Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bears and Beads – September at Blue Morning Expressions

Volume 9 Issue 9, September 2012
What's New in September?
Off on vacation again. This time we are headed to Yosemite for a few days. We will stay there a couple days and then wander up into the beautiful northern California landscape. We have been there a few times, and we want to finish exploring some of the areas that we did not have time for in the past adventures. We are hiking to Half Dome and Glacier Point in the park this time. I have a new camera this time with a 200x lens, so I expect to get some more outstanding photos.
Speaking of photos, we wandered down to the West Yellowstone Rod Run, where they were parading about hot rods and antique cars. I took plenty of photos of them, but I took a side trip to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center while I was there. I got some great grizzly shots.
This is 101. She was the 101st  DiscBear2bear to be tagged in Yellowstone as a cub. She raised several cubs in the wild. She existed for over 20 years on her own doing what bears do best; just eating, sleeping and raising little bears.
Unfortunately for 101, some people mistakes led her and her litter to access pet food, human food and other non-bearfood. This created a situation where she was no longer able to be allowed to live free. She had found her way into town and would become a menace.
She is now living in the center and is slowly adjusting to life in captivity. She is a beautiful animal.

New Canes and Beads
Here are some new canes that I have come up with for the summer season. I have them in my Artfire studio, my Etsy shop and my website:
Until next month,
Julie & Blu

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mix and Match Color Swatch Exercise

I get caught in a rut of the same old colors and even the same designs when I am creating.
I get fixated on a certain style, technique or color and then cannot get myself free from the power of familiarity and comfort.
Since I am not inclined to try new things, no matter how many great tutorials I purchase, I have had to devise tricks to jumpstart my creativity.
Whether you are a beader or a clayer, there is always room to wiggle into the unknown. I know many caners who will derive their palette from a work of art or architecture. Many kaleidoscope canes that are in my portfolio are derived from photos I found in a book, or my flower series canes are created from a landscape photo I took around the beautiful mountains I am calling home at the moment.
Sometimes though, not even those tricks are enough to jumpstart the creative juices or I am so comfy in my cane making that I do not want to try another color, so all my flowers and canes start to look alike.
I have found a way to get creative even to the point of discomfort.
I collect paint swatches and have for a long time, just so I can see how the colors work together. I cut the swatches into little pieces of paint chips and then placed them into a plastic bag. You can collect a lot of different manufactures or you can stay with one set of colors per manufacturer. Whatever it takes to get your creativity flowing.
The point of this exercise is to give you a reason to either create new color blends – for you clayers – or work with a new color combination in a jewelry or bead design.
I start by randomly pulling 5 colors and lay them out side by side. You can set the light and dark to make it easier to decide which will become your dominant color. Maybe the dark color will be your accent or maybe you will go with all dark colors and use the light color for highlights.
The point is to take the random swatches and create something from them using those colors and a connecting color, or in the case of jewelry, a metal to draw it all together.
I used a white clay to bright these colors all together by creating a color blend with the white as my connection between all these relatively dark colors.
It does not matter if you automatically like the colors you pulled from the bag, use them anyway. By working on trying to figure out how to make them all work together, you will be exercising your creativity and you may well end up with something you like after all.
Have fun!
Julie and Blu