Monday, July 26, 2010

Gathering Materials

Part of my creative process is gathering materials I wish to use in future projects. Flipping through books, stamping words, painting vignettes, experimenting with resin and PMC, pulling strands and individual beads as well as a host of other elements are all a part of this phase. Once I’ve collected my elements and ruminated about the possibilities (this can take minutes or sometimes days), I begin to jot down design ideas in my journal. I especially love juxtaposing the placement of materials that reflect opposing attributes such as hard/soft, hot/cold and light /dark. I find this process challenging and often segues into something extraordinary. Next, I begin to sketch possible designs, knowing all to well that I will most likely stray from the initial rendition...but that's okay!

I like the juxtaposition of the hot and cold temperatures produced by resin and burning treatment.

Bits and pieces.

Dimensional Collage Pendant- effect created by combining elements such as seed pods, shells, decorative papers, text, crackle medium and watercolor paint.

More collage pendants.

Funky earring combination

Monday, July 12, 2010

Always look for the Unusual

I am always on the prowl for the odd or unusual bead to add to my stash. Finding unique beads is a lot harder than you think, so when I received a tip from a friend about the Potomac Bead Company , I was more than thrilled. Knowing I would be traveling through Maryland, I planned to check out the Hagerstown location (cute town by the way) and I am so glad that I did. My mouth dropped to the floor when I opened the door of the shop and the light bulb inserted within the cartoon cloud above my head began to flash incessantly. I was in bead heaven and enjoying every minute of it. I floated around the store resting on one bead station after another. I finally landed squarely on the glass enclosed bead case at the front of the shop (you know…the one with the expensive stuff in it) and gazed at the treasures within. Here are a few of my finds.

Just gorgeous! Bali turquoise/sterling/coral

Faceted lapis lazuli teardrops (they make me want to cry)...

Bali sterling/amber

Ethnic madness! Think color, texture and bold design. Shell/buffalo teeth/ceramic glazed bead/batik bone button

Let me show you how one unusual bead can transform a humdrum necklace into something stunning. Check out the techniques in my book, A String of Expression.