A Creative Mess…

May 5, 2011

“A creative mess is better than idle tidiness.”      ~ Michael J. Fox

No idle tidiness on my beading table…I am and always will be a creative mess!

 

I was thinking the other day while I was watching my vibrating polisher work on my tarnished Sterling Silver beads.  It’s almost hypnotic the way the process works.  Through the use of stainless steel shot of various sizes and shapes in water (and a little soap), this machine agitates and uses high-speed oscillation to polish the silver clean.  The stainless steel media, some of it pointy and sharp, some of it rounded, works it’s way repeatedly into every nook and cranny of the beads especially the spots where a polishing cloth could never reach.  The process is not a passive one – the beads and shot move continuously and wear on each other during the cycle in a frantic cleansing dance.

We, too, cannot be improved without trouble and agitation.  Trials and problems wear on us like the polishing media does on the beads.  Sometimes we may get pulled under the surface and feel like we’ll never surface again.

But we do finally emerge, shinier and polished – and better for having made it through the polishing process as shinier beads and stronger people.

 

We had a great time making beaded snowflakes at yesterday’s class held at The Old Church Gallery in Cedar River, Michigan.  Carlyn Lynch opened up the gallery for us to have our classes and we soaked up the heat while beading lots of wonderful snowflakes. 

The interesting thing about these classes for me is how much I learn from the students.  Sometimes I think I have seen every possible color combination of beads possible, and then you see what other people put together and get inspired all over again!  What fun.

 

di-and-karen

Karen and I got together to do art again tonight.  Actually I made jewelry and she strung the beading on her daughter’s bridal veil.  We had to laugh and preserve for posterity the picture of us in our “cheaters”…did we ever laugh!  We’ve been making art together since we were teenagers, and when we get together we still act like them! 

Even if our eyes aren’t what they used to be…!

Make Sure To Sparkle!

March 13, 2009

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I finally had to surrender to the inevitable…I need reading glasses.  I’ve been fighting it for awhile now, but I put on a pair of the lowest “cheaters” and WOW!  It was no longer so difficult  to read.  All the letters were larger and clearer.  Figures it took me until my last semester of college to accept this!…all those headaches and all that eye strain for nothing! Not to mention how much easier it’s going to be to make jewelry…I will be able to see the small bead holes again!

Aren’t my new glasses cool?  I only paid $18, but they make me feel better than a lot of the checkout counter pairs.  I’m going to get a whole wardrobe of them and put them everywhere.

So, even though I’m bowing to the inevitable changes by accepting this, I have a new motto.  If life gives you reading glasses, make sure they sparkle!

The Un-Tidy Truth About My Studio!

The Un-Tidy Truth About My Studio!

I have a poster that says this above my work table.  I love it, because there is nothing tidy about the way I work…or play.  I am the painter who loves to do abstracts with pallette knives so I can smear paint around.  I am the beader whose table is strewn with beads and treasures of all sorts.  I am the student whose desk is piled high with books, binders, bills and laptop all mixed together.  I am the mom who has saved every scrap and photo of my children’s lives…in boxes, but not in books (this is a goal before I die). 

I love the magazine “Studios,” a special issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine (clothpaperscissors.com) by Interweave Press.  I love to look through them over and over and covet other artists workspaces.  I love the organization!  Look at all the stacked bins and trays and cubbies.  Look at how it makes a statement about the artist…mine just says I’m a creative slob!

I want to be more organized – I really do.  I just don’t create that way.  Maybe instead of trying to change myself, I should embrace my slobbish ways and glory in the creative process, messy though it may be.  I should just celebrate that I can make beautiful things out of all that chaos!

So, in an effort to celebrate this epiphany with you, I am showing you a photo of my work area.  This is like standing naked on Main Street, let me tell you.  But I am going to risk it because I am trying to accept myself more for who I am.  And who I am is an artist.  And my mind is rarely tidy!

My Worktable Looking Tidier Than Usual

My Worktable Looking Tidier Than Usual

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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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