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Monday, October 31, 2011

Before you accuse me of being a celebrity stalker...

...judge by seeing for yourself how "Tribute to Johnny Depp" got created.

"Tribute to Johnny Depp"

You may wonder how I'm coming up with ideas for various panels. Actually, I'm coming not up with anything - THEY are. That's right: the panels pretty much design themselves.

All it takes is a bag o' beads and **pop** the lightbulb goes on in my head via remote switch from the holey little balls.

Take for example the Johnny Depp panel.

I had the gray Faux Pearls for several years, and they just sat there, waiting to be recognized for their beauty and meaning. Of course I could have made a panel incorporating these pearls, but it would just not have made the cut in the creativity department.

So when "Pirates of the Caribbean" was at its popular pinnacle, the connection between black pearls and the movies were more of a superconductor reaction than a trailer hitch hook-up.

Throw in a frequent color theme from the series, and you can easily see how gray-on-gray with some turquoise-blue and weathered wood could be just what this theme was screaming for. Consider it the best match in order to capture the overall impression of the flick.

But what would be a movie without a star? Off I went to the toy store, and the best available choice was this newer version of Capt. Jack Sparrow, complete with a "magic" black light ring that would show his skeleton when activated. Awesome!

And as in many good movies, you should throw in a little romance: in the upper left quarter is a black pearlized heart that is there for the discerning viewer for a little humor and good measure.

Curious how a panel is made? See it here >>

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Are You an Overachiever?

Congratulations - that's admirable! You're probably very disciplined in what you do and you work hard, either by choice or by default. We respect you.

If you're not a part of this elite group: you don't need to be.

In fact, the majority of humans that have ever trotted the earth are regular, run-of-the-mill guys, just like you and I. And that is by mathemathical law, as the Gauss' Bell Curve demonstrates.

So forgive yourself already for all the things you haven't accomplished - it wasn't meant to be (in a good way). Can you imagine if every single person would be a type A genius striving to win a Nobel Prize or become the next Head of a Country or perhaps a Megastar?

It wouldn't be possible, because a society of superhumans would lack their support base, seriously. They would be nothing without us self-proclaimed poor saps to join forces in order to lay the foundation for their success.

Just as you can easily observe in nature:
what would a beach be without every single grain of sand?

Or in society:
what would a democratic government be without the individuals who cast their votes?

What would life be without each atom that forms the necessary molecules?

Does the atom ask for recognition of its position? Not really (unless you're a Chemist...)

YOU, dear and cherished reader, have built yourself a life that does not feed on constant worship, recognition and adoration. You are as important as any matter that ever existed, and you are indelibly ingrained in the communal history of mankind.

But that does not mean that you shouldn't strive to be your best. Life should be a continuous desire for learning, improving, honing, re-inventing, adjusting.

Without being terribly famous, you should - nay: YOU MUST fulfill this personal obligation to yourself to become the very best that you were meant to be.

Of course you can't be good in all aspects - nobody can. Pick one or two areas that you feel passionate enough to pursue until you're bursting with pride. Whether that is your job, a hobby, a sport, parenting or helping others.

It doesn't matter. Condition yourself to bring out peak performance.

One or two areas of your life.

If you are a janitor, make sure you deliver the cleanest premises for your client. If you are a nurse, rethink the relationship with your patients and their needs. If you are a painter, take pride in attaining the neatest, most accurate finish that can be had. If you tend to gardens, don't quit until your project looks flawless. If you are a waitress, remember that your patrons don't come simply for the meal: they deserve your friendliest demeanor with considerate and pristine service.

That, and only that, will make you an overachiever of the best kind. And you can capture the joy as your accomplishments swell inside your soul.

Cherish that feeling!

And remember: every climber starts on the base of the mountain. Nobody starts mountaineering by being helicoptered to the top!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A glimpse of a beader's work space

So this is what it looks like. It's where I sit every day. It's my "grindstone', if you will. But I LOVE it: it's familiar, it's comfy, it's home. And it lets me be productive as well as creative.

There is something to be said about stringing beads. Often, people ask me where I get the patience. Well: it takes NONE! Actually, beading is a very quick, satisfying accomplishment, with the knowledge that it only takes about 1/2 to 2 hours to create a magnificent piece of jewelry.

