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The art of creativity

I’ve been thinking about creativity (again!). I wonder what you are afraid of.

Are you scared? Do you tell yourself – I don’t have time. I’m not interested. I can’t do it. You know all the stuff we say to ourselves so we stay where we are. I’m guilty of that.

But with creating – it’s different. You see, my mother taught me to sew and knit – because she learned when she was young. She made her own clothes for herself and me. So I grew up learning crafts. And I saw that even though my Mom worked, she did crafts. At one stage, she was into ceramics. Often painting at the dining table and then taking them to the store where she could get them fired.

When I had my children, crafts became part of our day. We started having an art drawer full of goodies – glue, paper, felt, those fluffy wire things – what are they called?? – oh – pipe cleaners! – stickers, scissors, googly eyes, pom poms. And even though I got out the materials at first, the kids soon got excited and starting making stuff. It didn’t really matter what they made of course. It was all ‘ooh that is sooo beautiful’ or ‘wow you’ve done a great job with that’. But it was a space where they could let loose their imagination. And it was a special time for us as a family.

Recently I met another business owner and we were discussing all things about life, including making things because of course that’s what I do. She explained how one Christmas she didn’t have much money, but she had lots of fabric from previous projects. So she decided to make bags, cushions and other fabric items as presents! How wonderful would you feel if you received a handmade bag  that no one else had! And she got so much joy doing it – I could tell from her face as she talked about it.

Because although we might think creativity is all about the outcome. It isn’t. It is about the process. How you do something. How you start. Where to start. And then taking those steps through. While you take those steps, something starts connecting – your brain and your hands. What I’ve learned recently about this, is that connection between brain and hands is powerful. It gives you concentration. It gives you focus. It is mindfulness. It is relaxation.

This is what crafting is about. Giving yourself space to relax. And yes, you make something at the end which is useful for your home or as a gift. But it is that process. That feeling as you’re making that wonderful thing and exploring your creativity.

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Jewellery and your face shape

Face shapes and jewellery

Did you know that wearing or making the right type of jewellery can enhance your face shape?

You may have noticed that when you wear a certain style of earrings or necklace, it complements your face. While other pieces seem to not ‘look right’ on you. That’s because the jewellery is working against your face shape.

So, how do you determine your face shape?

The easiest way is to pull your hair back, look in the mirror, and draw your face shape with lipstick (or other removable ink) on the mirror. Step back. What is the shape of your face?

Oval Face

If your face is oval shaped, you can wear almost style of necklace. The picture shows a mid-length necklace with a few beads as an example. Equally a choker style necklace would work well. You will also need to consider the neckline of the top you are wearing to create a sense of harmony.


Square Face

The equal distance from the forehead to the chin matches the width of the face so appearing a square-like shape. The best style of necklaces to wear are the princess length which is an 18” (45cm) or anything longer from 20”(51cm) to 35” (89cm). Why? These lengths will give the impression of a longer face. Necklaces with larger beads or a single focal bead will soften the jawline.


Round Face

If your face is round, it means there is equal distance all around with soft and curved features. Wearing angular pendants is best for this face shape as it will balance the roundness of the face. V-shaped focal beads would be a good choice. Avoid choker, collar or matinee (18”) necklaces as they will make the neck look shorter.

Next time we’ll explore 3 other face shapes.

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Step back from your business

Taking time out from your business can fill you with guilt. How can you justify it?

You need to work in and on your business 24/7. I’ve done this. Well, maybe not 24/7 – after all I have to cook if I want to eat and I need to sleep. But you know what I mean. You want to take all the actions you can without a break.

But think about when you were employed. What was life like then. You took breaks. You had days off. You had evenings off. So why not include taking breaks as part of running your business. In this time of self-care which includes your mental as well as physical health, scheduling breaks becomes a crucial part of your day.

You might ask yourself ‘why would I attend a workshop that isn’t relevant to my business?’ And it’s a valid question. You might think that learning can only involve business related topics like – marketing, finance, or sales.

Learning about other topics or creating products in a craft session can take you out of your comfort zone. It can challenge the way you think and also provides an opportunity meet people external to your industry or business circle. You could use this space to talk about what you do and who knows reach people you hadn’t identified as potential clients, suppliers or even friends.

I like to think of taking time away from my business like this: sometimes I meet a friend during the week for a catch up because it’s the only time we can actually arrange it. So it’s around 2 hours out of a whole week to enjoy great conversation over a lovely meal. How do I feel after? Actually – reenergised and refreshed. It’s a mental break from my business.

What event/workshop would you attend during the week?

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Are you nervous about creating patterns?

Patterns are everywhere. Have you ever wondered how they’re created? Of course, there are plenty of graphic, fashion and other types of designers who make patterns for a living.

You can create patterns yourself too.

Using polymer clay, you can easily learn a few basic ways to create pattern. It is an essential first step to creating. Why? Because you can build your confidence by starting with simple designs.

It is like anything we want to learn…start with baby steps and then progress to walking. You don’t need to have prior knowledge to start. As adults, sometimes we want to know how things will turn out, especially when learning a craft. We want to know the end result.

