Here is the next in a series of tips that were left out of Textured Bead Embroidery in the interest of space. I hope you enjoy them.
I took a class with Susan Lenart Kazmer when she was first starting to teach. I was in love with her amazing work with found objects. Unlike today, she didn’t have kits or sell objects. You had to work with what you brought from home. I didn’t have any “cool stuff” at home, and that made the class very frustrating.
From that moment on, I became a collector of “cool stuff.” If I saw something that inspired me I bought it and added it to my collection. I squirreled away bits and pieces of things I found around the house. I bought beads because I liked them, not just because I needed them for a specific project.
In 2012 I won first place in finished jewelry at the Bead&Button Show Bead Dreams competition with a piece I named Tilt! I wanted it to look like a pinball machine. The focal points were all repurposed, most from my cool stuff collection. The bumpers were created from slices of vintage billiard balls and antique sewing machine spools. The flippers were found in a tub at the Bead&Button Show. The plunger was a binder post scavenged from an old book and an unidentified spring found in my junk drawer. When my son’s constantly clacking Newton's Cradle toy mercifully tangled years ago, I salvaged the little chrome balls. (Don’t ask me why.) They have found a new home as "pinballs."
The moral of the story is if you have the space and the money, become a collector. You never know when that weird frog button will find the perfect home on a fabulous necklace.