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Inside the Studio with Rebecca of Songbead – Au Revoir but not Good-Bye

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 prize each week to encourage you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries. And here are the results from last week!

Congratulations to Nan Smith!  You have won of a $20 gift certificate to Humblebeads. Please email Heather Powers to claim your prize.
Well, well – here we are; a day I knew would come at some point but it’s sort of taken even me by surprise! About a month ago, I came to the realisation that my days weren’t looking quite how I wanted them to – not just my schedule but my priorities needed to shift. Or in fact, that they had started to shift already and I needed to keep up with them – and to make some changes to allow me to do so. And that very sadly means signing off from the Art Bead Scene team, which I’ve been an enthusiastic member of since back in 2011 – almost 4 and a half years now, can you believe?!
My first Art Bead Scene post – a tutorial for this cute bangle, featuring a lampwork tab from Helen Chalmers – still one of my favourite bead artists. 
When I started writing for Art Bead Scene, things were pretty different for me on a day-to-day basis. I was living down in England, and heavily involved in teaching – both of jewellery-making and music, primarily singing. My time was split about 60:40 music:beading, and I did a few craft fairs here and there – but my focus was mainly on the education side of things, which I loved. I often taught three jewellery classes a week, and published frequently for magazines – not least for the now sadly-missed Beads and Beyond (gone but not forgotten!). 
The beautiful classroom in Manchester where I was lucky enough to teach from. 
Over the next couple of years that balance switched – I started doing a lot more jewellery teaching and less music teaching, until we moved unexpectedly in 2013 to Belfast due to my partner’s work. Which basically meant I had to give up ALL my teaching and go full-time with jewellery – bead selling at The Curious Bead Shop which I’d launched the previous year, jewellery making for fairs (which I was now doing a lot more of) and my online shop, and designing for magazines. 
March 2013 – cover girl at Beads and Beyond!
2014 saw a move back to Edinburgh, my home city (again, following my partner for work!) which brought me closer to a lot of the craft fairs and art markets I’d previously travelled to take part in, and I’ve gradually become more and more involved in the designer-maker scene here in Scotland, picking up stockists across the country and taking classes in new skills (my own little jewellery bench actually arrived in the post today!). I’m still selling beads too, including my own handwoven {song}beads, and I *love* seeing what other people do with my carefully curated selections, but I’ve become less involved in the education side of things. This is of course, not least because of the silly amount of moves we’ve done, along with the closing of several UK magazines over the past few years (which is incredibly sad), but I now find myself after 10 years of focussing on what other people are creating, needing to carve a little more time and mental space to focus on what I’M creating. 
My stand at the West End Fair this past summer. 
I wouldn’t describe how I’m feeling as burnt out exactly, but give me a year or two and I think I’d be there. Time to pare things down, sharpen my focus and simplify. I’m sure you can all relate – if not in your jewellery making then perhaps in other parts of your life. The need for simplicity; the need for honed-in intention – and yes, perhaps to allow myself to focus on my own artistry, for a little while at least. I hope that doesn’t sound selfish. Sometimes we need to take the time to fill our own well before we can begin to let others draw from it again.
Some of my own handwoven {song}beads.
I cannot tell you how much I will miss being a part of this incredible group of women. So much talent here – Julie did a wonderful post here which if you missed, I thoroughly recommend taking a stroll through it – that really captured some of the incredible art and spirit that these ladies have within themselves. Thank you especially to Heather for inviting me to be a part of this team – I do hope that you will have me back for guest posts sooner rather than later! And you’ll definitely see me around as a reader – and oh, maybe I’ll find the time to actually take part in our challenges more often! That’s a thought I certainly relish. 
Things to come…?
Along with hopefully posting more over on my own personal blog – something I sorely neglected last year, and have resolved to do better with this year. Not least, because I love it! To take the time to write about making and designing, and contemplate the nature of creativity – well, that serves me very well. I’ve been a creative soul since I arrived on this planet in one way or another, and songbead blog readers may have noticed more wordy posts from me this year, as I try and turn intention into action over there. Please don’t be a stranger – I love to hear from readers over there, and I certainly won’t be a stranger over here on Art Bead Scene! It’s definitely au revoir, not good-bye. 
I still have a few more posts scheduled to write for you – I wanted to eke out my departure! – so I won’t be fully signing off until the end of the month. But this is my last Inside the Studio, and I wanted to take the opportunity to not only say au revoir, but also to say a huge THANK YOU to you the readers, for being such an important – vital! – part of this journey, and being a part of our Art Bead Scene family. Readers, commenters, challenge-enterers – you’re all wonderful, and I thank you for making being part of this fantastic team such a huge pleasure! 
I had to finish with a piece of jewellery, didn’t I?! A few art beads in this recent one…! Me, Claire Lockwood, Helen Chalmers and Lorelei Eurto
Time for one last giveaway from me – and I’m offering a £15 voucher for either Songbead or The Curious Bead Shop – your choice. Tell me; what is one thing you feel shifting in your life right now? 
Au revoir, you wonderful lot. Thank you for being amazing!
Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer; currently living in the capital city of Edinburgh. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, and see more of her jewellery at She also has a supplies shop at