15 September 2010

I can't count that high

“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” ~Eric Hoffer

I interrupt this blog to publicly flog myself for a moment.

I have been so lucky of late to have so many blessings in my life. You - yes, YOU! - reading this are counted in those blessings. When I opened my little blog-front I had no idea that you would be stopping here. I remember seeing comments and feeling giddy about them. It was like inviting you in to sit on my front porch swing and have a glass of lemonade {add vodka if you like} and sit and chat awhile.

And then I realized after traveling around the blog-o-sphere that the sort of comments that were left on my blog were really quite remarkable. There is no 'Nice post!' or other suitably brief response left here. No. I can really tell when you are inspired to leave me what I like to think of as 'keep the ball rolling' sort of messages. That tells me that you are aren't scared off by my 'Deep Thoughts' by Jack Handy impressions or my waxing philosophical. That tells me that you like it. {And if you kindly allow your email to be part of your profile I will do my very best to reply to every comment just to 'keep the ball rolling'!}

And that makes me blush all sorts of pinks.

I do hope that this is a place that you can come to be inspired and enlightened and intrigued and moved. I hope you will stretch yourself, make goals, reach higher and realize that you are called to be creative. It is in you, it is in me. Someone told me the other day that when you recognize the call to be creative, no matter what that is, it is your responsibility to share that with the world. I want to continue to encourage you to keep that ball rollin' and the conversation going.

And if you haven't joined the fun, if you are just content to sit in the shadows or wave from across the street, consider coming for a visit. This is one amazingly awesome community but I think to truly be a part of it you have to have a voice. As I told someone recently I really believe the heart of a blog is the comments that you get. You can tell a lot about the company your blog keeps by the comments that you get. I think you all have a lot of heart and for being a part of my grand experiment and encouraging me to continue writing, I thank you.

This summer I had some delightful friends send me things that I have been remiss to thank them for. So I feel that I need to stop right here and give them a shout out.

To Carter Seibels-Singh... for being a bright shining star blazing across the sky and traveling across the country this summer. This newlywed was in the midst of moving her entire Bead Trust store and household from California back to North Carolina to be closer to her family when I caught up with her at the Bead & Button show. While there, I couldn't resist some of her goodies, including some of the best candy I have ever tasted! There was a jar filled strands of beads on the counter with a contest to guess how many were in the jar {213}. The winner got a gift certificate. Well, I came in second place {I think I guessed 216} and was gifted a very generous $100 with which to shop. And since Carter was in the throes of setting up the new massive square foot warehouse, not only was she my angel but she was my personal shopper too! Here is a picture of the loot that I chose....

{Green Girl, C-Koop, shibuichi, sterling butterfly and dragonfly clasps, glass, vintage, rough, shiny, frosted...a super awesome gift! Thanks Carter and the Bead Trust crew!}

To Lori Anderson... she of the Bead Soup fame {can't wait until January for the next soup!}. Lori is wickedly talented, always has interesting things to say and never fails to inspire me. I am so enjoying her Cup of Bead Soup challenge to herself to stay motivated and inspired. I only wish that I had thought of that myself! I am thinking that more bead artists should jump on this wagon that Lori is steering and see what she can create. And I think that bead artists should offer Cup of Bead Soup sets like that who want to follow their creativity where Lori is leading {encourage them to do that, Lori}. What I would do with the same set of ingredients is so different than what Lori is doing... and that is the beauty of trusting your creative soul. Lori had a giveaway on her blog of some really cool Lucite flowers and leaves and I won! I kept returning to a booth filled with these at the Bead & Button but there were too many and I couldn't choose, so this is such a great gift. And here is what I made with them...

To Heather Powers... the Art Bead Scene guru. She has opened up a whole new world to me through that blog. I have been inspired by the monthly challenges. I have been motivated by her business tips. I drool regularly on my computer when I see the lusciousness she creates. I have been fantasizing about going on a cruise with all my friends surrounded by beads and fruity drinks with umbrellas in them. But mostly she has really been a great cheerleader to me. She is the voice of reason when I am giving a million and one excuses why I can't. She doesn't just show me that I can, but she kicks my butt with her spot on advice. I love her so {and it helps that we share the same birthday... I am older than she is but sometimes I feel like the less experienced little sister.} Recently, she gave me a great gift. She invited me to be a regular writer at Art Bead Scene. Did you know that? I am writing monthly under the moniker "Opportunities Knocking." You can read my interview with bead artists Julie Nordine posted just the other day. Check it out! I am just thrilled to be able to combine my love of creating jewelry using art beads and my love of writing. Thank you, Heather for offering me this opportunity.

