Nature and Creativity (and finding nature anywhere)

Nature and Creativity

Have you ever been having a bad day or just felt cranky or off? 

I was having one of those days. I walk mostly every day and even though I know that it would make me feel better, this day I had to force myself to go.

I told myself I only had to walk a mile.  I would just roam around my town for a while and when my walking app told me I had walked a mile I would be done.

I wasn’t going to go on any of my regular trails.  I was walking to get it over with (and hopefully magically not be cranky any more.)

As I was walking I went toward one of the walking trails in my town and even though I had told myself that’s not what I was going to do, I found myself turning onto the trail.

And then I found myself turning off and going toward the wetland preserve that’s just off the trail.

Almost immediately I felt better.  My shoulders dropped.  My breathing relaxed. My face went from scrunched up to almost a smile.

A butterfly fluttered by me.  I could hear birds chirping and bullfrogs croaking.  The ducks were swimming around.  There were flowers and green plants all around

It felt like magic.

Nature and Creativity

Have you ever experienced this?

Nature has such a healing quality.  There have been studies to prove that being in nature reduces stress and anxiety.

But not only that, being in nature helps our creativity.  You spend most of the day multitasking and thinking of a million things.  Nature always you to slow down and focus on one thing.

There are so many ways that nature can inspire art.  You might make jewelry using colors inspired by nature or shapes of a branch. Or you might just feel recharged and have creative ideas from being away from the hustle and bustle of life.

Nature and Creativity

How to bring more nature into your life

I love to go on a hike in the woods or venture out to a waterfall.  However, most of the time that I experience nature it’s really just in my own town within walking distance of my home.

Even if you live in an urban area there are probably natural places you can visit and get the same effect.

  • Is there a nearby park you can visit?
  • Is there a flower garden in your town?  When I first moved to the town where I live I was delighted to find the historical society had a public garden.  I love to go there to relax and think.
  • There may be little areas in your town like riparian barriers where it’s just green space.  Sometimes there are walking trails that follow them.  Maybe there’s a park next to one.
  • You might discover little walking paths.  I’m so surprised to find a new one every now and then in my town.
  • My very favorite tree is one that is just outside my window.  Whenever I’m feeling stressed or creativity blocked and I can’t get outside for a walk I look at it.
  • Your own yard is probably a great place to start!  When is the last time you had your feet in the grass?
  • Maybe there’s simply a bench with a flower pot next to it.

Nature and Creativity

You don’t have to go on a big hike to get the benefits of being in nature.  Keep your eyes open for little spaces of nature that you can enjoy.

If you want to get use your experience in nature as inspiration to create some great jewelry, check out my Nature Jewelry eWorkshop.

In it you get a creativity booster that’s nature related, jewelry making skills lessons and 5 nature inspired jewelry making projects.

Click here to find out more about it!

Nature Jewelry eWorkshop

Art Journal Inspiration to Necklace

Art Journal Inspiration to Necklace

Friday I shared a recent art journal page inspired by nature and this week I have been sharing the necklace I made inspired by the page.  I also did a video tutorial on how to make the mixed media knotted bead that’s the focus of the necklace.

So how did I go from this page . . .

Nature Art Journal 9-30-15

To this necklace?

Nature Jewelry Necklace

I made a kind of a list or map of the art journal page and then how I could translate that into jewelry.

I listed out images, word combinations, colors and textures, feelings and mixed media materials.

Then I took that list and gathered up my materials and made the necklace.

For example, I listed the colors blue, black, green yellow and tan.  I didn’t end up using the black or yellow, but the green, blue and tan play important roles.

The blue symbolizes the water as well as the blue in the dragonflies and the green represents the greenery as well as mimicking the background color.

I wanted to use organic beads (the recycled glass green beads) and other organic materials.  I used natural cotton cord as a major part of the necklace as well as the focal mixed media knotted bead.

Nature Jewelry Necklace

I also added some leaf charms to add more nature to the necklace.

I think the result is an organic, nature inspired necklace that reminds me of the art journal page.

I’m working on a new eCourse that will take you through this process more precisely and will include prompts and lots of examples and instructions on how to not only be inspired, but create an art journal and then create jewelry pieces inspired by your art journal pages.

I would love your input!  Please take this survey to help me shape this class.  Thank you!  🙂

Jewelry Design Inspiration: Nature

Jewelry Design Inspiration:  Nature

As you may have noticed if you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, nature is a huge inspiration for me.  I have just started keeping a nature journal and I go out into nature anytime I get the chance.  (Which of late has been daily!  Yay!)

Jewelry Design Inspiration:  Nature

Recently I visited the Mill Creek Falls with my husband.  The falls  were easy to get to once we find the trail, but it did take a couple trips because we had incorrect directions.

I love waterfalls.  I find them relaxing, inspiring and just simply beautiful.  Before getting to the falls I was grouchy and annoyed.  As soon as we found the right trail and I were on the path to the falls I was relaxed, calm and happy again.

Jewelry Design Inspiration:  Nature

I often talk about being inspired by nature and picking colors or shapes or just the general feeling of inspiration and recharge you get from nature.  But in this circumstance I picked up some souvenirs (rocks) to actually use in jewelry.

I have a rock collection and we often will pick up a rock or two from a river or place we visit.  In this case the rocks all had this metallic quality to them.  Also, I love rocks that have been smoothed by water.

