H is for Hawaiian Influence

Shell pendant from Club creative Studio. Inspired by Hawaii.
Shell pendant from Club creative Studio. Inspired by Hawaii.

The I am thankful for the experience to have a new-found Hawaiian influence within my art.

Collection of shells.
Collection of shells.

Since Club Creative Studio relocated to Hawaii, I have naturally created items that have had a Hawaiian flair to them.  Most times it includes the use of shells.

Shells from Hawaii are incorporated into Club Creative Studio ocean-theme art.
Shells from Hawaii are incorporated into Club Creative Studio ocean-theme art.

It is probably no surprise that using shells in creative ways are popular here.  I have discovered new ways to incorporate shells and ocean-themes into recent jewelry art that I create. It has been a fun challenge as well as an expressive opportunity.

Shells are incorporated into these Club Creative Studio hand-made bracelets.
Shells are incorporated into these Club Creative Studio hand-made bracelets.

The island of Oahu has many inspirational factors to spark creativity. Culture, bright colors, flora, fauna, ocean waves, undersea life, mountains, craters, tropical jungles and sandy beaches just to name a few influences.

Shell and wire art from Club Creative Studio.
Shell and wire art from Club Creative Studio.

I have combined beads, charms, wires and shells in creative ways, and I see no limitations to the creative process featuring shells.

If you are interested in having a special shell wire-wrapped, I do custom requests and would love to help you transform one of your collected shells into wearable art.  You may also check out the inventory online to see if there are readily available items to chose from. http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

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S is for Soldering

I enjoy creating jewelry art with silver solder.

Club Creative Studio Art Hand-Soldered Metals.
Club Creative Studio Art
Hand-Soldered Metals.

With silver soldering, small pieces of solder wire are placed onto metal prior to heating. Flux, often made of boric acid and denatured alcohol, is used to keep the metal and solder clean and to prevent the solder from moving before it melts.

When silver solder melts, it tends to flow towards the area of greatest heat. Jewelers can somewhat control the direction the solder moves.

Club Creative Studio. Setting up to solder.
Club Creative Studio. Setting up to solder.

I enjoy creating soldered art because I can be creative joining elements that were not previously joined before.  The art I create by soldering remains one-of-a-kind.

Club Creative Studio Art. Soldered metals.
Club Creative Studio Art.
Soldered metals.

 

I find that the art I solder is expressive and unique. That is always my goal for creation of something new. Statement art, pendants, and broaches all evolve from Club Creative Studio’s workspace with excitement as I continue to solder original pieces.

Club Creative Studio Art Hand-Soldered/Sea Glass Art.
Club Creative Studio Art
Hand-Soldered/Sea Glass Art.

Please feel free to check the website for featured soldered art for purchase. The inventory is always one-of-a-kind and made with care and expressiveness.

http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

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Q is for Quick Beading

If you ask me, there is no such thing as “quick beading”.

Fiesta Flower Statement Necklace.
Fiesta Flower Statement Necklace.

Creating anything from scratch takes care and time. It is for this reason that I don’t believe a quality hand-made item can be created quickly when beading is concerned.  Beading requires many steps. Being “fast” for me is not a concern as much as being creative and careful.

When I create my own clay or glass beads, this adds time onto my total creation time. Adding another element to the art process is like adding more hours to the clock. It is a layered process.

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When working with seed beads especially, quick is not a word in my vocabulary.  It takes time to sort, count and add very small beads for each project.  I believe that there are no real “short-cuts” to take to speed up creation except experience.

Practice affords me the confidence to “see” the direction I wish to go in design. Practice also allows me the ease of my step-by-step routines to flow more readily, or bounce back from mistakes easily. The more I bead, the “quicker” I seem at decision making but the overall process still requires time invested.

If you are wondering of the average time investment in beading technique alone per project- I would estimate that I do not undertake many projects that are not worked up from start to finish in less than an hour.  Numerous projects require a time investment of several hours. In some cases, it may take weeks of dedicated time to end up with a creation that has many phases.

