Inspiration Station-Oct 2011: A Swing and A Miss

October 2, 2011

My “back to school” days are over, so it’s “back to beading”.  This time ’round, let’s discuss experiments. We creative types are creative because we have a desire to try new things. Painters look for interesting subjects, or a twist on something they’re comfortable with. Writers keep their ears to the ground for that special bit of dialog and their eyes moving for that scene to spark the next story.

Beaders are no different. We look for interesting patterns, color palettes, textures to see if it can be translated with beads. Then to choose which method: peyote stitch? herringbone? embrodiery? Maybe it should just be strung: wire? cord? macrame?

Sometimes what works on paper doesn’t quite translate. For instance, I had a plan to create a needle holder. While reorganizing my BeadFest stash, I discovered a breath mint tin (no not Altoids(r) ) was the perfect size for my standard beading needles. Why not decorate one with beads? It would be a perfect addition to my home gift line.  After measuring and pondering over the little tin I decided to loom two swatches, adhere them to some ultrasuede squares, then glue to the tin.  Sounds simple, right?

Looming was the easy part. Using a bead mix that sat in my drawer I quickly whipped up the squares. The pattern came to me immediately.

One issue loom work and I have is finishing. For some reason, tying off ends and making them look pretty is not a strength. So I decided to not tie off since the swatch would be adhered to the ultra-suede.

Almost but not quite


Did I mention I barely passed geometry in high school? The ultra-suede is a little short. The pattern looks awesome, (love how the colors worked) but the ends need to be cleaned up somehow.  So back to the drawing board.

This isn’t the first “swing and a miss”. Last year was the wide cuff experiment. Again, created a hot loom pattern with a red based palette.

Pattern is hot, finishing is not.

Again, the finishing was not what I planned. I stitched the ultra-suede around the cuff, instead of using adhesive, so the underside didn’t look as clean.

Some experiments I break down and reassemble. Usually, the second go-round turns out better and it’s a go to offer for sale. Some, as with the cuff, won’t be. While I could reuse the materials, they serve as examples of what doesn’t work. Inspiration comes from flawed places too.



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