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The Curse of a Beader

12 Jan

Making beautiful beads in my workspace: Club Creative Studio, Veronica Campos-Hallstrom

Making beautiful beads in my workspace: Club Creative Studio, Veronica Campos-Hallstrom

 

Club Creative Studio’s Feature Friday blog has a continued focus on creativity. Today, the topic is the beader, the creative jewelry maker that creates with beads. The quirks of a person who is addicted to beading is unique. If you know someone who beads or will soon get into the art of beading you can consider yourself warned and informed after reading this funny write-up from bead artist Jen Van Benschoten who is also the editor of Beading Daily at http://www.dailybeading.com

 

Editor and bead artist: Jennifer Van Benschoten

Editor and bead artist: Jennifer Van Benschoten

You Might Be a Beader, If…

“We beaders have very distinct patterns of behavior, wouldn’t you agree? Sometimes, I catch myself doing something, and I think, gee, only a real beader would do something as crazy as this. Do any of these sound familiar to you?”  I am sharing in a segment of the newsletter from The Daily Beader. I can totally relate and wanted to share this great point of view that others can relate to as well.

Five Warning Signs That You Might Be a Beader

Everyone’s dining room table looks like this…right?
You might be a beader, if…you haven’t seen the surface of your dining room table in the last six months. Yes, this also applies to your coffee table, kitchen table, sofa, or favorite armchair, too. In my case, the beads tend to overflow from my little corner office desk in the living room into the dining room, into the bedroom, and even into the kitchen once in a while. Do those little beads have legs, or what?  Yes, I believe that beads take on a life of their own, moving where you are and multiplying very fast too. Although I have a designated workspace, my studio sometimes expands to the same places that Jennifer mentioned as well as a few other places. Sometimes I bead in the car, in a hotel room, and outside. Beads just pile up in unexpected places.

You might be a beader, if…you’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution to buy less beads and use more of what’s in your stash. Admit it, when you thought about what you wanted to change in 2013, you probably thought that you wanted to do more beading projects to use up all the beads you have in your stash. I did, too, until I saw that one of my favorite online bead suppliers had a brand-new stock of Rizo beads. That resolution didn’t even last a week, I’m ashamed to say.  The thing about using the term”stash” only really means that we want to keep something, not really keep it to use for a later date. Beaders get attached to their beads, it is one reason why it is sometimes hard to give my art away to the public, so much of an artist’s soul goes into creating the hand-made beads that I include in my jewelry art.  I did not resolve to buy less beads but, I did resolve to make more beads!

You might be a beader, if…you start six new beading projects before you finish the first one you originally started. This could be why my beads tend to spread themselves out all over the house. I started a bead-weaving project on one of my new Bead On It boards, and then before I was halfway finished with that one, I had an idea for another beading project that I just couldn’t wait to get started! Thankfully, I had another empty beading board, so I started that beading project. But then I ran out of room on my desk, so I parked the new project on the dining room table…and so on. It’s almost like I suffer from Beader’s Attention Deficit Disorder or something.  I tend to jump from work space to workspace within my studio if I am in the experimentation mood. Otherwise, I try to discipline myself.  I try to stick to one project at a time so that I can focus and dedicate the needed attention to one piece of art at a time, and check off the customer’s project as quickly and as professionally as I can without a start and stop interruptions.

A drawer full of brown seed beads, yet I can’t find just the right color… You might be a beader, if…you have four cabinets full of seed beads, but you don’t have just the right color for your current beading project. This happens to me all the time. Yes, I really have four cabinets, each with seven drawers, that are full of seed beads in pretty much every size, shape, and color you could imagine. So why is it that I can never find just the right color for my latest beaded jewelry design idea? I have no idea, but when this happens, it’s really hard to keep that resolution not to buy any more beads and use more of what’s in my stash.  I do not work with seed beads often enough to have a large collection of them.  I can see the problem of running out of them however, because they are often sold in small quantities and you never know when you need a huge amount for a project. I am unique to this situation because I am at an advantage in making my own beads. I create custom colors so I do not have to rely on a manufacturer supplying the “perfect” matching color.
You might be a beader, if…you’ll spend $300 on seed beads, but you buy all of your clothes at the local thrift shop. Not that shopping at the local thrift shop is a bad thing. I mean, my local thrift shop is where I found my favorite cheetah-print cashmere sweater for a mere $2! Saving money on clothes means more money for beads, right? (At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.)” It is true that if you are a beader, your perspective and priorities are different from others concerning extra cash.  I love to get that spree thrill rush from being in a bead or craft store and discovering all of the treasures there.  Bringing my bag of goodies home is like Christmas. I can’t wait to open the packages and get started on a project. Inspiration can come from a bag of  buttons, findings, wire or any other supply we use in our designs.

