Thoughts of Design Inspiration

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Blue Designs

Recently while browsing at a crafts bazaar my attention was caught by a beautiful blue stained glass piece hanging on a display. It had this wonderful clean flow and coloring and the shape instantly suggested to me “seaweed”. Now, the artist told me she thinks of her design as jelly fish or octopus, but that it’s really up to the viewer to decide. It reminded me of seaweed shapes I’ve admired on the beach and some of my own recent attempts trying to replicate those shapes.

Art glass by Dasken Designs

Art glass by Dasken Designs

This glass piece gave me instant inspiration, and I could’t get it off my mind. I ended up going back the next day and purchasing it. I began thinking of jewelry inspired by the design and interior design that it could live in. I ended up finding this website ( where you can make ideabooks of home designs- furnished room designs, accessories, products and so on. I made an ideabook featuring blue rooms and products inspired by the blue in the glass decoration.

blue ideabook

Blue aqua ideabook that I created – see it at

For me the best environment I would see this art glass octopus in would be something shore or cottage style with cool clean tones and airy feel, with ocean nearby.  The person living in this space would have an outfit that fits the theme. The blue rustic bead necklaces I’ve been working on recently would work well and I found pieces for an outfit that would also go with the necklace.

Blue outfit example with Eileen Fisher top, Tommy Hilfiger shoes, skirt by unknown designer and Evädesigns rustic shore wood necklace.

Blue outfit example with my rustic shore wood necklace.

Blue table - selection from Platt's Beach House Furnishings

Blue table – selection from Platt’s Beach House Furnishings

While looking at the photos for the ideabook I found this really awesome blue glass chandelier. It is definitely seaweed! The full picture is included in the ideabook.

Chandelier by Dale Chihuly

Chandelier by Dale Chihuly

I had to include some Finnish design in my picture, a painting for the wall by Simo Mantere (juuret – roots) and the forever timeless Kartio glasses on the table!

It is great how other forms of design can inspire you to create in our own medium.  It gives you a more complete view and understanding that can open up your mind for further exploring with your own work. It’s good to open up the curtains every once in a while and look outside!

Kartio glass by Kaj Franck

Kartio glass by Kaj Franck

"Juuret" by Simo Mantere

“Juuret” by Simo Mantere

Wooden pendant


Revisited Inspirations

I wanted to look  back at my earlier posts and review some of the creative attempts I have done based on inspirations in my posts. Many of them I’m still working on, refining my methods and improving my skills.


Home made sanding station and wooden dowel I make beads from.

During the process I have taken over several of my husband’s power tools – sawsall, drill, dremel…It’s a satisfying feeling when you figure out you can actually use some “man tools” with no problem. The opportunities are endless and you can repurpose many tools to do things you don’t first think they were meant to do.

With “Wood Coins and Drill Holes” –  I am now making my wooden beads out of dowels, craft boards and other larger pieces of wood. I have made a sanding station using the drill which works really good (just don’t sand away your fingertips) You can quickly reshape pieces, big difference from the beginning when I was completely sanding by hand!


Finished beads imitating weathered wood look – cut from dowel, sanded and rag painted.

I think I’m doing much better with getting the surface even and have discovered which paints make the type of finish I’m looking for. I want to imitate a weathered wood type of surface, a rustic feel that makes you think of the shore, beach, sand and how the wind and water shapes the wood.

Digitata seaweed Maine

Digitata seaweed in Maine (Ogunquit Beach)


Seaweed scarf model with tentacles.


Copper shapes still in rough form. I patinated the left one, but I don’t really like the dark color.

I created several copper shapes based on my exploration with the “Seaweed Inspirations”.  I also started scarfs that imitate shapes of seaweed. I really like the idea of the freely hanging legs or tentacles like in the seaweed (that I think is called) Laminaria digitata (see picture).

I think the scarf body is too lightweight due to the yarn, but I want to  keep the idea of tentacles. The yarn I found has variations and nubbies that I work well to keep the shape interesting. I found some commonly made patterns of seaweed scarfs online, but I didn’t think they were really seaweed enough!

The yellow and green in “Unexpected Beach Art” gave me an idea to create these wild yellow earrings, round lemon yellow beads handing from purple chain with Swarovski crystals. I wanted some real lemon punch with the clusters, they sort of look like berries or candy grapes to eat!

Lemon yellow cluster earrings

Lemon yellow cluster earrings

This was a quick review on what I’ve made based on my earlier posts. I hope you like some of them, any comments are welcome!

Wood bits


Wood Coins and Drill Holes

wood pieces and parts used for my jewelry

Different shapes of wood from the hardware store

When I visit the local hardware store I generally linger around the plumbing department. I can spend a lot of time looking at the small pieces of copper parts and I do use them a lot in my jewelry to enamel with. This time I ended by the drawers in hardware, full of little bits, parts and pieces. I kept perusing the different drawers and ended up in the wood piece drawer. Didn’t know there were so many interesting small wooden parts that were used in construction!
I got interested and instantly started getting ideas – what if you painted these shapes and crafted them into a jewelry piece such as a necklace? I ended up finding more small pieces near lumber, little plugs that were already shaped nicely flat and round.


Wooden hardware store bits painted

The next day I went looking for paint. First I was thinking of using  wood stain and even tried some food coloring I happened to have in the cabinet. The results were pretty good.  I even tried making my own organic color, but the kale I blended in the machine didn’t really produce enough color. (!) I did read  that there are some berries and plants that you can use successfully. The colors you get out of the natural ingredients are not as bright, I wanted to get some brighter color. I did some research on the internet and found out that regular craft paints should work just fine. I found  a whole isle at the craft store, they had surprisingly many options of quality and brands.

I picked out some turquoise shades in pearl and satin, I figured the change in reflective material in the paint might give a nice contrast between the pieces.  Add some type of finish to make the paint more durable and I was ready to begin. I did some hole drilling and painted my pieces, then treated them with some spray finish. Pretty nice beads!


Round wood pieces drilled and painted – ready to be beads for jewelry!

The color and finish options on these paints are quite remarkable. I can keep experimenting for a long time! Let’s see what I will come up with when it comes to finished pieces! And always look around, you never know what you will find in your local store.