Bead Weaving and Jewelry Making with Inspiration from Our Pets

K9 and Feline Inspiration

Bead Weaving and Jewelry Making with Inspiration from Our Pets. Kristal Wick, Sparkle & BlingIn search of the holy grail of jewelry-making inspiration has been a lifetime quest, and I know I’m not alone! I also know I’m not alone in finding it through my four-legged muses, Sparkle and Bling. (With a name like Kristal, I figured I’d keep the theme going no matter how cheesy it is!)

Bead Weaving and Jewelry Making with Inspiration from Our Pets. Sparkle

Sparkle modeling my fabric flower jewelry

I was delightfully surprised to find so many of my fellow makers as ga-ga over their K9s and felines as me. They not only show us unconditional love, they keep us grounded, they reinforce what REALLY matters in life (potty, eat, play not necessarily in that order), and they make us stop and smell the roses. One of my two rescues, Sparkle, has a curious nature and always needs to know what I’m working on in the studio. She is 9 lbs. and has a habit of walking on her back legs to stand taller and see what’s going on. She behaves kind of like a prairie dog (thus the nickname PD– short for Prairie Dog).

Sparkle the Sacred PD

Years ago when learning how to operate my new jewelry kiln, a pal and I were cranking through numerous packs of metal clay to perfect the firing method. Each time I would carry the tray of metal clay pieces over to load into the kiln, Sparkle would follow across the studio. She’d walk on her hind legs trying to catch a glimpse of the delicacies capturing our attention (must have looked like gold bullion or a tray full of milk bones to a pup). I would lower it to her for further investigation; she took a few sniffs, licked my hand once, and ran off to find something far more interesting to do. This went on for months with each kiln load.

One fateful evening, Sparkle was sleeping as I loaded the kiln. Unknowingly, I was skipping what would turn out to be the ultimate crucial kiln-god ritual. Of course you can guess — the entire kiln load was ruined. It’s still unknown as to why nothing sintered or was fired to perfection as in the other loads. Well you can be sure I don’t skip the one lick from Sparkle the sacred PD, and she’s been part of each kiln-loading ritual ever since.

Bead Weaving and Jewelry Making with Inspiration from Our Pets. Sparkle and Bling with bead weaving supplies

Sparkle and Bling “helping” me bead

Kicking Back for Some Play TIme

There’s nothing better than taking a much needed break in the studio for a puppy or kitty snuggle, right?! Just when your eyes have crossed for the millionth time due to size 15 seed-bead fatigue at 2 AM, but you “just have to finish this one last row,” a kitty purrrrrr or doggie kiss is just the ticket!

Bead Weaving and Jewelry Making with Inspiration from Our Pets. Kinga Nichols and her boxer wearing one of her fab necklaces.

Kinga and Sammy

Pets are also great at forcing us to slow down a bit aren’t they? I swear I wouldn’t take nearly as many walks if I didn’t have my pups around. I’d just sit slumped over stitching a RAW bracelet for hours, totally losing track of time. Not to mention missing out on my social life and scrunching my body up in knots without stretching “just for one more row.” Since the pups insist on walks EVERY day, I’ve explored some really wonderful color inspiration lessons, snapping pictures of Mother Nature’s color palettes (most of which I’d never come up with on my own) along the walk. I then ponder the colors while I’m making my bead choices for a new project and the results are always spectacular.

Pets and Jewelry Making

Bead Weaving and Jewelry Making with Inspiration from Our Pets. Darlene and Buddy her puppy

Darlene and Buddy

Every time one of our great instructors is in the studio filming new courses, the conversation quickly turns to inspiration and pets. Kinga Nichols even uses her pup Sammy to model her jewelry pieces! Sammy has just as many Facebook fans as Kinga (maybe more!). Kinga’s other dog, Karl (seen at the top), also helps inspire in the studio but is more camera shy so not quite the “professional” model Sammy is!

Darleen Armstrong’s pup, Buddy, comes to work every day with Darlene at the Denver School of Metal Arts. And Buddy is available for her students to get a hug from when they need to shake off the stress of learning a new technique!

Bead Weaving and Jewelry Making with Inspiration from Our Pets. Sparkle and Bling out and about at the yarn storeI enjoy knitting as much as beading (once again, I know I’m not alone) so I brought my “kids” into the yarn shop to pick out colors for their sweaters. I was amazed at how enjoyable this was for the other shoppers! So many folks stopped to pet the pups and tell me stories about their pets at home and how they “help” when creating. It seems to be universal– pets inspire!

So tell us about your pets and how they inspire you. We’d love to see your pictures!

PS – Don’t miss this great video of Buddy and Darlene in the studio.


Enjoy Kinga and Darlene’s eCourses along with my eBook (pets not included!):