Monday, April 24, 2017

Tips for finding inspiration

Today I'd like to share some tips on finding inspiration,  BUT FIRST, I will announce the winner and monthly feature from "inspiration in everyday" facebook group. The winner for this past month, and creator of the beautiful necklace pictured here, is Sarajo Wentling!!

Here is the collage of what inspired the necklace:

Congratulations Sarajo!! Thanks so much for playing along and sharing your inspirations and beautiful necklaces. Another thank you for being a brave trailblazer as the first person to share in the group!! Your creativity and enthusiasm are much appreciated in this new and humble group!!  
Sarajo made the above necklace along with another one, both inspired by the Meadolaronk Botanical Gardens. You can read her full post about it on her blog at Sarajo's blog post.  Or check out her post on the "inspiration in everyday" facebook group here.
Sarajo your prize is two sets of my feather headpins in your choice of color. Let me know your address and color choices.

The photo below is a photo of the prize for the next random feature who posts on"inspiration everyday".  The winner will be selected at random from those who share their inspirations over the next 4 weeks. Winner will be featured here on the ABS blog and win this bead set. If you have not joined yet - come on over! Click here! Ceramic hand painted birdie bead set.

There is so much inspiration around us and so much to discover in the simple things in life!  In this post I plan to give some tips on ways to find inspiration in everyday.  In a future post I look forward to sharing some ways to act on inspiration!  Here are three different ideas/exercises you could try in order to help spark inspiration.  There are obviously many more ways to find inspiration, and sometimes it just finds you!  But for those times inspiration is not free flowing, here are some things to try. 

- Go for a walk in a place that is new to you
 New things, and new places can often easily spark new inspirations.  As you walk try to view everything you are seeing through the eyes of an artist. How? Pay attention to colors, shapes, textures, images, light, shadows, patterns and combinations. Take with you, a means to gather and collect findings. Maybe it's your camera to photograph these things. Maybe it's a sketchbook/journal  to sketch or write things down.  Or a purse or bag to collect bits of nature that speak to you.  Better yet, a combination of any or all of the above.  I know for me, having a place to put bits of the natural world I like to pick up (usually for pressing into fresh clay), is very important when I go walking in nature (often it's just my pocket).

-  Go for a walk in a place that is NOT new, instead, very familiar
  Look around you trying to see things from a different perspective. Try looking in different directions than usual. Look up. Look down. Bring your camera/phone for the purpose of taking photos from different angles.  You will likely notice things/details you may have missed before!  Slowdown and take in even the smallest details.  Fill your well with wonder and curiosity! The goal here is to look at old familiar things and places in a NEW way!

-  Look through books or magazines, either ones you own, or at/from your local library.
I know it's a less popular thing to do these days, but I still love to go to the library!!  Looking through magazines you own is the most fun because you can rip out pages to keep as inspirations!  It does not even matter if they are magazines or books that normally don't appeal to you, as long as they have lots of visuals. You are looking past the obvious for the purpose of this exercise. This mean looking at what is in the background of the images. Maybe it's the wallpaper pattern or color in an image, or maybe the text that stands out to you.  Be intentional about looking at things within the images that don't first jump out at you. Just take your time and take in as much as you can!

When you start gathering inspirations, try keeping them in one place.  If everything you collect and gather is in one place it will be much easier for you to find when want to refer to them!!
If you are looking for a way to boost your inspiration, I hope you might give one or all of these a try and see what you can come up with!  Maybe it could even lead you to share what inspired you with us at "inspiration in everyday" facebook group!! Wink, wink, nudge, nudge!!

Wishing you inspiration in "everyday"!!
Terri Del Signore

Friday, April 21, 2017

Perfect Pairings :: Michelle McEnroe + Ceramic Beads Art

This is a fun and funky design that features a beautiful ceramic bird pendant that captures my imagination. I like making designs like this because it is a great way to use up all those leftover bits you have lying around, and the colors work with a lot of different parts of any wardrobe. The way the brilliant blue dagger beads undulate reminds me of the way the colors in Gauguin's painting seem to shimmer and move, as they would through the haze of a hot summer day.

Featured Designer :: Michelle McEnroe
Featured Bead Artist :: Ceramic Beads Art

We are now using Pinterest! 
You can find more details in this post about the exciting new changes,
including a board devoted to art beads inspired by the monthly challenge!
(Ooh! Look! More pretty beads to lust after!)

