Meet Mortira from Nanaimo, BC. She is the creative mind behind Inspirational Beading
I love beads and beading. Many times I do an Internet search for something bead related and always end up on the site of our JUNE Featured Blogger. What a blessing to have her as a part of our Craft Map team. I hope you enjoy her blog and learn a little something along the way – I always do!
Tell us a bit about yourself:
My name is Mortira, and I am crazy about beads. When I’m not sitting at my workspace creating something, I’m thinking about my next project, my next bead purchase, or my next wave of inspiration. Doing beadwork makes me sublimely happy. Glass is my absolute favorite material - it’s beautiful, versatile, and sustainable. In 2009, I made a pledge to avoid using metal beads and components, hard plastic beads, and natural beads made from threatened or endangered species. Through my beadwork, and my blog, I try to encourage other artists to examine the source of their materials as well.
How long have you been crafting?
I can’t really remember I time when I wasn’t crafting. All the women in my family are very artsy, and between us we’ve pretty much tried it all. When I graduated from macaroni art, I moved on to things like papier mache and macrame. I’ve always loved beads, but the beading bug didn’t really catch me until about 2005. As soon as I finished my first spiral rope necklace, I was completely hooked.
Do you have a favorite medium or medium of the moment?
Off-loom bead weaving is certainly my passion. I can’t see myself ever moving away from that - but you never know. I used to really enjoy bead embroidery, and I would love to take it up again one day. I’d like to wait until I can invest in a good supply of leather before I begin. It would be awful to get started and be flooded with inspiration, without enough materials to really see it through!
Is there anything influencing your work right now?
My inspirations change all the time. A lot of what I make is fueled by a need - to make something quick for my store, or to clear out some older materials from my stash. I try to keep a balance between necessity projects and freely artistic work. Running a handmade business can be a real inspiration killer if you let it run away with you.
I try to keep myself motivated to create new things by using my blog as an inspiration to-do list. Every month I come up with a different theme and see how many pieces I can make to fit it. Anything else I happen to make that month is a like a bonus.
One tool you can't live without?
I’d say it’s a tie between anything that measures. My ring-sizing mandrel is probably the most valuable tool I’ve ever bought. Now that I have it, I can make rings like mad and know that they will always have the right fit. I also have a paper ruler taped to my work space that I use at least a dozen times during every beading session.
Something craft related that you spend too much money on.
It used to be beading magazines - I would buy them without even looking past the front cover! Now that my son is old enough to enjoy reading, I pick up back issues every month at the library and enjoy them for free. Still - I can’t imagine giving away my collection!
I’ve also cut down on my frivolous bead purchases as well. I used to raid the clearance section and scoop up anything that I thought would be fun to use. Now, when I need to buy something, I limit myself to one or two extra goodies.
Are you featured or published? If so, where can we see your work.
I’ve been lucky enough to be chosen for a handful of wonderful blog features. I always enjoy meeting new crafters and bloggers that way. My most prestigious features to date are a tutorial that I shared with Auntie’s Beads, for my scalloped St. Petersburg chain technique, and a lovely feature on Christine’s Beadworks. She always has the most amazing artwork on her blog, and it was a huge honor to be among such wonderful creators.
Any tip or trick you'd like to share?
Save everything! I always keep invoices from supplies, empty bead vials and extra packaging materials as well. Just about anything that you bring in for your craft can be used again for something else. Plus having records around comes in handy when you can’t remember the name of a color or finish.
If you have a creative block, is there anything that works to motivate you in a positive direction?
I usually look over my bead stash and see if anything calls out to be used. It’s amazing how easy it is to forget what’s in there. If I’m stuck for ideas, or I don’t feel like making any of the same old things, I browse through my beads. Eventually I’ll see something and be inspired all over again.
Is there anything craft related that you would like to try or learn?
I would really like to apply my beadwork to non-jewelry designs. I’m more than a little fascinated by fashion design, so something clothing-related would be fun. I’ve also toyed with the idea of doing mixed media or abstract beading, and my husband is always telling me I should get back to making beaded curtains and tapestries with my newer skills.
Your favorite magazine?
Beadwork Magazine for sure. I love the projects, and the features are always so interesting. I especially enjoy The Challenge - where different designers use the same beads with an amazing variety of results. There’s also a real community vibe within the pages - reading it is like visiting your local bead store.
You can find Mortira at the following links:
Blog Feed URL: http://inspirationalbeading.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default