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Finding Inspiration: Ambassador Allison Cooling

As part of Cousin Corporation's "Finding Inspiration" blog series, I was asked to write a little about how I get inspired to make jewelry and other crafty wearables, and where my ideas for new DIYs come from. I've got a perfect example here of my whole creative process (plus a DIY for you!) - so get ready!

My inspiration almost always comes from my travels. No, I am not one of these globe-trotters that leaves the country every week (how I wish!); I usually travel only once a year. However, when I do, I always bring along my camera to capture the sights, colors, textures, overall mood of a certain city or destination. I make it my goal to gain as much from the experience as I can, so that I can take this newfound knowledge and use it in my creative endeavors. I try to get the most out of it as I can!

My latest trip was to New Orleans, the French Quarter. I took about 1,000 photos (no joke) of the various sights and scenes. I toured a cemetery, walked Bourbon Street, visited a plantation and shopped in Nola boutiques. I've got a montage below of some of the most recognizable elements of the French Quarter. A lot of mardi-gras inspired colors, sparkle, historic architecture, neon lights and voodoo, all with a little bit of that typical kitschy vibe! All these elements contribute something to my creative process, whether it be a color palette or shape/form inspiration, and help me develop something truly unique!

Take for example this project; my New Orleans colorful skull earrings. I was inspired by the bright colors and "voodoo" vibe of the French Quarter to create these fun and party-like drop earrings. The porcelain skull beads are from Prima Bead. They were white and kind of plain, and needed a bit of a "Nola" vibe!











So, I used nail polish and a toothpick to paint in the eyes and teeth. I used a rainbow of colors and neon nail polish - the polish dried glossy to match the finish of the porcelain.










I simply used Cousin gold eye pins and gold spike pendants from Prima Bead and attached them with jump rings to a gold fish hook. The gold metal reminds me of the mardi gras colors, and those colorful skulls totally give off that very voodoo mood! 


I know more projects will come from this trip, but this is my first idea upon my arrival back home. The next time you travel some place, be sure to take pictures of what is interesting or unique to that place. The images may speak to you and inspire you and your creativity. Stay tuned for more DIYs!


All images copyright Allison Beth Cooling - don't post or reuse without crediting me!


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