I have to be honest, I am questioning whether I can really call myself a blogger anymore, since I don't actually seem to be blogging at the moment. Hmmmm. But if I start to question why I blog, or whether I should just call it a day, meetings with lovely fellow bloggers usually do the trick to get me back in the groove again.
So it has been recently. Most of you know Emma from Silverpebble - lovely, clever, sparkly, silvery Emma. But did you also know she is a patient and enthusiastic teacher, and bakes a mean blueberry muffin? She had the marvellous idea recently of a skills swap - and over the last two Wednesdays we have made it happen, with just two 2 hour sessions. She has opened the door for me to the bewitching new world of silver artclay and enticed me in with encouraging words, lots of reassurance and just the right number of excited squeaks.
LOOK! I MADE THESE! ME!
I tried to be brave when Emma set them on fire, and stopped my bottom lip from quivering when she started scrubbing at them with a steel brush but lookie, lookie, they really are silver! I should warn you that if you've ever used polymer clay, or indeed Playdoh, you are going to find silver clay HORRIBLY beguiling. Bank managers beware.
She even showed me how to make figure eight loops for necklace closures - I've done a fair bit of jewellery making before but always with cheapo beads and tarnishing wire. Oh dear. I think I'm really in trouble now.
In return I helped Emma to set up her inherited sewing machine which, all praise the sewing gods, started up first time, had well behaved tension and more even stitching than mine often does. We threaded it, we wound bobbins, we had a few thready tangles but sorted them out - and it's good to see those horrible bobbin related knots early on and realise they're not terminal, right? We made a little calico bag, and will be moving on to more ambitious projects on both sides very soon, I hope! (And this us where I really lose the right to call myself a blogger, because do I have photos? No. Fortunately Emma does ...)
So, Emma's idea, and it really is a good one, is to encourage crafty bloggers - yes, that's you - to find people who you might like to swap a skill with. It doesn't have to be silver jewellery making, it could be how to make your trademark scones or cakes, how to plan a veggie garden or what to do to get spuds ready for planting, how to crochet a granny square, how to arrange flowers, anything! It only takes an hour or two, some refreshments - which don't need to be fancy or indeed home made - and you'll be in for some fab chatting and something lovely to take home at the end! And if you're really lucky, a cuddle with a couple of tiny Pebbles - though to be fair I can't guarantee they'll be able to attend every swap.