Seems like every January I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with my studio. I usually have lots of new beads and findings that came in over the holiday season--all piled up on my desk, many still in the package! Come January, my studio is usually a mess, I am a bit fried creatively and every time I walk into my studio I am reminded that I need to tally up a year's worth of purchases and sales to take care of taxes. Yuck!
So far, I have organized my receipts and cleaned up my desk--putting away most of the new beads. As I cleaned up those beads, a few began to whisper, "come on, play!" But, I just wasn't feeling it--until I came upon two pendants that I have been saving.
The first was the bloom piece that I made in my metalsmith class--too much time went into it to be able to sell it reasonably--I would rather keep it or give it as a gift. I had just put away a new chunky chain that is made of hammered blackened copper--perfect for this piece. Add to that some funky black and brown beads that my friend, Nicole, brought me from a cool bead store in New Orleans and some sparkly copper crystal beads and whalah! I would love to post a picture, but I have submitted this piece for publication. Fingers crossed!
The second pendant was a ceramic pendant that I had picked up from a really cool artist, Jangles. Even at 50% off, the price for the pendant is really too high to sell the bracelet in my usual selling point. Since I knew I couldn't sell it, I didn't get to play with it during the holiday season. As I was looking at the call for submissions in Bead Trends magazine, I noticed that in August they are looking for pieces inspired by the county fair. Well, this pendant had always had a carnival feel to me, so.... I designed yet another piece I can't share with you. :) Both pieces stretched me creatively and I loved how they turned out! If they aren't chosen to be published, I will still be grateful to Bead Trends for the motivation. And, if they aren't chosen, you will get to see them sooner--bonus either way!
Even after enjoying my time playing and making things out of my usual style, I am still not really feeling it in the studio. So, today while we had a sick, play indoors day at our house, I tackled some other projects. I sorted through 2 years of the girls' art projects that I had been throwing in a basket to organize later. I saved my favorites for each girl and set aside some to hang in the house, rotating for the seasons (and yes, they are now organized in seasonal order :). Next, I went through our pile of papers in the kitchen. I sorted into four piles: do now (this week), do later (next 3 months), pending and file. The do now pile is up on my bulletin board right by the garage door, and the others are in a file box in the kitchen where we sort the mail. No more paper pile for things to get lost in. Since I was on a roll and the girls were playing nicely, I decided to tackle the junk drawer. I used a binder with dividers and pockets to sort out grocery coupons, phone lists, restaurant menus and other papers that had been mucking up the junk drawer. Thank you, Better Homes and Gardens for the ideas. Oh my did all of that feel good!
Finally, I got a great idea for a winter wreath for the front door from pinterest. I suddenly remembered that I had a large piece of fabric that just might work . When Mike and I moved into our first condo as homeowners, it had quite the 70's feel. One entire wall of our bedroom was covered in mirrors. We had limited funds to hire their removal and were too scared to tackle that on our own(Mike worked in the ER and was sure we would shatter the glass and slice ourselves to death). So, I went with my 40% off coupon to Joann's Fabric and bought almost 5 yards of sheer sand colored fabric to cover the wall of mirrors. It worked at the time :). Seeing as how I tend to never throw out something I may want to use for crafting later, I still have that fabric 10 years later.
Re-purposing it brought great joy. One wire hanger and 4 yards of shredded fabric later and I had a basic wreath. Next, I added a sash from one of the girls' flower girl dresses. It was so fun for me to remember those times while working on the wreath! What do you think?!
I attached the sash with just a safety-pin--I am thinking I can change the embellishment with the seasons--maybe felted flowers in the spring...pine cones at Christmas...oh the fun! Maybe next month my whims will return to jewelry :D