Friday, June 29, 2012

Beading Friend Friday! : MARLA GIBSON

This is the FIRST post for my new weekly series, BFF- Beading Friend Friday.So who else could I choose to be my FIRST subject but my very FIRST bead swap partner, Marla Gibson of Spice Box Designs.
Here are her vital statistics:

  • Marla Gibson lives in Northeast Mississippi, the birthplace of Elvis Presley! (Marla: Go ahead Google it!You know you want to!Actually I live about 5 miles in a small town north from there.)
  • She has been happily married since St. Patrick’s Day, 2005. (Marla: My husband is my best critic and supporter.)
  • She has one wonderful daughter, Trinity who is 10 years old and sometimes can be seen on Marla’s blog modeling her work.
  • They have 2 dogs, a Boxer named Samson, and a long haired Teacup Chihuahua named Mojo. They also have 2 birds, one is a Green Cheek Conure named Mango and the other is a Pearl Cockatiel named Lilly.
  • Marla loves to read and says her Kindle is her best friend! She love music as well and is really into Florence and the Machine!

Now that you have the vitals,go ahead and grab your coffee, sit down and learn more about his phenomenal artist -
BFF: What do you do with beads?
Marla: I am a Beadweaver.I refuse to call it anything else or spell it any other way.It reminds me of a Spellweaver in a fantasy world, of course some of the stuff you weave could use a spell or two to get the thread untangled lol.
BFF: How would you describe your role in the beading world?
Marla: That is a very good question and one I have not really pondered before.The first one that pops in my head would be artist. Not trying to sound condescending but isn’t that basically what a creator and designer are?
BFF: How long have you been working with beads?
Marla: I started in May of 2011.So a bit over a year.I am a Newbie!
BFF: What is your style? And what attracts you to this style?
Marla: I prefer simple pieces that allow the work to speak for itself.I try not to let one style define me.
BFF: What are your favorite metals to use?
Marla: I love antique copper!There is just something about it that sings to me.The depth and warmth are just so amazing.And honestly every color looks good with antique copper!
BFF: What is your favorite stringing medium to use?
Marla: I weave with Fireline exclusively, but with bead embroidery I prefer Nymo.Trust me on this, if you want to try beadweaving;use the best materials you can afford because it makes it so much easier to learn!And yes, Fireline is expensive but you will thank me for it later I promise!

BFF: What is your favorite color palette?
Marla: Earth tones or jewel tones, I am finding myself to be more of a monochromatic type person which dismays me.So I am trying to break out of that rut.(Please send me more seed beads so I have more choices in color)Ha!

BFF: Your best technique(s)?
Marla: Right Angle Weave. I love it.2 beads and 2 beads make 4 beads!(Black Adder Reference)
BFF: What else would you like to try your hand at?
Marla: Glass Blowing! But that will probably never happen considering where I live, sigh.

BFF: Other artist/designer(s) you admire? Any special reason why?
Metal Working - Melinda Orr.I just love how creative she is and it always amazes me the colors and shapes she can coax out of metal.
Bead Embroidery:Jamie Cloud Eakin. Her work is amazing and her books are fantastic!When I grow up I want to be just like her!
Stringing:Lesley Watt.I have yet to see something she makes that I do not like!Her use of design is out of this world.
Knotting:Sherri Hartmann Stokey. Her micro macramé is absolutely stunning and she is such a nice person too!
Polymer Clay:Barbara Bechtel.Her polymer clay beads are just fantastic.The colors and shapes are so amazing, her work is always original.
BeadWeaving:Sabine Lippert.Her new book is so amazing and a must have on all beadweavers bookshelves!Plus her use of Right Angle Weave is oolala!
Glasswork:Donna Millard. I am always amazed by her work, it is the best translation of art glass that I have ever seen. Also, her hand must be really, really steady!

BFF: Where do you want to be 5 years from now?
Marla: I do not know where I am going, I just know I am on my way!
BFF: What’s your favorite quote or saying?
“The road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began
Now far ahead the road has gone
And I must follow if I can.
Pursuing it with eager feet
Until it joins some greater way
Where many paths and errands meet
And whither then? I cannot say." J.R.R. Tolkien<3

BFF: Any advice you'd give to new artists who are just beginning in your medium?
Marla: Youtube! Youtube!Youtube!There are so many artists that have free videos up on Youtube that can teach you pretty much whatever you want to know.Two that I recommend for bead weaving are:
· TSummerlee is amazing at bead weaving and is such fun to listen to as well!
· Kelly is such a great teacher and you up loads new tutorials every week.