Elegant beaded strands form Club Creative Studio
Elegant beaded strands form Club Creative Studio

The act of physical beading alone is not the only factor in determining the time it takes to finish a project. I believe that the prep time and decision-making time is also an important dynamic to creating art. It is also important to factor in the time it takes to add finishing touches. For example a beaded project may appear complete but, maybe it calls for reinforced areas requiring back steps or adding elements or polishing. These factors add to the clock.

Although I have touched upon how long beading may take, I also want to stress that time is also irrelevant in most cases of  the one creating because they get “lost” in their art and value the outcome more than the time it took for creation.  Time is a gift that is added onto the art.

So, the next opportunity you have to examine a hand-made beaded item versus a manufactured beaded art item, think of me and many other bead artists who have dedicated time and talent to creating items with love.  We have dedicated time and have shared that with you.

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Z is for Zany- Celebrate the Letter Z

Z is for Zany. It’s hard to think of a word starting with the letter Z as a creative topic. This was one reason why I have been away from the blog for a while.

There are times that I come up with zany, crazy thoughts at the design table, which can sometimes lead to questionable outcomes and techniques. But, adding humor to your tasks helps make you less stressed, and more open to the outcomes. Embrace the times where laughter and silliness collide. You never know where those creative times may lead you in your artful journey.

Club Creative Studio Bullet pendants

As an example, when I obtained the bucket full of bullet shells, I had dreams of different ways I could incorporate them into jewelry. A few of the ideas I have tried, and there are some techniques I still have to work out in detail.  Never-the-less, there is a zany way to approach every task.

The person giving me the bucket of empty shells could not see my zany visions of transforming the casings into jewelry art.  However, adding humor to any project or finding humor in a task may help get the creative juices flowing.

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I recently came across this interesting and humorous pendant with glasses and sporting a mustache. How cute is this?  Best five bucks I ever spent! Then, a few days later I came across the fun eye glasses with the same mustache idea attached to them, and yes…I spent another five bucks.  But, for a good reason,  it is a great trend that expresses the whimsical side of life.

Why not turn to these type of items or use a lighter-hearted attempt to your jewelry choices once and a while.  Fashion is to be expressed. Accessories are an extension of your creativeness and tastes.

Being a little out of the ordinary and zany once and a while may just keep you sane. What is the most odd jewelry accessory in your possession? Feel free to share your story below in a comment.

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Just Say YES- Celebrate the Letter Y

When you enter the sweet spot in life where you appreciate art, it’s easy to just say “YES” to all things handmade. Hand-crafted items have many special qualities that you simply can not find in manufactured goods.  I don’t have to convince the world, but I hope you can learn to just say yes to hand-made items when you have the opportunity.

My Mother enjoys sewing so when I found these charms, it was a "no-brainer" to incorporate them into a necklace.
My Mother enjoys sewing so when I found these charms, it was a “no-brainer” to incorporate them into a necklace.

With Mother’s Day approaching, I know that hand-made items are common, popular and appreciated. Moms just seem to have a soft spot for the items that her little pride and joy children make with love. And for good reason.  Something that is hand-made has HEART. Personality and self-expression are traits that are always included in hand-made creations.

It is for this reason that I urge you to remember that hand-made art is made with heart and soul. The underlying value of uniqueness is invaluable.  This is the main reason why Club Creative Studio creates on a daily basis. Art That Sets You Apart are more than tagline words. Our hand-made art truly does set you apart and sets the artist apart from factory goods- because they have qualities that make it easy to say “YES” to creativity and craftsmanship.

Club Creative Studio theme initial bracelet
Club Creative Studio- Personalized Initial Bracelet

For occasions such as Mother’s Day, I enjoy creating custom pieces that include a personal story for the gifted. Fitting items are always something that include birthstones, or birth month colored crystals or beads. Also I have created items that included special keepsake items incased in resin, such as a photo of a loved one or a cherished item (like a lucky quarter,) for one customer.  Theme jewelry and anything in a favorite color has also been very popular.

