Tuesday, April 27, 2010


(This is the first piece of art I ever sold)

April seems to be a good month for me! I have received several custom jewelry orders, sold a couple of items, and finally set up a Jewelry/Art party! I have been trying to make at least one jewelry or art piece each evening and the creative juices just keep flowin! I think it also helps that I am doing an art project at school with my students so I am just inspired and motivated all around.

Which brings me to this topic: Where do people find inspiration in their work and/or hobbies?

Inspiration for my art:
(1) I am most inspired by seeing other artist's work. I aways bring a tiny sketchbook or notepad with me when I go to art exhibits and especially art festivals.
(2) Taking classes has also been inspiring for me, probably because I'm around other artists and seeing other's art (similar to above), but also because my brain is being coaxed to stretch out.
(3) The beauty in nature inspires me to paint and architecture/bridges/lines inspire me to take photos (although I am a bad photographer)!
(4) Selling my art. I do get a "fix" when someone buys one of my pieces...there is just something about another person validating your work and beautiful and valuable.

Inspiration for my work (social work):
(1) Connections with young people is the absolute best....having students excited to see me and tell me their stories is WONDERFUL and I love hearing from them after they have left the school.
(2) Seeing young people make it through difficult situations and the challenges that life presents. And when the young person is excited that they overcame the challenge - That is the cherry on top!
(3) Watching something "click" - For a student or teacher.
(4) It melts my heart when young people (or adults, for that matter) reach out to someone else. For example, when one of my 1st graders asks a peer what is wrong or one of my 8th graders comes to me for advice for a friend. Awwwww!

What's your inspiration?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Recycled Handmade Beads

I have been wanting to try making paper beads for a couple of years, and since I was home at a decent hour today and it is Earth Day, I decided that this is the perfect opportunity! Below are the steps to make your own beads. They are pretty simple to make, but BEWARE - can be very time consuming! The whole process from making the beads to creating a necklace took about 3.5 hours. However, it's so much fun to create designs on the beads and see the finished product that it is well worth your labor. :)

Step 1: Cut 1" by 7" strips of paper from a brown paper grocery bag.
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Step 2: Fold the edges in to the desired width for your bead. (Note: I recommend gluing the edges down to make it easier and less frustrating to roll the paper).
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Step 3: Wrap paper around a knitting needle, paint brush, or any thin, sturdy object. Lay it on the table to roll bead as tight as possible. Put glue on the last 1/2" of the paper strip and finish rolling. Hold for 30-60 seconds to let glue set (I used Elmer's glue) and slide paintbrush or needle out from bead
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Step 5: Use a permanent marker to color in the end of the beads and to create designs.
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Step 6 (Optional): I painted a layer of Modpodge over the beads to help protect them and make them more sturdy.
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Step 7: Make a necklace or bracelet! Go to my Etsy site to see the finished product!