Monday, December 8, 2008

Etsy Inspirations

I am constantly astonished by what I find on Etsy! There are an unbelievable number of creative people in the world, and they're making such fabulous stuff. Sometimes I look at what they make and think, "How can I translate that into stone and wire and metal and make an astonishing piece of jewelry?" What I love is the ability to look at ordinary things and see them in a new way. Look at AmberCripe's baby wipe containers below. Who would think of covering them and making them more beautiful? They're utilitarian. She did, and I love her for it. (I need to get some of those for my nieces!) Anyway, here's my thanks to some of my favorite Etsy creative sellers. You're amazing!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Getting Started

Some people have asked about how I got started making jewelry. It's Mom's fault, really. (She's responsible for inspiring a lot of my creativity.) So here it is:

Mom was always going on diets, and she never wanted to diet alone. She was always inviting us to join her. So her latest diet was inspired by a lady who heard that if you ate at least nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily, you couldn't help but lose weight. The lady made herself nine little bracelets out of seed beads or pony beads, and each time she ate a serving of F & V, she would move a bracelet from her left wrist to her right. So we all made little bracelets out of seed beads that Mom had laying around. Of course, we didn't know about stretchy cord so the bracelets started breaking or fell off too easily. I hit Craft Warehouse and discovered gel cord and got some different glass beads to make some new bracelets to replace the ones that broke.

Once I got started, I couldn't seem to stop! I made a beautiful multi-strand necklace with different shapes of similarly colored glass beads that I bought at A Bead Source on SE Division, and a gorgeous gold/bronze/brown blend of seed beads that I found at Nye Cottage Bead Shop in Newport. (Thank you, Nye, for the bead therapy - tables full of loose beads that you can just run your hands through. Delicious!) I got so many positive comments about it! And people started asking me to make jewelry for them.

Discovering semi-precious stone beads was another breakthrough. They feel so good! And they represent infinite possibilities! Every stone is different, even if they are the same type of stone. I can look into them and see small miracles of God's creation. A trip to visit Seattle's bead stores led to the discovery of bead and gem shows and it was all over at that point. I am now completely hooked, and I have to sell my jewelry in order to support my habit. I've had some wonderful teachers since then, discovered such an enormous variety of stones and grown to love their variations.

After Mom passed away, I found six of those original seed bead bracelets and have stashed them away in one of my seed bead drawers. Every time I run across them I smile and thank Mom for her love and inspiration. Here they are for your enjoyment as well.