A big HUG came in the mail today.
I have been blogging since 2006, and when I started this blog I had no idea if anyone would read a single word of it. Back then my internet "neighborhood" looked nothing like it does today. I used Flickr a heck of a lot more, and I only had a few fave blogs that I followed. I started my own blog very soon after Aaron's near fatal van crash. Prior to the crash we had been living a super fast paced life. We had been making and painting our own line of furniture, and had a home accessories collection...both of which we sold to stores all over the US. We were often being featured in our favorite magazines and in general, we were sorta on fire. But then it all came to a grinding halt.
Aaron was laid up for quite a while and there were several surgeries over a handful of years. It was a long hard road and most of it was spent at home. Running our business at full speed was no longer possible, but we still needed to make a living…so we had to figure out how to live life at half speed and half strength. To start out we took some of the artwork that we had been selling in our real life retail location, and listed it on ebay. Everything sold right away. So then we started doing lots and lots of that stuff…mainly one-of-a-kind pieces of wall art. Aaron did most of his work on a little work table that he'd pull up to the side of our pull-out couch. No heavy lifting required.
Anyway, it was in that period that I started blogging. I desperately needed a social outlet and the blog world was amazing back then. It was the days before Facebook and people were really passionate about blogs. On average a post would get like 30-50 comments. And oh jeez, the swaps were insane! I even hosted a few. Some of the swaps had over 70 participants. (was I crazy?)
I have so many great memories of those early blogging days. Many of my fave bloggers no longer blog these days, and we now keep in touch through Facebook.
I still love blogging and I hope to start doing more of it. I love sharing bits of our life with you guys, and it's a thrill to see comments from names that I've been reading since those early days. I love knowing that we're still connected!
These days, hands down, my absolute favorite social media platform is Instagram. For me it is the closest thing to the old days of blogging. There really is such an amazing sense of community. Makers, Crafters, and Artists all supporting each other. We've got swaps, giveaways, get togethers, shared hashtags, we get to check in on friends daily…see what they are buying, wearing, eating, making. And I love how easily I can scroll back to see what me and Aaron have been up to for the past few weeks or months…in seconds I can just flick my finger and see a colorful stream of snapshots from our life.
Wow, I had no intentions of being so wordy in this post. I guess this most recent act of generosity and community has got me feeling nostalgic. But I can go on all night, so let me cut to the chase. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have heard that recently we had some of our artwork stolen and used on a toy that is sold by some very big stores. It was a shock and a heartbreak. But I don't really want to get into all of that right now. It's all too negative and this is a positive post.
This post is all about our Instagram creative community being alive and well. And some stellar proof of that arrived in the mail today.
We got a package on our doorstep. It arrived totally out of the blue, with a return address from Kelley of Candelles. Kelley, along with a handful of incredibly talented and very very kind gals from Instagram all collaborated to put together a care package to cheer me and Aaron up and to let us know that they support us and that we are a part of an amazing community. To say that I was overwhelmed with emotion would be the understatement of the year. Just wow! Kelley sent me a custom Cake scented candle with this sweet sentiment on the label. I've been burning it the past hour and it is wonderful!
This hand lettered print is by the incredibly talented Eva Taylor. The message is so perfect and it will hang as a constant reminder in our studio. Eva is so gifted when it comes to typography.
This beautiful hand embroidered hoop is by Kristen of Gulush Threads. Kristen is also the gal hosting the Galentine's swap I mentioned in my last post.
How beautiful is this floral? And that lettering is so so sweet!
Can you even handle how cute this is? A one of a kind hand stitched dream catcher from Made by Betty B. Customized with Everyday is a Holiday and bunny ears! How could you have bad dreams with this hanging in your home?
Isn't it adorable? Jeez, I can't even believe all of these amazing gifts.
And these fun fun fun prints from my friend Kelsey of Honey and the Hive. I love her style! so vibrant and happy!
Kelsey also sent along this hoop. I'm pretty sure it is also a Made by Betty B. piece.
I love this saying: "There are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it".
I adore this beautiful hand stitched necklace from Ruthie of My Trash and Treasure. I love the colors and the contrast of the geometric design set against the antique brass. So pretty! And Ruthie also sent along a Starbucks gift card. So incredibly thoughtful!
I'm just so blown away by how kind and generous and thoughtful these gals are. My gosh, I never thought today's mail would bear such a big big box of really good medicine. I'm so thankful for the friendships I have made through blogging, flickr, Facebook, ebay, etsy, and now Instagram! The world truly gets smaller every day.
Sure, you come across lots and lots of depressing stuff online…but it's up to us to look for the positive good stuff.
I hope you'll check out all of these sweet and talented gals on Instagram and in their online shops. I'm honored to be connected to all of these super talented people.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for being here!
xo Jenny…and Aaron says hi!