Travelling renders me hopelessly inspired.

Posted on Jan 2, 2012 in Projects | 0 comments

I’ve always been a pretty inspired person. I have project after project lined up in my head (which I now write down in a notebook so I don’t forget them). It’s a great way to be. Also a totally overwhelming way to be – the biggest challenge in my life is how to balance all the things I want to do with all the things I have to do.

And then I go on a long vacation to of all places – the seriously amazing island of New Zealand. New places with their new shops, different fashions, and novel approaches to things I do everyday (like a dishwasher with two compartments?! run one compartment while you fill the other one!). And so I end up in a state where I just want to go home and start making stuff.

In Germany it was beaded stars that were a household craft, I bought some books on how to make them and some beads and made a bunch of them. They were what inspired me to go to craft fairs, but I was never able to make enough stock to actually do it. However, I think they’re the best ornament on my parent’s Christmas tree every year.

in China it was cross stitch – I was teaching English in a rural town and used to sit outside my apartment in the park doing cross stitches – turns out that kind of behavior is an invitation for little old ladies to come and sit next to you, initiating a lot of wonderful conversations in broken Chinese. Oh yeah, and then I took up learning Chinese.

This time? I don’t quite know yet, but it’s got to do with sewing and jewelry making and a whole bunch of disordered ideas I’ll have to get in line. I’m coming home with stuff:

2 meters of each of these...

... and 2 meters of each of these as well

and also…

Paua shell!

I’m really most excited about the Paua shell. Paua are a species of Abalone found only in New Zealand and is also known as “sea opal.” It’s basically blue mother of pearl. And it really is pretty.

The souvenir shops here are absolutely full of Paua shell jewelry and gifts inlaid with Paua shell (totally thinking about trying my hand at marquetry). I’m working towards making most of my own jewelry, so I was totally excited to find out that craft stores here have full walls of raw Paua shell pieces that I can take a Dremel to. Can’t wait to get home and play with it!

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