Friday, July 3, 2009

Inspiration is Where You Find It

Someone once asked me where I find inspiration for the designs of my jewelry. Sometimes it's a simple matter of finding a pendant or beads I like and then playing around with the colors and/or patterns until a design presents itself. But I do find inspiration in some of the most common things or places -- or in some unusual places.

My "Flowers in the Woods" necklace was inspired by my own backyard. One early morning, I noticed some hardy, leafy wildflowers growing among the trees at the rear of the yard. The next day, I was in my favorite craft store and found the pendant. While it wasn't exactly what I'd seen in the yard, it gave me the same feeling. And the design was born.

I had to go a little farther to find the pendant and the inspiration for my "Africa Unmasked" necklace. At the last show I visited on my last day at the Tucson Gem Shows in February, I came across something quite unusual. I was at the African Art Village, checking out the incredible art from Africa. The very last booth I came to was selling unique handmade clay masks. Each one was different, and the one I chose was absolutely calling my name. I bought it and took it home -- but had absolutely no idea what to do with it. But a couple of months later, I purchased some wooden beads. Putting the beads together with the mask gave me one of my very favorite creations.

Something a bit more profound inspired my "Green Dragonfly" design. At my father's funeral a few years ago, my stepbrother read a poem called "The Dragonfly." Don't worry; I don't consider it sad. Rather, it was very touching and, yes, inspirational. It was all about how the dragonfly represents moving on and a new life. Ever since then, dragonflies have been special to my family. When I found the thin, metallic dragonfly pendant, I just knew I had to use it.

And my latest inspiration? Well, I was in church a few Sundays ago, and the last hymn we sang was "Eternal Father, Strong to Save" which is also known as the Navy Hymn. The last line is ". . . for those in peril on the sea." So I'm thinking of anchors, little lifesavers, small sailboats, blue . . . Give me a little time, and I'll come up with something.

Oh, and the hymn? Was also the last hymn sung at the Sunday church service on board the Titanic the morning of the day the ship sank. Yep, I'm a Titanic buff -- and have been ever since long before the movie came out. But I haven't come up with a Titanic inspiration yet. Icebergs, anyone?

Check out my shop on Etsy ( for these and more of my designs.

Karla Rosenbusch
Douglassville, PA


  1. I often think that happiness in life relies almost solely on how you choose to look at a situation. For instance, if you spend a lot of time thinking about what life is not, then the list will be endless. "I'm not as successful as I want to be." "I'm not as talented as I wish I could be."

    But if you look at the things in your life that are going well, or are good, and decide to focus on them, life seems pretty darned good. Even if it is as simple as, "Wow, the candle on my desk smells fantastic." It's still this bright, positive thing in my environment, and it would be pretty easy to overlook if I spent too much time thinking about the Not list.

    Hey, I actually have a suggestion about your jewelry -- maybe try making some necklaces without a center medallion. Sounds stupid, but I wear very little jewelry, and in talking with friends I found that the reason I never wear necklaces, I found we had something in common.

    Almost all of my friends feel self conscious about wearing pieces with a center medallion. It's the entire, "It seems to draw attention to cleavage, of which I don't have much, and beyond that, I really don't want people staring at it anyway."

    It might not help, but when I looked at your stuff, that was the thing that struck me. A lot of times I've got to go to a work-related sort of event (mainly for my husband) and then I do wear jewelry. I like your stuff a lot, but it wouldn't work for me because since I very infrequently wear anything, I'm very conscious of size.

    Jeez, that was a long way of saying, "Hey, if you made something smaller, you'd broaden your buying pool." wasn't it? Eh, it's a good thing you're used to my blathering on ways ;-)

  2. Heh, and I haven't had enough coffee yet, either. Clearly.