Jennifer and I both ask if you know anyone that has or does display behaviors like the suggestions above.  We both agree that there is no cure for being a beader, and that using up beads in a vicious cycle of creation is a good thing.

If you would like to experience the beads that have been in my stash and used for Club Creative Studio art, please visit the evolving inventory on the website:

http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

 

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Admire and Inspire: Buds Buy Beads

4 Jan

Here’s a TNT (This-N-That) Club Creative Studio riddle for you.

Question: What do you get when you place two jewelry makers with different design styles together in the same bead store for a few hours?

Answer: A few long receipts!

Small package, long reciept.

Small package, long receipt.

Welcome to the Club Creative Studio blog where the focus is on CREATIVITY.

I recently blogged about a small bead shop that was closing its doors for public business. I learned that after eight years, the owners wanted to start reclaiming their lives and go fishing and enjoy and be near their grandchildren more often.  One can hardly argue with that! It takes dedication and many hours run a brick and mortar storefront and I totally understand their desire for a change of pace.  It will be a loss to many bead fans and jewelry-makers to no longer have the store in their neighborhood. In their final days of their close-out, they offered a great opportunity for customers to purchase their remaining tiny treasures at deeply discounted prices. I hit the bead store scene with a new bud to buy beads and we enjoyed our productive day.

I had a great time talking the “language of jewelry-making” with a fellow jewelry maker and friend: Anna Servati of Anna’s Jewelry Designs. We first met at a networking event and quickly started speaking our native language BEADS.  It is always a thrill for me to be able to meet or maintain a working relationship with someone who has similar passions and high levels of creativity.  We have very different design styles yet, we can still appreciate the same beads and techniques in the jewelry-making world. I suggested that when we both got home, we needed to photograph our “bead stash” from today. Here is Anna’s stash. She loves gem stones, and added some unique clasps to her collection.

This is Anna's stash.

This is Anna’s stash.

While shopping, we  had moments where we both admired the same beads even though we may have bought totally different beads in the end. We did agree to both purchase one bead alike, however.  This will be the bead that we will both use in one of our individual projects to see how each of us will create with it.

How fun is that?

This is the special bead we each bought to use in our own separate creations.

This is the special bead we each bought to use in our own separate creations.

I wanted to use the photos to illustrate in this blog how two people can shop differently with their own personal art styles in mind, and let you see what caught our eyes long enough to want to purchase.  My hope is to have you admire the collections and be inspired to do something creative. You don’t have to be a jewelry-designer to use  or love beads, stones, charms or wire!  This is my stash from the shopping adventure.  You know I am always on the hunt for the unusual finding so leave it up to me to find the charms shaped like hands right off the bat as I entered the door! Some things just scream Club Creative Studio.

This is Club Creative Studio's bead stash from 01/03/2013.

This is Club Creative Studio’s bead stash from 01/03/2013.

The best take-away aspect that I realized yesterday while spending time with my friend was that while we had our little conversations in between our glazed over eyes in auto pilot shopping mode, we spent some quality time doing what I love to do…admire and inspire.  The shopping spree also brought another aspect to the forefront of my mind. I feel that it is important to have at least one person that you can trust to have a listening ear near or word of honest advice when you need an opinion.

I have many different “go-to” pals who are very knowledgeable in specific areas that are willing to share and have a give-and-take conversation. If you don’t have people in your life-like that, I suggest finding a few because there is nothing better than having the opportunity to bounce off ideas and get feedback from a variety of people.

To view more interesting and unique hand-made items from Club Creative Studio, U.S.A. visit the website and check back often. You may see a creation that incorporates an item from this recent stash of goodies! Thank you for taking time to admire and be inspired. We love it when you wear and share Club Creative Studio hand-made ART THAT SETS YOU APART!

http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

Suggestions For Your Socks

5 Dec

Club Creative Studio has a question for you: What is on your sock?  I am referring to your Christmas stocking that are traditionally hung by many from a fireplace mantel.  If you are one that does this year after year, I want to hear about how those socks are decorated. I also share ideas today as suggestions for your socks. What can you use and what have you used  to embellish them and make them your own decorative items for display?

