Monday, January 9, 2012

Pay It Forward

There are lots of friendly and helpful people in this world.  I would never have guessed that complete strangers would be willing to help me out and offer me advice, but they do.  These are people I have never met outside of cyberspace.  And no, cyberspace is not filled with pervs (I’m sure they are there, I just haven’t run across any).  As it turns out, it is filled with great people.

Earlier this year, my husband was REALLY into Twitter.  I couldn’t figure out what the attraction was.  Tweeting with people you don’t know?  No thanks, I’ll stick with Facebook.  My husband is not a fan of Facebook, continually telling me how much cooler Twitter was.  Okay, fine, I will try Twitter out and see what is up with it.  Why would anyone else in the world care about what I have to say in 140 characters or less (then again, why would you care about my blog?)?  So I started to tweet.  And I picked up a few fans.

As I stated in an earlier blog (“Never Stop Learning” ) I try to learn a new skill every year.  Last year I took on two skills.  I not only started to learn chainmaille, but I also decided to try my hand at lampworking.  In the vein of the best way to learn is by doing, I bought a lampworking kit at Hobby Lobby.  It was a $99.00 kit and I had a 40% off coupon so I decided what the heck.  If I don’t like it, I haven’t wasted too much money.  I followed the directions and started to make beads.  I also reached out on Twitter to a couple of lampwork artists to ask for any advice.  One person responded, Maybeads.  She is a lampwork artist who creates whimsical animal beads.  Her beads ARE cute!  She responded to my call for help/advice.  I’m so glad she did.  The bead release that came with my kit was complete crap.   I broke about half the beads I made trying to get them off the mandrel.  Maybeads was kind enough to answer a number of my questions and tell me where she bought some of her supplies.  If you would like to check out Maybeads animal beads, you can find her Etsy store at  .

“Never Stop Learning” was one of my early blogs.  A fellow blogger, Saturday Sequins, reached out to me.  I then looked up her blog.  She has a great blog so I started to follow her.  It turns out we have similar interests and we have had some similar experiences lately.  She was also getting ready to write her 50th blog.  She ran a contest up to her 50th blog.  She was going to give away a grab bag of sparkles and sequins.  I was so excited about the possibility of winning!  Of course, much like the lottery, I figured that I wouldn’t, but it was still fun to think about.  Guess what?  I won!  I was so excited!  My winnings arrived the other day and so far I have designed a pair of earrings with them (pictured at the end of this blog).  Saturday Sequins creates many lovely sparkly creations.  So far, I have seen her do a lot of work with seed beads and buttons.  I can’t wait to see what she does next.  You can follow her blog at .

I could continue to blog about the great people I’ve “met” through Twitter, but that’s really not the point of today’s post.  The point is that people can be good and kind, perhaps someone who will answer a complete stranger’s questions or people who will help support and encourage people they have never met but with whom they share common interests.  I encourage you to act like these people and pay it forward.  Small business is the backbone of our economy and our nation.  I feel we must support these people and help them survive and thrive.  How does a small business compete with Wal-Mart and their every-other-commercial advertising budget?  A small business can’t.  I believe  the power to help small business is within each one of us.  If you go to a small mom and pop restaurant and love it, spread the word.  Tweet about it; put it on Facebook or whatever social media you use.  If you run across a small business that you like or you feel has great products or good service, let others know!  If you see someone who is starting in your line of business, don’t see it as competition; help them out if you can.  Answer a question or lend some advice.  I think if everyone’s business increases, we all win!

That’s just my two cents.  If you have two cents you’d like to put in, please leave a comment (Then we’d have four cents – ha!).  Remember, Pay it Forward!

Until Tomorrow – Melissa.
 Earrings made with some of my prize winnings


  1. Melissa, those earrings are adorable! I'm glad you're having fun with your box of sparklies, and I'm so happy that you won my prize.

    I agree with you about supporting small businesses. I believe there's no such thing as competition amongst artists, only collaboration, and that a win for one of us is a win for us all. Which probably sounds corny, but it's true. :)

  2. Those sequins told me - I need to be made into earrings, so I did. Gotta listen to your raw materials!

    I think Americans have forgotten how to buy things from small businesses. I think Wal-Mart/Target /Best Buy have their place, but we need to remember the small craftsman too. Americans have forgotten how to make stuff. If you complain about the quality of China/Wal-Mart items, do something about it. Learn out to make stuff, not just google it.