Do You Dream in Color?

Do you dream in color?

Do you dream of beads in all their magnificent glory?

(Beads by Clayfulmingles)

Well then.  Do you ever get stuck for an idea, even though you’re surrounded by colorful beads?  It’s like the saying, “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.”

Sometimes I get tired of looking through my color inspiration books, full of photos of flowers and fabric patterns and the like.  Sometimes I really do just want to be surrounded by colorful beads, even though it’s the beads that are eluding my creativity.  This is when I take a random trip through Etsy.

My favorite trick is to type in a search term (being careful to also type in “NOT jewelry” so I only get beads) and then randomly choose a page.  Sometimes I’ll start on page 50.  Sometimes I’ll sort prices high to low.  You never know what you’ll find that will cause that spark of creativity to turn into a blazing inferno of beading frenzy.

For instance, check out this ultra-cute peace bead by Cocobeads:

It makes me want to pull out a bunch of colorful seed beads — or maybe some tiny pink, blue, and orange lampwork spacers?  Maybe even find some more flower beads to add as an asymmetric accent along one side of a necklace?
How about Earthenwood Studio’s lovely toggles?  I always say the clasp of a piece of jewelry should be as beautiful as the rest of it.  How can you go wrong with this?  The bracelet can be made with a simple strand of beads, allowing this toggle to shine all on its own.

Or how about these gorgeous polymer clay beads by Stories They Tell?  I imagine pulling out fiber and making something wildly three-dimensional with beads as exotic as these.  Strips of kimono fabric, sari cloth, silk ribbon — the possibilities are endless.

So what do you think?  If a bead show doesn’t happen to be in town the day your creativity plays hooky, take a visit to my personal favorite online store for handmade art beads — Etsy.com.  I guarantee you’ll get lost in all the colors and designs and possibilities.  And your creativity just might not be able to resist coming back to play.

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and writes the blogs Pretty ThingsAn Artist’s Year Off.  She lives in Maryland.

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8 Comment

  1. Miri Agassi
    August 17, 2010 at 11:58 am

    What a lovely idea!!

  2. TesoriTrovati
    August 17, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    You are so right Lori! Etsy is a virtual bead show. There are so many vendors out there with the most incredible art beads. I like your tip about typing in 'not jewelry'…I will give that a try! I also like to check out the artwork there to give me new color inspirations.

    Enjoy the day!

  3. I LOVE color!
    August 17, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I love all the pretty colors of ypur bead-dome. Be Blessed

  4. Kate
    August 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Love it. Etsy is a great resource! I definitely need to try the "not jewelry" search. In fact, I might go do that very thing…

  5. I LOVE color!
    August 17, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    The opening photo of todays blog makes me want to do a watercolor. Be Blessed

  6. Jenn
    August 17, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    There is nothing better than finding a really unique bead to start a project with!

  7. aurin
    August 17, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    I just was on etsy and had a look around – you are right! It is fun and I nearly got lost 😉

  8. Alice
    August 17, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Yes, I dream in color, but rarely do I dream beads.

    Thanks for the great idea on how to be inspired by using etsy!

Comments are closed.