Black Sand Beach Bracelet
Also, there are still some Rings & Things gluable challenge bracelets showing up here and there - Katie Hacker of Katie's Beading Blog (and lots of other great sites around the web) showed two ideas earlier this week.
There are lots of great kits and tutorials out there - I just bought one from Rock Creek Creations at Art Fire - and the Beadalon site has some good ones as well. Sometimes though the concept is what inspires me more than the actual item being taught.
Like back when you were a kid, and it was time to sit down for Arts & Crafts at camp or with the Scout troop, were you one of the people who listened carefully, checked the step by step drawings often, and at the end of the hour had a perfect replica of the craft's director's sample? I was one of those more often than not.
When I was a teen I worked for the summer recreation department and taught swimming in the morning and arts and crafts in the afternoons. I had a set curriculum and the department provided the supplies. I never varied from the program and there wasn't much opportunity for the kids to improvise, either - just didn't have the materials and I couldn't afford to bring in anything extra, either.
When I got older, I often volunteered to be the crafts teacher for various summer recreation programs, all the way into my early 30s. There were often themes to these programs and the crafts usually aligned with the themes. I didn't create the curriculum for the crafts and pretty much followed the instructions given. Not that I didn't encourage the kids to improvise somewhat if they wished - I tried to supplement the standard pre-packaged kits with some different materials, so the ones who wanted to be unique to some degree, could.
Today I was reading blog posts on my Google reader and saw that Katie Hacker had posted about a new Beadalon wire SilveRose and that there was an animated tutorial posted, so I checked it out. Cool tutorial and a lovely necklace. I wanted to try the idea, but decided to go in a different direction and made a bracelet with some black Soft Flex, gunmetal findings and black Czech glass beads.