Earlier last week, I had another mini craft fair. This is when I take my jewelry to one of the local schools and set it up in the teachers' lounge for a couple of days. It's all on the honors system - I leave it there unattendend, and faculty and staff shops, leaving their checks and cash in a manilla envelope. They even have the option of signing an IOU sheet. So far that arrangement has worked just fine. Turns out I sold 18 pairs of earrings last week. Eighteeen pairs of mostly brown earrings. That means that I have to come up with 18 new designs to replenish my display board for the next mini craft fair.
Just when I think there's no way I'll be able to accomplish that, I pull out my styrofoam plates of beads and stare. Pretty soon the creative juices start flowing, and I can start cranking them out. The picture above is just one of my plates of dark brown. I also have light brown/amber, a couple different greens, a couple blues, black, turquoise, red, pink, pearls, etc.
See, I used to put each bead type in a little compartmentalized box. Then I started buying strands by the bagful, and so that took way to much organization for the right side of my brain to handle. So I decided that I should just arrange them as if they were a palette, and put all the similarly colored beads together, hence the styrofoam plates which were sturdier than paper. What I really need are stackable trays.
This organizational system is actually how I came up with my random designed jewlery, where there's no pattern, just a random assortment of beads strung together, either as a bracelet, a necklace or as a cuff. When you have all these great colors and shapes staring you in the face, it's hard to decide which ones to use. Why not use them all? With a symmetrical design, there would be no way to fit them all in without making it look stupid, and basically random anyway.
The fun comes when you take a handful from one plate and mix it with a handful from another plate. It's mixing colors just like paint! I've ended up with some great combinations: champagne and pearls, dark brown and turquoise, and pastels, just to name a few (the bummer is then separating them back out again once the piece is finished!).
So, I'm off to make some earrings...
www.matthewweld.com - pastel paintings
www.studio206.etsy.com - handmade jewelry for sale