Submissions for May’s Featured Weave Contest are closed and we’ve narrowed down the submissions to our group of finalists which means it’s time for YOU to cast your vote to determine the winner. This month, maillers stepped up to the challenge of creating pieces featuring Helm chain. The results (as always) are totally inspiring. Thanks to all who participated!
To share the survey, we recommend you copy the link to this blog post and use that in any emails, blog posts, or social media posts you’d like to make about it (we’ve noticed some weirdness in the past with sharing the link directly – it sometimes like to bump people out of voting that haven’t already.)
For June, we’re featuring Box Chain. This weave is beautiful in its simplicity and can be used in many ways. Playing with aspect ratio and ring size can completely change the look of the weave and also create beautiful tapering and wave effects. Have fun!
Never tried this weave but feeling up for the challenge? You can learn how to create Box chain and lots of variations on the weave in Rebeca’s book CHAINED.
We introduced subscriptions during our Jumpstart campaign and kept them around due to popular demand (especially for our “Mailler’ Choice” Club!) Customers have been enjoying VIP treatment, discounts and kits coming to their doors for several months now and we’re thrilled you like these cool perks! For many of you however, your subscriptions have come to an end or will be very soon and we frequently have folks asking us to check to see when their subscription expire. So, we decided to make it easy to find this information and to renew and manage your subscriptions online – hooray! Everyone loves easy, right??
Now you can view, manage and renew your subscriptions on your account page (learn how to create a Blue Buddha account). Once logged in, you will notice a box in the upper right for Subscriptions. Here is where all your current and past subscriptions live. You can see when your subscription will end as well as “renew” buttons to purchase this subscription again. Nifty right?
NOTE: Our subscriptions products changed after Jumpstart ended. This means, if you originally purchased a subscriptions through this campaign, a renew button will not appear. You can simply visit our subscriptions page and purchase a new one. From that point forward, a renew button will be available to you
Okay, so we’re one day late and have on step too many, but we think you’re really going to like this month’s Cre8time inspired project! This “Lucky 7 Mobiused Ring” comes together quickly and looks great. Try it in bronze and stainless steel for a challenge or create it in another base metal of your choosing. Happy Weaving!
• 7 rings, size T18 BRNZ (18g 3/8″ / 9.5 mm) for large bronze rings
• 2 rings, size I18 BRNZ (18g 13/64″ / 5.2 mm) for medium bronze rings
• 12 – 20 rings, size C20 SSTL (20g 7/64″ / 2.8 mm) for tiny steel rings
• 5-10 rings, misc 18ga SSTL sizes for small steel rings (for band). Recommended: between size F18 (18g 5/32″ / 4.0 mm) and I18 (18g 13/64″ / 5.2 mm). See TIP at end of instructions.
1. Scoop a large bronze ring with a medium bronze and close. Close the large bronze ring, too.
2. With a new open large bronze, begin to create a möbius unit: weave through the medium bronze ring and then cross through the first large bronze as well. Close the second large ring.
3. With a new large bronze, repeat step 2, except this time weave through both the previous large rings, and close.
4. Continue adding large rings, being sure to go through the medium bronze and all previous large bronze rings, until all 7 large rings have been added.
5. Weave a new medium bronze through all 7 large bronze rings and close.
6. Now create the band. With an 18ga steel ring, scoop up 2 tiny steel rings. Weave through the bronze ring from step 5, and close the steel ring. Close the tiny steel rings, too.
7. With a new 18ga steel ring, scoop up 2 new tiny steel rings and weave through the previous tiny rings from step 6. Close all the steel rings.
8. Repeat step 7 until your band can just about reach all the way around your finger.
9. Add one final steel ring through the previous 2 tiny rings, but instead of scooping up 2 new steel rings, weave the steel ring through the first bronze ring from step 1. Be sure not to twist the band as you do so.
TIP: You might need to replace one or more of the 18ga rings you used for the band with a slightly smaller or larger ring. Play around until you’ve got the perfect fit.
A big congrats goes to Lori S., our grand prize winner for this blog hop. Thanks for your comment and we hope you enjoy your prize!! We’ll be contacting the prize winners from all the other posts soon as well so keep an eye on your inbox, it might just be you!
