08 June 2010

Be Flexible

flex·i·ble \ˈflek-sə-bəl\ adj.
: capable of being flexed : pliant
: yielding to influence : tractable
: characterized by a ready capability to adapt to new, different, or changing requirement

Are you flexible? {And I am not talking about touching your toes!}

I find that my creativity is greatest when I am willing to be flexible and not rigid. When I am loose and able to bend, seeing materials in a different way than they were meant to be used, that is when my greatest ideas are born.

When I was a teacher, I was always told that I was 'unflappable' that nothing ruffled me {good trait to have when you teach English to 7th graders!}. I think that this could have stemmed from my naivete as much from my willingness to be flexible to whatever was happening around me. If we went 'off book', that was okay. It was a teachable moment and that adaptability served me well.

Last summer at the Bead & Button I met Sara Hardin at the SoftFlex booth. She was showcasing the new Trios that Soft Flex came out with last year. These tri-colored wires are really fun and vibrant. Last year they started a yearly contest called "Flex Your Creativity" inviting designers to submit a jewelry piece using the Soft Flex Trios. The catch? You had to SHOW the wire. Now usually jewelry designers tend to see the wire as a very utilitarian component. You string the beads on and it gets hidden. But with the Soft Flex Trios the wire can be the star.
But I am flexible, right? So I thought, "what the hey!" I entered the contest with my piece entitled "The Key to Kandinsky (is Color)." I created this necklace to enter in the June 2009 Art Bead Scene challenge {I am all about killing those two birds with that one stone}. The inspiration painting was Kandinsky's Farbstudie Quadrate (Color Study of Squares) shown above. While walking around at Bead & Button I found this cool circle component and flower link from Jangles and matched the Trio to it. The rest, as they say, is history.
I am also thrilled that this piece will end up in an ad for Soft Flex that should be hitting the newsstands in magazines this summer. Watch for it.
Once I got selected as a finalist in the contest it was open to a vote. And I was honored to take 6th place. The first three places won gift certificates - first prize is $500! - but the rest of the contestants won a Trio of their choice. I selected Egg Hunt for the green color in particular. I plan to make that the center of my theme for this years' contest.

The "Flex Your Creativity" contest for this year has a theme of Steampunk. That is all the rage, so it should be fun to see what gets submitted. There is plenty of time to enter the challenge, deadline is September 1st.

But more than the free spools of wire, I am pleased to share with you that I am the featured Designer of the Month at the Soft Flex website! Pictures of some of my favorite pieces and a little more about me can be found there. I hope you will go over and check it out. And maybe be inspired to enter this years' contest, too.

What is your favorite color? Is there a color that you have a particular challenge creating with?
Are you as flexible as you would like to be? Are there times when you could challenge yourself to be more flexible in your life?
In the Soft Flex Designer Highlight, I mentioned the "life is too short" to do what?
Do you agree with me? ;-)
Do tell!

Enjoy the day!

Check It Out::
Soft Flex Girl


Pearl and Pebble said...

Congrats Erin! Your necklace is fabulous! I keep looking at the Trios and can never decide on one color combo! I wonder if I bought a couple and made up my own trio if that would count? I guess that would make me IN-flexible though! LOL!! I will definitely be keeping a lookout for your work in my favorite mags! Have a great day.

Judy said...

I do not think I am as flexible as I could or should be. I am pretty particular about pairing things together but I am working on it.
I love working with blues and turquoises. I find reds more difficult.

peacockfairy said...

Congrats on all of your success with this piece Erin! This is probably my most favorite design by you - it deserves the spotlight! I have not tried working with these colored wires yet, so I think that would certainly be a challenge for me. Like you said, we are taught not to let the wire show.

SummersStudio said...

Congrats and good luck! Could I be more flexible? Ha, ha, just ask my family about that one. As a designer, yes, I could be a lot more flexible as I tend design with pretty tight control. It's something that I like to let go, though. Yellow-I find yellow difficult to work with.

Kristen said...

Congratulations Erin!! Your necklace is beautiful! I think the Egg hunt is my favorite of the Trio's, and I'm dying to try to create something with them. Normally, it's all about hiding the wire, but I'm trying to challenge myself, and be more flexible, and work with wire more so that it stands out. My color challenge is Red. I'm so not a fan of it. And I don't think I have made more than 5 pieces with something red in them. But I'd like to use it more, because a lot of people do like it! :)

Unknown said...

That necklace is busting loose exciting!
Its really pretty! Flexible yes I am
always wanting to bust loose so I just went
out and bought everything for Lampworking!
I will have to keep stretching my flexability
to the levels a bit like slaying the jabberwocky!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Congrats, Erin! How exciting for you! I am striving to be more flexible with color. The color palettes & inspired by wedding flowers challenge help me a great deal to see other than the "usual" color combinations. I will be visiting that site over and over for more inspiration.

Your guest spot on the soft flex website is outstanding! I agree life IS too short to eat cheap chocolate, drink bad wine, and wear department store jewelry!

Silver Parrot said...

Congratulations, Erin! I'll be watching for your ad! The Trios beading wire has been on my "want to try" list for quite a while now except I keep getting distracted by art beads LOL!

What is your favorite color? Blue

Is there a color that you have a particular challenge creating with? Orange or pea soup green. I'm not so fond of brown/beigh/earthtones, either.

Are you as flexible as you would like to be? Heck, no.

Are there times when you could challenge yourself to be more flexible in your life? Yup. Absolutely

mairedodd said...

congratulations erin, that is wonderful! and such great press - i hope it brings you lots of interest and sales... i don't have a favorite color... just cannot pick...
and as far as flexible goes - i seem to live by the 'blessed are the flexible for they shall not be broken'... because i think i may have snapped into a million pieces already if i weren't...

Jenners said...

Congrats ... again! You are seeing so much success ... I'm so proud of you.

Alexandra said...

CONGRATS! We already know how talented you ae, and now more people will get to see this talent, also.

LOVE the colors on this necklace, and on my way to find out more!

Kate said...

Congratulations Erin! way to go! I was just at a bead show on Sunday and saw three of the trios and remembered seeing an ad when they came out, but as I looked at the choices I couldn't pick one and went away with none. And they did have the one you showed and I was attracted to it, but couldn't think of what to do with it right then. I was also over budget by that time and was being cautious. I do like the 'airiness' that this wire begs for so many I'll send off somewhere and get some. congrats again! And as you know my favorite colors are lime green, turquoise and periwinkle blue, so yeah, I shouldn't gotten it!

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