Get ready to jump in the water!

I'm an only child, so I've spent a lot of time alone in my life. I'm mostly fine with that. With my recent move to a new city, I have felt more alone at times than I would like. But after the trip I took in March, my perspective on aloneness has shifted tenfold. 

I had the joy of traveling to England to work with our team there and at the Big Bead Show, hosted by Bead & Jewellery Magazine, our sister publication in the UK. My photo above is of me with Katie Dean, Bead's editor. It was tons of fun meeting so many beaders and jewelry makers, several of whom are reading this now! If that's you, hello again! After that, the excitement really began: I took a three day holiday in Berlin. I'd wanted to go there for many years. Having taken three German classes in college and traveled to Vienna, I figured I'd do just fine. Plus, there's the Philharmonic. Sadly, I missed out on the orchestra, but I did see many sights that you probably think of, like the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall Memorial, and the Berlin Cathedral. 

However, the historical facts I learned don't overshadow what I learned about aloneness. I not only traveled alone, I was in a nation whose language I didn't remember as well as I thought, I didn't have cell phone service or consistent Wi-Fi, and what I did was entirely up to me. I can probably count on my fingers the number of words I said over those three days. I wanted to blend in and observe. And if I'd opened my mouth and started talking to someone, well, I'd have been exposed as an American tourist. Not what I wanted. These were some interesting three days - needless to say, I was ready for some human connection by the end. 

Now I'm back in Minnesota, where, despite still being a "new girl," I'm not as alone as I may have thought. I've got my friends and family, and of course, I've got you, my dear readers and beaders! The community of artists is a strong one. It amazes me how happy beaders and jewelry makers are to share their work with others. One of our featured artists this issue, Kyra Dornish, told me how much she loves seeing others wearing her pieces. Another, Barbara Briggs, says she finds great joy when artists buy her components on Etsy and send her photos of the pieces they've made with them. You're never fully alone when you're an artist. 

I've also got stories to share from the Big Bead Show. Meeting Katie and the other members of the UK team was another good reminder that I'm not alone - I have a Bead Me family across the pond, too! 

I hope you enjoy this beachy issue, where you can take a dive into projects of all kinds - from seed beading to polymer clay to fabric beads. There's something for everyone! 

Remember: you are not alone, even when you most feel like it.

Brita Moore, Editor

Handmade on the farm? Yes really! Our studios are based in rural countryside and aptly named The Digital Farm. You are welcome to drop in for coffee anytime. We might even get you working on a project.


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