Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cover Girl - The Best of Step by Step Beads

I just received my advance copy of The Best of Step by Step Beads. That's my necklace on the cover, I'm so very pleased to report. Although I came up with the concept of "Java Jive" first, the actual necklace was largely designed around the festive set of lampworked beads by Jenn Kelly of CaliGirl Art Glass. This was my second attempt to use these beads. Want to see the first? Here you go:

Pretty horrible, eh? Especially given the high quality of the components (the pendant in this necklace is by the fab Alicia Abla, even). I had been designing jewelry for about 4 months at the time I strung this piece back in 2007. I made it originally to enter in Art Bead Scene's Monthly Challenge.

Even at the outset, I was pretty dissatisfied with this design and stuffed it into my beading drawer (I only had a few small drawers of beads back then - oh, those were the days) then promptly forgot it. When I started sketching the concept necklace "Java Jive", I remembered Jenn's beads, unceremoniously cut the original necklace apart and ended up combining them with my own simple fine silver components and the super-cute lampworked coffee bean beads by Kristine Dery of Krissy Beads. Ultimately, I came up with a new design that I liked so much I actually wore it myself (and still do). The project appeared originally in the January 2009 edition of Step by Step Beads and was my first placement in an Interweave Press publication. I can still remember how exciting it was to receive copies of that issue in the mail. (I know, I know, it wasn't actually all that long ago, but it seems like a long time now...)

Anyway, I think this is a decent example of the rewards of going back to the drawing board when you're not happy with your work. While we may enjoy believing that great designs spring fully formed from a designer's head like the goddess Athena, fully armed and ready to do battle, in practice (for me, at least), this often doesn't happen. As I've said before, everyone has their bad design moments - some more than others, sigh. It's important to recognize them, think about them and strive to move beyond them - which, of course, everyone does, eventually. Please don't let these times get you down - they are, like everything else, part of the process and a learning experience.

As for me, I couldn't be happier with the end result of my struggle to showcase these lovely beads. It's also nice to be able to raise my glass one last time to the excellent Step by Step Beads. My editor told me that they refer to the cover shot artists as their "cover girls", and I'm so happy to be joining the ranks of them here.

Thanks for visiting.


Regina said...

Congratulations! I have some designs stashed away in a drawer that I have to revisit. You have inspired me. Love the colors and the beads on 'Java Jive'. Enjoy the weekend.

Rose said...

Congrats on being a cover girl!

From reading your post, there is hope for me yet! I should pull out those "mistakes" I have stashed away and see if I can turn them around.

Congrats again!!! :D

Lorelei Eurto said...

Hi Melissa!!
Beautiful COVER! You totally rock!!
And thanks for blogging about this,
I didn't know this was coming out and turns out I have 3 projects in this issue! woot woot!!
Your necklace is so fun and colorful! HAPPY SPRING!

Barbara Lewis said...

Congratulations, Melissa. The necklace is gorgeous! Just goes to show that when you develop a relationship with the piece how much better things turn out!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Hey, Lorelei, Yeah! They put the projects all together, too - I call it the "Lorelei section". Congrats!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Thanks for the kind comments, everyone!

steufel said...

Congrats - and the necklace is great! regards Stefanie

Unknown said...

The necklace in the cover looks perfect. It was meant for this cover! :)

TesoriTrovati said...

Such an awesome reinvention. I love it. (Much, much better than the original). Isn't it good to know that you are evolving with every day? Thanks for sharing that inspiration. Enjoy the day! Erin

Unknown said...

Congrats on the cover!

I needed this post. It reminds me to give some of my own less then stellar pieces a second chance.

sandi m said...

Congratulations Melissa!
Yes, I too, have some designs that will one day make it to the re-designing board. But as they say, "ya gotta start somewhere"!

And aren't we shocked that we ever made 'that'?

Jeannie said...

Congratulations on the cover.
What a beautiful reincarnation.

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

First of all, congratulations on getting the cover! That is fabulous! Your second design is so much better than the first. There is something much more playful and interesting in the final piece that makes all the difference.

I have reworked pieces so many times and sometimes more than once. They are just beads. You should never feel bad or obligated to a design if it doesn't work out. Just cut the wire and start again. Seeing your published piece has inspired me to re-do some of my pieces again. After all it is the creating that is where the fun is at!