I haven’t heard word if the newlyweds have opened the gift yet…
In yesterday’s post i showed you this beautiful packaging for a custom order i completed a few weeks ago. The order was requested as a gift for a Goth wedding – the client wanted something one of a kind, unusual and specifically designed to suit the personalities and lifestyle of the engaged couple. So what do you get for the couple who has everything? Why custom, handmade beads of course!!!
I love the design of this box – most especially because it doesn’t have to be destroyed in order to open the gift. It’s a lovely keepsake that can also be used to store their beads (or anything else they’d like)… The wedding was yesterday so i guess we can open the gift now, right? I mean a little peek wouldn’t hurt, would it?
Here’s the gift card, custom of course… created and signed by me, then aged to suit the theme – I hope they like it!Oh wait… reception… wedding night… late morning… hmmm, might not be quite time to fully open this gift yet. We can’t open it before the newlyweds.
I recently completed a custom order for a wedding and not just any wedding but a Goth wedding! If you’ve never seen a Goth wedding it’s definitely worth googling. The pictures range from downright funny to extremely glamorous – and in all the pics (much like any other wedding) the couples and guests look like they’re having a ton of fun… just in highly non-traditional ensembles.I tried to incorporate the dark yet glamourous aspect of the goth culture into the beads but once they were completed realized i couldn’t just deliver them in my normal (fairly simple) packaging – especially since this was meant as a wedding gift!
So i called my neighbour Sean (master merchandiser and designer of my past show displays) for help once again. I told him i needed something elegant, black, gothic and completely over the top. I’d found one picture of a Goth bride who arrived at her ceremony in a coffin – a look i thought was hilarious and particularly appropriate for the theme. I explained the vague idea of what i wanted, Sean nodded, disappeared… and the next day he showed up at my door with THIS:
My jaw literally dropped, i swallowed whatever i’d been in the process of saying, was left mouth hanging open and all i could strangle out was a less than eloquent “HOLY SH*T!!!” Have you ever seen anything so beautifully designed and so very suitable to the theme??? I immediately dropped whatever i was doing and gave him a big hug and a huge thank you! Doesn’t he just completely ROCK??? His custom designed packaging was so far beyond my expectations!!
Soooo… I guess you’d like to take a peek inside?Not yet. Like the bride and groom, you’ll have to wait until after the wedding (it’s today)…
Stick to the plan. Always follow through. State your goals then go out and achieve them. Uh-huh.
How about… follow your heart? Now there’s a classic.
So why am i spouting these cliches? because after reading Lydia Muell’s blog post from a few weeks back about being perceived as a “snotty, selfish arteest”, i finally realized why i’ve been so blocked!
In case you’ve been wondering why i’ve been so quiet: until our November show, i hadn’t torched at all for the past several months. Why? because i’ve been stuck. My mind would either be spinning with ideas – so many i couldn’t single out one to action or i’d think i had one and then sit in front of the torch and watch it flit away. I thought maybe i was in a creative slump… yet i still had lots of design ideas so i couldn’t understand why i couldn’t get myself to torch.
Looking back now though, i realize that maybe i was trying to force myself into being something i’m not. Since i started selling my beads last year, in the back of my mind there’s always been that practical little voice that would remind me of: 1. how much money i’ve invested in this art form (my most expensive hobby ever!); 2. my initial goal for it to bring in a certain amount of money each month; and 3. to be practical so i could recoup my investment as soon as possible. THEN and only then could i let myself relax and just make… ART.
But unfortunately it’s just not that easy. Life – at least my creative life – just doesn’t work that way. I’ve been trying to make beads to fit what i thought i would have wanted as a former jewellery designer and it’s just not working. Why? Because i can’t stand making practical, wearable beads. I can’t stand making repeat beads. I can’t stand making little beads. And i especially can’t stand the beads i make when i try to make beads to fit that perceived market.
I had myself on an “acquire specific beadmaking skills” schedule: ok, good donut beads? check. good pressed beads? check (sorta). heat control? check. basic technique #1: stringers? check. Basic technique #2: florals? check… etc., etc. The problem? B-O-R-I-N-G!!!! Plus, i don’t even like making any of those beads: i don’t give a damn about fine lines, dots or flowers. I’ve been able to easily encase since my first attempt but how often have i ever made encased beads? I could count the times on one hand.
What DO like? Easy… frit, powders and big chunks of hot sculpted glass.
So what now? i think i’ve decided to become a “snotty, selfish arteest” – not literally of course… Just that i think from now on i’ll only focus on making glass art (beads or otherwise) purely for my own pleasure regardless of whether or not i think they will sell. I’m just going to make whatever tickles me and see where i end up on this creative path. Of course I hope i’ll continue to have buyers who appreciate what i create but if not? so be it…
Don’t worry, I’ll still accept custom orders – they’re so challenging and fun i doubt i’ll ever stop taking them. On my own time though, from now on i’m stepping completely out of the traditional glass beadmaking mold. I will concentrate instead on just exploring my creative side through hot glass and making only what my muse directs regardless of how mundane or bizarre the result… should be interesting!
I hope y’all stay with me for the ride…
they’re stunningly, frivolously, fabulously beautiful
and all my favourite colours.
i had dreams about them. seriously.
showcased with a fantastic pencil skirt and an airy white shirt…
watching them dangle flirtatiously from the bottom of my jeans…
thinking about how they’d sparkle in the lights while i made my moves on the dance floor.
i even planned to make big beads in colours to match –
yes, another one of my ever so rare sets!
think about it…
just sitting there on a patio with my girlz
sipping a martini
enjoying the spring weather,
catching up on our lives.
and then i’d look down…
and i’d see my own fabulous beads
in all my fave colours
strung into a stunning necklace
nestled in the collar of my crisp white linen shirt
(ok, maybe not so crisp since this would probably be after work)
glistening in the evening sun.
and then i’d look further down
down the looonnng, lean expanse
of my blue jean covered legs…
(umm, ok i admit it. there may be a slight exaggeration here on the long part…)
(uuuhh, ok yeah. perhaps a bit on the lean part too…)
and see my FAB-ulous new shoes
and my freshly manicured (and colour coordinated!) toes.
and i would be so caught by all this combined beauty
i would just have to breathe: “oooooooooooooooooooo”
and my girlz would catch the same view and also breathe:
“oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo those shoooeeesss…”
and then the other women passing…
at least the ones who understand
that since comfort and cute can’t always be combined
cute should win – most of the time
…only within the context of shoes, of course.
…they would also look down
and be caught in the colourful kaleidoscope
of my stunningly beautiful fab shoe/custom bead combo.
and they’d lift their eyes to mine and smile
and say: “ooooooooooooooo… nice shoooooeeeessss!”
“…and nice beads tooooo!”
And i’d contentedly sip my girlie martini
or maybe Bellini cuz that would definitely match!
And know just for that one moment
that my lampworking skillz
and my fashionista street cred were perfectly aligned in my world.
p.s. Can you tell i can’t wait for the new Sex and the City Movie to open?
(And no, i didn’t buy them, i stocked up on glass instead. choices. sigh)