“Jenn, you are one of the most conscientious sellers I've come across. Plus you are so sweet on a consistent basis!”
- Cindy, Artfire Buyer

“My granddaughter loves it!! Thanks for making it "her size"!! “ - Janna from Etsy

“Jenn, I love my perfect little avatile!!! It's adorable. Thanks so much, I'll be ordering MORE! xxoo” - Holly from SpoiledBratzWear

“My fave! Love it!” - J, Etsy Buyer

“Jenn, I love the custom pendant you made for me - it is perfect!”- Marion from Artfire

“Super fast shipping! THANKS SO MUCH!!!!” - Etsy Buyer

“Absolutely GORGEOUS!! Great service, FAST shipping - beautiful work!! I'll be back for more!! Thank you!”
- BWDesigns (Custom Order), Artfire

“All I can say is WOW!!! This is one of the MOST beautiful pieces I have ever purchased - wonderful seller, great communication and gorgeous work!!!! Thank you!!” - Judith (Custom Order), Artfire

“I love it! Thanks!” - Etsy Buyer

“I received my pendant today and it arrived in perfect condition. Thank you so much... it's beautiful and I love it!!!”
- Custom Order, Artfire

"This turned out better than I could have imagined! Even the packaging is A++++! I LOVE IT!! THANKS NINJA!!" - Laura (Avi-Tiles Custom Order), Artfire

"Ninja, so sorry it took me so long to tell you how much I love my cats! I guess it never occurred to me there were 2 pages of purchases! This is purrrrrrfect!" - Ali, Artfire Buyer

"absolutely gorgeous. I will wear her proudly...thanks Jenn" - Joy, Artfire Buyer

01 April 2009

A Trip to the Beach

Since the day I joined Artfire I have been in love. I love the people in the forums. I love the art on the front page. I love the staff who treat us like real people (not just dollar signs and statistics). I love the sense of community and feeling of family I get when I am there. I even love the off color humor and tiffs we get into sometimes. I just love being there.

But I feel like that is all about to change.

You know that feeling when you're standing on a beach and the tide goes out? The way you can feel as the ocean pulls away from the sand, desperately trying to take you away with it? How it seems as though, at any moment, the very earth beneath you will just crumble and erode away?

Well, that's how I feel right now.

This "beach" that I am on is washing away.... and I am scared I may have built my sandcastle a little too close to the waves. I can feel my walls crumbling a bit.... and I can look around this "beach" and see a lot of other castles that are in danger as well. These waters we've seen lately have been kind of stormy, and a lot of new things have washed up on our beach. Some days have brought beautiful things, while other days have deposited only debris.

In the last few weeks our beach has seen a lot of new castles being built. There are small, simple, almost timid ones. There are the standard "straight from the bucket ones". There are grandiose palaces with all sorts of adornments. And, sadly, there are even some builders who have chosen to build forts designed to do nothing but keep the other builders away.

I love these castles around me. Each one is different. Each turret is unique. Each gives me a glimpse of the heart of its builder. I don't want to watch them all wash away.

But the tides are inevitable. They are ruthless and unforgiving. They will go out. They will take with them at least some of these things I've seen lovingly built.

My only hope is that when the tide does go out it won't take me with it.

I've poured my heart and soul into the castle I've been building here. I've walked this beach, day after day, offering help to my fellow builders. I've wiped sand from eyes when it was kicked there by another. I've helped rebuild after bullies stomped castles to the ground. I've even tried to draw blueprints when newcomers couldn't find how to begin their own castles.

I know that not all castles are built on a strong foundation. I realize that some are too close to the sea, others are too far. I am aware that the bullies may not ever fully leave this beach I love. I understand that there will always be days when the waters are rough, or the winds are too strong, to be any good for building.

I just hope that I can remind myself, and my fellow beach lovers, that the tides, just as they go out, will one day come in again.

I pray that when they do turn, I will be able to look down this beautiful shoreline and see each of those castles I love still standing, mine included. I will not be taken out with this tide. Try as they may, the bullies will not storm my castle and get away with it. This beach is mine, and it is yours, and it is our job to defend the things we've built upon it... and to rebuild when necessary.

I know it's scary when the bullies are around. I can see see the fear in the faces around me. I can hear the doubt in your words. But I am begging each of you to not be taken in by them. Don't let yourself become a destroyer. Don't let our beach become desolate and ruined like so many other beaches we've seen. Remind yourself that it is more fun, and more wonderful, to take this sand and make something beautiful from it. Remember that storms will pass and sunny days are ahead. Know that the bullies will one day tire of this beach if we just ignore them and continue to build.

And, in the meantime, if you need help building (or even rebuilding) your castle, just let me know... I will do all I can to help beautify this beach I love...


Suzbax April 1, 2009 at 9:42 AM  

That was absolutely beautiful. You have so many talents. I love this story and agree with it's meaning. It takes so much negative energy to maintain a fight. And so much joy to be had when we all get along and respect each other. Thanks for inspiring me this morning. You are the type of person that I love to be around.


Linda B April 1, 2009 at 11:42 AM  

Beautifully written.

I'm only walking the beach there, and I have a tiny window shop. But, I'm so glad to know you.


Marion's Dream Works April 1, 2009 at 11:53 AM  

Jenn - so beautifully written and I have felt the same way over the past few days. I'm going to continue to strengthen the foundation of my sand castle with the help of those like yourself! Thank you for sharing... thank you for the inspirational words! You truly are a wonderful and talented individual who has nothing but love to share with others!

Holly Joy April 1, 2009 at 11:58 AM  

Perfectly said!!! Your love is contageous :)

Karrie April 1, 2009 at 11:59 AM  

Your words are so true and so strong! You have a wonderful heart and soul and do so much for all of us. We learn so much from you and you are a huge part of my world and plan on learning so much more from you.
We will keep our heads high and protect each other from these bullies. Hopefully they will leave our happy place and get bored of all the happiness and fun one day!
I am right there with you and will do what I can to help in anyway!
I really and truly appreciate you for your kindness and huge heart!


Ninja Jenn™ April 1, 2009 at 2:57 PM  

each of you are the reason i love it here so much....

thank you for being who you are, and for helping to make my daily life more wonderful and precious...

it's truly my pleasure to have made such awesome friends as you


coltpixy April 1, 2009 at 3:16 PM  

How beautiful!
I am still building my castle. I have been building it slowly and cautiously because I want the blocks holding the walls to be strong and solid.
The friendships I have made along my way mean the world to me and I am not going to let any tide take that away.

Deronda designs... April 1, 2009 at 3:31 PM  

Awww...nothing warms my soul more than to see the strong walls of friendship grow, and how all are welcomed without question. Thank you Jen.

Unknown April 1, 2009 at 6:05 PM  

Beautifully written! You are a true artist and an awesome friend!

Ninja Jenn™ April 1, 2009 at 6:22 PM  

i love you guys... really i do

:teary eyed a little:


catinalife April 1, 2009 at 10:15 PM  

Great Jenn....if we stand together we are a mighty force.

Unknown April 1, 2009 at 11:11 PM  

I totally agree with you. I even learned how to use twitter feed because of you. Boy do oh you a big thank you

Vintage Jewelry Collector April 2, 2009 at 12:58 AM  

Well put Jenn.

This is one castle that won't be washed away. And I'll be there to keep building and help others build their castles when asked, needed, and capable.

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