Jewelry Design Inspiration:  Nature

This is one of the rocks we found.  It isn’t smooth, but when I saw it I knew it would be perfect for a pendant.

We also gathered up a few more.

Jewelry Design Inspiration:  Nature

Even as I was picking them out I was envisioning a bracelet with these rocks all wrapped in brass or copper and picked them out for that specific purpose.

Here’s the jewelry I made from those rocks:

Stone Bracelet

Stone Bracelet

Stone necklace

I used brass wire to wrap the rocks and used brass findings to put it all together.

I love the look, but I also love that the rocks came from such a beautiful place where I have such wonderful memories.

How does nature inspire you?

Here’s 30 seconds of the Mill Creek Falls if you need a moment of relaxation:

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Nature Jewelry Workshop

Love nature?

Want to learn to make jewelry with souvenirs you find in nature?

Check out my Nature Jewelry Virtual Workshop and get several videos on different techniques for using nature as inspiration and actually using nature in your jewelry making!

Click here to learn more.

Jewelry Design Inspiration: Rings

Jewelry Design Inspiration - Rings

I am often asked about inspiration for jewelry design.  My personal inspiration comes from many different places.  Yours may come from other places.  I started this weekly Jewelry Design Inspiration feature to give you ideas for your own inspiration.

This week’s jewelry design inspiration:  Rings.

Rings Every Day Month

Sometimes you just want to make a certain type of jewelry and the inspiration is simply “I want to make a ring.”

In that case it’s often a matter of playing with materials and seeing what happens.  Sometimes you’ll have a general technique or idea in mind and go from there.  You might purchase a tutorial you like and then get inspired to make something truly your own using the general from that jewelry designer.

If that’s the case, here are some ring tutorials you might want to check out:

Flower Ring Tutorial

Flower Ring Tutorial

Adjustable Wire Heart Ring Tutorial

How to Make an Adjustable Heart Ring

Stretchy Button Ring Tutorial

How to Make a Stretch Ring

Bead Dangle Ring Tutorial

Bead Dangle Ring Tutorial

Adjustable Spiral Ring Tutorial

How to Make an Adjustable Spiral Ring

Wire Wrapped Circle Ring Tutorial

Wire Circle Ring Tutorial

Rings Every Day Month Premium Calendar

Get ring inspiration every day for 30 days with Rings Every Day Month!  There are two versions:  Free and Premium.  With the premium version you get a new tutorial every single day for a month starting April 1st (the rings you see above!)

Learn more and join here:  Rings Every Day Month.

Jewelry Design Inspiration: Vintage Elements

Jewelry Design Inspiration - Vintage Elements

I am often asked about inspiration for jewelry design.  My personal inspiration comes from many different places.  Yours may come from other places.  I started this weekly Jewelry Design Inspiration feature to give you ideas for your own inspiration.

This week’s jewelry design inspiration:  Vintage Elements.

I love using old, unique items in my jewelry making.  I’m not exactly sure where I started with it, but it was probably skeleton keys.

Skeleton key earrings

(Super simple, easy design with cabinet keys.)

In some of my jewelry design inspiration posts I talk about being inspired (by nature or buildings, etc.) and then using that inspiration to design jewelry, probably sketching out a design and then making it from there.

When I’m using old vintage items, I usually start with the object itself and then create a design around it.

Vintage Metal Number 8 Bracelet

For example, for this bracelet I had that cute little metal number.  For this number it’s pretty simple to add a couple of jump rings and use it in jewelry making.  For other things, you have to get more creative.

Vintage Elements Charm Necklace in Progress

You can see the number 7 above where I had to do some extra wire wrapping.

How To Use Vintage Elements in Jewelry Making:

  • Look for items that have an opening where you could loop a jump ring through or wire wrap.  The clock hand above will work just as is because of the circle at the top and you can just add a jump ring.  Same thing with most buttons.  Larger buttons you would have to make a wire wrapped loop if its too big for a jump ring.
  • With any piece you have, go for the most simple solution first.  I.e. add a jump ring or some wire wrapping.
  • You can drill other items.  I have some cute little pieces of rulers that have holes drilled to make charms or you could drill a hole on each side and attach them with jump rings to make a bracelet.
  • Once you start thinking about things you can use in jewelry making, everything starts to become a possibility.  Old games, small toys, etc.
  • For things made of questionable metal or have cool rusting like the washer above that you want to use, seal them so they won’t irritate your skin.
  • You can use these pieces for any type of jewelry.  Just look at each vintage piece and think about different ways you could use it in your jewelry making.

Vintage Elements Charm Necklace

You can put a bunch of charms together to make a cute necklace or charm bracelet.

Or use an element as a centerpiece of your jewelry, such as this chandelier crystal ring or earrings.

Crystal Ring

Chandelier Crystal Earrings

Here are some other posts about using vintage items in your jewelry making:

Unconventional Charms

Using Vintage Items to Make Charms

Broken Vintage Necklace Tutorial

Create a Cool New Necklace from a Broken Vintage Necklace

Vintage Elements Necklace

Vintage Elements Charm Necklace

For using thrift store finds in jewelry making:

9 Lessons for thrift jewelry

9 Lessons in Choosing Thrift Store Jewelry to Reconstruct into New Jewelry

Thrift Store Jewelry Remake

Reconstructing Thrift Store Finds (creativity booster activity!)

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