Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekend Crafting: Creative Block & Inhalants

Since it's Sunday, I'm starting out with a macro shot of my paper beads.  I spent Friday and Saturday evenings spread out on the kitchen counter with some paper I painted up last week along with a yardstick and paper cutter.  I cut dozens and dozens of skinny triangles and then set out with fingers full of glue to come up with these.  I'm really tickled with how they came out but I want to actually use some and see how they work before I try selling them or giving them away.  Is it bad that I'm admitting that I spent most of my weekend by myself at home playing with glue and paper and sticks?
The paper I used has a white core so the winded edges of white show up fairly prominently and I have to decide how to exploit that look.  They have a sort of optical illusion to them when viewed from the side. I may try some sort of tea-dye ink to "age" them and take some of that fresh white look away.  
One of my goals this weekend was to get some of these babies sealed.  I decided to use some spray sealant because that's what I had handy.  I spread out some newspaper on the kitchen counter and took each mandrel (uh, bamboo skewer, actually, by "mandrel" sounds so much more official) and gave the beads a few sprays.  This is where the "inhalant" part of the weekend comes in...I live in a small apartment and after standing there spraying in the kitchen for about five minutes the cat started to meow really loudly--which is not normal.  I walked over to look at him and in that movement took a big breath and realized that I am standing in the middle of a closed up room spraying hugely flammable and dangerous spray that is so smelly that it has started to freak out my cat.  Nice.  I immediately turned on the stove vent and then opened up a window and lined up a fan to blow some of the noxious air out of the apartment. It never even crossed my mind to go outside.  Once I got everything opened up, I made sure that cats were still running around just fine and left the apartment for a while so it could clear up.  Even when I got home three hours later it was still like walking into a paint shop.  But, I think we're good to go now.  The cats are still fine and I haven't had any issues either.  I probably still won't light any candles tonight.
The paper bead frenzy--not the inadvertent inhalant abuse--started out of a need to break my creative block.  I have an Artisan Clay piece that I'm working with as part of Kristie's design team and the reveal is next Friday.  Last month almost all of us were caught by surprise because the last Friday in June came earlier than we thought it would.  I find it shocking that now the end of July is just around the corner.  How can it be that summer is halfway done and I feel like I have nothing to show for it?  Alas, in trying to have something to show off for next Friday, I am working with a gorgeous pineapple yellow donut.  My first instinct was to go monochromatic with tons of lemon and pineapple quartz because I have a ton of different shapes and textures.  But, when I sat down on Saturday morning to work, there were too many things jumping out as perfect...I starting thinking pink and yellow and it went downhill from there. I had everything going on--chain, ribbon, leather, stone, wire--and felt like I had too many ideas and not enough focus.
It was like a festival of too many ideas and I just started to get angry.  I'm used to sitting down and things just happening naturally and they come out right.  The process of editing down this collect of stuff was too overwhelming.  So, I left it.  I was totally blocked so I got dressed and went shopping.  A few new bits from Chico's had me all sorted out...oh, and some Ben & Jerry's helped, too.  I sat down and finished it up this morning.  I'm pleased with the results and you'll see them next Friday.  :)

studio waterstone


  1. I think your paper beads are gorgeous! I hope they work out for you. And I'm glad you and the kitties are ok!!

  2. Can't wait for the reveal on Friday. The individual components on your table are amazing. Love the pendant and the stones are gorgeous!

  3. I love the paper beads! Beautiful colors! Can't wait to see your finished piece with the Artisan Clay piece.

  4. I had just read a piece somewhere on paper beads--they gave the shapes to cut out to get the different shapes. Anyways yours turned out very nice and I will be waiting to see what you do with them. Glad you and the fur babies are ok--watch out for that spray!

  5. Cute paperbeads ! I made some out of the loveletters my parents wrote to each other in 1960 and made them into a necklace for my mother.

  6. The beads are incredible - I'm so in love with paper beads but I haven't tried to make them yet.

  7. Great beads, so glad your cats warned you.

  8. I was just thanking the hubs yesterday for my color wheel that he gave me for Mother's Day. It has really helped me to see the "right" colors when I start to work on a project.
    Ok, the cat story had me crackin' up, I'm thinking of how they act on catnip. Nice to know you have an "early warning system" for fumes now!
    One way to go with the white edge would be stringing them on a white wire, but I don't know if that is available or not. Oh, maybe some white ribbon? Can't wait to see the reveal, that donut is seriously awesome.

  9. High Jenn, I mean Hi, I love the paper beads and at your suggestion in a previous post i ordered one about 3 weeks ago and it just arrived so i'll need to break out the instructions. I remember my grandmother rolling paper beads by hand when i was a child, she said it used to relax her to do it.

  10. So glad your cat has good sense! I would hate to think that you asphyxiated yourself all for some beads! :-) Give that feline a scratch on the head for me.

    I love the paper beads. I did this with my students eons ago (have I told you this already?). I melted a vanilla candle and dipped the beads in there to seal them. Not the most durable for sure but they smelled real pretty!
    Enjoy the day!

  11. I love the colors of your beads!! Paper beads are so much fun to make and work with. They give great variety.

  12. Your paper beads are totally awesome. I love your color sense and the texture (and the white edges are a great design touch, too). Can't wait to see what you make with them. Beautiful beads, Jen.

  13. Nice! Your paper beads look amazing! The blue with hints of purple and magenta are my favs.

  14. Love the beads and the pictures are awesome. Ben & Jerry's always makes me think clearer :-).

  15. Them's a lot of paper beads! I'll be interested in seeing what you do with them! I need to make my artisan clay piece too - seeming to be blocked too - decided it was the weather!

  16. Absolutely stunning paper beads!! I love how unique they are!!
    Check my blog out!:

  17. Ben and Jerry's helps EVERYtHING.


Thanks for coming by...I would love to hear what you think!


Related Posts with Thumbnails

About Me

My photo
Charleston, SC, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

Total Pageviews