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I’m a Landscaping Beader

Posted by Ali on November 08 at 10:09 pm

This fall, Kevin and I decided to do some landscaping in our yard. When we first moved into this house 2 years ago, there were two big, ugly cedar shrubs that literally covered half the front of our house. We tore them out in the spring, so it was time to replace them with something. I had an idea of what I wanted to do, so we got some quotes from some local landscape companies. They proved to be pretty expensive and who was I kidding – us creative types like to do everything ourselves. As I’m sure most of you do, I have a hard time giving up creative control on anything :)  So, we decided to do it ourselves.

I began by marking out the beds and then I went on a search for interesting plants so I could surround the house with focal pieces.  I do the same thing when creating a necklace – I have a habit of using more than 1 or 2 focal pieces. Why let one piece get all the attention?

Our Moms

Usually the process of stringing my design is relatively quick. I thought that this would also be true of planting – I had convinced myself that planting an entire yard worth of plants and trees could be accomplished in a weekend. Ha! 1 week later everything is in the ground except my bulbs. I need a day of rest and most of this Saturday has been spent on the couch. It’s that feeling you get after a jewelry-making marathon for a holiday craft fair or trunk show.

The Digging Begins

The Digging Begins

I hadn’t planned it, but I found that my creative process for landscaping turned out to be exactly the same as my creative process for beading. Along the way, I realized I was making decisions based on beading experience. Everyone wanted me to plan everything out before I got started, but I just don’t work that way. Whether I’m working with plants and pine trees or gemstones and brass – I like to dump everything out and design as I go.

Kevin Planting Japanese Maple

Kevin Planting Japanese Maple

Has anyone else found this to be true? I didn’t realize that a person’s creative process was so universal, but I’m glad it is!

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. beadaholchick
    beadaholchick says:

    Glad to see I’m not the only one who hasn’t planted bulbs yet. I’ve bought them, mapped them out & dreamed about what they will look like come spring,guess I’d better get into action unless I just want to keep dreaming about the colors!!

  2. CAS
    CAS says:

    We have Red squirrels, Gray squirrels & Chipmunks in our yard, bulbs just don’t stand a chance.

    Attachment Attachment

  3. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    I’ve definitely gotten my fill of digging holes for at least 5 years.

  4. CAS
    CAS says:

    Just think Kevin, in five years Payton may want to have her own little flower beds too.

  5. LoriEllen
    LoriEllen says:

    I can’t wait to have a yard to plant things in.

  6. Alice P
    Alice P says:

    Well I never thought that beading and landscaping could be done in the same manner–until I read your post. Like you, I dump all my beads (er..plants) all together and then move them around until they look good. Once I’m satisfied I begin stringing (digging). Sometimes I find the end result doesn’t look right and have been known to tear it all apart and start over.

    Sometimes chicken wire placed over the bulbs will deter those pesky critters from digging up your bulbs.

    Thanks for the reminder that my garden is in need of some tender loving care.

  7. Ali
    Ali says:

    Thanks for the tip Alice. We’re supposed to get nice weather tomorrow (50′s and rain – as nice as it gets in November) so I am hoping to get all my bulbs in the ground – I’ll definitely get some chicken wire as you suggest. I’ve noticed squirrels burying acorns in my yard already. Little stinkers. :-)

    All of this gardening has inspired several Fresh Picks and jewelry ideas. Now that the weather is not warm, I am inside more so maybe I can actually get some jewelry made.

  8. Leslie W Mtn Chick
    Leslie W Mtn Chick says:

    I have been really interested in how people learn, but haven’t really thought in depth about how people create. I’m a tactile person and I need to let the design evolve by collecting objects and ideas and then moving them around on the table in front of me. I am also not a visual person, that is I do not see pictures of things in my mind. Perhaps it is the visual people who either see a vision of what they will create, or can actually manipulate the objects in their minds to come up with the finished picture of what they want to do. That leads me to think about why there are two types of creativity and how many more types that I haven’t even discovered yet………………. yes!

  9. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Working here at Lima Beads, I’m around a lot of different creativity every day. Creative jewelry designers, creative graphic designers, and even creative technical people (programmers). After years of frustration and banging my head against the wall, I’ve developed a rule for myself… Don’t try to understand creative people! I’m just glad they’re on our team and not someone else’s and I take what I can get (when I can get it)… :)

  10. No Photo
    SusanF says:

    I also create the same way, no matter what materials I am using. I discovered this when I crossed over from art quilting to beadwork. I am not one who draws out plans. I work from ideas in my mind, and then with materials I have gathered and spread out on my table. Then, from intuition, I put aside what doesn’t work and start from there, placing things that look good together.

    I even store my fabrics and my beads the same way, by color and by type/theme. My inspiration for all my creativity comes from the same places/ideas.

    Our creative process comes from within us; our organizational skills apply to anything we work with. I love it. It’s so intuitive.

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