Getting Started

It doesn't matter if it is a blog or a beading project, there is that moment in time when you have to "get started" Sometimes that can seem overwhelming, that first step, I notice it especially with the classes I teach. Students (especially with leather) don't want to make that first move, cutting the leather, or attaching that bead, or cutting that string, or altering that bead, well you get the idea. That frozen moment in time before we start something can be imobilizing for some (think hoarders). So how do we get started? Let's break down my process for starting a project.

1. Inspiration

Well where do we find inspiration? I find inspiration from other beaders. Especially my students. I teach children to Adults, from beading option classes in schools to private lessons and large group classes at Teacher's Conventions. Of course I have to have a project and a class outline, but it never fails to amaze me how different the projects turn out even when I give the same size bead, and color combinations. If I remember I like to photograph students creations so that I can be inspired by reviewing the photos. I also find inspiration from master beaders, and I subscribe to several bead magazines, and websites, and have an extensive book collection. When I need an idea I review these resources. I often wait with anticipation for the next magazine to come in the mail, and I read it from cover to cover. I will often see a project that I love and that I want to do, and that sends me to my bead stash. I also am inspired when I shop. That feeling of excitement when you see something you really like and then turn over the price tag (what! $145.00?) Well I could make that for... you get the picture. Inspiration comes from gettin up off your butt, you heard me, sometimes a walk in nature gets me in that creating mood especially the mountains where I am especially lucky to experience by walking out on my deck. Capture those moments in a diary (blog), picture, sketch book, and save them for when your well, looking for inspiration. I also take classes myself. That way I don't get stuck in the same creative process. Even a pottery class gives me ideas about beading. I often combine scrapbook resouces into my beading too! Antique shopping gives me tons of ideas, and I often stumble across vintage beads/buttons/miniatures/toys that can supplement my stash.

2. Project

Once your inspired, then you need a project. Right now my imagination and creative zeal is with beaded cuffs. I start off with a focal bead, color scheme follows with various bead sizes included. I like this project because I break all the rules. It is a very personal type of beading for me and also a very contemporary style. I can get as complicated or stay plain, (although I usually stay on the complicated side).

3. Materials

Once you have inspiration, and a project in mind you need materials. I always start looking in my own stash first. I am always surprised with what I have. (I have alot!) And I am always facinated how beads I have had for years take on a special feel when they fit into a project that I have in mind. YES! I KNEW I would use that bead for something perfect! Then I have to fill in the gaps. That means shopping. I like to start with a list (and a budget!) I will often take my projects with me. Bead shop owners and staff are avid beaders too, and often are a great (free) resource to bouce ideas and provide solutions. If you don't take a list/budget/project, then you end up spending alot of money on materials that may not fill the gaps. I HATE getting home and realising I didn't buy bead needles.

4. Time

You need to give yourself time to complete your project. Time to set out your materials, time to complete your project, and time to clean up. Think of this as time for yourself. A gift for all the times you give to others. I play a little game with myself (I work from home) So I do a half hour computer work, half hour cleaning, half hour beading, half hour practicing..... That way I treat myself for the work I complete and don't feel "guilty" about gifting myself time.

5. Skills

How hard can it be? Well most times, hard. If you don't know how to do a certain project, because you don't have the proper skills you are going to get frustrated and quit. It doesn't matter how much time you have. You need to have a set of skills. Good news, you can learn. I learn by several methods. Friends, classes, stores, magazines, books, online classes, you-tube, websites, blogs! Get the skills you need first. And word of caution start out small.

6. Forgiveness

Forgiveness? What? That's right, forgive yourself if your project doesn't work out. I don't mean unfinished, I mean sometimes you have all the other elements and your project looks well, crappy. I have a box of "bits and shits" the projects that didn't turn out. Yes, I have alot of them. wrong size, wrong color, wrong materials, wrong wrong wrong. I turn out great projects, but not usually the first time, or the second time... that's how we learn. And that my beady friends is what stops most people from starting, the thought that they are going to start and that project isn't going to work out. In order to achieve spectacular results you have to be willing to fail spectacularly.

7. Archiving

Remembering your projects. I have beading that I make for myself, family, and friends. Beading that I sell through classes, stores, and on-line. I make sure that I record the details, inspirations, size, materials, patterns, stores, resources, and a photograph that project well. Although, and because I don't do the same beading ever, I like to have a hard copy of what I have made. It also helps with my inspiration.

 

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