To Kelly Morgan... my favorite virtual street corner to hang out on for Bead Porn Fridays. Kelly has become a blessing to me in more ways than one. Kelly sent me a goodie package of some beads that may have even been included in a Friday love fest. She is really great at shopping and seeing potential. It will be a great day when we finally meet. We will bolster whatever local economy we are in with chocolates and shoes and beads, of course. Seeing these new treasures inspired me to make a gaggle of earrings for my upcoming show and also this really special bracelet with a beautiful glass flower and leaves that I call "Bloomin' Terrific". Because that is the sort of friend that Kelly is to me.

{'Bloomin' Terrific' bracelet with glass leaf and flower, matte gold flower ruffle chain, silk ribbon inspired by treasures from my friend Kelly}

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." -Albert Schweitzer

Thank you for lighting a flame within me that continues to burn brighter the more that you add to it, by your thoughts, words and deeds.

What is it about my blog that inspires you the most?
If you are someone who comments, why do you think that you can share so freely with me? (Tell me so that I can keep doing it!)
If you are someone who never comments, is there something that would encourage you to do so? (The comments are the heart of the blog and I would love to hear your thoughts!)
What is the most recent kindness that you bestowed on another? Was it something that you got recognized for or was it something anonymous?

Do tell!

Enjoy the day!


mairedodd said...

ah, my favorite schweitzer quote... gratitude opens for sure... (that is going to be on a pair of earrings!)... people do touch each other often in ways they never dream of... by reaching out and staying open we all become 'more'...

Pretty Things said...

Oh, thanks for the shout out! And it's so interesting that you say that you'd make things totally different than I would -- I'd love to see what you'd make! Your creations with lucite are not at all what *I* would make which I think is the beauty of it all -- my eyes get opened to new ideas and patterns and colorways. The eye-opening is what the Bead Soup Blog Party and Cup of Bead Soup is really all about!

I love your jewelry, always like to see what you have made, and that's a great reason to come visit!

Looking forward to meeting you in person at Bead and Button next year!

Lance said...

You inspire me...with words that just feel very much as though they are spoken from deep within you. And in that, I connect. I connect with the beauty of your soul, shining out....

And in all of that, I trust you. I trust, because your true honesty (and care) are so evident...

And that is all so, so good...

...I'll join you for some of the lemonade...

Alice said...

When I visit your blog I always find inspiration, whether it be in the photos you share, the words you write, or the jewelry you make. Even if I don't have time to leave a comment, I leave here inspired.

Lucky you on winning second in Carter's bead contest! And your creations are just lovely--each telling it's own story.

Unknown said...

You are a spark of light in this bloggy world! I learned how to most enjoy the moments I treasure through your inspiration! That's why the title "Inspirationalist" is all yours!!! I leave comments because you appreciate all points of view and can find the good in everyone! I have been very blessed in this new world too! I have found friendships that have become a part of my daily life and treasure them with all my heart! I have been working on "paying it forward" but it is taking longer than I would like but that is a journey all in itself! Thanks for taking me on this ride along with you and yes vodka in the lemonade works for me!


Silver Parrot said...

Thanks for the bloggy love! I'm totally diggin' that bracelet - the flower looks fantastic on it and I NEED some of that gold flower chain LOL! That is too cool!

Virtual street corner, huh? For a fleeting moment I thought maybe you were calling me a bead pimp (or a hooker...not sure which is worse) LOL!

Delta love!

Jeannie said...

I enjoy your blog because it's thought provoking or inspiring and I'm in love with your jewelry. I don't always have time to leave a comment.

I have been donating my time most of my life to serve others and just recently I donated $1000 of my jewelry sales to breast cancer research.

No recognition needed.

Mellisa said...

I always take something away from your blog...but sadly I am one of those quick and shallow commenters with the "lovely work" notes. I do it so you know I'm here reading and that you're appreciated even though it might be fluff from me. You my dear are so gifted with the written word but I am a verbalizer! The moment pen hits paper or fingers hit keys I go blank...This comment is only multiple sentences because I pondered it like I was having a conversation with you first :)

Sheila said...