Club Creative Studio Sea theme bracelet
Club Creative Studio- Sea Theme Bracelet

Be sure to keep HAND-MADE items TOP OF MIND for Mom and others because it is easy to just say yes to hand-made, unique items made from a caring artist’s hands. Please visit our website often and view the venue page located at the bottom of our website homepage for other areas near you that offer Club Creative Studio art. Thank you for wearing and sharing our creations.

http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

 

 

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Excuses, eXcuses, Xcuses- Celebrate the Letter X

Club Creative Studio-Creative Excuses quoteWhat is the one word that gets in your way of being creative? Is it FEAR, having no TIME, or some other EXCUSE (e”X”cuse).

I’d like to explore the reasons why we have road blocks in creativity. Celebrate the letter “E” today with the word excuse.  Do you know what your halt words are that keep you from being creative?

Try to remember: Creativity Takes No Excuses!

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Expanding on these points we can get a clear vision of what to do to overcome the creative stumbling blocks we may encounter in creative times.

1.   Set aside time for what matters Once we realize that creativity is important to us and makes us more complete, we will carve out time to do what we have a desire and need to do.

2.   Start at the beginning  The beginning is always the hardest step. Divide the unknown task at hand into small steps that do not overwhelm you.  If your initial ideas and supplies are close at hand, your process will begin and progress much smoother.

3.  Realize creativity flow rate Your creative juices have different height levels. Discover your best time to dedicate to your creative project. If you get frustrated or lack the skills needed, seek the answers that you need to complete your creative task the best you can at that point in time.

4.   Revisit  Step away from the project from time to time to gain a fresh perspective. Review and reassess your creative efforts for improvements.

5.   Avoid the excuse of ignorance The most common excuse for us to maintain our stumbling blocks of creativity are the voices in our heads that tell us that we simply can not do a task because we do not know how. If we add the simple affirmative word: “YET” to the end of any sentence, we gain the confidence to know that the task at hand can be attempted. Try, try, and try again.

6.  Stomp Self-doubt Belief in ourselves overcomes all the excuses we form that tell us NO. We should want to always drown out the visions and voices that make us believe that we can not do something creatively. It’s alright to do something that is not perfect.  Be open to  learn in creativity.

I wish you continued success in your creative endeavors.  Thank you for stopping by the blog. If you think these tips were helpful, let us know in a comment. we’d love to hear your feedback.

 

 

 

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Understanding Clay-Celebrate the Letter U

Club Creative Studio is my workplace where wonderful things happen in clay. It is why I work with it almost everyday. I am in constant learning mode because there are no limitations as to what can be created with polymer clay. Understanding a few important nuances makes it easier to work with it. Today, I celebrate the letter “U” by sharing tips which lead to understanding clay and some of its unique qualities.

Club Creative Studio Hand-Made Beads
Club Creative Studio hand-made polymer clay beads.

You may not realize that clay must to be “conditioned” before use. That means that it needs to be made into a soft, more pliable state. Sometimes that initial step takes more time than designing. Here are some of the ways I soften clay.

1. I placing my clay portion in a zip-locked baggie and sit on it while working on something else or place in a pocket to warm for a bit.

2. With my clay in a zip-locked secured baggie, I sometimes also place in a bowl of warm water.

Club Creative Studio clay
I use every scrap of clay, even what can be called the unconditioned crumbs.

3. I use a pasta machine. I am not Italian but, I use the pasta machine almost daily.  This is the best piece of equipment for conditioning polymer clay. You may not realize that I need to “pass” the clay through the pasta machine at least 20 times in order to condition my clay properly.

Club Creative Studio asta machine

4. I combine kneading with use of the pasta machine to condition and mix my clay colors. By kneading and hand-rolling my clay, I am able to mix my own personal colors by blending several combinations of clay together. Good thing I paid attention in color theory courses because I use color concepts everyday I create.

Club Creative Studio handmade beads

I hope in this post you have gained an understanding of what I do with clay before the “real fun” of designing takes place. I welcome your comments below, especially if you learned a thing or two.

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Tools- Celebrate the Letter T

Are you a creative that values your tools and supplies? Of course you are!

