Thursday, 9 June 2016

Factory reset

Lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

I've been in a bead funk. A long, dark, woebegone, frustrating bead funk. I've cried, I've moped, I've thrown things, I've sworn and I've cried some more but I think I can finally see a chink of light at the end of this miserable bead tunnel.

The Oatmeal did a comic about making things – in his case, creating content for social media – but if you swap that for creating beads then his comic pretty much describes how making stuff (or not) works for me.

I think I may have mentioned before that when I have one of these I-just-want-to-set-fire-to-the-shed-and-make-cake-and-eat-the-cake-whilst-huddled-in-a-corner times, I find that going back to my personal 'factory reset' colours of black, white and clear (non-colours really, I guess) helps to start the unfunking process.

My friend and fellow glass melter, Kathy (who is also known as Practical Kat and you should definitely go and look at her glassy makings) has been listening to me drone on with my bead woes and she suggested I make spacers. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated - just spacers. So I did. Black, white and clear ones. And okay, some of them have spots and stringer but the fact that I wasn't putting pressure on myself to make beads that were more complex enabled me to at least make beads, which is way more than I've been able to do this past week or so. Cheers, Kathy. You're cosmic.

Lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

The resulting 'Magpie' Beadlings are available in my shop as strands of ten.

There are also some 'Peach Tea, Blue Sky' spotty Luminobeads...

Lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

...and I dug out my ancient straight-sided lentil press and made some 'Aegean' beads. Just a little pair. Fab for earrings.

Lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

All the beads pictured can be purchased in the usual place.

I think I really am reaching the end of the miserable bead tunnel now. Well, I flipping hope I am because moping about is very tiring and unproductive. I just don't have the time or patience for it!

Thanks for reading.


V511 said...


Laura Sparling said...


Rebecca said...

Beauuuuutiful beads! And oh my goodness, I love that oatmeal comic. Spot on.

Laura Sparling said...

Thank you! And yes, The Oatmeal has got it exactly right. Made me laugh and say "YES! me too!" quite a lot.

Maple Glass said...

I remember that feeling, my lasted 2 years. The desire to make was there but something just stopped me. I think sometimes we just don/t allow ourselves the time tone creative and when we are not creating we are stressing about it. To be hones Laura I thing going back to basics is the BEST way and personally I like simple well made bead (a simple design that is), they are were wearable. Although I admire ART beads and appreciate all the hours of work that go into them I personally would not wear such a bead. Your beads are just perfect and a joy to create jewellery with. I am loving the tiny tumbled beads with a simple (but were difficult to execute) central black stripe. Keep up the good work and dry those eyes :) x

Laura Sparling said...

Thank you so much, Pam. I really appreciate your kind words. I sometimes think we feel we should be making a certain type of bead/thing and then we get bogged down with the stress and pressure that that feeling puts us under. I need to just make what I want to make. I keep telling myself this but doing so seems to be a problem for some odd reason. It'll pass, I know it will.

Again, thank you very much. X

Rob Bending said...

Sorry to hear you'very been in such a funk.
Big LIKE to Maple Glass and Practical Kat for the creative recharging methods.
Me, I'm not creative in any way, but find my batteries recharged by one or more of three things:
1) Music. Current recommendations include Soley & Ben Watt.
2) Exercise. No, seriously. Currently getting up early and cycling around miles. And no, not recommended in Cambridge city, but you're never far from the countryside, and can always cycle out to-
3) English countryside. When I was living in Cambridge Wandlebury was my favourite place. Peace, tranquility, views and Nature. More of a connecton now that my niece is one of the wardens there.
Looking at your recent Magpie beading I'd say you're well on the way to getting yr mono back.
Best wishes, Rob

Laura Sparling said...

Thank you very much for your excellent suggestions, Rob. I really appreciate you taking the time to leave such a lovely comment.

There was a town and country fair in Cambridge yesterday and we went along and I spent a lot of time talking to the goats and sheep there and it was just brilliant.

I walk a lot (I don't drive) and yes, that's always excellent thinking time.

Again, thank you. X

Abi McCullough said...

I know exactly what you mean. I've been creatively impotent for the last couple of years if I'm honest. I've spent far too long on pinterest pinning things I will make when my mood lifts!

But you know what, I showed my friend your lovely beads a couple of weeks ago, and she went into r aptures over them! And that was all I needed. 'I could make you something with Laurabeads' sez I. 'Yes please' sez she (but using lots more words because she's Italian and has a beautiful way with words).

So my friend's passion for your beads has got me going again. I've been making jewellery and have picked up my embroidery hoops for the first time in donkeys. Not quite ready to start lino printing again but I'll get there.

I proper love you and your beads, and I love the simple ones. You make them so perfectly they're beautiful in their simplicity (daisies are my favourite flower for the same reason).

Keep on keeping on mrs, just do what you need to do and we will still love you x

Laura Sparling said...

Abi, you just gave me a throaty crylump. Thank you so much for saying such lovely things. I'm really chuffed to hear that your Italian friend likes my beads.

Sorry to hear you've been having a creative meh time too. You can't hurry arty-fartiness along, can you? It's a very moody thing.

Thanks again for your lovely comment.

L x