Pretty please make sure that you post a link in your Pinterest description
so that I have someplace to attribute the picture! 
And don't forget to tell us about those art beads - providing links to bead makers is appreciated!

Deadline April 26th to get your pictures posted to the Pinterest boards for the creation of the Monthly Challenge Recap post for April 28th.
TIP: If you upload your photo rather than pin it from your blog or shop, edit the pin (the little pencil button) and add your link as the source. Save your edits. This will allow us to click directly on your photo and go to your blog or shop to read more about your entry. If you don't, I might not be able to access the photo to share it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Making a Ceramic and Silk Ribbon Bracelet

I am always trying to come up with new ideas on how my customers can use my ceramic pieces.  Out of pendants, beads, earring charms and bracelet toppers, I think the bracelet toppers hold the most mystery on designing with them.  I have been noticing how popular silk ribbon is and how it can add texture and color to a design, so I bought some!  I found a great store on Etsy called Color Kissed Silk and I purchased solid colors and multi colored ribbons.  I also had post cards printed up with easy directions for the wearer as well as my business name and information.  I sell jewelry at shows and galleries, so the bracelet and post card will slip into a cellophane wrapper to stay clean and neat.

This is what I started with:

The silk ribbon, my bracelet topper, 2 10mm sea sentiment beads from Michaels, and antique bronze metal toggle clasp, 10mm jump rings, 3mm spacer beads and head pins from Hobby Lobby.

Start by opening the jump rings and putting them through the bracelet topper holes.  Place a spacer bead, sea sentiment bead and spacer bead on each head pin and make a wire wrapped loop.  Put both of these on the front section of the large jump ring before closing it on the side that will not have the toggle clasp.  Before closing the other jump ring, put the round section of the toggle clasp through it, then close.  Tie one end of the silk ribbon around the jump ring with the bead dangles and tie the other end on the toggle bar.  Because the silk would not go through the small hole, I trimmed the stitching off the end and cut a 1" slice up the ribbon so I could get one half through and I tied it twice with knots.  Then I secured each knot with Hypo Cement.

This is the end result:

It is comfortable to wear and will fit all your customers by tying knots in the ribbon if you need to shorten the ribbon to make the toggle clasp close correctly.  I plan on making a nice amount of these for my upcoming shows.  I hope you will give it a try, too!

Michelle from Firefly Design Studio

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

From Inspiration to Bead

Like most creative people I rarely go anywhere without a camera, whether its the one on my phone or my canon, its basically an extension of me. I love taking snaps of colour combinations that inspire me, it might be a cushion in a shop, or a garden full of flowers. I have a long time obsession with things in a state of decay, rusted and patina’d with age and love to translate these into glass, recently I made some hollow beads and attempted some verdigris patterns on them.

This is my inspiration photo:

These are the beads that I made, I love the textures on these, and the variegation of colour. 
Because these beads are hollow I have been able to make them larger without the worry of them being too heavy. 

I think these beads would look lovely with one of these stunning birds from Heather at Humblebeads 

I love the industrial feel of these clasps from Rebecca at The Curious Bead Shop, I think they would go with the rustic feel of the beads brilliantly. 

What would you couple them with?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

I Took the Art Bead Scene Challenge!

I've been having fun creating beads inspired by this month's challenge inspiration. Gauguin's 
beautiful color palette was my starting point for the birds above. I mixed each of the colors in the palette and decorated my birds with island inspired flora. 

My second go-around with making beads for the challenge I went a little more off onto my own with colors but wanted to capture the same wild feel of the landscape.

How are you doing with the challenge? Have you pulled through your stash and started creating? Join in the fun. In case you missed the challenge here are the details. You can find my lentil and disk beads in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The flowers that bloom in the spring, tra la,...

Breathe promise of merry sunshine - As we merrily dance and we sing, tra la, We welcome the hope that they bring, tra la, Of a summer of roses and wine, Of a summer of roses and wine. And that's what we mean when we say that a thing Is welcome as flowers that bloom in the spring. Tra la la la la, Tra la la la la, The flowers that bloom in the spring...
by W. S. Gilbert

Hello, from the Earring Whisperer! Thank you for popping in!

I'll admit it, I'm happily a bit of a Gilbert Sullivan operetta nerd....most of you guys are going, huh, a whaa???  My beading buddy, Martha, doesn't care for it, and wants me turn it off when it rolls through the Pandora station on our beading night. Oh, horror!!
Anyway, while playing in the studio stash of beads and thinking of this month's art bead post, I kept pulling out florals and singing the song above. So, I thought it would be fun and interesting to take a grouping of similarly themed art beads and see what combinations I could come up with!

