Studio Saturday with Gaea Cannaday

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.
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This weeks winner is Alice. Congratulations!
You have won a Story Tube bead from Erin Prais-Hintz at Tesori Trovati. 
Send Erin an email with your address and she will get them right out to you.

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This week we visit the studio of Gaea Cannaday of Gaea Handmade.
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I am often asked “Where do you get the inspiration for ideas?” and my simple answer is everywhere, but it goes deeper than that.

Recently, scientist discovered that there is a specific area of the brain that actually lights up on an MRI when you have that “Aha!” moment or are inspired. Could they be close to finding a way to generate inspiration? How would our world change if we had that “Eureka” moment in a bottle at our disposal?! For me finding a new ideas today sometimes means looking at my past. Thinking about my childhood experiences led me to a recent pendant design. I remembered this about my childhood…
When I was a kid my dad built a mobile home out of a 1950’s school bus. In its building phase, I remember my dad, standing atop of the elevated and exposed flat bed which accentuated his already intimidating 6′ 3″ frame. At some point, my unfortunately placed tricycle was flattened like a pancake by the back wheels of this giant rolling house. I cried. With mom’s curtains in the windows and hand picked tiles on the counters, we traveled in what dad called our “house car” to Arizona, Oregon and Washington. That was the very early 1970’s and I have no doubts that we were the hight of hippie chic. Some of my fondest and not so fond memories are of being in that bus. Getting to sleep in the big bed above the cab, roof pulled back to sleep under the stars. Waking up freezing in the winter with out central heating. Being warmed by the vintage potbelly stove. The times spent there as a teen were embarrassing. Why didn’t we have a “normal” non moving house? With more privacy? HIPPIES!
When I think about it, we had it good. Not much money but lots of love, friends and adventures. We were happy campers.
Here is what was inspired by that memory…
Love Bulb, Camp Light and Happy Camper pendant with spinning a wheel!
Inspiration can be around the corner…
Driving to a friends house last week, we turned a corner and there in a yard was a…
Peacock! We stopped and took photos and this guy and he talked his funny “yowling” talk to us. We were mesmerized! They are actually quite common here but we had not seen one this close up. I remember hearing them in the orange orchards as a kid and thinking that there was a sad cat some where out there! I later found out it was the sound a peacock makes. 
Together, we drew pictures of peacock feathers.

Works in progress.
I am also inspired by others. Jewelry designer Lorelei Eurto posted a video tutorial on how to knot disk beads. Her technique was perfect for my disk beads and I spent the day making bracelets. I also have quite a collection of art beads from Genea BeadsMamacita Beadworks, and Green Girl Studios. Their work is inspirational! My new copper frames inspired by fall.

Sometimes, I feel uninspired. I usually take that as my minds cue to rest, an important tool for letting inspiration find its way in. But with our hectic lives sometimes a good cup of coffee will just have to suffice!

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What has been your biggest inspiration in life? Please comment to be entered to win a new “Happy Camper” pendant!  A person will be chosen at random next week!

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Wearing many hats, Gaea lives in Ojai, California. You can see her work here… www.gaea.cc or here… www.gaea.etsy.com and here… gaeabeads.blogspot.com

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15 Comment

  1. Adina Smith
    August 24, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I really love your blog. Thanks for sharing.
    Bead bracelets

  2. Kathy Lindemer
    August 24, 2013 at 11:37 am

    My husband and I have been doing a lot of traveling since we retired and the places we have visited have been my inspiration. Our travels have been to National and State Parks in the U. S. I am so grateful that the U.S. has set aside these lands so that we can enjoy the beauty of nature. I love the wildlife, colors, smells, and quite of nature.

  3. Alice
    August 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Yay, I'm so excited to be a winner this week!

    No need to enter my name in the drawing this time but I just wanted to let you know I love those darling camper beads!

  4. Mellisa
    August 24, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Adorable campers! My biggest inspiration is usually from places I visit, whether it's architecture or nature.

  5. Karen M
    August 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Your question inspired me to look deeper at what truly inspires me these days. My immediate response is nature and other artists but I realize that a lot of ideas come from the written word of my favorite authors and old movies. For color combinations I do look to nature. I walk outside and take snapshots when something catches my eye. Other artists keep me engaged and wanting to learn and grow. Thanks for flicking the switch!

  6. freshbakeddesigns
    August 24, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Love your story about the yin and yang of your mobile life style growing up. I too remember the joys of camping as a child and then, as a teen, groaning when my parents would get out the tents. Your wee campers and lanterns are adorable!


  7. Malin de Koning
    August 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I love this post of yours Gaea. When I was a child I used to fantasize about converting a bus into a mobile home. I spent hours on designing it in my head. So guess if I am envious of your childhood memories. About inspiration I just like you find I can find it just anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes I am conscious about what it is, and sometimes I am not. It is often the beads and components themselves which sort of leads me into a kind of theme or a story. And then it goes from there. Thank you so much for this great post Gaea!

  8. beadrecipes
    August 25, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Travel is always good inspiration for me. Even though I am not doing much of it these days, I like to think about places I've been and browse through photos.

  9. fulgorine
    August 25, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Lately I am inspired by colour (often chance combinations of beads on my messy desk).

  10. Maplegirl
    August 25, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Color is also such a defining factor in my designing. I am so fascinated and affected by colors. Textures play a role as well, but an art bead in a gorgeous color(s) is a great inspiration for me to work around. Andrea

  11. Susan
    August 25, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    I love, love, love all these new designs! XO

  12. Steph L.
    August 25, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Those camper pendants are too cute! I am always inspired to design something just from seeing beads and thinking about how they would look strung together. Sometimes the results is good, sometimes not so good. That's why I love looking at beads, all kinds.

  13. Shaiha
    August 26, 2013 at 1:27 am

    I wish that I was really sure. What I find is that I will be thinking about a certain bead or sets of beads when I am going to sleep. I will come up with all kinds of wonderful ideas and then go on to forget them all. But somewhere they must stick because when I get to my studio a mishmash of those ideas turn into a finished product.

  14. CraftyHope
    August 27, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Is it weird that I often 'dream' my designs. I put that in quotes because it's not so much a dream as it is that place between sleeping and waking. I'm often too much asleep to get all of these designs down in order to remember them, but the ones that do often turn out beautifully!

  15. Cynthia
    August 30, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I love your happy camper. When I was in girl scouts, we camped a lot, of course. My mom was the troop leader, and when a camper or motorhome would pull into a campground, she'd scoff at it – "that's not camping!". Fast forward a dozen or so years, and my parent bought a motorhome – And went "camping" all the time. They drove it to every state in the lower 48!
    My inspirations usually come from the beads, or, the mess on my bead desk. I'll see 2 beads near each other, and then get an idea.

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