Saturday, December 6, 2008

Studio Saturday Countless Blessings

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

This week's very lucky winner is Jennifer Cameron! Congratulations! Please send your postal address to the ABS Suggestion Box to receive a gorgeous Illuminated Manuscript Bead from Heather Powers at Humblebeads!

Swapping Blessings and Stories on Studio Saturday

Today we're in the studio of Lynn Davis, who just finished a group project of an engaging, exchanging kind!

In this season and time of the year, it's quite easy to get distracted with the 'doing' of things, going places and enjoying events. It's been such a good year for me in so many ways, and challenging in others, that I want to be sure to remember to count my blessings and not let them slip away unnoticed.

So I offered to do a charm / clasp / bead swap even though I've never done it before, and some very talented and lovely people joined in with me.

I want to share the wealth of the art beads and charms created and the beautiful and clever results with you here.
The theme was 'Counting Your Blessings' and the swap item could be a clasp, a charm or a bead, but it had to be handmade and in the spirit of the theme. The packaging was as lovely as the beads inside!

These little Humblebeads are from Heather Powers. The colors on the bead are so beautiful and seasonal, and the owl charm seems so knowing and wise. The card says 'Wisdom is the beginning of all blessings. Wear this little owl as a reminder' - isn't that wonderful?

The skeleton key charms with stamped copper tags that say 'HOME' were made by Lorelei Eurto, with a beautiful dangle on each one. They are so tiny and special, a unique remembrance of the warmth and coziness of the hearth and home anytime, but especially at this time of year.

Mary Harding created several different charms and beads, with a natural world theme and such beautiful colors. I was fortunate to see all the unique charms in the swap before they went to their new homes. On my blog I'll put more photos of all the different ones, I don't want to take too much space here. This sneak peek will give you a good idea of the variety and beauty of the swap items.

If you've never done a swap you should give it a try, it's a great way to get to know some people better and make new friends. And oh! the goodies!

It was interesting that many of the swap items used words as well as images to tell the story of counting blessings. These little beads and charms were made by Cristi Clothier. She used the words 'Be Blessed' and number circles, very clever and colorful.

Others used only symbols of blessed icons, these lovely raku hearts were made by Gaea Cannaday. I love the rustic and organic look of them, under the smooth shiny surface glaze. Sometimes blessings do appear rough on the outside but have wonderful things to bring to a life! With a heart icon you can tell your own story, make up your personal meaning. I like that about them.

Another organic, natural world symbol was used by Erin Siegel, in her glazed leaf shapes. As the leaves fall from the trees in the circle of the seasons, we count ourselves fortunate in this world to be able to sense the changes in life. The colors are so glorious and each one so unique, just like real natural world leaves. Just like each one of us, too.

The images used in the art beads and charms weren't coordinated by me in any way, but there were recurring symbols, icons and words. About home. Leaves. Hearts.

These charming houses were made by Lisa Harrington. The colors are harmonious with the other swap items, and the little house shape goes well with Lorelei's key charm and has a similar message. We treasure our family, our homes and hearths, at this season. There's a tiny beautiful butterfly inside, the most colorful and transient creatures in nature, to remind us that time is fleeting. And the dangle under the little house charm with the word 'HOME' on the roof is a tiny puppy dog - the most faithful and entertaining of creatures that share our hearths.

My own charms have some of the same ideas and spirit. I made a fused glass heart connector because the heart connects us all, a leaf charm to show the constancy of change, and a small corked glass vial filled with golden flakes with the words 'GOOD' and 'BLISS', 'PEACE' and 'MERCY' on them.

I want make a single wearable piece like a necklace or charm bracelet that includes everything from the swap, to remind me through all next year to count my blessings daily.

Maybe you count these end of year days using an advent calendar, or celebrate with special family events. Or perhaps there's certain music, a book or tradition that you re-visit every year, to close out the special days every winter as each year wanes away.

