The internet is such a strange place. Like you, I follow some blogs and have my conversations in my head with the writers of the blogs I read. The writers and artists who share their lives even though they may be thousands of miles away have become my pretend friends. Living here at our farm, working isolated from colleagues, fellow writers and crafters, I create alone. When I decided to try to make a go of this writing and designing business of mine I discovered that there were others out there doing similar things. These women gave me strength to chart my own journey in the world wide web.
With my very slow dial-up connection, I discovered blogs in 2006. Shortly after, I signed into Blogger and began this blog journey of mine. I struck up some friendships or (mostly) lurked behind my computer screen. Over the years, different bloggers have inspired me. As my business has morphed and my creativity has moved among all the different things I am interested in - color, yarn, knit, crochet, embroidery, farming, cooking, color, photography and general crafts - the internet has been a lifesaver for me to see that other women (mostly) are making their own success too. It has been really inspiring for me to see others succeed and share their struggles and lives with the world out here.
This week I have been thinking a lot about how the internet has changed my work life over the past few years. The internet has made places very far away known to me. This would not have happened even a decade ago. As I sit here painting, planning, and making for my next big book project, I keep thinking about the loss the internet craft world has suffered this week with the untimely loss of Kathreen Ricketson - the founder of the uber-fabulous craft blog Whip-Up and her husband Rob Shugg. Kathreen and her family were on a trip of a lifetime traveling for a year around Australia. She was documenting their year camping, exploring and making while also writing a book.
Yesterday I discovered that Kay and Ann at Mason-Dixon Knitting were planning a Whip-Up Celebration of Kathreen's life. I jumped at the chance to write this post. Kathreen was very kind to me over the years, linking to my blog several times and reviewing my books. Whip-Up has been a go-to place for me - for inspiration, tutoriala, and general crafty goodness. I especially loved last summer's series of interviews here which included Ann Shayne's great essay on self-publishing.
The crafty internet will be a little less vital with Kathreen's loss. My heart goes out to her children Otilija and Orlando who are now both motherless and fatherless. If you have any money available in your Paypal account, join in with many of us who have made a non-tax deductible donation to Kathreen's children's education fund. You can find the full details here on the Whip-Up blog.
If you have never visited Whip-Up, check it out here. There is a wealth of knowledge that Kathreen shared over the years. Her Action Pack series of downloadable PDF books is great for home-schoolers or for parents looking to do something fun with their children this summer. Any purchase of the Action Pack series will help their children too.
Have a great weekend everyone. Hug your children, family and friends.