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A review on Amazon for my book, The Beader’s Guide to Jewelry Design, touches me deeply. Alicia wrote:
“What I didn’t expect was the paragraph at the end where the author emphasized that as beaders we’re allowed to think that what we create is important. 

…we’re allowed to be passionate about our own creativity. It gave me chills. It brought tears to my eyes. It was an enormous relief, because for years I’ve been unknowingly downplaying my own love of beads and beadwork. I’ve been playing it off as a mere hobby, keeping quiet about it, pretending it’s a shameful secret that nobody really needs to know about, instead of a vital part of my creative life and an increasingly important part of who I am.

I think I needed to hear that even more than I needed help with color values, to be honest.”

I wrote last week’s blog post/newsletter, An Act of Love with Alicia’s words in mind.

caldroun_creativityDecades ago a collection of my beaded jewelry was featured in a gallery opening. I didn’t tell anyone about it because I thought it wasn’t important. It’s just jewelry, made out of glass beads, and after all, I made it, so how important could it be? If I’d been showing paintings, now that would have been important.

I was raised amid the mind set of artistic chauvinism, believing that creating in one medium was superior to another. It’s a common snobbery that was even more prevalent pre-internet. It did damage. Someone else – someone unnamed, ambiguous, and anonymous – had the power to determine if what I created measured up, not me. And I came to believe that what I created would never measure up, no matter the medium. What a price to pay! It’s taken years of conscious effort, contemplation, and healing to unlearn that garbage and learn to value and honor creativity more than the medium, more than the creation itself.

What is important is that we create.

Whether we use glass beads, paint, words, sound, fabric, or macaroni elbows is of little importance.

What is important for me is that when I’m creating I am connecting with my Soul. I’m giving to myself and to others. I’m inspiring others to create and seek and connect.

I’m honored by Alicia’s words. She inspires me and reminds me how much creativity, my creativity, matters.

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts. Why is creativity important to you?

Thank you,

Want to see knock-your-socks-off extraordinary creativity in every medium imaginable? Check out one of my favorite Pinterest boards, Soaring Creativity
The following is an excerpt from my May 2012 Margie’s Muse column. Download and read it in full.

Fifty colors of complex patterns and harmonies rotate around “Genevieve’s Hat” by Anne Hawley. Your eye is drawn in and around, led by the colorful rhythms. An assemblage of sead and semi-precious beads, and Swarovski crystal in flat round peyote stitch on suede lining.

What makes a well designed piece of beadwork? How do you create a unified, harmonious piece so completely balanced and whole that nothing added or taken away would improve it? Pattern is one way.

Because they transmit visual rhythm, patterns can invigorate your jewelry design with movement. That movement can make a design hum, sing, or belt out loud.

Surface pattern is inherent in seed bead weaving. The locking together of the beads and the minute spaces between them sets up predictable geometric patterns.

Pattern is created by repetition. Like a tour guide, it invites you in, and shows you around.

In a well-planned pattern, the eye travels, following points of interest. These points may be the brightest (or darkest) colors, or the largest expanses of color. They may be directional shapes and elements, like lines or arrows. In fact, any element that stands out from its surroundings becomes a point of interest, or focal point….

Download and read it in full.