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Where do you get your ideas from?

"Where do you get your ideas from?" , A friend asked me the other day after looking through some of my recent twitter posts. It set me thinking, as ideas are not something that I'm usually short of but I don't often consciously think about where they're coming from.

So where do my ideas come from? From lots of places, and since I started Gilli's flowers my sources of inspiration have widened considerably.

When I started, my ideas came from a couple of books I have bought on all origami jewellery. One while I didn't like the actual designs in the book as they looked rather dated did give me useful information about how to assemble jewellery, and the other one a more recent publication was one that I started using and still do use for my geometric designs (the designs are copyright free). I use this source much less frequently now although I recently returned to it as the starting point for my Christmas angel earrings.

Having begun to experiment with flower forms through adding beads and hand decoration to the geometric shapes I looked again through my origami flower books and also my online links and started thinking about how I could adapt some of these into jewellery. I found some traditional folds, practised making them in a smaller size and then experimented with adding beads and chain to findings to form earrings and pendants. These "Hare-bell" earrings as I call them prove popular and I really makes them often in different colours of paper to reflect the changing seasons and most recently by adapting it slightly and folding in metallic foil papers to make Christmas Bell earrings.

After a while I began to see a common theme, of flowers and leaves. This also fitted in well with the name I had chosen for my business,Gilli's flowers. I had chosen this is a play on words as my friends call me Gilli and another name for garden pinks is gillyflower.

Flowers are a great source of inspiration for me, and in all the different forms of arts and crafts that I have tried over the years flowers, and the natural world are themes that I have often returned to. At home I have an embroidery on my wall which I did as part of my A-level work which is of flowers and over the years I have made flowers in pottery, drawn and painted flowers and use them as themes in patchwork quilting and other textile work so it is not surprising that I've returned to them as a theme again now. They provide a rich source of inspiration both in terms of their shapes and their colours and I've written a blog previously about my fuchsia earrings.

Other ideas may come from Pinterest, suggestions made by customers, TV and from my childhood memories. Childhood memories of my mother wearing bone china flower brooches and earrings led me to start creating my own versions of these in origami.

Other ideas can be inspired by papers, different folds, and can be thought through on nights when I can't sleep.Even when I'm not well enough to make jewellery I can think through new ideas in my head, work out how to make them and plan so that when my hands and arms are up to it I'm ready to get going again.I'm in the process of setting up a new board on Pinterest called "Welcome to Gilli's flowers" where I can scrapbook some of these ideas and inspirations. My next big theme is going to be looking at how I can use William Morris prints and designs in some of my pieces as living in Walthamstow and close to his birthplace which is now a museum this seems like a really logical area to explore.All I know is that I am not short of ideas!

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