Sunday, February 20, 2011

Let's Meet!

One of the reasons I spend so much time visiting blogs, finding new blogs, and commenting on blogs is to find a sense of companionship and community.

When I was a little girl, I didn't live in a residential community but on a dead-end street.  Play dates?  Nope.  After-school activities?  Not until I got a worker's permit at 15 and got a job.  I spent most of my time in my room with a book or a pen and paper or a typewriter, and in school kept mostly to myself.

I thought I was going to be going to college after high school, and in fact had been accepted to three with some decent scholarships, but not decent enough.  I couldn't leave my home town fast enough, so off to the military I went.

On the way to Korea in 1988.

For the first time, I had friends -- friends plural.  I lived in the middle of tons of people, roomed with awesome roommates, and developed the types of friendships that last to this day.  But the bad thing about making close relationships while in the military is one day you're sitting in your room, ready to call someone to go to lunch, and you realize, almost everyone has been transferred to a far-away city.  Heck, another country

Custom map bracelet by Sherry Truitt (she'll put your city on a piece for you!)

Even living alone, pre-husband, pre-child, I traveled alone, both to US and foreign cities alike.  Believe me, I have a novel's-worth of experiences inside of me, and one day I'll write that novel, but for now, my point is, things have changed.

I've reached a point with health, husband, child, and physical location where tons of travel just isn't possible.  This year, I WILL be going to BeadFest in April and Bead & Button in June, but if it's not two hours from me, I just don't go.

Here's where I'm going with this.  

Out of all the followers of this blog, there have to be some within my area.  I'm about an hour and fifteen minutes from Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC.  I'm about 45 minutes from Annapolis, MD.  I don't mind a two-hour drive.  Surely within those cities, or around their area, there have to be beaders and bead makers of all types who would love to have a Starbucks and chat.  So give me a shout!  Email me with where you live and let's see what we can do!

I'm betting I'm not the only person who interfaces more with blogs and email than they do in person.  

Let's change that.

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.


  1. Lori I live right outside of Nashville Tenn. and I hope one of these days I would be lucky enough to meet you. Perhaps at one of those bead shows.

  2. I have family in Virginia, but I live in the Turks and Caicos Islands...I'll have a virtual coffee with you though!

  3. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and making a comment! I live on the west coast so your idea is a 'no-go' for me, but I like your gumption and relate to the desire to build community.

    Buena suerte chica!

  4. I know how you feel. I'm always on the look out for real live beaders and beadweavers in my area. I live in a tiny town about 2 hrs south of Macon, GA and 1 hr. 15 min. northeast of Tallahassee, FLA. I'd love to meet some Deep South people for sweet tea (or Starbucks - we've got one about 20 miles from my house).

  5. I'm no help either, living in Wisconsin, where we're having another blizzard today :{ But what a nice invitation! I would love if you visited my blog to see a couple of Maui jewelry stories, though. I'll be adding more. We can pretend we're having a coconut rum beverage while watching for whales, so awesome!

  6. Hi Lori,

    I live in Clarksville, TN. Like Judy, maybe we'll meet at a bead show someday. Would love to meet you in person.

  7. Lori, I predict you will get a ton of comments to this post. You've struck a chord.

    I live in Mexico. I'm from WI but lived and worked in NY/NJ for 25 years.

    Some of my best friends now are blog friends and internet friends.

    These are people I appreciate, am very fond of and have lots in common with. Yet I'll not likely ever meet them face to face.

    It's both sad and wonderful.

    You may really be onto something here! I hope this takes off and that you can blog about your Actual Group of crafting friends (vs. Virtual).

  8. Lori are you coming to Bead Fest in Philly? My husband and I go every year. It's a big deal for us. So much so that he proposed to me at Bead Fest back in 2006. If you are coming to Philly let me know because we will be there Thursday night through sunday morning and I'd love to meet up with you!

  9. If I ever get one of those hundreds of jobs I am applying for in DC I will write. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

    In the meantime...