BFF: What is your favorite blog that you like to follow?
Marla: Pretty Things by Lori Anderson has to be my favorite one.You never know what you are going to find there and her voice is so honest and witty. Sadly Lori seems to catch some unfair criticisms from some of her readers LBe nice to Lori or you will have a conversation with my fist!(I am kidding!Well sort of!)
BFF: What has been your favorite Blog Hop or Challenge?
Marla: Favorite Blog Hop so far would have to be the 7000 Bracelets of Hope Project. 7000 Bracelets of Hope is run through the Global Genes Project, a rare disease group for children. The bracelets are donated to the mothers and caretakers of these children, as a way to give them a little support and lift their spirits. You can read more about it here:

Quirky questions often give us a better understanding of the real person behind the artist, so here goes
BFF: If you had all the money in the world, what would you buy?
Marla: I am actually pretty content.Except for beads!I would buy lots and lots and lots of beads.Did I mention beads?Oh and a trip to Bead and Button next year so I can meet everyone!(Please send paypal donations ;)
BFF: As a child what was your favorite cartoon or tv show? why?
Marla: Fraggle Rock! Loved that show.Jim Henson was a master!It was such a high energy musical romp as Jim Henson liked to say! Darn I now have the theme song stuck in my head.Ha!
BFF: Favorite toy as a child? why?
Marla: My Western Flyer 10 Speed bicycle.I loved it! It gave me my first taste of freedom from parental oppression lol.I was never home after I received it.I would ride down the road with no hands with my hair flowing in the wind.Don’t do that now!People will run you over!(No Bike Lanes in the South and they wonder why we are the most obese /sigh)
BFF: Favorite subject in school? why?
Marla: Art was always my favorite subject in school.I had such fantastic Art Teachers.They were not only teaching me art techniques but they also really tried to teach me to have faith in myself.They never did conquer the control freak issue I have however lol.
BFF: What was your favorite YEAR of your life thus far? why?
Marla: 2001 was my favorite year because that was the year my daughter was born.

Words from the artist, herself:
“ The one thing that has really amazed me about this journey that I am on is how much fellowship the jewelry artists share. They are always so helpful to one another and it really does feel like a great big family. (That being said I hope I don’t piss someone off!) There are some really great groups on Facebook that you can join to learn and share. I have been welcomed with open arms into this family and while I have only met one or two people from it I consider a few of them some of my closest friends."

Thanks for coming by! and SPECIAL thanks to Marla Gibson for sharing with us all!

Contact Info for Marla Gibson:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mail Call!

So, I finally returned home after being away for a few weeks and guess what I had waiting in my mailbox? Not one, not two, but THREE packages! I LOVE opening up that mailbox and finding packages!

The first package was from Marla Gibson, of Spice Box Designs. When I opened the outer package I found two boxes - here is the main one. Isn't her presentation beautiful?

And the best part, well besides what was wrapped inside of course, was that the material used to tie the boxes can be reused in one of my own future design - love the colors and textures in this soft cotton woven material.

After getting all excited at how it was wrapped, I opened it to find this gorgeous necklace...
Wish the photo could capture its real beauty (Look here for better pictures). Not only it is a ton of work, such intricate roping technique (sorry, probably not the correct term), but the colors are S-T-U-N-ning!

And then there is a bracelet/anklet to match! AND they both perfectly go with the earrings Marla gifted to me on a bead swap back a couple months ago! SO I am going to be all decked out! Jealous?

Oh, speaking of Marla, be sure to come back on Friday, June 29th when I will be posting my first in a NEW weekly series, called BFF or "Beading Friend Friday". Each Friday I will introduce  one of my beading friends to you. The first blog post will feature Marla Gibson! So be sure to follow me by e-mail so you never miss a BFF post!     

Now for the second package...inside this package was a set of beads which I purchased from Joan Waters of Glass by Joan....what else can I say, I'm in love with these beads. So beautiful. I thought I was buying them to use in a bracelet I was going to design and then sell, but I don't think I can part with them. This is becoming a trend with me. If I don't part with my jewelry, HOW oh HOW am I ever going to afford to buy more beads? Well I'll work on this issue another day. For now, I am probably going to hold onto these particular beads. Thanks Joan!

Package number three was from Michelle Mach of Michelle Mach of Beads & Books.  In May I took part in the Tiny Tin Challenge and Blog Hop which was sponsored by Michelle. A prize was awarded to a randomly selected challenge participant, and  I was the winner!

I love looking at an artist's packaging. Says so much about a person. Look at Michelle's - simple and elegant.

And here is my prize, it's one of the tins created by Michelle herself. Isn't it exquisite? Can you read the note she enclosed in the tin? It says, "You will bead today."   Perfect!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

CREATIVITY - What's it all about, Alfie?


"When you walk let your heart lead the way
And you'll find love any day, Alfie, Alfie."

In my daily wondering ( mind wanderings?!) I ponder about what makes our creativity flow.

I came upon a very interesting article/blog post called 10 Reasons Creative Folks Make Us Crazy  from Liz Strauss of Successful and Outstanding Blog(gers), written back in 2006.  I know, I know,  it's sounds like one of Letterman's list that might have been written by a bunch of haters, but NO, it is really a great article.

In her writing she discusses the views of Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi  who wrote the book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Specifically she talks about his 10 Dimensions of Complexity of the Highly Creative Personality and how, as she states it, "Each item is a paradox, a complexity, a contradiction that’s frustrating to others when they exist together at odds in one human being". 

The 10 Dimensions of Complexity of the Higher Creative Personality:

1. Creative individuals have great physical energy, but they become extremely quiet when they are at rest. This restful period can lead others to think that they are not feeling well or that they are unhappy, when the truth is they are fine.

