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Choosing Colour

One of the biggest dilemmas I face is how to choose colours when inspiration just doesn’t strike. There is a natural ebb and flow to creating, times when you are bubbling over with ideas and plans and other times when you become disillusioned and can’t seem to find your place.

Finding myself in exactly that position this week the pessimist in me wanted to say ‘thats it then, think how freeing it would be to just sell off everything and start over at something new’ and for a brief moment I can honestly say that it was an incredibly appealing thought. The business part of my brain kicked in and told me ‘you’ve spent 9 years at this, you can’t stop now, keep going, make something, anything, lots of things, sell sell sell’  Those two are not the best of bed fellows, they do not compliment one another, creating is one thing, creating to sell is an entirely different creature.

So, armed with my grumps I did what all disillusioned creative people do…. I opened Pinterest and had a good look at my colour board. I browsed design seeds and my glass stash and decided to make some colour combination test beads.

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These are the combinations I pulled out of my stash, you will notice they are all opaque, I don’t like to work with just opaque glass, one of the things that drew me to glass as a medium is the depth that the transparent offers, even when etched. All of these combinations were layered with clear to give a little more depth, the clear also works to soften some of the harder tones.

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I have a reasonable collection of glass now, there are some great colours, I have them stored within easy reach when I am working.

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Holiday Inspiration 

Having spent the last week in Skye and having been blessed with extraordinary weather.Incredible views and some incredible sights.

Its been interesting visiting various crafters from yarn, dyers, potters, artists and weavers to see how the natural colours here have influenced their work. I have taken so many photos and collected a heap of colour inspiration, I thought I would share them with you and maybe they will inspire you too 🙂

This first one offers some classic colour combinations for me, rich teals and blues with rust reds and oranges.
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Next are classic peacock colours, with a surprising hint of salmon pink.

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Then some classic spring tones in these pretty Katkins 

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What do you see in these colours? does anything leap out at you?

 

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Reset and Renew

Its the easter holidays in Scotland, as usual we took ages making our minds up about where we were planning to spend the time off. Three years ago we went to Skye with friends and loved it so we decided it was time to revisit.

One of the things I love about Scotland is the ease in which you can find somewhere remote to stay thats within reach of plenty of places to visit, this year we booked a small modern cottage on the northern most tip of the western peninsula, the cottage sits on a hillside looking out over  Loch Pooltiel. From the large living room windows I can see seals on the rocks below and watch the rabbits outside.

This break for me will be something of a reset switch, its easy to get bogged down with the day to day of making to sell, each time we take a trip like this I pack note books and sketch pads, pencils and paints in the vain hope that I will be filled with new ideas and my pads will come home overflowing. It doesn’t really work like that, this is switch off time, time when I will wake up early, make myself a cup of tea and relish watching a sunrise whilst the rest of the house sleeps, sitting in the silence that fills and bubbles over in places like this. There is no demand to be anything but here.

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Bunnies

When I first started on my lamp working journey I was determined not to create character beads, its odd really but at the time they somehow didn’t feel quite ‘proper’ ….I know, right!  Since then I have had a massive change of opinion (helped along by selling a good few of them) Character beads are a touch of escapism, a journey into the storybooks and favourite toys of childhood.  When I was little my favourite teddy was a rabbit (called raddit) so in honour of the easter holidays I’ve been making bunnies.

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Colour Consideration

This weekend I found myself with quite a stash of my pebble beads, I like to let a bowl full build up and then sit down and pick out colour combinations. There is something soothing about sorting and arranging the beads into different sets.

Looking at these beads I have been working with a lovely palette of muted greens, teals and soft pastel tones, I am always drawn to teals and soft turquoise they have been my ‘go to’ colours for quite a while. Its hard to break out of that cycle of reaching for those colours when I have the freedom to make what I want rather than orders. I think this week I will make it my goal to work with some colours that I wouldn’t normally. Of course that will mean some time on pinterest searching for inspiring pictures, colour combinations and ideas of pattern and texture….all in the name of research 😀
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What are your ‘go to’ colours? what are your tracks of inspiration, your colour hunting ground?

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Kiln Treasure

This week has been about trying out new ideas, playing with colour combinations and thinking about where to take my work next, it often feels like I’ve been making dolls for so long that I have forgotten where all this started, with a huge passion for beads, making jewellery and components.

These are my first lampwork headpins. IMG_3480

One of the greatest joys of trying out new ideas is opening the kiln in the morning, its like finding treasure, the anticipation of finding out if what you’ve made has worked, if your ideas have translated successfully into glass.

I love the versatility of these pins, they make great simple earrings, perfect dangles to a charm bracelet and are made more interesting by the addition of beads to the stems or wire wrapping, I can’t wait to see what my customers make.

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Windswept Lost Girl

Its that time of year again, planning our easter break with the children we decided to revisit the Isle of Skye, we found the perfect isolated retreat with views across the water and few neighbouring houses.

With hope that we will get a chance to see the Aurora Borealis it got me thinking about capturing all that sky in the dress of one of my dolls, knowing that it would likely require some of the more costly glass I didn’t then want to cover that with hair and so I decided to revisit my Windswept Lost Girl. I can just see her standing on the cliff top letting the wind carry her cares away can’t you?

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