July 22, 2014

Designing Dilemma

So without any grand plan last night I sat down to make some new memory wire bracelets. I threw some colors into the bead spinner and away I spun in some zen-like beading trance. I needed a mental distraction for the evening. I think it's called procraftinating (that's procrastinating crafting). 

40+ bracelets later and my peanut seed bead stash almost depleted I started to formulate what to do with these awesome stacks of bracelet-y goodness. 

At first I thought I would make some tiny willow headpins to coordinate with them, but as I looked at my mountain of bracelets I realized they were the colors of the butterfly wings I had been creating last week. And so I whipped up some headpins to go with them.

And doing some further contemplation on what to do with 40 bracelets had me thinking of where I would sell them which led to a momentary dilemma. I would like to take some of them to our local Center for Arts where I have a collection of jewelry. 

I live in a small, conservative farming community that enjoys a crazy summer tourist season thanks to the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. I've struggled with finding the right local venue and of course I could adjust what I make and throw on some tiny bead charms like the bracelet above, which would give me a lower price point and make them more sell-able. And it's a cute bracelet and all, but, meh...

It's hard to settle when I know adding these beauties to the bracelet will do some serious magic.

Wowzer, note to self: don't settle as a designer. Just don't!

Look at what I could have missed out on making if I had settled to make something just to sell them quickly. These are little works of art, these stand out, these are unique. These make my heart sing.

I will take some down to the local art center and work on marketing them there. But I will also sell them on my website where I can connect to those who are looking for something beyond the ordinary.  I just can't make things to fit the local market. I need to make things I love and then go out and find my market. My time is too limited to make things that are ho-hum.


Carol Briody said...

Heather, I love these! I've been addicted to Farfelle/peanut beads lately, too! Their shape and added texture makes a unique statement. What a PERFECT compliment to your butterfly wings! OMG, I love them together :)

Sarajo Wentling said...

Thanks for sharing your thought/design process. I struggle with the same thing sometimes... what I want to make vs. what I know will sell quickly. Following your heart is always good advice!

Unknown said...

Wow, Heather,you said it all in your last 2 paragraphs. THIS is exactly where I am as well. I would make things just "to sell" (at a local gift shop, friends, or my etsy shop). I want to change that.
This May, I accomplished my goal of getting Juried status with the PA Guild of Craftsmen in beadwoven work, which does make my heart sing. This weekend I decided to drastically reduce several things on Etsy so I can rid myself of those unwanted designs. I want now to focus time and attention to only beadwoven work of complex designs and higher quality.
So refreshing to read your post and find that someone else feels that "time is too limited to make things that are ho-hum".
Thanks Heather, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.
Wishing you continued success, and ...make your heart sing everyday!

Kathy ~ Artful Accents said...

These are lovely! I'm fascinated by your comment about using the bead spinner. You can use that with memory wire?

Unknown said...

I love these bracelets. Memory wire is so easy to work with and so many different designs come to mind when working with it. I worked on 4 today as we are driving to NJ from chicago. Love the colors you use. I have one of yours and it is always my go to bracelet.I had the same thing on my mind today as I worked about making what I really like and make less of hum drum designs.

baymoondesign said...

I can't believe how fast you can make these with your spinner. It takes me about an hour to make one.! I love your wings with them. I am sure you will sell a bundle!

Heather Powers said...

Thank you Carol! I have to say I love peanut beads too and use them often in my jewelry.

Heather Powers said...

Even after publishing this blog post I still waffled back and forth with myself! I keep reminding myself to do the work to find the right venue rather than selling out.

Heather Powers said...

Congrats on the guild status Chris - what an accomplishment!

Heather Powers said...

Kathy you can use the memory wire instead of the curved needle that comes with the spinner. The beads jump right on to the wire.

Kathy ~ Artful Accents said...

Heather, I had no idea! Thanks so much for the idea. I will have to give it a try.

Beti Horvath said...

Not only is this a great accomplishment, using the spinner is genius, and the peanut shaped beads are perfect. But the colors, and the way they coordinate with the butterfly wings, just WOW!

Unknown said...

I would love to purchase some of these beads but I am unable to locate much. So far the places only have a few selections. Any information would be great. As always your work is so inspiring & gorgeous.

Deb Fortin said...

the colours in these bracelets are a beautiful mix of shades and finishes , love the matte and glossy mix.
I have never used memory wire with my bead spinner.-why didn't I think of that? . thanks for the idea, Heather.

How do you keep the memory wire open to accent the beads, I over-opened memory wire once and the darn thing sprung back and embedded the end in my thumbnail, not something I want to repeat.

wishing you success in finding the best venue for your work so you can stay true to your artistic vision.