30 March 2010

Flex Your Creativity

"Imagination is the beginning of creation.You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will."
~George Bernard Shaw

Last summer I learned about the first ever Soft Flex "Flex Your Creativity" Contest. I met Sara Harding, Soft Flex Girl while I was at the Bead & Button Show. I purchased my first set of the Soft Flex Trios at that show in the Sophisticated color palette. Soft Flex Trios are three colored beading wires, and the contest required that you show them off.
Usually the wire I choose is so utilitarian because it is hidden inside the beads, but this would be a challenge. Lucky for me I stopped at the Jangles booth right away and found the adorable little pinwheel flower and two large ceramic links in perfect harmony with my Sophisticated trio palette of coral, bronze and black.
At about the same time that I came back from Bead & Button, I was hoping to participate in the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge and the painting was Kandinsky's. What intrigues me most about the Art Bead Scene challenges is that I really want to know more about the paintings and the artists. So I go into research mode. I didn't know a lot about Kandinsky but it was clear to me that the key to his paintings was an understanding of color. That's it! "The Key to Kandinsky (is Color)" was born!I took a skeleton key and used the grooves in the shank to anchor the wires. This would be the toggle bar to my large ceramic ring.
I found I had some mother of pearl donut beads and some glass seed beads with the turquoise and coral color palette. It all came together when I found that I had these turquoise striped stone beads in my stash from another piece leftover. And I threw in the vintage plastic faceted coral bead as a pop to balance the design out.
Weaving the wires over and around the beads allowed the great color to shine through. And it is so much more interesting than if I had just strung one utilitarian wire through the center of the beads, what do you think?
I was thrilled to find out that after the vote (3,800 in this first contest) I took 6th place. And I was even more excited when they said that they wanted to show off this design in a magazine ad. They were so sweet to send me a CD containing about 30 different shots of this piece (some of which you see here). This necklace has more pictures of itself than I do!

UPDATE: Thanks to Miss Jennifer of Jangles for making this PDF into a jpg for me!
That girl knows computers ;-)


I have been told that this ad will appear in the Summer Stringing issue. So even though I didn't manage to get anything accepted into that issue, I do have this great ad for my portfolio. (I wanted to put it out here for you, but I couldn't get Blogger to accept a PDF file. Bummer! You will just have to keep an eye out for it!)

And I will be the June designer of the month for Soft Flex on their website. I will share more of that as it happens.

The new Soft Flex "Flex Your Creativity" contest is underway...and the theme this time is STEAMPUNK! Get yourself a Trio in any color (my new fave color combination is "Egg Hunt"... appropriate for the season even!), and then create a drop dead gorgeous design. Top prize is $500...and that is worth flexing your creativity for!

What is your feeling about entering contests?
Do you have a favorite contest that you would like to share? What cool idea can you come up with for showing the wire instead of hiding it?
Is there something in your imagination that is dying to get out?
What is it about the steampunk craze that you enjoy the most?

What would you do with that kind of money?
Do tell!

Check It Out::Flex Your Creativity

Enjoy the day!

11 comments:

maryharding said...

Congratulations Erin. I love the way you tell the story of how this necklace was created. Wonderful piece.

peacockfairy said...

I have always loved that necklace Erin! Glad to hear it is getting the attention it deserves! I think it would be a challenge for me to try to design with the wire being shown - so used to it being hiden.

JenniferJangles said...

Super cool, Erin! I love seeing my beads in your fabulous work.
Have a great day,
Jennifer
Jangles

Jen V. said...

What a fun challenge! You really stepped out of your bounds for that design and I love it! Congratulations!!
I've seen those trios and thought how fun they might be, but haven't bitten yet. Maybe some $$$ incentive would work. haaaaaaaa I'll have to see if I can come up with a cool idea...the things in my imagination always come out in the middle of lectures about Joint War Planning so they're hard to capture. haaaaaaaaaa
Jen

Christine said...

Wow! I love that necklace, and I really find the thinking process you used to create it fascinating.

To answer your questions...I do enter contests, although I shouldn't, being competitive by nature and disappointed when my vision isn't seen as fabulously as I think it should be. I don't really have a contest to share, although I might go after the SoftFlex one now that you mention it...hmm...

There's ALWAYS something in my imagination that is dying to come out. Right now, it's my birthday necklace and several pieces that use LOTS of copper wire.

I'm not so into the steampunk thing, but I can appreciate it. I particularly love the Victorian elements.

With $500? That would be an automatic purchase of an oxygen concentrator so I could upgrade my torch from the lowly Hothead I currently use. :)

Michelle said...

Love the necklace. I've been very hooked on this color combo lately. Congrats on the ad for Stringing...I'll be on the lookout for it!
Bead Happy!
Michelle

mairedodd said...

woo hoo!! congrats erin, this is one of my favorite pieces of yours... and i am so happy for you to be featured in their ad... you put this together perfectly... i have to look at this, didn't realize it was knot-friendly!!

lunedreams said...

i was, ironically, just drooling over that very necklace on your flickr page just the other day. i think i voted for it when you first posted it. it's one of my favorite things i've ever seen! makes me want to use that colored wire.

i personally loathe contests and challenges. it provokes the rebel in me! too bad, because i can see the value in entering one! i just don't think i could ever do it. (as soon as i am told to make something in colors x, y and z, i have an irresistible compulsion to use colors a, b and c instead, out of sheer obstinance.)

Softflexgirl said...

I really do love this necklace! I posted it on my blog today too and linked over to you. :)

lisa oram said...

That is VERY cool, Erin. Congratulations. I just entered my first ever contest today (photo on today's post). It's a goal of mine to try some different types of submissions and deadline creativity this year. You've inspired me to keep on going!!

Erin said...

I loved this piece when you first showed it on your blog! Congrats on placing in that contest and getting your piece featured in the ad! That is awesome! Can't wait to see it in print!

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