Inked, brushed, heated and altered!

Dwyn presented me with a bit of a challenge the other day, when she handed me a string of metal, brushed silver beads, and asked me to work my “magic” on them. Not being one to shy away from such a challenge I decided that it was time to play! As I didn’t want to wreck my gifted beads, I rooted around in my stash, until I found a couple of older ones, to mess about with. I decided that I liked the direction I was taking, so jumped right in, and started altering the challenge beads. Hmmm, should I …

Play and the art of gift giving!

Where has the year gone? Yikes, it’s that time again! Time to start thinking about what you’re going to do about holiday gift giving. Yes, I’m aware that some of you, have been preparing for this for months, but I’d like to think that you’re in the minority. The vast majority (myself included), need the cooler temperatures, to get our collective rears in gear! The thermostat has dropped (and late this year, at that), so it’s time to make some fast plans. As a dedicated crafter (now billing myself as a Mixed Media Artist), I’ve been making handmade gifts for …

Are you ready for a shot of colour?

The leaves are almost gone, and although it’s still weirdly mild in Toronto (for November), the clock is ticking, and winter is just around the corner! In the corporate world, my go-to wardrobe colours, were black, grey and navy, but now with my beady, mixed media life, I find myself constantly reaching for colour (well acually, I still reach for black, but it’s a sickness)! No, I’m not going to abandon my wardrobe completely! Replacing everything would be much too costly, but there’s always the wild and wacky world of accessories!!! Bracelets, necklaces, rings, belts, hats, gloves and scarves, oh …

We must remember to never forget!

John McCrae, a Canadian physician, composed the poem, “In Flanders Fields” on May 3, 1915, during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium. The poem was written, as a reaction to the death of one of his closest friends. According to Wikipedia, “The poem and poppy are prominent Remembrance Day symbols throughout the Commonwealth of Nations, particularly in Canada, where “In Flanders Fields” is one of the nation’s best-known literary works. The poem also has wide exposure in the United States, where it is associated with Memorial Day.” As a child, I was asked to memorize, and recite this poem, during …

What do you do with a pile of beads?

Perhaps I should title this “What’s on my worktable this week?”.  The story begins with a couple of piles of beads.  Where it ends, who knows??? Do your beads talk to you?  Mine do!!  I’m not really crazy, but I do have this awful tendency to buy beads and bits, and then just let them age in the bag, until my muse decides how she’s going to use them.  Does that ever happen to you?  Let start with the red Swarovski leaves…. I’ve been eyeing these leaves, ever since I spotted them on the sale rack at BeadFX. Hmmm, 40% …

All dolled up!

You’re never too old to start playing with dolls!   You’re also, never too old to start doing something you’re not comfortable with.  I did play with dolls as a child, but never really dragged them around, the way the other girls did.  However, I remember the total joy of believing that Santa tucked a brand new doll (well actually three, as I have two sisters) under the tree at Christmas!  As I grew older, I also confess to spending an awful lot of time, focusing on new fashion statements for Barbie!   But did I bond with the dolls? …

Button, button, who’s got the button?

Do you remember playing in your mother’s button box as a child? Reach back, far back, and reflect on the sound and feel of your fingers running throught the coolness of the buttons. Aren’t memories wonderful?  Who doesn’t remember the sweet, sweet smell of apple pie baking, or waking up to the rythmic sound of the percolator (I know, this has nothing to do with either buttons or beads). According to “The Button Craft Book”, by Dawn Cusik, the earliest buttons date back to 2000 B.C.  I’m pretty sure that those buttons were probably made of bone, wood or rock, …

Designing your way out of a paper bag!

Doesn’t it just drive you crazy, when you try to think up a new design, but then find that you’re in a total creative slump?  You have the time, you have the materials,  a deadline is looming, and then nothing!! So what the heck do you do? Tearing your hair out, isn’t productive, nor is shutting yourself away in the dark, wailing out your misery!   So, let’s explore some techniques, to unlock your ideas….. 1.  Go for a walk!  Use your camera, to take shots of anything that inspires you.  When you return home, relax, indulge in a snack, …

Finding inspiration

Inspiration is a funny thing!  Always present in your dreams, but once awake, disappears like smoke! How can we corral something that ephemeral?   Why is it so hard? Let’s start with the definition, according to Google:   “1. the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. 2. the drawing in of breathe; inhalation.” In other words, inspiration is a mental stimulation of your creativity, and is as natural as a breath of fresh air! I’m often asked, where I get my ideas?! While seldom stuck for an answer, I find this …

Complicated Simplicity

Have you ever noticed, that the simplest things in life appear more complex, once you look a little closer!  If you haven’t, try going for a little stroll, and really examining the world of wonder, beneath your feet. You’ll find a surprising array of colours, textures, and shapes, each one more complicated than the next! The world is full of designs, and design principals, but the one I seem to have adopted lately, is what I like to call, “Complicated Simplicity”.  As a fairly informal person, I find myself designing, and reaching for simple jewellery pieces, that consist of multiple …