One of the comments made to this post sparked me to edit this story with an illustration of how important tools are to artists. Growing up, my mother was a seamstress. She valued/guarded those scissors of hers like I do my chocolate. She had a note attached to a long elastic string tied onto them that attached to the side of her sewing machine that warned us not to take or use them. She was serious. NO ONE MESSED WITH HER TOOLS.

I’ll be teaching an introductory earring making class soon and basic tools in good working order are “must-have” items.  Today, I celebrate the letter “T” which stands for tools.002

I care for my tools because I have invested money in them and use them everyday. I replace tools when I need to from wear and tear use because a dull or broken tool is not useful or productive. I found that out the hard way. When a tool is no longer sharp for cutting for example, it takes longer to stress it to do so, and that is a waste of time, effort and energy. It’s better to have a tool that is doing what it is meant to do: work with ease.

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Comfort is also a factor in deciding if my tools are too worn to keep or not. If the handle cushions are worn, it is more than likely going to be a tool that can hurt me. Padding it with tape is not the answer because the feel of the tool in your hand changes at that point.

Loose or broken springs make your tools ineffective, and the quality of your work lessens when a tool mars the surface. Sometimes my tools rust. There may be several reasons why that happens but, it is far more inexpensive to take proper storage precautions than to constantly replace a discolored tool from lack of care.

As a note about Club Creative Studio tools: some are traditional tools that are made for a specific task. Some items I utilize as helpful tools are to be considered non-traditional.  It is the out-of-the-ordinary, household items that make the best working aids.  In the above photograph, can you identify the tool located on the far left?

That item is from the board game Scrabble®. The wooden tray (as pictured) that holds the individual letters is a perfect measuring tool.  The length of that tray/shelf is the average length to create a bracelet. So, without measuring with a ruler, a set length can be determined and the beads can align on the shelf lip from tip to tip before the stringing and construction is started. It’s a great lay-out place and can be left easily in a start or stop point.

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I have been told that nothing is safe around here and I could potentially turn almost any household item into an effective tool for the art studio. With that being said, SHHHHH don’t tell anyone that I have our bread cutting board, cookie cutters, spice shaker containers, pasta machine, toaster oven, mini food processor and much, more dedicated to clay now. I say: a tool is valuable if it is useful, no matter where it’s origins.

If you are a craft/art person do you have any strange non-traditional tools that make your creative job easier? Let us know about your creative art tool box content. You may spark others to use the same ideas.

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Style- Celebrate the Letter S

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To celebrate the letter “S” today, I write a bit about style.

In May, I will address a group and speak about style and jewelry accessory length choices. Personal style is hard to argue with. Self expression is so important in making a stylish statement.

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With an awareness on the basics, knowing when to express the best style becomes a much easier choice. While there are specific lengths of necklaces and looks that are popular, some just lend themselves well to particular necklines and transfer the best fashion statements. This is the focus on my speaking engagement.

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Many have been quoted on the topic of style.  I’d like to share what I have found to be inspirational.  Heed the words that resonate. Understand what style means to others.

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Do you have a favorite quote about style? Feel free to share it and let us know who it came from.

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Ruber Band Art- Celebrate the Letter R

Low cost art ideas are always a welcomed project to try for may reasons. Forget about it not being a huge investment in funds to produce.  The real thrill comes from making something out of the unusual and unexpected, creating something recycled or up-cycled. Excitement comes from using materials that are ordinary and easily found around the home as well.

As we celebrate the letter “R” I recall a Rubber Band project that is close to my heart.

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My daughter and I used our small crochet hooks to connect mini rubber bands and colored hair ties to form bracelets. It was a great bonding project and we spent hours upon hours creating piles and piles of bracelets which she shared with her high school friends.  Now, from time to time she makes them for her college pals too.

I guess there is something endearing about an item that is recycled, up-cycled or made from an inexpensive supply.  Low cost supplies are a favorite to explore and stretch creativity in any limits especially when saving money is al

Do you have a favorite art project that is made from a common household item and is low-cost at the same time? Let us know what you like to create while saving money.

Please visit this blog again for great ideas that fit into this category.

 

 

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