Creative block

It's time for the monthly Jewelry Artisans Community blog carnival again. Our topic to start the year off is "creative block".
Let's be honest, it hits us all from time to time. Our muse - remember my Mabel? ;-) - runs off for vacation on a lonely beach, with sunshine and probably a colorful drink, and the worst part is, she doesn't even leave us a note where she went or what you are supposed to do without her until she has enough of being lazy!

When I have a creative block, it usually starts with me staring at beads in my stash drawers without seeing anything I feel like using, doodling and deleting forever in BeadTool 4, or I hold my trusted crochet hook in my hand, maybe in hope that it will guide me to the right wire and beads like a dowsing rod?
The next step could be making bead soup, putting random beads on wire with the chance of them staying on that wire for a long time, or crocheting a chain stitch circle and staring at it for a while.
As I don't write down the ingenious ideas I keep having, I can't pull anything from a notebook, either. If I did, chances would be that I see how not so ingenious these ideas are, especially the ones from the middle of the night.

So what do I do to fight that block? There are different ways, the following are only a few of them.

- I go back to a trusted design to get me going again, but not being a big fan of making the exact same thing twice (which tends to be a problem with earrings) I have to change something - the colors, the width, the beads I use.
It helps if the project is not too time consuming to give me a feeling of success and instant gratification. It also helps if it is something not too fiddly to give my thoughts the chance to wander and maybe come up with a new idea.

- I pick a cabochon and crochet or knit a bezel for it. It sounds simple, but often it leads to new ideas around that cab by adding a second layer, putting beads on that layer, or maybe adding an edging of beads.

- I choose a picture, open it in BeadTool and play with it, or I pick out an old pattern in my files that I haven't made yet and play with it.

- Last but not least there is the ripping up method. I get out an old WIP that I know is doomed and I rip it up. If the result is bead soup, I start sorting it until I run out of patience (usually when I start shooting beads across the room accidentally). It gives me a small feeling of accomplishment and prepares me to make something new.

What do other JAC members do about their creative block? Have a look here!

Bead Sophisticate
Jewelry Art by Dawn


  1. Going back to a favorite design is a good idea, I'll put that in my creative block tool box.

  2. Good ideas, Cat. Sometimes making something we've done before is all it takes to get our Mabels to return from wherever they decided to go. Darn muses!

    1. The worst thing is we have to stay home! ;-)

  3. I like to make a list of words and try to make something to match one or more word.

    1. You mean like with the amigurumi challenge you are doing right now? That does look like fun!