And it's quiet, peaceful. It bothers no-one, and every time a client gets a finished piece they're happy.

During downtime, I string beads as a hobby: the Neverending Necklace.

How much better can it get?

Friday, October 28, 2011

About being not irreplaceable... contraire: I do believe that there are many individuals that are more qualified in certain areas of expertise than I am.

Yesterday I was inadvertently made aware of that. Being somewhat active in online social networks, I had posted my most recent section of the Neverending Necklace on facebook.
Shortly thereafter, I had gotten a comment which described that section as being "cutesy".

Not that it crushed me (only very few things can do that, if any), but that word is dreaded in my vocabulary when speaking of the necklace.

But I have to admit that the person posting it is right. And I am VERY happy for that, because he is a respected artist and ranks high in my personal scale for having a secure style.

It was a catalyst for pushing ahead and relaxing the restraining reigns of "Ingy Control". (I'll explain shortly)

The Neverending Necklace was never meant to be an archaically serious project, but rather fun and light-spirited. It also never was supposed to be my monopoly to determine its appearance. It just worked out that way over the years and it became settled comfortably in that groove.

The comment on facebook ignited a spark inside my very core that kept eating its way out. On a hunch, I had asked the commentor whether he'd like to design a section himself, and it looks like he's taking me up on the offer. (I do hope that)

A proverbial bucket of worms got opened and I can't seem to rein them back in and reseal it.

That's good.

A fresh wind to blow out the halls of stuffiness is very welcome.

And so I am asking (publicly and openly) for assistance from creative people. If you would like to actually design a panel for the Neverending Necklace, just drop me a line.

I believe that you will represent a beautiful addition to the Neverending Necklace!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I have conquered Burj Khalifa!

For a long time, surpassing the height of this magnificent tower was a big and very motivating goal.
Just yesterday I accomplished making a necklace longer than this building's height.
Once you look at this skyscraper, you realize just how far it reaches into the atmosphere.
Visit it here

However, now that this first challenge has been met, I am looking for something else to be able to use as a measuring stick.

Of course, there still is the "First Mile" and that is a great goal for sure. But I'm wanting an object to compare the necklace to, something tangible. And don't you dare responding with "The Great Wall of China", because that is somewhat premature...

How about the combined fleet of a cruise line? A race track? The circumference of a city?

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In the Mood...

While I'm working on several sections at the same time, let me show you some of my favorite completed ones in the meantime.

The name for this section was really a no-brainer. Made with various second generation mood beads, "In the Mood" has an overall blue theme. However, the blue is not dark: it is a lively Turquoise-blue with a much happier undertone.

While the beads do shift color depending on temperature, they create an ever changing image because of their property.

You can see more about this section here, and it is still up for grabs for a lifetime sponsorship.

I'll try to introduce a section a day on this blog, so if you'd like to know what's going on in my world, just follow me...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's Half-time!

It's been a while since I've made that big announcement hoping to complete a full mile by the end of the year. I promise that it was not made out of a whim. However, I also have realized that merely stringing a mile of beads does not suffice.

I mean, who would WANT to look at a mile of beads. Nothing special, right?

Thus, I have decided to rather deliver something entertaining, whimsical, humorous or even thought provoking. And it reflects in the various sections that make up the Neverending Necklace. My personal race is on for finding, handsome and clever sections of beads that will intrigue those who are looking at them.

Piece of cake, you say? Not so.

First, there is that self-imposed iron rule that each dedicateable bead must be separated from the next one by twelve connector beads. And no two dedicated beads should overlap, so you can see each and every bead any time.

Then, there is a time limit. Not by choice, but by default: a day only has 24 hours, no matter how you look at it.

And to make things worse, there is a monetary restriction ;-)
Believe me, folks, it is costly to create and maintain the Neverending Necklace, despite the many donated beads and the support I have been receiving from you over the years.

Specialty panels such as the "Japan" panel require me to purchase huge quantities of matching beads, and they can't be sourced from my existing stockpile for the lack of the right type of beads required in its design.

So there you have it: more obstacles than smooth sailing.

Not to worry, though: there are people working behind the scenes aiming to remedy these "growing pains". Just remember that it takes time. Miracles always take a bit longer.