For various reasons, I don’t have the Twitter widget in my sidebar anymore, but if you follow me there (I go by jadesfire2808), you may just have had your ears rung on Tuesday when I won vouches for The Cloth Seller in The Sewing Directory’s 6 month giveaway. Now, you already know that I can’t say enough nice things about The Sewing Directory, and I’m now adding The Cloth Seller to that list, because look what arrived this afternoon!

It’s the Geo Grand bundle, and I love that it comes with a certificate of origin. Ethical and local sourcing is becoming increasingly important to me, and having got into the habit of only buying food that way, I’m working on doing the same for crafts.

More than that, though, it’s really been a week to get my brain going.

I’ve got a lot going on in my life right now, but one of the things that has completely taken me aback has been the sheer generosity, kindness and efficiency of people around me. On Wednesday afternoon, my friend let me descend on her and her new baby when I really just needed a place to be and be looked after. Another friend has invited me to join her for an exciting experience, another did me a huge transatlantic favour, and yet another is willing to make a 2.5 hour train journey to see me. I love helping people out, but somehow, I’m always surprised when people return the favour, you know?

The craft world is no different. People share their creativity, their time and their brains with no thought of getting anything in return. It’s just done, and we all do it, because we know it goes and comes around. It’s a true community, in a way that still startles me. I’m not always good with online communities in particular, since I find not being able to see people’s faces makes it very hard for me to judge tone. How do I know if what I’m saying will be taken the right way, or if I’ve understood right, if I can’t see how people are responding? I’m slowly learning that actually, the process is the same. You talk, you see what happens, and you go on from there. It’s not rocket science, and it takes the same kind of effort and work as relationships in the physical world. But what it also takes for me is an effort of belief that I’m not taking up their valuable time, that I am somehow worth talking to. Anyone who’s suffered from depression knows that some days, that just seems like an impossible belief to hold, but I’m hanging onto it, one day at a time.

I’ve found wonderful people on the internet that I’ve had a lot of contact with – The Sewing Directory, The Fabric Loft, Sew Curvy – and more that I’ve been too shy to talk to, but have admired from afar. I’m just starting to get to the courage point where I can Tweet back to some of them, and maybe put myself into the community a little more. Normally, the winter is the time of year when I batten down the hatches and wait for spring. This winter feels like when everything’s about to happen. And if everyone else carries on like this, it’s going to be a great few months.


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