Do you have stockings that are hand-made, heirloom pieces of fabric or store-bought?  Today in the Two Cent Tuesday post, I want to offer ideas that you can do inexpensively that will make those manufactured  dollar store-type Christmas stockings more personal and festive.

Christmas stocking ready to be decorated.

Christmas stocking ready to be decorated.

It may be as simple as having a glue gun and a bit of creativity.  You can use items that are “found items” around your home or purchase something specific to add to your stockings. To add personality and a personal identity to them, it is just a matter of being open to the creativity that you have within, and find a way to apply your ideas.

Let’s start with the most inexpensive ideas:

Hot glue items or use self adhesives to add buttons, rick-rack fabric, lace, ribbon, pom-pom, yarn, tassels, bows, cinnamon sticks, border trim, feathers, beads, charms, glitter, sequins, cotton balls or  faux fur.

Using unusual found items that convey personal interests may be interesting to attach with hot glue as well. Consider items such as crayons, pencils, photographs, theme scrapbook cut outs or stickers, silk flowers, cardboard initials,  bay leaves and whole cloves, small plastic toys, even coins.

To identify with name recognition, you can use fabric paint, fabric markers, small photos, initial charms, name tape, or decorative name tag.

Stepping it up a notch with these suggestions:

Moving on from glue to sewing techniques puts a different spin on the finished look.  Add higher quality textiles or fabrics. Adding a personal embroidery emblem, iron-on patch, rhinestone trim, actual photo frame and photo, quilted fabric sections,  personal theme ornament, or hand-made element in carved wood elevates the completed item.  The idea with stepping up the decorative element is the larger cost invested or better quality elements added, not necessarily the amount of decorative additions.

I have not included photos of improvements given to these stockings because, this is a project that my daughter and I will do together this year.  These are new stockings and they were bought because they are uniform in size, color and sweater-type texture for a more uniform theme this year.  Adding the personality will have a different feel this year, a more sophisticated theme.

So, let me know how you have personalized or made your holiday socks more special to display by adding decorative elements.  Did your creativity take hold in your project?

>My Most Important Tools Aren’t In A Box

22 Dec

>My most important tools aren’t in a box.  An artist’s toolbox can consist of state-of-the-art equipment but, when the day is done, the reality is that the tools on the workbench need to be time-tested, efficient, and ready to use at any second for any stage of your creative project.

An artist relies on imagination and creativity in the production of their art but, they also need to have a system that is productive to their method and incorporates their skills and special techniques. They have to have the right tools available for a given task.  They don’t have to be high-tech.  They do have to be useful.  They should be proven by you that they have stood the test of time and will always work for you in your situation.

As an artist, you take yourself from idea to reality on a daily basis.  To travel from creative points “A” to “Z” which means that you are aware that many steps are involved in your entire production process.  The steps may include trial and error situations as well.  The important tools that you have to use to make it through your process are the stepping stones to the manufacturing of your artful item.  These tools have to be effective to you or they are rendered useless.  They need to be efficient tools.  They need to be safe, sharp, and they need to do the job easily that you intend for them to do- always.

I don’t have a “tool box” full of equipment accumulated that is kept out of sight in storage.  I do however, have tools “on display” of sorts, that are in immediate sight for me to use.  My most important tools aren’t stuck in a box waiting for me to pull them out for use.  They are readily available on my design tables.  All of the main tools that I need are placed close at hand for use.  I have cute mugs with inspirational quotes on them holding various paint brushes.  I have a few beaded decorated jars that hold items like small clay tools.  I have rotating shelves and containers of items that I need for almost every task.  I also have a few zipper shut travel size tool pouches that hold and organize my hand tools that I need.  Most items in use also have identical “back-ups” for the times when one is misplaced or needs to be replaced due to over-use.  It is always good to keep tabs on the tools that you have and replace them as needed.

Remember, vital instruments need to be close at hand so that they are utilized and found quickly.  Evaluate your tools often for wear and tear for better efficient use of them.  Make sure that you have plenty of tools so that you are never without and have to compromise for the tools that you heavily rely on as “must haves”.  Lastly, don’t just collect tools in a tool box.  Use your most important tools for your most important projects- your daily creative outlets!

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