Saturday, June 19, 2010

friends with {benefits}

(Just a heads up... No photos today!)

Before we were married, my husband used to play World of Warcraft. A lot. (Any of you with friends or loved ones into online RPGs will, I'm sure, understand this situation.) He used to talk about his WoW "friends" and I hated that he called them that. Frankly, it kind of scared me that he couldn't distinguish between his real friends and random people all over the world who he happened to be playing games with and really knew nothing about.

I've mentioned before in this blog that I'm fairly new to the scrapbooking world as a community - online and in "real life." I've been crafting literally my entire life, but the world of classes and crops, manufacturers and collection kits, techniques and tutorials is so new in my life... If I'm remembering right, it was just after Christmas 2009 that I stumbled onto all of this. I'm still constantly checking for tutorials on youtube, still looking up acronyms used in forums, still asking stupid questions that I'm sure have been answered a million times. But I realize now why my husband called those people his friends; the blogs I read and forums I participate in have become such an amazing source of inspiration and motivation in my life. I've also started trying to take some classes at my LSS - OK, so I've taken one so far but there's another in August I'm looking forward to! - which is adding another layer of fantastic dimension to my becoming part of this community.

I'll be honest, I can't really bring myself to think of these crafters as friends. It's more like how I pretend to myself that Rachael Ray and Sarah Jessica Parker are my friends :) Even though these crafters often have never met each other, they've built amazing and true friendships over many years, and I know I will never be able to "infiltrate" the community to that extent. I'm honest with myself: I am not a peer to this group of amazing women in any sense of the definition - not in age, not in lifestyle, not in skill level. But, even though they don't know me from a hole in the wall, they have an amazing impact on my day-to-day life for which I really am truly grateful.

So here's the story....

Recently, the lovely lady who writes the first crafting blog I ever found, Kimberly Crawford, did a week-long series of tutorials using the Spellbinders Borderabilities dies. I've had my Wizard for a while but I don't use it a lot because I don't have many dies. I tried a technique she did in one of her videos, but I wasn't a very good student, didn't listen well, and completely messed up. So I commented on her blog asking for help. She, in turn, replied to my query, except she did so through a comment on my blog. So thoughtful - that way I would be certain to see her reply and her comment wouldn't get lost in the shuffle. Plus, I was psyched that somebody as talented as Kimberly had taken a peek at my little blog! :) In her comment, she asked me to email her when I had the chance, and gave me her email address. "That's funny," I thought to myself. "Why can't I just comment back?" But I did as she'd asked and thanked her for her thoughtful response in a personal email. Not long after, I got the following email reply:
"I saw on your blog that you just got into Copics. I was wondering if you would like a couple of Pure Innocence images from MFT? I have a couple that I have used a couple times and would love to give them a new home. If you want them, give me your address and I will send them."
WHOA! Um, hold on, what? Wow! SO amazing, generous, and thoughtful to offer stamp sets to a stranger! And then, a couple days later, I get another email from Kimberly, telling me she accidentally bought a duplicate Copic marker, and if I want it, she'll throw it in the package with the stamps. Amazing. I feel so lucky, so blessed, to have the presence of these incredible cyberspace 'friends' in my life, inspiring me and fueling my own innate creative forces. Thank you Kimberly! This may all seem insanely melo-dramatic, but I want to express how very much the generosity and openness of the entire scrapbooking/cardmaking/papercrafting community means to this newbie.

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