"The destiny of nations lies far more in the hands of women, the mothers, than in the possessors of power, or those of innovators who for the most part do not understand themselves. We must cultivate women, who are the educators of the human race, else the new generation cannot accomplish its task."

~ Friedrich Froebel

Monday, December 10, 2012

I'm Back. . .

Dear Friends,
I want to Thank each and every one of you who has taken the time over the past two weeks to call or write to be supportive during this very difficult time. It's been a rough few weeks and I feel that I need to explain a bit more clearly so that you all understand what exactly happened. I was notified by a friend that she had received an email from a concerned customer who had seen photos of my daughter, along with many other innocent children on a popular website that were mixed with . . . "Well, let's just say . . . not so innocent photos of children." Please note, that I am being VERY PC when I say that!!! When I went to this website to see for myself I was horrified to say the least. Indeed, there were photos of Abby mixed with disgusting images that are now forever etched in my mind. I immediately contacted this website and received NO help whatsoever. From there I took matters into my own hands and contacted authorities who I knew would be very interested and they were! I spent the next several hours on the phone with federal agents who were trying to get as much information as possible to apprehend the demented person who was doing this and remove those images from the web. Meanwhile, I paced the floors and tried to remain calm because I didn't want to alarm my children that something was terribly wrong. Of course, they saw right through me, but never discovered the truth. Within about 10 hours the photos were removed and I started to breathe again. However, then the real adrenaline kicked in and "Mama Bear" came out in full force and I was determined to do what ever it took to keep Abby safe and take her out of the spotlight. As you know, I closed down my blog to the public and then spent hours on my website making changes. For a brief moment I even considered closing down Olabelhe all together. Thankfully I regained sanity for a moment and decided against that but I did decide to keep my blog closed until now while I worked through all of this. As you know, I considered the password option but after more thought I knew that wouldn't work either. Yes, I know many of you from your lovely emails, and photos you've shared, but certainly not all of you who come to visit. Then I put myself in your shoes and thought about what you might be thinking and I thought about how I might feel if I was suddenly shut out of one of my favorite blogs. Like you, I have my favorites that I visit on a regular basis and I love reading about the author's life and family. To read about what they are doing and what projects they have been working on. I've shared in others excitement in everything from new babies and successful adoptions to terrible sadness when they experience a tragic loss and everything in between. It's actually very odd when you think about it, but you truly become invested in complete strangers lives and you think of them not as strangers but rather as friends that you just haven't met yet. Then I knew that I had to reopen my blog. Please understand that my intentions were not to shut out my readers, but rather to keep out the creepy pigs who like looking at pretty little girls.

Thankfully, time does help. Along with talking with friends and family to work through this roller-coaster of emotions has proved to be very beneficial. I know that this was an isolated  incident and that 99.9% of everyone who comes to visit has innocent intentions but as with all things it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch. It's been quite an experience and I've learned a lot about on-line predators and other things I never thought I would ever have to think about but now I am much wiser and I am taking steps to become even more safety conscience. In the end no real harm was done except to my sanity and I am reminded of how much I love my children. I know you can all relate to some time in your lives when someone did or said something against your child and you loose all sense in a split second. This incredible love for these miracles that enter our lives is like no other and I think only a mother can understand that. 

So onward and upward. My blog is back and my head and heart or well on their way back to their usual happy place. Now to just get through the holidays and then back to sewing! I have lots of ideas for Spring and I can't wait to get started. Thank you all again for all your kindness, understanding and friendship.

Dawn

20 comments:

KarenH said...

So glad to see you back Dawn! :)

bell4953 said...

I too and glad to see you back and that your blog is open again. I felt so sad that I couldn't check in with my favorite pattern designer. :)

Alicia said...

Dawn,

I knew something was wrong when I couldn't visit my favorite blog a few days back. So sorry this happened to you! But so glad you are back. I am looking forward to seeing your spring designs!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

WandaFish said...

I'm very pleased that you're back and I can visit your lovely blog again.
Wishing Happy Holidays to you and your family :)

grandma2mb said...

So glad to see you back!I really missed your blog.
Hope you and your family enjoy the Holidays and I look forward to the new designs.
Merry christmas and Happy New Year!

cattus said...

Dayumm, that is just insane. I totally understand why you would panic! Please don't feel that yo have to keep the blog open to everyone tho; many of us are total strangers to you and your family. Personally, I'd miss your blog but I'd much rather be excluded as an unfamiliar person to you than to have open access to the blog at the risk of your family's safety.

Those of us who surf in so we can see the beautiful dresses can do so in your pattern section. If you want to go 'mama bear' and keep the blog area private, we'll understand!

Paula T.

Rachel Proffitt said...

Oh my goodness, how horrifying that must have been!
I am so glad to see you back... perhaps you can find a way to make your photos private, or watermark them in such a way they cannot be stolen for such nefarious purposes again!
Whatever you do, definitely do what is best for your family!

Rachel Proffitt said...

And then I actually see the pictures and see you have done just that LOL (I was reading from a blog reader!)

Sharon Jones said...

Oh, I am so happy to see you back. My heart ached for you all.

kathy said...

How awful that must've been! I wish you would give us the url so we can check to see if our children's photos are there, too!

Jeannine said...

You go girl. Fight em where it hurts, although I would have mentioned the site. LOL.

Denise Barrett said...

So happy that you are back. So sad to hear what you have gone through. Thank you so much for sharing what has transpired - difficult as it may have been - yet doing so wakes us all up - and for that I am grateful. Continue to be safe and enjoy your holidays. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Samantha said...

Dawn I am so glad you reopened your blog. I don't comment but I have purchased from you and I began following you from your days on Sewing Mamas. It is horrible to think your pictures were stolen like that. I have a blog too and have never worried about posting my kids faces and pictures on there but from your experience I see how easily it can go wrong. I will be watching to see what you do for security -I want to keep my kids safe too.

Colleen said...

I am glad you are back and looking forward to seeing the wonderful things you make. I sorry you had such bad experience. I would pacing the floor too. Wishing you and your family a Merry christmas!

Ayu Maselli said...

Dearest Dawn,
I am so happy that you are back again and i am very sorry for what has happened to you.
Wishing you a very x'mast with whole family

grandmarockton said...

Glad to see your back and blog is open as WE thank you for beautiful patterns and your BEAUTIFUL blog.

Anita said...

That is so scary. I post pix of my girls on my blog to help organize my memories of things I've made and to remember the fun we have had. Thanks for your openness. I am going to be more careful and need to go in and remove their names from my postings. I try not to put our location but need to check that too. I saw something on a tv show about google visual search but have never tried it to see if there are photos that have been copied elsewhere. Will research that, too. So sorry that this happened. I love your daughter's photos.

Sona said...

Totally understand how psyched you would have been. But it is a very creepy world out there and plenty of creeps around, so you have to be very careful.
I have never commented but I follow your blog because the clothes are so good and the sewing is phenomenal.
Do you think it would be good to show only the clothes in some manner?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sona
All the way from India

Peggie said...

So glad you are back. I have heard of this d on top of it and are recovering.Glad you go

Debbie B said...

So glad to be able to share in your blog again! I so enjoy all of your sewing inspiration and even sharing in your family's goings on. Don't let creeps like that win. You have lots of support from good people.

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