In art journaling, sometimes there is either an overabundance of inspiration (it comes at you in droves from Pinterest, social media, anywhere you look online, and most especially in art classes and your brain simply can't hold it all) or a complete absence of it (omg look at that very blank white page and my brain just turned off completely), and lots of artists use prompts in many forms to help themselves get going. There are artists who provide a weekly or monthly (sometimes daily) prompt in their blog posts, and some who make up decks of cards with ideas on them which they can shuffle and choose from, and some who make sticks (like popsicle sticks with words on) they can choose from, there are books devoted to them, classes devoted to them, there are timed challenges and weekly challenges devoted to them.
This got me to thinking that perhaps what I needed, and what some other people might enjoy too, was a beading prompt. So I thought I could come up with one beading prompt a month and share it here on my blog, and everyone would be welcome to play along if they liked. :)
My plan is pretty wide open; it could be something as broad as 'herringbone stitch' or 'earrings' or as narrow as 'bead a tree' depending on what hits me at the time. Some months (like this month!) I will have something free to gift with the prompt, and some months I will maybe just have the blog post and a photo and a few links. The big thing is that *I* participate and make something that matches my prompt, even if no one else wants to play along - but I hope you will!
SO, January's prompt is 'Bead A Flower.' (I have no idea why flowers, it just seemed like a fun and cheerful sort of thing, and we all definitely need some of those.) I have started a Facebook Group for my prompts, and will be including a PDF to download in the group; a tutorial of how to create the same flower I did. These are 'In Bloom' flowers, which are part of a tutorial I have for sale in my shop, but divorced from their native necklace (the PDF only includes directions for the flowers, NOT the entire In Bloom necklace). Use them however you like - you could turn them into brooches, or pendants, or leave them as is or make stems for them and stick them in a vase as a pretty decoration. Mine is as yet unfinished - I know I won't be making a bunch more to make another In Bloom necklace, but it may yet turn into a pendant. :) If you'd like the PDF, and want to join in, come to Facebook and ask to join the group HERE. Here's my January In Bloom Flower in purple and teal!
This is the original In Bloom Flower, on the necklace. I am really enjoying how it looks in the brighter colors, though. :)
In case my Bloom doesn't tickle your fancy, but you'd still like to make a flower, I thought I would also provide a few links to beaded flowers I love - these are flowers by friends, and the name of the flower is the link to their shop/tutorial.
These are gorgeous - Bleeding Heart Earrings by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel - so dainty and sweet!
And this beautiful Ruffled Rose by BeadsbyBecs - so pretty and so much fun to make.
And then there is this stunning Clematis by Ella Dess!
And these fabulous Cellini Flowers and Leaves by Gwen Fisher.
And also, these stately and elegant Crown Flowers by Carol Paris of Bumblebead.
Now, you don't have to use one of these tutorials or my Bloom to play along - you can bead any flower you like! Come up with one of your own, or find one out there that really makes your heart sing. As long as it's a flower, or a flowering plant, or a weed that looks like a flower, it counts. :)
I would love to see any flowers you make for this, and it would be great if you came and joined the FB group, I hope to see you there!
At about the same time I was thinking about putting these prompts out, Marcia DeCoster had been thinking about spreading bead love in a much bigger way: in case you haven't heard about it yet (which is hard to imagine, but possible), she has started a blog called BeadLove, and it's all about our love for beads and beading, and encompasses many bead artists who feel the same and want to contribute something to the overall beady love in our world. Marcia is currently gifting the beading community with The Love Letters - literally, the letters that spell love, created in cubic right angle weave. If you haven't started beading your letters yet, head over to the BLOG and get going! I am honored to be a participating member, and will be offering something up in the course of a few months on the BeadLove blog, too. ( This post and the prompts are just me, spreading my own little brand of beady love, and aren't affiliated, but I wanted to include mention of this fantastic initiative. )
Here are my L and O... looking forward very much to V and E!
Happy Beading, everyone!