The creative process allows us to ‘make something’, however it also gives us the flexibility to change. And that is where you will see a difference in your thinking while working with polymer clay.

So starting with a pattern means you can experiment. You might want to stick with a simple swirl design in one colour and place the swirls together forming a uniform look. Or you may want to create several swirls in different colours and then put them together.

I usually have samples of creations I’ve made – bracelets, earrings, pendants, candle holders, or pens – at my workshops – so everyone can have an idea of what can be made. But remember that it’s only idea. You can use that idea to give you inspiration. Sometimes that is all what you need. A bit of inspiration. And watch what happens when your mind opens up to the possibilities. Whether it is choosing colours that coordinate or clash, it is your interpretation.

Patterns – a great place to start your polymer clay journey.

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One of the most common phrases

I’m not creative…

This is the comment I hear most frequently when I tell people what I do.

Is this what you tell yourself?

Is it true?

Creativity comes in all forms. Not only in art and crafts. In your job, you may have routine tasks but there are times, when you may be asked to do something different. You have to come up with solution. That’s creative.

You may have kids and you need to find something for them to do. So what do you? You look around your house, come up with some materials like an empty kitchen roll or an empty soap bottle and tell them to make something. Or you may help them with making that telescope or that robot. That’s creative.

You and your friends want to do something different. What do you do? You research. You check out what’s on at your local theatre or cinema. You plan a day out. You think about what each person likes/dislikes. You create that experience. You are being creative.

You might be saying ‘but that’s not creativity..that’s everyday stuff, it isn’t art’. But it is. If we didn’t do some or all of those things at some point in our lives, each day would be the same. No variety. No challenges. No finding solutions.

Creativity is just that…variety, challenges, solutions.

Learning a new skill involving a craft is focussing your creative tendencies into one activity. This can be scary. You may feel nervous. You may feel you will be judged. But if you remember how often you create stuff in your daily life, you know you can do it. Crafting becomes an extension of what you already do with more focus.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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What really happens at a workshop?

If you’ve never been to a craft workshop, it can seem daunting. You will have lots of questions and may wonder if you can make anything.

Here’s a glimpse into my workshops:

  • You will be warmly welcomed and introduced to all the other attendees
  • You will be provided with all the tools needed for the session. This includes the clay and use of a pasta machine

 

 

  • I usually have samples of items made with polymer clay on display to (hopefully) provide you with inspiration.  

 

  • At the start of the session, I explain what you will be creating and how you will do it.

 

  •  Throughout the session, I will demonstrate each step and then you will practice yourself.
  • Once your unique creation is finished, it will be baked. And then it’s yours forever!

So that’s a bit about the description BUT how will you feel?

These are a few words from past participants:

fun”   ‘relaxing’ ‘interesting and achievable’   ‘therapeutic’ ‘    thoroughly enjoyable’
‘satisfying’

What else?

Well, you will meet some amazing people. I know I have. People come in not knowing what to expect, maybe a bit nervous, but after a while, everyone is talking, laughing and enjoying their creative journey.

This is community.

This is a Beadeze workshop.

Experience this for yourself at any of the upcoming workshops!

 

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Which clay brand is best?

As any crafter knows, the quality of materials you use is key to developing your creativity. In the world of polymer clay, there are a few well known brands as well as some lesser known ones. As a customer, you want to be assured that the materials I use to create my own collection or design a special piece for you, meet the industry standards.

FIMO

Most people have heard of this brand and maybe you used it as a kid? It’s available in different grades – soft, professional, and effect.

This brand was created in Germany by Kathe Kruse and was named after her daughter by combining her name Fifi and Modeling clay – FIMO. Fifi used and marketed the product until she sold the formula to Eberhard Faber of Staedtler who then built the brand to what it is today.
It’s a great brand to use for beginners. Particularly, the soft range. It’s very easy to condition using your pasta machine or acrylic roller and comes is an array of colours.

SCULPEY
A brand of clay that is made in the USA and has been around for over 50 years and is the main competitor of FIMO.
Sculpey also comes in a variety of colours and effects – some include glitter! There are different ranges which are aimed at the beginner through to professional. You will find that some of the ranges are firmer and a bit harder to soften.
My favourite is the Premo range because of its range of colours and firmness. I have found that it holds patterns well. What does that mean? When I create a pattern, the larger version looks clear and distinct and when I make the pattern smaller, it is still clear. The pattern is visible and not distorted. This is especially important when creating jewellery.


This is my ‘go to’ brand when delivering workshops. You will be offered a variety of colours and the items you make will hold the pattern you create.

KATO
A clay created by polymer clay artist Donna Kato. Wow! So inspiring that an artist has created her own brand of clay. Available in 21 colours, Kato clay is perfect for keeping the details in canes (roll of clay with an embedded pattern). It is durable and doesn’t change colour when baked. I inadvertently used Kato clay to create a dragon which was hard work. The firmness of this clay means using it for this project wasn’t such a good idea.
Nevertheless, for creating intricate patterns that holds the details when baked is this clay’s big advantage over the other brands.

