I is for Ideas (AtoZ 2016)

Outside of my imperfect artistic skills, my biggest challenge is coming up with ideas for beads in the first place! Most of my ideas come about as me wanting a bead for a particular project and not being able to find what I was looking for.

My GPS bead came from my desire to create a camping bracelet. We rely on our GPS to get us through the back roads of Ontario and I couldn’t find anything that looked like a map. So, I made my own.

My bird feeder and hummingbird beads came from my obsession with our garden visitors. I found a few existing beads that might have worked, but none quite captured what I was looking for. With the birdfeeder bead, I also wanted to challenge myself to make something that involved more than one piece of clay. That one certainly a challenge! I had to do a few repairs with metal paste (if you remember, G was for Glue!), and redesign the bead partway through. But, it worked out in the end!

Most of the time I try not to make my own versions of beads already made by bead companies, but I have occasionally been tempted to make my own version of a bead. For example, I’d love a bat bead, but none of the ones available have everything that I’m looking for. I love the detailing of the redbalifrog Igor the Bat, and how his wings fold over his body. But, he doesn’t hang upside down. The Trollbeads Sleeping Bat hangs upside down, but he’s less detailed and the wings look odd to me (although his face is adorable!). I’ve sketched out a few ideas and even tried a few with modeling clay but can’t get my version to look the way that I want it to.

Where do you get your ideas from?


  1. Lol I can simply direct you to my blog for my answer to that question today!

    I know what you mean about wanting your own version of something rather than someone else’s idea…

    Mars xx

    1. Yes, I saw that you also posted about inspiration! :D

      For many projects, I can find beads that might not be exactly what I’m looking for, but I can make them work and be happy with them. But sometimes I have really specific ideas about what I want, so it’s just easier to make it myself :D

    1. Only one of our cats goes out (and only when we’re out with her) but she hasn’t figured out the bird feeder. We have a neighbourhood cat that sits under it, though. So far I haven’t seen him or her catch any birds, but he or she can jump our fence so I’m sure that the birdfeeder wouldn’t be an issue!

      Sometimes you just have to recraft things to make them right! :D

    1. Oh, I still like them even though they are imperfect. :) Although, the cracks in my GPS bead do bug me more than the cracks in my other beads. I’m almost tempted to try adding more metal clay to the cracks and then firing it again to see if I can fill them in. That’s the only bead that I’ve made that I feel somewhat confident I could recreate if I ruined it. And, then I would know if adding more metal clay works. :)

    1. Thank you :) I was never that good at designing jewellery with beads, but wish I was! But, it’s definitely been a fun experience to make my own silver beads :)

    1. Thanks <3 My husband bought me a new feeder after I made the bead, so the bead no longer looks like my feeder. :D But, I still love the shape of this one with the little bird sitting on to the side.

  2. Yeah, ideas are hard to come by when we really need them. Creative ideas come randomly to me and especially when I am supposed to work at something else!

    1. I think some of my best ideas come around two in the morning when I’m half asleep :D Of course, I don’t want to get up to write them down and I always think that I’ll remember them. Then I don’t. Although I wonder if they sometimes come back as flashes of inspiration (I hope that they do!)

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