Whatever strikes your fancy

Flower ceramic findings from Jennifer Powers of Quinlan Glass Art, & czech glass melon beads

I’ve stated before that I love looking for and finding handmade components to use in my jewelry. I personally don’t have the time or skill to make any of these components myself and I’m just fine with that. There are so many talented people out there that love to do it and do it so well. I recently made these earrings using these ceramic flower components from Quinlan Glass Art. I just love them and they are the perfect earring size and great for Spring and Summer.

Wing charms from the brand Bead Treasures, their Fairy Tales pieces.

However, I don’t restrict my buying to just artisan pieces. I do find ready made items that I think are cute, whimsical or just the right item to incorporate in my designs. Big box craft stores often have sections for DIY jewelry making and have the ready made charms, pendants, beads, findings, etc. You know the stores and items I mean. It was on a recent excursion to one such store that I picked out some charms that I thought were really cute and a shape that I have also seen used in home decor in the past year, so they were on trend. On top of that, the store was having a sale on this particular brand. Bingo! What could I lose trying them out? I luckily found some beads that I already had on hand that I thought complimented the charms. I liked the off white, sparkly finish and size of these wings and I just really enjoy how they turned out. Inspiration can be found just about anywhere and with just about anything.

Pondering over beads and coffee- “Your dreams are what define your individuality. They have the power to give you wings and make you fly high.” ~ P.V. Sindhu

Soar high ~Holly G

Road to Mecca (jewelry mecca that is)

Necklace I made using a commissioned piece from Ashley of Summer Wind Art

Unfortunately I’ve been nursing a sore back, which has kept me away from the computer. Feeling well enough to write now, I decided to post something before I head to Tucson for the Gem, Mineral, Fossil, and Jewelry Show. Woohoo, desert here I come! This will be my first time attending and I’m beyond excited! This has been on my bucket list for several years and I finally made the decision to attend this year.

For those unfamiliar with the event it is a 2 1/2 week gathering of hundreds of gem, mineral, bead, fossil, and jewelry vendors, experts, artisans, and shoppers, all converging on Tucson, AZ. There are over 40 different venues located in hotels, the convention center, warehouses, casino, and on sidewalks and in huge tents all over town. Take your pick, there is something for everyone from dino bones to flamework glass beads, to metalsmith pieces and fine gem stones. Vendors come from all over the world to sell, trade, and just share their expertise with the public and wholesalers alike.

Being a newbie I decided to purchase the Tucson Gem Show catalog which has loads of information on all the shows, how to get around town, maps, restaurants in the area, hotels, etc. Totally worth the investment. Also, there are apps one can download and information online. I was propelled to take the leap to attend when a jewelry artist I follow online decided to run a day long workshop there (Candie Cooper). She is holding it in a cool motel and she has lined up some wonderful artists that will be doing classes with her. Candie’s event is a day and a half long which includes visiting the African markets and other venues, but I booked time before and after to do some things on my own. Of course I’ll be shopping and will definitely go to the shows located in the casino. Many people I’ve purchased from will be located there. There are a few others venues on my list that I want to attend, but being new and not sure of the layout and transportation I’ll just play my free time by ear and see what happens. I will be attending the Beads of Courage bracelet making fundraiser one evening. People I’m familiar with in the DIY jewelry world will be there and it all sounds fun and for a great cause.

I will be posting pics from my time there, so keep a sharp eye out for that. I’ll also share what trinkets I find and bring home with me.

Time to start packing! ~ Holly G

Pondering over beads and coffee- “What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Back home with a few goodies

Well, we are back home after enjoying our vacation in Florida. Although it was chilly by Florida standards it was still much warmer than back home. Our condo on the beach was just wonderful. The views, amazing. We did luck out and had a few days warm and sunny enough to lounge by the pool. It has been quite the re-entry coming back north. We got snow and very cold temps to deal with, but that is what winter is like here, even for a southern state.

When I travel I like to seek out independently owned bead shops and lo and behold I found one, located just up the road from where we were staying, called Island Cove Beads and Gallery. If I lived in that area, I’m sure it would become my second home. Friendly staff, lots of great beads, some of which were made by local glass bead artists, and an area to sit and hang out making jewelry. My kind of place. I was glad I found it and got to spend some time in there. Of course I found some goodies to bring home with me! How could I not, I ask you. I’m saving my $$ for ‘the’ Tucson show (more on that later), but I could not resist. Plus I’m supporting a locally owned shop. All good.

Pondering over beads and coffee- “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”  –Martin Luther King

Peace to all – Holly G

Inspirations

I love artists and their works. Of all mediums. Wandering museums, art shows, craft markets are my jam! I truly envy their talent and courage to put their work out for others to see (and judge). I just love the inspiration it gives me, makes me believe I too can be an artist. However, that thought that I am not an artist has been a major stumbling block to me and my creativity. I have to remind myself that a person does not have to be a trained artist with an MFA to be a creative. Because I’m not trained in jewelry design (or art of any kind) I do look around for inspiration and help in how to make and create.

I began my jewelry making journey in prehistoric times (aka pre-internet). My sources for how-tos were jewelry making books and magazines. I’d either go to the local bookshops or the library to find anything I could on the subject. At the time, there seemed to be quite the variety of magazines to peruse through. I had quite the stack for awhile. I really enjoyed repeatedly flipping through the pages and getting jazzed up by all that I saw. Some designs I felt were beyond my reach and talents, others were possibilities. I rarely buy these magazines now as they are getting harder and harder to find both in stores and online.

Years ago I found a PBS show, Beads Baubles and Jewels that still runs on my local public TV station every Friday. Ah, more like minded peeps! I love the show because I much prefer to watch someone make something and give instructions instead of seeing still photos and reading the instructions. Now, the internet is the main source of locating inspiration for me. The how to videos on YouTube and Facebook as well as on bead sellers/jewelry makers websites has just blown up over the past several years. Lucky us! What a great way to see and met people who share my passion and can talk the ‘bead talk’. Can’t forget to mention Pinterest as well. What a great way to waste time find great ideas and more people connections.

Truly, there are many ways to find inspiration. If you want to find color combinations to use in your pieces look to nature, such as walking through the park, catching a sunset on the beach, desert beauty, country living, etc. Fashion and home design/decorating magazines are also great sources for seeing what is currently on trend. I’ve seen jewelry makers challenge themselves and others to create a piece based on colors in a particular painting or photograph. I’ve tried this when I’ve been stuck creatively and couldn’t find my muse for awhile. It helps get the juices flowing again.

Pondering over beads and coffee….“Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.” -Alan Alda

Creatively yours~ Holly G