OTHER
There are several other brands of clay available – Cernit, Pardo and other generic brands. Each has its purpose, however, some can be too soft for larger polymer clay projects; some are too brittle; or too hard. When you’re starting out with this medium, you may want to try each brand out. Price is a factor as well; some generic brands are cheap but might not produce the results you want.

So, which brand is best? We all develop our favourite ones, just like in the clothes or shoes or cereal or drinks . we have particular brands we buy from depending on price, quality and other factors.

The well known and trusted brands like FIMO, Sculpey and Kato have been around for a long time.  Other newer brands will take time for us to be confident using them.

Try out one of my workshops and see for yourself how you can use polymer clay to create your unique pieces.

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5 wearable spring colours

There are actually 16 possible colours to wear this Spring/Summer – 4 of those are neutrals and the rest are bright and vivacious. The colour of the year is Living Coral which I wrote a bit about in a previous newsletter. If you don’t like this colour or it just doesn’t feel right for you, I’ll describe 5 others that may just energise you.
First, I have to warn you…these names are not mine! 😊

Mango Mojito

This is a scrumptious colour – just like the fleshy colour of a mango. It’s not quite yellow or orange but a happy blend. It has a rich tone which will go well with one of the neutrals below. You will need to try this colour on to appreciate it’s warmth and to see whether it really suits your skin tone. If you’ve fallen in love with this colour but don’t want to wear it as a block colour on a blouse or jumper, try accent pieces which may be more flattering for you.

 

Princess Blue

This is a proper royal blue. Another rich and vivid colour. And doesn’t it make you sit up and take notice? It is not boring and imagine the coordinating pieces that you could wear with it – a neutral scarf in the soybean colour; a bold and eye-catching piece of jewellery; or layered with a jacket. Try it as an accent colour to liven up an outfit and make you feel energised.

 

Jester Red

What a colour! Deep, rich and vibrant. I sense a theme here. I love this colour because it’s a wearable red. Not all of us like bright red tones or we lack confidence in wearing it; this jester red is feels safer and comfortable. It can easily be paired with the princess blue or mango mojito as well as the neutrals below.

 

Soybean

Well, this is certainly neutral! As mentioned above, it will coordinate well with reds/blues/oranges. You may want to wear it as a pair of trousers as an alternative to black or navy.

 

Brown Granite

Another strong colour that is understated and almost calming. How would you wear this colour? It’s very much chocolatey in feel and would work well with the mango mojito. Once again, if you think it’s all too much, try a scarf; chunky bracelet or earrings to show you are current. This colour can easily fit in with your current wardrobe colours.

The colours I’ve chosen seem serious and almost corporate like, however, they lend well to spring and offer a transition into the lighter shades for summer. Remember they can easily be paired with neutral tones to avoid feeling ‘it’s too much’.

Do you want to know more about the other spring colours for this year? Message me here.

Best wishes

 

Yasmin

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Welcome to new website!!

jewellery bedford

After a few years of doing my website myself, I felt it was time for a change. I wanted a fresher and current look. I needed help. So I asked. Ask and you shall receive!

I’ve learned a new way with the help of my web designer. Received lots of input and patient replies. I did research on how to use the new way which improved my understanding.  So that’s the background of how, but why?

Change is good. Without change, my business would be stagnant.  People want different things from websites and my aim is to provide a clearer journey for you.  I wanted to create a site that better reflects how I can help you choose the service that is right for you.

So you can browse my ready to wear collection and hopefully see something that catches your eye.  Or maybe you want a piece created especially for you. After all, you can treat yourself too.  Or you may want to learn a new skill – how to create from clay and take away an item that is wearable and you’re proud to say ‘I made it!’.

This year you will see and experience more from Beadeze. More designs. More energy. More interactive workshops. More creativity!!

Visit the website often and if you have suggestions for something you’d like to learn or have me create, message me! I’m very happy to help you on your creative journey.

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A quick how to guide

How to condition clay

Whenever you start a new craft, there are basics to learn.  It’s no different for working with polymer clay.  The clay used comes in varying pack sizes and brands.

The clay is very firm; in fact, so firm that you cannot use it straight from the pack. It must be conditioned, as we say in the crafting world. What does this mean? Basically, it needs to be softened to a workable material so you can start creating with it.

What tools will I need?

You will need a ceramic tile; the clay doesn’t stick to ceramic so this is an essential piece of equipment. A tissue blade and acrylic roller are also used to the conditioning process. And of course, a pasta machine which makes the process much easier.  However, you can condition clay using an acrylic roller but it may take longer to soften.
     

How is it done?

First, on a ceramic tile, you should cut the clay using your tissue blade into manageable chunks.  Then roll the chunks together using your acrylic roller.  You should have a flat piece of clay on your tile.

Take the clay, and run it through the pasta machine on the widest setting. Fold the clay and continue rolling it through the machine until the clay is ‘floppy’. You may need to adjust your setting on the pasta machine as the clay becomes thinner so it can be rolled easily.

Your clay is ready to use. Remember you will need to condition each colour of clay you intend to use.

Attend a workshop to learn more about using polymer clay for your own creations.

Best wishes

Yasmin