Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How do I create?

After the first blog entry comes the pressure of the second. What to write about that hopefully somebody will find interesting. Everybody likes to talk about the "creative process"; that phrase makes me laugh because I'm still not comfortable calling myself an artist or a creative person. Perhaps its the complex I developed as a child believing my brother was the only creative one.

But let's get down to the question at hand, how do I create? I'm not a planner. I don't sketch out a design or plan on making a necklace that looks like THIS. Usually I open the drawers of my gems, beads, and glass and just look over my collection until something catches my eye. Then I pull it out of my drawer. Fondling of the beads is involved. The beads have to talk to me. If they don't talk loud enough back into the drawer they go. This process goes on until something finally speaks to me. Then I start pulling out combinations until I feel content. After that the creation just appears and I keep working until I am satisfied. Sometimes I am never satisfied and back into the drawer it all goes and I start all over again.

Other times images flash to me of a creation. This usually happens in the shower or yes, in the middle of typing this blog entry. It will be interesting to see if I can create the seed bead bib necklace that came to me while typing this blog posting. It will have to wait though until I finish other pending projects.

Next posting will be about some new kumihimo projects I am working on with unique Czech glass. I am very excited about them.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Who is Val behind Designed by Val?

I want to introduce myself. I am Val Swanson, the owner and designer of Designed by Val. I am 44 years old and have been married for 20 years, almost 21. We do not have children but we have 4 wonderful nieces and 2 fabulous nephews who live in the same area as us.We have thoroughly enjoyed watching them grow up. The oldest now has her first job after college and the youngest has started high school.

I worked for fifteen years as a litigation paralegal and enjoyed it. I had to stop due to a chronic illness. I have chronic migraine headaches which means I have a migraine headache all day and all night, all of the time. My goal with this blog is to write three times a week; however, due to my migraines I may miss some days so bear with me.

I started making jewelry about eight years ago. My best friend Ann took me to a bead shop. I thought it was going to be a complete disaster. I had never done anything creative in my life. All the creative work in my family was done by my younger brother. He is a graphic designer now. He was a nightmare younger brother, creatively speaking. When we would color together, the grass in his coloring book would be three shades of green while I was fighting to stay in the lines! I developed quite the complex; hence, why I thought the bead store would be a disaster.

To my surprise I enjoyed myself immensely at the bead store. I made two necklaces. I quickly decided it was too expensive to make jewelry in a bead store as often as I wanted so I started buying my own supplies online. After giving family members and friends jewelry often enough that they started running away, it was suggested to me to start a shop on Etsy. I did and I haven't looked back since. In my shop are semi precious gemstone jewelry, seed bead jewelry, and kumihimo jewelry. Take a look and let me know what you think.