Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Pearl of a Story

Last week I promised I would share the result of my “take time off from moving” project, and here it is: Pearls! 

First some back story: a couple of months ago while I was searching for interesting blogs to read I came across MiShel Designs, a lovely blog focused on pearls and pearl jewelry. I was intrigued because a) I don’t really know very much about pearls; and b) for the last few years I’ve had a serious desire to make jewelry. I even blogged about it with "Lessons from a Bead Class" after a fantastic workshop I took and that I thought would propel me into the world of gemstones and earrings galore. Except I never seemed to get there. Novel writing, pottery, watercolors, and learning to draw puppies ate away at my "free time." The closest I got to any jewelry-making were the dozens and dozens of little ceramic beads I made last year and have yet to turn into anything useful. (They look very pretty in their plastic case, but I don’t think that’s quite what they're for.) But still I dreamed. . . .

So when I found Shel at MiShel Designs and discovered she was having a Pearl Blog Hop—I signed up, thinking, oh, wow—here’s my big chance to MAKE JEWELRY! I also totally forgot that the hop reveal would be on the day I would be moving and would have no Internet connection, let alone time to make anything. 

I was so excited to sign up and design some pearl jewelry that I also forgot I had no jewelry making tools (other than a very scary and sharp awl), no pearls, no studio space to make jewelry, and absolutely no way to have  these things magically materialize. 

I also felt that despite these shortcomings, if I didn’t participate, even on a very humble level, I would be letting Shel and myself down. Shel's post about the hop did say you could make non-jewelry items, too, just as long as you used pearls. So I put the packing on hold for a few hours and went to the craft store. The first things I found were some sheets of little stick-on faux pearls. Yay! It seemed like a great start—to what, I had no idea, but from there I bought a package of ribbon scraps, followed by some pre-cut, hole-punched brown cardstock tags that looked promising. I took my purchases home, got out my glue stick and collage papers and voila, I made . . . well, whatever these are supposed to be.

To begin with I just had fun making different designs and compositions on the cards. It was super-relaxing to play and not worry about the end result. When I was finished I put the decorated cards in a row and wondered what I could do with them. 

 Brainstorming included:

  • Bookmarks.
  • Writing my name and contact info on the back and then using them for business cards.
  • Turning them into price tags for when I do make some real jewelry and am ready to sell it.
  • Same for my other artistic endeavors: pottery, wall art, etc.
  • Gift tags for birthday or other presents.
  • Mini-collages for an art journal.
  • Add-ons to larger collage pieces.

Whatever they are, I want to keep making more. For this particular project I stayed with an ocean/beach theme that fit with the pearls, but there are many different directions I could go using a variety of stick-on faux gems with matching papers.

So even though I missed the hop (wah) I certainly was inspired by MiShel Designs. Thank you, Shel—looking forward to your next post. Everybody hop on over there ASAP! 

Tip of the Day: Life doesn’t always go as planned, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on the essence of your original intention. For me, I truly wanted to participate in my first blog hop, and I was disappointed not to get there. On the other hand, by playing along as best I could, I got some new ideas for future projects while taking a much-needed break. A real pearl in the oyster, if you ask me!


cleemckenzie said...

You have to choose what to participate in. That's often the hardest part of this business. I loved your creations. How clever and unique.

Valerie Storey said...

Oh, isn't that the truth, Lee? I struggle with choosing--I want to do everything, LOL! Thank you for kind comments on the collage tags--hope you get a chance to try out same or similar. I think something like this could fit in well with a book signing or other author event. Just a little different than the usual printed material. Happy writing!