I grew up in a household surrounded by beautiful things - not expensive or 'over the top' beauty but things of beauty created by my mother. Both me and my sister grew up with the prettiest of dresses, from the time we were toddlers right thru' our teens. She is also a fantastic cook and an excellent homemaker. It has been a natural process therefore to want to constantly 'create' things of beauty myself. I've taught myself to crotchet, to knit, to sew. However, the one hobby that has consumed me, is of course my latest adventure in this wonderful craft of beading.

When I started out on this little project which I like to describe as a hobby, I only had one thing on my mind - to create jewellery for my daughter, my family and my friends. Never did I imagine that it would evolve into a culture that would change my life.

In this last year, I have had the privelege and honour of being exposed to true artists. Artists who are unselfish with their compliments and constructive criticism. I have always had this feeling of "is my work good enough" and that in itself is not a bad thing because it has forced me to look to other artists so that I might improve. One of these wonderful people (and trust me, I've come to know many since joining Flickr) who has touched my life has been Jessica Moreau-Berry - not because she has made positive comments about me but because she is so absolutely talented and is extremely blase about it. Apart from creating jewellery from 'junk' (her words not mine ;D) she is a painter who has turned old, junk furniture into collectors items. I am of course enamoured by the life she leads. I used to dream of living in a cottage (my dream cottage would fit into one of the back pockets of her farmhouse)by the lake and to be able to indulge in artistic pursuits then to sit on the front or back porch of my house just to 'chill' and watch the day go by. Jes is able to do all that in her 150 year old farm in Maine, USA.

Today I read a post that Jes has entered in her blog. In it she speaks of sharing - I have always felt that people in the arts could and would be more successful if they open their minds and their hearts and work together. Sharing is not a bad thing on some level. I don't mean sharing your secrets,techniques, ideas, but sharing yourself. Not always being concerned that someone thought something up before you, or jealous. - Jes has summed up in this short paragraph what Simone and I have been trying to do in sharing our work and in connecting and complimenting other great crafters. It takes a certain amount of confidence to say the things that Jes speaks about and I want to 'promote' her site so that us lesser mortals will learn a lesson from this wonderful gal from Maine, USA. Its about 'sharing', about connecting with people across the world, about promoting friendships and not about envy or competition. Another great artist who is also a quiet achiever is my friend from the other side of this world, Karin. Only if you know Karin well enough and know her background will you be amazed at how far she's come. I look to these talented people for my inspiration, to remind myself that there are other people more talented than myself and that I have a long way to go. In my learning process I will keep my eyes and my heart open! Life will be so much more fulfilling when you look at your neighbour and say "what a beautiful garden she has, how can I grow my plants so that they flower just like hers" rather than "I wish my plants were more beautiful than hers". A simplistic overview but the message is strong.

To all my friends from across the world, you will never know how you have changed my life, made me a better person, thank you ;D


S said...

Awww.. This is a super sweet post!

Guess what? You and Simone have been an inspiration too.. I've just completed a set of paper mache beads. For a first timer, they're actually pretty huge beads (hahaha!). Think Chuppa Chups.

I'll take some shots soon =)

Jess has been a super inspiraton too! If only she wasn't that far away... haha!

Hmm.. the world seems so much smaller with the advancement of the Internet. Technology is a beautiful thing (for the right reasons).

In the meantime, you take *super* care of yourself (so there'd be more of your creations. HAHA!!)

Belinda Lee said...

Hi Shuilin!

Isn't technology fantastic? I think we're all so blessed to have this 'connectivity' and to be able to share and to make friends all over the world. All barriers torn down, distance 'shortened' (not short enough but still.......)and no envy or animosity.

I'm very happy that the true spirit of friendship is being spread thru' our 'craftiness' ;p

I look forward to seeing your beads.