Saturday, November 29, 2008

Studio Saturday - Unlikely Inspiration

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 winner is Meekiyu! Congratulations! Please send your postal address to the ABS Suggestion Box to receive some buttons from Creative Impressions in Clay!

It's been a while since you've been over to the Humblebeads Studio. This has been a busy month of new beads for me as I prepare to launch a new line of beads. One bead that has snuck out early are my Illuminated Manuscript beads, inspired by the Renaissance.

I'm not much for monograms, but while designing this new line I had a little flash of inspiration and saw these ornate, somewhat bridal letter beads. I quickly whipped up a few samples and fell in love with them. The colors of gold, white and just a tinge of grey-blue, I spotted in a magazine for a holiday table setting a few days before. I would almost say this bead design arrived by happenstance. I didn't wake up that morning planning on monogram beads, but that photo was running around in my mind and somehow the two ideas meshed together.

So these are my beads inspired by a table setting photograph in a decorating magazine. My question today is where is the oddest place you've found inspiration? Leave a comment and next week one lucky winner will be picked to win the Illuminated Manuscript bead of their choice.


Tari of said...

Love the new beads Heather!
The oddest place...$10 Dollar Tuesday! A shampoo bottle for napkin rings!

Anonymous said...

Heather,you have so many wonderful new beads!They,themselves are inspiring.I want money for Christmas.The strangest place I got inspiration from,my 102yr.old uncle made and painted my aunts china,long time ago,mom says in the 30's,she wasn't born.But it is beautiful.The colors& thefragilness of the teacup,I wanted to make something to equal it.I haven't.But I will inherit.Hi there,Tari!I love your work,also. Gail W.

Gaea said...

Wow! I love the colors and elegance of your new beads! I think the oddest place I've found inspiration was from the failing picture tube in out T.V. It turned the colors all topsy turvy and very magenta!

Anonymous said...

Let's see, the oddest inspiration ever... that must have been that calender picture which showed, believe me or not, a frozen asparagus. And the necklace inspired by it actually turned out very nice *g*

SueBeads said...

I love your new beads! I wouldn't say it was strange, but the newspaper has given me some ideas. I see an item, say an artist who was profiled, and they show a photo of her vases, and I love the color combos, and they grow into something that way.

Andrew Thornton said...

Congratulations on the new beads!

The oddest place I've found inspiration in is probably a bathroom. There's a great little restaurant in my old neighborhood called Moto. They actually filmed a documentary about this horse-shoe bar cafe/restaurant based on a 1920's/1930's theme. The bathroom downstairs is a straight up WC. It's complete with a pull-chord flushing system. But in the corner of the room, there was a mirror. I don't know how it was attached, but it was the art deco mirror was in the very corner of the room where the ceiling and walls converged. I was smitten with it and ended doing a whole series of drawings about this very neglected space and the strange ornament that seemed to pull everything together. Odd... no?

Heather Powers said...

Tari - I loved the recycling with the shampoo bottles!

Gail - I can imagine that they would bring wonderful memories and great inspiration.

I remember that your blog post about your tv beads Gaea, that is funny!

I'm there with you Kikiwen - asparagus and artichokes are beautiful.

Sue, I'm a magazine junkie myself. The photos inspire all sorts of ideas.

Andrew that is so interesting. Those forgotten spaces can really capture our imagination. I found when I go to NY the details of the buildings can be so overwhelming and enchanting. I don't know how many photos I took of ceilings last winter!

abeadlady said...

I pull a lot of color inspirations from Quilting Arts Magazine and I don't even quilt. Sometimes an idea just pops into my head. And that is a very strange place. LOL

Love the new beads. Gives me an idea.

peacockfairy said...

This may not be the "strangest" place, but it certainly is a good story. Right before the holidays last year I was my usual stressed self and my husband decided to hang a new chandelier in the dining room - great timing for such a project. He needed my assistance and since neither of us were in the best of moods an argument began. Just as he was putting the finishing touches on it, a strand of beads broke loose and went to places never to be found again. Instead of taking the whole thing down again we decided the design was not any less beautiful without this particular section so we cut the rest off. I used the beads to make a necklace to always remind me of how silly the fight was.

Mary Meredith said...

The oddest place I've found beading inspiration was underground. We were digging up an area of grass in our yard to start a garden when I came upon broken shards of pottery. The pots, of various colours, were all tinged with the rich browns of the soil. The previous owners had dumped their broken bits as fill in the yard! The colours of brown with terracotta, green flecked with white and blue inspired a necklace, which was gifted to a friend.

Jen Judd said...

Love the new beads, Heather--they're gorgeous!!

Some of my inspiration is a little bit odd, I guess...I think back to men I've gone out with over the course of the last ten years and come up with a "tribute" piece for them. I try to think of it as therapy, so I can see the good that he had or the lesson I learned. Think, hairy nose=felted beads or one-armed man=asymmetric bracelet (for the right arm only, of course!!)

Jennifer Cameron said...

The oddest place I've found inspiration is my daughter's nightmares. One night while I was on the torch, she (for the 26th night in a row) began screaming and wanted to stay with me because of her spider dreams. That night, without even thinking about it, I made a bead with a "spider" on the end like a bead cap. I gave it less than 8 legs and suction cup feet, but in my mind it's a spider. The series is called Nightmare Insomnia.

Christina J. said...

I don't know if this is very odd, but I bought a painting on Etsy that I loved and it inspired me to make a bracelet interpretation of the painting. It's one of my favorite pieces.

cindy said...

I guess the oddest isnpiration, was an "accidental" piece that I made. I was making a triple spiral set of earrings, which were to hang vertical; and I some how was fumbling around with them, and turned them into a triangle shape which then became my triple goddess earrings. I do find stranger inspiration in coming up with the names of my pieces!

Anonymous said...

An antique cowchain.

I have made a necklace out of it!
I have a plot to make more of different styles :-)

You can see it on my website.

EmandaJ said...

Hi Heather, Truly love the new beads! I'm a medievalist/art historian, so that illuminated letter "thing" really clicks with me.

My strangest inspiration was a passing comment someone made in my hearing about sisters "getting along like peas and carrots". Earlier, I had seen the most darling little sterling silver and pearl pea-pod pendant. I decided to create my own, expanded version. You can see the results on my blog: for Oct. 16 (the image is at )


Anonymous said...

Love the new beads, very romantic. One of the weirdest places I got a colour idea from was the spa when I was having a pedicure. I almost went home with wet polish to play with the colour combination.