How Do You Stay Creative With the Same Old Stuff?

February 13, 2009

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I admit it.  I am a total bead shopping junkie.  If I can’t get to a bead store, I’ll be on a website looking for my next big thing.  You  know, that thing that will inspire you, drive you to creative heights you’ve only dreamed about, make you rich and famous…THAT next big thing.

So what do you do when the economy pinches your pocketbook?  When a new bead order is just not in the stars for you?  How do you stay creative in times like these? 

Today I had a creative awakening when I took a new look around my studio.  There are drawers I haven’t opened in months.  There are piles of idea sheets I haven’t gone through in years.  Stacks of old bead magazines with sticky notes hanging out are piled in the filing cabinet.  I literally have hundreds and hundreds of dollars in beading supplies just existing all around me while I always gravitate toward favorites.

But what if this economy forces us to take a second look?  What about that bead strand that looked so cute in the catalog but wasn’t what you thought it was once you got it?  What if you took another look with new eyes?  As for me, I have a huge bin of tarnished and broken jewelry that only need to be cleaned up, taken apart and sorted.  Voila!  Beads again!  I have a treasure trove of tarnished silver that would probably pay for a year of college just sitting around unused because it’s – gasp! – tarnished.  Well, this bead chick is getting out her cotton gloves and getting down and dirty!

What about a new line?  What about that technique you’ve always wanted to try but didn’t take the time?  What about incorporating the beads you already have and aren’t using into a new type of craft project?  I’m looking into incorporating my collection of old jewelry into some new purposes – collage, sculpture or wire working.  I took a basketryclass once and loved it…can I somehow use that?  How about practicing soldering like I always planned on but never took the time to do? 

And, with those things I can’t use, I can always bag them up and sell them on Etsy or eBay, because I’m sure someone else out there can use them.  Then I can use the extra cash to put gas in the tank or something. 

I will keep you posted on my new visions, and I’d love to hear about your ideas for stretching your beading budget during these tough times.  We can all share and help each other out, which is what makes the tough times bearable.

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3 Responses to “How Do You Stay Creative With the Same Old Stuff?”

  1. kathy Says:

    How about making your own clay beads? My friend Sarah has an etsy store and a brick and mortar store and she makes awesomely fun clay beads.


    • I have thought of it, but I am afraid to start something new! I am always buying more new art supplies, which just adds to the number of things I don’t have time for. I am intested in it, though. I always tag the pages with the clay beadmaking supplies in the catalogs I get. Maybe this will be next on the list… Oh, for more hours in a day! What is your friends etsy site? I’d love to see what she does. And thanks!

  2. psychscribe Says:

    I’m a bead junkie too….and doing my first craft show as a vendor this weekend….i finally stopped buying this week (I feel sick at how much I’ve spent at this) – so have forced myself to look at my bead collection as is (enough is enough) and come up with new ways of looking at them and making stuff I had not dreamed of when I bought them.


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