    I have found beading buddies through a meetup group. You might be able to do the same. (Shout out to Beadaholics in NC)

    You are a great artist, are you a good teacher? Contact some local bead stores about teaching that will give you an opportunity to interact and maybe make a beading friend or two.

    One last thought find a volunteer opportunity. I am making jewelry for a prom dress giveaway program. There is another local program which teaches at risk girls jewelry making.

    Oh and how could I forget... DC has one of the very best bead societies I have ever seen. When I lived in the vicinity I loved their shows. They have a website:

    Sorry for the long comment.

  10. Duh I just reread that and saw you are going to the one in April. I might be there on Sunday. Are you coming to the one in the summer?

  11. Oh gosh Lori, no help from me either. I'm from Europe :-((
    But if I ever make it to Washington, you can be sure I'll contact you beforehand.
    Have a great Sunday.

  12. Diana P., that's such a sweet story!

    BeadFest - I go to the one in April since I'll be doing Bead and Button in June and have deadlines for my book that will keep me from going to BeadFest in August.

  13. KJ, I teach here in Easton, MD. I'll check out the Bead Society.

  14. I'm actually going to be in the Silver Spring/DC area in early March visiting my husband's family.

  15. I love my blog friends and have only met one in person -- Nan Emmett -- She came to Galveston from Houston when my husband and I were vacationing. It has forged a true friendship and we comment and lookout for each other on our blogs. Truly lovely.

    I hope you find some actual beaders (as opposed to virtual ones) in your area.


  16. I respect your sense of adventure.

    I lived off a four lane highway growing up and friends that could come over were limited until we all got older.
    Alone time really teaches you a lot about yourself.

    Although Michigan is more than two hours away, I am with you in spirit. Hope you get many in person friends that reply soon.

  17. I wish we were closer because I spend way too much time in bloggity land than I do with "real" people but that could be because of The Girl's 8pm bedtime.
    I also grew up on a dead end street and went to Catholic School almost an hour from home. I didn't get my driver's License till I was 20 so I spent time locked in my room (I have 2 younger sisters). I was born to create and write because of all the time I spent alone but I liked it that way.
    My sisters once locked me in my room and it took almost 6 hours before I even noticed!
    I am in Newburgh, NY if you are ever in the area I would love to get together. We have a Hobby Lobby and 1 bead store nearby but not much else. I am about an hour north of NYC.
    Shannon C

  18. I know I'm more than 2 hours away, but, hopefully, we'll make contact some where!

  19. Well Lori i think unfortuantly i am way off the map Windsor Ontario (Well just outside in the country Belle River) Canada & i too live rural & am so glad i have found blogging i spend many a loneley day just me and my precious furry companion & my beads of course sabre doo! It's my dream to go to a real bead show mayb someday we can meet :p

  20. Lori!! I am a new follower and your post really struck a chord.... I know exactly what you mean....
    I currently live in Glen Burnie, but DH and I are in the process of moving to Annapolis by end of March. Wanna get together sometime? I work in Annapolis...

  21. Cheryl8:57 PM

    Lori, I have enjoyed your blogs for some time and have found you to be such a nice, honest and sincere person as well as genuine, thoughtful and kind hearted. I would love to meet you but I live in Asheboro, NC. We have a wonderful zoo down the street from where I live so if your travels ever has you coming this way, please let me know so that we can make arrangements to get together! Cheryl W.

  22. No luck for me either. I'm one of your "sweet tea" friends, on the coast of South Carolina. I could, however, work on getting together with Judy, LoisMoon, Marbella jewelry Designs, or Cheryl!
    If we take a vacation towards the north, I'll make sure I find you for a coffee!!

  23. Yes - let's! I was thinking the very same thing, on that day we both were at the same Whole Foods that it would have been nice to grab a cup of coffee!!!
    I'll shoot you an email....

  24. I am too far (out here in PA), but here is a website that may help with the people you can visit
    You enter both addresses and it gives you a halfway point, and you can pick if you want a coffee shop or shopping mall,ect.....
    Hope it helps!