2. Creative folks tend to be both highly intelligent and naive at the same time.

3. Creative people are disciplined and playful simultaneously. In some creative people, this can mean that they are responsible and irresponsible at the same time as well.

4. Creative minds move between a spectrum of fantasy and imagination and a firm grounding in reality. They understand the present and need to keep in touch with the past.

5. Creative individuals seem to be both introverted and extroverted, expressing both traits at once. An image to explain this might be that they are shy showoffs, if you can picture that.

6. Creative people are sincerely humble and extremely proud in a childlike way. It requires ego to have a risky, fresh idea. It takes self-doubt to hammer it out to a workable form.

7. Creative folks don’t feel as tied to gender roles. They feel distinctly individual. They don’t feel the barriers of authority or the rules of what they are “supposed to do.”

8. Creative individuals are thought to be rebellious. Yet, in order to be creative one has to understand and have internalized the traditional culture. Therefore creativity comes from deep roots in tradition. Creative people are traditional and cutting edge.

9. Creative people are deeply passionate about their work, yet can be extremely detached and objective when discussing it.

10. Creative people are highly open and sensitive, which exposes them to pain and suffering, but also allows them to feel higher values of joy and happiness.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

You are Invited- "What's in a Name" Blog Hop

 Update (7/1): Thanks to all who RSVP'g for my Blog Hop/Birthday party! Unfortunately there is only enough cake and ice cream for a small group so I had to limit my guest list. But don't be sad, there is always my next party! Be sure to come peek in on us on July 17th!

Come join my very first Blog Hop!

As we visit our favorite bloggers and artist online we come across some really "creative"  names - ever wonder why they chose THAT name? And why that color scheme, background and logo?

I am naturally inquisitive (okay, I'm nosey as heck!), so I went ahead and asked a few of them and found there were some really interesting stories to be told! Some stories were funny, some heartwarming, but all the responses have helped me to learn so much more about the artist and what makes their creativity flow. I decided this might be a good opportunity for a Blog Hop.

I'm calling it the "What's in a Name" Blog Hop.

Here's what I'm looking for  - the story behind your business or blog name, why you chose your font, color palette and logo. How did it all evolve?  Schools out so there will be NO grading on your writing skills, just want to learn more about my online friends - and that's what you are to me, friends!

The Blog Hop will take place on July 17, which JUST happens to be MY birthday!  BUT, instead of me getting a present, I will be awarding a present* to one lucky and randomly chosen participant!                     

 So, please plan on coming to my party on July 17th!

  ~ Shelley

                                                                                                                          * worth $25.00

Saturday, June 16, 2012

REVEAL DAY: Father's Day Toolbox Challenge & Hop!

In honor of Father's Day, Sandra McGriff of Skye of Creative Chaos is hosting the Toolbox Challenge and Hop.

It's a quick, fun little challenge, where we raid 'his world' for items to use in ours. All we had to do was create a piece of jewelry using something that we found in his toolbox or his fishing box or the hardware store. 

As I am away from home visiting my sweet sister, Jill, I actually ended up raiding my brother-in-law Pete's garage!

 First, I saw some cute fishing lure being sold at their garage sale so I grabbed all those.

The next day I went to his workbench looking for a washer or two and I HIT THE MOTHERLOAD!!!

 (I ended up taking a few more than I needed for this one challenge, but believe me he will never miss them - hehehe!)

Purchased a few extra things and threw it together in a blender (I'm kidding, just wanted to see if you were paying attention) - and viola, I got this delightful necklace. It's a lil quirky but I kinda like it! It was made with both store-bought and handmade chain, ribbon which was embellished with glass beads, bolts, washers, metal findings, a used fishing lure and a sinker! - Would you wear it???

 Don't think it's Pete's colors so I am forced to keep it for myself! Ah shucks!


Check out all the creativity by visiting these blogs -

                              Our  Hostess -  Skye's Creative Chaos               


Shelley Graham Turner of TORI SOPHIA   >>> You are here!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I'm One of the Chosen Ones!

Woo hoo! I have been chosen to participate in the  Jewelry Designs from Nature Challenge !!!

Here's how it works -  a fun challenge inspired by Heather Power's book Jewelry Designs from Nature.

It's a creative blog challenge. 10 winners will be sent a packet and have a few weeks to create a piece of jewelry inspired by their packets.  Each packet contains:

   * a few Humblebeads featured in the book
   * a nature-inspired poem
   * a photo for color and design inspiration

The packets will be themed and I could get a garden, woodlands or sea set!

Then on July 6th there will be a blog hop featuring the results.  There will also be voting for your favorite challenge piece during the blog hop and giveaway beads from the book!

So to say the least I am super excited. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Heather Power's work, she is super inspiring. In fact I was online reading her blog archives all day yesterday..still got lots more to read but I'm in 2010!

So make sure to stop back on July 6th to see what we come up with. Oh, and be sure to pick up Heather's book. In addition to being available at Amazon, it's also making its way into the big craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels. (CONGRATS Heather!!)
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