We’d also like to give a HUGE THANKS to everyone who left us such beautiful, inspiring and touching comments about creative women in their lives. We definitely got misty-eyed reading them all. Such an amazing amount of sharing. Thank you.
Finally, a big THANK YOU to all the blogs that participated in this hop. We so appreciate you sharing what we do with your readers and we always have a super-fun time reading your posts.
For this week’s blog hop honoring creative women for Mother’s Day, we reached out to some of our favorite creative ladies. One of them, Charlene Anderson (a chainmaille artist and contibutor to our “Ask an Artist Series”) responded with this fantastic contributed post exploring creativity and sharing a boatload of ideas from her own experience and from some of her favorite female influences for getting the creative juices flowing
We hope you’ll enjoy this great read and find inspiration in the stories and resources shared. After reading, leave a comment sharing your favorite female influence or a creative resource to be entered to win a “Celtic Visions” bracelet kit and PDF tutorial! We’ll select one winner at random on May 9th (open to U.S residents only.)
By Charlene Anderson
Which group of words best describes how you feel about creativity?
Creativity is a word that can strike fear in hearts of artists and non-artists alike. Creativity affects every aspect of our lives, from problem-solving at a clerical job to creating new jewelry designs.
A few years ago I was lucky enough to take a three-hour seminar from Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way. Her goal during the seminar was to give us three tools to use to spark our creativity and keep the ideas flowing. Those familiar from her book will recognize them:
Julia was everything I expected: warm, nurturing, enthusiastic and honest. I suggest that everyone, not just artists, read The Artist’s Way and use the three tools (depending on where you live) she promotes to expand creative thinking in your daily lives.
Creativity from another point of view can be found in The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. One of America’s greatest choreographers, she began her career in 1965, and in the ensuing years has created more than 130 dances for her own company as well as for the Joffrey Ballet, the New York City Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, London’s Royal Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre.
“Creativity is not a gift from the gods given to select individuals,” says Twyla Tharp. She maintains it is the product of preparation and effort, and it is within reach of everyone who wants to achieve it. All it takes is the willingness to make creativity a habit, an integral part of your life: In order to be creative, you have to know how to prepare to be creative.
Boil this book down and you’re left with one idea: Work at your craft every day, whether you are a jeweler, composer, writer, painter, choreographer, or, for that matter, a businessperson working on a deal, a chef developing a new dish, a mother wanting her child to see the world anew. Being creative is an everyday thing, a job with its own routines.
When Tharp is at a creative dead end, she relies on a lifetime of exercises to help her get out of the rut, and The Creative Habit contains more than thirty of them to ease the fears of anyone facing a blank beginning and to open the mind to new possibilities.
These exercises are practical and immediately doable. In “Where’s Your Pencil?” she reminds us to take time to observe the world — and get it down on paper. In “Coins and Chaos,” she provides the simplest of mental games to restore order and peace in a hectic world. In “Do a Verb,” she turns your mind and body into coworkers. In “Build a Bridge to the Next Day,” she shows how to clean your cluttered mind overnight.
The premise of her message seems simple enough: make creativity a way of life, and in turn, you will be more creative and productive. But, of course, this isn’t that easy to do, and I highly recommend any artist (jewelry maker or otherwise) read Tharp’s book. Not many of us are lucky enough to have a life that we can build around our chosen art form. Instead, we are usually forced to do the opposite, squeeze in time and energy for it in between our “real” jobs, our families, our homes, and other obligations. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t find a few minutes a day to work towards our artistic goals, and that is the main point of this book. Dreams are great, but they will never become anything other than dreams if we don’t regularly, routinely work towards making them come true.
More than likely, you will cull through Tharp’s suggestions and find what will work for you, but I feel confident that you will find more than a few answers to help solve some of your own creativity problems.
Besides Julia’s three tools, and the numerous exercises in Twyla Tharp’s book, there are a lot of other tips and tricks visual artists can use to jump start their creativity.
Last but not least, be open to new ideas!
Photos in this post by Ron Davison, http://www.rondavison.com