  25. Lori - I am in Alexandria and would love to meet up sometime. The pesky day job makes weekdays tough but definitely could do weekends. Hubby will be on the road quite a bit for the next two months, so if I can bring the kids along (they could spend hours in a book store thankfully) that would be awesome. My son can talk legos for hours so I know he and Zack will hit it off. E-mail anytime at beadsforbusygals at gmail dot com :-) but you know that already

  26. Gosh I think you read my mind.... I would love to get together. I was able to meet Cindy and Jeanette the other day at Intergem which was a real treat. We talked about this very thing. I'd be happy to help coordinate.

  27. Sure wish I lived closer, but nope, Washington State is nowhere in the neighborhood. :(
    By the way, I really appreciate you visiting my blog!

  28. *Sniffle* I wanna meet, but there are pesky states in the way!

  29. Hi Lori: I love reading your story and you look super cute in your military uniform. Your invitation to meet is so tempting however I am at the exact opposite of the US from you. Boo Hoo...

  30. Oh drats, Do you think Mazatlan is farther then a couple of hours??? Yeah I was afraid of that. :( But you know lit'l bloglandian sister that there is a lovely patio view guest room, only 8 blocks from the beach waiting for you guys!! Any time you would like to come!! I'm always soooo happy and thankful when I can spend time with an art sister. Sharing with her my little piece of paradise. Inspirations for a life time!!

    Until then I'll have to enjoy your friendship here in Bloglandia.

    Pattie ;)
    Mazatlan Mx.

  31. Gosh, I would have never guessed you were in the military! What a great picture of you Lori =)

  32. How about a 6 1/2 hour plane ride to Las Vegas!! It's not just Sin City anymore. So wish I could meet up with you at Starbucks Lori. Perhaps one day .... for now we just have to settle for pulling the chair up to the computer with a cup of homemade jo.
    Thanks for always stopping by and saying hi. I thrive on your positive comments! I finished two necklaces and a set of earrings yesterday with my Bead Soup Ingredient, yes the birdie found a new home. Still have some left too. Now to take the pictures... Looking forward to the Feast on Sat!

  33. Hi Lori, I would love to meet up but unfortunately I am miles away in the UK! Your blog and all the other wonderful ones I have found recently give me a feeling of belonging to a big group of friends and it would be lovely to meet one day x

  34. Long distance relationships are *really* not for me! Does Brisbane, Australia fit within your coordinates?

  35. If only...I think it would take more than a two hour drive to get from where you are to where I am!! One day perhaps. We are vaguely planning a holiday going across bits of America by train as a very postponed honeymoon, hopefully at some point over the next few years but it has to wait until I'm finished college! I'll keep you posted ;-) LOVE the door in the top photo in this post - absolutely stunning!! Do you know where it is? Gorgeous.

  36. If I only lived a little bit closer...rats! Have fun with those who can meet you for coffee. Maybe someday...
    Have a great week!

  37. Are you going to Art Bliss?? I will be in Arlington for a meeting 3/13-16 and would love to meet for coffee.


  38. Lori, I'm in the Shenandoah Valley, about 2 hours from DC, soooo maybe sometime we could meet up in northern VA! I'll keep this idea in mind.

  39. I love your blog. You always inspire me. Unfortunately I live on the west coast in California. Otherwise I would love to meet you and sit at starbucks for hours chatting.
    So I will remain a avid reader of your blog.Thank you.

  40. Oh how I wish. Norway is a bit too far for coffee... It would be lovely to meet!!!!!! Loved your post, Lori!!

  41. What a response to your post! I'm a West Coaster so I'm out of luck...seems like the norm :( It was so fun for me to get to meet a fellow beady blogger (kelley's beads) a few months ago when she was visiting So Cal. Good luck making some connections, I'll look forward to hearing about your fun!

  42. Lori -
    I enjoy your blog so much and would love a chance to meet you and other near-by jewelry people. I am right out of Richmond in Midlothian. Not that far away. I do get up to the Northern VA/DC area from time to time. Next time, I will e-mail you and please let me know if you come down my way.

