Well, I've been a busy little bee since I last posted.
The new Bead Mavens are up and running to a great welcome...thanks so much for that. It took me 18 months to feel good enough about people again to do it but I'm so glad I did and I think the new format is going to be terrific.
I gathered six designers who write or are starting to write tutorials and I help/mentor them as much as they need to become better known and grow their businesses. Why would I help my competition you ask? Because I believe in "Pay It Forward" and the bead community as a whole. I believe if we help each other we all benefit.
The whole idea about the Bead Mavens is to share, share what we know, what we've learned, how we do things. One thing I learned while teaching was that not all tutorials/patterns are equal and you tend to have to buy blind. I had many students bring me patterns to decipher and sometimes I had a hard time trying to figure out a thread path for them....yes, it stunned me that some patterns don't have a thread path and you're expected to figure it out for yourself. So, having the Mavens do two free tutorials for the blog in their year stint let's you, the beady reader, see just how they write and if it's a style that works for you. You get a free tutorial and they get the exposure and maybe some new customers...win/win, right?
I personally have 12 free tutorials available right now over at Bead Mavens...and 13 if you count Crystal Corners on this blog. My spirit of sharing even though this is what I do for a living.
Anyway...that's one thing underway.
I also finally finished my Doodad trio of tutorials...YAY! and my Tile & Hinge bracelet tutorial...they are listed and selling well...thank you so much :)
Yesterday after some discussion on Facebook with other designers I was encouraged to open a discussion group so we could share information and ideas about how better to protect our written works. There is much confusion about copyright law out there and I'm not sure it's yet caught up to our high speed world. I do know that some unethical characters are taking projects published in magazines, scanning them and putting them up on their own websites and Facebook pages. Whilst looking at one of these after being alerted for someone else's work I found one of my own tutorials, my name taken off, no credit or link given. I certainly didn't give permission for that.
I'm not sure any designer would be for this kind of thing but maybe some don't need to make money from their work so it wouldn't matter to them.
As tutorials are my sole income it matters to me. I stopped submitting to magazines because of this kind of thing and I know a lot of designers who have done the same, some even stopping selling online or even posting pictures of their work for fear of losing their income, opting instead to teach locally where they have control but their income is then very limited. Sad!
I've developed a very tough skin lately. I just reached a point where I said "I quit!" and I thought about that. To quit doing what I love and what gives me and my Mom financial security is crazy...so I decided to quit letting the unethical behavior of others get to me. I'm chock full of designs...more than I can make if I never have another idea and I bead till I'm 100!
So I move on when someone does wrong by me and I trust in Karma to take care of me as it has done in the past and I will not feel guilty if Karma has a heavy hand as it has also done. Scares me for people but that's theirs to deal with.
In my old age...I'l be 55 this year...OMG how did THAT happen?....I have developed a full belief in myself that can't be shaken anymore. It's a great place to get to....to be able to not let the bullies in the world get to you, to feel so confident in who you are as a person that you no longer worry what people think of you....and in fact when someone does say bad things it just makes you laugh and then maybe feel a bit sorry for that person who obviously hasn't reached that good spot in life.
I'm like Sheldon Cooper I have found my spot. Such freedom. Such happiness. Such joy :)