Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sankofa African Trade Bead Exploration

Today I took an idea I'd had in my head for a long while and played and played until it came out right. That doesn't always work, but today it did.

I've been wanting to use these pipe or quill beads for a long time to create a ladder-like necklace. I love the pretty horn color and knew that's what I needed to do with them. Somehow, each time I tried to make this necklace it did not work. I tried stitching them with leather (red!) Nope. I tried attaching them to chain (gunmetal!) Nope. I tried mixing them with copper and seed beads (whites, neutrals, metallics! Nope. 

I had actually kinda given up on them. Then, today, I was on a roll after making a pair of neon-and-gold filigree earrings (what can I say, my style is diverse!) The earrings are for a tutorial and a kit and everything worked just perfect. I even shot a quick video on Vine showing how to do them. 

Yes, I know you can't really make the earrings by following this super-quick Vine, but I shot it in between taking the how-to shots for the tutorial.

After I was done I still had a bit of time before I had to leave work. Hmm...what to do? Answer emails? No. How about make another piece of jewelry for another tutorial? Yes!!! That's it. I grabbed a tray that had some of our new Sankofa beads on it and headed for the store to 'shop' for my tutorial. I spied those horn beads...hmm, the idea has been in my mind for so long. I didn't know if I could make anything work, but I grabbed 5 yards of linen, and a wire choker frame and sat down...I swear I didn't even know what, exactly, I was going to make. A knot, a wrap, a trim, some notes were taken, some photos shot and BOOM. A necklace I LOVE LOVE LOVE.

How does it work for you? Do you just find that sometimes, ideas flow out and just work, while other times they seem to not work at all, no matter what? Do you have a good, getting into the flow technique? If so, I'd love to know it...

Watch for BOTH of these very different projects in the next week.