  43. Wish I lived near you!!! But I'm in Northern Arizona. Anyone near Prescott??? This is a great idea to do though periodically. I'd love to get a blog meet-up going in my area as well as some crafty folks.

    Too bad you're not going to Bead Fest Santa Fe...I'll be there. But I know you'll have fun at the "other" one . I'm taking the Mystery Pendant class from Jane Salley. I think she's teaching it at yours, too.

  44. Aw boo, I wish you lived closer! It'd be super cool to meet you!

  45. Sandi Volpe5:12 PM

    Hi Lori,

    I have been trying to connect online to have people to connect with in person too.

    I would love to meet you and would even venture over the bridge during the warmer weather:-) What is the halfway point between Easton and Herndon?

    Hope to see you soon:-)


  46. Well, I'm a little far out of your 1-2 hour range, but I will be at Bead and Button (I live 90 miles away) and would love to meet you in June.

    What a great idea, though, for locating beaders in your area!

  47. I was just thinking about this the other day, too! I live out in the boonies of the Eastern Shore in a tiny town of Parksley Virginia.

    According to mapquest you are just over two hours north of me. I'd love to meet up sometime. I am often in Salisbury or if you ever come down to Chincoteague...

    I think a Beach and Bead event would be quite fun!!!

  48. Oooh...Lori, how I wish I lived closer...but alas I live 10 hours away in lonely Maine. :) But if you ever make it to that cabin in Maine, let me know!

  49. Oh how I wish we were close I am in the Dallas Fort Worth area. I have tons of friends but not a buddy. My buddy moved away some years ago (to Maryland no less) When her daughters moved back they settled about 45 miles away. Not close enough to come talke to me when I needed to do the ironing. When she visits we can't do the things we use to because she can't walk well anymore. Be Blessed

  50. You're coming to Bead & Button?!?! We'll have to meet up! I'll be there over the last weekend. If you are still there, I would love to meet you.
    Bead Happy!

  51. I am in Roanoke, VA, and have kids in DC and grandkids in VA Beach. A little far away but maybe we can find a place to meet some time.

  52. Hey! I'm just outside Balto so just acroos the bridge from you! Would love to get coffee and go bead shopping!

  53. Girl...we need to plan a date! Come on up to Frederick...maybe we can get all us area folks together :)

  54. Lori...I feel like we're neighbors! I'm going to be spending a lot more time in the DC area now that my hubs is back, so there's lots of potential for meeting up. Plus, I hope I'll see you at Beadfest in April...I'm there Saturday and Sunday. Take care! Jen

  55. you were in the Air Force, right? That picture is pretty much the first thing I memorized about this blog :) What I was gonna say... couldn't you just hijck a plane and pick me up in England, so I can sort of pretend I'm your neighbour? Unfortunately, a plane ticket is kind of unaffordable right now, but if you want to stop by, Leeds/ Bradford Airport is an £6 taxi ride away!

  56. Lori- You're amazing! I really like your 'just connect!' spirit. I'd meet you in a heartbeat ;)
    Now, I'm in Oakland, planning an East Coast tour. I do music for this purpose; just to bring folks together, to create community. My travels should be in the Fall, say Oct. I'm picking cities now. Maybe you can suggest a music venue in your area that I can play? That way, I'll get to meet you! I play either wild west Americana, or jazzy blues.

    Let's chat.

  57. I was a member of the USAF in the early 70's...what a fantastic experience! Stayed stateside...but loved every minute of it...or most of them anyway:) Know you must have enjoyed the experience!!

  58. Oh, shoot, Lori.
    Pick me! Come to Minneapolis and chat with me about beads!!! Seriously, I wish I had this kind of community right here!

    That being said, I am so grateful that you came and commented on my blog. I was thrilled! Even though I am old enough to be your mom ;-) I am still thrilled! There is NO ONE who has done as much to build community in the online beading community as you have. You should really be proud of yourself.

    You did a fabulous job with Bead Soup and next time, I am going to take part.

    Gratefully giant hugs,


I appreciate comments! <3