6th BeadSoup Blog party results!!

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Once again, I’m thrilled to be part of Lori Anderson’s 6th BeadSoup Blog Party where 400 beadmakers and jewellery designers from around the world exchange blind packages to spur their creativity.  This time around my partner is Joanna Matuszczyk, a jewellery designer from Poland. This is the bead soup she sent me:

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Quite the lovely variety, huh?  I love the well-coordinated mix of all the different textures and shapes plus it’s in my favourite colour too – PURPLE!!  I’ve never worked with materials like bamboo, ribbon, copper or fabric beads (except the glass beads/gemstones), so it really took me out of my comfort zone.  Now, I tried to use everything but honestly I just could not figure out how to work those felted butterflies in… i think they will have to be separate piece… maybe a fun dangly necklace on a silver chain? We’ll see…

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First thing i decided was that i was going to use ALL of those lovely ribbons – it was such a perfect mix of colours, plus i couldn’t resist the lush effect.  Then i turned the ceramic button into the clasp and knotted the loop created from doubling the ribbon strands into the catch with a few copper jump rings (which i made!) to keep the strands in place.  Then, i lightened the edge of the bamboo tube to match the ribbons and wrapped it first with the brown crocheted ribbon (incredibly cool and retro) then with masses of copper wire to create a hook for the dangly mix of glass and gemstones.  Final touch was stuffing the knitted balls into the bamboo tube to create a fun and unusual focal.

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I’m pretty happy with this necklace, especially since when i first received the package, i had absolutely NO idea what to do with all that ribbon nor the fabric beads.  But then… that’s the point of the BSBP – to get us all to experiment with materials we normally never or rarely use and discover some new ways to invigorate our own designs… and of course to have FUN!!  

OK… I’m off to check out the other Bead Soups, grab a cup of tea and join me!  There were three reveals this time around (i’m in the 3rd)  – you can find them all here (or by clicking the picture below): http://lorianderson-beadsoupblogparty.blogspot.ca/2012/06/participants-of-6th-bead-soup-blog-party.html

New sketchbook, new ideas…

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For the past year or so I’ve been drawing out my glass bead ideas on whatever piece of paper was closest to my hand.  It was like a weird compulsion: even though I couldn’t create at the torch my brain would randomly start teaming with new designs before dropping back into its non-creative daze. Never happened in the studio of course, they would pop up during my non-creative time like midway through emails, conversations, meetings, training sessions, dinner etc. First thing in the morning, as well was kind of nuts as I’d desperately try to draw out whatever beads I woke up with in my head before the images disappeared from my consciousness.

The result of that madness was a lot of new and fresh ideas… unfortunately though, drawn on random pieces of paper scattered throughout the house. So, a couple weeks ago I decided to buy myself a sketchbook and collect them all inside.  It came with a plain grey cover that practically begged for decoration so I freehanded a Holly Cooper style bird and some random doodling. I learned how to draw that style of bird with fine stringers on a bead in her class last month and i’m trying to find a way to use it on my beads while still making them look like my own.

The back of the sketchbook is still bare.  I think I might draw a goddess next…

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No time to torch…

…but i still managed to make a goddess. This is one of my daily 365 Project photos – so far i’m just loving this creativity resolution.  I struggle with photography but taking a picture everyday really forces me to think about the subject, framing, etc.  Hopefully by the end of the year there will be an obvious improvement…

Peek into my world…

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One of my 2011 resolutions is to complete The 365 Project – take a photo a day, every day and post it online for the full year.  I’ve wanted to participate in this online public art project for years but never got around to it – carrying a bulky camera around was just too inconvenient.  Now that i have an iPhone though, it’s completely doable and given the multitude of photo capture and editing apps in iTunes, actually kinda fun!  I’m hoping this project will really spur my creativity in addition to also improving my photography skills…

So far i’m quite enjoying myself and have lots of ideas of what to post (thanks to the many blogs discussing the project).  I’ve decided to keep a completely open mind and capture whatever strikes my fancy rather than maintaining a specific theme.  My son (in the pic) and one of my sisters are participating as well and we’re all hoping we have the stamina to last through the full 365 days – seems daunting when i’m only at Day #4!

Sooo… if you’d like a daily peek into my life as a part-time glass bead artist, click the picture above to get to my 365Project profile and subscribe to follow me there… these pics will only occasionnally show up on this blog.