Welcome to Inside the Studio!
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.
Congratulations, Julie of Outwest! You have won a ceramic leaf pendant from Mary Harding Jewelry. Please send Mary an email with your information so she can mail that out to you!
Today we visit the studio of
How can it be March already?!
Spring seems like a dim light at the end of a seemingly never-ending tunnel of snow. And March means that I should have my tax prep done. Haven't.Even.Started. In fact, I was so bad last year I never even filed one scrap of paper. Just piled it all in a heap on the middle of my studio floor. (Obviously, I am organizationally challenged!) This year I have been keeping receipts and orders on a clipboard so that I can file them by month. And here it is, month three, and I haven't even started that. The good news is that I have not bought much (you have to see my studio to know that this is not such a big sacrifice as I have enough art beads and materials to go with them to last me until my last days). The bad news is I have not sold much (of course, if I listed something for sale I might actually sell something!). So this whole start to the new year is not going very smoothly in terms of organizing my files, and it is getting a bit depressing that winter won't end (my son's Varsity baseball team season opener is scheduled for a double-header on Saturday, April 5th. Um. Probably not going to happen). With the endless vista of white outside my door, and the seemingly endless stack of receipts I really must start sifting through, I really needed a something to get me out of this rut.
Luckily, the Bead Cruise is just around the corner, because a dose of tropical drinks and sand would do wonders for my mood. Am I going to a tropical destination to have fun in the sun with my friends? Nope. But my beads are!
I have contributed to the Goodie Bags that Heather puts together for the Bead Cruise participants the past few years. Now, I could just clean out my Simple Truths stash (I have so many new ones and samples that are waiting for me to list them already in my lonely Etsy shop!), but that would feel like cheating a bit. So I used this as an excuse to experiment. And I am quite happy with the results!
I almost never work with colored clays. But last year I took a class with Heather creating canes and got so inspired that I went a little nuts buying every color of polymer clay available. But of course, I never did anything with them. That is the way it goes with me.
When I think of tropical locales, I think of bright, citrusy tones. I think of resort wear with strappy sandals and white accented with touches of gold. So I dug in my stash and pulled out lime green, lemon yellow, mango orange, hot pink and turquoise clays. I found a texture plate that had a sea-theme to it. I happened upon some ocean charms. And I used a lot of shiny gold paint for a patina.
I thought of tide pools and all the creatures that are massed together in a shallow little world, like some saltwater commune living together in harmony. I set out to create beads that looked like fossils that were dug up. Irregular. Rugged. Little treasures just waiting to be found.
After I pressed them and baked them, I painted them with a soft gold that gave them a lustrous sheen. But I decided that they needed a little something extra, so I did the same to some wee ocean charms I found - fish, starfish, seashells, octopi, dolphins - distressing them a bit to show the detail.
I paired them up so that each set had different colors, shapes and textures. No two are alike! Just how I like it. ;-)
Did I mention that these beads are double-sided? The reverse of the emboss is on the back of each bead. That sort of detail tickles me to no end! I strung each set on an eye pin and readied them for their packaging.
I tied them onto my cards and put each in its own wrapper. I hope that the recipients will feel the love that went into each one of them.
I may not be able to sit on the beach sipping drinks through an umbrella topped straw with my best beady friends, but it makes me happy that these little Tropical Tide Pool Fossils will be having some fun in the sun even if the only sun that I will see is the reflection off the snow!
Would you like to win a set of some of my new Tropical Tide Pool Fossils? I will give away a random set of three Tropical Tide Pool Fossils (just the beads, not the charms ;-) to one random commenter just for answering this question:
If you could go any place in the world on a fantasy bead escape with your best beady friends, where would it be and why?
I'll start... while I would love to go on the cruise, I think I would love even more to go to someplace like Morocco or India or Nepal because the colors and patterns of people in faraway cultures intrigues me!