I had included in the bead mix was special to me. I was so touched by the kindness of an artist who didn't even know me a few weeks before.
And that got me to thinking about all the other bloggers who have touched me with their generous spirit and wisdom and guidance. First there is Lori, whose Pretty Things was one of the first bead blogs I stumbled upon well over a year ago. I so felt that I knew her that I sought her out to introduce myself when she participated in a local crafts show. She was as charming and encouraging in person as she was online and invited me to join the bead swap group. That fairy tale challenge was one of the funnest things I've done and exposed me to a whole new community.
Then there is Mortira of Inspirational Beading. I hardly ever comment on her blog (my bad--I'm still trying to move from lurker to participant on the many bead blogs I read and love), so she probably has no idea what a huge influence her blog has been on me. Like Pretty Things, Inspirational Beading was one of the earliest blogs I discovered, and Mortira's beadweaving tutorials are a model of clarity. I love her curated collections as well, not to mention following her bead self-challenges, like the bracelet-a-week one she's on now.
Then there's Mandy of Bead for Brains. I started reading her blog a couple of months ago when the Beading Gem's Journal blogged about her quest to tackle a new bead project every day for a year. At the time--it was probably around day 60 or 80 of her journey--I thought that she and I were on about the same skill level of beading. But she has since lapped me many times over in her fearless pursuit of knowledge. She has generously shared her discoveries--great bead books, online tutorials, marvelous blogs--as well as documenting both her foibles and feats of wonder. Her latest adventures have taken her to Russian and Hungarian sites, where she has conquered beading patterns thanks to her uncanny ability to decipher photos and the often whimsical translations provided by Google Chrome. Thanks to Mandy, I know not to "sweat under the buru"!
There are so many more bloggers and I can't name them all, but I want to give a shout-out to all the wonderful participants in the Kumi2 Yahoo Group for their wonderful guidance as well--Janis and Wheat and Carol and Adrienne are just some of the many kumihimo experts who have shared their knowledge and passion with me and so many others.
So thank you all, you passionate and generous artists who take the time and effort to share with others in the beading blogosphere,