Beautiful porcelain round floral charms by Something To Do Beads; a duo of ceramic kitties by Gaea Handmade; porcelain spikes covered with posies by Kiyoi Design; polymer clay cane spacers by Humblebeads; metal rings of petite polymer roses by Tesori Trovati Jewerly and some hand painted spacers by me....oops, one of my painted beads seems to have rolled out of the shot,

A little vintage flair! Ceramic poise spikes with an iridescent glaze, rhinestone
crowns and altered plastic puff beads that have been hand dyed.

Flower crowns of roses atop the heads of some sweet kitties...why not! I crisscrossed the wrapping on the clear crystal to look a bit like the way ballet slippers are tied.

And, a more modern take by stacking pattern and texture.
Here is where you can shop for some lovely supplies:

Until next time!
Loralee ...
my etsy shop
loralee kolton, artful jewerly in beads

Monday, April 10, 2017

Art Bead Evolutions :: Gauguin's Palette

“Everything in the landscape blinded me, dazzled me. Coming from Europe I was constantly uncertain of some color [and kept] beating about the bush: and yet it was so simple to put naturally onto my canvas a red and a blue. In the brooks, forms of gold enchanted me. Why did I hesitate to pour that gold and all the rejoicing of the sunshine on to my canvas?” ~ Paul Gauguin

The painting for this month is a riot of color. There is a liveliness in the palette, as if each hue were dancing around in the humid air at sunset. I have to admit that at first glance, I actually didn't see all the the trees, the people, the house and the peacocks. I only saw the swaths of color.

So I decided that whatever I made I would concentrate on the color and keep the forms simple. I decided to tackle making actual beads. One of the reasons that I don't usually make many beads is that I find it hard to be consistent. I recently bought several different tools that could help me with that problem: a bead rack for my oven as well as some bead rollers. Knowing that I could make more evenly shaped and sized beads meant that I could focus on the surface treatment. 

These colors swirling around reminded me of that heap of scrap clay that I had sitting there. Lots of ends of creative bursts and projects gone wrong. With polymer clay there is never a need to throw it out. Scraps are my specialty, I just never know what they will become, but it is usually much better than the thing I was trying to make! What to do with all that colorful clay?

So I started chopping. I chopped all the paint colors that Gaugin used in his iconic imagery from the South Pacific.... Prussian blue cobalt blue, emerald green, viridian, cadmium yellow, chrome yellow, red ochre, cobalt violet, and lead or zinc white. Chop. Chop. Chop.

Next I twisted and rolled. Twisted and rolled.

I made a square log and cut it in half...and in half again. This presents an interesting pattern inside. The method I am using is called the Inside-Out or Natasha bead technique (ostensibly for the woman who pioneered it). I have used a similar style before with some pendants, but I took it one step further.

I really wanted to use the bead rollers I bought to make beads with this veneer on the outside, but I couldn't quite figure it out. (Gosh, I hope those bead rollers will not be a bust!)

I decided to go smaller and cut cubes. I had no idea what I was going to do with them. I pinched the ends together to make a bicone shape and rolled into a ball. Pinched and prodded. Pinched and prodded. And rolled into balls.

A little rolling magic created a sort of flying saucer shape that I then flattened. I noticed that there appeared some flower and even butterfly like shapes! Fun! This is still a huge work in progress for me. Here is a little graphic that shows a sneak peek of the process that I am using:

Right now I am merely in the experimental phase. I always aim to learn something new each month inspired by the artwork that we host here at Art Bead Scene. I am just not sure if these will be the final manifestation for the Club selection. I don't know if I want to keep making these this flat and large, but I quite like the patterns that are appearing when I do. I am also not quite sure of the finish of these. I want them to have more of the muted quality of Gaugin's palette, thinking there might be more playing around involved that could include paint and stain. I am happy that they do recall the swirling colors that Gaugin painted his scenes. The only thing is that each one will be completely different. With this technique you just can't quite make the same bead twice. But one-of-a-kind is sort of my jam, so I am okay with that. 

When I get this little experiment done, something along these lines (different shapes? sizes? finishes?) will be on their way to my beloved Simple Truths Sampler Club participants. And there is always room in the Club if anyone is interested in joining. ;-)