Dearest Erin: First of all, thank you so much for your heartfelt words and support...glad to know we have an Agnes in common:-) What I love most about your blog is that I feel I know you; your posts are so genuine, so honest, I feel like I've known you for years. It's refreshing and uplifting. You are a positive force and we all need a little more of that. Continue sharing!! Sheila

lunedreams said...

Erin, you more than any other writer I visit asks questions of the reader about his/her inner life. In fact, most blogs don't inquire at all about the reader (I myself get rather carried away with MOI, in fact). And your questions provoke self-exploration. In addition, you share freely about yourself, ups and downs, which I think in itself emboldens others to reveal personal things about themselves. I guess it's what vulnerability does--it encourages trust and reciprocal vulnerability, all by itself, questions aside even. You make the impression on me of an empathetic, accepting person--one that a person would feel "safe" divulging her weaknesses and struggles to, without fear of judgment, and one whose conception of humanity is fluid enough to embrace many different ways of being. I think you will bring a lot of personal depth to ABS. I'm glad you found each other!

EmandaJ said...

Hello Erin,

I LOVE your blog and find myself commenting almost everytime I visit because you write like you are sending me (ME!) a personal letter. I loved having pen-pals when that was the only way to communicate over the miles (besides telephones). So, my dear, I respond to your 'letters' with notes of my own.

Warmest regards,
ArtymeziaATyahoo, etc. etc.

Marie Cramp said...

I love to comment, but sometimes don't have time to because of all the things happening in my life. Your creativity and spirit inspire me! I love to see your amazing pieces just sparkle!! {or it could be the sparkle in my eyes reflecting back to me when I see them}

I unknowingly inspired someone to finally follow a dream. Seeing me with my handmade pieces, she could not resist but try it out herself. Now we have become good friends and share new secrets with each other. Her style is drastically different from mine, but we compliment each other soooo well.

It's your turn to enjoy the day!!

Riki Schumacher said...

Oh Erin, I just love you to death! Love your posts, the insight you write about, the wonderful enlightening things you bring to us, so many more reasons. I know that when I visit, there is a wonderful five course yummy dinner laid out, and I just need to unfold my beautiful napkin and settle in for a delicious meal. Every bite is scrumptious. Please never change a thing.

And thank you for taking the time to leave such wonderful comments. We do have an amazing network of fabulous ladies, and I feel blessed to be a part of it. Hugs, Riki

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

I enjoy your blog because it is so inspiring and makes me want to be more creative and thought provoking in what mom and I do. Your "Inspired By..." pushed me to go for my idea of basing jewelry off my favorite watercolorist Rena Brouwer. You are just plain inspiring girl!
I am bad about commenting. I don't feel like I am good commentor and it is something that I need to improve on.
Mom and I knit preemie hats and chemo caps and then we donate them to local hospitals and the local American Cancer Network. We both enjoy knitting, so we do something enjoyable and are able to donate them to someone who needs them.
Thanks again for sharing your blog with us. I really enjoy coming here to relax and read your wonderful words!
Have an excellent weekend!

Joann Mannix said...

I love your artist's heart. I love the way you so feel your own artistry and you inspire us all to bring forth our own gifts. I love your always, always, inspiring and kind words you leave for me on my blog and I too, am so in love with the beautiful creations you make.

Lori P said...

I will add a big AMEN to your comments! It is like sitting on the front porch swing with a good friend.

Carter said...

Hi Erin-
Thanks for your blog-shout-out! I'm glad you are enjoying your Bead Trust beads. You are so sweet to appreciate the simple things in life. It's those things that really matter. I enjoy taking a few extra minutes for nice and thoughtful people like you. You make my job a pleasure ;-)
I hope you had a wonderfully creative summer. And I look forward to bumping into you again next year at B&B if not before then. I have enjoyed reading your blog and the comments. I have gotten so far out of the blogging world, as this move has taken over my life! But I hope to return soon, and your blog inspires me.

Cindy said...

I think I enjoy reading your blog because it is just so upbeat and positive! I think we can all use that encouragement in our lives at times. After leaving your blog, I feel I always have a fresh perspective...and feel so inspired!


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