In the meantime, here's the question for you to ponder! Reply to this post and you will win one of my fused glass charms from the swap if your post is chosen from the group of replies.

How do you creatively count your blessings at this time of year? and what special words or symbols remind you of your most treasured memories, events and celebrations? Family and friends, home and hearth, traditions and customs across time, boundaries and cultures, share how they influence your ideas and creativity.

Post your answer, share your story, join with us in counting our blessings!

And be sure to stop by tomorrow for gossip in the Bead Blogging neighborhood. Don't forget the new ABS $10 Tuesday. A project for you to create for $10 or under, every Tuesday.

Posted by Lynn Davis, who feels very blessed indeed
during this quiet time of Holly Daze.


Tari of claybuttons said...

I am fortunate that my husband supports me. Whether I make buttons or other types of art he is there. If I decide to quit what I'm doing and move on to something else he will support me in that endeavor.
Amazing and Miracle, it's amazing we found each other and miracle we've been married 12 years with 6 kids!
We were both widowed and met online in a widows&widowers group.
We are blessed to have each other.
Everyday life plays into creativity and art.

rosebud101 said...

Wow! This is a great thought provoking question. I guess my background is what I am most thankful for throughout the year. In my bead making, I use a lot of colors of the southwest. The words Joy and Laughter come to mind when I think about treasured memories. One of the most enjoyable customs in our family is to make "posole" for the celebrations. Love it! And I need to make more this Christmas.

Donna said...

I think of all the things I am given: clear blue skies, crisp air, branches silouetted against the sky.
And I realize that there are so many more blessings I have overlooked.
It can make us rethink our lives and stop taking the little things for granted.
Don't look at the ice covered roads, see the snowflakes.

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Hi Lynn,

A great post with a good question! I try to enjoy each holiday as it comes and not hold onto what I've done before. Life is always changing and I want to be fully present in the moment when it happens not spend time wishing for it to be as it used to be. It rarely is and if it is, then I need to enjoy it.


gail w. said...

We celebrate Christmas with several traditions.We all get together on Chrisymas & ride to see spectacular city decorations.We go to Hollywild,where deer,lambs,monkeys, and the snow whitetiger & bear live.

hite tiger &bear live.Everything is all decked out tastefully.A dinner a week before Christmas.

LLYYNN said...

I just finished unpacking the red-and-green tubs of ornaments and decorations, and there are many that are handmade and have been in my family for a long time. Taking each one out reminds me of the trip, the friend, the year it commemorates. And I plan to make a baby'f first Christmas ornament for my new granddaughter, to keep it going forward. Thanks for sharing your stories. They warm the heart.

abeadlady said...

As I do mostly intuitive bead embroidery that I give to friends and family as gifts, I try to think of that particular person as I am beading, incorporating items of interest to each one as I bead. I find myself remembering special events in my life and putting those emotions into my work. As each work is finished, I can look at it and enjoy the memories it provokes.

Gaela said...

I have always enjoyed creating the gifts that I share during the whole winter holiday season. As a child,my mom always gave us something that she made especially for us and my aunt Gladys always gave handmade gifts. When I'm making something for someone, I can't help but be grateful for their friendship and the part they play in my life. Mom always made sure that we had the supplies we needed to be creative and I am grateful to have these things today. My husband, Kevin, is also very supportive of all of my Artistic endeavors. Words and symbols?~Peace,Joy,Healing Hands, Spirals,Links,Ohm,Celtic Cross.....

Shaiha said...

I don't tend to celebrate the holidays so this time of the year is my time to recharge my batteries and for quiet reflection. However there is one thing that I have done for so long that it has become a sort of tradition for me. I create small gifts (Of whatever craft I am currently involved in) and donate them to our local battered women's shelter to ensure that those women know that someone is thinking of them during the holiday season. When I am making them, I tend to reflect on the blessings that fill my life and the hope that these woman find thier own blessings.